PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW PART II.
Since I wrote part one we’ve offloaded Michy. Ouch. Tammy is homegrown and Sarri has seen more of him in preseason. But ouch.
But onto the others: transfer deadline day. Goody. I like to think they put a 5pm deadline on it to spare us from six more hours worth of Scouse Sports News repeating themselves. Their trump punditry card for the last hour? F*cking Allardyce slouching in his chair like a slob and imparting bits of non-wisdom that pretty much show why he has no job. And I don’t mean no job in football, I mean anywhere. There was still the bi-annual entertainment fest of Sky minions battling rain, lawnmowers, workmen and Patrick van Aanholt as they sought to bring us bits of non information, but in truth, the fact that they had no choice but to water it down was a f*cking relief to all. There was very little drama to be had at Chelsea, for once, seeing as our club hankers after it like Norma Desmond clawing away for one last shot in Hollywood. But fear not, because what is more entertaining than Mount Mourinho, regular as clockwork every three seasons, going into full eruption? Especially when it is at someone else’s expense for once.
Here’s a little ditty I like to call The Ballad of a Broken Man. I can’t wait to see the reaction of United fans this season, who went from despising every fibre of his being, to cheering his name, only to now be faced with the inevitable: Chequebook Pulis going batsh*t crazy in his third season. All the signs are there. He’s barely talking to Woodward, if at all, apparently; he can’t be bothered to groom himself anymore, he’s wittering away, imparting utter nonsense. Finishing second was one of the greatest achievements of his career, he says. After he had had hundreds of millions spent on him. In the last three seasons Leicester have won the league with carthorse Wes Morgan in their side. Conte won the league at the first attempt with ten players and Victor Moses. You’ve got nothing to complain about.
As of 29th July he was already the bookies’ favourite to be the first manager sacked. He’d flown off to America with his available squad, all except Sanchez, who no-one thought to check wouldn’t be allowed in the country on account of being a criminal in Spain. It mattered little. Nobody turned up to the first game. He said matches were “killing my brave boys.” If playing football puts your footballers’ lives at risk, CP, potentially they are in the wrong line of work. The next day, in true Chequebook Pulis style, he was blaming the players for his plight. Martial got so fed up with his transcontinental moaning that he had his girlfriend quaff down six curries a day till she went into labour so that he could escape. The 100,000 who turned out to watch the club in Michigan needn’t have bothered, it seems. “If I was them I wouldn’t have come… I wouldn’t have spent my money.” Serious sentiment from a man who’ll once again be getting paid several million just to f*ck off in the near future if this traditional form continues.
He was still moaning when he got off the plane, resembling a freed hostage emerging from 20 years in underground captivity. But who have they signed? Dalot for £17.5m and Fred. They both happened early. And some bloke from Stoke. In the meantime, CP carried on p*ssing off the players he has already got. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on laughing at Pogba, but the guy won the World Cup, which in the first instance made Chequebook look like a dick because he gets nothing out of him, but he exacerbated this by remaining completely incapable of saying anything nice about him. Resulting in Pogba wanting to leave, apparently. F*cking idiots. Pogba doesn't make any decisions on his own. He can’t even be trusted to get a haircut. His agent smelt money. Yes,
Raoila, scum of the football world, decided that the £80m odd he's already made from shuffling Pogba around Europe isn’t enough for all the Jacamo catalogue bills he has run up and started to press for a move to Barcelona.
CP was getting desperate now. He needed bodies, and from the outside, it just kept getting funnier and funnier. Kovacic sacked off United because he didn’t want to play Pulis football. As for the desperately needed central defenders to replace Smalling the Clown and Phil Slothface Jones (Thanks again, for the FA Cup by the way) he allegedly submitted five names. Boateng and Alderweireld came to nothing. When they tried to buy Harry Maguire, the Leicester manager mocked them. Mina picked Everton over United and then finally, the coup de grace. Godin’s agent called Manchester, said he might want to sign for them. Yes, they were desperate now to be chasing after a guy who looks old enough to be Phil Jones’s dad. Except, Godin was never going to move to Manchester. (and who can blame him) Within the hour his agent had used United’s interest to get a better deal from Atletico. United fans incensed. Turns out there’s a football agent who is a knob. Who knew? Things got so bad they resorted to trying to get Zouma on loan from us. It was basically role reversal with us last season, shades of Antonio from CP. “I would like to have two more players.. I think I am not going to have two… My CEO knows what I want.” Three United fans with southern accents proclaimed that it was: “Christmas Eve shopping and we feel like we are going to end up with socks.” Worse. They basically got a lump of coal. United were busy securing a whisky partnership instead of any centre backs. Shame. I’m predicting October for the explosion. Though some think United won’t pull the trigger…
Here’s the space I left to talk about Sp*rs signings:
No but seriously.
Ok. I’m done. They’ve not had any departures to speak of, but could they really expect to sit still and do nothing while everyone else (except United mwhahahaha - evil panto laugh) strengthened? Let’s hope not. They weathered some anxiety early on, when Podgettino shunned Real Madrid to stay and Kane signed a £90m six year deal to remain dribbling (in more ways than one) in North London. But aside from some paltry efforts to sign Grealish for £20m odd (£25m would be the bare minimum once you plonk the tax for being homegrown on I would have thought) they don’t really seem to have even tried to get anyone through the door. They do have a new stadium though. Or will have at some point this season. They’re going to make a nod “to London Riots during opening ceremony of new stadium.” What are they going to do? Set fire to it? But if all of this didn’t make them a big enough laughing stock, along comes their fan representative on Sky’s Transfer Deadline Day. “Expressions Oozing,” he calls himself. What little I understood of his North London slum vernacular was b*llocks. He actually managed to make Robbie from Arse TV look capable of making a constructive argument. Someone might have wanted to vet him to make sure he could speak first, or at least invoked subtitles so viewers could understand what he was going on about. Part of me wants to make it my mission to destroy him this season. But then I’d have to pay attention to him.
City had Toure depart inciting a race row which ended with his agent threatening Pep with an “African curse.” Well obviously it won’t be his hair falling out. The Spoiled One didn’t need to a do a lot after last season. They’ve brought in four - Mahrez of note. But then having spent 12 billion in the last 18 months that wasn’t really required. They let nobody go, unsurprisingly, apart from Hart who had both gloves out the door a year ago along, with his dignity, when he went to West Ham.
I’ve seen coastlines erode quicker than it takes the Goons to do anything, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Emery doesn’t really get going this year. Robbie thinks they are going to challenge, they’re looking good. He thinks their signings are exactly what they need. Litchsteiner is going to challenge Bellerin for a place, he says. Presumably he walked face first into a deftly swung wrench before going on air. Their signings are not good enough. They are squad players. If they are lucky, they will maintain sixth. But that will be a massive achievement. Elsewhere this summer the fools launched a partnership with BYD that was signed off by someone pretending to work with the Chinese company. Put it all over the internet. Lol. Germany has breathed a sigh of relief on Ozil’s international retirement. “Ozil has been shit for years” and “last won a tackle before the 2014 world cup”. Says the Bayern President. No doubt there is an idiot element, but I’d wager that for the most part they don’t hate him because he is Turkish in origin, they hate him because his demeanour says “I couldn't give a sh*t about playing for my country.”
The Scouse are still whining about the Champions League Final. “Ramos is ruthless and brutal… I hold him responsible” says Wurzel Kloppage. I’m sure Sergio gives precisely zero fucks when he’s sitting there polishing his fourth winners medal. Karius feels sorry for us all, for laughing at him. Not as sorry as we all felt for him after they signed Allison. Not only that, but if you thought Brigitte Neilsen was going to have it hard this year, what about Mignolet, remember him? He’s now become sh*t Karius. He’s probably spent the summer eating copious amounts of chips covered in mayonnaise and crying into a bottle of 9% beer. Or searching a playing field somewhere in Scouseland looking for the sad remnants of his career.
They did they business early. Fabinho from Monaco, Keita, Shaqiri and Alisson. They’ve let no big names go, and dare I say it, I am marginally terrified that we might have to witness a repeat of 2013/14 where they started printing up t-shirts and genuinely having cause to bleat on about it being their year. If we go there, as soon as it looks like it might be possible, I’m getting the f*ck out of here. Preferably to somewhere that has no internet, television or radio. Like Scotland.
Behind the Top Six Burnley won’t have wanted to rock the boat too much after a good showing last year. Four in, including Hart, who arguably they don’t need and Vydra. A few departures, but nothing that should unsettle the side too much. No reason why they can’t do well again but it all depends on their home form. More interesting is this insight into life at Burnley. During the week Sean Dyche and his assistant Ian Woan apparently share a flat which resembles The Young Ones. “A Couch, a big screen, two beds - done.” They go out and drink wine together on Thursday nights but otherwise just eat at the training ground. I shudder to think when the last time was that either of them cleaned the bath. Does anybody wash up? Do they just brush their teeth using the water in the toiler? Mowgli is going to be reading this and twitching. That revelation that Dyche has a gravelly voice because he eats worms makes more sense now. Everton have spent £400m in the last couple of years, and offloaded a hell of a lot dead weight, including the not insubstantial weight of Wayne Rooney - and still haven’t really got any better. Somehow they’ve spent £40m on a player who has had one good season for Watford. Massive amount of pressure for them. If they aren’t pushing for the Europa League this season they have failed. Likewise, though Mahrez has gone, Leicester will expect to be up there. They’ve had six come in. In the never-ending, annual roulette of where the f*ck will Jonny Evans end up, it is Leicester this time. And they’ve survived the Harry Maguire saga - well, if it was ever a saga at all. United wanted him. But did he ever want to leave? Leicester certainly never gave any inclination that they wanted to sell him. Well played Claud. Arguably the dullest man in the Premier League made a funny. “Harry is going to Manchester… But only for a couple of hours on Friday night.” Chequebook Pulis is getting mocked by a guy who has never cracked a joke in his life. And West Ham have got no excuse to not be pressing for a European spot. They’ve bought a number of players in who are arguably out of their league, as well as Pellegrini to replace Moyes. One player they won’t be relying on? Andy Carroll has started the season as he means to go on by getting injured for three months, probably by tripping over a doner kebab. My favourite summer moment? Wilshere getting punked by Creswell and Noble, who had an imposter pretend he was there to interview England’s great hope for Betway. The guy referred to him as John Wilshere, and as he progressively fumed asked if he was looking forward to going back to Arsenal and whether he going to try and get back in the Ireland team.
In the category of “Should Be OK” Zaha ended up going nowhere, which was the best thing that could have happened to Crystal Palace and Uncle Woy. Kouyate in from West Ham and Ayew from Swansea isn’t going to set the league alight, but it should arguably be enough to keep them well out of trouble providing they don’t start like they did last season, by failing to score for 12 years. (And then thumping us) Newcastle should have cobbled together enough bodies to keep their head above water, but on account of being a selfish away traveller I won’t lose any sleep if they go down and I will once again be boycotting going all the way up there to suffer the worst view in the league. I expect more of the same, but for them to survive.
There are three sides who arguably have had a great summer but I just hope (because they are all easy grounds to get to) that they haven’t Tried to do Too Much?
Fulham have spent some £100m, and picked up several players like Schurrle, Mitrovic, Mawson and Calum Chambers with Premier League experience. Another eight have come in on loan or permanently too, so hopefully it’s not overload. But the omens are good. On paper Wolves have had a fantastic summer, adopting half of Portugal. They have as many Portuguese players now as Porto. They’ve got Moutinho, and even flirted with Pepe. (who has hair now but still looks like he might kill you in your sleep) If it works out, they should be nowhere near the relegation battle. Brighton I am less confident about. They have gone loopy this summer. A colossal 16 players in, from every continent and 18 out. Surely there has to be an element of quantity over quality. Here’s hoping enough of them click into place or they could be royally screwed.
In the sad category of Potentially Buggered sit Bournemouth. Only three bodies in, and a few out. I worry for them, I really do. If I did’t want to pimp slap anyone who used the phrase “second team,” I would say they were my second team. Cardiff can’t possibly have done enough to outrun a battle with relegation. They’ve taken a couple in on loan, but no real quality has come in to kick them on at this level. They’ve come from Norwich, Preston, QPR, and Bristol City. Huddersfield too have had a big exodus, with not half as an coming in, and a lot of them need to settle in England. On a lot of people’s lists to go down, and now I‘ve said that watch them wipe the floor with us on Saturday. Southampton are another concern. Not least because I like that away day. Tadic going to Ajax is a blow. Incomings include a crocked Scouser and a City reject - so not inspired with confidence. Worse, am completely uninspired by Mark f*cking Hughes being at the helm. Could be a rocky season, which makes me sad. Watford find themselves in this category because they’ve had a few departures, including the apparently world class Richarlison and not so many come in. If they can get anywhere near mid-table I’d be surprised. Also, I’ve put them here because some of their fans were mean to me.
So here we are again, on the threshold of more madness and excitement, hours on the road, fun times, whiny times, meet-ups with overseas brethren at the Bridge and wasteful consumption of celery. (Not to mention bottles and bottles of gin) Bosses can get yellow cards now, the MLS have experimented with sticking a microphone to a goalkeeper so that he could talk to commentators. He got confused and let the ball in the net. Jesus wept. Thank the Lord this twattery is coming nowhere near us. And players and staff can now watch replays in dugouts as the FA have relaxed rules on mobiles and tablets. Those who abuse this, presumably by watching Netflix, or porn, can be sent off. VAR is gone, for now. Hurrah, and Carragher has returned, having promised not to get into any more scraps with teenage girls. Outside of the Premier League we will all have one eye on Frank at Derby, where Mount has already scored for our legend. I’ll also have one eye on Gerrard, laughing if he fails. “I don’t think we ever get anything go for us” he complained after one single match. “They didn’t have any idea… we showed were a class above.” Sadly for Rangers he has taken his Scouse brand of self-pity and delusion with him across the border. But he’s not as bonkers as Sir Joseph of Barton, who classes himself in a managerial group with the two above. At Fleetwood. God help Fleetwood. Maybe this weekend he can bet on himself not to turn up to work in last nights’ clothes. Apparently, but for a twist of fate AVB could have got the Real Madrid job. (My a*se) Here’s hoping that Diego attempts to rip Courtois oversized conk off his face in that local derby. Oh, and Samir Nasri had been banned for doping. Well whadda you know? And here was me thinking he sprouted tits because he got fat.