segunda-feira, 17 de outubro de 2016

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action(TWO)

Resultado de imagem para flag england

6) Agüero faces penalty dilemma

The good thing about taking penalties for Manchester City is that you get a lot of them. The bad news is that people only remember the ones you miss. Sergio Agüero’s penalty conversion rate of 76% at City is reasonable, yet his recent form is poor. Agüero scored 19 of the first 22 penalties for City; since March, however, he has managed only seven out of 12. His failure to score against Everton was also the first of his eight misses to affect the result. The fact that his deputy Kevin De Bruyne also had his penalty saved by Maarten Stekelenburg makes a change slightly more complicated but Agüero must be wondering whether it’s time to give up. There will be lots of scoring opportunities from the penalty spot at City in the Pep Guardiola years. But there comes a time when even the most confident striker starts thinking about the ones he might miss, rather than those he might score. Rob Smyth

7) Dire first half raises overhype questions for Premier League

If a reminder were needed that the Premier League is sometimes overhyped, with quite a few games failing to live up to its “best league in the world” boast, this was it. The first half was the worst 45 minutes of football this reporter – frequently to be found at Sunderland – has seen this season. Both technically and tactically, it was streets below Newcastle United’s 3-1 Championship win against Brentford in front of 52,000 fans on Saturday. With passes persistently misplaced and first touches consistently suspect, it took an exquisite 25-yard left-foot shot from Watford’s José Holebas to raise the tone. Quite apart from reviving doubts about Aitor Karanka’s slavish devotion to 4-2-3-1, it also raised the question as to whether the Premier League enjoys disproportionate media coverage? Put both these teams in this season’s super competitive Championship and they might well receive a shock. Louise Taylor

8) Real test to come for new-look Southampton

Claude Puel has settled on a reliable formula at Southampton. They have defensive stability, with the goalkeeper Fraser Forster behind centre-halves Virgil van Dijk and José Fonte, and a midfield shield anchored by the destructive Oriol Romeu; their run of six clean sheets in all competitions may have ended in beating Burnley 3-1 but they remain the third tightest defence in the Premier League, with only seven conceded – four of which were penalties. Charlie Austin’s goalscoring touch (seven from seven starts this season) suggests he and Nathan Redmond are clicking in attack, too, but the real test comes now: over the next five weeks Saints face Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Internazionale – twice. It is these fixtures that will reveal exactly what Puel’s new-lookSouthampton can achieve. Lawrence Ostlere

9) Sunderland is a 10-year job not a 10-game one

This would normally be the time when the Sunderland manager’s job starts to come under threat but that is unlikely to happen to David Moyes. When the Scot was appointed at the Stadium of Light in the summer, Ellis Short was gushing in his praise. “He is a man whose football pedigree speaks for itself and is someone I have long admired. He was my number one managerial target for the last five appointments … It is our aim to become a better, stronger and more stable football club.” Short will thus look entirely ridiculous if he gets rid of Moyes anytime soon. Sunderland is a 10-year job, not a 10-game job, and the nature of Moyes’s outstanding work at Everton suggests he is almost a guaranteed success in the long term. Even if Sunderland are relegated, their board should not lose sight of why Moyes was appointed in the first place. Rob Smyth

10) Pulis acquired a gem in Chadli

Tony Pulis was unimpressed with West Brom’s summer transfer activity and was not shy about admitting as much. “The five players that John [Williams, the chairman] has said I was happy with, they weren’t the marquee players I wanted to bring in,” Albion’s coach said. But in the case of Nacer Chadli, Pulis got a gem. Chadli took his tally to four goals in five Premier League games when he put Albion ahead against Tottenham, his former club, on Saturday. He also has two assists to his name since signing and has returned to the Belgium squad. It says much about how highly Chadli, 27, is regarded at Spurs that a large number of the travelling fans applauded him when he was withdrawn at The Hawthorns shortly after scoring. At £13m, he looks like an excellent piece of business on Albion’s part and seems determined to make the most of his new lease of life. Stuart James

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