The top dogs remain relentless

Four for Liverpool, five for City, and Harry Kane’s late brace sees off The Villa. For all the talk of the competitiveness of the division, and several teams spending decent sums, the old order remains. For now at least!

Brighton have a new boss who can evidently turn water into wine

New Brighton boss Graham Potter may not be connected to the famous wizarding dynasty but he produced a magical result at Vicarage Road to humble Watford. What a change from the Hughton era, and a terrific reward for positive play.

Maguire – he does what it says on the tin

The man Jamie Vardy famously christened ‘Slab Head’ made an assured and authoritative start to his Old Trafford career on Sunday. Harry Maguire looked as if he’d been in Manchester all his life, and large fee or not, given the leadership and quality immediately apparent, he looks worth every penny.

United have a spine comprising De Gea, Maguire, Pogba, and one of Martial/Rashford. Not too shabby by any yardstick.

Mourinho – charisma oozing from every pore

Away from the field of play for a moment – did you catch Jose on Sky for Sunday’s games, especially of course Utd/Chelsea? The man is televisual gold. Looks slick, could go off at any moment, and whatever he says is always worth hearing.

After slagging off the know-all pundits for most of his career he’s now become one, until he’s tempted back into the bear-pit of management. He could read the telephone directory and I’d probably still tune in. No, I’d definitely still tune in.

Shocks can STILL happen

Even though the machines from the north-west in particular rolled remorselessly on, good old Sheffield United nicked a point away at Bournemouth, and Brighton had that thumping win we’ve already discussed. At around evens both Watford and Bournemouth looked ‘good things’ to me, but by Saturday tea-time neither had prevailed and only one had avoided defeat.

Villa gave Spurs a good run for their money too, until that late, late Kane blitz. You just never know when that coupon-busting banana-skin will appear…

Newcastle have a job of work on

The attendance was down on last season, and several hundred protested against the Ashley ownership regime in the pouring north-east rain. Events on the park weren’t much better, as Newcastle lost 1-0 to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal.

The Geordies’ lowest league attendance in fact since 2016 saw new boss Steve Bruce’s side toil manfully against Arsenal, but ultimately to no great effect. All fans should spare a thought for their counterparts on Tyneside – there can’t be too many tougher gigs in football at present.

Scorers, er, score

See that list of the usual suspects bursting the old onion bag at weekend? They’re gold dust, and just keep on delivering. Burnley – Ashley Barnes, take a bow. A brace at home, in a thumping win against Southampton. Liverpool – Mo Salah. Man City – Raheem Sterling bags 3, and Sergio Aguero nets career Premier League goal number 165. United? A couple for Marcus Rashford.

Forwards get the big bucks because they’re worth it, season after season.

VAR – rarely has opinion been so divided

Cards on the table – I’m a big fan of technology in the game. As for VAR – please, please cart it off to a remote place in the middle of the Atlantic and sink it. Now.

Offside by a toenail etc? Do me a favour. I championed technology because I was sick of events like the Lampard ‘goal’ against Germany a few World Cups back, bringing our wonderful game into disrepute. Now we have the forensic, minute examination of offside when the spirit of the thing should have been, and should in fact always be – to eliminate clear and obvious errors.

Howlers in other words – not ‘3 cms of his hand is offside.’ VAR is sucking the life and glorious spontaneity out of football, and must be tackled and emended forthwith. It’s best used as a safeguard against ridicule, but it’s unwittingly providing a stack of fresh ridicule all of its own.

Pep remains a hungry boy

Senor Guardiola should have been delighted with a 5-0 away win to start what could be an historic Premier League campaign, but instead, typically, he chose to highlight the areas he wasn’t terribly happy with, and target suitable improvement over the coming weeks.

It’s what continues to set him apart from his peers. After one initial, rather disappointing first English season, it’s been records and trophies galore. Few would bet against more of the same being garnered come spring-time.

And finally… talking of betting

We scratch our heads here at Betfred on a daily basis to provide imaginative, innovative, and above all great-value markets for you to enjoy. Take a look at some we had for the weekend.

 

All flew in, of course – at great prices.

What we learned is what we’ve all known for a very long time – that when it comes to value, Betfred is in a Premier League of its own.

Keep your eyes peeled for those specials!

If you’re betting on Football, Betfred