Dimitri Payet has dazzled many Premier League fans with his amazing skill since joining West Ham. The Frenchman has produced feats of ball control, touch, and sheer power both to score goals from outrageous positions, or to create chances for his teammates out of nothing. None may be better than this. In the prematch warmups before West Ham’s 1-0 win over Sunderland on Saturday, Payet was caught on camera juggling his chewing gum. For a moment, his gum transformed into a tiny, bite-sized football and the 29-year-old smirked after keeping it off the ground before depositing it back into his mouth. Hygene issues aside, this is a stunning bit of skill. Take. A. Bow.
Andres Iniesta’s footballing career has defined for an entire generation the words consistency and professionalism. Now 32 years old and Barcelona’s longest-tenured servant, Iniesta has played more than 40 games (all competitions) every season since the 2003-04 campaign, back when he was a 19-year-old La Masia product quickly breaking into the first team. Part of a run like that is down to unparalleled talent and an unwavering commitment to craft, but, of course, a stroke of good luck on the serious-injury front. It’s looking quite unlikely he’ll extend his 40-games-played streak to a 13th season in 2016-17, however, after the club confirmed fears on Saturday that Iniesta suffered knee ligament
Antonio Conte knows what he’s doing — he’s playing the game made popular the world over by his predecessor and Sunday opponent, Jose Mourinho, and so many others who went before him. Where other managers shy away from the controversy and the spotlight brought upon themselves by the psychological warfare waged by so many of the giants of the managerial profession, Conte has embraced the added attention he’ll now face when Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com). While Mourinho hasn’t been quiet in the build-up to his return to Stamford Bridge — how could he, given the considerable demand for comment? — he has mostly kept the cheap