Ten talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action

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By Creative Media News

1) Nketiah deserves a chance to demonstrate that he is a capable deputy.

Eddie Nketiah re-signed with Arsenal despite interest from other clubs in the summer, and it was likely made plain that he would play second fiddle to Gabriel Jesus up front. Given Arsenal’s fantastic run and his new teammate’s outstanding play, it is not surprising that he has yet to start a league game this season. As he was used against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday against all expectations, Jesus may be pardoned for his sluggish performance against Southampton. Jesus has revolutionized Arsenal’s offense, but Nketiah is a more-than-capable backup, and it may be time to give the academy product another starting opportunity.

Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action
Ten talking points from the weekend’s premier league action

Mikel Arteta will have to rest his Brazilian forward at some point, and Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest should be won with or without Jesus. A solid performance by Nketiah would increase trust in Arsenal’s depth outside their starting lineup. John Ames

2) It is unlikely that Haaland will surpass Dean’s record.

Erling Haaland’s brace in Manchester City’s victory over Brighton increased his Premier League goal total to 17 after only 11 games. Remember that Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95) set the Premier League single-season record of 34 goals in 1993-94 and 1994-95 when the top division was a 42-match league. Pep Guardiola stated, “Listen, you do not need to be a genius to predict that he will break the record if he continues to score at this rate and average every game.”

Deans record
Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action

“However, I do not know if you can stop scoring in football.” During the 1927–1928 English Premier League season, Dixie Dean scored an astounding sixty goals, setting a new record. To surpass this, Haaland would need to boost his current goals-per-game average of 1.15 to 1.62 — an increase of around 0.5 for every 90 minutes (plus additional time) remaining. Do not bet against the football player Jonah Lomu doing it. Jamie Jackson

3) Almirón is motivated by his methods, not Grealish’s barb

Miguel Almirón’s sixth goal of the season proved vital for Newcastle against Tottenham, elevating them to fourth place. It is the most productive season for the Paraguayan in black and white.

In some corners of the Internet, you will read that his upturn in form is due to being spurred by Jack Grealish’s remark made during Manchester City’s triumph parade. Almirón has always been a selfless runner, willing to trace back the entire length of the field and then gasp for air trying to go back up the other end to assist in the attack.

Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action
Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action

With Sean Longstaff tucking in behind him and Kieran Trippier at right-back using his experience to shore up Newcastle’s right flank, the winger has been relieved of his defensive responsibilities and is now able to devote more of his energy to aggressive excursions forward. He gave Ryan Sessegnon and Clément Lenglet a torrid time against Spurs, and his game-winning goal was hardly a reward for his offensive effort. Gregg Bakowski

4) Leeds is still in shock over Phillips’ exit.

If that was the last time Elland Road saw Jesse Marsch – and the sight of a manager shyly applauding and booing fans is hardly a good sign – then perhaps his demise can be linked back to the departure of a beloved local icon in the summer.

Kalvin Phillips had long been a player whose absence was keenly felt by Leeds; his injury in December began the nine-loss, 12-game skid that ended Marcelo Bielsa’s tenure as head coach. On Sunday, the void he left in Marsch’s midfield was filled by Sam Greenwood, a 20-year-old converted striker making his 10th professional game; the consequence was a match-winning performance by Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed.

Since transitioning from club talisman to elite squad member, Phillips has played exactly one minute of Premier League football, primarily due to injury. His City career could prove fruitful, but for the time being, this transfer conjures up images of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair. Leeds misses him. When will he begin to miss them? Alexander Hess

5) Liverpool stalls back on the road

In his post-match press conference at the City Ground, Jürgen Klopp was so enraged that even the grating sound of a squeaking door irked him. In February 2017, when Lucas Leiva and Emre Can patrol the midfield, the last time his side suffered consecutive away league defeats was after three consecutive victories.

The Liverpool manager decided to shake things up by restocking his full-backs and changing Jordan Henderson in midfield, but until his captain and Trent Alexander-Arnold came off the bench shortly after the hour mark, his team lacked the dynamism that is characteristic of Klopp’s teams.

The Welsh left-back Neco Williams, who joined Forest from Liverpool in July in a £16 million move, was especially energetic when foraging forward from left-back. The Forest’s head coach, Steve Cooper, stated, “I spoke with Neco before the game and made sure he was okay.” In the summer, he faced a significant decision. Ben Fisher

6) Elyounoussi’s vitality indicates there is still life in Hasenhüttl.

Mohamed Elyounoussi came close to tying the game for Southampton in the 59th minute when he extended a foot in the six-yard box that was millimeters shy from connecting with a cross. Moments later, Martin Odegaard dispatched Gabriel Jesus on what appeared to be one-on-one with Gavin Bazunu.

The Brazilian’s shot was not blocked by the goalkeeper. Elyounoussi had followed the runner from deep and caught the forward before extending a leg to deflect the ball out for a corner. It was an indication that Southampton, who had battled up to that point, still had life in them and, more importantly, that their charming manager, Ralph Hasenhüttl, still had players prepared to throw themselves into the ground for him.

Six minutes later, Elyounoussi charged up the right flank, dribbled past Takehiro Tomiyasu, and delivered a superbly weighted pass for Stuart Armstrong to score an equalizer. To avoid a relegation struggle this season, the Saints will require hardworking team players like the Norwegian. “I don’t know how many positions he’s played, but you can trust him in any situation. This is incredible to me.” Hasenhüttl is aware. Gregg Bakowski

7) Chelsea is not creating enough opportunities.

From where do Chelsea’s goals originate? On Saturday, Manchester United’s late equalizer robbed Graham Potter of a sixth consecutive clean sheet, but he should be more concerned at the opposite end of the field. Since Potter’s arrival, Chelsea is ranked 12th in the xG rankings, whereas Brighton was king of projected goals despite scoring fewer actual goals.

Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have both regressed following promising starts; Armando Broja’s tenacity has generally gone unrewarded; Kai Havertz and Mason Mount are opportunistic scorers rather than dependable ones. This is not necessarily an issue if the system generates sufficient opportunities; Potter’s job is to create a system that does. Christopher Liew

(8) Wolves’ inability to score has put defenses on edge.

The failure to score has little effect on the confidence of attackers, yet it is also extremely detrimental for defenses. Because they have scored only five goals in 12 matches, the Wolves are unlikely to salvage a match after conceding the opening goal. From the opening whistle, the back four appeared anxious and made terrible decisions in and out of possession. Jonny Otto conceded the free kick that led to the goal, compounding his error by allowing Youri Tielemans to score a magnificent opening goal. Otto then slipped to hand Harvey Barnes the second goal and end the game, despite the Wolves having the most possession.

Max Kilman appeared continually tense, frequently giving the ball away with wayward passes within his defensive third, but José Sá’s excessive touches nearly gifted Patson Daka a goal for Leicester. With the Wolves’ limited striker options, squandered opportunities in front of the net might have a lasting effect on the team’s confidence. Will Victory

9) Coleman’s persistent quality is acknowledged.

There were larger themes in Everton’s best win of the season, including Dominic Calvert-impact Lewin’s in front of Gareth Southgate, quality team goals in keeping with the collective performance, and Patrick Vieira’s anger with Crystal Palace, but there is no shame in singling out Séamus Coleman for praise. The 34-year-old celebrated the 13th anniversary of his Everton debut as a makeshift left-back against Benfica by dominating Wilfried Zaha to the point that the Crystal Palace winger was driven to distraction.

Coleman is closing up on 400 games for Everton, and Nathan Patterson could challenge for his spot against Fulham on Saturday, but the effect of a captain regarded by Frank Lampard as “one of the best men I’ve ever met in football” continues to be felt on and off the field.

“Zaha is one of the best one-on-one players in the league, but you could see Séamus’ tenacity and quality in those times,” Lampard added. “Having that at age 34, having been wounded, and having played three games in a week, cannot be understated. It demonstrates his character and quality.” Nick Hunter

10) Is Watkins capable of making a late dash for Qatar?

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins scored his first Premier League goal in nine games against the team he helped achieve promotion to the Premier League. It was a scrambled goal, as the striker’s initial shot was saved and the rebound hit a post before rebounding back to him and beating David Raya to make it 4-0 in the victory over Brentford.

It was the club’s first game since Steven Gerrard’s dismissal as manager, but Watkins in form is an England contender and might yet make Gareth Southgate’s World Cup team. Peter Lansley

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