ALREADY topping the Premier League are champions Manchester City.
Just behind them on goal difference is Liverpool after seeing off West Ham and Crystal Palace . . . and that my friends could be that.
Two games in and those sides are many people’s picks – including mine – to be the top two in that order. Domination in any sport, in any league, is a killer. Apathy is the world’s fastest growing disease. But who cares?
After beating Arsenal 2-0 on the road, Huddersfield were City’s next victims – soundly thrashed 6-1 as Sergio Ageuro grabbed a hat-trick.
But not all is rosy in the Etihad garden as superstar Kevin De Bruyne, 27, suffered a serious injury in training and is out for three months and back-up keeper Claudio Bravo has a season-ending Achilles rupture.
City are hardly down to the bare bones with Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan or Phil Foden KDB’s likely replacements, while the chances of Ederson getting crocked are pretty slim.
Mahrez is the club’s £60m record signing, Silva has won titles wherever he has played (England, France, Portugal), Gundogan is a champion with both City and former club Borussia Dortmund and Foden was a key part of the England’s Under-17s who won the World Cup last year.
Hours after City tamed the Terriers, United were being crapped on from a great height by the Seagulls.
United conceded three first-half goals for only the 10th time in 1,002 PL games and it was the manner of defeat down in Brighton that will worry everyone associated with Old Trafford.
There were just 143 seconds between the first two goals as Red Devils centre-backs Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof – both big money Jose Mourinho buys – fell apart.
The Portuguese is taking his final faltering steps in his own personal devolution from Special One to Specialist in Failure – ironic really as that was what he once labelled old foe Arsene Wenger.
Even the players United have relied heavily upon are faltering. In competitive games since the start of the 2018 World Cup, Spaniard David De Gea has conceded 10 goals from his last 14 shots on target faced for club and combined.
World-class players are looking like Sunday league plodders – none more so than Paul Pogba and Alexis Sánchez.
Post-match the ugliness continued as Pogba’s agent had a public spat with United legend Paul Scholes, while Sánchez was forced to delete a tweet launching his own clothing brand after a furious backlash from fans.
To be fair the Chilean’s timing has been off since he joined the club but to miss the match with what Mourinho described as a ‘little problem’ then focus on making more money for himself smacks of taking ‘looking after No 1’ to a whole new level.
Still as Sánchez, Pogba and United fans are fast finding out – money cannot buy happiness.
DANNY CIPRIANI would never be able to live down to his reputation, but I see he did his best this week.
The controversial England rugby player was arrested and spent two nights in the cells after a nightclub bust-up in Jersey where a policewoman was assaulted as he resisted arrest.
Cipriani allegedly told police ‘these wrists are gold, loosen the cuffs’. Two words spring to mind – the first something that rings, the second the opposite to the beginning.
In the cold light of day Cipriani apologised, pleaded guilty to the two charges and paid the £2,000 fine. Bad behaviour – we’ve been here before with Danny Boy, who at 30, really should man up and grow up.
How many chances should he get? When will he grasp he has one of the best jobs in the world and is blessed in many departments? It seems the bloke is so dim he couldn’t pour pee out of a boot with a hole in the toe and directions on the heel!
England cricketer Ben Stokes was found not guilty of affray after a street brawl. Innocent in a court of law but he still does not come out of this in a good light.
He was out in the early hours drinking and smoking and CCTV shows him throwing 15 punches, knocking another man to the ground. Is this really the image cricket wants to portray?
Should professional sportsmen accept that they have responsibilities as role models? I think if you want the fame and fortune it is a small price to pay to not get lagered up with your mates.
Sports stars are always quick to bleat they deserve their riches because their careers are short. Well then, that leaves plenty of time to drink yourself silly when your playing days are over, doesn’t it?
It hardly helps when Gloucester RFC and England welcomed them back with indecent haste – the message to kids everywhere ‘if you have a sporting talent you can act horribly and we’ll still bow down to you’.
For those in charge to then hint the player, bless his little cottons is having a hard time, is all a bit too much to take. England head coach Trevor Bayliss said the decision to include Stokes in their squad was for the all-rounder’s ‘well-being’. That is an insult to every person who suffers from mental health problems.
Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann incredibly described Cipriani as a ‘positive influence’ at the club.
The hot air spouted by coaches, chairman and selectors is just that – hot air. Until one of these stars is sacked, stripped of their lucrative contracts, sponsorship deals and fan adulation then this cycle will continue.
I’m not saying people cannot make mistakes but as the old saying goes . . . fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
AND finally, Tottenham have been forced to admit their new stadium is behind schedule and will not host Liverpool on September 15.
The structure is still some way from earning strict safety certificates and supporters are fuming having already paid significantly increased prices for new season tickets at their shiny new £850m home.
It’s easier to get forgiveness than permission – a mantra Spurs seem to be working to. Nevermind, perhaps Santa will bring their supporters a stadium- but I doubt it will even be ready by then!