The Premier League round up - Postmortem by Chris Darwen

Chris Darwen  |  The Postmortem  |  2 Years Ago



Hands up if you’d still like to be Wayne Rooney?  The amount of then teenagers that will have dreamed of growing up to be just like the England captain will probably be seeing their dreams come true as they are now in their mid-30’s, got a few too many pounds around their waist, a receding hairline, drink too much at anyone’s wedding and spend a lot of times as substitute for their football team.  Not much is going right for Wayne right now.  He has a few drinks on a night off and he is all over the newspapers.  His stand-in captain and his mate head off to a certain type of nightclub and get away with it 100%.  It hardly seems fair.  It made Ryan Giggs say how grateful was he wasn’t still playing.  But Ryan, you’d still be better than Wayne now, and we all know the newspapers eventually caught up with your antics.  Anyway, Wayne says he “isn’t finished yet” which I presume is a reference to his actual football playing and not his new sideline as a wedding entertainer.

There was a bit of football played last weekend too.  United welcomed Arsenal to Old Trafford, looking to pick up their annual three points against the Londoners.  Sadly for United, they are now “the unluckiest side in the Premier League” according to their manager.  Sure, Monreal virtually pulled down Valencia’s pants for a penalty which was not given but it is hardly surprising referees subconsciously fail to give Mourinho anything when he spends so much time telling them off in public.  United dominated Arsenal in the same way that they dominated their other mid-table rivals like Burnley and Stoke, and ended up with exactly the same amount of points.  Arsenal fans, never slow to criticise Arsene Wenger these days, had a problem with him picking Sanchez from the start which is funny as if he hadn’t picked Sanchez from the start they would have had a problem with that too.  Arsenal were poor, but at least they got a point and persuaded Bellerin to sign a new deal after the match, meaning his value will be sky high when they finally sell him to Barcelona in a summer or two.


West Ham clearly didn’t follow the simple formula for beating Spurs.  Invite them to play the game at Wembley, stop anyone called Harry getting the ball and don’t give away a penalty.  If they had done that, they would have won easily rather than losing deep into injury time.  Bilic said the defeat was “hard to take” which was surprising as you would have thought he would have been used to it by now.  Still, it is not all bad for West Ham fans.  They have been linked to the signing of Daniel Sturridge in January because, you know, you cannot have too many lazy, injury prone strikers on one wage bill.


Anyone would think that Antonio Conte invented the 343 formation.   Still, Chelsea have kept approximately 27 clean sheets in a row since they switched to his preferred tactic.  Chelsea put in a performance of potential champions at Middlesboro, winning the game 1-0.  Not that David Luiz is getting carried away with their current form.  Oh no.  The Brazilian said something like “guys, you do realise I am still in the team don’t you?  I am due one hell of a mistake!”  Conte managed to get a little dig at Mourinho in his post-match press conference, claiming he was “very surprised” that a talent such as Victor Moses could go completely unnoticed.  Antonio mate, check out that U23 development squad of yours.  There are loads more where Victor came from.

The Champions, that’s Leicester if you had forgotten, are in real Premier League trouble.  They lost 2-1 to Watford, yet their manager claimed he was “very proud” of how they fought their way back into the match.  That’s fine Claudio, but they were 2-0 down in the first place.  Leicester’s performance on Tuesday night in Europe showed the real problem at the King Power this season.  They just don’t care about the Premier League, they know they won’t win it ever again.  Danny Drinkwater had the right idea.  He got caught elbowing Behrami in the face and will pick up a three match league ban, meaning he can keep himself nice and fresh for the Champions League matches.


Yaya Toure is back, and Pep’s new incentive seems to be working.  The City manager gives Toure a birthday cake every time he scores now, meaning there is a real danger that Yaya might be even fatter by the end of the season.  Poor Vincent Kompany though.  The injury prone captain managed to get kicked in the head and hurt his knee as a result.  Well, they say everything is connected.  That’s another 4 weeks out for the defender.  Palace are in free fall, Pardew saying “we never concede at set pieces.”  Actually Alan, you concede at set pieces every week.





Incredibly, the lights are very much on now at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.  Despite the floodlight failure, Sunderland managed to win yet again, albeit against Hull.  28 year old Victor Anichebe was so good, David Moyes was compelled to go all Jamie Redknapp and call him “a young Drogba.”  Yes, Victor is very young right David?


Southampton might go on to regret being the team to stop Klopp’s Liverpool juggernaut.  I am convinced Liverpool do not have a world scouting system.  They do not need one.  All they have is a webcam trained on Southampton’s training ground with an alarm that goes off every time there is another player of infinite potential.  The 0-0 draw means, almost certainly, that Virgil van Dyke and Sam McQueen are heading to Merseyside next summer.


I’ll be back next week with a further post-mortem of the Premier League matches and incidents.


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