Premier League Talking Points: Spurs slip up while the rest of the top 6 win. Talking Points from an exciting Premier League week

This weekend of Premier League action saw wins for five of the ‘Top 6’  as Spurs slipped to an away defeat to Watford. The Hornets rise to third place as the Premier League takes a break with international games being played. Here I discuss the key points from the weekend’s action.

Emery must sub Cech or alter his plans

Petr Cech endured an uncomfortable afternoon as he continues to struggle with Unai Emery’s passing out from the back system. He has looked uncomfortable with the ball at is feet all season, almost scoring a comical own goal at Man City. He has made decent saves so far but he does not fit the style of play Emery demands. Emery must change his tactics or his keeper as it is hard to see Cech turning into Ederson any time soon.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal beat Cardiff 3-2 but Petr Cech’s performance will worry Unai Emery. Photo via: http://www.arsenal.com

Another milestone for James Milner

James Milner assisted Roberto Firmino’s goal against Leicester in Saturday’s early kick-off. That was his 80th Premier League assist, equalling David Beckham’s total assists in the league. The lack of glamour in his game means he will more than likely not go down as one of the all-time great Premier League midfielders but his performances and stats show he has enjoyed a stellar career.

Chelsea adjusting to Sarri-Ball

Chelsea maintained their 100% record under Maurizio Sarri as they beat Bournemouth 2-0. The last time they won their first four games was in 2014-15 and they won the title that season. Sarri wants Chelsea to press the ball high up the pitch while he demands that defenders move the ball forward quickly instead of waiting for the right pass. The Blues look a settled side while Eden Hazard is impressed with Sarri’s style of play. A promising start now can they maintain it?

Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri. Photo By: Getty

Optimism fades for pointless West Ham

West Ham are currently bottom of the table with four defeats in their first four games. The last time they lost their first four games was in the 2010-11 season when they suffered relegation. Despite spending £100 million on new recruits, the Hammers’ midfield lacks drive and defensive nous while there was a lack of penetration in attack. Their new signings are yet to gel while Carlos Sanchez’s mistake led to Wolves’ late winner. They simply must improve when the league returns otherwise they are in for a long season.

Marko Arnautovic
Marko Arnautovic has not had much reason to celebrate this season. Photo By: Getty

Murray crucial for Brighton

Glenn Murray in some ways typifies Chris Hughton’s Brighton side: tigerish, tenacious and workmanlike. Murray scored twice as The Seagulls drew 2-2 with Fulham. The centre forward put himself about, knocking defenders off the ball and causing havoc for the Fulham defence. His first goal was well taken while his second was an emphatic penalty. He rose through the leagues and is an example for all lower league players.



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Swansea need goals and fast

Swansea slumped to a 1-0 defeat away at Bournemouth as they remain deep in relegation trouble. The positive results under Carlos Carvalhal at the start of his reign now look a distant memory. The Swans have not scored in their last 3 league games and they have only scored twice in their last 8 games in all competitons. They must find a way to score in their last two games otherwise they may well be relegated.

Jordan Ayew
No way through for Jordan Ayew. Photo By: Getty Images

Giroud suits Conte’s game plan

Olivier Giroud struck as Chelsea reignited the top 4 race with a 1-0 victory against Liverpool. His header means that in the last three seasons, he has scored more goals with his head than anyone else in the top 5 leagues. He is keeping Morata on the bench and it was his double against Southampton that helped Chelsea believe they could gain a Champions League spot.

Giroud v Southampton
Giroud celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s 3rd goal against Southampon. Photo by: Reuters

Southgate must be relieved with England defenders’ returns

John Stones returned to the Man City starting 11 as they drew 0-0 with Huddersfield. England manager Gareth Southgate must be delighted to see Stones back and he will be hoping the youngster can see more action before the end of City’s campaign. Gary Cahill has returned to Chelsea’s starting team and he will be pushing hard for a place in Southgate’s plans. This is a welcome problem for England to have.

Spurs gone off the boil

Spurs’ season has petered out since their loss to Man United in the FA Cup. Their narrow defeat to Juventus in the Champions League has taken the wind out of their sails before United ensured they would win no silverware this year. They struggled to create chances against a battling West Brom as Harry Kane failed to score. Their season is not over as they need to seal a top 4 place to keep their top talents.

West Brom v Spurs
West Brom score a last minute goal to beat Spurs. Photo By: Getty Images

No straight fall back to the Championship

Brighton sealed their place in next season’s premier league with a deserved 1-0 victory against Man United. Newcastle are already safe while Huddersfield’s draw against Man City means all three promoted clubs look set to stay up. A series of resuts would need to go against The Terriers if they are to be relegated. If they survive, it would be the third time in 25 years that none of the 3 sides that come up got relegated straight back down.

Aubameyang can fire the next Arsenal manager to glory

Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal gave Arsene Wenger the perfect final game at the Emirates. He was a constant threat alongside the improved Alexandre Lacazette in a game that felt like a testimonial match. Aubameyang has been involved in 12 goals in 11 games since his arrival (8 goals and 4 assists). Wenger’s final signing will be crucial for the new manager and if he continues his fine form next season then Arsenal may make quick progress.

Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal celebrate against Burnley. Will they have reason to cheer next season? Photo via: http://www.arsenal.com

Southampton need to be smarter

Southampton squandered a major chance to escape the relegation zone as they drew 1-1 with Everton. They led through Nathan Redmond’s header before Tom Davies’ deflected 96th minute strike earned Everton a point. Southampton failed to keep the ball in the corner and failed to reset themselves as Everton attacked. They headed the ball away before Ryan Bertrand prevented the throw. He should have put the ball dead but his clearance fell to Idrissa Gueye who teed up Davies. Southampton don’t seem to be learning their lesson and it could prove very costly.