Stuck Toffees

Premier League
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Obviously there's no point looking at the league table for at least another month, but it is kind of fun seeing Everton and Liverpool tucked in together at the top of the Premier League. Like something from the '80s. Vintage is so in right now.

But! Everton are now level on points with their nearest and undearest, thanks to a 2-0 defeat at Southampton. Carlo Ancelotti pretended to be upset about Lucas Digne's red card, picked up when he trod on Kyle Walker-Peters —

It was a joke - it was not intentional. It was not violent conduct so they could've checked better. Maybe all the rumours during the week against Pickford and against Richarlison affected the decision, and if it is like this, it's not right. It's not fair.

— but at least that gave him something to complain about. Otherwise he'd have had to come out and tell us all that his lovely team had been mostly rubbish, and that would have been depressing.

This means everybody's lost at least once. In the league table we're not looking at yet, Southampton are up to sixth, just behind Leeds, with Villa and Leicester ahead of them. Looks like it's going to be one of those rare seasons where the Premier League's biggest and most obvious lie - anybody can beat anybody - actually turns out to be true.

It also means that Ralph Hasenhüttl's side are, by the rules of conkers, the new feel-good story of the Premier League. Fifth! A great advert for intelligent coaching! Che Adams! Just as well for the Saints that these days the big clubs appoint managers based on DNA and getting the club. Otherwise he might be in demand.

Old-School Arsenal

While we're on the subject of the humbling of the mighty, let's check in with Arsenal. First half against Leicester: fine, busy enough, had a goal ruled out. Second half: sublime. In that they turned from a solid into a gas.

Credit goes to Brendan Rodgers, who did that thing managers do and adjusted his team's gameplan to stifle the opposition. Mikel Arteta, who hasn't been doing this as long, failed to come up with an adjustment of his own, and so the game wound on slowly to the inevitable Jamie Vardy smash and grab.

There is a lot to admire about the early days of Arteta's Arsenal: they are well-organised and basically sensible, which makes a nice change. But they can also be very dull, in both senses: boring to watch, and blunt. After the game Arteta bemoaned the disallowed goal, but there were another 86 minutes plus change after that, and Arsenal basically weren't there for 45 of them. And it is starting to look odd to have made such a fuss about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's new contract, only to stick him on the wing.

But at least the Invincible season is safe for another year. That's good, right? That's good?

Still Got It

Impossible not to giggle at Jermain Defoe, a mere 38 years of age, scoring this. No messing about. No faffing. Don't think of it as getting old. Think of it as getting efficient.

Rangers' 2-0 win over Livingston moved them six points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership. It would have been a mere four points, but Celtic, having twice snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, went and let Aberdeen back in at the last. Quite why Neil Lennon is trying to pull off ten in a row without a functioning defence isn't clear. But it's a lot of fun.


Got a lot of time for this finish from Alaves' Tomás Pina. You're supposed to smash it, in these situations. Trust to power. But there's three defenders back plus the goalkeeper, so Pina takes the risk of looking a complete lemon and goes for a kind of side-foot chip into the top corner. Delightful.


On this day in 1863, in a pub in London's West End, the Football Association was formed and the first rules of football were agreed. 157 years later we have VAR and nobody knows what "handball" means, so cheers for that, lads. Here's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with brief history of the FA.


I take these words very positive because I know what a player he was. I was maybe one of the tallest from nursery but from even when I was younger I told myself I wanted to cover every square of the pitch. I wanted to help my guys in every situation so longer legs helped. It suits my style and prepared me for the way I play even now.

Over on The Guardian, Jacob Steinberg has interviewed West Ham's Tomáš Souček, who is having an excellent seasons and will, thanks to José Mourinho, forever be known as "David Moyes' new Fellaini":


Can we squeeze one more day out of the weekend? Let's go for it. Brighton vs. West Brom and Spurs vs. Burnley in the Premier League, Bayer Leverkusen vs. Augsberg in the Bundesliga, Levante vs. Celta Vigo in Spain, and AC Milan vs. Roma in Serie A. Something for everybody there. Oh, and the draw for the first round of the FA Cup is happening as well.

And the Warm-Up's new Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Foley, will be here tomorrow to tell you all about it

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