Player ratings, from the 2-1 win at Old Trafford on New Years Day! I'm stealing it this week and I'm #notsorry, and I'm #notsorry for stealing #notsorry either. Plugging my favorites, this week it's to the theme of stand-up comics.
Five stars - Legends
Some people are just too good to even rank. But there has to be a top spot, so here they are: Richard Pryor. George Carlin. Bill Hicks. Patrice O'Neil. The greats of comedy were the ones that were social commentators, who saw through the bullshit of the world and made everybody open their eyes. If you don't know them, shame on you.
Christian Eriksen - An assist for the first and scored the second, he played very well from start to finish. I think everybody is hoping to see more of this level of performance, and just the though of him and Lamela gelling is enough to get a Paulinho.
Michael Dawson - So... I guess it's time for me to admit that AVB's tactics weren't the best (but I still miss him,) as Dawson seems to have gone from the weak link to brick wall reinforced with steel under Sherwood. Made countless blocks and almost single-handedly took control of the aerial battle in the box. Probably did a good job at inspiring the lads as captain, in a game where spirit was no doubt very important.
Hugo Lloris - Some might argue that his challenge on Young and not saving the goal would knock him down, but I think that despite that he had an exceptional game, and we definitely wouldn't have taken anything from the game, let alone won, if he hadn't been able to put a stopper on the late onslaught.
Four stars - Top of their Game
While it varies by when you're living, there are some that are undeniably a level above the others. At the moment, these include Louis CK, Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Eddie Izzard, Doug Stanhope, Chris Rock, and I'm sure a whole host of others that I've missed.
Emmanuel Adebayor - Showed up late, with a bad touch and a couple of missed passes. Once the Red Bull kicked in, he did an excellent job at both ends of the field, and did very well to confuse Chris Smalling for the first goal.
Roberto Soldado - Our 26 million pound poacher is becoming more and more instrumental for the other aspect of the attack. Contributed key passes to both of the build-ups to our goals. He was unfortunate to miss another sitter, and hopefully it's just a matter of confidence that can be shaken off by a couple of goals.
Kyle Walker - With the majority of United's attacks coming down the left, didn't have as much to do as our other fullback Danny Rose. Did well to contain Januzaj, who was arguably their best player, and as always worked well with Lennon.
Vlad Chiriches - Was mostly at fault for the United goal, where he should have been tracking the run of Welbeck. However other than that, he was as solid as a rock in the defense and made some crucial blocks.
Moussa Dembele - Had the job of keeping Rooney under control, and and seems to have done it very well when you consider how quiet Rooney was in the game. Took one for the team with a booking in the second half, and was absolutely knackered at the end.
Aaron Lennon - Worked tirelessly on the flank, along with Walker (great pairing.) He was unable to take advantage of the space that he got by exploiting his pace, though, and missed one and a half goalscoring opportunities.
Three stars - Funny Guys
You know, comedians, they tell jokes, they make you laugh... they're funny. Check out: Jim Jefferies, Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black, Dylan Moran, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Carr, Joe Rogan, Colin Quinn, Dave Attell, Russell Peters... again, I'm sure there's more. Add to the list at will.
Danny Rose - His flank was constantly under attack from United, who seemed to have decided that they would rather face him than Walker. For the amount of action down his side he did relatively well, though did let a decent number of crosses in that had to be dealt with.
Etienne Capoue - His passing was rather shaky, but he managed to do his job as a defensive midfielder well, and won his aerials as well. Was subbed off, most likely due to fitness issues.
Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentaleb, Harry Kane - I'm going to cheat a bit, by grouping all three of them together. I think I'm justified in doing so, though, because all three basically came on right before or soon after the second goal, and their job was the same (as everybody else on the pitch): close the game down and escape with the three points. Nothing remarkable from any of them - save for Kane's epic booting of an offside ball into the stands - but they all did their job and got the desired result.
Two stars - Not their thing
Some people are funny, they do stand up, but it isn't their first profession and there's a definite gap between them and the ones for whom stand up is their bread and butter. I would consider Bill Maher, Ricky Gervais, and Robin Williams among these.
Everybody was good enough to avoid dropping to anything below Funny Guys.
One star - Dane Cook
Dane Cook is... no. Just no.
None of our players reached the nadir of Dane Cook. In fact, not even Reading players would be able to achieve that. And Reading are terrible.