I sat through a dreadful game between Manchester City and Arsenal on Sunday and another one on Monday when Everton took on Liverpool.
Three of the top four clubs in the country were in action and proved how over-hyped the Premier League has become. To say the standard of football was mediocre would be a gross exaggeration.
It’s a competition full of overrated, over-paid, prima donnas, the worst of whom I mention here.
1) Mesut Ozil: Or Mesut AWOL as he’s now known. Big players perform in big games, they don’t disappear when the going gets tough like Arsenal’s lightweight German. Don’t take my word for it, look at AWOL’s stats in games against the top six and in away matches in general. They are damning.
2) Alexis Sanchez: Yes, I know he’s actually very good, but he rated himself at £250k per week so he qualifies for overrating himself. He ain’t Messi or Ronaldo. Barcelona let him go for a reason.
3) John Stones: The penny seems to have dropped, even with stubborn boss Pep Guardiola that Stones is a defender who can’t defend. England should pick him for their World Cup qualification matches as they won’t be doing any defending, but he should be discarded before we get to Russia.
4) Wayne Rooney: I’ll be glad when this past-it performer scores another goal so Sky Sports don’t keep banging on about Manchester United’s record goalscorer. Sir Bobby Charlton scored his 248 United goals from midfield.
5) Ross Barkley: One reason he commits awful fouls, like the one on Jordan Henderson in Monday’s Mersey derby, is he lacks a technique that enables him to keep close control of the ball.
6) Paul Pogba: £90 million. LOL.
7) Romelu Lukaku: Jamie Carragher dismissed the Everton striker as ‘lacking the movement to become a top striker’. He’s lazy in other words. He also has no right foot, and he’s clumsy.
8) Chris Smalling: Jose Mourinho is the ideal manager/coach for a centre-back. He’s improved Marcos Rojo from useless to average in a very short space of time after all. But I suspect even Mourinho will find Smalling’s inability to mark properly, pass accurately or tackle effectively too great a challenge.
9) Eric Dier: He fooled a lot of people last season by passing the ball five yards to more skilled team-mates in the Spurs and England sides. Sadly it went to his head and a more expansive approach has caught him out. He’s no N’Golo Kante and he’s certainly no Chris Forrester.
10) Daniel Sturridge: Why do people (well, Jamie Redknapp at least) still claim Sturridge is the best finisher in the country? You’d need a good memory to find the evidence to back that statement up.