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Premier League Phrontistery: Round VII

It was rather dull in the Premier League this weekend with six draws and a fairly low scoring set of results. That being said, here’s a few talking points that may pique your interest/help take your mind off Sunderland’s calamitous start to the season.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Troy Deeney

Obviously last week saw the whole Sam Allardyce debacle unfold, ending with Big Sam’s resignation after a measly one game in charge. Whether the FA were right or wrong is a point I’ll leave you to discuss; however, David Preece’s opinion on the matter summed it all up for me when he said: "Cartel bosses don’t negotiate on the street corners of Cartagena, do they?" Nail. Head.

That being said, column inches will undeniably be devoted to new honcho Gareth Southgate’s squad, including: Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Glenn Johnson… No you didn’t misread that, he did indeed make the squad. But where’s Troy Deeney?

The big man scored an impressive 13 goals and provided 7 assists for Watford last season, whilst kicking this season off with 3 goals and an assist in the opening fixtures of this campaign. What more must he do to impress the national selectors? His acrobatic back heel this weekend was a thing of true beauty, like watching Nosworthy Cruyff turning players in the Championship, or Matt Killgallon pull a rabona out of nowhere. In all seriousness however, Deeney offers us an outlet that we seem to have lacked recently: a combative forward who can brings others into the game. Wake up and smell the coffee Southgate and co.

Tottenham for the Title?

Maybe that leading statement was a little bold, but Tottenham’s win over Man City this weekend was an incredibly impressive performance from Pochettino’s men. I remember reading reports last summer that Poch was in line for the Old Trafford job, which he allegedly rejected in favour of seeing out his Tottenham project and who can blame him?

On paper City looked like the team who should have won, but the clinical nature in which Spurs scored both of their goals, whilst stifling City at the other end of the field was special in itself. City had almost 60% of the possession, but just couldn’t turn it into tangible success.

I don’t think City need to fear too much about their chances of winning the league… spending around £185 million on players as well as securing a world class coach, will undoubtedly help you in achieving your aim of Premier League dominance… at some point. Tottenham fans, however, must feel confident of the season ahead, and who can blame them? Watching Pep’s 100% record in the Premier League trickle away at the Lane must be satisfying.

Liverpool as Contenders?

I’ve mentioned over the last couple of weeks that Liverpool seem to be getting better and better under Klopp, and this weekend proved no different. The enigmatic German may have some concerns regarding his rearguard; however, his attack is nothing less than superb.

Watching the victory over Swansea went some ways to proving that Liverpool can find a consistency in their results that could propel them into the battle for the crown come season’s end. The defence looked a little suspect once more, but when Coutinho, Firmino and Mane look so impressive up top, then it’s hard to disagree with the notion that Liverpool have the firepower to make a bid for the title.

That being said, did anyone else notice the Bet Victor badge on the Liverpool training gear? I found it a little bizarre seeing Klopp’s energetic gesticulations framed by the betting company’s insignia. Further proof that money comes above all else in the world of the Premier League: will it come crashing down around us?

Sunderland

I try to be a positive person, I really do, but watching our club lurch from game to game seemingly clueless as to how to play football leaves me feeling worried about our chances for the season.

Despite having the lion’s share of possession, more touches and more passes we somehow only had 7 shots on goal, with only 2 of those hitting the target. West Brom managed 17 shots on goal with 7 of them hitting the target. The stats point to serious issues in both attack and defence.

As toothless as we are up the pitch, we seem to be soft and unorganized at the other end. Allowing a Tony Pulis team, who like to sit back and absorb the pressure, 17 shots on goal is nothing short of shocking, in my opinion. I’m trying my best to give Moyesy the benefit of the doubt, and I understand that Big Sam didn’t get off to the best of starts; however, the weekend’s draw did little to inspire confidence from a man keen on dealing in media pessimism. He keeps talking about the journey and the players we need; yet seems to have looked beyond his reach. Yes, his preseason was disrupted, yet securing a striker, creative midfielder and a backup left back were obvious requirements? We need some positivity ASAP, as the media are having a field day with our ever familiar perennial woes.