10 talking points from the weekend action

10 talking points from the weekend action

10 talking points from the weekend action

1) McTominay makes great strides under Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag said the reason Casemiro was kept on the bench against Arsenal was “Scott McTominay is playing really well”. The Scottish midfielder looked set to be a victim of Casemiro’s arrival from Real Madrid, but he improved with Ten Hag, a sign of what a quality manager can offer. Against Arsenal he kept things simple; in the first half he reached 100% accuracy in passing, undergoing 27 touches and winning two tackles. He provided the foundation for Christian Eriksen and Bruno Fernandes to be free to make a difference higher up. Casemiro’s arrival pushed McTominay, knowing his previous record wasn’t going to be good enough to earn a starting spot. Seeing what Casemiro does in training will be useful because in recent years he has not had a role model in the club and he has had the chance of him only for the lack of options. In the end he looks like a United player, but he still has a fight on his hands to keep his place. It will release

2) Is Elliott ready for England?

Is Harvey Elliott ready for the move to international football? After all, if you start for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, it’s safe to say you’re probably ready for Iran in Doha. The 19 year old was superb in an otherwise monotonous Liverpool performance at Goodison Park. If he continues this way, then England manager Gareth Southgate must definitely take a look. With Jordan Henderson coming out of contention and Kalvin Phillips not getting minutes at Manchester City, Elliott and Jude Bellingham are part of a new English midfield vanguard who is equally at ease with laundering, running for defense, switching offense or making a passage in heavy traffic. Jonathan Liew

Related: Erik ten Hag warns Manchester United fans that the team has “a long way to go”

3) Gerrard hopes the draw will help Villa reset and raise

It almost felt like Manchester City’s plan was to strip Aston Villa of any optimism and then go through the gears on the road to inflict another one of those hefty defeats that have become common under Pep Guardiola. City looked poised to run away with victory when Erling Haaland scored his 10th goal in six games, but Steven Gerrard’s side dug in to claim a draw that the Villa manager hopes will prove to be a basis on which his team. can build. “It’s just a big point and a big point if we roll back on Monday and go back up against Leicester and Southampton,” said Gerrard. “I think no one gave us a chance before a ball was kicked, so it was important that we had confidence and courage in the locker room, because against City we need, both in possession and out.” Ben Fisher

4) Richarlison brings a new dimension to the Spurs attack

Richarlison may not have scored his first Tottenham start with a goal, but the dynamic performance of the former Everton striker rightly earned him acclaim and suggested he is a strong addition to their attack. The Brazilian beat Pierre-Emile Højbjerg for the Spurs’ first goal, one of four chances he created in their dominant win over Fulham before having a late shot canceled for offside. There was a lot of encouragement from the way he teamed up with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to wreak havoc on the Fulham defense. Early rehearsals bode well and suggest that Richarlison – whose contribution delighted Antonio Conte – will offer the style and intensity to add another dimension to the Spurs frontline. He won’t be playing every week, but with the club’s relentless schedule, including the start of the Champions League campaign on Wednesday, Richarlison looks like a shrewd signing that will increase their offensive power. Simone Posta

5) The VAR continues to upset the matches and to frighten the fans

The fact that Chelsea-West Ham was rescheduled a week before its staging, with the start time only known last Monday, should perhaps have received more prominence. It was a slap in the face for many departing fans, so imagine what it must have been like for the guests when a terrible decision, made by a combination of VARs and match officials, scored a good draw in Maxwel Cornet’s final. A wave of intense emotion dissipated just like that and, as usual, those in the paid seats had no idea what had actually been deduced using the technology. All football fans deserve better, but it’s the ones in the stadiums who get the rawest deal. The thought comes: VAR helped get some important calls, but nonsense situations like this still happen pretty much every week. The balance looks all wrong and there is certainly no improvement for the show. Is it really worth stopping? Nick Ames

• Match report: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham

Referee Andrew Madley consults the sideline monitor for a decision on the VAR at Stamford Bridge.

Referee Andrew Madley consults the sideline monitor for a decision on the VAR at Stamford Bridge. Photography: Steven Paston / PA

6) Cooper must look forward and not backward

Steve Cooper has received little criticism during his tenure at Nottingham Forest, but seems unable to learn from his mistakes. He started with a full-back of Joe Worrall, Steve Cook and Scott McKenna despite their struggles in recent weeks. The trio were all over the place in the second half when Forest lost a two-goal lead against Bournemouth. The Premier League is ruthless, which is why Forest has invested in Willy Boly, among others, and Cooper needs to forget about loyalty to advance Forest. At the same time, Jesse Lingard, a player with Forest’s season weight on his shoulders, is struggling to cope with the pressure of the City Ground. He gave the ball away cheaply to help Bournemouth get back into play. Cooper has to make tough decisions on defense and offense to show which direction Forest has to go to stay on his feet. It will release

7) Brentford reaped the rewards of Frank’s interview with Toney

Thomas Frank wasn’t exactly taking credit for Ivan Toney’s spectacular hat-trick against Leeds, which put him on par with Harry Kane on five Premier League goals and sparked speculation about England’s call-up. But were it not for Frank’s intervention on the final day of the August 2020 transfer window, the striker may never have been persuaded to join his squad from Peterborough. “He kept dragging himself, dragging himself out,” recalled Frank. “Then I said, ‘come on Phil [Giles, Brentford’s director of football] give me the number and then I’ll seduce him and explain why he should come here. ‘ Standing outside my wife’s sister’s house and talking to Ivan, I said to him: ‘Ivan what do you doubt?’ It has been a very, very happy marriage since then ”. And Aarons

• Match report: Brentford 5-2 Leeds

Ivan Toney (center) takes the matchball with him after scoring a hat-trick for Brentford against Leeds.

Ivan Toney (center) takes the matchball with him after scoring a hat-trick for Brentford against Leeds. Photograph: Steve Bardens / Getty Images

8) Rodgers must remedy Leicester’s defensive weakness

Leicester City has expedition goals at an alarming rate. Five for Brighton at Amex reached 16th place in the Foxes’ first six games. Nobody wants to extrapolate it in one season. Curiously, Wilfred Ndidi has again teamed up with Jonny Evans in a back four. It was not a particularly assured performance, which is understandable given that Ndidi is a playmaker. Desperate times, then? Except that Brendan Rodgers had two central defenders at his disposal – Çaglar Soyuncu and Jannik Vestergaard – neither of whom were part of the day’s squad. It looks like Wout Faes will be the only one trusted to fill a hole the size of Wesley Fofana. Or at least try to do it. It is suspected, however, that the newly signed Belgian will not be particularly upset that his visa did not materialize in time for this match. Sam Dalling

• Match report: Brighton 5-2 Leicester

9) New puzzle for Newcastle on the rise

This year has been almost inexorably good for Newcastle. Now for the step forward. Prior to Saturday’s visit to the Crystal Palace, Eddie Howe’s apparent attempt to foster a bunker mentality for extra stimulation was understandable. After a couple of tough away games, which ended in belated disappointment for Liverpool, the Palace visit heralded a series of matches that, in their current wave of optimism, Newcastle are primarily expected to win: a new position for them. Whether they are still experienced enough to justify that expectation, especially in the absence of Bruno Guimarães, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, is another question. While Howe had every right to be satisfied with Saturday’s determined performance (and it was), the inability to finish a Palace team that was sometimes clinging to nails suggested that Patrick Vieira’s post-match predictions that the Newcastle could make Europe may be slightly premature. Andy Brassell

10) Kilman demonstrates value for the Wolves

Left-footed center-backs who are good with the ball are few and far between in England. Max Kilman is continuing to improve at the Wolves, leading them to a clean sheet against Southampton. New signing Matheus Nunes is showing why the club has paid so much to secure his services, but Kilman is helping build the foundation for Wolves midfielders and strikers to thrive. The former Maidenhead defender knocked out Conor Coady and Willy Boly this summer. Coady has a chance to go to the World Cup in Qatar, but Bruno Lage was happy to give up his services because of his confidence in Kilman. In six games, Wolves have conceded four goals to draw three and their first win of the season against Southampton. Nathan Collins was brought in by Burnley to partner with Kilman for the long term, providing what appears to be the perfect balance in a new foursome design. WU

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.