Three Talking Points From The Premier League Last Weekend
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must fear he will not survive the international break after two more Premier League managers were fired this weekend as West Ham ended Liverpool’s 25-match unbeaten run.
Solskjaer is staring down the barrel after his side’s limp 2-0 defeat to champions Manchester City, which came two weeks after a 5-0 humbling by Liverpool.
Old Trafford bosses have resisted pulling the trigger despite United’s poor results but Norwich and Aston Villa have acted decisively, sacking Daniel Farke and Dean Smith.
Elsewhere, West Ham showed they mean business by upsetting Liverpool while Antonio Conte took charge of a Premier League game with new club Tottenham for the first time.
AFP Sport picks out some of the key talking points from the action in the English top-flight.
A quarter of Premier League managers have now parted ways with their clubs this season as executives start to get jittery.
Struggling Aston Villa fired Smith on Sunday, less than 24 hours after Norwich parted ways with Farke, who had just overseen the Canaries’ first win of the season.
They followed Xisco Munoz (Watford), Steve Bruce (Newcastle), and Nuno Espirito Santo (Tottenham) out of the door.
Thanks to other results going their way, United are still sixth in the table, just five points adrift of the top four.
The club’s unpopular American owners have tended to act only when the riches of Champions League football come under threat.
But the trigger-happy nature of other clubs with far fewer resources means Solskjaer will again be the man under scrutiny during the two-week international break.
Moyes bounces back
West Ham boss David Moyes strode triumphantly around the London Stadium pitch soaking up the acclaim from jubilant fans after a 3-2 win against Liverpool on Sunday.
Moyes was written off as a failure at the highest level after lasting less than a season in charge at Manchester United before being sacked in 2014 and it took him a long time to re-establish his reputation.
But, in his second spell at West Ham, the former Everton boss is setting the record straight.
West Ham sit third in the table, just three points behind leaders Chelsea after an astute tactical display exposed the flaws in Jurgen Klopp’s attacking game-plan.
Liverpool’s first defeat since losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in April ruined their bid to set a new club record of 26 games unbeaten in all competitions.
More significantly, it left them four points behind Chelsea and no longer looking impregnable as the title race heats up.
“I think I am the same manager (as at Everton) but I have had to work out myself how to get better,” said Moyes. “I hope and believe my best time is still to come and at the moment I’ve got really good players who play with incredible character.”
Conte fails to lift stale Spurs
Antonio Conte’s appointment as Tottenham manager took another potential successor to Solskjaer off the market.
The Italian is a seasoned winner, with league titles to his name at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
However, he has acknowledged the huge challenge he faces in turning around a club that has not lifted a trophy since 2008.
A 0-0 draw at Everton, with both sides short of inspiration, laid bare the job Conte has ahead of him to take Tottenham back into the Champions League by finishing in the top four.
One issue near the top of his agenda will be the form of Harry Kane, who has scored just once in the Premier League this season after failing to get a move to champions Manchester City.