THE PREMIER LEAGUE WEEK 2

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  • THE PREMIER LEAGUE ENTERED ITS SECOND WEEK
  • LIVERPOOL’S PROBLEM IS BASED ON INJURIES
  • TUCHEL UNDER FA PROBE
  • MAN UNITED TRAILING ON THE TABLE

 

The Premier League entered its second week as Man United suffered another blow early in this new campaign. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was apparently the problem, then it was Ralf Rangnick. Now Erik ten Hag is under the spotlight. The Dutchman, who is undoubtedly an excellent coach given his success at Ajax, faces an almost impossible task in Manchester. His players simply aren’t good enough. He needs more signings, but there’s no guarantee he’ll get them all.

It’s almost impressive that Manchester United consistently seem to find ways to sink even deeper. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, they manage to concede four goals in 35 minutes at Brentford and drop to the bottom of the Premier League table. In an astonishing first half in some intense west London heat, Manchester United put in one of their worst performances in 30 years of playing in the Premier League – with Ten Hag’s mistake-laden side doing their new manager no favors.

 

 

David de Gea- premier league Man United
David de Gear admitted making silly mistakes in the defeat at Brentford. Image skysports

 

WORRIES AND PROBLEMS FOR MAN UNITED

 

Stretching back to last season, United have lost nine of their past 14 competitive games and six of their past eight. That’s relegation form by anyone’s standards.No one is suggesting that could possibly happen, but they look like a team who don’t know where their next goal wil be coming from, let alone their next win. Man  United’s next two home games are against a not soo convincing yet possibly lethal Liverppol  and a rejuvaneted Arsenal, with trips to Southampton  and Leicester sandwiched in between. The start to the season is already a disaster, but it could get even worse.

There are plenty of issues for Erik ten Hag to wade through following the humiliation at Brentford  on Saturday, and new signing Lisandro Martinez  is one of them. There has been debate about whether the Argentinian  man can handle the physicality of the Premier League since his move from Ajax Amsterdam, and it was noticeable that he was targeted by Brentford with long balls.

Ten Hag replaced Martinez at half-time and brought on Raphael Varane in his place, and while it’s still very early, there will be concern that Ten Hag has got one of his key summer signings wrong. You only have to look at the players brought in and the other names linked with moves to see that Ten Hag has been central to United’s recruitment this summer, and Martinez’s performance at Brentford does not reflect well at all.

 

 

Ronaldo and mates - premier league United
A dejected Man United side during the massacre at Brentford- Image The Telegraph

 

 

Erik ten Hag gave an immediate response to saturday’s deafeat by cancelling a planned day off for his  squad and told the players to make up for being outrun by their opponents at the Gtech Community Stadium during the extra session. He ordered his players to cover 8.5 miles during training at Carrington, pointing out that Brentford had run 8.5 miles more than they had during the game.But the 52-year-old has become the first manager to lose each of his first two games in charge of United since John Chapman in November 1921. Thomas Frank’s team covered 67.9 miles across the 90 minutes while Ten Hag’s players registered 59.4 miles.

 

TOUCHLINE BRAWL

 

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte previously only had nice things to say about each other, but Sunday’s controversial 2-2 draw  between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur  brought out clashes that will surely ignite a fresh managerial rivalry between the two. On an unusually hot London afternoon, the temperatures were at their highest on the touchline as first Conte and then Tuchel took turns to celebrate with increasing antagonism as the teams traded blows in a pulsating 90-minute encounter. Twice, they had to be separated by players and staff from both clubs, the second time after a handshake during which Tuchel took umbrage at Conte’s lack of eye contact prompting an unwanted reaction.

Referee Anthony Taylor sent both managers off at the final whistle as Spurs celebrated salvaging a point from an underwhelming display through talisman Harry Kane’s   96th-minute header. Tuchel launched a furious attack on Taylor afterward, claiming he should not be allowed to officiate Chelsa games in future — a suggestion that is almost certain to land him in more hot water with the Football Association — but it was his fracas with Conte that drew the most attention.##

Apparently, it has been confirmed that Thomas Tuchel is being investigated by the English Football Association (FA) over the comments he made regarding referee Anthony Taylor on Sunday.The Blues  were leading 1-0 when Pierre Emile Hojberg   fired home an equaliser in a move which began with what appeared to be a foul by Rodrigo Bentancur on Kai Havertz prompting an instant response by Tuchel.

 

 

Tuchel and Conte-  brawl
Tuchel and Conte facing off at the Bridge. Image Flipboard

 

 

Right back Reece James restored the home side’s lead with 13 minutes remaining but deep into stoppage time,Christian Romero  escaped punishment as he pulled Marc cucurella  back by his hair as the pair jostled from a corner and when play restarted,Harry Kane  nodded in substitute Ivan Perisic’s   96th-minute corner to salvage a point. Both Tottenham goals triggered angry clashes between Tuchel and his Spurs counterpart Antonio Conte. Taylor showed both managers the red card at full-time and therefore each will receive a one-game touchline ban.

The Chelsea head coach suggested “maybe it would be better” if Taylor didn’t officiate in matches involving Chelsea”  in the future as he vented his fury over how both Spurs goals were allowed to stand at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s frustrations with Taylor date back several years. He allowed Manchester United captain Harry Maguire to escape punishment for kicking Michy Batshuayi in a Premier League game during February 2020, a judgement then boss Frank Lampard described as “a wrong decision”. Chelsea and Tottenham have a long-standing and bitter rivalry. But here was a new chapter, and with Spurs harboring aims under Conte to close the gap on the Premier League’s finest sides, it might be set to run and run.

 

ARSENAL ON THE RISE

 

Gabriel Jesus marked his home debut against Leicester City  following a £45 million move from Manchester City with precisely the sort of all-action display he was signed for. The 25-year-old curled home his first Premier League goal for Arsenal  with a clever 23rd-minute finish before a back-post header doubled his contribution 12 minutes later. Jesus also registered two assists  for a rejuvaneted Granit Xhaka and a Gabriel Martinelli  as the Gunners maintained their 100% record at the start of the season with a 4-2 win at the  Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Jesus was always expected to set the Arsenal press with his energetic running, but the great unknown factor was whether he could prove prolific in front of goal away from the relentless chance-creating machine that is Manchester City. Tougher challenges await, but this was a hugely encouraging way to start for the Brazilian.

 

 

Gabriel Jesus-  Arsenal
Arsenal’s Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus controls the ball during a club friendly football match between Arsenal and Sevilla at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 30, 2022. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

 

INJURIES A CONCERN AT ANFIELD 

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised new signing Darwin Nuneze’s  physicality and technical ability, saying the striker’s critics had not given him enough time to adapt to his new surroundings before judging his capabilities.

Nunez, who was signed from portuguese side Benfica  for 75 Million Euros, came under criticism after failing to impress in a 4-0 preseason defeat by Manchester United . After his early struggles, the Uruguayan scored four goals in a preseason friendly against RB Leipzig  and found the net in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Man City  in the Community Shield as well as their draw at Fulham in his side’s Premier League curtain-raiser last week.

Klopp stressed the importance of allowing players to settle in their new teams, and reterated that  City’s marquee signing Erling Haaland had also been subjected to premature criticism. Haaland missed several chances and struggled to link up with his new team mates in the Community Shield defeat, but scored twice against West Ham United  on his league debut and recorded an assist in City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp has reiterated the message that Liverpool will only consider signing the ‘right midfielder’ this summer but admitted the transfer market remains a potential ‘solution’. The Reds already find themselves limited in this department having suffered injury blows to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcantara, leading to many supporters demanding the club to recruit in this area.

The 2020/21 season acts as the evidence as to how quickly a season can unravel when injuries begin to mount within the side, though this is something the Liverpool boss will require no reminding of.  Klopp will hope to avoid a similar scenario playing out in midfield this campaign, but has stressed the club will not panic-buy before the window slams shut. The English Premier league will surely rise to the occasion again as it is evident that no team can be underrated for lack of big names in their side.

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