Three Up, Three Down – the winners and losers from the Premier League weekend
Three games, Three rank performances. Welcome to Sam Allardyce, Sunderland. ‘Allardici’ fans will point to points over substance, but the 4 goal defeat to Everton will raise a hell of a lot of alarm bells for the new SAFC manager. He used a bizarre 3-5-2 -with wingbacks) and promptly sore Sunderland concede three goals in the position where a full back normally stands. Real Madrid could do with tactical nous like that.Sunderland created a lot more than they have done recently, against a porous Everton but the price to pay for creating the chances they did was being wide open at throughout. Allarydce blamed the players after the game for not ‘shutting the game down’ after they’d come back from two goals down. He didn’t seem to take any responsibility for them being 2 goals down in the first place.
This is Sam Allardyce. The international break will give him much needed time to work on the ‘defensive organisation’ his players raved to the press about before Everton (lol) and anything against Southampton at home will be a bonus.
What a mess. His behaviour is bizarre. All of the bollocks down the years interpreted as ‘diversion tactics’ now appear to be just standard Mourinho, childish, pathetic behaviour. Almost every team in the league can only dream of the resources available to Jose. The man is a bully, and bully’s never win in the end. This is the man who mocked Pellegrini for having to take ‘a job like Malaga’ after leaving Real Madrdi. This is the man called Claudio Ranieri ‘ a seventy year old who didn’t bother to learn how to say “hello” in England.’ Vile things to say about other professionals, yet largely airbrushed by the media in the name of ‘winning’.Talk of a dressing room revolt from senior players has hit the back pages this week and Mourinho is looking more isolated by the day.
Let’s hope he’s gone for good this time.
I don’t buy into the myth of Gary Monk. He’s been given a very good team. Another defeat. 13th in the league and the opening day draw against Chelsea seems a long time ago. Swansea do a lot of things right as a club and are a modern day fairy tale, punching above their weight in the Premier League with crowds of about 20k.
They’ve won 1 of their last 9 games in all competitions, and that was against the Premier League’s bottom side Vile. Winnable fixtures against Norwich and Bournemouth should provide the respite Monk needs, but they’ve become ‘must win games’ with a tricky December ahead.
Swansea have a lot of players I’d take at NUFC and have quality across the pitch. Monk always seems to have an excuse, most notably the referee, for the reasons they’ve lost. The once bright spark for English managers in the Premier League is permanently fading.
Comfortable winners at Stamford Bridge. Not bad for the new gaffer. Liverpool were relentless in their pressing and their enthusiasm. For the first time under Jurgen, they looked like a ‘Klopp team’. All the talk pre-game was about the lack of a striker and Liverpool’s lack of threat. They could have had more against Chelsea. There was only one winner.
What impressed me most about Liverpool was the commitment to the plan and playing style when they went one nil down. No panic, no sweat. I don’t believe this Liverpool side under their previous manager would have come back from an early set back like that, away at Chelsea.
I was unsure about Klopp this season. Not because he’s a bad manager, but because Liverpool’s squad (Coutinho and Sturridge aside) lacked top 4 quality. He’s proving, like all good managers (and Tim Krul apparently?) he’s probably worth 12-18 points a season on his own.
A comfortable win at a side who beat you twice last season. It’s called progress. The only threat to Arsenal’s first genuine title challenge in a decade is Arsene Wenger’s refusal to rotate his squad and rest players.
It’d probably be handy if Bayern knock them out this week so they can concentrate on the league.
I’m kind of bored about writing about Ranieri and the sterling job he’s doing. I had a chuckle after Tony Pulis publically belittled him by saying this was all Nigel Pearson’s good work. Then his side shipped three at home to Ranieri’s men in blue.
The great thing about Leicester is their brand of football. I love it. It’s bonkers. All crosses and counter attacks. It’s so refreshing to watch compared to the likes of Arsenal and Swansea. They haven’t yet faced any of last season’s top 6 away from home so the fixture list has been kind.
Watford at home presents a great opportunity to put further day light between them and the cashing pack. Next up, after the international break (which is the last thing they need) is us at SJP. I’m really looking forward to the game.
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892