After yesterday’s veritible famine comes a feast of football. More of a bargain bucket than a feast but hey beggars can’t be choosers. Speaking of someone who can only deal in extremes; Jordan Rhodes. In the Premier League he’s more Lionel Blair (ask your parents) than Lionel Messi. But now that he’s back in the Championship he can start breaking necks and cashing cheques once more.
Not that we’re about to take any credit where it’s not deserved but Napoli have been absolutely white hot since we started doing this column. They beat Genoa tonight and continue to vye for another crack at the award. Dries Mertens in particular looked quite the part again. We’re not in the market for any two time winners but if you can keep this up against Madrid next week we may revisit that. Not promises.
Speaking of Champions League warmups, PSG made light work of Bordeaux; beating them 3-0 in the New Stadium of Bordeaux. That’s kind of sort of what it’s called anyway. Edson Cavani bagged twice, continuing his incredible run of form. 25 goals in the league thus far in 23 appearances. 7 in his last 5 games. That’s some going. Just in time for him to disappear against Barcelona. Not that we subscribe to such harsh opinions, it’s just that if Zlatan can’t get any respect until he starts banging them in against the might of West Brom, Sunderland and West Ham then Edson has a long way to go. Nice hair though.
Now that we’ve hopefully managed to annoy PSG enough so that they make a game of it on Tuesday we can get on to the award itself. Domestic dominance is all well and good but it has to come to an end someday. If a Premier League dynasty like Leciester (cheap shot) can come crumbling down, anyone can be at risk. Over in Turkey, you’d expect familiar names to be running the show and for the most part that’s true. Besiktas have been very formidable so far this season, having only lost one game prior to tonight. Even so, the gap between themselves and the chasing pack isn’t quite what they’d like. Stumbling blocks always seem to appear at the worst time and tonight proved to be the case, with Şenol Güneş’ side falling head first over Karabukspor. I suppose it’s a name that could trip us all.
The result did not come without controversy. Ermin Zec perhaps should have been flagged offside before scoring the opener, proving that endless discussions of goal-line technology when a big team falls foul to a smaller one isn’t just limited to the Premier League. While Besiktas weren’t exactly at their best they still were dangerous and had to be limited to a great defensive organisational team performance. No surprise then to learn that they are managed by former Juventus and Croatia defender Igor Tudor. An appropriate surname for a game that may have featured many throwbacks to the dark arts. Though it might not quite be medieval torture, centre half Baris Basadas came away with a souvenir in the form of this mark on his leg courtesy of Ricardo Quaresma. For putting your body on the line and for having a surname that’s so close but not quite badass, we give you this award. Cherish it.