The story so far

Five emerg­ing themes from the first four rounds of the new sea­son

The Observer - Sport - - Football -

1 Sta­bil­ity at Wat­ford

Early days yet per­haps, but good to see the club reap­ing some re­ward from start­ing the new sea­son with the same man­ager that fin­ished the last one. Play­ing two up front seems to bring the best out of the ev­er­green Troy Deeney as a bonus. Ev­ery­one’s sec­ond­favourite club at the mo­ment.

2 Mour­inho’s moan­ing

Th e glum­ness at Old Traff ord is just an act after all, as Juli­ette Fer­ring­ton proved on Match of the Day 2 when forc­ing José Mour­inho into re­mem­ber­ing which fa­cial mus­cles we were nec­es­sary to break out a smile. Man­ager de­flect­ing a at­ten­tion from play­ers is not a shock ; now it is time for the play­ers to do the de­cent thing thin and put a few wins to­gether. to­get ef

3 Liver­pool can de­fend

Granted, they st still have goal­keep­ing pe­cu­liar­i­ties, b but when Alis­son is not at­tempt­ing Cruyff turns in his own area he looks up to the task of com­plet­ing a solid back divi­sion in which Vir­gil van Dijk com­mands most of the at­ten­tion and Trent Alexan­der- Arnold, Joe Gomez and Andy Robert­son more than hold their own.

4 Let’s talk about Kevin

Manch­ester City miss Kevin De Bruyne. Well any­one would, ob­vi­ously, but the no­tion of im­prov­ing on the im­pec­ca­ble stan­dards set last sea­son might have to go on hold un­til the Bel­gian re­turns. Th ey still look ca­pa­ble of re­tain­ing the ti­tle, per­haps even go­ing fur­ther in Europe, but they also look re­as­sur­ingly hu­man with­out their ideas man.

5 Howe and why

Bournemouth un­der Ed­die Howe seem to have qui­etly cracked the top fl ight. Sean Dy­che in­sists Burn­ley can­not yet be re­garded as an es­tab­lished Premier League force and re­sults are prov­ing him right. Bournemouth, on the other hand, have be­gun their fourth sea­son well and this time it could be Howe who ends up be­ing the best- placed English man­ager. Paul Wil­son

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