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HomeSportsTen talking points from the weekend's Premier League action.

Ten talking points from the weekend’s Premier League action.

Grealish has an opportunity to shine at City.

Pep Guardiola’s fondness for dexterous passers is well-known; he once spent over £30 million on Cesc Fábregas when Barcelona possessed arguably the best midfield in the world. Similarly, the addition of Jack Grealish to a Manchester City squad already brimming with attacking potential looked needless, and despite scoring a critical goal against West Ham during the championship race last year, the deal has yet to fully pay off. Grealish began Saturday’s game against the Wolves under siege… and scored 55 seconds later. He will understand that this is not the conclusion of the talk, but rather the beginning of something more substantial.

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

Others have needed an entire season to acclimate to the unique demands Guardiola has placed on them. With defenses concerned with Erling Haaland’s demands, Grealish should have the opportunity and room to demonstrate his distinctive brand of improvisational genius. Daniel Harris

Both ends of Lage’s Wolves pack appear to be thin.

Bruno Lage must have felt cheated as he watched Manchester City score another three goals en route to victory, given that Wolves have scored three goals in each of their seven league games thus far.

Summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic is expected to miss several months with a serious knee injury, Ral Jiménez is also out, Goncalo Guedes has yet to score since arriving from Valencia, and Diego Costa may not be well enough to face West Ham after the international break. If the directness of the Wolves is a cause for concern, then the impending three-game suspension of center-back Nathan Collins is equally so.

Both ends of lage's wolves pack appear to be thin.
Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action.

Wolves allowed Conor Coady to join Everton, and their defense suddenly appears to be depleted. Lage could not conceal his anger following the loss, stressing that he needed a striker and a central defender before the transfer deadline. Wolves face challenges in both categories. Ben Fisher

Vieira and Nwaneri indicate a prosperous future

“We know why we signed him,” Mikel Arteta remarked of Fábio Vieira, who scored an outstanding goal in his Premier League debut against Brentford. “I believe he fits in well. He is a creative player who must play instinctively. I like his approach to the unpleasant aspects of the game.”

Despite the 22-year-impressive old’s full debut, Arteta was questioned repeatedly after the game about a player nearly seven years younger. His decision to name 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri the Premier League’s youngest-ever player was based on “pure instinct,” he claimed.

Vieira and nwaneri indicate a prosperous future
Ten talking points from the weekend's premier league action.

After this, he may need to take three steps back before taking another stride forward. Nwaneri was informed on Saturday that he was included in Arteta’s plans, and he stayed at the team hotel before entering the game in stoppage time. The manager’s last words before his young player created history were, “Congratulations and enjoy it.” John Brewin

Hammers appear rusty in Goodison Stadium loss

David Moyes was dissatisfied with his teammates’ efforts at Goodison Park. He is attempting to integrate his summer signings into a failing team, but those who are familiar with their manager’s expectations are not setting an example for the newcomers. Moyes acknowledged his team’s bad performance and added that Everton was not much better. The home team was terrible in the first half, but West Ham was unable to improve against an easy-to-beat opponent.

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

They had won on their previous two visits to Goodison Park and had more gears to use, but only discovered them after Neal Maupay’s game-winning goal and a series of changes, including the direct Maxwell Cornet, revitalized a lackluster performance. Moyes now has two weeks to consider how to effect change; he may begin by replacing the old with the new. Will Victory

Iwobi likes a more central Everton position

Alex Iwobi replied sarcastically, “I’m delighted you remember,” when questioned about his assist to Maupay in the West Ham victory. It was great to see a midfielder demonstrate a few instances of both control and calm in the second half, following the first half of slapstick comedy in which players on both sides ran around with no control or composure. The former Arsenal winger played a straightforward one-two with Demarai Gray. It bodes well for Iwobi’s future as a central midfielder as Maupay’s game-winning goal was as simple as it was successful.

The player also expressed his appreciation for Frank Lampard’s impact and his hope that Alex Iwobi will thrive in the midfield. Iwobi told Sky Sports: “The manager gives me the freedom to express myself as I do in training, and I bring that to matches.” There were glimpses of promise here. Luke McLaughlin

Leicester attempts to see the bright side.

When is a 6-2 loss not a 6-2 loss? Saturday evening, according to Brendan Rodgers and James Maddison at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The scoreboard indicated that Leicester was badly beaten, but their manager and star creative player disagreed.

Beyond the team’s set-piece ineptitude – Spurs’ first two goals came from corners – and individual errors – Wilfred Ndidi’s hesitation before Tottenham’s third goal – the elements of a respectable performance were there, according to the consensus. Idealistic thinking? Willful ignorance?

Or a fair assessment? Who knows what to trust, although Rodgers’ assertion that Wout Faes excelled defensively in his debut somewhat undermines his credibility. Now comes an international break; Rodgers must hope that a two-week respite does not turn into a protracted absence. Sam Dalling

Bentancur begins to give the Spurs an advantage

In October 2018, Juventus defeated Manchester United 1-0 in the Champions League, but their victory was far more convincing than the score indicated. In addition to United’s poor performance, this was primarily due to the brilliance of a young Uruguayan midfielder.

Rodrigo Bentancur, who was only 21 years old at the time, appeared to be a future star, his passing being basic yet intelligent and his thin build belying his serious hardness. In the subsequent years, his career languished, and when Antonio Conte signed him in January of last year, few in Turin were surprised.

Since then, though, circumstances have altered, and he is now realizing the promise that was so evident the first time he played in England. Against Leicester, he once again displayed outstanding all-around performance and, most encouragingly, contributed a goal and an assist. If he can address the fact that he has scored only five goals in his club career, which is much too little for a player in his position, he will become even better. DH

The Derbies provide Forest an opportunity to halt the decline.

There is an urgent need for stability at City Ground, where manager Steve Cooper has less than a year remaining on his contract and a minor compensation clause. The club leadership will be happy that Brighton opted elsewhere for their next head coach, but after adding 22 players, Cooper is still searching for the formula that would make Forest “look like a team.”

The loss to Fulham on Friday was their fourth consecutive setback in the league, with matches against Leicester, Aston Villa, and Wolves upcoming. Forest supporters of a certain age will recall that the last time the team lost six consecutive Premier League games was at the beginning of the 1992-1993 season when their eventual relegation led to the departure of Brian Clough and the conclusion of their greatest era. Pete Lansley

Magpies have lost something as a result of the changeover

It is one thing to possess the ball, but quite another to know how to utilize it. Newcastle possessed 72% of the ball in their 1-1 draw with Bournemouth but needed a penalty kick, which Alexander Isak converted despite being intelligently shadowed.

Eddie Howe’s squad was so listless that a deft counterattack was necessary. Bournemouth organized well by their interim manager Gary O’Neil, appeared at times to be the more threatening team, with Philip Billing (the team’s first goal scorer), Marcus Tavernier, and Jordan Zemura excelling on the break.

Until recently, Newcastle was a low-possession, counterattacking team, and the fact that they have won only one league game this season can be somewhat attributed to their continuous transformation in style. Howe stated, “We must be better with the ball.” We need to be more resourceful and patient. Louise Taylor

Has Gerrard’s call to the Mings been successful?

It was impossible to miss the uproar surrounding Steven Gerrard’s decision to strip Tyrone Mings of the Aston Villa captaincy, but perhaps it was the right decision after all. Last month, Mings secured Villa’s victory over Everton by preventing Anthony Gordon from scoring in stoppage time. The defender gave as good as he got against Erling Haaland in the stalemate with Manchester City and was outstanding in Friday’s victory against Southampton.

Mings’ season began acrimoniously, on the bench against his previous side Bournemouth, but the center-back, who has lost his spot in the England team, has since recovered from that setback. Gerrard stated, “The plan was to remove the captaincy from him so he could concentrate more on himself and worry less about the other players on the squad; just focus on yourself and bring your attributes to the table regularly.” “He possesses them. I continue to believe he can perform better.” BF

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