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Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Monday Morning Football: A definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend

It was the weekend that started and ended with familiar problems. West Ham United were shambolic at home, again, as they were thrashed by Brighton on Friday, before first Everton and then Liverpool were undermined by their longstanding defensive issues in a pair of drubbings against north London's finest. Elsewhere, the inquest has begun after Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at Huddersfield Town, while Pep Guardiola’s purring Manchester City machine continued its smooth journey at the top of the Premier League table. We also had great goals – the greatest of the season so far, at least, horror tackles, and a nightmarish pair of missed sitters that will leave the otherwise excellent Richarlison waking up in cold sweats all week. All that, and much more, in our definitive analysis of the Premier League weekend. Whose stock is rising?  Antonio Conte It took guts (or indeed “cojones”) for Conte to replace Alvaro Morata with Michy Batshuayi against Watford, not least because of the pressure he has found himself under in recent weeks following back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Crystal Palace. That pressure was exacerbated by reports this week that the Chelsea players were unhappy with the intensity of Conte’s training regime. But a fightback like the one they performed against Watford, after struggling for long periods of the game, does not seem to be the kind of determined showing produced by players who have lost faith in their manager. Conte celebrates with Batshuayi Credit: Reuters Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Jose Mourinho’s final season as Chelsea manager, when they tailed off spectacularly after winning the title. Yet those performances were defined by Chelsea’s listless, almost shoulder-shrugging performances, and there was nothing of the sort at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Questions remain over the depth of Chelsea’s squad, and how they will cope with the added European workload this season, but on this evidence, and to Conte’s credit, you cannot question their fighting spirit. Riyad Mahrez If Leicester are going to rediscover some consistency this season, it is clear that Mahrez will be at the heart of it. The Algerian seems to have been on a slow but gradual downward trajectory since his wonderful title-winning performances in 2015/16, particularly in terms of delivering the goods in the final third. So it was a pleasing throwback to see him slice through the Swansea defence time and time again on Saturday, fresh from scoring the equaliser against West Brom on Monday. The first, a Federico Fernandez own goal, was created by a whipped Mahrez cross, and the lay-off for the second, finished by Okazaki, was a testament to his awareness and technique. Swansea 0 - 2 Leicester (Shinji Okazaki, 49 min) Most encouraging, though, was the way he linked up with Jamie Vardy in those rapier-like counter-attacks. It really was vintage Leicester and, hopefully for them, a sign that Mahrez has got over the effects of the chaotic summer transfer window in which he held out for a move that never came. Chris Hughton The fallout from West Ham’s humbling at home to Brighton has understandably focused on Slaven Bilic. Rightly so, considering the consistently dour performances West Ham keep producing at the London Stadium. Yet a word of praise is certainly due to Brighton, and Chris Hughton in particular. To go away from home and win 3-0 is a phenomenal result for a club of Brighton’s standing, wherever it is and whoever it is against. Hughton should be a happy man after the victory against West Ham Credit: Getty Images Brighton have so far looked solid at the back this season, but limited going forward. So here was a pleasing releasing of the brakes, with Glenn Murray at the heart of it. Hughton said afterwards he was as happy with the clean sheet as he was with the goals, but Brighton fans will surely be taking more encouragement from the attacking play. It won’t hurt, either, that record £13.5m signing Jose Izquierdo notched his first goal for the club. Leroy Sane Among the constellation of stars in Manchester City’s attack, Sane has stayed further below the radar than any of the others. That is starting to look unfair on the German who, lest we forget, is still just 21 years old. Sane was excellent in the 3-0 win over Burnley and continued a terrific run of individual form. Just look at the stats: Sane has both scored and assisted in three of his last four Premier League games, and has been involved in a total of nine goals in his last six league outings. Sane was clinical against Burnley Credit: Getty Images Sane struggled at times last season following his £37m move from Schalke, taking 13 games to score his first goal for the club and not quite remaining a first-choice in Pep Guardiola’s maiden season in England. He is so much more clinical this time around, though, and seems to be growing in importance with each passing week. Guardiola is reversing the modern-day trend of playing inverted wingers (right-footed wingers playing on the left and vice versa) with Sane and Raheem Sterling this season. By doing so, he is allowing City to maintain their width, but the danger with that is that they might lose some attacking threat without the wide-men darting infield towards goal. Sane’s cutting-edge on the left has ensured that has not been the case. His goal on Saturday, running in behind onto a De Bruyne pass, was the sort of composed finish we have come to expect from Sane this season. Man City 3 - 0 Burnley (Leroy Sané, 75 min) Aaron Ramsey Ramsey was absent for last weekend’s humiliation at Watford, and the Arsenal midfield was overrun without him. Back in the fold for the trip to Goodison Park, he played a crucial role in what was an impressive Arsenal performance against an admittedly struggling Everton side. Ramsey could have scored in the first few minutes as he raced in behind the Everton defence. He eventually did so right at the death, adding further gloss to proceedings with a smartly-taken run and finish. The image of Granit Xhaka standing motionless in midfield as Tom Cleverley scored Watford’s winner last weekend was an indication of Arsenal’s lack of drive and energy without Ramsey. Ramsey celebrates his goal Credit: Getty Images The Welshman can be sloppy at times, and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans perhaps hoping Jack Wilshere will take his first-team place in the long-term, but here was a timely reminder of what he can bring to Arsene Wenger’s side. Whose stock is falling? Jesse Lingard It is perhaps harsh to point the figure at one Manchester United player after their derisory defeat at Huddersfield Town. There were certainly plenty at fault, as manager Jose Mourinho made clear in a remarkable press conference afterwards. Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata were the biggest culprits when it came to the Huddersfield goals, but there was also a real lack of attacking rhythm further forward. At the heart of that was Jesse Lingard, who was a peripheral figure throughout the game. Lingard was one of many United players who struggled at Huddersfield Credit: Getty Images Lingard started in a central position behind Romelu Lukaku, with Mata on the right. That looked a little odd from minute one, and it's safe to say that was not a decision that worked out. It seemed to place too much onus on Lingard, who seems to have fallen further and further down the United pecking order this season. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been in productive form this campaign, especially compared to Lingard. The 24-year-old has scored just one goal in 14 appearances, and that was against Burton in the League Cup. If Lingard has any ambitions of making the England World Cup squad, he needs to do more. Richarlison How different things could have been had Richarlison brought his shooting boots to Stamford Bridge. The Watford winger missed two sitters at a crucial moment in the game, when his side were in the ascendancy. He was still a constant threat, of course, and has been a complete revelation this season. This author would go so far to say he has been one of the players of the campaign so far, and he has scored or assisted more league goals than any other Watford player this season (five). Richarlison after missing from close range Credit: Getty Images Yet just as we heap praise on him for his decisive impact in games against Swansea, West Brom and Arsenal, it should be noted that he fluffed his lines on Saturday and it cost his side three points. As he revealed exclusively to the Telegraph this week, Richarlison is not the kind of player to be cowed or perturbed by his misses, though. Watford face Stoke at home on Saturday and it would take a brave man to bet against him being the primary dangerman once more. Mark Hughes “There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves,” Hughes said after Stoke’s disappointing defeat at home to Bournemouth. The more appropriate response would be anger. That was certainly the reaction from some in the Stoke fanbase, increasingly concerned that their long-standing solidity is slipping away. The defeat left Stoke in the relegation zone and more worrying would have been the manner of the goals they conceded. Andrew Surman’s calm finish for the first was perfectly placed, but he would never have had the opportunity if one of four dozing Stoke players had tracked the run of Adam Smith in the build-up. And the penalty, conceded by Ryan Shawcross, was a classic case of rustiness in his first game since August. Stoke 0 - 1 Bournemouth (Andrew Surman, 16 min) There are two factors that need mentioning at this point: Stoke have had a tough run of fixtures so far this season, and they have a history of starting slowly before building momentum. Yet this was  still a genuinely worrying result. Stoke face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace in their next four games. If things don’t improve by the end of November, the calls for a managerial change will escalate dramatically. Jose Mourinho Yes, that makes two Manchester United inclusions in one week. That is hopefully an indication of just how bad they were at Huddersfield, and a big chunk of the blame for that must be attributed to Mourinho. The United manager was very calm in his post-match press conference, but he was brutal in the assessment of his players and their terrible approach to the game. Mourinho blamed his squad's attitude for their defeat Credit: Getty Images “I heard that Ander Herrera is in interviews and he is saying that the attitude and the desire was poor,” Mourinho said. “My God. When a player says that and feels that, I think they should all go to the press conference and explain why, because I can’t explain that.” Hang on. Are we missing something here? Is it not Mourinho’s job as manager to ensure the attitude of his player is up to scratch? Mourinho is never afraid of diversionary tactics after a defeat, but this felt like an odd removal of blame from himself. They are your players, Jose. Motivate them. Yohan Cabaye The ‘villain of the weekend’ title this time falls to Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye, for producing a grim, wince-inducing scissor-challenge on Newcastle’s DeAndre Yedlin. It was nasty, and it was made worse by the fact it was against his old club, at the stadium he was once so revered. Cabaye should have been sent off, but for Newcastle there was to be great joy in the Frenchman staying on the pitch, as it allowed the ever-subtle Jonjo Shelvey to celebrate Mikel Merino’s winner accordingly: Anybody else spot Shelvey celebrating Merino’s goal with Cabaye? �� pic.twitter.com/veeKRa7F0f— Newcastle Stats (@NewcastleStats) October 21, 2017 Five mind-boggling stats   11 - Since the start of the 2015/16 season, Swansea have scored 11 Premier League own goals. That is more than twice as many as any other side. 14 - Liverpool have now conceded more away goals than they did in the entirety of the 2008-9 league campaign, when they finished runners-up.  18 - Since Slaven Bilic started as West Ham manager, his side have conceded 18 penalties. That’s four more than anyone else. 19 -Chelsea defenders have scored a combined 19 goals since the start of last season, more than any other side. 133 - There were just 133 seconds between Bournemouth’s first and second goals against Stoke City on Saturday. Jason Burt's team of the weekend Goal of the weekend Forget goal of the weekend, this could be the goal of the season. Until now, Sofiane Boufal has resoundingly failed to impress in a Southampton shirt since his £16m move from Lille last year. What he has shown, though, is that he is capable of scoring special goals. His slaloming run electrified a lifeless game against West Brom at St Mary’s, and was made all the better by the way he caused two West Brom players to wipe each other out. And after all that, he had the composure to roll home a measured finish.  A special mention, too, for Surman’s strike for Bournemouth at Stoke, which was as aesthetically pleasing as they come. Southampton 1 - 0 West Brom (Sofiane Boufal, 85 min) Jason Burt's team of the weekend *Formation builder particle to go here* One key question for this week How long can Jurgen Klopp persist with Dejan Lovren? Has this not gone too far, for too long, now? Lovren has been wobbly all season, and it reached a nadir in those first 30 minutes against Tottenham. His work for the first two Tottenham goals, scored by Harry Kane and then Son Heung-min, was a complete abandonment of the most basic rules of defending. Lovren had an afternoon to forget Credit: Getty Images Lovren, clearly, has a been a problem for a while. That is why Liverpool were so keen to sign Virgil Van Dijk in the summer. But does Klopp not have enough options at the club already, not least moving the impressive Joe Gomez into the centre of defence? Ragnar Klavan is around, too, although he hardly inspires confidence either. When he is good, which he has been at times, Lovren is an agressive, front-foot defender who likes to come forward. His major problems appear to start when he is turned. So you can understand why he would want to step up for both the Tottenham goals, but it was the wrong time, the wrong place and the worst execution. Increasingly, Lovren looks to be the wrong man for the job, and we wait to see just how damaged he is by being hauled out of the game after just half an hour. Who's showing the most cards? How is the table looking? Off the Ball, by Dan Zeqiri Alternative analysis Arsene Wenger's 68th Birthday wishes:  - Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to sign new deals   - A European trophy  - Some atmosphere at the Emirates  - Jose Mourinho to contract a tropical disease - How to cope with retirement self-help book  On this day in 1940  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele, was born. The great man went on to score more than 1,000 goals in a garlanded career.  Picture of the weekend  One Arsenal fan went home with a souvenir  One Arsenal fan let a 5-2 win at Everton go to his head, but he did go home with Jack Wilshere's shirt for his trouble. Commentary of the weekend  'I don't want to jump into Dejan Lovren's nightmare' - Psychic Jamie Redknapp decides against entering the hapless Liverpool defender's mind. After a disastrous 30 minutes at Wembley, he's certainly in for some sleepless nights.   Made-up stat 9 - Weeks before Jose Mourinho lets Victor Lindelof train with the first-team again.  Tweet of the weekend #SharkTeam at it again ������— Benjamin Mendy (@benmendy23) October 21, 2017 Mendy was at again too, in his new role as Manchester City's chief cheerleader. Some City fans have even taken to inflatable sharks in a nod to their cult hero.  Race for the Golden Boot  What's coming up next? What's on TV this week? Tuesday:Swansea City v Manchester United, League Cup, 19.45, Sky Sports Wednesday: Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, League Cup, 20.00, Sky Sports Friday: Leeds United v Sheffield United, Championship, 19.45, Sky Sports Saturday: Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, 12.30, Sky Sports; Bournemouth v Chelsea, Premier League, 17.30, BT Sport Sunday: Brighton v Southampton, Premier League 13.30, Premier League, Sky Sports; Leicester City v Everton, Premier League, 16.00, Premier League, Sky Sports

Stoke board refuses to panic after Bournemouth defeat, as Mark Hughes denies club are 'in crisis'

Stoke’s board are refusing to panic despite sitting just above the relegation zone, while manager Mark Hughes insists the club is not in “crisis”. Yet the next four games could prove crucial to Hughes, as he faces mounting pressure from supporters and the greatest challenge of his four-and-a-half year reign. After this chastening defeat against a Bournemouth team with four successive away defeats before Saturday, Stoke will now face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace. It promises to prove a pivotal sequence for Hughes, who can at least take solace in the fact that Peter Coates remains the most sensible chairman in the Premier League. Coates has only employed two managers since returning to the club in 2006. The problems are piling up for Hughes, however, who has many players badly out of form and a team that cannot stop leaking soft goals. Junior Stanislas celebrates after scoring Bournemouth's second from the spot Credit: CAMERASPORT Recruitment remains a major issue, with over £45m spent on Kevin Wimmer and Saido Berahino (both on the bench here) and record signing Giannelli Imbula (on loan at Toulouse). “It’s not a crisis in my view. We are in a situation in terms of league position, but we do have good games coming up. We’ll be fine,” said Hughes. “We are very rarely are in the bottom three when the season finishes and we always judge our season on what happens at the end of 38 games rather than eight or nine games. “The fans have a management team that has been in these situations before and been successful so I don’t think they need to worry. It’s about letting good people get on with their jobs and coming through these periods.” Hughes has lost the support of many Stoke fans Credit: reuters Bournemouth’s first points on the road this season were secured within two first-half minutes, after a fine strike from Andrew Surman and a Junior Stanislas penalty. Stoke did respond in the second half, with a goal from Mame Diouf, but one win in eight underlines why Hughes is up against it. Bournemouth are now hopeful of moving out of the bottom three and Surman, the midfielder, believes they displayed another side to their game at the bet365 Stadium. “It’s not all about fancy football.  You’ve got to dig deep and show character and I think that would surprise people,” he said. “I’ve heard people say we play pretty football and we’re a bit soft, things like that, but we don’t believe we are. We've got Chelsea next week but if we keep playing this I'm sure we'll be fine."

Stoke board refuses to panic after Bournemouth defeat, as Mark Hughes denies club are 'in crisis'

Stoke’s board are refusing to panic despite sitting just above the relegation zone, while manager Mark Hughes insists the club is not in “crisis”. Yet the next four games could prove crucial to Hughes, as he faces mounting pressure from supporters and the greatest challenge of his four-and-a-half year reign. After this chastening defeat against a Bournemouth team with four successive away defeats before Saturday, Stoke will now face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace. It promises to prove a pivotal sequence for Hughes, who can at least take solace in the fact that Peter Coates remains the most sensible chairman in the Premier League. Coates has only employed two managers since returning to the club in 2006. The problems are piling up for Hughes, however, who has many players badly out of form and a team that cannot stop leaking soft goals. Junior Stanislas celebrates after scoring Bournemouth's second from the spot Credit: CAMERASPORT Recruitment remains a major issue, with over £45m spent on Kevin Wimmer and Saido Berahino (both on the bench here) and record signing Giannelli Imbula (on loan at Toulouse). “It’s not a crisis in my view. We are in a situation in terms of league position, but we do have good games coming up. We’ll be fine,” said Hughes. “We are very rarely are in the bottom three when the season finishes and we always judge our season on what happens at the end of 38 games rather than eight or nine games. “The fans have a management team that has been in these situations before and been successful so I don’t think they need to worry. It’s about letting good people get on with their jobs and coming through these periods.” Hughes has lost the support of many Stoke fans Credit: reuters Bournemouth’s first points on the road this season were secured within two first-half minutes, after a fine strike from Andrew Surman and a Junior Stanislas penalty. Stoke did respond in the second half, with a goal from Mame Diouf, but one win in eight underlines why Hughes is up against it. Bournemouth are now hopeful of moving out of the bottom three and Surman, the midfielder, believes they displayed another side to their game at the bet365 Stadium. “It’s not all about fancy football.  You’ve got to dig deep and show character and I think that would surprise people,” he said. “I’ve heard people say we play pretty football and we’re a bit soft, things like that, but we don’t believe we are. We've got Chelsea next week but if we keep playing this I'm sure we'll be fine."

Stoke board refuses to panic after Bournemouth defeat, as Mark Hughes denies club are 'in crisis'

Stoke’s board are refusing to panic despite sitting just above the relegation zone, while manager Mark Hughes insists the club is not in “crisis”. Yet the next four games could prove crucial to Hughes, as he faces mounting pressure from supporters and the greatest challenge of his four-and-a-half year reign. After this chastening defeat against a Bournemouth team with four successive away defeats before Saturday, Stoke will now face Watford, Leicester, Brighton and Crystal Palace. It promises to prove a pivotal sequence for Hughes, who can at least take solace in the fact that Peter Coates remains the most sensible chairman in the Premier League. Coates has only employed two managers since returning to the club in 2006. The problems are piling up for Hughes, however, who has many players badly out of form and a team that cannot stop leaking soft goals. Junior Stanislas celebrates after scoring Bournemouth's second from the spot Credit: CAMERASPORT Recruitment remains a major issue, with over £45m spent on Kevin Wimmer and Saido Berahino (both on the bench here) and record signing Giannelli Imbula (on loan at Toulouse). “It’s not a crisis in my view. We are in a situation in terms of league position, but we do have good games coming up. We’ll be fine,” said Hughes. “We are very rarely are in the bottom three when the season finishes and we always judge our season on what happens at the end of 38 games rather than eight or nine games. “The fans have a management team that has been in these situations before and been successful so I don’t think they need to worry. It’s about letting good people get on with their jobs and coming through these periods.” Hughes has lost the support of many Stoke fans Credit: reuters Bournemouth’s first points on the road this season were secured within two first-half minutes, after a fine strike from Andrew Surman and a Junior Stanislas penalty. Stoke did respond in the second half, with a goal from Mame Diouf, but one win in eight underlines why Hughes is up against it. Bournemouth are now hopeful of moving out of the bottom three and Surman, the midfielder, believes they displayed another side to their game at the bet365 Stadium. “It’s not all about fancy football.  You’ve got to dig deep and show character and I think that would surprise people,” he said. “I’ve heard people say we play pretty football and we’re a bit soft, things like that, but we don’t believe we are. We've got Chelsea next week but if we keep playing this I'm sure we'll be fine."

Angelo Ogbonna Offers Dubious Excuse as to Why His Instagram Account 'Liked' #BilicOut Comment

​Angelo Ogbonna has offered a peculiar explanation as to why his Instagram account was exposed 'liking' a fan's comment that read '#BilicOut'. It was another terrible performance on Saturday from the Hammers on Friday night against Brighton, who romped to a 3-0 victory at the London Stadium to leave Slaven Bilic on the brink of the sack. The Croatian is currently under review from club officials, with the club having won just two games under his guidance so far this season. Calls of #BilicOut...

Angelo Ogbonna Offers Dubious Excuse as to Why His Instagram Account 'Liked' #BilicOut Comment

​Angelo Ogbonna has offered a peculiar explanation as to why his Instagram account was exposed 'liking' a fan's comment that read '#BilicOut'. It was another terrible performance on Saturday from the Hammers on Friday night against Brighton, who romped to a 3-0 victory at the London Stadium to leave Slaven Bilic on the brink of the sack. The Croatian is currently under review from club officials, with the club having won just two games under his guidance so far this season. Calls of #BilicOut...

Angelo Ogbonna Offers Dubious Excuse as to Why His Instagram Account 'Liked' #BilicOut Comment

​Angelo Ogbonna has offered a peculiar explanation as to why his Instagram account was exposed 'liking' a fan's comment that read '#BilicOut'. It was another terrible performance on Saturday from the Hammers on Friday night against Brighton, who romped to a 3-0 victory at the London Stadium to leave Slaven Bilic on the brink of the sack. The Croatian is currently under review from club officials, with the club having won just two games under his guidance so far this season. Calls of #BilicOut...

Slaven Bilic clinging to West Ham job as club consider whether any replacements would be available mid-season

Slaven Bilic is clinging to his West Ham United job as the club weigh up whether any of his potential replacements would be available mid-season. And the Hammers could face a battle with Leicester City if they decide to sack Bilic and pursue one of their top targets, Manuel Pellegrini. Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton has left Bilic on the brink and the Croatian may only have the games against Tottenham Hotspur, in the Carabao Cup, and Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday to save his job. But complicating West Ham’s decision is the fact they do not want to follow Leicester’s example and sack a manager without having a replacement lined up. Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner would be West Ham’s top target if Bilic left, but the German has already indicated that he would rather see out the season with the Terriers following interest from Leicester. West Ham would face a battle with Leicester for Manuel Pellegrini's services Credit: AFP/Getty Images Former Manchester City manager Pellegrini is also high on the list of candidates the Hammers would consider, but the Chilean could be hard to prize out of his lucrative Hebei China Fortune contract. Pellegrini has the attraction of winning the Premier League title and League Cup during three years at City and also managed Real Madrid. The 64-year-old is on the list of managers Leicester want to speak to about replacing Craig Shakespeare. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, the Foxes have spoken to former Southampton manager Claude Puel while Sean Dyche and Roberto Mancini have been linked with the post. Other than Wagner and Pellegrini, West Ham remain admirers of Rafa Benitez, who they almost appointed ahead of Bilic, but the takeover of Newcastle United could help persuade the Spaniard to stay put. Benitez has already spoken about his excitement over the prospect of unlocking the “massive potential” of Newcastle with fresh financial backing. Benitez has also been linked to the job Credit: AFP/Getty Images With Bilic in the final year of his contract, the Hammers would prefer to see out the season before deciding whether to make a change. But that may not be possible if results do not significantly improve with the mood around the London Stadium turning angry on Friday night. There was no emergency meeting called for Saturday, with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold reluctant to make a knee-jerk decision. But the club are alarmed at the start to the season and, in particular, the form of Bilic’s big summer signings – especially Marko Arnautovic who has struggled since his move from Stoke City for a fee which could rise to £24million. Arnautovic was booed off when he was substituted during the Brighton defeat and it was noted that he failed to get the better of a right-back, Bruno, who is 37 years old. Marko Arnautovic has disappointed since his summer move Credit:  REUTERS There is a feeling within the club that the squad is better suited to playing with three central defenders, but Bilic is persisting with a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation to try and accommodate Arnautovic and another of his big signings, Javier Hernandez. There are also ongoing concerns over the fitness of the squad, the training techniques used by Bilic and the injury record. It all points to a change being made, although Bilic was in a similarly difficult situation when he went to Palace last season, switched to three-at-the-back, and won. Another concern is that, for the first time, Bilic appears unable to motivate the players and there was no response from them during the Brighton game. Following the defeat to Brighton, Bilic said: “It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It’s their decision … I have to say sorry to the fans. It’s not the first time. They deserve better than this.”

Slaven Bilic clinging to West Ham job as club consider whether any replacements would be available mid-season

Slaven Bilic is clinging to his West Ham United job as the club weigh up whether any of his potential replacements would be available mid-season. And the Hammers could face a battle with Leicester City if they decide to sack Bilic and pursue one of their top targets, Manuel Pellegrini. Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton has left Bilic on the brink and the Croatian may only have the games against Tottenham Hotspur, in the Carabao Cup, and Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday to save his job. But complicating West Ham’s decision is the fact they do not want to follow Leicester’s example and sack a manager without having a replacement lined up. Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner would be West Ham’s top target if Bilic left, but the German has already indicated that he would rather see out the season with the Terriers following interest from Leicester. West Ham would face a battle with Leicester for Manuel Pellegrini's services Credit: AFP/Getty Images Former Manchester City manager Pellegrini is also high on the list of candidates the Hammers would consider, but the Chilean could be hard to prize out of his lucrative Hebei China Fortune contract. Pellegrini has the attraction of winning the Premier League title and League Cup during three years at City and also managed Real Madrid. The 64-year-old is on the list of managers Leicester want to speak to about replacing Craig Shakespeare. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, the Foxes have spoken to former Southampton manager Claude Puel while Sean Dyche and Roberto Mancini have been linked with the post. Other than Wagner and Pellegrini, West Ham remain admirers of Rafa Benitez, who they almost appointed ahead of Bilic, but the takeover of Newcastle United could help persuade the Spaniard to stay put. Benitez has already spoken about his excitement over the prospect of unlocking the “massive potential” of Newcastle with fresh financial backing. Benitez has also been linked to the job Credit: AFP/Getty Images With Bilic in the final year of his contract, the Hammers would prefer to see out the season before deciding whether to make a change. But that may not be possible if results do not significantly improve with the mood around the London Stadium turning angry on Friday night. There was no emergency meeting called for Saturday, with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold reluctant to make a knee-jerk decision. But the club are alarmed at the start to the season and, in particular, the form of Bilic’s big summer signings – especially Marko Arnautovic who has struggled since his move from Stoke City for a fee which could rise to £24million. Arnautovic was booed off when he was substituted during the Brighton defeat and it was noted that he failed to get the better of a right-back, Bruno, who is 37 years old. Marko Arnautovic has disappointed since his summer move Credit:  REUTERS There is a feeling within the club that the squad is better suited to playing with three central defenders, but Bilic is persisting with a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation to try and accommodate Arnautovic and another of his big signings, Javier Hernandez. There are also ongoing concerns over the fitness of the squad, the training techniques used by Bilic and the injury record. It all points to a change being made, although Bilic was in a similarly difficult situation when he went to Palace last season, switched to three-at-the-back, and won. Another concern is that, for the first time, Bilic appears unable to motivate the players and there was no response from them during the Brighton game. Following the defeat to Brighton, Bilic said: “It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It’s their decision … I have to say sorry to the fans. It’s not the first time. They deserve better than this.”

Slaven Bilic clinging to West Ham job as club consider whether any replacements would be available mid-season

Slaven Bilic is clinging to his West Ham United job as the club weigh up whether any of his potential replacements would be available mid-season. And the Hammers could face a battle with Leicester City if they decide to sack Bilic and pursue one of their top targets, Manuel Pellegrini. Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton has left Bilic on the brink and the Croatian may only have the games against Tottenham Hotspur, in the Carabao Cup, and Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday to save his job. But complicating West Ham’s decision is the fact they do not want to follow Leicester’s example and sack a manager without having a replacement lined up. Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner would be West Ham’s top target if Bilic left, but the German has already indicated that he would rather see out the season with the Terriers following interest from Leicester. West Ham would face a battle with Leicester for Manuel Pellegrini's services Credit: AFP/Getty Images Former Manchester City manager Pellegrini is also high on the list of candidates the Hammers would consider, but the Chilean could be hard to prize out of his lucrative Hebei China Fortune contract. Pellegrini has the attraction of winning the Premier League title and League Cup during three years at City and also managed Real Madrid. The 64-year-old is on the list of managers Leicester want to speak to about replacing Craig Shakespeare. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, the Foxes have spoken to former Southampton manager Claude Puel while Sean Dyche and Roberto Mancini have been linked with the post. Other than Wagner and Pellegrini, West Ham remain admirers of Rafa Benitez, who they almost appointed ahead of Bilic, but the takeover of Newcastle United could help persuade the Spaniard to stay put. Benitez has already spoken about his excitement over the prospect of unlocking the “massive potential” of Newcastle with fresh financial backing. Benitez has also been linked to the job Credit: AFP/Getty Images With Bilic in the final year of his contract, the Hammers would prefer to see out the season before deciding whether to make a change. But that may not be possible if results do not significantly improve with the mood around the London Stadium turning angry on Friday night. There was no emergency meeting called for Saturday, with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold reluctant to make a knee-jerk decision. But the club are alarmed at the start to the season and, in particular, the form of Bilic’s big summer signings – especially Marko Arnautovic who has struggled since his move from Stoke City for a fee which could rise to £24million. Arnautovic was booed off when he was substituted during the Brighton defeat and it was noted that he failed to get the better of a right-back, Bruno, who is 37 years old. Marko Arnautovic has disappointed since his summer move Credit:  REUTERS There is a feeling within the club that the squad is better suited to playing with three central defenders, but Bilic is persisting with a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation to try and accommodate Arnautovic and another of his big signings, Javier Hernandez. There are also ongoing concerns over the fitness of the squad, the training techniques used by Bilic and the injury record. It all points to a change being made, although Bilic was in a similarly difficult situation when he went to Palace last season, switched to three-at-the-back, and won. Another concern is that, for the first time, Bilic appears unable to motivate the players and there was no response from them during the Brighton game. Following the defeat to Brighton, Bilic said: “It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It’s their decision … I have to say sorry to the fans. It’s not the first time. They deserve better than this.”

Slaven Bilic clinging to West Ham job as club consider whether any replacements would be available mid-season

Slaven Bilic is clinging to his West Ham United job as the club weigh up whether any of his potential replacements would be available mid-season. And the Hammers could face a battle with Leicester City if they decide to sack Bilic and pursue one of their top targets, Manuel Pellegrini. Friday night’s 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton has left Bilic on the brink and the Croatian may only have the games against Tottenham Hotspur, in the Carabao Cup, and Crystal Palace in the Premier League next Saturday to save his job. But complicating West Ham’s decision is the fact they do not want to follow Leicester’s example and sack a manager without having a replacement lined up. Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner would be West Ham’s top target if Bilic left, but the German has already indicated that he would rather see out the season with the Terriers following interest from Leicester. West Ham would face a battle with Leicester for Manuel Pellegrini's services Credit: AFP/Getty Images Former Manchester City manager Pellegrini is also high on the list of candidates the Hammers would consider, but the Chilean could be hard to prize out of his lucrative Hebei China Fortune contract. Pellegrini has the attraction of winning the Premier League title and League Cup during three years at City and also managed Real Madrid. The 64-year-old is on the list of managers Leicester want to speak to about replacing Craig Shakespeare. As revealed by Telegraph Sport, the Foxes have spoken to former Southampton manager Claude Puel while Sean Dyche and Roberto Mancini have been linked with the post. Other than Wagner and Pellegrini, West Ham remain admirers of Rafa Benitez, who they almost appointed ahead of Bilic, but the takeover of Newcastle United could help persuade the Spaniard to stay put. Benitez has already spoken about his excitement over the prospect of unlocking the “massive potential” of Newcastle with fresh financial backing. Benitez has also been linked to the job Credit: AFP/Getty Images With Bilic in the final year of his contract, the Hammers would prefer to see out the season before deciding whether to make a change. But that may not be possible if results do not significantly improve with the mood around the London Stadium turning angry on Friday night. There was no emergency meeting called for Saturday, with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold reluctant to make a knee-jerk decision. But the club are alarmed at the start to the season and, in particular, the form of Bilic’s big summer signings – especially Marko Arnautovic who has struggled since his move from Stoke City for a fee which could rise to £24million. Arnautovic was booed off when he was substituted during the Brighton defeat and it was noted that he failed to get the better of a right-back, Bruno, who is 37 years old. Marko Arnautovic has disappointed since his summer move Credit:  REUTERS There is a feeling within the club that the squad is better suited to playing with three central defenders, but Bilic is persisting with a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation to try and accommodate Arnautovic and another of his big signings, Javier Hernandez. There are also ongoing concerns over the fitness of the squad, the training techniques used by Bilic and the injury record. It all points to a change being made, although Bilic was in a similarly difficult situation when he went to Palace last season, switched to three-at-the-back, and won. Another concern is that, for the first time, Bilic appears unable to motivate the players and there was no response from them during the Brighton game. Following the defeat to Brighton, Bilic said: “It is not a good situation and the board will do what they are going to do. It’s their decision … I have to say sorry to the fans. It’s not the first time. They deserve better than this.”

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

Slaven Bilic takes 'full responsibility' after Brighton heap more misery on West Ham

David Sullivan backed Slaven Bilic to see out West Ham contract before heavy loss to Brighton

David Sullivan backed Slaven Bilic to see out West Ham contract before heavy loss to Brighton

I don't want to hide - Bilic takes responsibility for humbling West Ham defeat

West Ham produced a woeful performance as they went down to Brighton and Slaven Bilic has taken responsibility.

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