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Man City MUST replace Aguero sooner rather than later… 10 things we learned from the weekend

The most unpredictable league in the world predictably threw up more drama and upsets this weekend.

The sixth matchday saw Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City lose more ground in the title race at West Ham, Liverpool return to winning ways in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal fall victim to Jamie Vardy once again.  

Here, Sportsmail takes a closer look at the Premier League action in our weekly 10 things we learned feature.

Jamie Vardy scored his 11th goal in 12 games against Arsenal in Leicester's win on Sunday night

Jamie Vardy scored his 11th goal in 12 games against Arsenal in Leicester’s win on Sunday night

AGUERO’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED… AND CITY MUST ACT NOW

Manchester City’s reluctance to sign a striker is coming back to the bite them on the backside. 

In Sergio Aguero, they have always had a player they could depend on. A striker who would give you 25 goals a season, no questions asked.

Perhaps the comfort of having someone like Aguero around encouraged ignorance. Whatever the reason, City now look very foolish for not heeding the warnings that they would soon need to find a replacement for him.

Aguero is 32 now and facing more time on the sidelines after picking up a hamstring injury in the draw at West Ham on the weekend.

Sergio Aguero isn't getting any younger and is facing more time out with a fresh injury

Sergio Aguero isn’t getting any younger and is facing more time out with a fresh injury 

Guardiola was limited on the details of the problem following the match, but it will be a worrying situation so soon after the striker’s return from a three-month absence with a knee injury. 

Gabriel Jesus is City’s only other senior striker, but he too is out with an injury. And while the Brazilian is a talented player, he has never displayed the kind of consistent potency in front of goal to suggest he could be Aguero’s long-term replacement. 

City have had opportunities to be proactive but that ship has long sailed. Now they must give in to what has been clearly slapping them in the face for so long and buy another striker.

MOYES DESERVES A NEW CONTRACT

For a while it seemed like the ghosts of his Manchester United nightmare would follow David Moyes everywhere he went. 

But at West Ham he has managed to shake off the curse and rediscover his touch.

Brick by brick, and game by game, Moyes is restoring his reputation and increasing his popularity among West Ham fans.  

Having kept the club up last season, he has got them more organised and driven this term.  They have shown enough in their first six games this season to convince most they won’t be anywhere near the relegation picture.

Moyes’ deal runs out at the end of the season and while he’s admitted he is in no rush to enter talks about extending his contract, West Ham should be doing all they can to ensure the Scot stays beyond that.

David Moyes is doing a solid job at West Ham and deserves to get a new contract as boss

David Moyes is doing a solid job at West Ham and deserves to get a new contract as boss

UNITED HAVE A MIDFIELD DILEMMA

Manchester United’s midfield problem is another damning example of their woeful recruitment strategy.

It’s clear that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t really have a clue what his best midfield pairing is.

In a compact squad of midfielders that already consisted of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay and Juan Mata it’s hard to understand the logic behind Donny van de Beek’s £40million signing.

Fernandes is always going to start in front of two central midfielders, leaving Solskjaer with six players to fill just two positions.

How do you go about solving that while keeping players happy and trying to find the right balance?

McTominay and Fred played together against Chelsea, which gave United stability but that creative spark was missing. It’s going to take time for Solskjaer to figure out this dilemma.

Donny van de Beek's £40m signing makes no sense given Man United's options in midfield

Donny van de Beek’s £40m signing makes no sense given Man United’s options in midfield

ZAHA IS BACK TO HIS BRILLIANT BEST

Last term was an off-season for Wilfried Zaha by his lofty standards.

Perhaps his mind was elsewhere after a summer of speculation resulted in him staying put.

There are other clubs with bigger ambitions than Crystal Palace who would still like to sign Zaha but he seems focused on his football right now and it’s paying off for Palace.

He has started the season in scintillating form and already has more Premier League goals than last campaign, having scored five in his first six games.

On his day, Zaha can be unplayable and with him in form Palace are a real tough nut to crack.

Wilfried Zaha has been in superb form and scored his fifth goal of the season at the weekend

Wilfried Zaha has been in superb form and scored his fifth goal of the season at the weekend

SOUTHAMPTON COULD BE DARK HORSES 

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side sprung the surprise of the weekend with a comfortable victory over high-flyers Everton… and even kept Dominic Calvert-Lewin off the scoresheet.

The Saints have made a fast start and could be a team to look out for this season. 

Hasenhuttl has them playing an attractive brand of football and his side have proven they’ll create a lot of problems for any team in this league.

They showed huge character to comeback and get a point at Chelsea last weekend and followed it up by inflicting the first league defeat of Everton’s season. 

Danny Ings and Che Adams have been singing off the same hymn sheet and are a dangerous double act up front while James Ward-Prowse has been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks in a deeper role.

No one will be looking forward to facing Southampton this season. 

No side will be looking forward to facing this much-improved Southampton side this season

No side will be looking forward to facing this much-improved Southampton side this season

LAMPARD STRUGGLING TO FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE

Frank Lampard has regularly spoken about the necessity to tighten up at the back.

Chelsea have been shipping far too many goals but fortunately for Lampard scoring them hasn’t seemed to be a problem. 

Lampard has honed in on improving Chelsea’s frailties in defence in recent weeks and would have been pleased with the clean sheet in their goalless stalemate at Old Trafford over the weekend. 

Now though he’ll have some slight concerns up the other end of the pitch after failing to score for a second successive game – something they’ve not done since he took over as boss last July. 

Lampard had to address the problems in defence, there was no two ways about it, but the solution cannot come at the cost of creativity.

He will need to find that happy medium but at the minute, that is proving difficult.

Frank Lampard is finding it hard to find the right balance between defence and attack now

Frank Lampard is finding it hard to find the right balance between defence and attack now

DIOGO JOTA LOOKS GOOD BUSINESS

Some eyebrows were raised when Liverpool paid £41m to bring Diogo Jota in from Wolves this summer. But already it looks to be a good piece of the business.

The 23-year-old has netted two times in four Premier League games and grabbed the winner against Sheffield United at the weekend.

Jota is not only a useful player who can step in when Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane need some much-needed respite but he is also capable of making a contribution.

He is not here to just make up the numbers and at his age is someone they can develop for the future.

Jota represents a significant improvement on previous back-ups Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi.

Diogo Jota has made some telling contributions for Liverpool and scored winner on Saturday

Diogo Jota has made some telling contributions for Liverpool and scored winner on Saturday

ARSENAL NEED SOMEONE TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE

Arsenal cannot continue to be over-reliant on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

When he is on song, they needn’t worry, but when he’s in a rough patch – as he is right now – there needs to be someone else they can turn to.

Mikel Arteta will be calling on players like Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Nicolas Pepe to have a greater influence in games. 

Those three can all be match-winners on their day and Arsenal need them to step up while Aubameyang works through this tough period.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is struggling for form, having scored just one league goal all term

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is struggling for form, having scored just one league goal all term

NOT MUCH HOPE FOR FULHAM 

Already you fear the worst for Fulham and Scott Parker.

They’ve made one of the worst starts to a Premier League season ever and just cannot keep the ball out of their net.

Fourteen goals have been shipped and just one point to show from their first six games.

It makes for sorry reading. They were beaten at home to Crystal Palace on the weekend 2-1 and doubts are swirling.

These are the games they need to be picking up points in. They face West Brom at home next Monday, if they fail to get anything from that it’s hard to see how they’re going to survive. 

Fulham need to start putting points on the board and fast after another loss at the weekend

Fulham need to start putting points on the board and fast after another loss at the weekend

GOAL-SHY NEWCASTLE NEED SOME ADVENTURE

Kieron Dyer said what everyone was thinking when he branded Newcastle ‘boring’.

The ex-Magpies star said over the weekend: ‘Steve Bruce has done a good job but I am bored watching Newcastle.

‘They are boring – just grinding out results. Newcastle were the entertainers. Let’s get some excitement back.’ 

Only West Brom, Burnley, Sheffield United and Fulham have scored fewer goals than Newcastle this season following their 1-1 draw with Wolves.

Bruce’s side only had 36 per cent possession in that draw at Molineux and haven’t had more of the ball than their opponents all season.  

They have been accused of being one-dimensional and urged to show more adventure in their play by their supporters. In defence of Bruce he is in a results business but you can certainly understand why fans aren’t happy. 

Newcastle have been urged to play more exciting football by fans and their former players

Newcastle have been urged to play more exciting football by fans and their former players

Original article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-8879643/Man-City-replace-Aguero-sooner-later-10-things-learned-weekend.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490

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