10 things we learned in the Premier League – Week 12 (analysis, video)
What did we learn in Match Week 12 of the 2021-22 Premier League other than Manchester United looking for a new manager?
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Here’s a look at 10 things that stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nicholas Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations on recent Premier League games.
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10 things we learned in the Premier League – Week 12
1. Parts are not suitable for Man United (Watford 4-1 Man Utd – FULL MATCH REPLAY): We knew the Manchester United squad was poorly built as the season approached (we knew that because they are Manchester United), but Saturday’s first half only shed light on the club’s failures in recent transfer windows. With the midfielder screaming for anyone who could win the ball or pass it to a teammate (you can forget someone does both), Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic were unable to do either. . With the front line hungry for service, Bruno Fernandes was busy racing from a center forward behind because Cristiano Ronaldo had drifted to the left wing (where he was standing on Marcus Rashford’s switchbacks and obstructing the space where Luke Shaw should overlap). For those scoring at home, it’s a deep black hole in midfield and one the size of the attacking half. The above is not just Solskjaer’s fault, as we have known for a year that Man United’s institutional problems are very serious (AE).
2. Alexander-Arnold back to his best (Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal – FULL MATCH REPLAY): In his last five games for Liverpool and England, Trent Alexander-Arnold has recorded two assists, one assist (and one goal), zero assists, three assists and two assists. Five games, eight assists. Is he the best defender in the world? Will he ever be? No, but he has a manager smart enough to maximize his strengths and protect him (and the team) from his weaknesses. When he receives the ball in the final third and selects crosses, Alexander-Arnold is unplayable (AE).
3. The midfielder is Spurs’ biggest problem (Spurs 2-1 Leeds – FULL MATCH REPLAY): As bad as defenders have been individually for Tottenham this season, it is the midfielder who has provided the backline with undue pressure for too long under managers who choose two and three defensive midfielders in the lineup. departure. Tottenham’s inability to hold onto the ball and advance it towards the opposing goal, instead of giving it cheaply into the middle third of the pitch because there is no technically competent playmaker in sight , not only crippled the team’s chances of moving forward, but made life immeasurably more difficult for Eric Dier, Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga (yes, those were the last three that started on Sunday) ( AE)
4. Rafa, Everton just don’t gel (Man City 3-0 Everton – FULL MATCH REPLAY): It becomes clearer and clearer with every pedestrian crossing that Rafa Benitez is not the right fit for the current Everton squad. Not only are the majority of the Toffees’ top talent in the attacking zones (not exactly Benitez’s style), the squad are also very clearly not responding to Benitez’s ideas (tactics and motivation). Sunday’s loss makes it six straight Premier League games without a win and more than a month since Everton seemed all inspired. It is currently unofficial dismissal season for Premier League managers – will Rafa be next? (AE)
5. Path up for Gerrard, Aston Villa (Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton – FULL MATCH REPLAY): Although having already been forced to dismiss his manager this season, Aston Villa remains in a strong position to build the future. The talent is there, the fit is good with the vast majority of the first team, and now everyone is pulling in the same direction again. Gerrard will have been a childhood favorite (if not idol) of a number of the players he now leads, and they all played like they desperately wanted to impress the Man, The Myth, The Legend on Saturday (AE) .
6. The Blues team so deep (Leicester City 0-3 Chelsea – FULL MATCH REPLAY): When you have Romelu Lukaku at home tweeting about the game, Timo Werner on the bench and Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic arriving, you get a sense of how strong this Chelsea side is. Not to mention Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta were all on the bench at Leicester as well. With their eight shutouts in 12 PL games this season, they’re strong defensively, but the real star is the team and how players continue to step up when needed (JPW).
7. Useless Palace (Burnley 3-3 Crystal Palace – FULL MATCH REPLAY): They have scored three times but they should have scored more, especially in the first half. Palace was so dangerous, as they have been for most of this season, but they have to take more risks. Again, it seems silly after scoring three away goals, but Benteke and Gallagher both missed absolute goalies in the first half. Patrick Vieira’s side have had a good start to the season, but they should be looking for a place in the top four given the chances they’ve wasted in games.
8.Upstarts Wolves, West Ham fighting for Europe (Wolves 1-0 West Ham – FULL MATCH REPLAY): These two teams shouldn’t really be in the top six, but they are. They seem ready to stay there too. If the injuries are good for both teams, Antonio and Jimenez will score a lot of goals and their strong defensive units will keep a lot of clean sheets. Watch out for Wolves and West Ham to challenge the PL elite this season (JPW).
9. Pukki back to his best, as Sargent shines on the bench (Norwich City 2-1 Southampton – FULL MATCH REPLAY): Teemu Pukki scored early on, had a good chance to save and was buzzing at his best. The Finnish forward has started the last few weeks and Norwich looks so much better when he has support at the top and runs against defenders. And he had some help in the second half as USMNT man Josh Sargent came on at halftime and worked his socks off the left. He supported Pukki and helped pick up the pace for the entire Norwich squad as they got back into the game (JPW).
10. Brentford arrow pointing down (Newcastle 3-3 Brentford – FULL MATCH REPLAY): These are scary times for Brentford, and Thomas Frank will feel it after falling to a fifth consecutive game without a win in the Premier League (0V-1D-4D). The scorching start has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many around the world, but if the bees don’t start capturing points the same way, they will fight Spring Relegation (AE).
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