WADE PRETORIUS takes a look back at the week that was in the Premier League.
The Good – Merseyside on a high
Liverpool’s win at Chelsea may yet prove to be the Reds’ turning point under Jurgen Klopp as they saw off the home side and looked pretty good doing it too. Klopp’s side has been inconsistent but the win at Stamford Bridge will have many Anfield hopefuls believing the corner has finally been turned. Across town, Everton’s fast start continued as they came from behind to beat Middlesbrough. Ronald Koeman has done a fantastic job at Goodison Park and the Toffees sit second with 13 points after five games and more importantly, playing controlled yet easy on the eye football. The Dutch manager has attempted to play down talk of Everton ‘doing a Leicester’, saying: ‘You like high expectation from everybody because it means we are doing well. But everybody knows it’s only after five games and it is too early to predict anything. We know we have a strong team. We improved a lot and the team is working hard, and we know we can be really strong.’ They may not win the league but it’s a good time to be a fan of football whichever team you support in Merseyside.
The Bad – Manchester United losing their way
Forget, for a minute if you can, that Watford’s 3-1 win over Manchester United was their first at home in three decades or that Jose Mourinho has now lost 16 of his last 34 matches after losing 16 of the previous 111 matches. Please also forget that United’s loss was their third that week (Did that ever happen under Louis van Gaal?) or that Paul Pogba is trending for all the wrong reasons after his record move. Instead, the bad comes from the dissent shown, and punished, by players like Wayne Rooney and Memphis Depay. Both were shown yellow cards for reacting to the decisions made by the referee and his linesman and rightly punished under the league’s new rules. Instead of berating the ref, get on with your job and trying make an impact for exactly the reason you get paid your mega-millions each month. Rooney’s leadership should be questioned in the same light as his form right now.
The Ugly – Stoke City’s miserable start to the season
Many have David Moyes as the first manager to be sacked this season but I’d be surprised if Mark Hughes isn’t the first to lose his job. Four losses followed an opening day draw and the Potters are bottom of the table with a goal aggregate of -11. The club spent a ton of money in the transfer market in the past couple of windows but have failed miserable when it comes to delivering on the field results. The club’s owners will be restless after the 4-1 hammering they took at Crystal Palace on Sunday, leaving Hughes in grave danger of the sack.