Ten things we have learnt from the last round of Premier League matches.
1) Jose Mourinho remains the king of stifling a match between supposedly top clubs. He used to turn all the eagerly-awaited ‘big’ games into bore-fests when managing at Chelsea (I remember him playing without a striker at Old Trafford a few years back, it finished 0-0) and he’s at it again.
I did warn those United fans to be careful what they wished for when demanding Louis Van Gaal’s brand of dull football was run out of town.
Mourinho is even worse, despite spending £90 million on an attacking player in the summer.
2) That £90 million player, Paul Pogba, is awful. He’s only slightly more graceful and athletic than Marouane Fellaini. Players that expensive need to turn up against the top clubs, not just against the likes of Leicester City.
3) Daniel Sturridge will be out of the Anfield door in January. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp likes his players to run around, at least a little bit.
4) I don’t think Klopp is over-rated, but Pep Guardiola might be. Manchester City don’t have a monopoly of talent in the English Premier League and that’s something their manager is not used to after three years in Germany. Guardiola will need to sort out City’s defence or they won’t win the title. If Celtic can score three against them, decent teams will be licking their lips in anticipation.
I am yet to be convinced dumping Joe Hart was sensible.
5) Sergio Aguero should practice penalties.
6) There are some terrible teams in the Premier League this season. I wouldn’t cross the road to watch Burnley, Hull, Middlesbrough, West Brom or Sunderland.
Indeed it’s only Sunderland’s incompetence that gives me hope that the three teams promoted from the Championship last season aren’t going straight back down again.
This should concen those who run English football. The fact that Newcastle and Norwich are threatening an immediate return to the top-flight suggests our football at the highest level is becoming too predictable.
7) David Moyes was clearly flattered by his managerial achievements at Everton. He’s no Sam Allardyce. If Sunderland want to escape the drop they should invite their old boss back.
8) Spurs won’t score enough goals to win the Premier League. Harry Kane remains their most important player and his loss of form before his injury should trouble Spurs and England.
9) How can it be right Bournemouth are allowed to loan England midfielder Jack Wilshere from Arsenal this season? Why should a big Premier League club influence who stays up and who goes down?
10) Some of our top-flight referees still appear to believe they are an important part of the show. Check out Michael Oliver’s reaction to Manchester City’s equalising goal last weekend. He’s trying to claim some of the credit.
As for Mr Smug, Mike Dean, words fail me.