Do you know what irritates me the most (and it’s a very long list) about the Premier League?
The number of matches that are just 90-minute games of attack v defence.
I know there is a huge disparity of transfer spending money available to clubs these days, but when did ambition, hunger and desire disappear among mid-table teams?
I watched Newcastle v Liverpool last weekend, a fixture that provokes so many great memories of attacking football and goals galore.
But it was a pitiful spectacle and not just because accurate passing, vision and decent finishing were all absent.
Newcastle were at home, and just two points behind their visitors, and yet showed no appetite for getting out of their own half, unless forced to by a set-piece.
They seemed to forget Liverpool possess two of the worst centre-backs in the Premier League, players who crumble and panic at the merest hint of pressure.
Kevin Keegan’s all-out-attacking tactics might have worked in this game, but that’s not the Rafa Benitez, or indeed the modern, way.
It’s just a shame the 1-1 draw, achieved as much by the sheer awfulness of Liverpool strikers Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as by the brain of Benitez, was greeted as a Newcastle triumph.
The money argument makes things far too simple for coaches who find massed defence far easier to teach than anything resembling attractive football.
And while we’re on the subect of Premier League irritations, how awful a character has Dele Alli become in recent weeks?
The man who thinks it’s hilarious to deliver obsence gestures at team-mates, also believes it’s okay to cheat.
Even when his Spurs side is 3-0 up and cruising to victory, it was second nature for Alli, and he isn’t alone, to try and con officials and get fellow professionals into trouble.
What I don’t understand is why a yellow card for simulation is deemed sufficient punishment. If the referee had missed Alli’s dive he could have been punished retrospectively by the FA and banned. That should still happen, although Alli seems to be so dim, it probably wouldn’t stop him doing what comes naturally.
In other Premier League news....Craig Shakespeare must be shifting uncomfortably in the manager’s seat at Leicester City as we all know who the club’s players will blame for their slide back to obscurity.
And is the form of Maroaune Fellani the final proof of Jose Mourinho’s genius? If he can get this big donkey playing effectively, just think what he can do with players with natural ability. Manchester United might well be able to challenge City for the title if this rate of progress is maintained.
Let’s face it it’s a two-horse race thanks to Chelsea’s involvement in the Champions League and Spurs playing ‘home’ matches at Wembley.