We learnt in the Premier League
ALLOWING Barcelona and Manchester City target Hector Bellerin to leave Arsenal would be a big mistake, says the 21-year-old Spain full-back’s Gunners teammate Santi Cazorla.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has described Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s summer move to Manchester United as “strange” and ruled out a future return to the German club for the 27-year-old Armenia midfielder.
INTER MILAN could seek to replace captain Mauro Icardi - labelled a “clown” by his own supporters at the weekend - with Chelsea and Belgium striker Michy Batshuayi, 23, who only moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
SUNDERLAND owner Ellis Short has spoken to Chinese consortiums over a potential £150m takeover of the Premier League club.
CHELSEA striker Diego Costa’s clash with manager Antonio Conte during the win over Leicester on Saturday started because the 28-year-old Spain international was fed up of being screamed at.
WEST BROM striker Saido Berahino, 23, was eight pounds overweight before the international break, prompting the club to leave him out of the squad at Tottenham.
AC MILAN are looking to step up their interest in Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, 29, and sent scouts to watch the Blues’ 3-0 win over Leicester on Saturday.
FA CHAIRMAN Greg Clarke thinks it may be too early in Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe’s career to give him the England job.
FORMER Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke, 44, says his failure to get a break in coaching is down to both racism and his lack of experience.
FORMER England defender Sol Campbell says he could land his first managerial job within the next three weeks, but expects it to be on the continent rather than in the Premier League.
TOTTENHAM forward Son Heung-min, 24, says former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy inspired him during their time at Hamburg together.
LEICESTER keeper Kasper Schmeichel says the club’s players have held clear-the-air talks over their poor start to their Premier League title defence.
ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has had a special pitch installed at the club’s training ground in an effort to reduce their injury problems.
£1=RM5.13 Guardiola is no magician It all seemed to be going so well for Pep Guardiola. Ten wins on the trot, a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table and the trio of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne all playing on the same wavelength. But oh how the tables have turned.
Draws with Celtic and Everton sandwich a comprehensive 2-0 loss to Tottenham, and suddenly City face the daunting trip to Barcelona early tomorrow morning with the very real risk of going four matches without a win.
Things don’t get much easier afterwards, with in-form Southampton – more of them later – set to visit the Etihad Stadium before the Manchester derby in the EFL Cup (or simply the League Cup) at Old Trafford.
It’s not completely inconceivable that City could reach the end of October having not won a match since 24 September, yet everyone was ready to hand out the league trophy to Guardiola less than a month ago.
Conte’s Chelsea begin to click After a difficult run of games that brought defeats by Liverpool and Arsenal, Chelsea finally looked like the talented team they should be in Saturday’s 3-0 win over struggling Leicester City. The Blues, again deployed in a 3-43 formation, benefitted greatly from having Marcos Alonso let loose on the left, and he in turn allowed both Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to roam to great effect. It was also the best performance we’ve seen from N’Golo Kante since he moved south to Stamford Bridge, and – perhaps fired up against his former side – he proved why Conte was right to wax lyrical about the France midfielder before the match. It looked like the first time we’ve seen Conte’s style reap rewards for Chelsea, and could be a sign of things to come.
Kane absence is costing Spurs Tottenham put in as close to a perfect performance as is possible without managing to win at the weekend, as the 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion meant that they missed out on the chance to go top of the Premier League.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to stress that his team have been hampered by injuries, and none more so than the one to Harry Kane.
It took a late equaliser from Dele Alli to cancel out former Tottenham midfielder Nacer Chadli’s opener, but without Kane in the side, Spurs have struggled to display that cutting edge that the England striker brings.
His replacement, Vincent Janssen, simply can’t match Kane’s eye for goal, and while the likes of Son Heung-min and Alli are making up for it, Spurs desperately need Kane to return to lead their title challenge.
Xhaka must learn if he is to avoid becoming a liability Granit Xhaka plays on the edge of the law. His disciplinary record proves that too often he falls foul of it, with eight red cards since April 2014 one of the worst ratios in European football.
His dismissal on Saturday in the 3-2 victory over Swansea was nothing more than stupid, but if he is to avoid the wrath of the Arsenal faithful – and more importantly manager Arsene Wenger – then he needs to cut out the rash tackles from his game.
Other than his moment of madness and an error that led to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal, Xhaka was impressive against the Swans. His passing was quick and precise, he intercepted the ball on a number of occasions and his tackling set the tone for an Arsenal side that no longer allows itself to be bullied.
Phelan uncertainty has not helped The start of the season brought plenty of optimism after what was a summer of doom and gloom, following Steve Bruce’s exit and a rather poor transfer window.
Three wins on the spin suddenly triggered talk of Hull being ‘the next Leicester’, but the fall back to earth has been fast and hard.
One point from six matches has seen Hull plummet down the league table and they now sit precariously above the relegation zone with just a point between them and 18th-placed Stoke.
Hull were the favourites for relegation at the start of the campaign, and ever since the uncertainty surrounding Phelan’s position emerged, their form dropped off.
Hull have conceded 18 goals in their last five matches in all competitions, and any hopes that ending the doubts over Phelan’s future by appointing him permanently would lift their form proved to be short lived as Bournemouth put six past them at the weekend.
It’s looking increasingly more desperate at the KCOM Stadium.
Stoke come good but writing is on the wall for Sunderland In what was billed as an early relegation encounter, Stoke prevailed to add more misery to David Moyes’s bad start at Sunderland.
The Potters recorded their first win of the season and after draws with Manchester United and West Brom, things don’t seem so bleak at the Britannia. Mark Hughes has often made slow starts during his managerial career, but time and time again he comes good to finish the season strongly, and it looks like the same may happen this year.
The same cannot be said for Sunderland. Winless in the league and rooted to the bottom of the league table with just two points to their name, it looks like there is no escaping the drop this time around.
Moyes is good enough that he can give them a lifeline, but he needs to do so before the January transfer window opens and he can strengthen.
Fail to do that, and the Championship beckons for the Black Cats.
There’s something special about Southampton What is it about Southampton that means they can sell their best players year-on-year and still maintain their pursuit of European football? For any club looking to build a successful model, then look no further than the Saints.
What they’ve done since dropping down to League One has been remarkable, and the comfortable 3-1 victory over Burnley on Sunday displayed once again why they will be in the mix for Europe come the end of the season.
Having sold both Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane in the summer and let manager Ronald Koeman join Everton, many believed the Southampton bubble may finally have burst.
But in Claude Puel’s side, Southampton have plenty of match winners, the most likely of which has proven to be striker Charlie Austin, who finds himself being touted for an England call-up.
In recent years Saints have lost the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Luke Shaw, Callum Chambers and also another manager in Pochettino, yet they continue to strive forwards with smart purchases in the transfer market and a renowned academy that produces a constant stream of talent. For that, they need to be commended.
– THE INDEPENDENT
Southampton’s Charlie Austin celebrates after scoring the opening goal against Burnley at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on Sunday. –