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

Arsenal have lost again. In losing 2-1 to Wolves the Gunners have made their worst start to a top flight campaign since 1981!

How times have changed at Arsenal where once facing Wolves at home would have been looked at as an easy three points. Now there is trepidation and fear and some of the Gunners team showed that at the weekend.

The match got off to an awful start as David Luiz, the Arsenal defender and Raul Jimenez the Wolves forward accidentally clashed heads when the ball was being crossed in from a corner. Luiz missed the ball and caught Jimenez instead with a loud thud. The reaction of the Wolves players said it all about Jimenez who had to be stretched off. It has been reported since that Jimenez has a fractured skull and will almost certainly be ruled out for the rest of the year and will be looking for a mid January return.

As for Luiz he somehow continued at least until half time after Arsenal had given him some tests on the touchline. However the club need to look at themselves especially with the latest news from the FA who want to look into head injuries in football and the long term implications. The fact that the Gunners took Luiz off at half time speaks volumes.

For the next ten minutes the game looked like it would be petering out with all thoughts on Jimenez but Wolves remembered with respect that there was a game to be won. A ;lucky bounce off the cross bar after a good Wolves attack opened the scoring for Pedro Neto.

At this point it would have been easy for Arsenal to crumble and be sorry for themselves but they soon hit back through Gabriel. The defender rose well to score a great goal and looked to be the unlikely hero of the day for the Gunners. However just before half time a Wolves break again and the ball found Neto looking for his second of the day, his shot was blocked but the reaction of the Arsenal defence, just like for the first goal, was too slow and Daniel Podence who has emerged as a quality player for Wolves pounced to drive the ball into the net for 2-1.

The game finished 2-1 and perhaps the saddest realisation was that Arsenal who had to obviously chase the game in the second half did not record a single shot on target throughout it. Neither did Wolves but Nuno Espirito Santo’s team didn’t need too.

There will be a lot of head scratching going on at the Emirates because in the summer, towards the end of the season, there seemed to be a path, a clearing of the leaves and mist left by Arsene Wenger’s final seasons and layered upon once more by Unai Emery. Arteta seemed to be the man that Arsenal needed. A string of results in the league led to an incredible FA Cup run which seen the club beat Chelsea in the final and win silverware from a season where they looked destined to come up short.

And yet here we are just four months later and if you thought Arsenal salvaging 8th place on the last day of the season was heroic think again. After 10 games Arsenal are in 14th position with 13 points. Five points from a Champions League place doesn’t seem like the end of the world but they are also just six points from the bottom three. If Arsenal were to keep to this standard for the rest of the season they would end up finishing with under 50 points.

Simply put one can look up at the starting 11 for Arsenal and wonder with all conviction if they actually have a good team anymore? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a brilliant player, but he has gone off the boil over the past few weeks. Questions will now turn to next weekend when Arsenal will face Tottenham away from home and what a crunch game that promises to be.

Some believe that a heavy loss could result in Mikel Arteta being sacked. The omens do not look good for Arteta with Arsenal having lost more games than won now and the fact that this latest home defeat was their third in a row, only sharpens ink on the P45.

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Premier League: Best 11 Players from Week 10

The three top clubs, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea all drew and there is just 2 points between them. Wolves are back in the mix with  a terrific 2-1 win away to Arsenal and the Gunners have fallen to 14th.

Manchester City who have had a slow start to the campaign by their standards thumped Burnley 5-0 and they are now 10th. Manchester United also recorded a brilliant comeback against Southampton and are now in the top 8.

It was another exciting weekend of football where we witnessed 19 goals from 8 games, but did any of your players make the team of the week, let’s have a look.

Goalkeeper: Illan Meslier- Leeds United 7pts

Illan Mesier kept a clean sheet even though Everton had seven good shots on target as Leeds beat Everton away from home 1-0. It was a tough afternoon for the goalkeeper who had to keep 100% alert. It was Meslier’s 4th clean sheet of the season so far.

Defender: Kyle Walker- Manchester City 7pts

Manchester City romped home to a 5-0 win over Burnley and that means that on top of getting a great win Kyle Walker in defence kept his 3rd clean sheet of the season. Walker also assisted in the clubs 2nd goal to wrap up a brilliant match for him.

Defender: Benjamin Mendy- Manchester City 9pts

Benjamin Mendy was the stand out performer in defence for the 2019 champions, keeping a clean sheet as City thrashed Burnley 5-0 and scoring the clubs third goal effectively killing the game off at that point.

Defender: Robin Koch- Leeds United 5pts

Robin Koch put in a stellar performance at the back to give Leeds a rare away win and a good one as it was against Everton. Koch had to make some brilliant interventions and decisions during a tense victory for Leeds and kept a clean sheet in the process.

Defender: Thiago Silva- Chelsea 5pts

Thiago Silva played one of his most assured games for Chelsea in the back four since his move from PSG in the summer. His quality and experience held his defence line firm as Chelsea drew 0-0 against Tottenham the current league leaders.

Midfielder: Kevin De Bruyne- Manchester City 6pts

Kevin De Bruyne has had better seasons but when everything clicks he is still one of the best midfielders in the world. At the weekend it wasn’t about goals for De Bruyne but about assists and he set up 2 of Citys five goals.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City 16pts

Riyad Mahrez always seems to do well against Burnley but he did exceptionally well at the weekend as City ran out 5-0 winners and Mahrez grabbed an incredible 16 fantasy points to boot. Mahrez scored a hat trick and now has four goals for this season overall.

Midfielder: James Ward-Prowse- Southampton 5pts

Though his team Southampton let a 2 goal lead slip against Manchester United to lose the game James Ward-Prowse had another eventual weekend. He assisted in the clubs first goal and scored the second, though he did some points as he was also booked during the match.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence- Wolves 4pts

And step up Daniel Podencenewcast who has really come to light for Wolves this season when they have neeed a goal. Podence scored what would turn out to be the winner as Wolves stunned Arsenal at the Emirates to win the game 2-1.

Striker: Edinson Cavani- Manchester United 10pts

Edinson Cavani had scored for Manchester United before of course but perhaps this was the weekend when the player truly arrived. Cavani scored 2 goals and also assisted in United’s opener as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2.

Striker: Callum Wilson- Newcastle United 6pts

On Friday Callum Wilson was the hero for Newcastle as they pulled off an excellent away win beating Crystal Palace 2-0. Wilson assisted in one goal and scored the other and the striker now has seven goals overall.

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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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How Wolves have made progress in the Premier League with their football and sports science

Wolves have had some rich and successful years in the top tier of English football though we would have to go back to the 1950s when the team were at their best. Then they won 3 league titles and finished that decade off with an FA Cup win. After that the club had many problems, even in the 1980s they were close to financial ruin and bad investments and runs of bad luck have not helped the club in the latter years. But all of that has changed under current owners Fosun International.

Fosun themselves were only founded in 1992 and took ownership of Wolves in 2016 for just £45m and steadily they have seen incredible progress. When one thinks that Wolves have become a staple top 10 side in the Premier League and reached the quarter finals of the Europa League last season that is a stunning achievement compared to just over a decade ago when the club were plying their trade in the 3rd tier of English football.

It took a season to get their man who would turn out to be a superb capture in former Porto player Nuno Espirito Santo. And he has gone on to have a win rate of 51% with Wolves winning 84 of the 164 games he has coached for the club and losing just 39 games. Indeed only in his first managerial job with Rio Ave has he ever dipped under a 50% win average.

It was in Santo’s first season with the club that he made a huge impact as Wolves won the Championship for promotion to the Premier League and it was special given that it was in the clubs 140th anniversary year. The following season in the Premier League was Wolves’ return to the top tier since 2012 and they finished seventh and reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in a memorable season for them.

The next season the club finished in the same position proving their consistency and of course had that superb run in the Europa League reaching the quarter-finals and only being beaten in the end by Sevilla who would go on to win the competition that season.

In Santo’s time so far there are a few players that have really stuck out. One was sold on to Liverpool this season in Diogo Jota and the player was initially taken on loan and then bought from Porto. Jota was an incredibly important part of the Wolves set up but was sold to Liverpool this season for a reported £45m. This was smart business from an financial stand as Fosun had made back their total investment in the club on one player. But it does remain to be seen how Jota’s sale especially to another Premier League club could hurt Wolves in the long run.

The other player who has made an impact and arguably the biggest is Raul Jimenez. Rare has it become not to see the players name amongst the goalscorers for the club now. Jimenez was bought from Benfica after a loan spell and he has scored 34 league goals in the last 82 games and has started this season well too scoring 4 goals in the first six matches.

Good investment, a driven manager and buying the right players are just three things that any club needs to be successful but there is also a key element that has been keeping Wolves well above the water and that has been in their injury department. Compared to other Premier League clubs Wolves have a very small percentage of injuries and in most games last season key players were always available and they hardly had any problems on the sidelines- they have started this season off in the very same way.

One of those key players behind the scenes was physio Phil Hayward who spent 11 years at the club. He has since moved onto LA Galaxy but the thinking is that Hayward spent such a happy and successful time at Wolves that he has passed on much of his information. Currently only Jonny is out long term for the club and Santo’s has a clean bill of health for his squad, he will be touching the dressing room wood that it stays this way throughout the season just like it has for the previous years.

Presently Wolves have had a bumpy start to the new season but the club are finding their way now and have gone their last 3 games unbeaten winning two of them and drawing their game last weekend 1-1 against Newcastle. They go into this weekend in 9th place and are keeping up that tradition of not only being a thorn in the side of so many of the bigger clubs but also a top 10 staple side.

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Jose Mourinho will be delighted that Tottenham have qualified for the Europa League

When Jose Mourinho took up the job at Tottenham the London side were flirting with mid table, so he will be delighted that the team have advanced since his arrival.

In the end Tottenham found some great form and consistency to surge forward and qualify for next seasons Europa League. A step forward has been made which sounds bizarre given that Tottenham reached the 2019 Champions League final.

However under Mauricio Pochettino this season had started poorly and that was when Mourinho was brought in. How quickly things change in football, one moment Pochettino was the hero and the next, at least to the clubs owners he was the zero.

Maybe there will be a tinge of disappointment that Tottenham are not returning to the Champions League for next season, they did seem to have a genuine chance as the campaign restarted. But in the end too many draws and not losses stifled their chances- they ended up finishing 7 points off the Champions League pace.

But on recent form alongside the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham have looked like a team on a mission and in fact on form are the 3rd best side in the league. The club went their last 5 games without defeat picking up 11 points in that time. They even defeated Newcastle at St.James’ Park. That may not sound like an achievement for the club itself but for Mourinho it was huge. He had an uncanny record at Newcastle’s ground no matter what team he managed where he kept losing games their. This season Tottenham won 3-1 though.

The least Tottenham could have hoped for is European football next season and after finishing 6th they have it edging out Wolves on goal difference as they finished with 59 points.

Whilst Mourinho wants Champions League football he will realise that for now Europa League football is good enough. And of course he has won the Europa League with Manchester United in the past. For United the trophy always felt like a stepping stone, for Tottenham to win in Europe again (the first time since the 1980s) it would feel like something completely different- a justification of Mourinho’s appointment.

Of course we are getting ahead of ourselves, but after some difficult moments perhaps Mourinho being at Tottenham is not as bad as some pundits have suggested, perhaps there really will be a trophy of some sort at the end of his journey, and a trophy really is what the club need and want.

Mourinho will also be hoping that the prospect of European football will settle some of his players. It has been suggested that star striker Harry Kane may want a move away, as time is running out for the player to win some silverware. Qualification at least is another opportunity for Tottenham to pick up something.

The summer will be interesting transfer wise at Tottenham that is for sure.

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Another defeat for West Ham hammers home appointment of David Moyes was poor

Football is here once again, but the misery continues for West Ham.

The Hammers put in a toothless display as they were beaten at home against Wolves 2-0. In truth the game was not flowing enough, perhaps the late warm Saturday afternoon played its part. However it was telling that Wolves were able to find another level to get the win and 3 glorious points.

For West Ham attentions had to quickly turn to Saturday evenings game between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. The hammers needed Palace to win given that Bournemouth could have dumped them into the relegation zone. As it turned out Eddie Howe’s side lost 2-0. Good news for West Ham.

How much does it say about the club though when they have to look around them and rely on other results? That is a quick fix which in the long run never works out, and as it is West Ham look amongst the favourites to be relegated this season.

Currently the club are in 17th place with 27 points and only goal difference is keeping them from being in the bottom three.

Attention at this time is swung in the direction of David Moyes, a manager who already failed at the club once. In some bizarre twist of fate when the Hammers searched for a new manager they turned once again to the Scotsman. The problem with Moyes is that he hasn’t had his charge or for a better word mojo in a decade when he was manager of Everton. Though the Mersey side team won nothing under him at least they challenged for a European place, even making it as far as the Champions League qualifiers in 2005.

Since then Moyes has had nightmare spells at Manchester United and even Real Sociedad. One could argue that Moyes and West Ham could have been the perfect fit, that would have worked had he not been in charge once before.

The statistics much like the game against Wolves are damning for Moyes. From the 13 games he has managed in his second stint as West Ham manager he has lost 8 of them and currently has a win rate of just 23%. That is 6% lower than his first time in charge of the club.

As for the game West Ham never looked like being a major threat to Wolves and had just 2 shots on target the whole game.

West Ham’s next match is against London rivals Tottenham away on Tuesday. Whilst they have surprised their opponents on a few occasions Tottenham clearly have the stronger squad, and it could be just a matter of time before West Ham see themselves in the bottom three.

The Irons will welcome back striker Sebastien Haller for that game, and Moyes will be hoping that the Frenchman can make the difference in midweek. He may have to as the pressure even without the fans at games is really mounting for the manager.

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This isn’t the Jose Mourinho Tottenham were looking for as season boils down to the FA Cup

So it looks like the season for Tottenham is going to come down to the FA Cup, and they have a manager in Jose Mourinho who wins trophies. Even at his nightmare period with Manchester United Mourinho won silverware and this is the hope that Tottenham cling on too.

In truth has Mourinho’s appointment improved Tottenham as a whole since sacking Mauricio Pochettino last November? Statistically it just about has in Mourinho’s first 12 games in charge he earned 20 points. In Pochettino’s 12 games in charge before being sacked this season he earned 14. But this season under Mourinho Tottenham are on course to earn at least 10 points under what Pochettino earned last season.

Though Tottenham still find themselves in the mix for a top 4 spot, which would mean Champions League football next season, this is not down to how good they have been, but more about how inconsistent Chelsea have been in 4th place. The lack of putting any number of winning games together has given the likes of both Tottenham and Manchester United hope. But the reality is that Tottenham look like they will miss out on Champions League football next season, evidently they are just not a good enough side this season to finish in the top four. That was hammered home again last weekend when they lost 3-2 at home to Wolves, despite being a goal up.

One of the biggest factors in getting Mourinho in and reportedly paying him in the region of £15m a season was that he wins games on a consistent basis and finds a way. His home form in league games is undisputed, but this season under him Tottenham have already lost 3 at home, this under a man who once went 9 years over 150 games without defeat at home. It does feel that Tottenham were looking for the Jose Mourinho of 2005 and have landed with an inferior product.

The Champions League this season is very much in the balance after the club lost the 1st leg against RB Leipzig 1-0. That was a home game and if Leipzig score first in Germany in the return match, Tottenham would need to score at least 2 goals on the night. Tottenham remains a very good side, let’s not forget that they made the Champions League final last year, but they are clearly a few levels below most of the teams left in this seasons competition.

Of course injuries have played their part. Not only did they lose Harry Kane but Heung-Min Son who had found his goal scoring boots is also out injured, and both players are missing months instead of weeks. But something else is missing with the club and it could well be that Mourinho is well past his sell by date, or maybe he just doesn’t have the quality of players at his disposal. Will more money be spent this summer, well you can guarantee it, but then all of the pressure will be under Mourinho with nowhere to escape if the club do not pick up and start challenging for trophies.

This season then looks like it will come down to the FA Cup. And make no mistake if Tottenham did finish outside the top four, but qualified for the Europa League and won the FA Cup the fans would take that. For all of the great play under Pochettino and the memorable wins, the club won nada, nothing, zilch. And fans want to see trophies held aloft at the end of the day.

Today the club will turn to the FA Cup where they will play Norwich in their replay and try to qualify for the quarter finals. Lose that and one senses all momentum could depart a ship that sometimes looks worryingly lost at sea.

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Man Utd 0-0 Wolves: The Red Devils drop points at home again as they move down to sixth place

With both Chelsea and Leicester City dropping two points each in the early kick-off on Saturday afternoon, it gave Manchester United some hope as well as some wishful thinking that a potential victory over Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves would allow them to close the gap on the top four positions. However, that was not the case, as the match at Old Trafford ended in a boring stalemate.

The match was expected to be quite a slow-moving and dull fixture on both sides of the pitch, mainly because of Wolves and their pragmatic setup in a back-three system whilst United simply do not have the quality to create the key chances and also convert them. In the end, none of the sides were able to take the game by the scruff of the neck as the points were equally shared by both teams.

This was actually United’s fifth league game of 2020, as the side ended up achieving only four points out of a potential 15 ahead of the winter break, which does raise the question on if the Red Devils are good enough to push for a top four finish. Meanwhile, Wolves are on level for points with United but are just lower than them due to goal difference, as they continue their season in pure silence.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Bruno Fernandes produces a bright performance on his Old Trafford debut

For sure, there was no goals or assists produced to complete his performance, but Bruno Fernandes was showing off his quality on and off the ball, as he went onto show his intelligence tactically whilst proving to be a dangerous threat going forward. Although he was playing in a much more deeper role than what he was used to in his days at Sporting Lisbon, he had clearly saw the difficulties the side had with progressing the ball with intensity and decided to take matters into his own hands.

With the likes of Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba expected to return from suspension or injuries after the winter break and towards the end of the month, it would certainly allow the Portuguese international to play high up the pitch and focus on creating chances and scoring from distance, which is what he naturally specialises in. Once the midfield options come back, United will definitely be expected to control and dominates games with ease and no problems.

Lack of intelligence and movement in the attacking department lets United down

When you dominate the possession of the ball by 64%, complete 15 shots in 90 minutes, despite creating only one big chance, the ongoing issues have to be raised on the lack of attacking combinations and patterns that the Old Trafford faithful are witnessing. Sometimes, it feels like the players in the team are playing with one another for the first time, as they are unable to create or complete a progressive rhythm of passes, in order to help the side to build the play up effectively.

United’s go-to-man has been Marcus Rashford this season, someone who has the pace, dribbling ability and movement on and off the ball to cause a number of defenders massive worries, no matter if he is playing on the flanks or through the middle. However, since he has been on the sidelines, the other attackers within the squad have been unable to step up and rise to the occasion, as individuals such as Anthony Martial, Andreas Pereira and Daniel James have been below par.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s in-game management has to improve or he will not last long

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the double substitution of Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard for Daniel James and Juan Mata, there were quite a bit of groans and moans around Old Trafford as well as from the Manchester United supporters on social media, purely because of the fact that it took the manager until the 88th minute of the game to make the changes and push for the win. Despite the lack of quality and depth in the squad, Solskjaer has to have a backup plan for him to rely on, and has he does not have a plan A or plan B, it is high unlikely that he will succeed at Manchester United.

Since the arrival of Solskjaer on a permanent basis, there has not been that many players that have actually improved or been taken to the next level, besides the individuals that have been promoted from the youth academy. Not only that, 25 league games into the season, the side have only been able to pick up nine wins and eight draws, as they are currently experiencing a season of a low tally of points, which has not been witnessed even under the likes of David Moyes or Louis Van Gaal.

Liverpool are so far out in front other Premier League teams are now just living in hope

Even when they are not playing their best game, and the ball isn’t falling where they want it to be, Liverpool find a way. It happened last night and it will probably happen when they face West Ham in five days time. Liverpool win games, and no one, at least in the Premier League, can stop them.

Witness how Liverpool were pegged back against Wolves in their last game this week. Pegged back and Liverpool games do not go hand in hand, and this was a strange occurrence. How fitting was it to see firstly that Jordan Henderson had opened the scoring for the Reds. Henderson has been absolutely brilliant especially this season for the club and it felt only fitting that for once the club captain would be on guard to get the goal, a possible winning one and see his team march on to the title with yet another win.

But Wolves would not be contained. They prodded and probed and one could feel that there was a goal in them. When it came in the 2nd half it didn’t feel like a surprise and it was scored by Raul Jimenez, who is on hot form. It was Jimenez that sunk the Saints that are Southampton last weekend scoring 2 goals when his side were 2-0 down and they eventually won 3-2. Wolves fighting spirit is why the English media pundit Charlie Nicolas claimed this week that Wolves would be the first Premier League side in the league to beat Liverpool this season (Aston Villa have already achieved this feat in the Carabao Cup).

Wolves put in a good showing and the match looked set at least to finish 1-1. What an achievement this would have been for the home side and the headlines were ready to be written by the waiting press. Wolves were coming very close to taking points from Liverpool, only the second team to do so, after Manchester United. And then Roberto Firmino erased those columns, and changed history and scored a cracking goal which won Liverpool the game 2-1. It was all over. And that is Liverpool in a nutshell. If Mohamed Salah is struggling, Sadio Mane will score, if Mane is struggling there is Firmino, who has been absolutely brilliant this season and will surely make anyone’s European side of the year. His importance cannot be underestimated.

What one could sense from last night though is how teams in England are resigned to the fact that the league title is Liverpool’s. Let’s face it we’ve known since at least October, we waited for a blip to happen, which hasn’t and doesn’t look like materialising.

No blip, no lack of energy, the machine just keeps on going.

So as a result what has happened and it was evident last night was when Wolves scored or dared, you could say, to score a goal and equalise against the mighty Liverpool. For they have been so utterly dominant that just making the score 1-1 with ten minutes to go would dare to dream. Teams now in the Premier League feel success rests on just taking something from the club. A draw now feels like beating them, and you have to pinch yourself when you see the record so far, 67 points won from a possible 69. It’s Roy of the Rovers stuff for sure, except this is all happening in reality and this side are going to go down in history.

So, it’s now over to West Ham, and no pressure on them. The Hammers need the win too after their 4-1 loss at Leicester and they look like they could be heading for the bottom three faster than a Salah screamer. That game takes place next week on January 29th at London Stadium. But who would bet against Liverpool recording their 23rd win of the league season?

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Unai Emery’s job is under threat at Arsenal

The Arsenal fans have made it clear that Unai Emery is now under severe pressure with some wanting him sacked as manager after just 18 months in charge. This comes after the Gunners have recorded just 2 wins from their past 9 games.

Emery has struggled with Arsenal overall and despite coming to the club with a good resume, winning the Europa League on a few occasions with Sevilla and the French league with PSG it has been difficult for the Spaniard to find the right balance with the team he has. Players on long contracts that he couldn’t sell like Mesut Ozil isn’t his fault and that remains some of the fall out from former manager Arsene Wenger. But fans believe that Emery simply isn’t getting the best out of his players and they could well be right.

What let down Wenger in his final years with the club was not qualifying for the Champions League and their dismal away record and that has continued under Emery. Reaching the Europa League final last season felt like a step in the right direction but what did it matter when they lost 4-1 in the final? No Arsenal fan wants to remember that run after that.

A glance at the Premier League table would see Arsenal in 5th place and wanting your manager sacked for that would seem harsh. But the bigger picture is that the club have slipped 6 points behind Chelsea who have a new young manager in Frank Lampard and have had a transfer ban this past summer.

Whilst the Gunners have only lost two games they have only won 1 game in their past five matches and have gone 3 games without a win. The other damning fact is the way they are losing points at home. Take the Crystal Palace match where they found themselves 2-0 up within 10 minutes. The old Arsenal circa 2005 would have gone on to win that match 5-0. This one let Palace back into the game. Of course one will argue that VAR stopped them from winning 3-2 with a bizarre decision but Arsenal should never have been in that situation in the first place.

Then there was the Wolves game again at home and again winning the match. Wolves were let back in the match and actually could have won it.

This is an Arsenal team who look hollow and without Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang they look devoid of ideas and goals.

The Arsenal fans may want Emery out but the board won’t panic yet. However if the club continue this form he may well be in trouble come the end of the year. Arsenal have a lot of thinking to do as the clubs ‘transition’ period continues for another season.

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