Yet another seven days of football has been and gone and the football authorities have done everything they can to cram as much action into it as possible.
The week started with Brentford scoring seven against Liverpool so the VAR could decide which three they would be allowed in their first win over the Reds since the 1930s.
The absence of Ivan Toney was a glimpse into Thomas Frank’s future and he dealt with it rather well given Toney’s replacement, Yoane Wissa, had the ball in the back of the net several times and was even allowed to keep one of the goals.
A quick online poll of things that could knock Ibrahima Konate over was won convincingly by a Yorkshire Terrier puppy as the Frenchman had an evening to forget – scoring Brentford’s first before collapsing under the slightest of touches from Bryan Mbuembo because, according to Jurgen, he was running at the speed of light which means it’s very hard to stay on your feet when someone breathes in your vicinity.
Post-match, King Kloppo was magnanimous as ever suggesting that he’d get more sense from his microwave than the referee if he asked him a question. Jurgen’s microwave could be busy, as I’m thinking he could do a job at the back for him as well.
Apparently, Frank Lampard “gets Everton” – at this rate, Lampard gets Everton relegated and certainly knocked out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.
Following a 1-1 draw at City which was full of ‘character’ the next page of the script had “GET STUFFED AT HOME TO BRIGHTON” in big capital letters and double-underlined.
Frank’s boys did a bit better at Old Trafford on Friday night in the cup though – they managed to lose only 3-1 this time, their one being hilariously gifted to them by David de Gea leaning on his post, having a cigar and reading the local paper rightfully assuming he’d have a quiet night.
After United’s win, Erik ten Hag talked about the highly mediocre transfers that had been made by his predecessors over the last few seasons – before the morning papers announced that Wout Weghorst was on his way to Old Trafford. Irony, I think they call it.
Mikel Arteta certainly seems to cover more turf as a manager than he ever did as a central midfielder for the Arsenal. Everyone talks about how much he must have learned from Pep whilst assisting him at City – it seems the biggest takeaway from his time at the Etihad was how to act like an utter numpty on the touchline. Arsenal’s manager felt his side should have had a couple of penalties – 50/50 at best – in their 0-0 with Newcastle and therefore the decision not to award either was scandalous. He’s managing to make me personally want City to win the title again, or better still Newcastle or United because nobody else seems to fancy it.
Tottenham were predictably rubbish against Crystal Palace in the first half at Selhurst Park before Kane and Son remembered that they used to be quite a partnership and decided to play some of their greatest hits in the second half. Spurs won 4-0 in the end before they went on to beat Portsmouth 1-0 in the Cup – Harry Kane scoring again and moving within one of the late, great Jimmy Greaves (who, it has to be reminded, also banged in 130 odd for Chelsea before he set that Tottenham record).
Funnily enough, Jurgen Klopp was a little happier with the standard of reffing in their 2-2 draw with Wolves on Saturday night. Wolves had a late winner chalked off because there wasn’t a VAR angle available to confirm the assistant had completely ballsed it up. Unfortunately for Julen Lopetegui, he had the perfect “tactical camera” angle on his tablet and he nearly spilt his trousers with his outrage.
Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth definitely have bigger fish to fry currently which is why neither will be that bothered at going out to Championship opposition. Bournemouth will probably be swapping with Burnley anyway, and Gary O’Neil shouldn’t be too worried about losing to Championship opposition as he won’t be managing in it next season – well, not Bournemouth anyway. Forest might well have been jet-lagged after they flew to Blackpool – a mere 24 minutes in the sky, which is more minutes than they looked like a Premier League team at Bloomfield Road.
Steve Evans is what we like to call a character, even if he has claimed to have mellowed over the years. His Stevenage slowed the Unai Emery Aston Villa revival scoring twice late on to shock the Premier League side. Yes, a League Two side beating a Premier League side probably should have been mentioned a bit earlier but (a) I was watching City trash Chelsea and (b) their reward is only a game with Stoke so it was hardly worth the effort.
Update: Graham Potter’s job is still safe despite losing to Pep twice in a week. Roman’s left, y’know. If Kepa had got as much of a hand to Alvarez’s penalty as Havertz did in conceding it, he might have saved it.
You know it’s the FA Cup when Iheanacho is spotted in a Leicester City starting XI and the Nigerian didn’t disappoint scoring his 16th FA Cup goal to see off the worst team in the Football League in Gillingham.
The last time Alexis Mac Allister kicked a ball he was winning the World Cup. On Saturday, he was scoring at the Riverside as RDZ (as he is now officially known) watched his Brighton side make it nine goals in a week scoring five against Michael Carrick’s Boro.
Nathan Jones KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, OK as he finally felt the taste of victory as manager of Southampton. They beat Palace 2-1 thanks to Guita forgetting the basics of goalkeeper.
You suspect Moysey would have traded the FA Cup win over Brentford for three points against them the other day.
Marco Silva had a nice day out returning to Hull – Fulham won 2-0, a rare victory for Silva at whatever Hull’s ground is called nowadays.
Sheffield Wednesday saw off Newcastle’s reserve team at Hillsborough meaning Eddie Howe’s side can now push for the title sans European football and FA Cup football.
Leeds managed to come back from 2-0 against Cardiff to get a replay but, come on now, 2-0 to Cardiff in the first place? Marsch is on borrowed time.
Football lost two football stalwarts too – West Ham co-owner David Gold and former Chelsea player-manager and all-around absolute gent, Gianluca Vialli.