Premier League review: Erling Haaland starts transfer tour, Liverpool’s defensive boost, and Manchester United’s goalkeeper decision

Today’s mad ramblings will take the form of an Erling Haaland-shaped beauty parade and head all over the Premier League looking to find someone to love me.

Will it be Manchester City? Not according to Pep Guardiola, the champions-elect don’t have two pound coins to rub together this summer.

Next stop Manchester City for Haaland?
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Will it be Manchester United? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might have the striker in a private WhatsApp chat, but you can’t really see Mino Raiola wanting two of his clients underachieving at Old Trafford.

What about Chelsea? They seem keener on bring Sergio Aguero to Stamford Bridge on a free than putting £250m big ones on the table – plus, they’re hardly guaranteed Champions League football yet, are they?

One thing is for sure, Erling will be the talk of the summer, the proverbial football prom queen.

Those early Saturday kick-offs post international football are always dull affairs, right?

Could Solskjaer be the one to land Haaland?
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Chelsea’s Thiago Silva has achieved most things in football other than a decent performance against West Bromwich Albion. The Brazilian had a shocker on debut in the reverse fixture and didn’t fancy a full 90 on his return from injury in this one.

As much as I am a fan of a smaller side sticking one in the pipe of the big boys, if it means a return of Smug Sam, then I am dead against it.

Allardyce was in his absolute post-match element, predicting that ‘we won’t be last’ on Match of the Day and praising his players for following ‘his tactical plan’ to the letter.

Thomas Tuchel’s side had not conceded a goal in about 700 minutes at Stamford Bridge, long enough for him to learn that playing Marcos Alonso in a back four is a recipe for disaster.

Tuchel’s honeymoon period at Stamford Bridge came to an end on Saturday against the Baggies
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Big Sam does get a lot of stick for his style of football but West Brom’s fourth (yes, that’s their fourth) was possibly the goal of the weekend.

So, Mikel Arteta is left taking the blame once again. Arsenal were blown away by Liverpool in the second half in what was probably Granit Xhaka’s finest game for Arsenal – because he wasn’t playing and was actually missed.

Liverpool and England’s fifth choice right-back Trent Alexander Arnold seemed quite pumped for the game, creating Diogo Jota’s opening goal with a superb cross. However, the cross was nothing compared to Stuart Attwell’s haircut or Alisson’s moustache – both of which would have been a talking point individually had they not turned up in the same game.

Liverpool’s defence looked secure, begging the question of what they could have achieved had Jurgen Klopp just picked central defenders no matter how far down the pecking order they were earlier in the season. Mind you, they’ll have enough next season with a £40million deal for Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate being sorted.

Arsenal were just ‘mentally weak’ according to Ian Wright – but at least Martin Odegaard ended the weekend with a cup winner’s medal in his locker.

Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top six took another blow
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Manchester City can sleepwalk to the Premier League title from here, needing just eleven points to lift the trophy.

Aguero’s long goodbye got underway against Leicester, though his biggest contribution was getting in the line of Fernandinho’s wonder strike. Instead, it was Gabriel Jesus who scored at Easter once more (insert your own gag here, folks – everyone else has).

Manchester United were keen to get life back to normal after a week where they felt the need to confirm they wouldn’t be signing Aguero. So, Paul Pogba finally went to collect his Rolls Royce from the pound and United went behind in a Premier League match.

We haven’t had the curse of the returning man for some time now, so it was nice to see Danny Welbeck notch against his former employers, following up after a top save by United’s no.1 (for the day) Dean Henderson. Mind you, with rumours that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pay David de Gea to leave this summer, Hendo might actually be no.1 next season.

Naturally, the weekend after this ‘football writer’ moved Mason Greenwood out of his fantasy draft team having seen patience run out, he scored the winning goal.

Greenwood scored the winner for Manchester United against Brighton
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Tottenham travelled to St James’ Park with both managers top of the wrong table – the ‘next manager to get the bullet’ table popular with many a bookie. When Joelinton scored only his second goal in what feels like a lifetime to Newcastle fans, Spurs fans would have feared the worst.

Harry Kane managed to score two in three touches, but Steve Bruce’s team were never put to bed – like many an opposition to Mourinho’s side this season.

Not Jose’s fault though, you understand. Spurs have now dropped 15 points from winning positions, the third highest in the Premier League this season – but it’s all down to the players, OK?

Joe Willock, he on loan from Arsenal, took great pleasure in netting a late leveller – a goal that slows Mou’s Champions League push once again but can be considered quite a lifeline to Mike Ashley’s club. Steve Bruce might even get a new contract this week as a result.

Willock celebrates his goal against Spurs
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One manager almost certainly not getting a new contract is Uncle Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace. It is believed that the grandfather of Premier League management will be let go at the end of the season with Palace drawing up a shortlist of managers to take the club forward – Frank Lampard, Sean Dyche and Swansea’s Steve Cooper.

One out of three feels realistic on that list, but if Steve Parrish is looking in the Championship for his next gaffer then he wants to be taking a look at a former player now doing great things in the land of the Tykes – Valerien Ismael at Barnsley.

Hodgson’s current contract at Selhurst Park expires at the end of the season
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For an oh-so-brief moment it looked like Scott Parker’s Fulham side could enjoy some late chocolate egg action outside the Premier League relegation zone. Unfortunately, there were only eggs for the winners and that was Aston Villa – Trezeguet off the bench to get a brace and Ollie Watkins scoring late to remind Gareth Southgate not to forget about him before the Euro 2020 squad is picked.

Leeds United won’t have too many easy days like this weekend, seeing off Sheffield United 2-1 thanks to Phil Jagielka toe-poking the winner past Aaron Ramsdale – a goalkeeper who must be sick of late, important goals flying past him.

I am sure not many of us had Southampton’s clash with Burnley down as a five-goal thriller and when Burnley led 2-0 early on, even fewer would have thought Southampton had the stomach for a comeback.

Well, we were all wrong – Theo Walcott might have even nailed his most intelligent assist ever too.

Source: Sport

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