Week ten was sadly a very dark weekend of Premier League football. The game was rocked by three horrendous headlines affecting a number of clubs. As many try to take stock, here is a look at five things we learned from the weekend’s events on and off the field.
Football must take a back seat in times like these
The bad headlines just kept coming on Saturday. At the 3.00pm kick off at The Amex, an elderly Brighton fan was taken ill at the ground and later passed away, despite the efforts of the first aid staff on the scene. Later on in the afternoon, whilst working on his punditry gig for BT, former England and Spurs legend Glenn Hoddle collapsed with a suspected heart attack and was rushed to hospital, thankfully he has been responsive to initial treatment despite his condition still being classed as serious.
Finally, the entire community of Leicester was left in stunned, sickened grief as news broke on Saturday evening that their chairman’s helicopter crashed just meters from the stadium following their game with West Ham.
Sadly, the popular Foxes chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, has been confirmed as one of five fatalities in this tragic accident. Tributes have of course been pouring in from all over the globe, and for a while, football should rightly take a back seat as the horrible, shocked air of mourning hangs over the King Power Stadium.
Our thoughts go out to everybody associated with the club and the victims.
Bournemouth and Watford continue to earn their stripes
Sitting sixth and seventh respectively in the table; Bournemouth and Watford continue to impress this season. With ten games on the board already, both sides are well on their way to an outstanding season. It would be unfair to dismiss their form as luck or early season rustiness from the competitors.
Eddie Howe and Javi Garcia have got their teams fully firing and free scoring. The likes of Wilson, Brooks and King for Bournemouth, and Pereyra and Deulofeu for Watford, look to have given their teams an extra gear this season, and although there will be more difficult days ahead for them in the Premier League, there is no denying the good work being done at clubs on the smaller side of the top flight scales.
Rotated Reds show they can get the job done
There were a few surprises in the Liverpool line up as Cardiff City came to Anfield on Saturday. A rare start was given to error prone left back Alberto Moreno, plus summer signing Fabinho was given a full Premier League debut. Adam Lallana was preferred to the in-form Xherdan Shaqiri as Klopp rotated and left the Swiss international on the bench, much to the puzzlement of a fair few fans.
Despite a rusty looking performance at times, Liverpool clicked at the right moments and were able to put four past a deep sitting Bluebirds defence. The rotation and rest for some of the key players will be a welcome sign for Liverpool fans, but Mane and Salah were fantastic on the day and still look to be the main match winners for the Reds.
Arsenal show signs of old weaknesses
It may be with some rolling of the eyes that Arsenal fans dismiss criticism levelled at their team following their 2-2 draw with Palace on Sunday. However, like it or not, their old weaknesses reared their head at Selhurt Park.
First, Shkodran Mustafi and then Granit Xhaka clumsily gave away penalties that proved to be decisive in their team dropping points. In fairness, a run of eleven straight wins in all competition has left The Gunners in the top four after ten games, but they will have been disappointed to gift Palace two spot kicks, especially given The Eagles’ recent form. Emery will want to see better concentration and decision making from his players if they are to seriously push for a top four spot this campaign.
United to show more signs of life
Whether or not you feel the penalty awarded to United at Old Trafford against Everton, was soft, you cannot deny this win will have come as a huge relief for Mourinho and the Manchester United faithful. The Toffees will have gone into this game with some confidence after three really impressive wins in the league. However, Mourinho’s players also look to have put their wobbly recent form in the Premier League to bed, at least for now.
It’s now two wins and a draw for United since their squalid display at West Ham, and despite not really firing during their 2-1 victory, they had enough quality to see them through. The performances are hardly likely to wow anybody, anytime soon, but Mourinho needed some momentum to propel his team upwards, they’ll surely take this for now.