There’s a common theme of poor results in this week’s edition of Super Six, with plenty of goals, red cards and bottle jobs to laugh at.
#6 – Bruce Ball
Manchester City have Pep ball. Leeds have Bielsa ball. Newcastle have Bruce ball. In Saturday’s evening kick-off against Brighton at St James’ Park, the Magpies could only muster 29% possession. It’s almost as if the return of Andy Carroll means Newcastle aren’t planning to play free flowing, attacking, passing football, and instead plan to stay up by whatever means possible by lumping the ball up to the former England international. That’s all well and good until he gets injured.
#5 – Hostile Hartlepool
Hartlepool’s home game against Dover this weekend may not have been of interest to most people, Jeff Stelling aside, but I had to mention what went on in this one. When away side Dover took the lead through a contested penalty in the first half, it began an afternoon of abuse for the referee in charge. After Hartlepool were denied a couple of penalties of their own, frustrations boiled over for the home side as Ryan Donaldson was first sent off, quickly followed by their manager Craig Hignett. When Dover finished the game off to make it 2-0, Nicky Featherstone got himself sent off as well. If only there was VAR in the National League.
#4 – Lincoln City
Last week I took the mick out of my own team, Rochdale, for losing 6-0 away from home to Peterborough. Naturally, I have to do the same to Lincoln after their result on Saturday. The Imps have struggled since losing the Cowley brothers to Huddersfield, and new manager Michael Appleton watched on from the stands as Lincoln managed to lose 6-0 at home to Oxford United. Appleton will be hoping for a lot better when he officially takes charge for their next game.
#3 – Aston Villa
Villa fans were extremely keen to reassure fans that their summer spending was not equivalent to last season’s disappointment, Fulham. That promise seemed to be holding true when Villa took the lead at Arsenal on Sunday through John McGinn, one of the few players to keep their place in the side after promotion. Things looked even better when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off from the home side. Villa were pegged back when Nicholas Pepe scored a penalty, but Wesley’s goal shortly after put the away side back in control. In traditional Villa fashion however, they still managed to lose the game against ten-man Arsenal, thanks to goals from Callum Chambers and Mr Consistent: Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
#2 – Manchester United
It seems as if Manchester United feature in this article every week now, but the fact is, they’re what the kids call ‘a banter club.’ After a surprising win against Leicester last weekend, followed up by an incredibly impressive 1-0 win over Astana in the Europa League, United fans were in confident mood ahead of their trip to West Ham. Once again it was not to be for United, who lost out 2-0 to the home side. The Red Devils might be lucky to get top eight at this point.
#1 – Watford
There could only be one winner this week really. Watford travelled to Manchester City on the back of a morale-boosting draw against fellow top half hopefuls Arsenal last weekend. Manchester City too were keen to improve after their loss to Norwich, but frankly I think they went slightly overboard. The home side were 5-0 up after just 18 minutes, and Watford fans can count themselves lucky it didn’t get too much more embarrassing from there. Thankfully Watford had the mighty Craig Dawson in defence, otherwise it would have surely been double figures.