Premier League table tightening in top and bottom spots
The Premier League always promises to produce entertainment, and that is what it’s done yet again this weekend.
Teams down at the bottom are becoming more worried with every game that passes without points on the board, while the race for the Champions League continues.
Sergio Agüero proves he’s still top dog
With Pep Guardiola’s revolution at Manchester City well underway, there has been plenty of talk regarding Sergio Agüero’s future at the club. Gabriel Jesus has now spent a year at the Citizens, and looks set to reign supreme eventually.
However, the Argentine continues to prove to everyone that he still has the ability to control matches from the front and heavily influence the team’s attacking output in a positive manner.
Agüero is scoring a goal every 85 minutes, the best return in the Premier League. While Mo Salah and Harry Kane have scored more goals than him, they have both played more than 300 minutes than the Man City striker and are only one and two goals ahead.
For the Premier League’s sake, it would be a shame if Agüero is pushed out the door to accommodate the brilliant Jesus. Fans of the league want to see the best players in the world play week in, week out, and he is certainly in that top bracket.
Top four race is going to be electric
If Chelsea decides to win on Monday evening, the difference between second place and fifth is a matter of four points. Arsenal lag behind a further seven, but there is a real battle now on which team is going to secure a Champions League spot for next season’s campaign.
Manchester United’s fate inside the top four looked secure until a recent run of poor performances has drawn them back into this incredibly intense battle. José Mourinho will be disappointed in his team, and himself, that they have fallen steeply back into the Wild West.
Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool and United are vying for three places left in the top four, with all being apart of European fixtures. Depending on results and progression, a few weeks of poor results due to fatigue could allow the Gunners to re-enter the race.
There might be a great battle going on in the bottom half of the table, but this top four race is going to be equally as exciting given the implications it could have on each teams’ future.
Newcastle take huge leap in the right direction
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United started the day in the relegation zone, but ended it happily in 13th place – such is the life down in the relegation scrap.
A huge win against Manchester United has lifted the Toon’s spirits, as they see their team rise from the ashes into a more healthy-looking position. While they are still only two points from the dreaded drop, it does give them a bit of breathing room given the number of teams in-between them.
With 11 games left to play, it is going to be one huge fight until the very end in order to ascertain survival. The Magpies have made positive strides and will be feeling far more content with where they are situated in the table. For all the teams around them now, every game is going to be treated as a Cup final, which should make some excellent viewing.
Manchester United’s long-term progression
After yet another disappointing and lifeless performance, Mourinho is under a wave of criticism off the back of the defeat to Newcastle.
What has been alarming this season is United’s abject and disjointed performances against lesser opposition. Teams they should be putting away within the first half have seemingly more bite and guile to go and record points against the Red Devils.
There will be knee-jerk reactions regarding who fans want at Manchester United, but Mourinho has to stay if the club hopes to achieve any sort of long-term progression. They simply cannot afford to continue down this path of sacking managers every 18 months and moving onto the next one.
Things are going to be difficult for Manchester United, but fans have to be patient and wait until things finally come together. That is not to say they should be beaten by Newcastle, but challenging for titles might be further in the distance than initially planned.
Mourinho needs to construct a clear plan for the club over the next year in how to close the gap on their across-town rivals. The club also needs to start acting ruthlessly in the transfer window and ship their deadwood out over the summer. If Man United want to be back at the top, they have to disregard sentiment with some of their longer-serving players.
Harry Kane is the best striker in the world
Harry Kane proved once again that he is the main man for the big moments as he netted the winning goal in the North London Derby.
With the Englishman’s winner, Kane has now scored seven derby goals in his last seven derby appearances against Arsenal – an unbelievable achievement.
There will always be critics regarding the best players int he world, but Kane is truly among the elite now. His numbers are scarily high and continuing to improve, while his overall game has improved deistically, as he now brings others into the game around him with relative ease.
Kane has consistently produced world-class numbers as well as performances now, and his status as one of Europe’s truly elite players will only heighten if he can impress in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
The England international surely has to be respected as the best striker in the world right now with the level he is performing at.