1. Will David Silva ever stop?
Manchester United weren’t rotten – far from it. They were rather bested by a team so in tune with their manager’s ethos that they would have played blindfolded and still carted away all three points. Man City are bloody good. However, to talk about the game without mentioning one of, surely now, premier legends – David Silva would be a great injustice.
When he was brought in from Valencia eight years ago, he did struggle with the intensity of the English game. But his quality was never in doubt. He overcame the slow start and has become one of the best creative talents the premier league has ever seen.
He may never be spoken of in the same breath of the likes of Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, (probably due to the goal count of some of the names mentioned). But tell me a player so effective at dictating play, at seeing the game three steps ahead of the others and you’d probably never find any as good as the Spaniard.
On Sunday, his little shimmy to get away from a marker before planting a right footed shot past David de Gea was wonderful to watch. Of course, this wasn’t a one man show. City have plenty of actors in this cast of magic men, but seeing Silva so instrumental once again to the cause is something we’d have to cherish. He’s 32 and not getting any younger. Drink him in.
2. Does Mourinho know his first team?
List Mourinho’s first team, i dare you. Of course you’d struggle because even the man himself is at a loss as to who constitutes his first team. His constant tinkering is undermining whatever ideas he’s trying to pass across. Matic, Herrera and Fellaini were tasked with stopping City’s passing carousel – well, it didn’t work. City cut through them like a knife through jelly. It was never in doubt that City would carry the day but United’s static, unfit-for-purpose midfielders simply reinforced that belief.
Jesse Lingard was brought in from the cold but he was too rusty to affect anything. Rashford barely got a sniff. Martial – in-spite of his rich vein of form – was missing. It wasn’t a display Mournho would have been pleased watching from the dugout.
Mourinho spoke about (non-existent) mistakes the players made during the play. perhaps he was trying to deflect from heaving praises on this City side but plausibly he was trying to hide his own shortcomings.
City are a side settled in style and personnel. Mourinho is still putting together his puzzle three years into the job. It is a mismatch that us firmly rooted in Mourinho’s unstable first eleven.
3. Arsenal remain unbeaten but are teams going to be buoyed by Wolves performance?
Wolves scared Arsenal at times. They were quick, slick and unafraid of the danger Arsenal possess. They attacked in numbers and had Arsenal reeling for vast amounts of the game. Helder Costa and co gave the Arsenal defence a lot to think about. And to think that Adama Traore could have won it late on with two very good chances is an indication that Arsenal can and are vulnerable.
After a commendable showing against Liverpool, Arsenal had no answer to Wolves fearlessness in attack. It is perhaps the template with which teams will use to exploit Arsenal’s weakness. Expose and try to isolate the fullback, you have a good chance of hurting the gunners.
Time and time again, Wolves broke with Costa the tormentor in chief. Had they wore their finishing boots, Arsenal would have been licking their wounds.
Unai Emery has turned Arsenal’s season around but he still has work to do before they become engraved in his image.
4. How long will Chelsea continue to carry Morata?
Chelsea were frustrated and held to a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge by an Everton team who were up for the task. Chelsea were lethargic, slow of thought and feet and were too patient in their build up play in the first half. The second half saw a much more improved vibrant Chelsea. Within seconds of the restart, Chelsea nearly scored via Morata. The Spaniard has undergone much better fortunes in front of goal in recent weeks. However, on Sunday, he was terrible.
The Center-Forward spoke last week of his journey through a difficult time last week; watching the Everton game and it seems he remains a long way off the desired standard for a club with designs on the premier league title. Caught too many times offside, he cut a frustrated figure. He’s a player in dire need of not just goals but acceptable performances.
If Giroud is in Sari’s plans for his superior hold up play despite having never scored in the League since May, then Morata’s continued presence in the team is under threat.
Chelsea have the January transfer window to address a nagging flaw in their system. Will one of Morata or Giroud give way for a better option? It remains to be seen, but Morata’s rising pile of uninspiring displays will count against him.
5. When will Firmino get back into the groove?
It is not often that a team are unbeaten in 12 games without negativity attached to it. Perhaps it is their less than spectacular showings in the Champions League but more feasible is the spark (or lack of) in the attack. Key to their swashbuckling style is the underrated Brazilian. He’s the unselfish cog which allows the likes of Salah and Mane to benefit from Liverpool’s press.
Kloop recognises this and started him in a now unfamiliar deeper role behind Salah (who also isn’t so great this season) but still Firmino failed to spark.
When the white-toothed False Nine is on song, so are Liverpool. Liverpool are still unbeaten and are second behind City. For now, they keep wining and remain on the heels of Manchester City. For now.
6. Crisis? What crisis?
Tottenham are fourth behind unbeaten Chelsea. There are many concerns – the continued dependence of Harry Kane, the less than vibrant attack, Son’s form, Alli’s form, Eriken’s form – which can be examined later. Spurs are still in a healthy position.
Pochettino has overseen scant transfers in his time at Tottenham and there are many who are of the opinion that the Argentine isn’t appreciated. Spurs will always be there and about; perhaps that is not such a bad thing. There was a time, not so long ago, mind, that Spurs were a laughing stock. They are in danger of diminishing returns if the squad isn’t adequately boosted but for now they remain a damn difficult team to beat. It is all down to Pochettion.