Deja vu all over again… Is Jose Mourinho already in ‘betrayal’ territory

Our writers tackle the weekend's Premier League talking points.

Has Jose Mourinho taken up where he left off at Chelsea?

When the axe neared for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea a year ago after defeat by Leicester, Mourinho made it perfectly clear who he felt was to blame for Chelsea’s slump.

“I feel my work is betrayed,” he said. “I worked four days in training for this match. I identified four movements where Leicester score a lot of their goals and in two of the four situations I identified they scored their goals. I went through it all with the players, you can ask them.”

There is no suggestion Mourinho has yet lost the Manchester United dressing room - as many implied he had at Stamford Bridge - but the post-match narrative already sounds pretty familiar.

After home defeat by Manchester City, Mourinho said: “What I told them at half-time was: ‘For some of you, it looks like you are trying to do what I told you not to do.’ I had told the players 20 times never to play a first-station ball – ‘never, because they [City] want to press, so never do that’ – and they did it 20 times.”

“I think some of the boys felt the dimension of the game. Everything around the game – the derby, the big game, Man United, Man City, the focus, the attention. Some of the guys, they felt it.”

Surely he doesn't feel betrayed already?

Is Perez really the fox in the box Arsenal need?

More time is needed to fairly judge Spanish striker Lucas Perez after he failed to impress on this debut. The €20m Deportivo La Coruna signing is supposed to be the answer to Arsenal's lack of goals, but he did not appear to be the instinctive penalty box poacher that anyone wearing the NO.9 shirt should be.

Arsenal looked more dangerous when he was replaced by Olivier Giroud, with Perez having had only one shot, with half an hour to go, but the enigmatic Frenchman can not be relied upon to produce the goods in every match.

Wenger appears to have sorted out his defence and has improved his midfield, but the question remains as to whether The Gunners will still be firing blanks in front of goal this season.

Are West Ham suffering 'new stadium syndrome'?

It's too early to say if the Hammers will suffer from the same settling-in problems that plagued the likes of Arsenal and Southampton when those clubs moved home, but the move from Upton Park has not gone smoothly so far.

West Ham's owners may love the windfall they have been given in return for a peppercorn rent, but some of their supporters are less than enamoured, as they demonstrated on Saturday. A club spokesperson spoke of teething problems with sightlines, stewarding, separating home and away fans and so on, but a bigger concern might be the way the players don't seem to feel at home.

In the wide open spaces of the new stadium, there is certainly none of the intimacy nor the intimidating atmosphere that Upton Park could produce.

But West Ham are going to have to make their new home a fortress if they are to avoid more misery this season – and as Bilic said: “If we continue to defend like this, we won't win many games.”

Have Spurs put goal drought worries to bed?

The 4-0 win at Stoke seems to have done that. Harry Kane scored at last, albeit a close-range tap-in, but it’s been said that you just need that first one to break the spell and the goals will come flooding back.

Two goals from the impressive Son Heung-Min and one from Dele Alli shows Mauricio Pochettino has goalscoring options in the side too.

Pochettino admitted his relief that Son stayed at the club this summer, when an exit was an option.

"Not only Son, different players. Last season was tough for him and we have to make the decision, in or out.

"We took the decision for him to stay with us and I'm very pleased now. He had the opportunity to play and show he can help us. We're very pleased for him."

Does Jurgen Klopp really want Liverpool fans to stop singing his name?

LIVERPOOL have been responsible for a number of footballing firsts but here, perhaps, is the most unlikely of the lot - Jurgen Klopp coming up with what is presumably the first time in Premier League history that a manager has ordered his club’s fans NOT to sing his name in support.

The extrovert German still throws himself around the technical area like an Olympic judoka mid-seizure but, when it comes to interacting with supporters, Klopp has taken an incredibly modest, low-key approach.

At one stage in the second half of the win over Leicester and with his team leading 3-1, he could be clearly seen remonstrating with the Kop, requesting anonymity and, when Jamie Vardy almost made it 3-2 seconds later, the point he was making to the home supporters was obvious.

"Haha, maybe from my personality people could think that I like things like this, being in the middle of interest,” laughed Klopp afterwards. “But I’m completely the opposite. I accept it’s like this because it’s part of my job.

"Today, I don’t know why, but that was the first time that I really understood it and you could hear it. But I’m not involved in the game so where’s the help? I made the mistake at Arsenal with a celebration too early – in football there is relief that something is finished but that’s a big mistake. It’s really not a big deal. I told people a few weeks ago, please do not sing my name so for two or three days it will be a story."

 

Does Claudio Bravo have the world at his feet?

 There was a time when goalkeepers were judged on their ability to keep the ball out of the back of the net and defenders were judged on their ability to repel attackers.

The arrival of Pep Guardiola seems to have signalled another move away from one of the game's traditions, especially with Joe Hart has losing his place at Manchester City to Claudio Bravo because the Chilean international is deemed to be a superior sweeper-keeper.

Guardiola likes his defenders to play the ball out from the back which is why he spent big on John Stones.

That's all well and good but Chelsea's implosion and Swansea's two goals showed the inherent risks of trying to do that

Cahill and Courtois both had their limitations exposed by Swansea which was a reality check for those who think that defenders and goalkeepers should be all-singing, all-dancing members of the cabaret.

Nevertheless, Guardiola said Bravo was "amazing" at Old Trafford and Man City wideman Nolito reckons his teammate will soon have the world at his feet:

"I think Claudio Bravo is a magnificent goalkeeper, a spectacular goalkeeper," the Spain international said.

"We are very happy that he is here with us. We are very relaxed with him and that's it.

"It's a special day for him because making your debut in a derby like this is not easy.

"And I thought he played well and I am happy he signed for us, so congratulations to him. I am happy that he is with us and he played well."

 


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