Five talking points from the weekend’s Premier League matches

Author : Srihari

Moyes’s Manchester United Midfield remains a mystery

If you were to ask any Manchester United fan as to who has been the standout player so far, the answer would unanimously be Michael Carrick. But the problem for David Moyes has been the fact that, he has been unable to find him a suitable partner in crime. It is early days but David Moyes is yet to impart a clear identity on his side and his approach has been cautious to say the least. The need for a creative midfielder wasn’t addressed in the summer and it looks like it might yet come back to bite them.

Although there bids for Fàbregas and then Ander Herrera, they only managed to sign Marouane Fellaini, who has so far at least, turned out to be a poor man’s Carrick and doesn’t seem to be the player United were clamoring for. The injury to Cleverley and the continued absence of Anderson, means that the dynamism and industry is almost absent alongside the metronomic Carrick.  Whilst it will surely take Moyes some time to get his midfield sorted out, the current one looks bland and is severely lacking in ambition and invention.

Arsenal and Man City turn on the heat

Some of Arsenal’s attacking play in the game against Norwich City, was the stuff of dreams, especially Wilshere’s goal, which is sure to be replayed over and over again before the season ends. Whilst it is true that they have beaten just a single top half team, as the old cliché goes, you can only beat what is in front of you and Arsenal have certainly done that. The month ahead certainly looks challenging but you wouldn’t put it past this side to continue their attacking form and continue their confident start to the season.

Man City on the other hand showed that, when they are on song, with the amount of creativity at their disposal there aren’t too many better than them. With David Silva stealing the show with his sublime performance, City just hammered the Hammers. And the worrying thing for the rest of the league is the fact that, on the bench, City had over £125m-worth of players and a £15m signing Jesus Navas, not even making the squad. With such strength in depth, it should come as no surprise to anyone if they are up there fighting for the title, come the business end of the campaign.

Anthony Taylor and the Law 12 saga

When Samuel Eto’o nicked the ball off the Cardiff keeper and helped his side score, he sent millions of fans and pundits alike, scurrying across the FIFA rulebook, to see if that was legal. And after a lot of searching, it is fair to say that what he did wasn’t legal and the goal shouldn’t have stood, according to Law 12. The law clearly states that the goalkeeper cannot be touched when he is in control of the ball, which he clearly was, in that case, when he was bouncing it on the ground.

After the game, the referee Anthony Taylor told the Cardiff manager that he was aware of the rules and that he believed that David Marshall “dropped” the ball, when all evidence points to the contrary. Whilst it is easy to blame the referee in this case, in his defense, he was miles away from where the incident happened and the only thing he could have done, was consulted with his officials before making a call, which he didn’t do. Apart from that, this is certainly one incident which has made a lot of people aware of such a rule, which wasn’t the case before. And it should be treated as human error and nothing more than that.

Ashley would do well to keep the faith with Pardew

After a disappointing opening couple of games, Newcastle United are slowly but surely getting back on track. Although their form is inconsistent at best, the performance against Liverpool showed that they are on the right track. Mike Ashley would do well to stand by his word and let Pardew see out his long term contract.

Against Liverpool on Saturday, although his side played with just 10 men for 50 minutes, they managed to come out with a creditable 2-2 draw. And the fabulous form of Remy, the on-loan striker from QPR must surely please both Pardew and Ashley. The manager has certainly had a difficult past few months, as he has not only had to deal with the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tioté and Hatem Ben Arfa, but also cope cleverly with the installation of Joe Kinnear as the director of football. With Newcastle finally starting to play some eye catching football, Mike Ashley would do well to keep the faith with Pardew and let him strut his stuff.

Will Sunderland stay rock bottom even with Poyet at the helm?

Sunderland fans would certainly have been hoping for an improvement of sorts with a new man at the helm. And a hammering at the hands of Swansea would have been the last thing that Poyet would have wanted in his first game in charge. The defeat showed that there is a lot of work to do and a few more of those will mean that they will be put in a hole, they can’t hope to come out of.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

Abu Dhabi: Rajasthan bowlers check Hyderabad's scoring rate. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »