Each week, ‘In On Goal’ co-hosts Colin Murray and Dion Dublin give your their expert reaction and analysis from the weekend’s Premier League football. Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.
Everton have had the hardest start of any side in the Premier League this season, having faced Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in their first five games.
There are some who have almost written off their start to the season, believing that normal service would resume after their heaviest defeat to Manchester United two weeks ago. But that simply hasn’t happened in the games that have followed.
With the help of substitute Oumar Niasse to save their blushes late on they secured a valuable three points against Bournemouth last weekend, but they were far from convincing and far from impressive. For a squad that has had £150 million worth of investment this summer, they’ve been a massive disappointment.
Yesterday’s performance against Burnley was woeful. Everyone appreciates that replacing Romelu Lukaku’s 25 goals was always going to be difficult, but this was a toothless and gutless performance from an Everton side hand-picked by Ronald Koeman at significant expense to the club.
Much has been said about the squad needing time to gel together and that confidence is not high, but that doesn’t excuse some of the performances witnessed at Goodison yesterday afternoon.
While there were many who headed straight down the tunnel as boos greeted the final whistle. With sizeable price tags come sizeable expectation, and at £45 million, many are expecting more from Gylfi Sigurdsson who seemed to disappear for 80 minutes of the game yesterday.
In the run of must win games for Koeman (Bournemouth and Burnley at home and an away trip to Brighton in a fortnight’s time) things are not going to plan and the much needed gelling of the squad doesn’t seem to be moving forward at all.
Chris Hughton’s Brighton will be another tough test, and Ronald Koeman will have been hoping to have gone into the international break with a much better points tally than the seven from seven games that see Everton currently sitting 16th in the Premier League.
Koeman certainly has plenty of work to do in the next two weeks if he’s to turn the results around, and turn around the opinion of many who already feel that his job at Goodison is now under serious threat.
Tottenham Hotspur: ‘The Harry Kane team’?
With 13 goals in all competitions in September, Harry Kane looks unstoppable at the moment. Manchester City manager,Pep Guardiola, made an insulting jibe at Spurs by referring to them as ‘The Harry Kane team’ and implied that they’re a one man outfit.
But there is more to Tottenham’s successes this season than just Harry Kane’s centre forward contributions, despite what Guardiola may think!
Anyone who’s watched Tottenham this season will testify that this couldn’t be further from the truth and their 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield on Saturday demonstrated once again that they are probably best equipped to push the two Manchester giants all the way this season in the title race.
It’s imperative that they keep their key players fit, but if they do, they’ll give it a go this season, even if it’s just in the battle for 3rd place.
Have Chelsea just lost the title?
Chelsea’s defeat by Manchester City has effectively turned the Premier League into a 2 horse race this season, and while the London trio of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal will all battle it out for for 3rd and 4th place, the gap is opening up behind City and United.
Chelsea had the opportunity to haul themselves back up with the front runners and put a big dent in Manchester City’s title chances, but another highly impressive performance from the Pep Guardiola team put pay to that, and Antonio Conte already seems resigned to the fact that his side won’t be successfully defending their title this season.
Liverpool’s defensive woes continue
Liverpool’s defensive problems continue as they allowed old boy Jonjo Shelvey to carve them open with a pass to Joselu that went straight through Liverpool’s two centre halves.
It was yet another defensive howler for Klopp’s rear-guard flops and resulted in Josulu levelling for Rafa’s magpies, when Matip’s tackle came off his shin and into the net to make it 1-1.
It cancelled out another brilliant strike from wantaway Philippe Coutinho, that demonstrated once again what a deadly right foot he’s got. Liverpool will always score goals, which is just as well, because until Jurgen Klopp can address the problems at the back and plug their leaky defence, they will need those goals to keep their heads above water.
Reports suggest that Liverpool will attempt once again to prise Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton in January, but until then, much defensive work needs to be done at Melwood in the next 2 weeks, if Klopp is to stop the rot.
Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.