Damning stat exposes Utd; Blues’ crisis as Ange record shows biggest strength: PL Talking Points

    Two Premier League heavyweights are in dire straits after disastrous starts to their seasons.

    Meanwhile comeback kings Liverpool did it again for the third time in five games, but Jurgen Klopp isn’t happy despite ending a dry run from last season.

    And Ange Postecoglou hit a major milestone – and it showed off one of his greatest strengths.

    Here’s the big talking points from the Premier League!

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    Arsenal break Goodison Park drought | 02:19


    It’s been a horror start for Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose side sits 14th after three losses in their first five games. That’s their equal second-worst points tally through five games in Premier League history, while their five goals is their worst output at this stage since 1996.

    It continues their dismal scoring record from last season – 38 in 38 games.

    Misfiring Kai Havertz might have been sold, but the new men in the door aren’t having any better luck.

    Christopher Nkunku was a big-money arrival but was injured in pre-season, and the Blues are badly missing him.

    Meanwhile their other top attacking signing, Nicolas Jackson, is having a disastrous time in front of goals.

    The 22-year-old has taken the sixth-most shots of any player but has scored just once, and has missed six ‘big chances’.

    In this weekend’s goalless draw with Bournemouth, Jackson hit the post in the first half, but his struggles were later summed up by a shot so badly struck that he fell over while taking the attempt.

    Meanwhile £88.5m January signing Mykhailo Mudryk was poor on his first start of the season, taken off after an hour as his goalless start to life at Stamford Bridge stretched to 19 goals.


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    Blues booed after disastrous draw, Gunners end six-year wait with crushing win

    Mauricio Pochettino has a scoring problem.Source: Getty Images

    Chelsea are creating plenty of chances, but they lack any sort of clinical streak up front.

    Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink told Sky Sports: “Someone needs to take the responsibility to say, ‘I’m going to go by myself and I’m going to finish with a shot’.

    “We didn’t see enough of that. We saw passes that put their teammate in, but the passes weren’t great.

    “Sometimes you have to be more selfish and go direct and finish the action. It was not enough.

    “They are creating chances, they’re playing well and they’re passing the ball up to that final third. The issue here is the final pass and scoring goals, it’s that final bit that they have to figure out.”

    Nunku is one of a massive 12 players currently out injured, with a lack of squad stability badly hurting the Blues.

    The Chelsea bench included six players who had never made a Premier League appearance before the weekend, as well as two goalkeepers.

    Pochettino said: “We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief. We have 12 injured and [on Sunday] we had three or four young guys and two ‘keepers on the bench.

    “I’m going to cry? I’m going to complain? To who? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.”

    Manchester United are in dire straits.Source: AFP


    Just like Chelsea, Manchester United have struggled early this season. Their 3-1 loss to Brighton means the Red Devils have just six points from five games to leave them 13th on the table. Their three losses in five games is a new club low in the Premier League era.

    Coach Erik ten Hag insists the club is not in crisis – but they’re not far off.

    Jadon Sancho is in exile over a row with the coach, last year’s captain Harry Maguire was stripped of the armband and has fallen down the pecking order, Antony is on leave as he deals with domestic violence allegations, and Mason Greenwood was shipped to Spain after sexual assault and abuse allegations of his own.

    Then there’s the ultra-unpopular owners, the Glazer family, who put the club up for sale months ago – only to apparently backflip on that after offers came in well below their sky-high asking price.

    Brighton tore United apart despite a monumental disparity in the fees paid for the two teams’ starting line-ups – United’s starting XI cost £347m, while Brighton’s was just £17m.

    Erik ten Hag defended that, saying: “They also spend money, as everyone is doing.”

    Former United star Gary Neville said on his podcast for Sky Sports: “I always used to think at Old Trafford, ‘Don’t give the opposition an easy out’. They had an easy out yesterday and they dismantled Manchester United and made them look quite ordinary at times.

    “It was a worrying, concerning day in that Brighton were better than Manchester United. They were fantastic with a group of players that on paper aren’t as sexy, as valuable but they were the better team.”

    Man City perfection, Man Utd pain | 03:28

    United’s recruitment this transfer window has come under plenty of criticism.

    Ten Hag’s side spent a reported £183.5m on signings, bringing in Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana, Mason Mount, Sofyan Amrabat, Sergio Reguilon, Jonny Evans and Altay Bayindir.

    “I was worried at the start of the season,” said Neville.

    “There was this feeling Manchester United had got their business done early in the transfer window and that was good, but I was concerned the players they had brought in wouldn’t improve them from last season.

    “I never thought for one second they would challenge Manchester City and Arsenal from the players that they brought in.

    “That would have needed a Harry Kane-type signing or Declan Rice, as an example. They didn’t have the money to do those types of signings.”

    He added: “But the amount of money Manchester United have spent on that squad, it should have been a lot better. They’ve signed Onana, Hojlund and Mount.

    “Does that make them better than what they were?”

    So far, the answer is no. Ten Hag needs time to turn things around. But like Pochettino, he’ll be feeling plenty of pressure as the poor performances mount up.

    100th-minute miracle does it for Spurs | 00:48


    50 home games, zero losses. It’s the remarkable run that Ange Postecoglou has been on across three different clubs – first Yokohama F. Marinos, then Celtic, and now Tottenham. The streak runs almost three years, but came under great danger when Sheffield United led in the 98th minute, only for substitute Richarlison to score then assist Dejan Kulusevski for the 100th-minute winner. It was the latest-ever comeback in Premier League history and took Spurs to second on the table with four wins and a draw from their first five games – their best start to a top-flight season since 1965.

    It also took Postecoglou’s record to 42 wins from his most recent 50 home games.

    Postecoglou said after the match: “I do put a big emphasis on that wherever I’ve been because ultimately for your supporters, as much as you enjoy the away wins because you’ve got to earn every one of them, it’s when they come to their home ground that you want to really reward them.

    Aussie Ange has a stunning home record.Source: Getty Images

    “I’ve been very fortunate that at the last three clubs I’ve had, even in Japan we had 30,000 to 40,000 fans and at Celtic they’re always sold out and it creates an atmosphere which you can see helps the team.

    “That helps you as a club if you’re really strong at home, so, yeah it’s something I’m proud of.”

    One of Postecoglou’s great strengths is getting his players to buy into his distinct attacking identity – but another is getting the fans on board.

    The proof is in the pudding – 50 times over.

    Postecoglou wins Manager of the Month | 00:33


    Last year, Liverpool played at 12.30pm local time – the early kick-off – six times. They didn’t win a single match, losing three and drawing the other three. In those six games, they scored just three times from 83 shots.

    They finally managed to end that dire streak with a comeback win over Wolves, but it was far from pretty. The Reds were utterly atrocious in the first 45 minutes, looking sluggish and sloppy on and off the ball. After an international break, many of his stars returned to the club just a day or two before the match – and it showed, with many of them not looking up for the fight.

    Coach Jurgen Klopp has often spoken out against the intense fixture schedule his players face, and he was at it again before this weekend. Klopp blasted a journalist in his pre-match press conference who asked whether it was the time of day – and not the lack of preparation time – causing his team problems.

    The German replied: “Are you serious with that question? What do you think is the difference when you play 30 hours away?

    “12:30 is not a problem if you have a week to prepare. The only problem is the lack of recovery time.

    Cooney Cross & Hunt sign with big teams | 00:45

    “We have four international breaks until March. Two of them we have the early kick-off. If I say more about it the whole world goes again and says ‘he’s moaning again’.

    “This is a joke. We have players in South America I haven’t seen yet. In 24 hours we play.

    “But this is like it is, we cannot change that, they will never change that, whoever we talk to. Now the TV channel has a different name but that doesn’t change anything at all. They just don’t give a ‘bleep’ about that.”

    In the last eight years, Liverpool have played 12 early kick-offs – double the number of any other team.

    It’s a significant disadvantage. Luckily, Klopp nailed his substitutions to change the game and inspire another comeback win – Liverpool’s third of the season after doing so against Bournemouth, Newcastle, and now Wolves. It shows the team has great resilience, but Klopp will be desperate for his side to start matches better.

    Jurgen Klopp isn’t happy with the scheduling – but does he have a point?Source: Getty Images

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