Premier League fans rate the season so far. Part two: Liverpool to Wolves | Premier League


imageLiverpool Best performance so far? Man City.A lacklustre first half totally changed round in the second .Two brilliant goals, the second already goal of the season, and a chance to win it.Not the result we wanted, but a superb 45 minutes of football.

And the worst? Brentford away.We should have had it buried but twice let a lead slip.We couldn’t convert our chances and at the other end let them back in.Two points dropped.

Next Generation 2021: 60 of the best young talents in world football Read more Happy with the manager? He’s brilliant.Batted off pre-season hysteria when we didn’t “buy big”, has us back to our best and has called out the government for how they treat society’s poorest.

Not sure there’s anything he could do differently.

Why I love … Mo Salah.For his goals, six in seven so far, his assists, his work rate, his genius, his commitment, his joy when playing, even his yellow cards – always after scoring.Yet we hear Liverpool fans don’t “rate” him.He’s not “appreciated” as he should be.Utter garbage.We know we are watching the best player in the world right now.He’s ours.And we love him.

How is the atmosphere? Great so far.

We missed out on being champions (again) at Anfield, so it’s ace to be back both in the league and Europe.

What is the ‘Liverpool way’? The right way: entertaining, exciting, playing as a team.The current side adhere to this.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Graeme Souness to stamp a little more authority in midfield when needed, and weigh in with goals.

Funniest moment so far … Being written off before a ball was kicked.

Steph Jones

Mo Salah: the best in the world right now? Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA Manchester City Best performance so far? We absolutely schooled Chelsea, but our display at Anfield impressed me more – shifting from an aggressive high press in the first half, where we completely controlled the game, to a punch-for-punch boxing match in the second, was pretty extraordinary.

And the worst? The home 0-0 against Southampton .That’s the game where we missed a proper number nine the most – absolutely no cutting-edge.

Happy with the manager? We’ve played some incredible football so far despite a very taxing fixture list.Pep really is an absolute genius.

Why I love … Bernardo Silva.After a summer dominated by whispers that he wants to leave, he slotted straight back into the starting XI against Norwich and has been our best player since.

He’s a rare blend of technique, work rate and Messi-like dribbling abilities.At his best, he’s completely unplayable.

How is the atmosphere? The fixture list means we haven’t had a proper humdinger of a home league game yet.But the new standing rails in the South Stand are great and have definitely helped.

What is the ‘City way’? Under Pep, with a false 9, it’s total football: a plague of midfielders buzzing around like locusts, playing the opposition off the park, but then (sometimes) struggling to put them away.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Easiest question ever.

Sergio Agüero.

Funniest moment so far … Pep’s touchline antics at Anfield.He had me in stitches, the nutter.Fair play, though.Tierney’s decision not to send Milner off was a dereliction of duty.

Lloyd Scragg ; @lloyd_scragg

Bernardo Silva: Messi-like dribbling.

Photograph: Rui Vieira/AP Manchester United Best performance so far? 5-1 against Leeds : a rousing return for a capacity crowd with both sides going at each other from the start.Sadly it feels a bit like we peaked on the opening day: we haven’t hit those heights since.

And the worst? Take your pick from Everton or Villa.We were below par, patchy and lacked the creativity to break down teams that we should be beating if we’re going to challenge.

Happy with the manager? The table flatters us, and title talk is fanciful.Ole’s built a good squad but at times doesn’t know how to get the best out of it.

His in-game management is questionable, he lacks a plan B and we look too one-dimensional.Fans have a right to expect better after nearly three years.I’m not writing him off – he’s found a way to win at times when he’s been under the most pressure – but realistically, we can’t keep relying on individual brilliance to conjure results.

Why I love … Mason Greenwood.Even at just 20 in a team of stars, he constantly wants the ball and is willing to take on his man.

Ole said he was the best finisher at the club: I think he’ll be playing down the middle in the next season or so.

How is the atmosphere? Really good, buoyed both by the return of Ronaldo and by TRA on the right side of the Stretford End making sustained noise.

What is the ‘United way’? To be the best, to know what it means to pull on the shirt, and the history it represents.Sadly our owners see a top-four finish as the new promised land.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? We’re crying out for a leader in the middle with bite and drive who can carry a team when things aren’t going well.So Roy Keane or, if he’s busy, Bryan Robson.

Funniest moment so far … The reaction of City fans after Pep said he wanted more to go to games.

Shaun O’Donnell

United fans celebrate with Mason Greenwood at Molineux.Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock Newcastle Best performance so far? The first 10 minutes against West Ham .

The excitement of being back in the ground after a season and a half away was topped off with an excellent goal from Callum Wilson.We were slick, sharp and on the front foot.It went downhill from there.

And the worst? The first half at home against Southampton: disjointed, disorganised and disgraceful.The Saints looked like the home team.

To then take the lead only to draw at the death just added insult to injury.

Happy with the manager? Three points from seven games.No wins, out of a cup.We’re sick of Bruce’s excuses.

Why I love … Allan Saint-Maximin lights up the pitch with his sublime skills and lights up Twitter with his cheeky digs at the Mackems.The guy seems to have a genuine bonhomie with our fans.

How is the atmosphere? Toxicity towards Bruce and Ashley dampened the buzz of returning to St James’ Park.

But change is coming…

What is the ‘Newcastle way’? A long time ago, in a top flight far, far away, we were about free-flowing football, a passionate fanbase and genuine ambition.Could we get some of that back now? We’re still processing the implications of the takeover, but for now there’s just an overwhelming sense of relief that Ashley is gone.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Alan Shearer for his goals and grit.

Funniest moment so far … Bruce emulating Usain Bolt in that Fifa 22 viral clip.Not bad for a 60-year-old.

David and Richard Holmes

Steve Bruce out running the bench players has me dead..💀😭

— ً🇸🇦 #CANS (@ConnorNUFC_) September 23, 2021 Norwich Best performance so far? Not too difficult … has to be Burnley away, which – big fanfare – ended 0-0.

That may appear (and is) thin gruel, but it’s our only point so far.For once we resisted the urge to cave in.We had a lift in the Carabao Cup, though: a 6-0 win over Bournemouth.

And the worst? Take your pick, but Watford at home (1-3) was particularly grim.It was, in theory, the game when our season was supposed to kick in after a horrific opening run of fixtures.

It didn’t and we left the ground with a collective “Where do we go from here?” feeling.

Happy with the manager? Hmm … tricky.As much as we still love Daniel Farke to bits, his tweaks to personnel and formation have failed to deliver so far.We were hoping that lessons would have been learned from our disastrous attempt to stay up in 2019-20, but even if they have, the remedies to those harsh lessons have yet to reveal themselves.Still early days, though.

Why I love … Despite it all, our Norwegian loan signing Mathias Normann has shown some flashes of international pedigree and done enough to suggest he can make us better.

I’m not getting carried away – he has played only three games – but we’re ever hopeful.We have to be.

How is the atmosphere? Pretty good all things considered.The smattering of boos that greeted the final whistle against Watford were not unexpected but, generally, it’s been fairly positive.The atmosphere in the first game back, against Liverpool, was right up there and made the 18-month wait almost worth it.

What is the ‘Norwich’ way? Short-passing, working it through the thirds, triangles and (at the moment) losing.Off the pitch it is football’s version of The Good Life – self-sufficiency, producing our own and living within our means.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Darren Huckerby’s ability to fly down that left wing leaving defenders in his wake would be perfect.He still works at the club as an ambassador and looks fit as a fiddle, so maybe Farke should consider it.

Funniest moment so far … TalkSport’s obsession with us.

Jamie O’Hara suggested the Premier League be reduced to 18 teams to stop “dross” like Norwich being in it – until it was pointed out that, as we won the Championship last season, we’d be the 18th team.Now that was funny.

Gary Gowers ; @Gary_Gowers ; @MFW_NCFC

Mathias Normann: international pedigree.

Photograph: Dave Howarth/CameraSport/Getty Images Southampton Best performance so far? Man City away.Their previous three home games had been 5-0, 5-0 and 6-3, so to get a 0-0 and limit them to a single shot on target, in the 91st minute, and still come away feeling hard done by, says it all.

And the worst? Wolves.Uninspiring in what was our first game where we were expected to make the running.

Happy with the manager? Mixed, really.Good tactics against the better sides, but we’re still not as potent going forward as we need to be.

Why I love … Oriol Romeu had looked to be on his way out two years ago, but seemed to adapt his game to the new central midfield system.

Over the years he’s also taken a keen interest in the local area and its history, which you imagine most footballers probably aren’t overly bothered about.

How is the atmosphere? Also mixed – the support in games against Man United and West Ham was excellent; Wolves, less so, where frustration set in pretty early on.Attendances are down a fair bit on pre-pandemic times, because of an insane ticket policy.

What is the ‘Southampton way’? Buy low and young, sell high to the top teams.Or at least that’s the theory.We lost our way a bit for a few years, but the recruitment this summer looks good for the future.

It’s just a case of whether they can do enough in the present!

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Rickie Lambert.We don’t have enough strength or guile up front and he’d have filled that gap perfectly.

Funniest moment so far … The continued employment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær.So far out of his depth with a squad that should be chasing titles.

Steve Grant ; @SteveGrant1983

Oriol Romeu: loved at Southampton.Photograph: Javier García/Shutterstock Tottenham Best performance so far? Villa at home because we resembled a team with functioning parts.

Perhaps not oiled with finesse but the players were a collective with purpose, and even dabbled with urgency.Such is our plight; we have been starved of these basic fundamentals.

And the worst? The derby .A criminal display of negligence.Little to zero application, made far worse by the nonexistent midfield tactical debacle.A perfect piece of self-sabotage.

Happy with the manager? Nuno has been working within his own capacity.I think the job is too much for him, but there have been mitigating circumstances (Covid, injuries, the Kane saga).It’s hard to gauge and easy to kneejerk but there’s been little to suggest he can quickly implement an identity.He must settle on his best XI and let them gel.

Why I love … Son.

I adore him.His loyalty is pure and his love for Spurs is as genuine as the love I have for him.Some players promote PR dramatics when it comes to their association with their football club.Son just gets it.

How is the atmosphere? We’re still trying to find our voice but being back at games makes football what it is.

I enjoyed the Villa fans’ vocal efforts, a reminder that home games need the away fans to be loud.

What is the ‘Tottenham way’? A bit of swashbuckle and swagger, pressing and attacking with relentless countering.We’ve lost a bit of everything in recent seasons.It’s a slow process attempting to reclaim our lost treasures.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Luka Modric .

I could easily also say Christian Eriksen.

We need a proper centre mid, a playmaker to galvanise and dictate.It’s the missing piece.

Funniest moment so far … Romero and Lo Celso having Brazilian health officers chase them on the pitch while they appeared for Argentina.Extreme levels of Spursy drama.

Spooky ; ; @spooky23

Son Heung-min: pure love for Spurs.Photograph: Tottenham Hotspur FC/Getty Images Watford Best performance so far? Norwich away, our fifth successive win after two seasons of crossing swords with the Canaries.

Both sides needed the victory badly, the Hornets got it in dizzy sunshine in Norfolk.

And the worst? Leeds away.A sullen, shapeless nothingness against a Leeds side that was energetic but limited and apprehensive – and yet thoroughly deserving of the three points.

Happy with the manager? Ah, well, now.There’s a thing.Which manager exactly would we be talking about? Xisco Muñoz was the right man for the job that needed doing last season, getting a squad that was much stronger than most of its rivals promoted.

A very different job needs doing now and a different man is needed to undertake it.To the surprise of nobody, our board didn’t hesitate.Claudio Ranieri’s first job will be to organise a midfield composed of decent-looking cogs that don’t currently fit together.

Why I love … Danny Rose.Turns out he’s quite a good footballer.

Who knew? Kicks things that need kicking, scowls at things that need scowling at, thunders up and down the flank and plays a wicked pass.What’s not to like?

How is the atmosphere? Just being at games is tremendous.Real actual people saying stupid things.Marvellous.

The opening-day win against Aston Villa was propelled by furious, glorious noise.

What is the ‘Watford way’? Community.A club to be proud of.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? John Eustace would snap around the midfield, get into the referee’s ear and drag up chins that are dipping.

Funniest moment so far … The large, critical deflection that Tyrone Mings applied to Sarr’s cross on the opening day.The same player should have been sent off as we lost at Villa Park in February 2020.Instead a late, wild Konsa shot went in off his backside to win that game.

We finished a point behind Villa and went down.

Matt Rowson ; @mattrowson

Danny Rose: thunders up the flank.Photograph: David Klein/Reuters West Ham Best performance so far? The 4-1 win against Leicester .It was a bit special to have a full house again and actually experience a feelgood factor at the London Stadium as the whole ground chanted: “Antonio! Antonio!” Winning away at Dinamo Zagreb was very professional too.

And the worst? Losing at home to Brentford.The side looked jaded after the Europa League; a 95th-minute winner from the Bees rounded it off.

Happy with the manager? Yes, he’s carried on from last season.

Bringing Noble on against United to take that penalty was brave, but with hindsight put Nobes under too much pressure.He made four promising signings but should have got in cover for Antonio.

Why I love … Saïd Benrahma has started to score and, with Lingard gone, is becoming a real creative force.

How is the atmosphere? It’s the best it’s been in the new ground: squaring off the ends has helped, even if it’s never going to be Upton Park.

What is the ‘West Ham way’? Part Brooking, part Bonds: playing good entertaining football, getting stuck in and, erm, having only one striker.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Geoff Hurst has good hamstrings: a pretty decent back-up for Antonio.

Funniest moment so far … Antonio celebrating scoring against Leicester with a cutout of himself and a Dirty Dancing routine.Funniest chant has been Brentford fans singing: “We’re just a bus stop in Hounslow.”

Pete May Author, Goodbye to Boleyn ;

Saïd Benrahma: real creative force.Photograph: Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United/Shutterstock Wolves Best performance so far? Our best spell came in a defeat: we were excellent in the first half against Man United but just didn’t take our chances.Traoré and Trincão were electric on the counter.

And the worst? Brentford was awful.We gave away a silly penalty and after that just got killed on the counterattack.

Credit to them but from a Wolves perspective, it was bad.

Happy with the manager? He’s done OK.He had the team playing some attractive, attacking football in the early weeks.We’ve had to sacrifice a bit of that to dig out some results.

Premier League fans rate the season so far.Part one: Arsenal to Leicester Read more Why I love … Raúl Jiménez’s goal against Southampton was a reminder of what he brings: determination, agility, skill and ice in his veins.

How is the atmosphere? Decent enough.We haven’t had that big moment to celebrate so far, but hopefully, it’s coming.

What is the ‘Wolves way’? Pack mentality (wolf pack, get it?!).It was Nuno who got this idea going, but I’d argue Bruno has taken it on a level.We’re pressing better, hunting the ball and attacking with ferocity.

Whether this gets us the results over the course of the season remains to be seen.

Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? It’s got to be Bully.We desperately need goals and the Tipton Terrier would gobble up those Traoré crosses.

Funniest moment so far … Raúl’s failed Rabona against Brentford .

I was sat right behind it and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Thomas Baugh ; @wolvesblog

Raúl Jiménez: ice in his veins.

Photograph: Jack Thomas/Wolves/Getty Images

Part one: Arsenal to Leicester.

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