The 5 Most Annoying Things About The Premier League Weekend

It turns out that if you put one of the worst Arsenal sides in years against one of the worst Manchester United sides in years, it matters not.

The inability of any Arsenal side in the past decade to consistently perform against a big club remains far more intact than the inability of Louis van Gaal to make the most of the players at his disposal.

It is now at the stage where Arsenal’s failure remains funny, clearly, but it’s increasingly irritating that they absolutely refuse to learn.

In addition to to Arsenal, there remains plenty to stick in your craw, teeth and mind as Sunday’s hangover refuses to clear.


1. Arsenal

Just as Peep Show became worse with each season, becoming ever more locked in by the conventions it had established with its first two excellent efforts, so Arsenal have done the same on the football pitch.

For the well observed social awkwardness, replace with aesthetically pleasing short passes in and around the penalty area.

Once, Arsenal would add to that some astonishing pace, ruthlessness, happiness to cheat whenever necessary, and happy to elbow people in the face when it really wasn’t.

It was those extras which provided half the swagger, and allowed the more intricate skills to flourish. 

Now, Arsenal have isolated and preserved only the wish to score the most beautiful goal that anyone has witnessed, but they’ve removed any kind of fire - and no, Jack Wilshere’s yapping dog impression does not count - and strength, and barely possess a fraction of the pace that they had at their peak.

They are by no means a bad side, but by letting Arsene Wenger become so self-parodic, so they have lost their edge. Even for the neutral, it must be galling to see someone reach such heights and then dismantle the reasons for that success willingly.


2. Arsenal fans

Obviously they hold a fair amount of responsibility for the muck that is served up at The Emirates recently, having allowed Wenger to bang on about morality and philosophy, as if they were reasons to stop being able to win trophies, but this weekend they reached their nadir.

Now it turns out that one of them channeled their inner UB40 and threw red wine on the Manchester United bench.

Of course, red wine is a perfectly reasonable drink, but there’s something a little more dignified in an arc of brown lager or ale flying through the air than there is compared to the three teaspoons of merlot that presumably splashed a very small portion of a United tracksuit.

If you’re going to be a rabble, at least put some effort in, Arsenal.


3. Dave Whelan and Malky Mackay

Who could possibly have seen this coming?


4. Alan Pardew & Newcastle

Six wins against six eminently beatable sides, and the Newcastle fans quieten down again.

Given that their current owner is probably now more interested in the marketing opportunities north of the border with Rangers, Pardew remains a study in hubris.

And they should still have all their former principled objections, the softening of their stance regarding Mike Ashley and Pardew is reminiscent of the United fans happy with the Glazer regime, just so long as Alex Ferguson continued to bring in the trophies.


5. Rodgers out lot

While Arsenal fans have spent far too long before coming around to the idea that Wenger, perhaps, is not a football genius and is no longer the man to take the club forward, a bunch of Liverpool supporters seem to have all too quickly decided that Brendan Rodgers should be turfed out of the club.

There are legitimate criticisms to be made of Rodgers.

He has yet to really organise an impressive defence either at Swansea or Liverpool. He has a suspect transfer record. He speaks in a way which you’d imagine makes many players embarrassed on his behalf.

He has signally failed to handle Mario Balotelli in the manner that someone with a grasp of nuance might do.

All these problems are contributing to their failures at the moment, but let’s remember the different positions from their most recent visits to Selhurt Park.

Though it ended appallingly on both occasions, the first saw Liverpool still in with a chance of winning the league after an exceptional season. No matter how good he was, Luis Suarez wasn’t the sole reason for that - look at how badly Kenny Dalglish performed when he had him at his disposal (even if he wasn’t quite the player he is these days).

Rodgers can be praised for an exceptional season, and to call for his head so soon after it dooms them to another burst of the Rafael Benitez experience, and nobody has the boredom threshold for that again, surely?

Rodgers is 7.00 to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked.

Alex Netherton has a new book out and you can buy it here.