Heroes and Zeros

Manchester is blue and so is Jose Mourinho. In the Premier League this weekend, we… Oh, hang on, he’s turned into a shade of bright red now. And there’s smoke coming out of his ears. Juan Mata, Antony Martial and Paul Pogba have just bolted out of the room in a hurry, leaving a fuming Mourinho alone with his thoughts – thoughts that are too violent, too profane to publish. So you’ll have to make do with this instead.


Manchester City: Guardiola’s free-scoring, frugally assembled, FFP-compliant outfit hit Mourinho’s United squarely in the family jewels in front of a surprisingly not empty Etihad Stadium. Then they hit them again. And again. A 3-1 victory in the Manchester Derby wasn’t just three more nails in the coffin of Mourinho’s career, it was also a message to the rest of the league: you’re competing for second place.

David Silva: The hair may have gone, but like Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, it’s only enhanced his abilities. He is the all-knowing, all-seeing professor in this City team.

Anthony Martial: The more he scores, the stupider Mourinho looks for freezing him out of the team.

Liverpool: “You’re nothing special, we lose every week” – Fulham.

Mohamed Salah: So, not a one-season wonder, then. No, I’ve always loved the taste of humble pie.

Cardiff City: They’re still in the bottom three, but a fortuitous victory ensured they’re no longer dead last. Unless Southampton sack Mad Mark Hughes, Cardiff might fancy their chances of dragging the Saints into the mire in their stead.

Tottenham Hotspur: Just the Juan goal, but this Spurs side has a bit of Foyth in them. I wouldn’t blame you if you stopped reading beyond this point.

Newcastle United: A brace from a former Baggies striker propelled them to 14th (!) in the table. It is unfamiliar territory for the Magpies, who had been stuck in the relegation zone since before Benitez grew out his goatee.

Salomon Rondon: The big Venezuelan stepped out of the hospital for just about long enough to put two goals past a shell-shocked Bournemouth. It won’t be long before Chelsea come sniffing to satisfy their annual target man fetish.

Wolves: Unlucky not to come away with three points, but the howls of laughter might stop for a while.

Leicester and Burnley: A win or loss for either side would have felt insignificant compared to the magnitude of the human tragedy that unfolded at Leicester a couple of weeks ago. Fittingly, neither side managed to break the deadlock.


Manchester United: Of course, how can they be expected to compete against a team that has such a rich history of winning championships, always getting the players they want and breaking transfer records every other season? It’s weird when the shoe is on the other foot, isn’t it?

David De Gea: Shipping more goals than there are holes in the United defence.

Fulham: They’re shit and they know it.

Chelsea: All that possession and naff all to do with it. They’ve learnt how to keep the ball and how to pass the ball. Sarri might not be in charge by the time they get their heads around to shooting the ball.

Alvaro Morata: Back in Torres mode after a brief flicker of form. His days might be numbered if Chelsea can find a reliable goalscorer in January.

Huddersfield: Yet again, it’s one step forward, two steps backward and into a pile of dog poo.

Dale Stephens: Not very bright, the Brighton lad. A studs-up challenge is an invitation for the referee to show you the quickest way to the dressing room.

Crystal Palace: Roy Hodgson might want to quit while the locals still have some sort of respect for him.

Refereeing: VAR, what is it good for? Is anyone asking this question anymore?

Mad Mark: Obligatory Mark Hughes reference.