Manchester City finally found their mojo as they surged to the top of the table on the back of a 5-0 win over Aston Villa while Liverpool also seem to be shaking off the shackles of a slow start to the season as they impressed in the second half in the 3-0 win over Wigan. Elsewhere Reading and Southampton both secured their first wins of the season as Arsenal put five past Spurs for the
second season running. Here are three things we learned from the weekend’s Premier League action.
Pupils not learning from the master…
Sir Alex Ferguson has produced the most Premier League managers from his players however he has yet to find and develop a natural successor to his throne.
Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Bryan Robson, Alex McLeish, Michael Appleton, Henning Berg and Mark Hughes and not to mention Fergie’s own son Darren, have all failed to emulate the success of the Scot so and all have struggled to find consistency in the dugout.
Appleton, Berg, Ferguson jnr. and Solskjaer are all young managers slowly moving up the managerial ladder while Bruce, McLeish, Robson, Ince and Keane have all enjoyed promotion success outside of the Premier League but all have suffered the ignominy of been sacked at some stage in their career.
Hughes meanwhile has probably come the closest to managing United, admittedly it was in a spell as a manager of neighbours City. The 49 year old has spent in entire club management career in the Premier League but his latest spell with QPR could be his last, for the foreseeable future anyway.
The former Blackburn and Fulham manager has overseen winless start of 12 games to the season and despite the presence of Premier League and Champions League winners in his squad his side have yetto show any signs of turning their season around.
Saturday’s clash with Southampton was dubbed “El Sackio” with his South coast counterpart Nigel Akins also under pressure but it was the less experience Akins who earned the reprieve with his side coming out 3-1 winners. To make matters worse, QPR were the home side and their supporters weren’t exactly offering their support, with one group holding up a sign reading: ‘Harry, come and save us’.
Hughes is hanging on for the moment but one wonders for how much longer.
Ireland needs Anthony Pilkington
The Norwich winger has failed to reach the dizzy heights of last season when scored eight goals in his debut season in the Premier League, and by this time last year the former Manchester United trainee had scored four goals. On Saturday Pilkington managed his first goal of the season, but what a goal it proved to be as he looping header sealed a famous 1-0 win over Manchester United for Chris Hughton’s side.
Pilkington has started to find his form again over the last few weeks and his overall performance on Saturday would have been encouraging for Chris Hughton.
Sadly Giovanni Trapattoni was not in attendance but hopefully he has received a DVD of the game and will note the performances of Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan.
Pilkington has yet to receive a call up to the full Irish squad but with Ireland’s clearly struggling in the creativity and goal department against Greece, the former Huddersfield man would prove a very useful addition to the boys in green.
Emmanuel Adebayor is a liability…
There are few indiscretions viewed as harshly by football fans as playing for their rivals, more so when you once represented them but Emmanuel Adebayor managed to turn back the clock to a time gone by when he was the belle of Arsenal.
The Tongan became a hate figure for Gunners when he left the Emirates to for forty pieces of silver by joining Manchester City in 2009, and he has done his level best to rub salt into the wound since – not least by subsequently signing for Spurs.
On Saturday though he once again playe dthe role of villian in the NOrth London Derby for Spurs, teasing them by opening the scoring, fuelling the Arsenal fires further by celebrating in front of the home fans only to depart the scenes soon after.
The goal, and Spurs’ blistering opening, had Arsenal on the rocks and Arsene Wenger’s side appeared to be there for the taking.
However a moment of madness from Adebayor changed the game before it had a chance to settle when his 17th minute lunge on Santi Cazorla resulted in a red card. Arsenal equalised seven minutes later and went on to win the game 5-2.
The 28 year old has had to wait to make an impression on Spurs manager Andres Villas-Boas and his start at the Emirates was only his third of the season following five appearances from the bench, with his goal his first.
Judging by his behaviour on Saturday AVB will not be in a rush to include him in his starting XI again when his suspension is over although from the pat on the back he received from Steffen Freund mean that maybe, like with the Arsenal fans, all is already forgiven.