Premier League: 10 Things To Watchout For This Weekend

Jürgen Klopp is unlikely to work instant miracles at Liverpool, Chelsea can rebuild after their poor start and Héctor Bellerín has a surprising role at Arsenal. Follow the returning Barclays Premier League with Joy Sports on air, online and on Multi TV with bulletins spread throughout the weekend.

1) Liverpool should not expect an instant akloppalypse

Has any Premier League managerial appointment ever generated such hyperbole? Part-hipster, part-everyman, Jürgen Klopp’s arrival sent the media into overdrive this week. Man turns up for work! Man goes out for drink!

Klopp may have arrived on Merseyside with a smile and a wink but everything he has said and done has been with one intention: to downplay. “Give me time,” he urged. Yet fans have already started chanting that the German is going to win Liverpool another Champions League. “I don’t walk on water,” he pleaded, “I’m the normal one.”

Yet his emphasis on patience shows how acutely aware he is that he might not live up to expectations, that Liverpool could easily lose at Tottenham on Saturday, could easily fail to win any of their next four league games – Southampton (home), Chelsea (away), Crystal Palace (home), Manchester City (away) – that they will probably fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

 But this is what the Premier League does: it builds them up then cuts them down. Few have the substance to live up to the hype. Perhaps Klopp does, but the backlash is never far away.

Klopp finished sixth in his first season at Dortmund in 2008-09, failing to qualify for the Europa League. A year later he finished fifth. His methods, and his squad, took time to take hold. Liverpool have the same squad as two weeks ago - minus two key injuries to Danny Ings and Joe Gomez.

There’s not much narrative here folks, but Klopp will want to take it one game at a time, starting with Spurs away this Saturday. He could do worse than Brendan Rodgers last season.

2) Schneiderlin can negate Barkley’s threat
Hindsight is a beautiful thing but Louis van Gaal’s decision to play Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the full 90 minutes in central midfield against Arsenal was a foolish one.

The pair were completely overrun by Arsenal’s scuttling trequartistas in the opening exchanges at the Emirates – Carrick in particular, at the age of 34, needs a more dynamic ball-winning partner to allow him to play to his own strengths – making the sight of the unused substitute Morgan Schneiderlin even stranger.

10) Butland shining at Stoke – but for how long?

How far can Jack Butland go? Against Italy in 2012, the then Birmingham teenager became the youngest ever England international goalkeeper at 19 years, 158 days but he has had to wait three years to make his second appearance, away in Lithuania this week.

Joe Hart is England’s No1 and deservedly so: despite Butland’s eye-catching displays this campaign it is unlikely that the jersey will leave the saliva-covered palms of Manchester City’s stopper.

Roy Hodgson has been better than his predecessors in including players from so-called smaller clubs – recently capping outfield players from Leicester City, Swansea City and Southampton – but in Hart, England can claim to have one of the best goalkeepers in the world and his experience in tournaments and the Champions League will probably continue to give him the edge come next summer, regardless of Butland’s form.

Stoke fans won’t worry too much about that, but if Butland maintains his form at club level, starting with Monday night’s trip to Swansea, bigger clubs could come calling in the future. Still just 22, hardened by the Premier League and homegrown, Butland is an attractive player for any team.

Source: The Guardian
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