We are just a few days away from the start of the new Premier League season. Yes, thank God for small mercies. But the pre-season has not been without its own idiosyncrasies. And the transfer market has already caused a lot of heartburn for some, while others have finally learnt how to operate in this economy. Let’s have a look at some of the heroes and zeros before the season proper.
Wolves: The Premier League newcomers have been bringing in new players every other week. Powered by super-agent Jorge Mendes’ rolodex and business card album, Wolves have managed to get access to some of the swankiest stores in the world. They didn’t really get going against Derby County, but let’s dismiss it as a one-off. Pfft, pre-season.
Jorge Mendes: If he manages to get Cristiano Ronaldo to sign for Wolves after his Italian job, they should build a statue of him outside the Molineux. Would probably make sense to hire the same guy who did the Ronaldo bust at Madeira airport.
Liverpool: Having finally realized that Jurgen Klopp’s hugs don’t have the power to turn Sturridge into Suarez, Liverpool have reverted to the tried and tested method of spending shitloads of money. Loris Karius could only watch in dismay as Alisson Becker arrived for a world record fee for a goalkeeper. He was joined by Fabinho, Shaqiri and Keita, who will help Klopp’s side challenge for the league title and the Champions League without managing to win either.
Arsenal: They beat PSG stiffs, so there’s your confidence boost for a Europa League run. They also signed a Greek defender who looks like he deliberately wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and then spends the day looking for a fight. Oh, and they signed a German ‘keeper. They are supposed to be rather good. No, Karius, you don’t count.
Robert Green: The former England number six must consider Chelsea signing him up as their new assistant manager’s way of apologizing for his goal against Green’s Norwich many years ago.
Riyad Mahrez: The Algerian wing wizard finally fulfilled his dream of being a small fish in a big pond.
West Ham United: The Hammers are somehow giving us the impression that they might actually have an idea about what they’re doing. It’s still early days, but maybe this time they’ll manage to stay out of the relegation dogfight until April, after which they’ll hilariously capitulate and finish 18th.
Jack Wilshere: Jack’s back, baby. He joins Mark Noble in a decidedly English, could-have-been but never-really-were midfield at West Ham.
Richarlison’s Agent: Bravo, my man. Bravo!
Newcastle United: If the Zeros section were a loser board, Newcastle United would be the name written at the top of the list, in permanent ink. And we all know why. Because their owner is a [REDACTED].
Rafa Benitez: Sir Elton John said it best –
It’s sad, so sad
It’s a sad, sad situation
And it’s getting more and more absurd
Manchester United: Losing to Liverpool, even in a pre-season game, is enough to send alarm bells ringing. Too bad no one can hear them over the sound of Mourinho’s moaning.
Jose Mourinho: The prickly Portuguese is coming to the end of his infamous three-year cycle and I can’t wait to see it all unravel. Jose has walked to one end of the bridge, explosives in tow, and has neatly stacked them all up. Judging by his latest comments about his squad, transfers and certain players, this time he doesn’t merely plan to burn his bridges, he intends to blow them to smithereens.
Anthony Martial: Unconfirmed reports have suggested Martial received a text message from Jose Mourinho yesterday, which said “U shud hv pulled out. Congrats anyway. Alexis is missing you.”
Jean-Michael Seri: He could have signed for Barca, but Nice said, “No, f*ck that”. If you’re someone who is planning to watch a Fulham game this season, please sing this to the tune of “Fabregas is magic”. Just make up the first part of the song. Thank you.
Diogo Dalot: The new Luke Shaw.
Spurs: A new stadium that looks like a toilet seat from above and a manager casting nervous glances towards the calendar, while Moussa Sissoko still remains a Spurs player. Things can only get better, right? Except for the stadium, of course.
Everton: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome. Having spent close to £50 million on Richarli-sodding-son, I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided to sell Pickford and bring in Rob Green on loan from Chelsea as part of that deal.