Jen Offord picks out five key features of a weekend in which goalkeepers starred at Upton Park, Swansea proved their class and Tottenham fans experienced Groundhog Day.Embed from Getty Images
Being a Spurs fan is hard on the Hart
While I often bemoan the woes of life as a Charlton Athletic supporter, at least I know what I’m in for: we may win occasionally, but generally speaking, come May there will be misery or, at the very best, cold detachment. This weekend I felt genuine pain for the torment inflicted on Tottenham Hotspur supporters. How can one team so frequently seem to be doing alright, only to never win anything?
Having gone two goals clear of Stoke City by half-time on Saturday at White Hart Lane, things went Pete Tong, as they so often do for Spurs, in the second half. After giving away a penalty in the 78th minute, it was seemingly little more than a gentle caress from Mame Biram Diouf’s barnet that saw Stoke equalise in the 83rd minute.
It’s not always boring being in goal
Let’s face it, being a goalie (in any sport) is the job no one wants; if you’re not getting balls of varying degrees of painful lobbed at you, you’re just knocking around with not a lot to do. This week, it was all about the goalies as Leicester beat West Ham.
It will have been frustrating for the Hammers to have seen goalie Adrian sent off for a dangerous, but seemingly not malicious, challenge. Not least because they missed out on a penalty at the end of the second half when Kasper Schmeichel clotheslined Diafra Sakho.
NSNO is better than nothing
Apparently club mottos are actually very common in football clubs . . . We just didn’t bother with one at Charlton (though, unofficially, I think it’s “keep trying until Christmas”). Everton’s motto was brought into the public consciousness this weekend via the medium of a banner, flown over the stadium before kick-off between Everton and Southampton – including a completely unnecessary hashtag.
In protest against the club’s chairman, Bill Kenwright, and an absence of cash for new signings this summer, Everton’s fans decreed “Kenwright & Co #timetogo NSNO” which stands for ‘Nil satis nisi optimum’. Or ‘nothing but the best is good enough’, for those of us who went to comprehensive schools. The substandard funding seemed to work out just fine for Everton this week, though, with Southampton on the receiving end of a shellacking.
The Swans are here to stay
This is Swansea’s fourth consecutive season in the Premier League, and a cracking start to the season it has been too.
Taking home their second, third and fourth points yesterday, the Swans pulled Newcastle’s ill-fitting, ten-man pants down in very confident display. Though Newcastle’s Daryl Janmaat was sent off just before half-time for repeatedly fouling Jefferson Montero, it was his adversary who really shone in this match. Montero set up the second goal and consistently troubled the Newcastle defence all afternoon.
Mou might be going mad
Fresh from last week’s doctor-gate, it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Special One. The master of deflection had more choice words as his team lost by three goals to nil away at Manchester City. Though possession was fairly evenly split, Chelsea were outclassed by Man City. With the first goal from Sergio Aguero in the 31st minute, it wasn’t until the 79th and 85th minutes – shortly after the substitution of Aguero and Raheem Sterling – that Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho added the second and third goals.
But substituting players has no goddam truck with Jose Mourinho. He told journalists afterwards: “We dominated and when they feel they are in trouble . . . They changed Aguero and Sterling, they try to recover control of the game is exactly when they scored the second goal. For me, completely fake.”
Even for Mourinho, this is going to be a hard sell.
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