In the words of light entertainment legend, Alan Carr, WHAT. A. WEEK. IT’S BEEN! José flipped his lid again, then bounced back by putting Dychey’s tired Clarets to the sword, Liverpool’s goalkeeper had a very Liverpool Goalkeeper Moment, and Watford won again, this time without their mascot being threatened by an elder statesman of the game. Below, to help you get through a tricky Monday, are our favourite moments from the weekend’s footballing action…
MY NAME’S KYLE WALKER, RUN, RUN, RUN, RUN, RUN
Kyle Walker hits them. Six career goals would have you thinking otherwise (seven in all, if we’re being pedantic and including the one he scored on his debut while out on loan at Villa against his boyhood club Sheffield United) but he hits them. Straight as an arrow, hard as a Geordie bouncer. That shot, so straight it just signed up for the army, so hard it just took your dinner money. You’d let him shoot from there, some thirty yards out, having worked hard to stifle the Man City attack for the best part of an hour, you’d let him. Only Kyle Walker. Not scored in three years. But it’s only Kyle bloody Walker, bloody hell, pulling his Swiss cheese-socked leg back and THUNDERING the winner. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and, if I’m honest, I think I would’ve enjoyed it less if it would’ve gone top corner. It’d be a bit too PlayStation if it had gone top bins but Kyle—Kyle Bloody Walker—shellacking one from the thirty with the ball never dipping from its trajectory of six inches above the turf, daring the keeper to even lay a fucking tentative glove on it, was a thing of beauty. There have been many thwacks already this season, but this might be my favourite, and not just because he’s in my Fantasy Football team. Kyle Walker, opening his account for the season in supreme style. Thwacko di Tutti Thwacki.
NEIL WARNOCK IS HORRIBLE AND WE LOVE IT
Neil Warnock has never, ever given a shite about what you think about him. He literally made his players pretend to be injured when three of them had already been sent off so that a match would be abandoned. He played Adel Taarabt and let him do whatever he wanted cos even though he was fat, he was a genius. He doesn’t care if you think he’s a shithouse. Neil Warnock wants you to hate him. Even before the Cardiff-Arsenal match, he was talking about how Ryan Giggs should be worried cos his players were going to kick the shit out of Aaron Ramsey, and NO ONE KNEW IF HE WAS JOKING. They nearly did it as well, the Bluebirds. Nearly kicked and huffed and puffed their way to a point. Part of that Neil Warnock not giving a shit stuff is something from pure Pulisball. Back when Rory Delap was the most dangerous player in the Premier League. Towels. On the side of the pitch. All ready for Cardiff’s massive massive bastards to run at Arsenal’s mentally fragile centre backs and goalkeeper while someone else absolutely HOOFS it into the box. It’s something you’d see in an actual pissing-down-with-rain game of rugby at the Arms Park. But not at the actual football, and we are really here for it. No one likes him, he doesn’t care. I love you, Neil Warnock.
Seeeeeeeee yerrrrrrr pic.twitter.com/t74GcNs2qd
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) September 2, 2018
Sat in the home end with my mate at West Ham (both Wolves fans) and it’s sun soaked and nil each and away day purgatory and we’ve had to keep quiet for 93 minutes and the Wolves lot (our lot) have been singing the whole game and we’re sat on our hands and we nick the ball back in the middle of the park and both flinch because we can see Adama Traoré has noticed we’ve nicked the ball back too and he’s off and absolutely pelting it in a straight line towards the goal at the opposite end of the pitch and Cresswell tries to kick him but even his kick isn’t fast enough to stop him and Bonatini’s played him in and he’s there because he’s been absolutely pelting it and he takes a touch and whacks it into the bottom corner and we both flinch and squeeze each other’s knee and it’s one nil up the bloody Wolves and our fans are going tonto fifty yards away from us and SEEE YERRR Irons SEEE YERRR Cresswell SEEE YERRR The London Stadium THANK YOUUUU Adama Traoré it’s time for us to go.
WE LOVE TO SING, WE LOVE TO DANCE, PACK AWAY YOUR PASSPORT, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO FRANCE
Loads and loads of expectations on Friday night, when we were at the Wales-England World Cup qualifier. Little old Wales on the tele, loads of expectations. First ever sell-out crowd, loads and loads of expectations. Loads of them. Then it kicked off and England were just so, so, so much better. Says a lot that the biggest cheer coming from The Red Wall was an English goal being disallowed. Still, loads of positives from the campaign, Wales going unbeaten for seven matches, and maybe even a way for England to finally *Bring Football Home*.
Allison really let down Allidad and Allimum with this mistake pic.twitter.com/O84hX3afQs
— zak (@ClassyFellaini) September 2, 2018
Last week seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? When Liverpool’s new Brazilian shot-stopper Alisson Becker went all Oriá raiô, Obá obá obá and dinked it over a Brighton player. This week, instead of channelling the Seleção at Rio airport, he did that thing that dogs do when they don’t feel very well. You know when they just sort of walk around in a circle for a bit, before meekly lying down and whimpering. Yeah, he did that. Loris Karius must be absolutely made up.
COUNTER-ATTACK THWACK pic.twitter.com/mVX7H0GTvd
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) September 2, 2018
PEOPLE ARE FORGETTING HOW TO DEFEND ALREADY
Something very satisfying about a game as early as this in the season having such terrible defending. Why did the Udinese backline defend like they were in the 118th minute of a World Cup game? Why didn’t any of them just kick someone to stop them from getting past? It’s the third game of the season, lads, take the hit. It doesn’t matter anyway, cos the THWACK at the end of this move is one you could watch over and over again. Still only the start of September, as well, there’s loads more football to come and it’s gonna be so good.
EVERYBODY WAS KUNG-FU FIGHTING
Players take the ball into the corner to protect a lead, of course. But it’s also a sure-fire way to get yourself into a 94th-minute dust-up. Southend fans, already incensed at conceding an 87th-minute goal, don’t need this. It’s a contemptuous football act played out right in front of them. They either need Michael Kightly to get the ball and get it up the other end or for someone to pay. But the ball is protected by the elbows and quick feet of Tariqe Fosu. Blood is boiling and it’s a big rage-fest played out in three square yards. Goaded by the away fans, Kightly chops him like a tree in the woods and plants the boot in for good measure. Fosu reacts with a head butt inviting 16 others in to complete the headline. Southend’s keeper lands some blows with gloved fists. Three men sent off. It took 94 minutes to get going but finally, we’ve got a proper game. Fantastic stuff.
I love this, everything about it, from José giving his coat to a fan to the crowd chanting his name. pic.twitter.com/7BrkG8IK03
— Mourinho FC (@TarekTamo) September 2, 2018
JOSÉ MOURINHO’S COAT MEANS NOTHING ANY MORE
José Mourinho has a really weird relationship with fans. He treats journalists—essentially just fans who were bullied until they fled into university writing degrees—with regular contempt, saving his disdain for supporters for offhand quips, using journalists—essentially just bags of rubbish with laptops and dictaphones—as a stand-in. You should all listen to me and you should all trust me. Because I know so much more than you. I have won more league titles than you’ve had hot dinners and don’t you ever forget it. But that’s only when he’s in the confines of the press conference. When he is surrounded by crappy chairs and sponsor-splattered boards and cameras and iPhones with spit guards and journalists—essentially just worms who repeatedly smash their pharynxes into the keyboard until words come out—he let’s rip. But when he sees the smiling, gawping maws of the Gen Pop in the crowd, he moves to them. He loves nothing more than a massive of regular folk. And at the end of the Burnley win, he jumped the barrier to be among them, giving one normie his jacket as the crowd chanted his name. It’s a bit like when he kept lobbing his league winner medals into the crowd when in charge of Chelsea, knowing that another would surely be along very soon, but not really. There is something almost creepy about Mourinho handing off his coat, something… I don’t know. I want to say that Mourinho throwing his coat to the crowd is a baller move but it isn’t really. It feels desperate. Like an old lush who used to be a cad, a proper boy, who everyone fancied, a proper face around the pub, who turned them all down and drank his looks away, coming back to the bar, perching on the stool and saying “Okay… now… now, I will take you out. If you like.” And it’s too late. The lines in his face are too deep, his skin sunken and sallow, eyes yellow, and his coat. That coat does not mean what it once did. That coat doesn’t really mean anything, anymore.
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