5 Things We Learnt
United look the best bet
It’s a familiar sight in the Premier League table, with Manchester United returning to the top once more, though obviously with still well over half the season to play – we’re only 10 games in! The fact that they managed to miss a hatful of chances only made it seem as though the game was close – in reality Arseanl were nowhere near United in terms of posession, chances or belief. They won’t continue to miss penalties or one-on-ones, but the fact that they can afford to and still beat their supposed title challengers holds them in good stead. With City and Chelsea both slipping up, is this the start of a slow canter to the finish line for the boys in red?
What did Bould do?
A few months ago the name on everyone’s lips was Steve Bould – the man who had managed to get the famous Arsenal back-four back, with his inventive and innovative training sessions helping to shore up the back-line. Scroll on 6 weeks and Arsenalare looking weaker than ever at the back, save for mannone who has helped them keep some respectability in recent weeks. What did Bould do / stop doing? The fact that the Gunners conceded 5 against a lowly Reading side in midweek suggests that the reserve defenders aren’t looking like great back-up either. On paper Vermaelen and Mertesacker should be good enough to handle the top players, but at the moment they look like they’d struggle to cope with the strikers even if they were only playing Liverpool…!
Liverpool need more strikers
It’s another frustrating season for Liverpool fans, with Brendan Rodgers managing to get them playing infinitely better than at the same point last season under Roy Hodgson (when, incidentally, they had the same points tally). The only problem is (and it’s a familiar problem to Kop fans) that for all the chances they create, and shots they have, they don’t score enough goals. Last season they had the lowest shots-to-goals ratio of all the teams in the Premier League, and this year looks like being the same. With Luis Suarez the only top-class striker available, and him more of a false-nine anyway, Liverpool need to invest in a big, strapping target-man type player who can get into the box for crosses, etc. Suarez will score 10 – 20 goals a season, but he isn’t an out-and-out striker, and will only be able to save Liverpool a finite number of times a season. He needs back-up soon!
Draw helps no-one
QPR and Reading managed to play out a drab draw that will leave both sideswishing they had spent more wisely in the transfer window. For all the cash that Mark Hughes had to spend, he’s managed to put together a team who have lost more than they have won, and still don’t seem any closer to being more of a team, and less a bunch of over-paid and incoherent foreign misfits. Meanwhile Reading might rue the fact that they don’t have enough strength up-front,and wished they plumped for a big name striker like even Southampton managed. A draw will give neither teams hope that they can avoid the drop, and leaves them both teetering perilously in the relagation zone.
Everton need Fellaini to stay fit
After recording their fourth consecutive league draw, Everton will be feeling frustrated that they conceded in the last minute, missing the chance to put some space between them in fouth place, and their Champions League qualifyier rivals. They have done exceptionally well this season even though they don’t really have a proper striker. Tim Cahill moved off the the MLS in August, leaving Everton bereft of attacking options. Thankfully they had Marouane Fellaini coming back from injury, and able to take up a position a little bit further up the pitch, and his quality has shone. Whilst the rest of the team is workmanlike, he has the presence of mind, attacking ability, and right-time-right-place timing to petrify opposition defenders. He scored two on Saturday, and was the only player to really look likely to, and would be severely missed if he was to get injured – expect Everton to plummet back to midtable if he does.
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