Every week we bring you our take on some of the big talking points from the Barclay’s Premier League.
Arsenal Come of Age
Arsenal’s victory over Man City on Sunday has to be regarded as their most complete performance in several seasons. Their defensive discipline was as impressive as it was surprising, and they combined it with some ruthless counter attacking football.
Finally, Arsenal abandoned the style that has seen them beaten so many times by other big clubs, replacing it with a more pragmatic approach. Midfielders, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin, curbed their natural attacking instincts to provide the back four with some much needed protection. At the other end, Santi Cazorla produced the best, big-game, performance of his career.
For many years Arsenal have rightly received criticism for failing to adapt their style of play for big games. It appears that Arsene Wenger may have finally listened. Is this the moment Arsenal came of age? Or is this yet another false dawn for the club?
Pardew Proving his Worth
He may not have been popular during his time on Tyneside, but since joining Crystal Palace Alan Pardew has made the job of a Premier League manager look rather easy. Two wins in a row have moved Palace up into 12th, and suddenly a side that couldn’t buy a goal is scoring for fun.
Pardew deserves credit for his bold team selections. The likes of Dwight Gayle, Glen Murray and Jason Puncheon have been integrated into the starting line up, giving Palace some real flair going forward. With Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak soon returning from international duty, things are looking much brighter for the London side.
Elia Making Instant Impact
Southampton’s new signing Eljero Elia has made an instant impact since his move to the club. The 27 year old Dutchman scored twice to secure a vital three points over Newcastle on Saturday evening.
His celebration after the first goal, sprinting 50 meters to embrace coach Ronald Koeman, shows how much he has bought into playing for Southampton, and he looked a real player in this game. The Saints continue to overcome the odds, and if Elia can maintain this hot start they may yet end up in the Champions League spots at the season’s end.
The key for this side will be to maintain their good form until the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Tobey Alderweirald are fit again. If every replacement performs as well as Elia they should have no problems.