I was left confused by a couple of things this weekend past.
Firstly, having to question my own perception of what does or doesn’t make a great striker, as well as the subsequent annoying mails from Manchester United fans with the same old, “haha, bet you wish you’d never sold him to us” rhetoric.
I am of course talking about the one and only Romelu Lukaku. I mean, watching the game against Southampton on Saturday, he was terrible, but walked off the pitch a hero after netting a brace to give United the points.
For the first hour, nearly everything that came to him bounced of his shin, as his close control continued to let him down.
You could hear the crowd shouting in frustration as he broke down countless attacks. With the service he receives, albeit quite deep at times, it’s inevitable that he’ll nick a goal here and there, but is he "world class"?
You've got to be joking!
Yet it’s amazing that at 25 he’s matched Ian Wright’s top flight total of 133! I know ya’ll be saying I was more than happy to have Alvaro Morata rather than the fat Belgian, (I hold my hands up, he was a disaster).
I’d still be very disappointed if Lukaku had stayed. I can only remember his awful touch and lack of pace at the Bridge. To be fair, he’s faster than he was then, but the man’s got to lose some weight and work on his close skills.
Saturday was an exact repeat of his previous run (against Crystal Palace) where only two of his teammates conceded more possession, but the reincarnated Emile Heskey popped two in there as well.
Southampton were excellent at Old Trafford and deserved to take something back down the M6, but it must be said, that old trait of United (fighting till the end) is gradually reintroducing itself into the mindset.
Gonna be a proper test this Sunday as Ole’s boys visit the Emirates.
A game that was built on physicality over the years, now a technical spectacle, one that Lukaku might just struggle in.
Despite a solid comeback, United looked very ordinary against the Saints and slightly better opposition would have easily beaten them given the time and space afforded to the Southerners.
Despite the results, fight and apparent belief in the squad, it does feel like Ole’s magic is simply a smoke and mirrors illusion that can pop at any stage.
With fixtures against Chelsea and City in the space of four days next month, as well as other competition commitments, I’d be surprised if United secure a top four place.
The same applies to Spurs, although everyone (except delusional Spurs fans) saw it coming.
Just shocking the way the traditional fade has hit the club so early. After a flat performance against Chelsea last week, Arsenal dominated at Wembley.
The amazing football created by a team in sync earlier this season was totally non-existent. Harry Kane looked like a scarecrow in a lonely field, while his disjointed teammates battled to string anything together.
For me, only Moussa Sissoko has maintained any semblance of top-end performance. It’s amazing how psychology has become more prevalent in today’s game of massive money, pressure and player power.
Look at Fulham on Sunday, a change of coach and suddenly they’re a fighting squad, up for it against Chelsea and made a proper dogfight of what should have been an easy three points for the Blues, who, on the other hand, dropped their levels after two huge performances against City and Spurs.
If there’s one thing Scott Parker will bring to the Cottagers, it’ll be a 110% work ethic. He was like that as a player and will allow nothing less from his team.
The game of the weekend had to be at Goodison… Proper Merseyside Derby!
It was as if Everton had just won a cup final as the final whistle went with choruses of “you’re gonna win f***-all” reverberating around the stands.
Man City have turned it around, can Liverpool pull it together?
Answers on a postcard to: Another season of hope, another season of disappointment, Anfield, PO Box 2.