7 Things We Learned From Another Controversial Weekend of Premier League Action

​So, what’s changed since this time last week? 

Well, we’ve seen a fair few Premier League records come tumbling down, witnessed a mutiny at the Emirates Stadium, discovered that VAR is variable, and found out that Captain America can do it on English soil. 

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham went down 2-1 at Liverpool, who joined Leicester City, Brighton, Chelsea, and both Manchester City and United in collecting three points over the weekend.

Here are seven things we learned from round ten of the 2019/10 Premier League.

Leicester Are Genuine Top-Four Contenders

Jamie Vardy,Youri Tielemans,Ayoze Perez

When Brendan Rodgers left Glasgow for the Midlands in February, Celtic supporters claimed he had traded immortality for mediocrity. They may want to rethink that statement if things stay as they are right now.

​Leicester are currently in the ​Champions League qualification places after their 9-0 decimation of ​Southampton on a drizzly Friday evening at St Mary’s. 

On the evidence of their early form this term, Rodgers’ side will secure their return to the top table of European football with relative ease.

The goals were impressive, but the real takeaway from the victory is the Foxes’ mindset – they knew they could punish ten-man Saints and did so in thrilling fashion, demonstrating the unity, belief and momentum that’s propelling them to a top-four finish.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka Is the Real Deal

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has quietly gone about his business since joining ​Manchester United from ​Crystal Palace in a £50m deal over the summer. His consistency at right back has been a shining light in an otherwise dark start to the year for the Red Devils.

Things are beginning to brighten up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recruits following a 3-1 win at ​Norwich City on Sunday, with their new defender ​equalling a seven-year club record at Carrow Road as he hit double-figures for tackling for the second time this campaign. 

Without Wan-Bissaka presence in defence, who knows how many more points United would have dropped thus far?

Norwich Are Deep Trouble

Daniel Farke

We said hello to Norwich in August and we’ll be saying goodbye to them in May. The Canaries simply aren’t up to the required standard, as shown by their limp display at home to the Red Devils.

United may have taken heart from their draw against ​Liverpool a week prior, but their confidence remains fragile. Fortunately for them, their hosts couldn’t capitalise because they have even less self-belief.

The goalscoring feats of Teemu Pukki had been keeping Daniel Farke and his team above the relegation zone on the opening weeks of the year, yet he’s gone off the boil of late. Without  more of those peak Pukki performances, there will be no more Canaries next term.

Christian Pulisic Has Come Good

Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic had come in for considerable criticism after his ​Chelsea career started in underwhelming fashion, the American failing to live up to his £58m price tag.

All of his doubters have been silenced in the last couple of weeks as the youngster has grown into his role within Frank Lampard’s setup at Stamford Bridge. He and Blues supporters are now reaping the rewards.

A perfect hat-trick from Pulisic helped the Londoners take a 4-2 victory away from Turf Moor, the 21-year-old looking electric throughout the match. It won’t be long before people are describing his transfer as a coup for the Blues.

Gunners Have Lost Patience

Granit Xhaka

At the time of kick-off between ​Arsenal and Crystal Palace, it was obvious the home crowd had grown tired of Unai Emery’s antics. The stands were littered with signs calling for the manager’s head.

He has struggled to get any stability at the Emirates, incessantly chopping and changing his lineups, producing inconsistent results, and showing unearned faith to some out-of-sorts players.

None of Emery’s squad is more maligned by Gooners than captain Granit Xhaka, the fans letting him know their feelings as the Swiss trudged off the pitch in a 2-2 draw with the Eagles. A rift between supporters and team is opening up at Arsenal.

VAR Listens (Kind of)


Of course, we were going to chat about VAR.

Until this weekend, ​Premier League viewers had been infuriated by the infamous term ‘clear and obvious error’, which is obviously far too subjective. As a result of its usage, almost no on-field decisions were getting overturned by the new technology, triggering fans the world over.

Suddenly, VAR has gone in the complete opposite direction and begun giving offences the referee hadn’t spotted, such as ​Everton’s Michael Keane treading on ​Brighton starlet Aaron Connolly’s foot.

The direction VAR is now being taken in is no more useful to supporters. All that’s needed is a fool-proof directive that works. Instead, we’re only getting unpredictability and endless confusion.

No Quick Fix for Tottenham Problems 

Heung-Min Son

Even when they were gifted a first-minute lead at Anfield, ​Tottenham looked like rabbits in the headlights against Liverpool – they have no faith in their own abilities and are seemingly terrified of any half-decent opposition.

Aside from Heung-min Son rattling the crossbar and Dele Alli failing to meet Harry Kane’s inviting cross, Spurs offered almost nothing on Merseyside after going ahead. This dire form has gone on too long for it to be just a blip in their season.

The uncertainty surrounding out-of-contract players, Pochettino’s inflammatory comments, some ill-thought-out investment, and a general lack of confidence are seriously hampering the Lilywhites. 

This will be their worst league showing since the Argentine was appointed in 2014, but the blame doesn’t rest solely with him.

For more from Ed Alexander, follow him on Twitter!


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