September 22

5 talking points from this weekends Premier League action

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Mourinho’s tiresome antics detract from his side’s successChelsea beat Newcastle 3-0 this weekend and thus, capitalised on the points dropped by Man City and Arsenal to go top of the league, yet once again, their manager Jose Mourinho is getting most of the headlines.His subsequent lamenting that Chelsea cannot compete with Manchester City’s spending power felt more than a little hypocritical, when the Londoners have not exactly been strapped for cash themselves in recent years.It was a similar story on Monday night, when after his side delivered a masterful performance to beat City, he claimed that the masseur gave the half-time team talk.With Alex Ferguson having departed, Mourinho is now surely the best manager in the Premier League, yet his habitually ludicrous post-match interviews take some of the gloss away from his team’s achievements.The excuse is that his consistently controversial remarks take the pressure off players when they are losing, but is there really any need for such behaviour — especially given the excellent run that Chelsea are on right now?Perhaps such comments are less to do with his team and more because of his own ostensible desire to remain a permanent fixture on the back pages.‘Beautiful’ Balotelli tears no concern, says Seedorf>Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock scores a freaky 40-yard free> 1. Judge Moyes at the end of the seasonWatching today, as United endured a disappointing 2-2 draw with Fulham, it’s easy to forget that, in many ways, David Moyes is one of the more fortunate managers in the Premier League.His employers have bucked a trend by showing a level of patience with him that is scarcely evident in the Premier League in general currently.Seven managers in the league have already been sacked this season, with even relative overachievers, such as Michael Laudrup, not immune from receiving the boot.Moyes must consequently feel grateful that the powers that be at Old Trafford don’t seem overly eager to wield the axe just yet, though if results and performances such as the one against bottom of the table Fulham today continue, his position as manager is likely to become untenable.That said, he surely deserves until the end of the season at least to prove his worth as a manager, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie still not looking 100% fit, and Juan Mata continuing to adjust to life at Old Trafford.2. Wenger reminded of the harsh nature of footballFew people in football are so aware of certain fans’ and commentators’ proclivity for knee-jerk reactions as Arsene Wenger.Granted, their performance against Liverpool on Saturday was utterly inept, while critics were not wrong in suggesting they could have done with buying a top-class striker in January.Yet to see people calling for his head yesterday after one poor result was sheer lunacy and epitomised the fickle nature of certain modern fans.It must also not be forgotten that the Gunners were top of the league going into this weekend and are currently just one point off new leaders Chelsea, while they are hardly the first team to have been embarrassed by Liverpool this year.And there was a similar reaction last season — almost exactly a year ago — when Arsenal were unexpectedly dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn , only for Wenger’s men to then go on a spectacular winning run that secured them an all-important Champions League spot.It would therefore be no surprise if Wenger’s team responds in a similar fashion this time around, once again leaving critics with egg on their face in the process.3. Adebayor the difference between Everton and Tottenham(Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe celebrates with team-mates Emmanuel Adebayor (left) and Jan Vertonghen after the final whistle — John Walton/EMPICS Sport) Tottenham defeated Everton 1-0 today, in a tight game that emphasised the similar levels of quality that both sides possess.Indeed, despite being away from home, Everton were the better team for large periods of the game.It was subsequently very telling that, in a post-match interview, Emmanuel Adebayor revealed that Tottenham players were “happy” to go in 0-0 at half-time.And the big striker ultimately proved the difference between the sides in every conceivable sense.The Togo-born forward gave Tottenham the cutting edge that they often lacked in his absence, under previous boss Andre Villas-Boas, with a consummate finish, after Kyle Walker cleverly caught Everton off-guard with a quick free kick.The Toffees, meanwhile, deprived of the injured Romelu Lukaku, had no one of Adebayor’s class up front, and unsurprisingly, they were made to suffer as a result.4. Top four should be the least of Liverpool’s aims Over the course of the season, Brendan Rodgers has continually played down his side’s title chances.Nevertheless, if yesterday’s 5-1 mauling of Arsenal is anything to go by, they surely have the talent to contend for the title.Previously accused of being a one-man team, perhaps one of the most pleasing aspects of yesterday’s win from Rodgers’ perspective was the fact that not one of the goals was scored by talismanic striker Luis Suarez, thereby underlining that quality does exist elsewhere within the team.Moreover, with most of the top sides still to play at home, Liverpool and their modest manager may start to secretly believe that a title challenge is viable.last_img read more