Pick on the Pundits

That winter break lasted a while, didn’t it? Wait, who’s saying it was only two weeks and wasn’t really a true winter break?

Anyway, we’re back with Gary who is joined this week by the perpetually angry Martin Keown and celebrity Ian Wright.

We started this week at Stamford Bridge where it was Lampard against Mourinho. Last time we saw Spurs, Jose was fuming which made me a very happy boy. Unbelievably, his Spurs side are fifth with forty points which sure as hell shocked me considering they seem to lose every game going. Chelsea meanwhile are fourth and my preference to get into the top four out of the two. Then again, that’s like choosing between losing your left and right leg.

For real, how have Spurs got forty points? They are not very good. Vertonghen is so slow, he’s playing a game from two seasons ago and they seem so very beatable. They were also quite lucky to not be down to ten when Stockley Park decided to ‘look’ at Lo Celso’s challenge. I can only assume they were watching the 2.15 at Doncaster instead. Luck also explains their goal because they damn sure didn’t do much else. I did enjoy Chelsea’s game plan of pinging shots really hard from everywhere.

It was another top-four battle as Leicester hosted Manchester City. The big news is obviously City’s European ban, which is nothing unsurprising if you really consider it. I mean there’s only so many times they can borrow £20 from Abu Dhabi. Still, their shock at UEFA actually doing something about FFP is similar to my shock that Leicester haven’t fallen out of the top four yet. Haven’t they lost a lot recently?

I’ll be honest, the only thing I really noticed was the fact City were dressed like a pack of rhubarb and custard sweets. The real star of this match was VAR which somehow managed to be consistently inconsistent. A true achievement. Oh, City won too. You could call it divine intervention from Jesus. I’ll move on.

To Burnley next as Sean Dyche’s Brexit Army hosted Bournemouth. If we remember not too long ago, Bournemouth had their last rites read which I called presumptuous. I may have been wrong – they’re looking a bit ropey. Meanwhile, Burnley do as Burnley do. Which is nothing too exciting.

I think Stockley Park might be at it, guys. How they ruled out Bournemouth’s first is beyond me. Somebody has to mention that the shoulder is not an arm. The second one is questionable. Anyway, somebody better prepare those last rites.

Hold up, maybe keep those rites as we have Aston Villa to watch. They travelled to Southampton who have returned to mid-table Match of the Day mediocrity. That wild week where they were top of the billing is a distant memory. Still, they are still moving forward while Villa are looking nervously backwards.

While Bournemouth bemoaned their luck, Villa are just crap. I enjoyed Pepe Reina’s absolutely chaotic energy throughout this game – clattering people, terrible kicks, going up for a corner and conceding because of it. What a performance. Southampton look really good moving forward and they’re definitely a side to keep an eye on in the run-in.

To Selhurst Park next where we were in store for an absolute classic between Crystal Palace and Newcastle. Both sides are not of note and I have absolutely no jokes whatsoever about them. Seriously, let’s see if I have anything… ah, yes, it’s a classic between Zaha and friends and Steve Bruce’s Fun Side. That’s sure to raise a chuckle.

I remember a few years ago in the banter era of Steve McClaren at Newcastle where they were battered 5-1 by Alan Pardew’s Palace side. Sadly, this game was not as funny as that. I did appreciate Nabil Bentaleb’s commitment to getting caught in possession, a truly admirable quality. PVA glue did manage to pelt one in from distance which was a nice touch of quality.

We finished at Brammall Lane where Sheffield United hosted Brighton. Since we were last together, my campaign #WilderforPM did not take off as I hoped. In fact, nobody even answered my question on whether or not Brighton were any good. I assume that’s because nobody truly knows the answer to that and has nothing to do with my lack of readership.

I’m still not quite sure whether or not Brighton are any good. They had chances but also they were a bit suspect at the back. I think my mission is to discover the answer to this imponderable question. Sheffield United got a point in what was described as a ‘proper performance’. I don’t know what that means but I assume that’s good.

So, what did we learn this week? Bournemouth and Villa are in a race to see who can be worse, Spurs have somehow got near the top four which means I may need to pay attention to the table more often, and for the love of f**k, can anyone tell me if Brighton are any good?!