Sorry about the gap week. We had a little bit of everything in the weekend that I failed to cover (way to be, Jared), so let’s rapidly revisit the action and get on with more recent events:
- Debut (and winning) goal vs. Arsenal.
- 100% take ons
- 3 chances created
A Good Ole’ Sending Off
- Marko Arnautović
- Threw an uncalled for elbow at Southampton’s Jack Stephens and received his marching orders in the 33rd minute with his team already down a goal.
- Kyle Walker and Morgan Schneiderlin
- Both red cards shrouded in a mist of controversy.
- Neither of Walker’s challenges should’ve resulted in a yellow card.
- Schneiderlin’s second booking for a tackle from behind on Sergio Agüero was rather harsh.
- Bobby Madley should never be allowed to referee in the Premier League ever again.
- Hal Robson-Kanu
- Scored the only goal of the match 12 minutes earlier, so maybe you can forgive him?
- 0% shot accuracy
- 2 chances created
- 58% aerial duels won
- Chris Wood signed from Leeds two days later. Can a week get much worse? SPOILER ALERT: it can
- There is no cure for the Wembley curse.
- Harry Kane can’t score in August.
Now on to week 3.
Week 3 provided some shock and disappointment, but most importantly we all get to laugh at North London!
If Alexis Sánchez wanted to leave before the match against Liverpool then I can’t even begin to fathom what he’s thinking right about now. Spurs truly out-Spurs’d themselves. Chelsea strolled to an impressive 2-nil victory. West Brom is sneaky good ? . Man United are even better than we thought they were. Frank de Boer is royally screwed. Southampton forgot how to score again. Slaven Bilić saw what FdB did and said “lol, hold my beer”. Watford shot themselves in foot and were lucky not to lose at home. Conversely, City were fortunate to take away all three on the south coast:
Winner #1: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
I promise you I spelled that correctly without looking it up. From now on though we’ll shorten it for the simpletons out there. Mkhi has been nothing short of on fire since the season began. I’ve been hesitant to award him the coveted spot on the winners list in the first two weeks purely because he registered one assist in 24 league appearances last term, but I’ve certainly eaten my words, so far. Five assists to his name with the most recent being the deciding goal in Man United’s victory over Leicester at the weekend. He’s going into the international break in superb form, and even with more difficult opponents on the horizon I see nothing standing in the way of Mkhi and the Red Devils.
Loser #1: Mesut Özil
He gets all the blame, and none of the praise. It’s tough being Özil nowadays, or any player donning the Arsenal shirt at the moment. He’s created the most chances in the league so far without an assist (12), and people still find ways to fault him. Arsenal are a sinking ship, and they’re slowly entering an age of mediocrity thanks to Wenger’s stubbornness, and I don’t see anything improving until he mans up and finally calls it quits.
Winner #2: Raheem Sterling
Even though he received quite possibly the dumbest red card I’ve ever seen given to a player there are only positives to be taken from Raheem Sterling’s last two appearances. He provided a spark in the City attack coming off the bench against Everton where he ended up scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw, and then he netted a 97th minute winner against Bournemouth. His past two performances might have earned him a place in the starting XI, but most recently we heard his name involved in a potential swap deal for Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez. Is a move to North London on the cards?
Loser #2: Harry Kane
Another brutal August has come and gone for the Spurs hitman. 0(!!!) goals for England’s #9 in August in his entire career. The same guy who won the golden boot last year despite missing three months of action. In three matches he registered a 46% shot accuracy, completed 42% of his take on attempts, and was victorious in 38% of his aerial duels. He’ll get back on track soon enough, but it was another August to forget.
Winner #3: Tammy Abraham
His first Premier League goal also won Swansea all three points at Selhurst Park this weekend. He still has a lot to learn, but the starting role may be his with Fernando Llorente’s £15m move to London all but a certainty. With the transfer deadline fast approaching there have been rumors swirling that the Swans will try to bring Wilfried Bony back to Wales on a permanent deal from Man City, but nothing has been confirmed yet. A full year of first team Premier League action would prove vital for the development of his career.
Loser #3: Sam Vokes
There’s no sugarcoating it. Vokes was straight up terrible at Wembley this Sunday. He neither registered a shot on goal nor created a chance prior to being subbed off in the 56th minute. To make matters worse new signing Chris Wood netted a 92nd minute equalizer to steal a point for the Clarets. After a blazing start against Chelsea Vokes’ job could be in danger.
Winner #4: West Bromwich Albion
An undefeated start to the Premier League isn’t as surprising as it may seem. I’ll admit I’m biased, but the signs are there nonetheless. After achieving a club-record 45 points last season there was speculation as to whether Tony Pulis’ men could better that record given the aging core of players at the manager’s disposal. It’d be fair to say that the club have surpassed expectations in the early stages, with Ahmed Hegazy the standout. The Baggies just wrapped up the signatures of Kieran Gibbs and, more notably, Grzegorz Krychowiak, so don’t expect them to fade anytime soon.
It’s his world and we’re all just living in it.
Loser #5: Frank de Boer
Crystal Palace have yet to score a single goal this season. They’ve lost two crucial, and winnable, games by more than a goal, and don’t look comfortable whatsoever playing under their new manager. Wilfried Zaha has been sidelined by an early injury, and Christian Benteke doesn’t look anywhere near his normal self playing in de Boer’s system. It doesn’t bode well for a club when its two most important players are either not playing or severely underperforming. Perhaps the only reason FdB hasn’t been sacked already is because Palace aren’t in dead last, yet.
Winner #6: Liverpool Supporters
What a week it was for Jürgen Klopp’s men. After squeaking by Crystal Palace the Reds throttled Hoffenheim in the return leg of their Champions League qualifying matchup to secure a place in the group stages, and furthermore they unmercifully dismantled Arsenal 4-nil at Anfield at the weekend. Good news followed with the addition of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Arsenal for £35m. He brings depth to the squad at a crucial time, with a jam-packed schedule that’ll see Liverpool competing in four competitions. That front three of Firmino, Mané, and Salah looks as formidable as everyone expected it to be, with the trio having been involved in all of Liverpool’s eight league goals so far. It’s looking highly unlikely that either Virgil van Dijk or Thomas Lemar joins the team at this point, especially if Philippe Coutinho remains at the club. It might actually benefit the squad to let Coutinho join Barcelona if it means VVD and Lemar both head to Merseyside, but hanging onto the Brazilian can’t be seen as a loss in this situation.
Loser #6: Arsenal Supporters
Where do I even begin? The Gunners responded to a 1-nil loss at Stoke with the aforementioned thumping at the hands of Liverpool. They created a total of 19 chances in their last two games, but converted none of them into goals. In fact, only 33% of the shots they registered were on target in those two games. The shooting boots have evidently gone missing, so the fans will be thankful that an international break is on the horizon; however, the departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t help. Apparently the Gunners had a lucrative, inane, frivolous, asinine (whatever word you want to use to describe the insanity of it) £92 M-I-L-L-I-O-N bid accepted by AS Monaco for the services of Thomas Lemar earlier today, but the deal “couldn’t be completed in time” and fell through. It really is Banter FC.
“You thought I was gone, didn’t you?”
Well that concludes the third **second** week of winners and losers. Here’s what we got on tap for the next slate of games:
Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy this international break.
Just kidding. Everything about international breaks STINKS, but that’s a rant for another time. The podcast is coming back on the 26th, so get pumped. We’ll take a short break till then. You guys know the drill. If you want to yell at me take it to Twitter. Have a good one folks.
BREAKING: Laurent Koscielny’s ankle.
Told you guys international breaks stink. I was about to start feeling sorry for Arsenal fans until I remembered how much crap they talk on Twitter, how incompetent they’re board members are, and that they snaked their way out of giving us Alexis Sánchez. Sucks to suck.