The 2020/21 Premier League season is off and the managers are out in full flow for another press-conference ahead of yet another gameweek. There is a lot to say before what will be the first international break of the season and in a condensed season, things get even more complicated for the bosses.
After getting thoroughly beaten by Leicester City last time around, Manchester City were forced to take immediate action and signed a brand new defender. Will he make his debut? We may never know but either way, Pep Guardiola takes on one of his mentors in the form of Marcelo Bielsa this weekend and the Spaniard had a lot to say. It included a part about the Peacocks and about the brand new handball rule.
"They do exactly what they have to do. They are a team, fight for each other, defend a lot around the box. They have good build up. At the right moment, they arrive with a lot of players. I played three times against Marcelo at Bilbao, and every game was so difficult."
"I am happy the handball rule is being tweaked this week. Some of the penalties have been quite ridiculous... Football is unpredictable. The hand from Eric Dier, or Brighton versus United. Everyone knows when it is intentional or when it deflects onto hands. To give a penalty is quite ridiculous. Hopefully they can decide the best for the game. To be more fair. "
It has not been the greatest week for Chelsea and that includes their 3-3 draw to West Bromwich Albion which was a game that the Blues should have won rather easily. But as if that wasn’t enough, Frank Lampard and his men had to endure a penalty shootout defeat to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup during their mid-week clash which meant that Mourinho beat Lampard for the first time. Things won’t be made any easier with a game against Crystal Palace around the corner and Lampard insisted that the Eagles will prove to be a tough test.
“It's important, but as important as every game is. Brighton was tough, we have lost to the champions and then clear mistakes at West Brom. There is clear perspective of the first three games and we are getting more settled. We will attack the game with confidence and a desire to win, like with every game.”
Not the greatest start in the world for Arsenal but their opening two wins made that 3-1 loss to Liverpool hurt a little less before the Gunners beat them in the Carabao Cup. While it did take a penalty shootout for the result, after a goalless 90 minutes, the Gunners face Sheffield United next and will need to put their best foot forward as they face a tough October. That saw Mikel Arteta address Arsenal’s home form and he believes that the club need to dominate the impose themselves at home starting on Sunday.
"I think we can create, the Emirates, a furnace for us. I think it's going to be crucial for the future at the end of the season. Not just the results but as well the performance, where we can inspire and transmit that form and play with that confidence at home that we have to be really resilient and dominate games and impose ourselves in those games. I think the game on Sunday is a really difficult one. I watched the Sheffield [United] games already any they merit much more from those games. The way they played is tricky so I'm expecting a very difficult game."
While the week started badly for Tottenham, following that controversial draw to Newcastle United, things went a little better after a win over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. They used that form to beat Maccabi Haifa and move into the Europa League group stage with many fans hoping that Jose Mourinho manages to get the best out of his team going forward. Spurs face Manchester United next in the league, and another former Mourinho club, which saw his press conference dominated by talks about revenge against the very men who sacked him.
"What's that? Revenge? I won so many times at Old Trafford as Man United coach and as an opponent coach. Revenge for what? Nobody treated me badly there, everyone was so nice to me, I don't have enemies there, I don't have bad feelings. Revenge for what? It's just a football match I want to win."
Despite beating Arsenal in the league last weekend, Liverpool fell to the Gunners in a penalty shootout during their mid-week fixture and face Aston Villa this weekend. It saw Jurgen Klopp asked a lot of questions about a lot of things but the biggest one had to be about VAR and his opinions about the brand new handball law. The former Borussia Dortmund boss also spoke about transfers, both incoming and outgoings, with updates on Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson's injuries as well.
“We just wanted clarity (with VAR). It ends up still with a discussion and that makes no sense. I think there’s still some work to do. With offside, its not the rule but how we interpret the rule. But the referees have to stick to the rule. “
Another win from Manchester United last time around and the Red Devils have now made it three wins on the trot despite their opening day defeat to Crystal Palace. But despite Jose Mourinho’s return to this former club, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s presser was dominated by talk about transfers and a potential move for Jadon Sancho. Not only that, but Solskjaer also spoke about injuries, team news and touched on other topics.
“You know, the main thing now obviously is to get results on the pitch, we need to get results and how we get results on the pitch there are many, many ways to improve the team. We’re working here inside the four walls and on the pitch to get better. I keep reading about players that should be playing instead of ones that are playing because that tells me I’ve got a strong squad. We need to get fit and keep injury free but there are more competition for places now. There might be some players that haven’t played as much as they like because of the front four but we need results to affect mood of players staff, club, all the others are just short-term moods as well.”