Pick it out, Pickford
You’re outplayed at home by one of the promoted sides and then you’re facing the champions coming to town off an 8-0 win. Not ideal.
Everton made a better fist of taking on Man City than the Hornets last week, certainly better than most would’ve expected given their recent form – if not their sizeable outlay on talent – but eventually gave way to City challenge despite the presence of Fernanandinho at centre-half.
Marco Silva might take some positives from it – if he’s allowed to by the Everton board – but it’s another loss and Jordan Pickford continues in the long tradition of decent English keepers believing their press and taking their eyes, and hands, off the ball, having conceded 11 goals in his last five games for club and country.
Fortune favours the Reds
Speaking of which…
Sheffield United were on course to frustrate Merseyside’s other, better half in the early game on Saturday until the 70th minute when future-England shot-stopper – at least in his own mind – Dean Henderson dropped a Taibbi-esque clanger from a tame Gini Wijnaldum effort, breaking the deadlock and the collective hearts of Man City and Man United supporters – it’s amazing how Liverpool are bringing those two closer together.
Not that anyone is worried yet. When the ghost of Bob Paisley is found interfering with VAR technology to allow a dodgy goal when City play Liverpool in November, that’s the time you’ll know it’s really happening.
Blimey, there’s plenty of cribbing going on down Tottenham Hotspur way – and not just because they didn’t get the cheese room they were promised.
There was a particularly pungent whiff around the club this week after an embarrassing League Cup exit and their penchant for throwing away leads as though they’re mould-covered tubs of Philadelphia, but Harry Kane’s smoothly efficient finish made up for the holes in the Spurs defence against Southampton left by Serge Aurier’s early dismissal and Hugo Lloris’s not-so-fancy footwork.
Tanguy Ndombele had given the home side the lead with another goal, showing that there is potential in this updated Spurs squad.
There’s a European giant up next for Poch – no, not Real Madrid. Bayern Munich come to town and should put the limits of the Tottenham Stadium’s hospitality to the test.
No, not the plot of some dystopian future tv show set in the northeast – though given Mike Ashley’s approach to running things up there…
Rather, the half-life of SportsDirect FC produced a toxic performance on Sunday afternoon at the King Power Stadium. In fairness, it was looking like just a run-of-the-mill Magpies loss until three minutes before half-time, when Isaac Hayden decided to test the flexibility of Dennis Praet’s fibula. The results were inconclusive, but Hayden paid for his experimental approach with a red card, and after half-time, it became a question of how many the Foxes could score.
Jamie Vardy got his fourth and fifth league goals of the season as Steve Bruce was left wondering if leaving Sheffield Wednesday was really worth it. Brendan Rodgers will be grinning at the prospect of returning to Anfield next weekend with his new side.
While Jack Grealish gets the attention, Villa’s Scotland midfielder John McGinn is proving the revelation of their return to the top-flight and added another goal to his record on Saturday afternoon as the promoted side once again collected a point when three were there for the taking.
The 24-year-old’s cool finish in the 79th minute put the home side 2-1 up and seemingly on their way to a win that’d lift them out of the bottom three, but just minutes later Chris Wood battered through the Villans’ less-than-stout defences to level it up and it finished all-square.
It can only be a matter of time before other clubs start sniffing around their goal-getting, all-action midfielder – you may have missed your chance, Jack.