(Edit: I have been informed that this is week 4. Man, time flies when there are so many crises).
The Saturday early game sees Southampton host a Manchester United club which is just emerging from a crisis after narrowly defeating old rivals Liverpool last Monday. Ahead of the Liverpool match, new Man U boss, Erik Ten Hag dropped Maguire, Ronaldo, and Shaw who were all suffering from various crises of confidence and form. United will be looking to get a new player bounce by starting Casemiro in the DM role. But Man U could be slung into an even deeper crisis if they fail to capitalize on their previous win.
Amongst the tranche of clubs kicking off at 3pm (GMT) Brentford host crisis club Everton. Everton are in 17th place in the table with just 1 draw and two losses this season. Everton have struggled to find any form for two years and are now beset on all sides by the transfer vultures. Anthony Gordon is the latest player rumored to be on his way out. Brentford are a club which never seem to have a crisis regardless of their form. This is the case largely because Brentford supporters have realistic expectations and the press are unable to prey on fan fears.
Brighton also host Leeds and with neither team currently in crisis, look for one of them to fall into the crisis zone if they should lose in a poor manner.
Chelsea v. Leicester is the Full Blown Crisis Cup. Chelsea’s manager has been done for aggressively shaking hands and demanding a man look into his eyes. The Premier League has decided that the latter is only a required condition of “sex masochism” and not something that managers must do and so they banned Tuchel for 1 game. Chelsea seem to have gone from one crisis to the next for the last 8 months as the owner was sanctioned and forced to sell the club and some guy took over and has basically started running around hootin’ and hollerin’ about signings like Yosemite Sam. The club is now looking to loan out the American Superstar Griddy Pulisic, after firing Romelu Lukaku this summer (Lukaku already has a goal and an assist in Serie A in his first two games – ha! They’re probably going to win the league). Meanwhile Leicester are deep in the relegation zone and have multiple players who are being strongly poached by bigger clubs. Leicester’s own fans are signing “sacked in the morning” to Leicester manager Brentan Rodgers. Now THAT’s a crisis on a crisis.
Liverpool v. Bournemouth should be the perfect tonic to rescue Klopp and his guys from the deep crisis they are in. Currently 16th in the Premier League, Liverpool have been seen fighting amongst each other on the pitch, people have been asking if Klopp is suffering his 7 year curse, Virgil Van Dijk is said to “look like he doesn’t want to be there”, and on top of all of that they have an injury crisis with Thiago, Nunez, and Jota all out. The only crisis at Bournemouth is how much Scott Parker pays for his fancy jackets with stripes on them. Still I expect Liverpool to rescue three points and save their season.
Man City v. Crystal Palace should be an old fashioned boring game, but Man City did play a weird friendly match with Barcelona on Tuesday (it was for charity). Plus they drew their last premier League game 3-3 to Newcastle. CRISIS IS BREWING???
And in the late match, Arsenal play Fulham and a realistic person might expect this to be quite a good match with both teams going for it and probably goals on both sides but with Arsenal just doing enough to get the three points. However for many people in the press any slip at all, even so much as allowing a shot on goal that isn’t perfectly saved, and Arsenal will be inching toward crisis mode. And should Arsenal not secure a major win, “all the good will built up this summer will evaporate” and they may even require crisis talks and some clear the air meetings. Fulham have miraculously avoided crisis talk since they have been playing good football and the press rarely latch onto them for exciting headlines.
On Sunday there’s crisis side Villa versus crisis side West Ham, both managers are in crisis there and could be fired at any minute. Wolves are having a crisis also and they host Newcastle, who aren’t in crisis. And Forest host a Spurs side which has managed to avoid crisis by getting a lucky draw to Chelsea while shaking hands and not looking Tuchel in the eye. Forest seem to be having a transfer market crisis and have bought 19 players this summer. I wish that was an exaggeration. Hey look, let me be the one to say that I hope they absolutely get one over on Spurs and that folks start to wonder if Spurs are in crisis. This is the one team where I actually quite enjoy a “club in crisis” story.
Anyway, there’s your weekend preview. It should be a juicy weekend of fabricated crises in the Premier League.