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James Maddison is the real deal and Chelsea’s kids can make the top four – 10 things we learned

It was the Premier League weekend that saw Liverpool show their battling qualities to continue their perfect start, Manchester City slump to another defeat and Crystal Palace break into the top six.

We also saw further evidence that both Manchester United and Tottenham will struggle to make it into the Champions League spots.

Sportsmail’s JORDAN SEWARD looks at the things we learned this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino is in deep trouble 

‘No desire’, ‘no heart’, ‘toothless’: these were the resounding soundbites to come out of Tottenham’s 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

Eric Dier admitted after the match that the club are in a crisis following a torrid run of form that has seen Tottenham win just once in six games.

At times like these, it is the leading figures that must stand up and be counted, but Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t seem to have any answers for their problems, not least seem interested in figuring them out. 

Sacking Pochettino would have been unthinkable just four months ago when he led Tottenham to the Champions League final. Now, in Daniel Levy’s mind, it will be under serious consideration.

Mauricio Pochettino is facing the axe at Tottenham after another humbling at the weekend

Mauricio Pochettino is facing the axe at Tottenham after another humbling at the weekend

Watford will face a battle to beat the drop

At the start of the season, few, if any, would have had Watford on their lists to go down.

FA Cup finalists last term and a team that looked to be moving in the right direction, but all of that has changed in a matter of months. 

Watford have no wins from their opening eight games, are stranded at the bottom of the league and showed no signs of stopping the rot against Sheffield United on Saturday.

It may still be early on in the season, but if Watford can’t win a home game against a newly-promoted side, you have to wonder where are the points going to come from?

Watford are not showing any signs of improving their form after drawing with Sheffield United

Watford are not showing any signs of improving their form after drawing with Sheffield United

Money can’t buy you three points

If any club summed up why throwing money at a problem is a rarely a good idea, it would be Everton.

They spent over £100million in the summer on new players, but find themselves in the relegation zone after eight games. 

The Toffees have now lost four on the bounce after the 1-0 defeat at Burnley and look totally bereft of confidence. 

Burnley, contrastingly, spent just £8m and are now up to seventh after Saturday’s win. 

Everton spent over £100m on players in the summer but have made a poor start to the season

Everton spent over £100m on players in the summer but have made a poor start to the season

Wesley can score goals at this level

Perhaps Aston Villa fans thought they were getting the quintessential Brazilian striker when Wesley joined for big-money in the summer.

Instead, they got a 6 foot 2 powerhouse that is much closer to a Dion Dublin than he is a Ronaldo.  

Having only ever played in the Slovakian and Belgian top leagues, Villa fans had their reservations about Wesley, but now they may just be starting to believe he is the man to fire them to safety. 

The 22-year-old grabbed a brace as Villa hit relegation rivals Norwich for five on the weekend. He now has four in eight and is proving he can do it at this level. 

Wesley proved he can score goals at this level with a brace at Norwich on the weekend

Wesley proved he can score goals at this level with a brace at Norwich on the weekend

James Maddison is the real deal 

James Maddison is a very good player; that has been common knowledge since he made the move to the Premier League.

Whether or not he could take his game to the next level and be one of the top performers in the country was another thing. 

But the 22-year-old is showing as each week passes that he is the real deal. 

They say the best players do it against the biggest teams and now Maddison has an assist against Chelsea and goals against Tottenham and Liverpool this season.

James Maddison is peforming against the best teams and scored at Liverpool on Saturday

James Maddison is peforming against the best teams and scored at Liverpool on Saturday

Roy Hodgson’s a master manager on a small budget

Roy Hodgson has done a marvellous job at Crystal Palace. It doesn’t get said enough.

He has had little to nothing to invest on new recruitments but has managed to keep Palace up comfortably each season. 

They spent just £9.5m last summer and £6m this summer, and yet have more points this year than any other Premier League side bar Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal.  

His Palace side are now up to sixth after Saturday’s impressive 2-1 victory at West Ham – the man who scored the winner, a £2.5m summer signing from Championship side Swansea. 

Roy Hodgson continues to defy the odds with Crystal Palace up to sixth after win at West Ham

Roy Hodgson continues to defy the odds with Crystal Palace up to sixth after win at West Ham

Chelsea’s kids can make top four

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea made a rocky start to the season, but they are slowly beginning to find their feet. 

Having lost Eden Hazard and been unable to sign any players due to a transfer ban, Chelsea’s chances of making the top four appeared slim.

Lampard turned to youngsters at the club and they are starting to deliver for him. Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have been a revelation this season and were both on the scoresheet in the win at Southampton on Sunday. 

With performances like the one on the south coast, there is no reason why Chelsea can’t finish in the top four.

Chelsea's youngsters are proving to be a real handful after swatting aside Southampton

Chelsea’s youngsters are proving to be a real handful after swatting aside Southampton

Manchester City are a defender light 

Pep Guardiola’s biggest mistake was not buying a defender in the summer. 

Aymeric Laporte’s injury couldn’t have been foretold, but Vincent Kompany was a huge figure in the dressing room and should have been replaced.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi are too inconsistent to be trusted to play alongside each other which has meant Guardiola has resorted to pushing Fernandinho back into defence. Fernandinho is a wonderful footballer, but he is not a centre half.

City’s defensive frailties were exposed by Wolves on the weekend as they slumped to a surprise 2-0 defeat to fall eight points behind Liverpool. Guardiola is already planning to bring in a defender in January, but will the title race be over by then?  

In hindsight, Pep Guardiola will have wished he signed a defender in the summer window

In hindsight, Pep Guardiola will have wished he signed a defender in the summer window

Calum Chambers still has a big role at Arsenal

It sounds bizarre writing it, but after mediocre loan spells at Middlesbrough and Fulham, Calum Chambers still has an Arsenal career.

The 24-year-old has been shifted from right-back to centre half to centre midfield during his short career and has never really settled in a position.

But in recent weeks he has stamped his claim on the right-back position in Arsenal’s team. Chambers has looked like a player reinvigorated and may yet have an important role to play for Arsenal this season.

He kept Daniel James quiet against United last week and on Sunday helped Arsenal record a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth. 

Calum Chambers has looked reinvigorated and was man of the match against Bournemouth

Calum Chambers has looked reinvigorated and was man of the match against Bournemouth

Fred simply is not good enough

How many more chances is Fred going to get? 

He’s been at Manchester United for 14 months now and no game sticks out in the mind where he actually played well.

Whose idea was it to spend £50m on him? If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were not so short, you’d suspect he wouldn’t even get a look in.

In a game that was crying out for a piece of magic, it was debutant Matthew Longstaff that provided it, while the £50m Brazilian player daydreamed through the whole game at Newcastle. An exit in January or next summer looms.

Manchester United must be losing patience with £50m misfit Fred after another poor display

Manchester United must be losing patience with £50m misfit Fred after another poor display

Original article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-7545637/James-Maddison-real-deal-Chelseas-kids-make-four-10-things-learned.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

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