Football

Six unanswered questions from the opening weekends Premier League games

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The new Premier League season bought with it a host of new questions to be answered. There were shocks results, rough tackles and fine goals galore.

Here are six questions that arose from the opening weekends games.

Do Bournemouth have the cutting edge to stay up?

Against Aston Villa Bournemouth didn’t look at all out of place in their first ever top flight match. They moved and passed the ball as well as we might see all season.

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They had more possession, more shots but never really looked like troubling the Aston Villa goal. Goals win games, but do Bournemouth have enough goals in their side to not get relegated?

Is John Stones Evertons most important player?

Six successful tackles, five headers won, four interceptions, one block and no fouls - John Stones has started this season in fine form.

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With an ageing Jagielka and a waning Howard beside and behind him, a lot will depend on Stones continuing his commanding performances at the back to ensure Everton’s season is a success. Is he now Everton’s most important player?

Did the Arsenal defence put too much faith in Petr Cech?

The old adage that a goalkeeper breeds confidence in his defence and takes some of the pressure away from them can sometimes backfire.

Arsenal, so long crying out for a world-class ‘keeper now have Cech. Three seasons in pre-season has perhaps lured the Arsenal back-line into a false sense of security. Just because it’s Petr Cech between the sticks doesn’t mean they should stop defending, as West Ham’s two very different goals showed.

Can Steve McClaren stabilise the Geordie madhouse?

Newcastle routinely flit from brilliant to bizarre in a matter of seconds, regardless of the manager it seems.

Some of their counter-attacking against Southampton was fantastic. Quick, accurate and effective, their second goal emphasising this point.

But some of their passing out of defence and tackling left a lot to be desired. Jack Colback embodying the passion the Geordie fanbase demand, also picked up a needless booking for a silly trip on Mane.

If McClaren can stabilise the performances and mentality, then Newcastle may surprise a few people this year.

How far can Palace go?

All seems well at Selhurst Park at the moment. Alan Pardew is back where he is appreciated. Wilfred Zaha is back where he started playing football and playing well, Yohan Cabaye has just joined and they have a very settled back-line.

Palace finished last season strongly, playing some lovely attacking football, showing no fear, no matter the opponent. With Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea to play in the next few weeks, don’t be surprised if they pick up a few points and are well positioned come the international break. But just how far can they climb?

Will a lack of a strikers hinder Man United?

With only Wayne Rooney as a recognisable striker on the pitch against Tottenham, Manchester United never really looked like scoring.

Taking over an hour to register a shot on target and creating very little, Rooney was forced to drop deep to try and create something himself and to get a touch of the ball.

United don’t have another player who strikes a fear of goals into the opposition, like van Persie or Hernandez would have. Unless some goals are brought into the side, will they flatter to deceive this year?

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Topics:
Newcastle United
Everton
Bournemouth
Football
Crystal Palace
Petr Cech
Phil Jagielka
Arsenal
Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Manchester United

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