Hey Premier League fans, welcome back! Did you miss me? Well buckle up, because throughout the Premier League season—that’s right, 38 grueling weeks baby—I’ll be bringing you every thought I can muster.
You want predictions? Maybe! Reactions? Sure! Awards? Perhaps! Hot takes? Well… how about I just agree to try my best?
So let’s get to it, shall we? As always, suggestions are welcome but not always well taken. Anger is encouraged if you direct it somewhere else—I recommend a mirror, for starters. Plaudits are appreciated, just make sure they’re deserved.
Comeback of the Week: AFC Bournemouth
Similar to Stoke City last week, Bournemouth were one of the few teams trailing this week—and they happened to salvage a result. Others include Leicester City and Liverpool in their respective 1-1 draws against Huddersfield Town and Burnley. Bournemouth, however, gets the nod for actually taking all three points.
Plus, Jermain Defoe—who would arrive at Bournemouth on a free transfer over summer—picked a great time to notch his first PL goal of the season, giving the Cherries the lead for good in the 73rd minute.
It’s bittersweet for Brighton & Hove Albion, who, after notching their first three goals of the season against West Brom 10 days ago, would once again be first to jump out to a lead—this time early in the second half. Still, signs have been encouraging from the newly-promoted club in recent weeks. Now Brighton gets Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup. Is revenge on the cards?
Shock of the Week: Huddersfield Town
Is it any wonder that in the only instance of Huddersfield Town playing after this column had been posted, they lost? And, that they lost in such devastatingly unlucky fashion? I maintain that if Pedro Obiang’s effort doesn’t get deflected to kingdom come, Huddersfield comes out with another point. Alas…
But David Wagner’s side was back to playing on the weekend this past Saturday. And once again, the Terriers would claim another point. This time, against Leicester City. They are unbeaten at home in the Premier League (three matches). They are currently fifth in the table. And, they were arguably unlucky not to claim all three points.
One quick thing: out-shooting an opponent 15 to 5? I realize that rarely matters in the grand scheme of things, but Huddersfield shouldn’t be out-shooting anyone by that margin. Except maybe Brighton. And definitely Crystal Palace.
Individual Performance of the Week: Sergio Agüero
I could have picked any Manchester City name out of a hat and it probably would have sufficed. Gabriel Jesus (who is reportedly already looking at an improved contract). Kevin De Bruyne. Raheem Sterling. They are all on fire.
But Saturday, it was Agüero who got the hat-trick. He, with Romelu Lukaku, now lead the league with five goals apiece. Jesus is right behind them (4), as is sterling (3). It was Agüero that also notched an assist. Remember last season when folks were saying that Pep Guardiola ruined him? That was a nice moment in a season filled with bizarre narratives, wasn’t it?
But there’s only one way to spin this.
Whopper of the Week: Watford Football Club
This distinction could have gone to Chelsea’s David Luiz. After all, his very stupid challenge against Arsenal over the weekend wasn’t the nicest thing he could have done. But whenever a team loses so lopsidedly such as Watford did, it’s nearly impossible to look the other way.
Perhaps this will just be a blip on the radar. Because while things have devolved into chaos in recent seasons for the Hornets, this campaign has been different so far. First off, the slaughter at the hands of City were the first goals Watford had allowed in the PL since their opener against Liverpool—which finished 3-3. Secondly, they were sitting on a plus-four goal differential with eight points from 12 ahead of the City fixture. Lastly, they had not lost yet.
But a letdown is a letdown, and one at home like this can feel exponentially worse. Now it’s all about rebounding. Good news is, they get Swansea City next. And if Tottenham Hotspur showed us anything over the weekend, it’s… Oh. Wait.
Honorable Mention: David Luiz. You Stupid Idiot.
Match of the Week: Chelsea vs. Arsenal
As Tottenham versus Swansea would show us on Saturday, 0-0 draws can be very dull. But as Chelsea and Arsenal reminded us on Sunday, some can be quite entertaining.
The straight red card aside, there were battles within this match. Arsène Wenger actually appeared to have a plan from the beginning. Better yet, it worked. You’d have to go back to the last time Arsenal played Chelsea to see this kind of backbone from the Gunners. But that’s just it. That’s the problem. Why isn’t this type of performance more consistent? The question with Arsenal is: will it continue?
Chelsea will likely be fine. We’re only five matches in and they’re just three points off the pace of both Manchester City and United. But, 11 goals separate them as well. Yeesh. So, they’ve got to get a move on there.
Gimme those hot takes: Can you even have a hot take about Crystal Palace anymore? I’m sorry, football fans. I’ve got nothing.