‘Safe pair of hands’ could short-circuit West Ham
It's amazing how David Moyes is still regarded as a “safe pair of hands” despite making Manchester United, Real Sociedad and, incredibly, Sunderland worse.
Imagine an electrician short-circuiting his last three properties, but still landing a plum job to rewire Harrods.
Even that bug-eyed stare lacks the same belief. As Everton manager, his seething post-match TV interviews used to make people reach for their sofa cushions in self-defence.
“3-0, you must be delighted David?”
“You dunnae know what you're talking about.”
“Ermm ... I just said ...”
“Tim Cahill's the greatest piece of football business ever.”
“I never said he wasn ...”
“Aye, and you can print that.” [storms off]
Sadly, a diminished Moyes is now a little too eager to please, like a dog looking for attention after taking a dump in the lounge.
West Ham United, to be fair, after moving their fans to a soulless new athletics stadium, have clearly crapped on their own doorstep so much lately they didn't notice, and promptly gave him the job.
That the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Brendan Rodgers, Derek McInnes, Sean Dyche and Chris Wilder were not even in the conversation proves either the lack of knowledge and planning of the club's owners or, more likely, their unwillingness to gamble with a potential ruinous relegation.
But wait. Moyes's last achievement? Taking Sunderland down. Go figure.
11am kick-offs unless stated
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal were brushed aside against Manchester City, another brutal reminder of their failure to challenge for the title.
Tottenham are the best team in North London right now but local pride could see a deadlock here. Prediction: 1-1
AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town
Both teams are coming off the back of morale-lifting wins. Huddersfield, though, have lost four of their past five matches on the road, so my money is on the Cherries. Prediction: 2-0
Burnley v Swansea City
Swansea are not in a good place right now, with Renato Sanches continuing to disappoint. Burnley are riding high in seventh and should add another three points. Prediction: 2-0
Crystal Palace v Everton
The two clubs are in a bit of a state right now, although at least Palace have a full-time manager in Roy Hodgson. They definitely look more solid under the former England manager and can get something against an Everton team in a state of flux. Prediction: 2-1
Leicester City v Manchester City
Sergio Agüero's illness could propel Gabriel Jesus into a starring role. Predicting anything other than a City win feels foolish. Prediction: 1-3
Liverpool v Southampton
The Virgil van Dijk audition should be interesting when the wantaway defender lines up against the club who really wanted him in the summer.
Liverpool's home defensive record is actually good and Saints are shot shy. Prediction: 2-0
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea
West Brom have not won since August and are sliding into trouble. Chelsea have won three on the spin and will want to keep the pressure on City at the top. Prediction: 0-2
Manchester United v Newcastle United
Should be added spice in the dugout; José Mourinho and Rafa Benítez are hardly bosom buddies. On the pitch, United have too much quality for the visitors. Prediction: 3-0
Watford v West Ham United
Moyes's debut is a tough assignment at Watford, which promises a first glimpse into a harder-running, more robust Hammers, although without a plan that does not necessarily translate to victories. Prediction: 2-1
Brighton & Hove Albion v Stoke City
Quietly, Chris Hughton appears to be steering his side to an impressive first season in the Premier League. At home, under the lights, this will be a tough one for Stoke. Prediction: 2-0