Nick Miller breaks down all of the highs and lows from week 4 of the 2018-19 Premier League season in our Weekend Assessment.
Aim of the weekend
It is fairly straightforward to complicate soccer: generally in a great way, generally unnecessarily. Which is why generally it is good to benefit from the easy issues — and what might be extra easy than somebody kicking the ball actually, actually exhausting? So hats off to Alexandre Lacazette, who sealed Arsenal’s win over Cardiff with a tracer bullet that Neil Etheridge did all the things proper to save lots of, nevertheless it was simply too highly effective. Extraordinarily pleasant.
Efficiency of the weekend
Watford, who rallied to beat Tottenham 2-1 on Sunday, are a complicated crew. What number of of their gamers do you suppose the informal fan may title? What number of informal followers may even let you know the title of their supervisor? They modify the person in cost so typically that it is nearly unattainable for the newest incumbent to firmly lodge in anybody’s thoughts, but when Javi Gracia continues like this for for much longer, then he’ll be round for fairly some time.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Watford: if somebody had requested you to foretell one crew that might win their first 4 video games, you’ll in all probability have gotten one proper, perhaps two, however not three. Gracia has received his crew taking part in in an efficient, compact manner with Roberto Pereyra on one flank, Will Hughes tucking in from the opposite, Abdoulaye Doucoure operating their midfield and a few bodily presence up entrance.
It is actually working very nicely in the meanwhile. This can be a membership who’ve handled instability as a advantage all these years, however may now be reaping the advantages of sticking with what they have for as soon as.
Double-edged sword of the weekend
This week has proven you possibly can mainly use any info to again up any argument you need, given a little bit of thought. For instance: in case you needed to make the case that continuity and persistence have been misplaced virtues within the fashionable sport, you could possibly say Tottenham’s win over Manchester United was helped by their lack of summer season switch exercise.
Alternatively, in case you needed to level out that each crew ought to strengthen every time they’ll, you could possibly say Tottenham’s lack of summer season switch exercise left them with no choices once they have been shedding at Vicarage Highway on Sunday.
See how straightforward that was?
The reality in all probability leans extra in direction of the latter, not least as a result of Spurs are one twanged Harry Kane hamstring away from the vaguely harrowing prospect of Fernando Llorente beginning up entrance most weeks. Watford have been the higher crew at Vicarage Highway, but when Spurs had higher choices obtainable to come back off the bench, they nonetheless might need received away with it.
Victory of the weekend
Mauricio Sarri’s predicted date of round October for his Chelsea crew to begin trying like his Chelsea crew remains to be some time away, however they’ve now gained their first 4 video games and sit stage prime of the desk.
Successful whereas the squad familiarise themselves with Sarri’s strategies is clearly good within the short-term, nevertheless it’s helpful for him within the long-term too. In the event that they’re gathering three factors as Sarri is shaping them the gamers will, logically talking, be extra more likely to belief him and his strategies, and thus tackle board what he is saying. A profitable work-in-progress ought to imply that the completed product is all the higher.
Lacking man of the weekend
That is now 12 video games in a row that, when Crystal Palace have performed with out Wilfried Zaha, they’ve misplaced. It is easy to only say a crew cannot carry out as nicely with out their finest participant, however to be so reliant on him is not wholesome. Simply think about in the event that they’d bought him.
Burgeoning disaster of the weekend
Manuel Pellegrini may take consolation in the truth that this is not unprecedented. West Ham misplaced their first 4 video games of the 2010-11, too. The difficulty is, they have been relegated that season. The West Ham board clearly weren’t planning to be in a relegation battle this season, but when that is what their marketing campaign is about to grow to be, one wonders in the event that they actually have the correct supervisor.
Pellegrini has his strengths, however you think digging a crew out of a scrap on the mistaken finish of the desk is not one in all them. And if that is not the place they’re already, that is the place they’re heading: their subsequent three league video games are at Everton (the place they’ve gained as soon as within the final decade), then at dwelling to Manchester United and Chelsea. The ambiance at West Ham is already getting poisonous: think about what it could be like if they do not win any of these upcoming video games.
Cameo of the weekend
Ten minutes, one penalty gained, one pink card. When it comes to worth for cash, it was tough to beat Marcus Rashford’s transient spell on the pitch for Manchester United at Burnley on Sunday.
Luckiest second of the weekend
Jose Mourinho known as Rashford ‘naive’ after the sport, which is true, nevertheless it’s his opponent within the tussle who ought to be criticised essentially the most. Phil Bardsley ought to most actually have been despatched off himself, not for the the pseudo headbutt he returned after Rashford had delivered his, however for the cowardly kick out that began the entire thing off.
Bardsley then seemed shocked and outraged when Rashford retaliated: you may name his response skilled, however actually it was simply sneaky and dishonest. Finally, it did not have a lot impression on the results of the sport, however Bardsley was way more deserving of a pink card than Rashford.
Crew of the weekend
Rui Patricio; Kyle Walker, Craig Cathcart, Joe Gomez, Marcos Alonso; Ruben Neves, James Maddison, Will Hughes; Romelu Lukaku, Raheem Sterling, Glenn Murray