As everyone knows, football isn’t as good as it used to be. Back in my day, there was no dabbing, no goal-line technology and absolutely no post-game fire-emoji Tweets. Men were men and assistant referees were linesmen. And wasn’t it just better like that?
There were almost no foreigners in the First Divison (as I will always call it), which was wonderful. Because, to be perfectly frank, if you prefer the silken first touch of a man named Juan or Sergio to a booming headed clearance from a towering British centre-half, then you’re not welcome in my garden shed any time soon, son.
Still, now that the 53% have sensibly voted to leave the Euro Union of Social Justice Nanny Staters, I have high hopes that the Freds and Barrys of the world will soon be reoccupy their rightful position at the summit of UK football.
Anyway, I’m digressing as much as a Euroboffin on a rant about Ukrainian tractor subsidies, so without further ado, here’s my guide to this weekend’s games.
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Now this is a proper game of football. Two teams who aren’t interested in foreign muck like tickly-tackler. Or whatever it’s called – I never bothered to learn how to pronounce it properly because it’s too continental to be relevant to me.
Roy Hodgson loves his banks of four, and so do I.
That’s how to set up a football team. None of your 3-2-7-4 pressing systems.
Stoke, meanwhile, have big Crouchy up top – now there’s a proper player. Seven foot five but great feet for a big man, and he’s English as well. The full package.
Manchester United v Brighton
I’m not a big fan of Brighton as a town. Too many SJWs, namby-pamby ‘alternative culture’ and a surfeit of tolerance make it very much Not My Kind Of Place.
Manchester, however – now there’s a city.
A behemoth of solid, hard-working Northern industry, and home to two giants of world football: United and AFC United.
These days, there are a few too many tourists at Red Devils games for my tastes – where are the tickets for real, salt-of-the-earth fans? But they’ve still got a decent team, despite having one too many show-ponies.
That chap Pogba, for example, would be much better if he spent more time practising his tackling instead of getting his barnet cropped and dyed.
Short-back-and-sides should do you fine, lad. Never did Gary Pallister any harm.
Newcastle v Watford
Why’s it always got to be a foreign manager? You can’t tell me Alan Curbishley wouldn’t do as good a job at Watford as this guy Mario Sousa or whatever his name is.
As for that fraudster Benitez, he loves to talk about ‘facts’. Well, here’s a fact for you, Rafa: Jonjo Shelvey is a rare talent.
Don’t let him waste it.
Swansea v Bournemouth
No idea why a Welsh team is playing in the ENGLISH Premier League. I suppose it’s proof that this is the best league in the world – even foreign sides like Swansea are demanding to be part of it.
As for Bournemouth, what a wonderful manager they have.
Eddie Howe is a prime example of beautiful British minds being held back by overseas imports. Couldn’t you just see the noble Eddie leading his squadron bravely into a dogfight over the White Cliffs in his Spitfire? That’s Wing Commander material right there.
Tottenham v West Brom
If Harry Kane was called Harinho di Canio instead of Harry Kane, he’d already have won at least two Ballon d’Ors. But the La Liga mafia have that sewn up – typical.
If I’m honest, I think Spurs take a bit too much out of the ball. They need to go longer quicker – don’t mess around with it at the back. Get rid!
They should take a leaf out of West Brom’s book – or at least, out of their book before they stupidly sacked the excellent Tony Pulis.
Liverpool v Chelsea
Probably won’t watch this one. Can’t stand this tippy-tappy stuff Chelsea go on with, and Liverpool’s defence just makes me angry. Every time I see Lovren or Matip pulling out the dragback turn on the edge of their own box, I just want to scream ‘Save me, Steve Bruce!’ at the top of my lungs.
And I can’t believe they’re still persisting with zonal marking. I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT.
Have they learned nothing down the years?
Burnley v Arsenal
Sean Dyche, eh? Sean. Dyche. Sean Dyche.
If that’s not a future Manchester United manager, I don’t know what is. I’d be very surprised if Barcelona or Bayern Munich weren’t in for him at some stage. He has worked absolute miracles at Burnley. It’s about time a big club gave an English manager a chance and hired him.
As for the other lot, well, they disgust me.
All that diving around the place. All that pathetic short passing and delicate technique. It’s vile. Wenger ruined this league when he came – thanks for the memories, Arsène, but it’s time to go.
Huddersfield v Man City
Anyone could play great football if they had Manchester City’s budget.