Premier League plotlines: Should Rooney leave and who is Liverpool’s first-choice keeper?

And has Wenger earned another deal? Our writers ask the burning questions after the Premier League weekend.

Who should Liverpool play in goal?

Liverpool’s impressive attacking play and midfield movement were the talk of Anfield after the Reds crushed Hull City 5-1.

But the performance didn’t answer one of manager Jurgen Klopp’s more pressing issues - who to play in goal?

Loris Karius was given his Premier League debut after confirming his recovery from a broken hand sustained in pre-season in Liverpool’s mid-week EFL Cup win at Derby.

The feeling is that the former Mainz goalkeeper, 23, was signed in the summer to be Liverpool’s new number one, displacing Simon Mignolet.

The problem is he has had little chance to prove it in his two games so far, with Klopp’s side outclassing the opposition, albeit without being able to keep a first clean sheet.

Karius’ ‘trial’ will therefore continue at Swansea next week in the last fixture before the international break.

“He'll play against Swansea again,” confirmed Klopp. “I've already spoken to the goalkeepers and they know it. You need to see how a player reacts in games and we don't have the games in the week.”

According to Klopp, Mignolet took his demotion like the true professional he is. If only Mamadou Sakho had been equally sanguine. His social media outburst at being left out of Liverpool’s plans being the other urgent matter in Klopp’s in-tray.

Will Arsenal’s latest upturn earn Arsene Wenger another contract?

Arsene Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager 20 years ago, on October 1, 1996. He is out of contract at the end of this season and the question rages around Arsenal Stadium as to whether he will stay on.

The Frenchman has been the club’s most successful manager, winning three titles and two league and cup doubles in six FA Cup triumphs, and successfully demanded they build a new training ground and stadium along the way.

Yet, having not won a league title since the Invincible unbeaten team of 2004, he has more than his fair share of critics.

The not always vocal majority of Arsenal supporters back him and want to see him leave a winner and on his own terms. It is matches like the win over Chelsea that will have many Arsenal fans, pro and anti Wenger, wondering whether they will ever have it so good again.

What next for struggling Victor Valdes?

Middlesbrough are one of the least glamorous teams in the Premier League, yet they possess a goalkeeping legend whose achievements rank above just about every world-class player they will face this season.  But how long will Victor Valdes be able to command a place in Aitor Karanka's team?

Even Karanka has admitted that, at 34, the Spaniard is no longer as good as in his glory days at Barcelona when he featured in three Champions League-winning teams. Valdes has made a series of mistakes since becoming Karanka's first-choice ahead of three other contenders at the start of the season and was again at fault as he allowed Heung-Min Son's first goal to go past him on Saturday.

He had no chance with Son's second, although other keepers might have made a token effort to save instead of staying rooted to the line. Valdes did make two excellent first-half saves from Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko and Karanka argues that he is still adjusting to the Premier League after playing little football in the past three years at Barcelona and Manchester United.

But the keeper is not instilling confidence in his back four and the real Victor Valdes will have to surface soon if he is to justify Karanka's faith in him.

Should Wayne Rooney leave Manchester United in January?

The sight of Wayne Rooney on the substitutes’ bench on Saturday raised a series of questions, all of which feed into the wider debate about the England captain’s future.

Was his omission simply a sensible case of squad rotation, a temporary measure triggered by a loss of form or an indication that his influence at Old Trafford is on the wane?

Will England manager Sam Allardyce, who watched from the stands, apply his own selection rules, based on regular club starts, to his captain?

And is Rooney willing to accept a reduced role to remain with United, or is a move away required to stop him stagnating and maximise his international prospects?

Simply put, should Rooney take his time and fight for a leading role with United, or take the first opportunity to find pastures new?

What’s bugging West Ham in their new home?

When Irons fans said goodbye to The Boleyn Ground at Upton Park last season, everything was supposed to turn out claret and blue when Slaven Bilic's men settled into their impressive new home at the London Stadium.

However, whether it is a supposed lack of atmosphere, the away team no longer being fazed by their surroundings as the bubbles blow out onto the immaculate pitch, the Hammers'  just not clicking this season or perhaps a bit of it all, something is missing.

Hopes had been lifted by a (late, late) EFL Cup win over Accrington Stanley, but the way in which Southampton condemned West Ham to a fourth successive Premier League defeat with only one shot on target from the "home team" tells its own story.


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner