Thursday, August 11, 2022

EPL GW7 Report Card | Klopp, Wenger, or Pochettino – Who Gets The Top Marks?

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

This wasn’t an easy week for managers, as after a run of continuous games saw heavy legs all around the park. Performance levels consequently dipped, as did the chances of 3 points, in a game week that saw 6 draws played out. T4O takes a look at three managers who manage to churn out a win for their sides.

Manager: Arsene Wenger

FT Score: Burnley 0 – Arsenal 1
Expected result: Win
Marks: 8.5/10

Arsene Wenger’s troops dug in, in what was a resilient result vs bullies Burnley, who have previously scalped Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor. It could have been a similar result, with Sean Dyche’s side set up for the counter, having a backline of 5 men in their average positioning, to plug any holes for Arsenal to stick their knife into. There were no holes, but there was a painful stab for the home side at the end, when an indomitable Laurent Koscielny knifed (flapped) in the winner.

There was something that was uncanny about this victory, much in the way Liverpool’s result was in the early kick-off vs Swansea – there was will to win, when the odds seemed stacked against them. Arsene Wenger may yet have his finish with a flourish.

Manager: Tony Conte

FT Score: Hull City 0 – Chelsea 2
Expected result: Draw
Marks: 8/10

On the evidence of the first-half, it was seemingly going to be yet another game where Tony Conte would have his head in his hand, deriding his bunch of misfits in his mind, as they kept on missing the final pass. He did incite enough intent for Chelsea to ride on Diego Costa’s returning form.

Manager: Juergen Klopp 

FT Score: Swansea City 1 – Liverpool 2
Expected result: Draw
Marks: 9/10

Deja vu all over again for Liverpool fan, was the collective feeling after the first-half lurched to an end. It was typical Liverpool, to beat Chelsea, to beat Arsenal, and then crash and burn vs the likes of Burnley and Swansea of this world, with all due respect. The script was set, the story was going to unfold, but it didn’t.

There was poise in Liverpool’s passing, and method in Liverpool’s pressing, which resulted in them churning out two goals to overturn the deficit. Liverpool fans would have walked away from Liberty stadium, with a feeling of mild shock and amusement.

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

FT Score: Tottenham 2 – Manchester City 0
Expected result: Loss
Marks: 9.5/10

To get a win against league leaders Manchester City, against a Pep Guardiola side, seemingly at the peak of their powers, is an impressive task regardless if it’s at the comforts of your home, or even away. It happened, as the only undefeated side in the league handed out Man City’s first loss in their 2016-17 campaign of the Premier League.

Last season, it was a case of close but no cake for the Argentine, who saw his side limp out of the title race. This season, having bolstered his side just enough to see it secure a telling win against the favourites for the Premier League title, despite notable absentees augurs well for the rest of the season.

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