Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has become a reflection of Arsenal’s dire form

Arsenal sit in 15th place with 30% of the Premier League completed, it is their worst start to a campaign in 40 years and perhaps this season for the Gunners has been building up for some time. There have been hints even in the last few seasons with Arsene Wenger in charge- the major difference though is that Wenger’s Arsenal never ever got this poor.

Despite the difficulties since Wenger’s departure, and the travails of both Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta there has been one drop of stardust that everyone at the club could count on, one superb player that stood up, scored goals and ultimately won games for Arsenal and that man was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The French born Gabon international was the real star of Arsenal, he was the Thierry Henry of this generation- a driving force and a natural winner, and it was his goals that inspired the Gunners to what felt like a surprise FA Cup win last season, a surprise yes but also a deserved one as Arsenal rolled back the years in that competition.

Aubameyang shouldn’t be questioned on the face of it since he has scored some very important goals, if he scores, Arsenal win games, at the very least they remain in the match with a chance.

It is worth noting just how many goals Aubameyang has scored for the Gunners, it currently stands at 74 in all competitions. In the league he has netted 56 goals from 97 appearances. This summer when Arsenal were quiet in the transfer market all the fans could talk about was if Aubameyang was going to sign a new contract, if the answer was no then he would be available to leave for free next summer meaning that Arsenal may have cashed in on him before this new delayed season had started.

And Arsenal waited and waited, contract negotiations had been on going we were told since March 2020 and yet Aubameyang finally put pen to paper on September 15th, three days after the new season kicked off. He had made Arsenal sweat but at the end of the day the club are known to be notorious for offering lucrative contracts for players over 30. Aubameyang is 31 but his class was so much that Arsenal were willing to give him a new 3 year contract with improved rates.

Arsenal looked like a new team at times last season under Arteta, more creative, more demanding and with more passion that was sadly missing in the last few months with Emery, and the FA Cup win simply seemed to underline that Arteta was the right man to take Arsenal forward. But three months into the new season it is painfully obvious that Arteta isn’t the right manager.

This isn’t a critic on Arteta who may well turn out to be a fine coach, but the timing seems wrong. Why would a club like Arsenal opt for Arteta who had no experience at managerial level? It seems that being Pep Guardiola’s number 2 at Manchester City and the fact that Arteta played for Arsenal was enough qualification. And yet a club like Everton who have been in the shadows of Arsenal for decades appointed one of the best and respected managers in world football in Carlo Ancelotti, that just seemed to speak volumes about how far Arsenal have fallen and that is just one example.

But back to Aubameyang, the free scoring brilliant striker who signed THAT contract extension. It may amaze to find out that despite playing this season Aubameyang has not scored a single goal since he signed his new contract. He has scored just 2 goals this season from 12 games which came in the Gunners first match of the season, a 3-0 win over Fulham, since then there has been nada as Arteta would say in his natural tongue.

In the past we have seen when Aubameyang does the business so do Arsenal. He is the clubs guiding light not just in getting goals but encouraging the team to do better and believe more in themselves. There just seems to be a lack of purpose at the club presently, as if the Gunners are waiting for Aubameyang to get that first goal which could spark some sort of revival. He will have to hurry up as Arteta’s job is surely on the line though.

Mesut Ozil will ask for forgiveness if he is smirking at what is happening at Arsenal after the play maker was frozen out of the squad by Arteta. Ozil could point out that when everything clicked he provided assists for Aubameyang something that the Gambon international is certainly missing. At the same time Ozil did disappear in many games.

The cure for what is happening is a simple goal, a little luck which in turn could start a winning run. But it has been an unfortunate turn of events, the new contract signed and then up until now nothing to show for it.

Arsenal’s next two games are against tough opposition in Southampton and then Everton, lose both of those and everything could come to ahead. We could be speaking about a possible relegation battle. But football can turn on a sixpence is the old saying, and win those matches with a few Aubameyang goals and everything changes. For now though these are worrying times for Arsenal, Arteta and Aubameyang.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Southampton 3-0 Sheffield United

The Saints keep marching on is a very apt song for this season as Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side keep punching above their weight.

Southampton’s seventh victory from 12 games was achieved at the weekend against the poorest side in the Premier League so far in Sheffield United. In winning 3-0 Southampton have climbed up to 4th place with 23 points and are just two points behind league leaders Tottenham.

Southampton actually started the season slowly but then had some consistency and a fantastic run of results. Since then they have lost and drawn games but taken a few hits with a few surprises, and what has surprised the vast majority is how the club have bounced back. Together with Leicester the Saints are knocking on Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea’s door and asking questions and it has been refreshing for the league.

What has also been refreshing is that to win games Southampton are not relying on the same players, and there are goals and performances throughout the side.

Southampton of course were the clear favourites to beat a beleaguered and under confident Sheffield United team and from the first whistle to the last the home side dominated the game. In the first half United had no shots on target and Southampton enjoyed almost 80% of the possession. Despite this the Saints would only go in at half time a goal up.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side took the lead through Che Adams who scored his fourth goal this season. A mix up in defence let in the striker for an easy prod home.

Southampton had to wait until the half way point in the second half to add their second goal of the game through Stuart Armstrong whose shot took a slight deflection and went in with the goalkeeper having no chance of saving that.

Nathan Redmond confirmed matters near the end of the game with easily the best goal of it as he played a one two with Oriol Romeu and slotted home at a nice angle. Southampton absolutely deserved their win and played with a very confident style and the club will be looking forward to playing Arsenal away in midweek in their next match.

As for Sheffield United it was another miserable afternoon at the weekend and many will now be wondering just how long manager Chris Wilder has in the job? It has been a huge fall from grace for the Blades who performed so well last season but currently they are rock bottom and have just 1 point for the season, the writing looks on the wall for Wilder. Sheffield United’s next game is at home to Manchester United.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 12

Nothing much changed at the top of the Premier League as the best performing teams dropped points. Tottenham and Liverpool could only draw their respective games and Chelsea lost their first match in 3 months as they lost 1-0 at Everton.

There were wins for West Ham, Southampton and Leicester and those three clubs put pressure on the top 3. The much hyped Manchester derby was quite a dire affair that ended 0-0 and the pressure has grown on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta who saw his club lose their 4th game at home in a row, Arsenal are in 15th position.

Let’s take a look below at the best performing players over the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Nick Pope- Burnley 7pts

Nick Pope gets the vote ahead of other goalkeepers that kept a clean sheet as Burnley were never expected to get a win and a clean sheet at Arsenal. Pope made some good saves and had to be alert as Burnley were under a lot of pressure and Arsenal had six shots on target. Pope now has 14 points overall.

Defender: Jan Bednarek- Southampton 7pts

Jan Bednarek earned 7 points at the weekend as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. Not only did Bednarek keep a clean sheet, which is his 5th of the season but he also assisted in the Saints first goal which set their victory up.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard-Southampton 5pts

Jannick Vestergaard is having a great season for Southampton and he commanded the defence and back four with a veterans touch. He made some good interceptions and was always seconds ahead as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. The defender’s value is 6m.

Defender: Michael Keane-Everton 5pts

It’s never easy shutting out Chelsea and Michael Keane was part of an Everton defence that showed resilience against the Blues who had not tasted defeat in 3 months. Keane was inch perfect and his timing was spot on. He now has 10 points for the season which is the most of any Everton defender and he can be added to your team for 6.5m.

Defender: Yerry Mina- Everton 5pts

Yerry Mina is looking more solid as a player under Carlo Ancelotti and he had an eventful game getting into the thick of things as Everton saw out a 1-0 victory over Chelsea. Mina has helped to keep 2 clean sheets at the back for Everton so far this season.

Midfielder: James Maddison- Leicester 10pts

James Maddison not only helped out in defence with his run backs but he also scored 2 goals, Leicester’s 1st and 3rd as they beat Brighton 3-0 at home. Maddison has really showed his quality again this season and the midfielder has scored 3 goals and been involved in 4 so far for the Foxes.

Midfielder: Stuart Armstrong- Southampton 6pts

Stuart Armstrong now has 22 points overall and capped another splendid weekend as Southampton beat Sheffield United 3-0. Armstrong scored the 2nd goal which set up the club for all three points and they have started the season very strong as they look to finish in a European position.

Midfielder: Nathan Redmond- Southampton 6pts

Nathan Redmond was commanding in midfield and he scored his first goal of the season as his club overpowered Sheffield United 3-0. Redmond now has 12 points overall and is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Mateusz Klich- Leeds United 4pts

Leeds lost against West Ham 2-1 on Friday but Mateusz Klich is proving to be one of the Leeds’ best players this season. He scored the penalty for Leeds goal and put in a very good and energetic performance. The midfielder now has 23 points and is valued at 6.5m.

Striker: Jamie Vardy-Leicester 8pts

Jamie Vardy is here once again and the striker assisted in goals and scored one at the weekend as Leicester beat Brighton 3-0 and he earned 8 points in the process. This season is turning out to be a good one for both him and club and Vardy now has 10 goals to his name.

Striker: Dwight Gayle- Newcastle 4pts

There were a few strikers who made it to 4 points but Dwight Gayle saved his club with just 8 minutes to go and won the game for them as Newcastle beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1. Gayle was also returning from injury and what a way to get back on track. Gayle’s value is just 5m.

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Why Southampton could be the next Leicester under Hasenhuttl

One team of the last decade that has really made huge improvements on a limited budget has been Premier League side Southampton.

It’s interesting to go back 10 years and note that Southampton were playing in League One, the third tier of English football and have progressively recovered to become a staple side in the top flight. Since 2012 they have been a regular fixture in the Premier League and one senses that the club went through 3 stages; the first one was celebrating if they were to finish 17th, poor season, but survival. The second to become a mid table team and the third to challenge for honours and European places. This current season could be the one to define the club.

The Saints as they are known by their nickname have hired some very good managers. They were the ones that brought Mauricio Pochettino to England when they hired him from Espanyol and he guided the club to 8th place before joining Tottenham. They have also hired Ronald Koeman in that time who pulled off some terrific results. Koeman guided the club to seventh then 6th place finishes each time qualifying for the Europa League- no mean feat for a club who six years prior were playing in League One.

It was only in 2017 that Chinese company Lander Sports Investment decided to buy a stake in the club and now the overall stake owner is Gaio Jisheng, and he has invested a lot of funds within the club to bring in real quality. But with the team struggling to keep solid managers that had a proven track record they needed to nail down someone else that would commit more seasons to them. It seems that in Ralph Hasenhutl they have found their man.

Hasenhuttl came from RB Lepizig and spent the majority of his playing career in Austria though towards the end of his playing time he also played in Germany.

Hasenhuttl joined the Saints in the middle of the 2018/19 season where the club were residing in 18th place with Mark Hughes freshly sacked and he was able to guide the club to 16th and safety. Small steps but steps that were needed. At this time it felt like Southampton were going backwards from the beginning of the decade because they were not able to keep hold of quality managers and also were selling players. Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane who both went to Liverpool being prime examples.

In his next season the Saints finished 11th and 18 points from the relegation zone and finished the season so strong that he was awarded the manager of the month. In this current season the club are one of the best in form sides in the league and are in 4th place just 2 points shy of the top spot.

There are a few players, stand out ones, that have really contributed to Southampton’s start. Danny Ings really burst on the scene last season for the club scoring 22 goals meaning he finished joint 2nd in the top goalscorers list for the Premier League. He has started this season off well too netting 4 goals in just 5 games. After selling van Dijk and Mane to Liverpool it only seems fair that in the end Southampton would get some quality back, and Ings was brought in from the Reds initially on loan and then a permanent transfer.

Jannick Vestergaard at the back has been another astute signing. The centre back has made mistakes but he has also remained solid after his transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach 2 years ago and has worked closely under Hasenhutl. He also pops up for the odd goal too and has already made himself quite a name this season.

There is a lot of quality in this Southampton side to the point that on any given week when everything clicks they can absolutely beat any team in the league. And their figure point is James Ward-Prowse, the current captain of the club.

Ward-Prowse has been with Southampton since the beginning of the 2010s when they were playing in the Championship, he is the Jamie Vardy of Southampton, a one man club for so long, though in Ward-Prowse’s case he really is a one man club. They will likely build a statue of him when he leaves, and fans will be hoping that the 26 year old will stay at the club for many more years yet.

His form has been brilliant and of course that could well attract some of the bigger players in the game. He is the pivotal reason Southampton have started the season so well and when he is on form the club as a whole are.

Could Southampton go a huge step forward then and win the league? It doesn’t seem likely but then again look at Leicester and what they achieved with a decent manager and a few good players.

Of course the objective this season for Southampton isn’t so much to win the league but to be a force within it and try and finish in their highest ever position. At this current time without doubt they are one of the best this season and that in itself is an incredible feat given this time last year they were reeling from a 9-0 home defeat by one…. Leicester City, in which many comparisons can be made.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Matchday 8

The Premier League’s top team keeps changing and throughout the weekend we saw Liverpool replaced by Southampton and then Leicester and the 2016 champions will be over the moon to be in front going into the November international break.

Liverpool could only draw 1-1 at Manchester City as Leicester beat Wolves. Everton continue to nosedive and lost their 3rd game in a row, this time at the hands of Manchester United where Edinson Cavani scored his first goal for the club. Aston Villa have bounced back in remarkable style by beating Arsenal 3-0 away from home, whilst Chelsea have made in roads into the top 5 as they battered Sheffield United 4-1.

Which players came out smelling of roses and made the final 11? Let’s take a look below.

Goalkeeper: Damien Martinez- Aston Villa 7pts

Damien Martinez has made the team of the weekend before and the Aston Villa keeper made it 4 clean sheets this season as Villa stunned Arsenal away from home and won the game 3-0. Arsenal were poor but Martinez still had a few crucial saves to make.

Defender: Matt Doherty- Tottenham 7pts

Matt Doherty earned 7 points at the weekend as Tottenham battled to a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. Doherty helped to keep a clean sheet and also assisted in Harry Kane’s winning goal for a perfect weekend for the player who now has 10 points overall and is rated the best defender at Tottenham currently in the fantasy football rankings.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Eric Dier played a solid game, one of his best so far this season with Tottenham as he helped to keep a clean sheet as they beat Slaven Bilic’s West Brom 1-0. This is the 2nd game that Dier has been involved in helping Spurs to keep a clean sheet.

Defender: Tryone Mings- Aston Villa 5pts

Tyrone Mings is back in the team of the weekend after Aston Villa pulled off a great result beating Arsenal 3-0. Mings was great at the back and held the ball up well and of course helped to keep a clean sheet for Dean Smith’s side.

Defender: Christian Fuchs- Leicester 5pts

Christian Fuchs helped to keep Leicester’s 2nd clean sheet of the season as they battled to a 1-0 win over Wolves. Wolves remained a danger and had 7 attempts on goal but a defence led by Fuchs kept the visitors at bay.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 9pts

Bruno Fernandes has been on top of his game this season and last and his two goals in just 7 first half minutes brought back United to life to go 2-1 up against Everton. He then set up Edinson Cavani to score his debut goal and kill the game off at 3-1 to earn 9 points for the weekend. Fernandes now has 24 points overall and is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Stuart Armstrong- Southampton 6pts

Stuart Armstrong now has 16 points after earning a further six at the weekend as his 2nd goal wrapped up the game for the inform Southampton as they eased to a win 2-0 win at home against Newcastle.

Midfielder: Ross Barkley- Aston Villa 4pts

Ross Barkley seems like a new player at Aston Villa and it was his assist that set up Villa for the win and their 2nd goal of 3. Barkley now has 14 points in total so far this season.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 4pts

Jack Grealish has 33 points in total for Aston Villa and is far and away the clubs best player in the fantasy rankings. Grealish was on hand to assist in the clubs 3rd goal as Villa stunned Arsenal and beat them 3-0.

Striker: Gabriel Jesus- Manchester City 4pts

Manchester City have really missed the services of Gabriel Jesus when he was injured but he’s back now and he scored the all important equaliser as City fell behind to Liverpool. The crunch game ended 1-1 and Jesus scored a glorious solo goal with class written all over it.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

It looked as if Tottenham’s game with West Bromwich Albion was going to end 0-0, that would have been a surprise but Harry Kane popped up to score the winner with just two minutes remaining. He now has 7 goals this season and is valued at 14.5m.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Aston Villa 3-4 Southampton

Aston Villa do love being involved in high scoring games and following their 7-2 win over Liverpool and a 3-0 defeat at home to Leeds United they followed that up with a 4-3 loss at home against Southampton.

It was an incredible match given that by the hour mark Southampton were 4-0 up at Villa Park and effectively the game was over. Though the Saints would go on to win the encounter they would have to endure a fright first- so has been this very unpredictable Premier League season.

Southampton believed that they had taken the lead as early as the 3rd minute through an Ezri Konsa own goal but in the build up VAR had found the play to be offside. Konsa’s blushes were saved but Villa would soon pay the price anyway.

Jannick Vestergaard and James Ward-Prowse are proving to be a superb partnership, they ruined Everton’s unbeaten start to the season a few weekends ago and this one gone they paired up to beat Aston Villa. Vestergaard latched onto Ward-Prowse’s free kick with his head to give the Saints the lead just after 20 minutes.

The second goal came 15 minutes later when Ward-Prowse was rewarded another free kick this time he scored directly from it and it was a stunning strike. And it would be a game of free kicks as just before half time it was Ward-Prowse again, and again it was  superb goal. Villa had been outdone by creating too many fouls on the edge of the box and Ward-Prowse is proving to be one of the deadliest free kick takers in the Premier League. The first half ended 3-0.

Though Villa had shown some promise in the first 45 minutes it was telling that Dean Smith’s side had conjured up no shots on target in that time. At 3-0 by half time the game looked dead and buried and one could only believe that a total collapse was going to let Villa back into the game but in the 58th minute it was 4-0. This time it was Danny Ings with a beautiful shot from the edge of the area.

Ten minutes later Jack Grealish set up Tyrone Mings and he headed in from close range to give Villa a consolation goal. Ings with fire in his belly thought he had scored a 2nd goal just six minutes later but it was flagged for offside. As the game went on Southampton  were happy to defend deep as Villa tried to create a miracle comeback. But as the 90th minute rolled on this game was surely over. Not quite.

In the 92nd minute the Saints Ibrahima Diallo gave away a penalty. Ollie Watkins the hero against Liverpool at this very stadium converted it for 2-4. And still there would be drama as the game went into an extended injury time. In the 97th minute Jack Grealish latched onto a loose ball and smashed the ball home for 3-4. Could there be an incredible comeback? Well the answer was no when the referee blew the whistle 60 seconds later.

Though Villa had lost their 2nd game in a row after starting the season so well they could end up taking something from the way they fought back and they had clearly unnerved Southampton. At the same time being 4 goals down at home isn’t acceptable and Villa have now conceded seven goals in their last two games something manager Smith will have to work at. Aston Villa drop down to 8th place and are now 4 points behind current league leaders Liverpool.

Southampton are the form team of the moment in the Premier League and the Saints have picked up 13 points from their past 15 available. They have climbed up to 5th place after a slow start and now have 13 points the same as Everton. Southampton will be at home to Newcastle next weekend and Aston Villa will play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Jack Grealish was the best performing player in the fantasy points for Aston Villa where he earned 6 points from this game.

For Southampton the best performing player was James Ward-Prowse who earned 9 points.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 7

Champions Liverpool are back in 1st place after their rivals Everton lost their 2nd game in a row. Tottenham have been in good form lately and have moved up to 2nd and Gareth Bale scored the winner for them in an emotional game for the celebrated Welshman.

Arsenal recorded a rare victory at Old Trafford and Manchester United are in 15th place and struggling. Presently the best form team in the Premier League is Southampton who have notched up 13 points from their last 15.

Let’s take a look at the in form players, did any of your players make the final cut at the weekend?

Goalkeeper: Bernd Leno- Arsenal 7pts

Arsenal recorded their first league win at Old Trafford in over 10 years and goalkeeper Bernd Leno was able to help keep a clean sheet even if Manchester United didn’t have too many chances on goal. A huge away win for the Gunners.

Defender: Kurt Zouma- Chelsea 9pts

Chelsea’s form is picking up and Kurt Zouma led a defence that kept a clean sheet in 3-0 win over hapless Burnley. Zouma scored the 2nd goal which in truth killed the game off as Chelsea eased to a victory soon after. Zouma has been outstanding for the club so far this season and has a total of 24 points already.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 9pts

A perfect game for Kyle Walker who in defence kept a clean sheet as Manchester City beat Sheffield United 1-0 away from home. And that winning goal came from Walker himself.

Defender: Rayan Ait Nouri- Wolves 9pts

Rayan Ait Nouri was the unlikely player for Wolves who opened the scoring as the club beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at home. Ait Nouri also maintained the back line well and helped to earn extra points by keeping a clean sheet. He is valued at 5.5m.

Defender: Thiago Silva – Chelsea 5pts

With Chelsea conceding a few goals at the start of the campaign it is important to see this version of the club who have now gone their last 2 games with no goals conceded. A part of that reason is down to veteran Thiago Silva who, after missing the beginning of the season, is fitting well into his role with the Blues.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 9ts

James Ward-Prowse in on fire and the midfielder has made it into the best 11 team for the 2nd week in a row. He did get booked which lost him points, but he hit back by scoring 2 goals as Southampton won a thriller at Villa park beating Aston Villa 4-3.

Midfielder: Hakim Ziyech- Chelsea 8pts

Frank Lampard had been talking Hakim Ziyech up before this game and the player did not let him down as he scored his first goal for the club with the opening goal as Chelsea beat Burnley 3-0 away from home. Ziyech then assisted for Chelsea’s last goal in a man of the match winning performance from the former Ajax man.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa 6pts

Aston Villa have lost 2 games in a row and they were defeated 4-3 against Southampton at the weekend. But Jack Grealish gave it his all. At 4-0 down he set up Tyrone Mings to pull one back and then scored in injury time as Villa tried to make an incredible comeback but time simply ran out. Still Grealish earned more points.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence- Wolves 6pts

Daniel Podence is valued at 7.5m and has 16pts so far this season and six of those points were earned at the weekend as he grabbed Wolves’ 2nd goal of the game and his first of the season as his club overcame Crystal Palace by winning 2-0.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle 7pts

Callum Wilson was too hot to handle for Everton as Newcastle beat them 2-1. Wilson has scored six goals this season already and he scored a brace at the weekend. He did lose points as he was booked early on.

Striker: Danny Ings- Southampton 4pts

Quite a few strikers finished the weekend with 4 points but Danny Ings gets the nod after working so hard as the Saints, the best in form side in the league went to Aston Villa and won 4-3, they were 4-0 up at one point. Ings got on the score sheet too and scored the 4th goal which would turn out to be the winning goal.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 6

Everton finally lost as they went down 2-0 to Southampton but the Toffeemen still remain 1st in the league on goal difference over Liverpool who seem to have improved. Manchester City dropped 2 points against West Ham and Manchester United and Chelsea shared the spoils in a drab game. But which players made the final 11 cut of the weekend? And how many more points have you been able to earn this weekend? lets take a look.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 7pts

With the last minute injury to Chelsea regular Kepa Edouard Mendy had to step in and what a game he had in front of him away to Manchester United. But he remained solid and calm and made some good saves as Chelsea drew 0-0 and he really deserved his 7pts in the end.

Defender: Jannick Vestergaard- Southampton 5pts

Southampton became the first club to not only beat Everton this season but also keep a clean sheet against them. And Jannick Vestergaard was resilient in defence. And held the back line well.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 5pts

Chelsea went to Old Trafford and pulled off a 0-0 result and whilst Kurt Zouma did well in defence we should mention Ben Chilwell who is still in his first moments with Chelsea and yet at the weekend it felt like he had been playing with the club for several years.

Defender: Timothy Castagne- Leicester 5pts

Castgane put in another great performance as Leicester beat Arsenal for the first time in London since 1973. Arsenal had over 10 attempts at goal and the back four held firm. Castagne now has 13 points in total for the season and overall has started well for the Foxes.

Defender: Robin Koch- Leeds United 5pts

Robin Koch has already had an up and down season but Leeds inflicted the first defeat on Aston Villa’s season by going to Villa Park and winning 3-0. Koch therefore had a great match helping his side to win and keeping a clean sheet. This is the first time this season that Villa have been held to no goals.

Midfielder: Wilfried Zaha- Crystal Palace 6pts

Zaha just keeps impressing this season and had another great game for Crystal Palace who beat Fulham 2-1 away from home. Zaha got on the score sheet again and now has 5 goals already this season, fancy buying him? He is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Helder Costa -Leeds United 4pts

Helder Costa was inventive in midfield and lightning quick the whole game as Leeds beat Aston Villa 3-0, he also assisted in a goal and had a superb game all round.

Midfielder: Michail Antonio- West Ham 4pts

West Ham upset a lot of pundits as they held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw and it was that man Antonio who got on the score sheet once again, a very underrated player, could well be having his best season of his career.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 6pts

Southampton beat Everton 2-0 and James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring that started Everton’s downfall who were always going to be second best here. Ward-Prowse will be now hoping that this game can be a step into the right direction where he can get better and more consistent this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 14pts

Patrick Bamford was a super striker in the Championship, and now he has shown his qualities in the Premier League. Bamford scored a hat trick against Aston Villa which in itself was superb given that Villa were unbeaten going into that game. Bamford could be the real pick of this new season and the player has already scored 6 goals this season.

Striker: Jamie Vardy – Leicester 4pts

You just can’t rule the big man out can you? Jamie Vardy was actually not 100% for the game v Arsenal and didn’t come on until late in the 2nd half when the game was poised at 0-0. And then with 10 minutes to go he struck his 5th goal past Arsenal in four games. He’s like a fine wine and just keeps getting better with age.

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Premier League’s Game of the Week: Southampton 2-5 Tottenham

Our memories of the beginning of the 2020/21 Premier League season will be about goals, there has been over 60 of them already with a goal average of 3.6 per game. You want lots of goals, come to the Premier League and the match between Southampton and Tottenham would be no different.

On Saturday we witnessed Everton come from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 5-2 and the same scenario was repeated on Sunday when Tottenham travelled to Southampton. This was an edgy game of sorts even before a whistle was blown given that both clubs had lost their opening games. Southampton went 1-0 down to Crystal Palace and Tottenham were beaten by the same scoreline at their ground against Everton. A win was needed by both clubs, though you sensed Jose Mourinho at Tottenham was under more pressure to get it.

This was a game that felt like it had everything. Three goals, one for the home side and two for Tottenham were disallowed early on, Harry Kane thought he had put Spurs in front as early as the 3rd minute but VAR stepped in and it also denied Danny Ings for a handball. At the half hour stage the game was end to end but still 0-0 and nobody could have foreseen that there would be 7 goals to come on this Sunday afternoon. When Kane had another goal ruled out for offside it did seem like it was going to be one of those days.

But the Saints opened the scoring, their first goal of the campaign through Ings who got it right this time. Ings was one of the revelations of last season and he will hope to have a 2nd season just as good. Tottenham were able to equalise on the stroke of half time through Heung-Min Son and you have to wonder just how important that goal was for the Tottenham dressing room atmosphere.

In fairness Southampton seemed good to go in at half time in the lead because Tottenham on reflection had been the second best team in the first half, they managed just 1 shot on target. Still at 1-1 it felt that the psychology of the game had shifted, and with that goal which was Tottenham’s first of the season it seemed to be the switch that they were looking for. Within 2 minutes of the restart Son had pounced again to make it 2-1, Kane had assisted again. This was vintage Spurs or at least what fans had been expecting from the deadly duo in the first game.

If Tottenham were toothless in the first game then in this one they had teeth like a great white shark and they started to take the game to the home side. But Son completed his hat trick just after the hour mark. A fourth goal came ten minutes later for Son, by far the man of the match and yet again it was Kane who supplied the final ball. When Kane scored himself to make it 5-1 it felt that the team had come full circle and the defeat against Everton could be truly forgotten.

A small blip near the end of the game let in Southampton for a penalty in which Ings converted, but it was just a consolation goal, and there would be no miraculous comeback even in a season so far filled with goals.

It’s incredible in how just over a week Tottenham’s fortunes have changed, a win in the Europa League qualifiers and a league win is icing on the cake. But also the return of the prodigal son, one of Tottenham’s genuinely great modern stars, Gareth Bale is complete. Bale has joined the club on loan from Real Madrid. Injured at the moment, you get the feeling that the players have just welcomed him in the most perfect way possible.

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Manchester United vs Southampton: Three key battles to look out for on Monday night football

Ahead of gameweek 35, Manchester United sit in fifth-place and are constantly pushing to take either Chelsea or Leicester City’s spot in the top four and will be taking on Ralph Hansenhuttl’s Southampton, who have been top notch since the season has restarted, having picked up 10 points out a potential 15, including important victories against the likes of Man City, Norwich and Watford.

Both clubs will be going into the game with their energy and confidence levels being really high, and will be hoping it stays the same until the season ends, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will only be satisfied with finishing the campaign in the top four position whilst the Saints will look to push for a spot in the top half of the Premier League table, as they are currently five points behind Tottenham.

It’s time to look at the three vital battles that could help to decide the fate of this huge fixture…

Mason Greenwood vs Ryan Bertrand

Over the last couple of weeks, the attention has been on the likes of Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, and Paul Pogba, however, 18-year-old Mason Greenwood is the one that has stolen majority of the newspaper headlines with his playing style and knack for goals. In 1000 minutes of Premier League football this season, the forward who is currently playing on the right flank, has gone on to impressively achieve nine goals and one assist, with four league games still remaining.

Greenwood will be in for a close and tight encounter with Ryan Bertrand, who is Southampton’s main player at left-back and is known to be one of the side’s best defenders, as well as an attacking option that constantly runs up and down the left flank. With how the Saints are seen as a team that presses high up the pitch, Bertrand will have to make sure that he does not commit himself too much pass the half way line, otherwise, Greenwood will pounce with his pace and decision making.

Danny Ings vs Victor Lindelof

It’s no secret that Southampton’s most important and valuable player in the final third of the pitch is none other than Danny Ings at the moment, an individual that has helped Ralph Hansenhuttl’s men with 19 goals and three assists in 34 league appearances, allowing the team to be far away from the relegation zone and close to the middle of league table. Not only that, his intelligent movement on and off the ball, unique ability to bring his team-mates into the game has been second to none.

Danny Ings will aim to continue his fantastic form against United and will hope to reach a personal aim of 20 Premier League goals in a single season, which he has been unable to complete since playing in the top tier of English football from the 2014/15 campaign. The centre-forward will be up against Victor Lindelof, who has recently been proving to be inconsistent and a liability to the backline, as he does not have the physicality or the ideal pace to keep on top of many strikers.

Bruno Fernandes vs Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Now, focusing on the key battle in midfield, with United expected to dominate possession and look to bypass the Southampton high press, the focus and attention will be on Bruno Fernandes, who is on the form of his life and is aiming to continue working on his goals and assists. Since his arrival to Old Trafford, the playmaker has 13 goal involvements in 10 Premier league appearances, having the joint-most by a player in their first 10 games in the competition’s history alongside Mick Quinn.

Meanwhile for Southampton, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will be sitting as the deepest midfielder just ahead of the backline, as he will be expected to complete the much needed interceptions and tackles as well as help the team in the build-up play going forward. The 24-year-old has constantly proved himself to be an essential team member within Ralph Hansenhuttl’s system, even when he came under a vast amount of criticism from his own supporters and the English media, which has helped him to become the complete player he is today.