Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe Premier League Knee Jerk - 5 Things We Learnt This Weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The Premier League Knee Jerk - 5 Things We Learnt This Weekend - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The Premier League Knee Jerk – 5 Things We Learnt This Weekend

Panic at Spurs

Such is the way in Premier League manager land you are never far from intense criticism and questions of your job, Arsene Wenger was on the receiving end early on, Jose Mourinho had it following a tricky spell a few weeks back, David Moyes has been the victim throughout the season but particularly in recent times and Manuel Pellegrini seems to go from hero to villain on a weekly basis.

Now it is the turn of Andre Villas-Boas to feel the pressure – following a desperately poor 3-0 home defeat at the hands of West Ham. Undoubtedly an alarming result and hardly one which suggests Spurs’ many signings are showing signs of gelling together. Despite the recruits Tottenham once again struggled to break a mid-table side down at White Hart Lane, a problem that plagued them last year and if it persists will again deny them a top spot.

United unearth a gem

Two goals at Sunderland has seen Adnan Januzaj become the toast of Old Trafford – with the Belgium’s brace easing the pressure on Moyes, in the process incredibly providing United with their first goals from open play since the first day of the season against Swansea.

The 18-year-old’s sparkling display has led to many drawing all kinds of wild comparison with past young stars at Old Trafford – some even going as far as mentioning the name Cristiano Ronaldo. Undoubtedly the youngster still has much to prove but in a season where his side has been blunt in regards to creativity his arrival will have brought about a welcome relief, whether he will become the superstar he has been billed as this weekend only time will tell.

West Ham master the no striker role

Who knew it would be Sam Allardyce who mastered the no striker formation in English football, with his selection of six midfielders helping guiding West Ham to their first win at Tottenham since 1994. Further to that the goal shy Hammers finally opened up their away account, incredibly doing what they have failed to do all season three times.

Whether it was tactical genius or his hand was forced given the striker famine at Upton Park it is hard to tell, but it certainly proved too much for Spurs to contend with – the Hammers looking far more of a threat than they have done recently playing Maido Maiga in the lone striker role.

When the team sheet came out the majority were probably at our knee jerking best claiming Allardyce was set to park the bus – little did we know he had planned a tactical master stroke.

Pardew a hero again

Few managers throughout these opening weeks have gone from on the verge of the sack to safe the next in the manner that Alan Pardew has done. Coming into this week the much criticised manager was apparently treading a fine line following successive 3-2 defeats – in particular a dire first half showing against Everton last Monday.

Thankfully for Pardew his side showed plenty of resolve and fighting spirit for him, inflicting Cardiff’s first home defeat courtesy of a Loic Remy brace. The return of Yohan Cabaye proved pivotal with the influential Frenchman showing his class with a man of the match performance.

That result leaves Newcastle sitting safely in 11th and for now Pardew can sleep easily but such is the way that defeat next time round and suddenly the vultures will likely be looming again.

Watertight Saints set for Europe

Another victory and yet another stop out has lifted Southampton to the lofty heights of fourth in the Premier League – with that they also possess the best defensive record by a significant margin.

Defending and in particular recruitment of defenders has largely and bizarrely been ignored by many of the league’s top sides, yet in strengthening their backline with the addition of Dejan Lovren it seems Southampton has capitalised where others have ignored. Their goal tally of seven in seven is hardly standout but with such a strong defence in a league of sides with leaky backlines, Saints are clearly benefiting from their new found solidarity.