Utd gun poses awkward Ronaldo question; ‘Crazy’ Arsenal gamble implodes: PL Talking Points – Fox Sports - Techy Hunters

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Utd gun poses awkward Ronaldo question; ‘Crazy’ Arsenal gamble implodes: PL Talking Points – Fox Sports

It feels like the season has only just started but already we’re heading into an international break, meaning we have to wait another week to see you-know-who back in the Premier League.

For the first time in history, the two North London rivals are at opposite ends of the table, with Tottenham boasting the Premier League’s only 100 per cent record, while pointless, goalless Arsenal are last.

Here’s everything we learned after another weekend full of blockbuster results and storylines…

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ALL 22 goals from the EPL overnight! | 03:22

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ARSENAL’S LATEST: ‘SHAMBOLIC’ DISPLAY EXPOSED AN ‘EMBARRASSING’ TRUTH. THEY HAVEN’T EVEN HIT ROCK BOTTOM

OLD FIRM: HOW ANGE’S RANGERS MISTAKE IS A ‘METAPHOR’ FOR CELTIC’S BIGGEST FAILURE

PL WRAP: MAN UTD’S ‘MAJOR ISSUE’ RONALDO CAN’T EVEN FIX; CONTENDER’S 72-YEAR FIRST

GREENWOOD POSES AWKWARD RONALDO QUESTION

While an agreement has been reached for Cristiano Ronaldo’s grand return to Old Trafford, we’re still awaiting the official confirmation to arrive before Wednesday morning’s (AEST) deadline, but the result against Wolves threw up a conundrum for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Once again, it was 19-year-old Mason Greenwood who won the points for Manchester United, a week after scoring the goal that rescued a point away to Southampton, playing in his preferred centre-forward position.

He has three goals in three games to start the season and has proven why Solskjaer rates him as the best finisher in the squad.

“The kid is a superstar,” said Tim Sherwood on Optus Sport. “Look at how he’s developing in his stature and in his game. He wants to learn and he looks like he picks the brains of his elders. He’s got the perfect role model coming into the club in Ronaldo to learn off. He will be sensational.”

He’s right that Greenwood will only get better with Ronaldo’s arrival. His application in training is reportedly occasionally not what it should be at United but having the Portuguese’s workrate around him will push him on to new levels – even if he is relegated to the second best finisher at the club.

However, while his development in training will improve with Ronaldo, once everyone is fit, he will likely be the one to drop out of the attacking triumvirate, with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho favourites to flank Ronaldo.

Reducing his time on the pitch could have a detrimental effect on such a gifted player who is destined to be one of the best in the world and leaves Solskjaer with a big headache come the end of the international break, albeit a good one.

RIDICULOUS ARSENAL CALL EXPOSED

Arsenal spent most of the transfer window trying to sell former captain Granit Xhaka to Roma, after deciding the midfielder had become too much of a liability on the pitch and too much of a lightning rod for fan negativity off it.

Then, not only did they not sell manage to sell him, Xhaka was also reinstated as captain in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the opening game of the season, despite telling his own fans to “f*** off” last time he wore the armband.

He then got a new contract to stay at the club, somehow proving himself too valuable to lose during Arsenal’s opening two defeats of the season.

That call backfired dramatically against Manchester City as was sent off for a brainless two-footed challenge with Arsenal already two goals down, with three more still to come.

“He’s just committed to that and we know this is the fourth red card since he’s been an Arsenal player. That’s 11 now in club football,” ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown said. “It’s crazy! It’s crazy why he goes off his feet at that point.

“You just expect so much better from your most experienced player. He’s been given one or two opportunities when people thought his career was over at Arsenal.

“He’s done it so many times. How many times has he done this in his career? I think it’s 44 yellow cards and four red now for Arsenal.”

Xhaka now faces a three-game ban and by the time he returns, he could have a different manager in the dugout after his actions.

Ange’s Celtic go down in Old Firm derby | 01:19

JOSE 2.0 AT SPURS

A Portuguese manager winning three games 1-0 with a tight defence and suddenly finding themselves a surprise title contender? Spurs fans will stop you as they’ve heard this one before.

Time will tell is Nuno Espirito Santo really is Jose Mourinho 2.0 – and if so, which iteration of his compatriot will he be?

So far he has managed to knock off Manchester City in a stubborn performance before taking down Wolves and now Watford to ensure they go into the international break with the only 100 per cent record still remaining in the Premier League.

And a kind fixture run which will see them take one bottom-half clubs in four of their next five games, should keep up the momentum in what was expected to be a tough period of transition for the club.

But now Harry Kane is staying and is reintegrating back into the team which will only make Spurs stronger for the season ahead.

The Mourinho philosophy has always been built on a solid defence and that’s what Nuno is doing at Tottenham, too. So far, so good.

CHELSEA PROVE METTLE AT LIVERPOOL

This Chelsea team looks the real deal.

Not many sides can go down to 10 men against Liverpool at Anfield before half time and come away with a point.

The Blues were tactically flexible, streetwise, smart, resolute and brave as wave after wave of Liverpool attack crashed against their defensive wall.

It left Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp branding them, “the strongest Chelsea team for a long time” – and that’s including the Premier League and Champions League-winning teams iterations he’s faced.

The game was fiery and competitive, like the Jose Mourinho vs Rafael Benitez European slobberknockers of the mid-noughties.

A contentious red card ended what could have been a game of the season contender, but also brought out a side of Chelsea which was more hardened and will see them through the toughest times of this season when they are not on top.

Both Liverpool and Chelsea will be contenders based on this showing, but it’s the Blues whose performance will be the most telling ahead of what proves to be a four-way fight for the title.

Man City hand Arsenal a humiliating loss | 00:47

WHAT STRIKER ISSUE?

This week has been all about Manchester City’s desperate need for a striker and how without one, their title defence is wide open.

How missing out on Harry Kane and then Cristiano Ronaldo has left them embarrassed, especially after deciding against pushing for Lionel Messi for a third time for fear of being used for a new contract.

Yet they turned up and thumped Arsenal for five all the same. It was their second consecutive 5-0 win and, including the end of last season, their third 5-0 home win on the bounce.

All without a striker.

“We don’t need a striker because we scored five goals,” Pep Guardiola said. “You will see during the season how many people say we do [need one] when we don’t win.

“It is a fantastic squad. All I can say is thank you to Txiki [Begiristain] and Ferran [Soriano]. They know I never ask for one player. We try. Sometimes we can do it, and sometimes we don’t.”

It will be a closer-run thing without one, but any team that finishes above City will still be Premier League champions.

BENITEZ BANISHING LIVERPOOL BLUES

Well how about this from Everton?

One of their two supposedly uninspiring signings in Demarai Gray is continuing to inspire, with his second goal in as many games taking Everton to seven points from a possible nine.

The Rafael Benitez effect is clearly rubbing off on his new charges after they became a little wayward under Carlo Ancelotti towards the end of last season.

The 2-0 win to end Brighton’s 100 per cent start to the season was another strong performance as Benitez continued his love affair with Merseyside.

With Burnley, Aston Villa and Norwich City as their next three games, the chances of maintaining this form is bright for Everton.

He may have said they’re not a big club in the past, but he is going about changing that the right way and might just win the Goodison Park faithful over in doing so.

Toffees hand Brighton their first loss | 01:31

WEST HAM CONTINUE TO THRILL

When West Ham fans filed back in to watch their side again after 18 months of being unable to do so due to Covid restrictions, they probably thought they’d walked into the wrong stadium, given the strife the Hammers were in when they were last there.

Since then, they’ve been revolutionised under David Moyes and are genuinely one of the more exciting teams to watch in the Premier League at the moment.

No team has scored more goals than West Ham and no player has scored more than striker Michail Antonio after three games as they sit second in the Premier League at the first international break.

Moyes and his board will be looking to strengthen further and have already brought in Kurt Zouma from Chelsea to shore up the defence and he will make a final push to re-sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United, this time on a permanent basis.

If there is going to be a team to break into the top four this year, it might just be them.



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