Should Manchester United, Liverpool and the other clubs be punished for wanting a Super League?

The Super League was laughed out of football folklore before the first chapter had commenced, almost everyone connected with football despised the idea of the new competition. One could say it wasn’t even a competition as it was closed to 99% of other teams, but now that project is in tatters surely there should be ramifications.

The six clubs in the Premier League that wanted a breakaway were Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. It is thought that Manchester United and Liverpool spearheaded the negotiations. These clubs represent the big six in English football, though not all this season have acted in that manner.

One has to wonder now with the Super League dead in the water only 3 days after being announced when the FA are going to step in? It doesn’t matter that the clubs have pulled out, that’s just one step back to normality. How about the fact that these clubs wanted and also signed for a breakaway to happen? According to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez this was a legally binding contract. Well Perez got a taste of his own medicine as these clubs have simply walked away, just as they had walked away from UEFA a few days ago.

So what should the FA do? Fines are really no good, that won’t punish the teams enough and the ideal scenario would be a points deduction. Now if you are a fan of any of the six clubs you could be angry about this, save that anger and remember all the protests against your own club at the beginning of the week. Ultimately this is about weeding out club owners who have very little care about the fans and the history of the game.

Each team should be deducted at least 10 points and of course that should mean the 12 teams involved. This is a time when the FA and UEFA need to flex their authority, they can’t be messed around like this.

For UEFA the Champions League resumes next week and how awkward does it feel and look that 3 of the four semi-finalists opted to leave this competition all behind this past weekend? Only PSG, and much to the surprise of the football world wanted no part in the Super League. The French champions will surely be pumped up now to win the competition.

Let’s wait and see what the FA do, that’s if they do anything, but they need to do the right thing, these clubs did wrong, and they need to be punished.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 30

Chelsea losing 5-2 at home to West Bromwich Albion, let that sink in because it may have to do over the course of several weeks. This season in the Premier League has thrown out some very surprising results, and it is as if the league was giving a welcomed if not delayed response to the arrival Thomas Tuchel. The defeat was Tuchel’s first in charge of the Blues and it has come at a dreadful time for them.

Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0 and perhaps Jurgen Klopp’s side are over their dismal form and they are just 2 points from the top 4 now. Both Manchester teams won with Manchester City beating Leicester and they are 14 points clear. Manchester United consolidated 2nd place and they will surely finish in the top 4 now and are 11 points clear of 5th.

Let’s look at the players who made a difference over this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Alisson- Liverpool 7pts

Alisson will have been very happy to keep a clean sheet away to a quality side like Arsenal as Liverpool looked solid again to win the match 3-0. That was Alisson’s 7th clean sheet of the season so far and he had to make a few good saves early on as well and stayed very focused throughout the game.

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

It was the perfect weekend for Benjamin Mendy who kept a clean sheet as league leaders Manchester City impressively beat Leicester 2-0 away from home. The icing on the cake was that Mendy scored a goal- the opening goal just before the hour mark which set up the eventual win. That was Mendy’s 2nd goal of the season and his value is worth 6.5m.

Defender: Trent Alexander- Arnold- Liverpool 7pts

Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates for a fantastic win for the champions. Alexander-Arnold now has 8 clean sheets to his name for this season he also assisted in the clubs first goal of the game bringing his total to 36 points.

Defender: Ruben Dias- Manchester City 5pts

Another solid performance from one of the most impressive defenders in the Premier League this season. Dias was commanding and very confident on the ball even away to Leicester who are in 3rd place in the league. Dias now has 78 points so far and his value is 7.5m.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool 5pts

Andrew Robertson looked back to his self assured best holding the back line particularly well and frustrating Arsenal as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners. Robertson earned 5 points in the process for his clean sheet and now has a total of 43 points.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 6pts

Salah looked back and sharp especially in the 2nd half of the Arsenal goal and the player scored his 18th goal of the season as he put the Gunners to the sword. He looks set to finish the season strongly.

Midfielder: Diogo Jota- Liverpool 9pts

An absolutely brilliant weekend for Diogo Jota saw the Liverpool player come back from an injury lay off to start scoring the goals again and he scored 2 for Liverpool as they beat rivals Arsenal 3-0. Jota now has 8 goals for the Reds and considering his injuries this season he has had a very good campaign in his debut season for the Reds.

Midfielder: Nathan Redmond- Southampton 6pts

Nathan Redmond was involved in one of the best games of the weekend as Southampton came back against Burnley from two goals down to beat them 3-2. Redmond assisted in Danny Ings 2nd goal for the Saints and then grabbed the winner.

Midfielder: Jack Harrison- Leeds United 4pts

Jack Harrison scored a good goal to open the scoring for Leeds as they beat Sheffield United 2-1 at the weekend. That was Harrison’s seventh goal of the season and he now has 54 points.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 8pts

Harry Kane has had a fantastic season and the Tottenham striker was on hand to score 2 goals as they drew 2-2 with Newcastle at the weekend. Ultimately it was a disappointing result for Tottenham given that they were leading 2-1 but personally for Kane those 2 goals means he has 19 goals. Kane is the top scorer now in the Premier League.

Striker: Callum Robertson- West Bromwich Albion 8pts

In an incredible game not just for Callum Robertson but for 19th placed West Bromwich Albion who beat Chelsea- unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel 5-2 at Stamford Bridge. Robertson scored 2 goals and now has 4 goals for the season. His value is 5m.

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The Best 5 Premier League players so far in 2020/21

Domestic football is on a break until the beginning of April, so there are no Premier League team of the week.

This is a chance then to see which Premier League players have been performing the best this season based on their fantasy points and gives you the chance to see if you have any players.

Together with picking out the top 5 we will also have honourable mentions of other players who have performed well this season and could well make their way into the top 5 by the end of the season.

The top 5 best Premier League players so far this season:

1. Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 101 pts

If you had Bruno Fernandes in your team at the beginning of the season what a pick that would have been given that the midfielder costs just 8.5m. He has been such an important player for Manchester United that we can say that the club would not be 2nd without his input. And let’s talk about his contribution so far the Portuguese star has scored 16 goals and assisted in another 10 goals. If you want to know why United are doing well in the Premier League this season, look no further.

2. Ederson Moraes- Manchester City 98pts

When Manchester City win the league this season people will talk about how well Ilkay Gundogan has performed alongside Phil Foden. But the key to City’s title will be in their defence and Ederson in goal has had a terrific season. So far he has helped to keep 16 clean sheets, which is a fantastic record. On top of that Ederson has even assisted in a goal, which is a remarkable fact. He continues to get better by each season.

3. Harry Kane- Tottenham 93pts

By far England’s best striker Harry Kane may not win any trophies this season (the Carabao Cup withstanding) but even if he doesn’t what a personal season it has been again for Kane. Kane’s record for Tottenham in the league is nothing short of mind blowing and he has been involved in 30 of the clubs league goals. Tottenham have scored 49 goals, just let that sink in. Tottenham will be doing everything in their power to keep their star forward this summer as he will surely be in demand.

4. Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 90pts

It almost feels like this has been a quiet season for Salah given his presence over the Premier League in the last 2 seasons. But actually Salah has been as busy as ever, it’s just that Liverpool as a team faced such an implosion that nobody could have seen it. Still for Salah he has scored 17 times and assisted in 3 goals, that is hardly a poor season and the Egyptian international himself is actually having another solid and brilliant campaign.

5. Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 86pts

In truth Edouard Mendy was scripted to be the 2nd goal keeper at Chelsea, but once given his chance he has impressed enough to become the clubs number 1 shot stopper. It’s encouraging for him that new manager Thomas Tuchel has kept him on and can also, like former manager Frank Lampard, see his immense qualities. Mendy has kept 14 clean sheets so far and is turning out to be a real star with the Blues.

Honourable mentions:

John Stones is having his best season as a professional player and is such an important part of the set up at Manchester City. Before this season his place was genuinely under threat but he has stepped up to the mantle and is not just defending well but is good to score goals too- he currently has 4 so far.

Ilkay Gundogan another Manchester City player, like Stones is having his best season. Gundogan can be provider but he has also scored some very important goals this season and has 12 so far. Ruben Dias is yet another City player in defence which has held everything together and looks like the perfect replacement for club legend Vincent Kompany. Dias has 73 pts so far.

Let’s not forget about Harry Kane’s strike partner, Heung-Min Son who has been unfortunate lately having his injury and missing some key games. But Son has had brilliant spells this season and has scored 13 goals and assisted in another 9. Indeed Kane and Son are arguably the best striker partnership in Europe when they are firing on all cylinders.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Because it was FA Cup weekend only 4 of the scheduled 10 Premier League games took place over the weekend but there were still some very significant results.

Tottenham bounced back after a nightmare week as they stepped up their top 4 hopes with victory over Aston Villa. The most thrilling game though involved Tottenham north London neighbours in another London derby as Arsenal came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 against West Ham.

Brighton won their 2nd game in a row and they have pushed 6 points clear of the bottom three as a result.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris- Tottenham 7pts

After a disappointing week for the club the captain would have been happy to have secured his 10th clean sheet of the season as Tottenham got back to winning ways to beat Aston Villa 2-0 away from home. Lloris now has 48 points.

Defender: – Sergio Reguilon Tottenham 5pts

Sergio Reguilon has been one of the best defenders in the league this season and he was alert and focused as Tottenham beat Aston Villa 2-0. He has now helped to keep six clean sheets.

Defender: Lewis Dunk- Brighton 5pts

Lewis Dunk really stood out for Brighton as they achieved a fantastic and much needed 3 points at the weekend by beating Newcastle 3-0. Dunk helped to keep a clean sheet and his value is is 7m and he is rated as the best Brighton defender.

Defender: Ben Davies- Tottenham 5pts

Ben Davies had a solid game for Tottenham when he came on for Reguilon in the 2nd half. Davies could be called upon and was so effective that Aston Villa were not able to come back into the game when he was brought on.

Defender: Joel Veltman- Brighton 7pts

Joel Veltman was at the heart of Brighton’s team performance. The defender helped to keep a clean sheet as he saw his side beat Newcastle 3-0. He also assisted in the first goal which got the ball rolling. Veltman now has 27 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Neal Maupay- Brighton 6pts

Neal Maupay scored his 8th goal of the season as his goal helped Brighton on their way to beat Newcastle. It was a huge win for the club who with that victory have been able to move six points clear of the bottom three.

Midfielder: Jesse Lingard- West Ham 6pts

Jesse Lingard has had a very positive start to his career as a West Ham player. Lingard opened the scoring against Arsenal and then assisted two minutes later for the 2nd goal. Lingard has already since January, been involved in seven goals and scored 5 of them.

Midfielder: Lucas Moura- Tottenham 4pts

Lucas Moura assisted in Tottenham’s opening goal and that was the midfielder’s third of the season so far. Moura with 38 points is ranked as the best midfielder for the club and pulled 8 points clear of Tanguy NDombele.

Midfielder: Raphinha- Leeds United 4pts

Many expected Fulham to pull together another win as they are battling hard in relegation but Leeds pulled off a great victory by beating Fulham 2-1.Raphinha scored the winning goal and he now has six goals so far this season.

Striker: Patrick Bamford- Leeds United 5pts

Patrick Bamford scored the other goal for Leeds as they beat Fulham 2-1. That was Bamford’s 14th goal of the season and he has also assisted six times in what has been a superb season for the player so far. Bamford now has 68 points overall.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Harry Kane was back to his best as he converted a penalty for Tottenham which secured their win and ended up being the winning goal as they bounced back to beat Aston Villa 2-1 after a miserable week for the club. That was Kane’s 17th goal of the season.

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Arsenal v Tottenham: Why the referee was wrong to award a penalty and why Lacazette should have been cautioned

Michael Oliver had to stand up and make a decision in an inevitable heated north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham. With the game locked at 1-1 and time running down, Arsenal had an appeal for a penalty, and got it.

Alexandre Lacazette was put through on goal and it looked fairly obvious that he was going to score, the crowd if there was one were about to go wild, instead that was confined to living rooms up and down the country. Lacazette was about to score the winner, his 10th of the season, except he made an error. Instead of lashing the ball past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, he instead swung at the ball and missed it. Chance over, not quite. After the miss kick Tottenham defender Davinson Sanchez clambered into Lacazette and of course the Arsenal striker went to ground. A penalty was awarded.

Sanchez was booked, Tottenham protested, Jose Mourinho on the touchline had to watch the replay on an Ipad, all were in agreement, no penalty. Of course anyone associated with Tottenham will go down the no penalty route, but plenty of seasoned pundits felt the same. Andy Gray, Richard Keys and Ruud Gullit could not believe that a penalty had been given.

Let’s rewind a bit and try to figure out why referee Michael Oliver gave the penalty. On first glance at full speed and from where he was it did look like a penalty. However fair is fair and VAR flagged it up for Oliver to have a few looks on the monitor but Oliver wasn’t changing his mind. One could believe that Oliver came to his decision because he saw a foul, even after the incident. The problem with that is that if one says there was contact between Sanchez and Lacazette then it was minimal and the contact would have affected Lacazette’s right leg- so why was the Arsenal forward clutching his left leg when he went down?

If anything Lacazette played on the contact to earn a penalty to spare his blushes for the miss kick. A kick that has been forgotten about now. Imagine he had made that miss kick and Sanchez was 5 yards behind, it would be on a blooper reel for years. Instead he was able to sweep that incident under the carpet and score from the penalty spot.

Lacazette ended the game as the hero but he should have been booked for feigning injury on his leg. Everyone of course has different opinions of the incident, but it is sad to see such incidents that can split opinions either way in such big games.

Oliver believes he was right, maybe he won’t in a years’ time. But the very big games should be decided on quality not petty moments like this.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham

The north London derby at least for spectacle didn’t disappoint and it was Arsenal, so overshadowed in the past 3 years by Tottenham who took the spoils in a 2-1 victory.

The Gunners are trying to finish the season strong after another disappointing campaign in which they have flirted with the bottom half of the table, and even after this victory the club are still 10th.

There was entertainment so to speak even before a ball was kicked given that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta had dropped star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the bench. The reason? Protocol and Aubameyang had turned up late for the pre match set-up.

As for the game Arsenal needed to start on a positive note and they did. Though there were no early goals the Gunners came out the block firing and were camped in Tottenham’s half with wave and wave of attacks. It seemed that it would be inevitable that Tottenham would concede. There was also a tinge of disappointment that Tottenham, who have had the better season so far than Arsenal, were letting the Gunners boss the game.

But such is this season it took the first shot on target for Tottenham to score and go 1-0 up. It was an important goal of course, but what a goal too. Erik Lamela would be hero an villain of this game but this was his heroic moment. Lamela shot at goal and the ball went through the Arsenal defend as if guided by the’ force’. What actually happened and it was more noticeable on the replay was that Lamela’s shot was the rabona one. The infamous shot that was actually invented 76 years ago in Argentina. It was a stunner that even Arsenal fans had to praise. As for Lamela, well he’s done that before in an Europa League tie six years ago for Tottenham.

Unfortunately for Tottenham though they were not able to calm the game down and try to sucker punch Arsenal again. A Jose Mourinho led team 1-0 up away from home in a big game, usually means 3 points for the club he is in charge of. However Tottenham were unlucky as Arsenal equalised soon after. The goal was kind of scored by new signing Martin Odegaard who was obviously delighted with it. But his shot took a huge deflection that left Tottenham goal keeper Hugo Lloris with no chance to stop it.

Arsenal had been the more attacking team, more was expected of Tottenham but it was questionable if this game should have still been 0-0.

The biggest talking point that has split pundits, media and the fans was the penalty that Arsenal were awarded late on. Alexandre Lacazette miskicked the ball and Davinson Sanchez came into him at the same time. The penalty looked harsh for some and for others was a stone cold one. That could be debated. It was enough however to win the game for Arsenal who had finished it with 3 shots on target. For all their attacking prowess in the match the Gunners had ended up with the same shots on target as Tottenham.

To add insult to injury for Tottenham Lamela was sent off as the visitors were losing their grip on the game.

The result is a blow for Tottenham’s top 4 chances as they slipped 6 points behind that objective but they do have a game in hand to play over 4th placed Chelsea, so that chase isn’t over just yet.

For Arsenal the goal is to lift the team up so they have a strong finish to the season and the Gunners have now gone a month in all competitions undefeated and could be heading in the right direction.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 28

There were wins for the top 3 sides as Manchester City and Leicester scored 8 goals between them, though the top 3 remained the same and City look set to be crowned the new champions.

West Ham lost and Tottenham also lost in the north London derby and that was a big blow to both sides chances of finishing in the top 4. Chelsea remain unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel. Finally just 3 points is the difference between Fulham in 18th place and Brighton in 16th.

Let’s take a look at the best performing players in the Premier League this week.

Goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy- Chelsea 7pts

Chelsea kept their unbeaten record because of one man and that was Edouard Mendy who has been superb for the Blues this season. He has kept 14 clean sheets as Chelsea drew at Leeds 0-0 and made some vital saves.

Defender: John Stones- Manchester City 9pts

John Stones is having his best season in a Manchester City shirt and he earned a whopping 9 points at the weekend as he scored a goal and kept a clean sheet. City beat Fulham 3-0 away from home and Stones now has 80 points in total and is rated as City’s best defender.

Defender: Joao Cancelo- Manchester City 7pts

It was another assured performance by Cancelo as City beat Fulham 3-0. The defender actually assisted in the opening goal to set up another defender in Stones.

Defender: Harry Maguire- Manchester United 5pts

Harry Maguire is getting better as the season goes on and he was rock solid against West Ham as he team look good to finish in 2nd place. United beat West Ham 1-0 and that was Maguire’s 12th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Ben Chilwell- Chelsea 5pts

Ben Chilwell has been one of Chelsea’s best defenders and the club were held to a 0-0 result at Leeds. Leeds played attack and had plenty of chances and Chilwell really stood out for the Blues as they try to finish in the top 4.

Midfielder: Marc Albrighton- Leicester 4pts

Marc Albrighton has improved as the season has gone on and he now has 26 points overall. Albrighton assisted in one goal as Leicester smashed Sheffield United 5-0.

Midfielder: Wilfred Ndidi- Leicester 4pts

Wilfred Ndid had a starring role as Leicester smashed Sheffield United and ran out 5-0 winners at the weekend. Ndidi assisted in Leicester’s fourth goal and that is his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Martin Odegaard- Arsenal 4pts

The new signing Martin Odegaard got his goalscoring for Arsenal off to a cracking start as the player scored in the north London derby as Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-1.

Midfielder: Luka Milivojevic- Crystal Palace 6pts

Luka Milivojevic scored the only goal of the game through a penalty as Crystal Palace picked up 3 huge points by beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0. That was the midfielder’s first goal of the season.

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 14pts

Iheanacho has been one of the best in form players in the Premier League and he keeps on scoring goals. At the weekend he scored a brace as Leicester beat Sheffield United 5-0 and he now has six goals so far for the season.

Striker: Chris Wood- Burnley 4pts

Chris Wood has been hit by some injuries by he scored a very important goal at the weekend as Burnley beat Everton away from home 2-1. Wood now has six goals so far for the season and a total of 24 points overall.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 27

Manchester City finally lost a game and to all of the teams who could have been against they wouldn’t want to lose to their arch rivals Manchester United but that’s exactly what happened as United ran out 2-0 winners. It doesn’t change the league standing much and City are 11 points in front of their rivals. Nevertheless it was a great result for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and they now look a shoe in for a top 4 place.

Liverpool lost their 6th game at home in a row in what is now a stunning downfall for the current champions. They have dropped to 8th place as Fulham beat them 1-0.

Let’s take a look at the players who made the grade this week in the fantasy football team for the Premier League, the formation being used is 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola- Fulham 7pts

Fulham didn’t just beat Liverpool at Anfield they also kept a clean sheet as they won the game 1-0. Areola had to make some good saves and keep focused throughout and that was the keeper’s 9th clean sheet so far and he has a total of 39 points.

Defender: Matt Doherty- Tottenham 6pts

Matt Doherty put in a strong performance for Tottenham as his confidence grows as they easily beat Crystal Palace 4-1. On top of his performance the player also assisted for the clubs 3rd goal and set his side well onto victory. Doherty’s value is 6m.

Defender: Luke Shaw- Manchester United 8pts

Luke Shaw had a weekend to remember as Manchester United beat their rivals in the famed derby 2-0. Not only did United win but they won at the Etihad and also Shaw scored the 2nd goal to win the game. It was Shaw’s first goal of the season and what a time to get it. The defender now has 45 points so far.

Defender: Ola Aina- Fulham 5pts

Especially in the second half of the season Ola Aina for Fulham has come on, if he isn’t scoring goals which he can do from the back four he is doing his prime job of defending. The player was under considerable pressure against Liverpool but put in a sterling job to shut the champions out. Aina has 41 points and has helped to keep 8 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Michael Keane- Everton 5pts

Michael Keane has been one of Everton’s best defenders and helped to keep his 7th clean sheet of the season as Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in their last game. Keane has been in good form this year and has 32 points so far.

Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes- Manchester United 6pts

Bruno Fernandes is so pivotal to Manchester United and he proved once again how important he is by scoring a very early penalty as Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-0 away from home. That was Fernandes’ 16th goal of the season so far.

Midfielder: Gareth Bale- Tottenham 9pts

Gareth Bale is on fire right now and following his fantastic performance against Burnley, Bale turned it on again to score another 2 goals as Tottenham beat Crystal Palace 4-1 at home. Bale now has 5 goals and has amassed 29 points.

Midfielder: Mason Mount- Chelsea 6pts

Mason Mount keeps scoring important goals for Chelsea and he has been one of the Blues’ most important players so far in this campaign. Mount has scored 5 goals and has 48 points in one of his best seasons as a professional.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 6pts

James Ward-Prowse started the season very positively but in recent months had taken a step back and of course a few weeks out due to injury didn’t help. But he stepped up to open the scoring with a penalty as Southampton recorded a 2-0 win over Sheffield United.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 12pts

It was another stunning weekend for England’s number 1 striker Harry Kane. Kane scored 2 goals and also assisted in another. Kane has now scored an incredible 16 goals but also assisted in a further 13 and he has 89 points. That makes Kane the best player in all of the fantasy leagues competitions so far.

Striker: Kelechi Iheanacho- Leicester 4pts

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his 3rd goal of the season to help Leicester come back against Brighton and eventually win the game 2-1. The forward isn’t normally a regular but has been given the chance because of injuries and has scored a few goals lately. He currently has 10 points overall but could get more opportunities and his value is 6m.

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In Europe Manchester United are bullish and brilliant but in the Premier League they have lost direction

The difference seemingly can’t be measured when Manchester United play in Europe and then switch to domestic football. Here we have a club whose form this season in the Premier League has been amongst the best, but United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keep having their dips in form.

Every team of course has form problems and can go on an average to bad run, the problem with Manchester United is that it seems to hang around longer. The flipside to this is that they can pull out 5-6 game winning runs. But in this moment it feels as though the Red Devils have lost some direction in the Premier League.

Perhaps this is down too the fact that their city rivals Manchester City have shot away from the rest of the league and are now 14 points in the lead over United who are in 2nd place. It seems as if United have given up the chase and let’s face it they will not claw those points back now. However at the same time any United fan and anyone associated with the club would love to see them finish 2nd if being champions was always going to be too much for them to achieve this season.

The truth is, at this point, United will have a challenge on their hands to finish in the top four. Currently they are in 2nd and have 51 points and the gap to 5th where Liverpool currently are is 8 points. The Reds have a game in hand and those points could be reduced in midweek.

Manchester United have won just once in their last 5 games and have earned just 15 points from their last 30. With their standing that just isn’t good enough. Leicester could be poised to take 2nd place from United too and they have a chasing pack of West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham to contend with. Jose Mourinho’s side do not look a threat at present being 12 points behind United but they have 2 games in hand and all could change rather quickly if teams find more consistency.

In drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace, United also have gone their last 2 games without a goal and when one looks at their strike force including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani one would expect better. After all Palace were not fighting for anything when the clubs met this week.

United fans will know this form isn’t just a blip, not under Solskjaer who has had a good 5 dips of form since becoming manager of the club, those dips have stretched out for two months at a time. And that form would have cost Solskjaer his job at many clubs especially a club like Chelsea which Frank Lampard found out just a few weeks ago.

So in the Europa League when United were pitted against Spanish side Real Sociedad it was thought that the club were going to struggle and could get knocked out of the competition. Sociedad had led La Liga this season for several weeks and had taken points from the bigger teams. In Portu Sociedad have their own Bruno Fernandes, a versatile attacking midfielder who also scores plenty of goals. Just last weekend his goal helped the club to take 2 points from Real Madrid away from home as that match finished 1-1. In short Sociedad are a very good side. And yet Manchester United in poor form beat Sociedad 4-0 and knocked them out of the Europa League.

It feels as if United have that fire in the belly and man for man one could say that United have the better team than Sociedad, but one would also have to agree that they thought this match up would have been very close and not settled with such a large score. In Europe in this cup competition under Solskjaer United seem to have found their footing, their place where everything clicks and they should be among the favourites to go on and win the competition.

The players seem more focused in Europe and there is a goal to reach, and perhaps domestically United understand that they need an extra push to stay in the top 4 but apart from that not much can be achieved now, but in Europe and also the FA Cup the fire in the belly remains.

United will play Milan in the quarter finals of the Europa League and should be content in the fact that this isn’t the Milan of 15 years ago. Milan are a good side of course but United over two legs, one would think, would have too much for the Italians.

But Solskjaer needs to be mindful this his side do not lose focus in the Premier League, it is a tough and competitive league that takes no prisoners. If you start to lag and stop winning you will be punished and United are not certain for a top four place. They would be foolish to put all of their eggs in one basket and go for the Europa, they need to maintain some desire to pick up points in the Premier League also.

The next few months will reveal the story more and Solskjaer will be well aware that his job despite an overall good season is far from safe.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 4-0 Burnley

Of course before a ball was kicked at the weekend Tottenham were the odds on favourites to win this game, but it hadn’t been a kind few weeks for a club who first slipped out of the title race and then seemed to slip out of a top 4 place.

Reports of behind the scenes shenanigans including manager Jose Mourinho happy to publically criticise players and then not play the £220,000 a week salaried Gareth Bale felt like club owner Daniel Levy and Mourinho could come to blows.

Mourinho was told by ex football players that all Bale needs was a friendly reminder of how good he is and a talk. So, when Mourinho announced before this game that he had done just that and would start Bale, like he had in the Europa League games, there was even more of a positive feeling surrounding this one. Add to the fact that Tottenham destroyed Sean Dyche’s team here last season 5-0, and surely we were looking at three points for the Londoners. We wouldn’t be wrong.

Bale took all of 120 seconds to score the opening goal swiftly shooting from a pass by Heung- Min Son. That was Bale’s 3rd goal for the club this season, despite missing a lot of game time and Son’s 8th assist.

This game felt over 12 minutes later when an energetic and rampant Tottenham side had made it 2-0 through none other than Harry Kane scoring his 14th goal of the season, sure there was a slight deflection one could say but it was all Kane’s. The misery of the first half was not over for Burnley and soon it was 3-0 this time Lucas Moura from an acute angle.

The first half wasn’t all Tottenham and to be fair Burnley had a couple of good chances too but then again the home side had 9 shots at goal and were 3-0 up and Mourinho would have been delighted in the dressing room.

In the second half the threat of more goals followed because Bale had scored his brace for the day just before the hour mark to make it 4-0. Son again assisted and Bale in the area shot low into the bottom left hand corner.

There would be chances for Son and Kane to add to the score but the game stayed at 4-0 and it didn’t matter because Tottenham had put in a superb and commanding display.

The club now have 39 points and are in 8th place and have a game in hand over 4th place West Ham. So there is still all to play for in the race for that final Champions League position.

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