Andy Dawson: 10 things we learned from football – bonus mid-week edition

The Profanity Swan tackles that Wayne Rooney goal…


Rooney’s goal wasn’t all that

Am I the only one thinking the hyperbole over Rooney’s third goal is a bit much? Sure, it looked great but hitting a ball in a straight line for fifty yards into an open goal isn’t exactly a breathtaking piece of magic for a top player to pull off, is it? If a player of Rooney’s calibre isn’t doing that eight times out of ten on the training ground I’d be stunned.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it was a piece of piss for him to pull it off but Ian Darke calling it ‘one of the greatest goals of the Premier League era’ is a trough full of bollocks.

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Martin Keown got a bit over-excited too

Speaking on BT Sport, the former Arsenal defender said, ‘Rooney’s family would be very proud’, as if Wayne is a five-year-old who’s just ridden his little bike with the stabilisers off for the first time. Calm down, Martin.

Big Sam’s in a relegation battle that isn’t actually a relegation battle

After the ordeals he endured at Sunderland and then Crystal Palace, coaxing this expensively-assembled Everton side to mid-table safety should be Allardyce’s easiest task yet. In fact, as they’re now sitting in 13th place and are five points above the relegation zone with a glut of truly awful teams below them, it’s pretty much job done before he even starts the job. Pint of wine, anyone?

Pickford > Hart

Within the space of a few minutes at Goodison last night, Jordan Pickford made an outstanding penalty save and then Joe Hart cocked up a panicky clearance while grabbing an assist for Wayne Rooney’s ‘wondergoal’. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION, GARETH SOUTHGATE? WELL… ARE YOU?

Guardiola needs to wind his neck in

‘They didn’t want to play, they were time wasting from the ninth minute. I just wanted them to play,’ is what Pep said when asked about his vociferous confrontation with Southampton’s Nathan Redmond after City’s last-gasp 2-1 win. Maybe, just maybe, the Saints just didn’t fancy their chances in a straight-out footballing contest against Pep’s eye-wateringly expensive side (and on their own patch to boot), and felt their best way of getting anything out of the match was to frustrate their hosts. And guess what, it almost worked.

Guardiola’s actions afterwards were those of a spoilt child who wasn’t getting his own way. And he should concentrate on his own players rather than causing a scene by berating and manhandling an opponent. He doesn’t get a free pass for being a dickhead just because he’s won some trophies and spent masses of cash.

Man City are grinders now

Having said that, that was another impressive three points for Guardiola’s team, proving that they’re capable of digging out results when they’re not at their best or up against a side that won’t let them have their own way. Finish above them and you’ve won the league.

Moyes is taking West Ham down

At the other end, it looks as though David Moyes has taken an underperforming West Ham side and carefully honed them into something worse. Sunderland fans like myself will see chilling parallels with the destroy-and-exit job he did on us last season.

Huddersfield might be heading down too

That early season promise has evaporated and the Tykes look like they’re in freefall. Their only hope is to realise they’re in a mini-league of utter slop and try to finish as high up as they can in it. The whole of the current bottom seven are some of the worst teams I’ve ever seen in the Premier League’s history.

Salah – Essential for Liverpool

That’s about 41 goals in 15 games now for Mo Salah but can you imagine the mess Liverpool would be in without him? I don’t remember any ticker tape celebrations when they signed him but he’s quickly become their messiah. They’re SO lucky there’s no African Cup of Nations this season…

Midweek > Saturday

This week’s Premier League fixtures have been a joy. More league football should be played midweek – the darkness, the floodlights, the Bovril and the booze. Shift some of the EFL Cup and European fixtures to weekends and let’s have more night time bread and butter football.

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What do you think?