Ah, so that is what a world record fee for a goalkeeper gets you in the 2018 version of the Premier League. Yes, I know it was only a world record for about twenty minutes, but Liverpool went big on Alisson in the hope he’d provide less stupid (or comedic, depending on your viewpoint) moments than Loris Karius (who has been sent to Turkey as penance for his sins).
King Kloppo signed Alisson to Liverpool in the summer because, we believe, he is supposed to be damn good with his feet and, from what we have seen so far, no mug with his hands either. Do you remember the good old days when a goalkeeper’s pen-profile in the matchday programme would say “Alisson is a great shot-stopper” as if that wasn’t the number one requirement for being a goalkeeper back then? In this modern age, you could argue that actually keeping the ball out of the net is less important than being able to use your feet and act like Bobby Moore with gloves on. Maybe the playground game of rush keepers was light-years ahead of its time?
Anyway, I digress massively already. Alisson, as you might have already guessed, made a bit of a fool of himself against Leicester City where Liverpool led 2-0. Joe Gomez could have lumped it, Virgil could have lumped it and then, once he’d been given a shocker of a backpass, Alisson himself could have just lumped it. He didn’t and Leicester scored, meaning people like me can release the can of whoopass in his direction.
Does this mean Alisson was a bad buy? Er, no. Should he stop playing that way? Er, no. Was it very, very funny to watch? Oh, yes.
Jurgen said after the game that, “it needed to happen so it never happens again” which is a fair point. I mean, Jurgen must have had it up to his back teeth with goalkeeping errors so has probably suggested to his Brazilian record signing that it would be wise not to make the same misjudgement again anytime soon, otherwise, Turkey is the destination.
More importantly, for Liverpool fans, they almost certainly have both hands on the trophy now was they have won all four of their opening matches. You have to feel for Manchester City, what a short-lived title that was.
But, hang on. It isn’t just Liverpool riding the crest of the four-out-of-four wave. Oh, no. The red corner is being challenged by the blue corner and that blue corner has a sign saying “We are Chelsea” above it. Wasn’t Sarriball supposed to take months and months to implement?
Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea are still “work in progress” but they patiently kept playing their game waiting for Bournemouth to step aside and let Pedro score the all-important first goal. But, should Marcos Alonso have been sent off? Quite probably, as he is a bit like that, but if Sarri has got even Eden Hazard putting in a shift then all feels well in Cobham.
Many people felt that if Jose Mourinho lost at Burnley then time could be called early on his run as Manchester United manager. But, if nothing else, Jose likes stringing out a bit of drama and an away day at Burnley this season is already feeling like easy-pickings for many a side. Romelu Lukaku put in the ultimate Romelu Lukaku first half of football at Turf Moor, full of shocking first touches but two goals and although United’s first 45 was far from classic United, it was certainly classic Jose and that folks, that means incredibly hard to watch and no fun for a neutral. Still, United fans had a really original way of passing the time – a banner attached to a plane. United fans clearly look to Arsenal fans for inspiration now and it was clear they back Mourinho over Ed Woodward by calling Mr Ed a “specialist in failure”. Seems fair though.
Graeme Souness had gone to town on Paul Pogba, just for a change, before the match saying the French World Cup winner was ‘playing for himself’. Well, he’s unlikely to be putting it in for Mourinho, is he? Either way, Pogba didn’t help himself by missing a second-half spot-kick that saw Joe Hart smile for the first time since about April 2016.
Still, it is not all positive for Jose, is it?
Watford welcomed Tottenham knowing that another win would be (a) hilarious and (b) see them keep pace with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. At 1-0 Tottenham it looked like that Javi Gracia’s bubble was bursting. That was until Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart, two players who still manage to get Premier League minutes against the odds, turned it back in favour of the Hornets. Therefore, Watford are JOINT TOP of the Premier League after four matches. I repeat, Watford are JOINT TOP of the Premier League after four matches. This is not a drill.
Rafa Benitez has been winning both plaudits and abuse for the way he tried to stop Chelsea last week and Manchester City this, yet both outings led to 2-1 defeats for Newcastle United. This week, Rafa recalled Jamaal Lascelles and his skipper responded by making the mistake that led to City’s first. Like last week, Newcastle moved out of their back eleven shape to draw level but were unable to hold on to the draw. Plaudits or abuse are one thing, points are another.
Credit to West Ham United, they manage to continuously give me something to write about. It looked like they were going to explode into life on Saturday, taking their first point in a 0-0 draw against Sporting Wolves of Portugal FC. Yet, in true Hammers style, they managed to get beaten with a goal deep, deep into injury time by a player with the least amount of end product known to man. Yes, Adama Traore loves a dribble but rarely does it end up with anything useful. Apart from on Saturday. When his end product ended up in the back of West Ham’s net. Manuel Pellegrini called it how it is though, “a very bad start”. It’s the hope that kills Hammers fans, after all. The last time they lost all four of their opening games they got relegated. Fun times.
No Zaha, no party for Uncle Roy at Selhurst Park. Wilf picked up an injury in training meaning all those folks, me included, who expected Palace to deal with Mark Hughes quite easily, were wrong. I’d expected Wilf to get injured during the match from all the kicking he was likely to get but there was no need for any of that and Southampton went on to win 2-0. That’s not going to get Sparky sacked now, is it? If you want some comedy, try and watch Benteke’s performance in front of goal. Roy Hodgson needs Zaha back, pronto.
Brighton and Fulham became the Glenn Murray show after an utterly Gross penalty was missed. Fulham led 2-0 and they will need to learn to close that kind of score out if they want to do well this season. Brighton got back in it through a Murray double which probably made Gareth Southgate wonder why he’d picked Danny Welbeck.
Neil Warnock, and isn’t it a pleasure to have him back in the top-flight, talked about targeting Aaron Ramsey when Arsenal came to Cardiff. I’m guessing that is because Aaron is from Cardiff and it was his fault they cashed on him as a young man. Ramsey was more interested in talking up Unai Emery, but when Cardiff equalised in first-half injury-time you were left thinking, yet again, that nothing has actually changed at the Emirates. Petr Cech really isn’t getting this “play it out from the back” thing, is he? Cardiff were the last side in English football (yes, I know they are Welsh) to score this season and Arsenal let them get two. Brilliant. Luckily, they had just enough quality at the other end to get three themselves.
Everton looked just a little bit Sam Allardycey against Huddersfield who will have been delighted to get a point. Richarlison might have been suspended but it was his replacement Dominic Calvert-Lewin who scored to Toffee goal. Hang on, maybe it’s the position for Silva that works rather than the actual player?