Premier League MANual - 16th January

This weekend’s Premier League action was nothing short of a throwback to the days of Peter Crouch’s robot & crunch clashes between Fergie & Benitez. With Defoe, Crouch & Barton all on the scoresheet for their respective teams, football fans across the country could be forgiven for thinking that they’d gone back in time.

Barton’s Back With A Bang

A mid-table clash between everyone’s sweetheart Southampton and relegation favourites Burnley promised so much, particularly with Turf Moor favourite Jay Rodriguez set to make his first appearance back at his childhood club. In reality what we got was a boring game that didn’t deliver much other than a couple of Tom Heaton saves and a dire attempt at winning in midfield. On comes Joey Barton, after he’d finally worked out how to be a sub, to smash home a free kick for the home side five minutes after his return to the Premier League. It had to be him, didn’t it? Just don't ask him about his betting slips.

Pep’s Waves Goodbye To The Title

After Manchester City’s embarrassing defeat at the hand’s of two Everton rookie’s, Pep Guardiola has dumbed down expectations at the Etihad by announcing that his team are out of the title race. Blaming his team’s leaky defence, the Catalan claimed he has no idea why his team continues to concede more goals than they stop.  Has football’s favourite manager finally met his match in the Premier League? Or is he really that big of a fan of Claudio Bravo?

Zlatan Saves The Day

It’s becoming all too familiar of a headline – Zlatan Ibrahimovic comes up with the goods and saves United’s blushes. He was back at it again at the weekend with a flying header for an almighty equaliser. The best part of the whole thing had nothing to do with the pitch but instead Rio Ferdinand’s celebration in the TV studio. Once a red, always a red apparently.

Back To The Future Part Four

We’ve been so used to cheering the names of Costa, Aguero and Kane that we’ve almost forgotten the stars of the Premier League’s golden generation and the likes of Paul Scholes, Thierry Henry and Robbie Fowler. That was at least until Peter Crouch & Jermain Defoe rolled back the clock at the weekend in an encounter at the Stadium of Light. Whilst Sunderland have gotten used to Jermain Defoe’s goalscoring antics this season, it was Peter Crouch that came out on top – shame about the lack of robot though.

Forever Blowing Bubbles

West Ham fans everywhere spent last week silently sobbing into their Hammer’s shirt at the thought of Dimitri Payet refusing to play for the club. Come Saturday night they were willing to drive him to France for his return to Marseille. The reasoning? Who needs Payet when super Andy Carroll can score a goal like that? Should they keep him fit, Andy Carroll can save their blushes this season as they continue on their mission to become one of the top clubs in the country. They have the stadium; it’s just a shame that they can’t keep hold of their better players. Taxi for Payet anyone?