The 2020/21 Premier League season is back from another international break and the managers are out in full flow for more press-conferences ahead of another gameweek. There is a lot to say after what has been an intense two weeks of international football, which makes things even more complicated.
A two-week international break separates two tough fixtures for Liverpool, with them walking into the break on the back of a 1-1 draw against Manchester City and walking out to face Leicester City. The Foxes currently occupy the top spot and the reigning titleholders are looking to get their place at the top of the table back from former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ side. That meant that Jurgen Klopp’s presser was filled with questions about the Foxes, international break, Mo Salah, and more.
“They (Leicester City) showed it last year how good they can be. Changed styles slightly. Dealt really well with injuries. Good example how to deal with injury crisis. A clear way of how they want to play. They are contenders for everything.”
The Gunners have a few ghosts to banish after they were taught a lesson in finishing and creativity by Aston Villa last time around as they visit Elland Road and Leeds United. This won’t be the first time that Arsenal and Mikel Arteta have faced the Peacocks and Marcelo Bielsa with an FA Cup win over them last season. However, both teams have changed since then and it saw Arteta’s presser dominated by questions about team news, controversies, and more.
“I'm all for it to extend the numbers and the squad. We have a big squad for different reasons. We have to leave several players at home and let's try to help them. Meaning at home means at home. Even mentally for them to feel involved you are two days without the squad and your team-mates. Let's make them involved at least with what we're trying to do here. I think there are easy decisions. Let's hope we can change it.”
A draw against Liverpool, an international break, and a two-year deal for Pep Guardiola later, Manchester City face Tottenham and with it, Guardiola’s fiercest rival in Jose Mourinho. But despite that, the Spaniard’s press conference was dominated by talk over his new deal that will extend his spell at the Etihad to seven years, the longest in Guardiola’s managerial career. However, with a catalogue of injuries at his disposal, the Spaniard was also asked about Tottenham and team news.
“The numbers speak for themselves. They (Tottenham) dropped points vs Newcastle and West Ham in the last minutes, imagine the table without. The manager is quality, of course they are contenders. They are an exceptional team the last four or five years since Mauricio took over."
The Foxes are on a three-game unbeaten run since their 1-0 loss to Aston Villa with wins over Arsenal, Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. That doesn’t include their European record with the Foxes so far unbeaten there as well with three wins in as many Europa League games although that wasn’t the focus of Brendan Rodgers’ presser. Instead, it concentrated around Liverpool, the title race, and more.
"As it has evolved and seeing the intensity of the games, and looking forward to it, I wouldn’t be against being able to use five subs. From a player management perspective, it would certainly benefit."
Like almost every European side, Tottenham were last in action two weeks ago against West Bromwich Albion with them walking away victorious. The win also marked their third successive league victory but with a clash against Manchester City, Jose Mourinho and co will need to do more to beat Pep Guardiola’s side. To make things even worse, this is the first of eight big league games that Spurs face before the end of the year and Mourinho’s presser was filled with questions over the same.
“I think clubs never reach what they want. Us coaches, we are always in the search of the impossible, we are always in the search for perfection and in my case, we are far from perfection. For example, our opponents tomorrow they are winning the Premier League or almost winning the Premier League or fighting for the Premier League for more than 10 years and probably they didn't reach the perfection and want more.”