It was another action packed weekend of football in the Premier League. Many talking points arise each week, so here are 10 from week 2.
Olivier Giroud changed the game
Often heavily criticised by neutrals as well as Arsenal fans, Olivier Giroud really sparked Arsenal into life, having fallen 2-0 behind away at Everton. Wenger’s experiment of playing Alexis Sanchez up front appeared to not suit the Chilian, as he was frequently isolated and with Everton’s deep defensive line it was very hard for him to make runs in behind.
Rumours are circulating that Giroud could be out for upto 3 months with an ankle injury, so will this make Wenger go against his word and dip into the transfer market for a striker? Only time will tell but Arsenal fans will be hoping he spends big otherwise they will be left with Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo as their other viable options.
Mauricio Pochettino's perfect start
Excitement is building at White Hart Lane after a very impressive start from Tottenham. 3 wins out of 3 with new signing Erick Dier starring in 2 of those games, scoring twice in the process from centre back. Erik Lamela looks like a new signing and he has run the show for Tottenham in all 3 games, operating in a free role behind the striker.
Changing of the guard at Chelsea
It was an emotional moment at the Bridge on Saturday seeing Petr Cech on the bench with Thibaut Courtois preferred to the Czech stopper. Talks of this happening haven’t stopped all summer after Courtois superb two seasons out on loan at Athletico Madrid, who reached the Champions Lague final and won La Liga with the Belgian excelling in many of those victories.
He showed his worth to the team with a string of fine saves against Leicester, notably when David Nugent was sent 1 on 1. He stayed on his feet for as long as possible, before flinging himself at the shot to tip it wide.
Crystal Palace are in trouble
Problems are mounting at Crystal Palace after a 3-1 home defeat to West Ham. Malky Mackay had been lined up to take the job, but sexist, homophobic and racist texts sent between him and former Crystal Palace sporting director scuppered the deal and Moody was relieved of his duties soon after the texts became public.
Palace will need to act fast in getting a new manager, as they are still in need of activity in the transfer window and the departure of Tony Pulis, who did a fantastic job, came as a shock to most of the football world.
Michael Dawson will lead Hull
Steve Bruce will continue his spending this week by securing the £3m signature of former Spurs captain Michael Dawson. Jake Livermore, Tom Ince, Andy Robertson, Harry Maguire and Robert Snodgrass have all arrived at the KC Stadium. But the opportunity of signing such an experienced Premier League defender means Bruce’s spending this summer will surpass £20m.
Man Utd still have problems
Angel Di Maria is shortly to be confirmed a United player for £59.7m which will become a British transfer record and rumours of Daley Blind and Arturo Vidal following, it is evident that Van Gaal thinks there are still a lot of issues that need resolving before the window closes. United seemed very 1 dimensional against Sunderland, with a lot of sideways passing and no player willing to take responsibility.
West Ham style change
Sam Allardyce recieved a bombardement of criticism last season for his negative tactics and defensive style of play. Mauro Zarate and Kouyate offer a more exciting brand of football and West Ham really impressed in their 3-1 away win at Crystal Palace. Big Sam was seen jumping around his technical area celebrating each goal and West Ham fans will be hoping for more of the same in the future.
Mario Balotelli returns to the Premier League having completed his £16m move from Milan to Liverpool. Mark Lawrenson described it as a ‘no brainer’ and to pick up a player of his quality and age could be a real bargain. Brendan Rodgers hardest job will be trying to keep the Italians off the field antics in check as well as his behaviour on the pitch.
Costa Fabregas combo
Chelsea are already stamping their authority on the new season and the link up between Costa and Fabregas so far has been frightening. There were some doubters of the midfielders ability after a difficult spell at Barcelona where he was played out of position on multiple occasions but he silenced those critics after 15 minutes at Burnley where he played a sublime pass to Schurrle for the second goal.
Costa continued his goalscoring to make it 2 in 2 for the Spanaird and Chelsea fans will hope for this to continue.
Man City 3-1 Liverpool
The 1st title contending sides went head to head last night and Man City showed just why so many people believe they will retain the title. They made light work of a Liverpool side who have spent over £100m this summer but had the departure of key player Luis Suarez. Jovetic inspired City with 2 goals and he finally seems to finding his feet in Manchester.
Sergio Aguero scored with his second touch and Man City completely blew Liverpool away, who only really got going in the last 10 minutes, when Ricky Lambert added a consolation and then nearly made it 3-2 right at the death.