With so much going on in this weekend’s Premier League action, it was hard to narrow this down to three incidents, but somehow I managed it.
There were very handsome wins for Arsenal, Burnley, Newcastle and Tottenham this weekend, but this week’s award will be going to Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
The impressive Marcus Rashford was called upon for a rare start and boy did he make the most of it, scoring twice in the first half in what was a performance that will surely give Jose Mourinho and Gareth Southgate selection headaches, of a good kind it must be added.
With the very potent attack of Mane, Firmino and Salah heading to Old Trafford many were expecting the Liverpool front three to be too much for United. But Mourinho did what Mourinho does best, and set his team up for a big game to gain a positive result. Liverpool’s attacking trio stood no chance as time and again United’s strong defensive unit thwarted Jurgen Klopp’s side.
I don’t think we should waste any more time talking about West Brom, they have the look of a side that has accepted their fate and has given up all hope.
Southampton is praying that they aren’t one of the two teams to join West Brom in the Championship next season, but based on the way they have been playing of late it is going to take some divine intervention to halt the south coast side’s plummet. A six-pointer at St James Park should have been all the motivation needed for the Saints to go marching on, instead, we saw a lifeless performance in a match that was all but decided in the first half, meaning that Southampton has a lot of work to do in order to keep their Premier League status.
There was only one place I was going with this, and that is, of course, the London Stadium. Yet another dreadful performance from David Moyes’ West Ham team as they piled more pressure on themselves, losing 3-0 to Burnley.
Frustration from the fans soon rose above unattainable levels, in part down to the performance on the pitch but also because of the cancelling of a peaceful pre-game demonstration against the club’s directors. With the emotion flying around the ground, fans began to make their way onto the pitch. One fan received the Ian Walker treatment from Mark Noble, whilst another picked up the corner flag, in what was a reminder of another demonstration from a West Ham fan in times gone by.
Attention in the stand soon turned to the board with songs vying for the resignation of Gold, Sullivan and Brady; and to be honest I can’t say I blame the fans. They feel they have been sold down the river by greedy club directors who span a lie to sanction the move from Upton Park to the soulless London Stadium. The promise behind the move was for West Ham to be able to compete for the best players in Europe with the newly freed up cash from the move. The reality? A net spend of just £29M in two seasons, peanuts for any Premier League club, let alone one that is hoping to ‘compete.’
Many feel the move away from Upton Park has simply not been worth it, they feel they have lost the club’s identity. Instead of being a family football club that cares about the community and the club’s heritage, they are now a pawn in the cruel world of corporate, 21st-century football.
The saddest part of it all was after Gold & co had been escorted away for fear of their safety, the image of a lonely Sir Trevor Brooking sitting all alone in the director’s box. He had the look of a man wondering what had happened to his club? And he was probably wondering why this have to happen on the 25th anniversary of the death of West Ham’s and England’s greatest footballer, Bobby Moore?