Theo Walcott may not get his chance in the middle after all
Arsenal managed to get their first win on the board in the 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon, but it was the sight of Theo Walcott sitting on the bench that proved to be the most telling.
Having agreed a new contract at the start of the campaign, Walcott shone in pre-season and looked set to play through the middle, with serious questions being asked over the suitability of Olivier Giroud.
However, Giroud has started both the defeat to West Ham and the victory over the Eagles, and Walcott did not even come off the bench on Sunday given that Alexis Sanchez returned to the side following his late start to the season. If Walcott is no longer in the running as a right midfielder and playing second choice to Giroud, it could be yet another season of frustration for the England international.
Manchester City may have dealt themselves a blow in beating Chelsea so comfortably
No team will ever turn down a comfortable 3-0 victory over their closest title rivals, but in dispatching Chelsea so easily Manchester City may have prompted the Blues into a late surge of transfer activity. Just minutes after the final whistle brought proceedings to a close at the Etihad Stadium, Chelsea announced the signing of left0back Baba Rahman from Augsburg, and there could still be more to come.
Jose Mourinho is clearly not happy with the options that he has at his disposal, but having seen the additions of just Asmir Begovic and Radamel Falcao this summer, there is little the Portuguese can do until he gets the green light from those above him to move for better players. Falcao already looks off the pace, and while Begovic was impressive on his first start for the Londoners, he will spend the season as deputy to No 1 Thibaut Courtois.
Jose Mourinho’s decision to sub John Terry is desperate news for John Terry
The sight of the Chelsea captain sitting with his head in his hands on the Etihad bench was certainly not the one anyone expected when the match kicked off, but it was the manner in which John Terry was hauled off at half-time that will concern the 34-year-old the most. Having played every single minute of Chelsea’s successful title campaign last season, Mourinho clearly doesn’t believe in Terry’s abilities anymore.
Leicester show form that could make them prove everyone wrong
Which club has now taken 28 points from their last 33 available? Not Manchester City or Chelsea, as you might expect, but Leicester City. The incredible form they showed at the end of last season under Nigel Pearson to survive relegation has continued this term with Claudio Ranieri at the helm, and while there’s still an awful long way to go before the Foxes are declared safe – 36 games to be precise – fans at the King power Stadium could hardly have wished for a better start.
If the squad continue their resilient and determined start, Leicester will prove many writers who declared them relegation favourites – including this writer – wrong in the best way possible.
Tottenham can’t match their season expectations with just Harry Kane
The pressure on Harry Kane last season will have been like nothing the striker had experienced in his short career before, but to ask the 22-year-old to carry the burden of another Premier League season as the sole striker is likely to be too much. 31 goals saw Kane announce his arrival on the big stage, but he has cut a tired figure in the defeat to Manchester United and draw with Stoke this weekend.
Erik Lamela has shown nothing to suggest that he will help share the workload and provide goals on a regular basis, meaning that the expectation will be on Kane to once again try and force Spurs into the top four. There’s only so much he can do.
Don’t write off Memphis Depay too soon
Memphis Depay has not hit the ground running since his £23m move to Manchester United, but it’s well worth remembering that the Netherlands international is only 21 years of age and will continue to develop with each game he plays. Depay has shown an ability to work himself a chance at goal, but has so far been unable to find the net and missed a glaring opportunity in Friday’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.
But as he continues to settle in Manchester, the goals should begin to flow, and United fans will get to see the true talent of a player that lit up the Eredivisie last season.
Sunderland face a huge challenge to stay up…again
A 3-0 defeat to newly-promoted Norwich is never the best way to convince your fans that another dice with relegation is not on the cards, but it was the manner of Sunderland’s performance at the Stadium of Light on Saturday that will be the most concerning. Sunderland’s defence were carved open with such ease that manager Dick Advocaat must already be questioning why he agreed to come back to the club.
With reports that striker Jermain Defoe also wants out with a move to Bournemouth believed to be on the cards, things can still get worse for the Black Cats. Imagine that.
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