Another hectic weekend of Premier League football has come and gone. Now it’s time to dig into it and pick out the 10 biggest talking points from all the action.
It’s fair to say gameweek six brought about the first relatively normal set of matches in the Premier League this season. With no game seeing over three goals and only the odd eyebrow-raising result, could the Barclays finally be settling down?
Perhaps. But, as ever, there was still plenty to dissect and discuss. To help you navigate through this week’s football natter, GiveMeSport has picked out the 10 biggest talking points to get your conversations flowing.
Hat-trick Bamford proves his Premier League quality
It’s been a long road to the top for Patrick Bamford. Having been cut from Chelsea’s ranks following multiple loan moves, the striker has had to work hard to prove himself. Many believe Bamford to be of Championship quality, not quite up to Premier League standards, but his performances so far this season have gone a long way to silencing those critics.
Bamford’s Friday-night hat-trick at Villa Park opened the weekend’s proceedings, with Leeds’ frontman claiming all three goals in his side’s 3-0 away win. That takes Bamford’s goal tally to six in as many games this season, as he continues to prove the doubters wrong. England call-up, anyone?
Pep’s uncertain future threatens to derail City’s season
Many speculated whether Pep Guardiola would stick around for another year at Manchester City, but the coach is a man of his word, and is duly seeing out the final year of his contract. With no guarantees beyond the summer, however, the mood at the Etihad is one of unease.
Pep’s City look incredibly fragile defensively and, as of yet, haven’t found their ruthless rhythm in attack this season. They undoubtedly haven’t been helped by injuries to strikers Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus, but Pep’s uncertain future will almost certainly also be weighing heavy on his players’ minds.
Moyes shows you can teach an old dog new tricks
David Moyes’ transformation from dinosaur manager to work-from-home genius has been nothing short of spectacular. After back-to-back league wins against Wolves and Leicester, Moyes returned to the touchline to launch a sensational comeback against London rivals Spurs to draw 3-3 in gameweek five.
How do you match that? By taking a point off Manchester City, of course. Moyes stuck to his tried-and-trusted 5-4-1 formation and it worked a treat. The defence held strong while Tomáš Souček and Declan Rice bossed the midfield. Michail Antonio led the line superbly and was duly rewarded with a goal courtesy of an acrobatic overhead kick. Maybe United let Moyes go too soon, hey?
Snoozefest does little to bolster Solskjær or Lampard’s credentials
Unlike Moyes, two managers who are struggling are Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Frank Lampard. Both looked more highschool P.E. teacher than elite tactician on the touchline last Saturday, and the Manchester rain was about as miserable as the football on display.
Neither Manchester United or Chelsea offered much going forward. It was a game of few chances, with the only highlight being Edinson Cavani almost scoring with his first touch in English football. Doubts remain over both managers’ ability to coach at this level, and this performance did little to change that.
Firmino’s goal drought finally ends
Ask any Liverpool fan and they’ll tell you Roberto Firmino isn’t in the team to score goals. Nevertheless, it is odd that a player of Firmino’s quality fails to find the net on such a regular basis. His goal against Sheffield United was his first of the season and, ironically, came in a game where he played even deeper than usual.
Indeed, thanks to the explosiveness of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané, Firmino is rarely relied upon to chip in with goals. The Reds’ summer signing Diogo Jota will no doubt help further ease any burden on Firmino’s lack of goals, but regardless the striker will be happy to get off the mark for the campaign.
Saints stop terrific Toffees
With the so-called big six all getting off to shaky starts, Everton have been the club to step up this season and take the Premier League by storm. New Colombian signing James Rodríguez oozes class while forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been hitting the back of the net for fun.
Saints, meanwhile, endured a slow start to the campaign but have since picked up. The strike partnership of Danny Ings and Che Adams has started to blossom and both showed their quality in gameweek six, with the latter scoring and the former picking up two assists. Exactly one year on from Southampton’s 0-9 mauling at the hands of Leicester, this excellent result highlighted just how far they’ve come under gaffer Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Wolves’ lack of attack raises concerns
Wolves head coach Nuno Espírito Santo has carved a reputation for himself on English shores as a counter-attacking manager. His side always sets up with a back three and often field a midfield five, too. But with all of the attacking talent at his disposal, is it time for Nuno to loosen the shackles and become a bit more adventurous?
Striker Raúl Jiménez is one of the Premier League’s leading marksmen — as he proved again with his goal against Newcastle — and given the creativity of Pedro Neto and sheer presence of Adama Traore, you really do feel Wolves should be offering more going forward, especially with clean sheets being hard to come by this season.
Arteta made to rue Özil exile
A lot has been made of Arsenal’s decision to omit Mesut Özil from their Premier League squad. Many felt the German attacking midfielder could have added an element of creativity the Gunners often lack, something that rang true in Sunday’s game against Leicester.
Just as they had done away to Manchester City, the Foxes fielded five at the back, sat deep, and looked to play on the counter. Mikel Arteta’s team shifted the ball from side to side but ultimately failed to create many clear-cut chances. Özil certainly could have provided the key to unlock Leicester’s low block, making it even more puzzling that the playmaker is now little more than a spectator.
Vardy ends Leicester’s torrid Arsenal record
Not since 1973 have Leicester beaten Arsenal away from home. Sunday marked the end of that dour run as the Foxes emerged victorious thanks to Jamie Vardy’s header. The striker relishes playing against Arsenal, with the goal being his 11th in 12 matches versus the Gunners.
It was another tactical masterclass from Brendan Rodgers, too, who’s making a habit of winning when he’s expected to lose and losing when he’s expected to win. After consecutive home defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham, Leicester’s victory at the Emirates Stadium was a welcomed one.
Kane and Son’s double act continues
Another game, another goal and assist for Son Heung-min and Harry Kane. There was a lot of excitement following the return of Gareth Bale in the summer but, so far, it appears Spurs don’t need him. Kane now has eight assists — breaking his Premier League assist record for any season after just six matches.
Son and Kane have directly combined for 29 goals in the Premier League to date, a stat that’s only bettered by Chelsea’s Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard (36). Spurs now sit 5th in the table and, by and large, José Mourinho — and a few million fantasy football managers — have Son and Kane to thank.News Now - Sport News