United rattled, Liverpool’s defence, and Arsenal’s title credentials?Posted: October 1, 2013
Another week goes by in the Premier League and yet again we are left with many talking points that will be discussed to death between football fans until the next round of fixtures throws up some more controversies.
Without doubt the biggest talking point of the weekend was Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. This was the reigning champions’ second league defeat in a row and it was the last thing David Moyes needed as he continues his struggling start to life at Old Trafford.
Perhaps it’s too early to be asking this, but is David Moyes the right man for the job? Three defeats in six league games so far doesn’t make pretty reading for United fans who have been spoiled with success in recent years. The results are leaving fans a little anxious, but it’s the benevolent defending and ponderous attacking that will be most worrying at this stage.
The former Everton boss’s comments after the game about his sides chances in the Champions League have whipped up a storm too. Two vital away games coming up against Shakhtar and Sunderland have become must-not-lose games more than anything for the reigning champions.
3 at the back. Can Liverpool make it work?
Brendan Rodgers has been known in his short career as a manager for playing 4-2-3-1 and killing the opposition by what he calls ‘death by football’. But has the past seven days shown the Northern Irishman is more tactically flexible than first thought? The Liverpool squad has taken a different complexion this summer and with Luis Suarez back from his 10 game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, Rodgers has adapted a 3-4-1-2 formation to accommodate the modern day ‘SAS’ and on Sunday it showed signs of working with three goals from his front two securing the points away to Sunderland.
Is this a viable long term strategy, though? When key players such as Phillpe Coutinho and Glen Johnson returning from injury, this system has the potential to get better with Victor Moses and Jordan Henderson dropping out for the returning duo. Johnson roaming down the right and Coutinho feeding Sturridge and Suarez up top is something that Liverpool fans should be looking forward to seeing.
Arsenal, are they the real deal?
We all know how this goes right? We’ve seen it all before. Arsenal start off a season well. They look like they can challenge for the league and then their season crashes around them and the same old clichéd questions are asked of Arsene Wenger.
After the opening day defeat to Aston Villa, Arsenal have won their last 8 games and sit top of the Premier League two points ahead of Liverpool. Has the signing of Mesut Özil finally turned them into a team capable of ending their long drought for a trophy or even better, winning the Premier League? Many seem to think so, but its still too early for predictions of that nature.
Everton still unbeaten, better off without Moyes and Fellaini?
When David Moyes left Goodison Park for the new greener pastures of Old Trafford his replacement Roberto Martínez was seen as a solid choice by many, but it was accepted by many that there would be an initial bedding-in period for the Spaniard as he looked to revamp his new team’s playing style.
But that period hasn’t happened as Everton remain the only side left in the Premier League with an unbeaten record. Signings such as James McCarthy, Gareth Barry, and especially Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chesea look to have given The Blues a new lease of life as they try and become a more expansive outfit.
Whether this will continue remains to be seen but at the moment Everton fans are buzzing and rightly so.
Sunderland, what next?
After the sacking of erratic Italian Paolo Di Canio and the stories that have come out since, Sunderland have been trying to turn their season around. Kevin Ball was placed in temporary charge as Ellis Short looks to find the man who can keep his team in the top flight.
Ball won his first game against League one outfit Peterborough United but lost at home to Liverpool 3-1 to leave them rooted to the bottom of the league. Gus Poyet seems to be the frontrunner for the post and that can only be good news for The Mackems but what about Ball as a left field choice for the job?
The former Sunderland player would certainly have the backing of the fans and if he can get the Sunderland players to perform as they did against Liverpool in their upcoming games they would certainly have a good chance at staying up.