Premier League talking points: Man Utd luck, Arsenal woes, Kane preventing Mourinho sack

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The Premier League returned post-international break with plenty of drama as West Brom hammered Chelsea 5-2, Arsenal lost to Liverpool and Tottenham threw away victory at Newcastle, while Manchester United came from behind to beat Brighton. Express Sport’s Matt Dunn looks at all the major talking points from match-day 30.


Angry rows in the dressing room. Over-exuberant challenges in training leading to bust-ups. A cooling down period required for a senior player.

But none of those are the main problem that should be concerning Thomas Tuchel as he deals with the fall out of only his first defeat as Chelsea boss in 15 games.

The worry he has is that his private business is all very much out in the open.

The sort of repercussions that have gone on at Chelsea are common at any club – especially one that has played as badly as Chelsea did against West Brom on Saturday.

But the speed with which the first signs of cracks permeated out into the wider world is a far more worrying sign of structural problems than some frustrated fisticuffs between two players who did not even take part on Wednesday.

Tuchel is an abrasive character and has left bust-ups wherever he goes as a manager. That is his style.

What he does not need is his dirty linen being washed in public just at the point where he needs to return to clean sheets and winning ways as quickly as possible.


A lot of things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have gleaned from Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson include, it now transpires, an uncanny knack to have major decisions go his way.

For years now the bigger teams have got the bigger calls and it is going to take more than the ham-fisted use of VAR technology to eradicate that, it seems.

Referees are not deliberately biased, but some subconscious sense – it turns out it is not even baying hordes in giant stadiums either – seems to make them look after the interests of the favourite when making a judgment call.

Danny Welbeck was denied the sort of penalty he used to get when in a United shirt. The touch was not much, but it was there.

It is almost as though referees are guided by what ought to happen – i.e. the Manchester Uniteds of this world should beat the Brightons – when weighing up the evidence of their eyes.

The trouble is, while this subjectivity leads to errors, they are not clear and obvious ones – another reason why the whole VAR concept is flawed.


In the long-running game of finger-pointing at Arsenal, never has more compelling evidence been collated to show where the club have been going wrong in recent seasons.

For one of the first times ever, the three most expensive signings in the club’s history all started a game together – and they stank the place out in being totally out-performed by Liverpool in their own back yard.

Nicolas Pepe, £72million, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, £56m, and Alexandre Lacazette, £47m, represent a huge outlay on players who, quite simply, are not good enough.

As Liverpool demonstrated so ably.

Diogo Jota, for example, was signed for less any of those and yet showed the sort of regenerative cutting edge Liverpool need as Mohamed Salah begins to have such wistful, wandering eyes.

Arteta is being relied upon to coach up the cheaper talent from within. But are his players really improving?

Eighth last season, they are currently 10th in one of the most average Premier League seasons in recent years.

The executive are playing as badly in the transfer market as the players have been on he pitch at times. It is a club heading in the wrong direction.


By his own admission, Jose Mourinho inherited a squad which, when fit, he believed had the talent at Tottenham to win the league.

Now that they are pretty much all up and running, he now does not trust them to hold on to a lead and beat the most out-of-sorts team in the division.

He blames the players, but it is not exactly rocket science to work out where things have gone most wrong.

A manager who used to turn good players into great players now turns promising players into nervous wrecks.

Just ask Dele Alli, Harry Winks, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Steven Bergwijn and Matt Doherty.

Only the remarkable glue provided by Hugo Lloris and the incredible strength of will displayed always by Harry Kane – coupled with talented midfielders Mourinho inherited in Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – is holding the team together at all.

Mourinho told the Kane on the Amazon Prime documentary, “My dimension is universal and by being with me I think I can help you.”

That has since been turned on his head and Kane’s form is the only one keeping the Special One even in a job.


It seemed like madness but on Saturday at the Emirates I think we got to see the method.

England manager Gareth Southgate’s treatment of Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.

We are not suddenly so blessed as a nation that we can afford to leave one of our few world class players out of a major finals.

In reality, the decision to drop the Liverpool full-back from the most recent international get-together is beginning to look like nothing other than a well-timed wake up call to make sure Alexander-Arnold brings the very best off himself to the finals come the summer.

And after a so-so season for the 22-year-old we saw a little bit more of that again on Saturday evening.

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