Premier League: Five talking points from the weekend
The ups and the downs of the weekend's Premier League action.
The business end of the Premier League season is approaching as the top four and relegation battles heat up.
Here are some of the main talking points from the weekend's action, from Seamus Coleman scoring to Man United struggling, plus Kieran Trippier's effect on Newcastle.
The Seamus Coleman resurgence.
The Donegal man scored Everton's opening goal, as they beat Leeds 3-0 at Goodison Park to win their first league game in two months. Their first Premier League victory sees Frank Lampard's side remain 16th.
Coleman's performance was reminiscent of how he used to overlap under Roberto Martinez during the 2013-14 season. The Republic of Ireland captain was heavily involved in the build-up to Everton’s first goal and showed commendable bravery to head the ball over the line.
Coleman, 33, was an attacking threat throughout the match and delivered the perfect response to supporters who have criticised him this season.
Lampard's philosophy is much more attacking-minded than Rafa Benitez's, and that could suit the Everton skipper. Coleman could enjoy an Indian summer under the Chelsea legend and get the chance to remind fans of his attacking ability.
The Toffee's stay five points above the relegation zone with two games in hand on 18th placed Norwich City.
Could Youri Tielemans be the answer for Arsenal?
Before Leicester’s 2-2 draw with West Ham, respected football journalist Fabrizio Romano stated that Tielemans would not – under any circumstances – extend his contract with the Foxes.
The Belgian’s current deal expires in 2023, meaning Leicester will have to sell him this summer to recoup a decent transfer fee.
There will undoubtedly be a scramble for Tielemans at the end of the season, with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and a host of European clubs likely to be interested.
If the Gunners can qualify for the Champions League, Tielemans could be the perfect fit for Arteta’s side.
Arsenal lack a playmaker from deep. They currently play with two defensive midfielders in Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey. Adding Tielemans to the fold would allow for Arsenal to dictate possession to a greater extent.
The Gunners have not had a deep-lying creative midfielder since Cesc Fabregas, or arguably Santi Carzola. The Belgian international would bring Arsenal up a level and enable them to dominate possession against the teams above them.
The 24-year-old has six Premier League goals this season from midfield. Tielemans would be available for a relatively reasonable fee, given he will have a year left on his deal. A starting place in Arsenal's midfield and potential Champions League football could be more than most can offer.
There would be too much competition for places at Anfield. And while Man United could do also with someone of Tielemans’ quality, they are looking increasingly unlikely to reach the Champions League next season.
Newcastle will miss world-class Kieran Trippier.
The England full-back made it two free-kick goals in two games as Newcastle steer four points clear of the relegation zone.
He has been a revelation on Tyneside since his move from Atletico Madrid. He is not only Newcastle's best defender but is in line to be the club's next captain and a set-piece specialist for the Magpies.
Trippier's winner against Villa boosts Newcastle's Premier League survival hopes greatly. It is clear to see that he has played at the pinnacle of world football with how he conducts himself on and off the pitch.
The 31-year-old is ageing like a fine wine and has lots of football left in the Premier League and at international football.
The Magpies have not lost a Premier League game since Trippier signed in January, and he will be missed for the next six weeks, as he suffered a broken foot in the game.
Wolves for the Champions League?
Wolves beat top-four rivals Spurs 2-0 in the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. The win leaves them five points off fourth place West Ham with two games in hand.
The Wanderers are no stranger to being at the top end of the table. They finished seventh in back-to-back seasons in 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons.
Last season, 67 points would have got you fourth place. Wolves currently sit on 37 points. So they may need to win 10 of their final 15 games to achieve the target of Champions League football.
It is a big ask, but Bruno Lage's side has won four out of their last five league games. Jimenez remaining fit will be essential to their top-four hopes as their defence takes care of itself. Wolves are second in the least goals conceded column only behind Man City, only letting in 17 goals this season.
Wolves have a Champions League defence, but their attack is what lets them down, as they are the 18th highest scorers in the league. However, if they can step that up, they could make an unlikely push for Europe's top club competition.
How far will Man United fall?
The Red Devils dropped points again at home to Southampton by drawing 1-1.
United currently sit fifth but if the teams around them win their games in hand they could potentially fall to eighth. They have drawn three out of the last five Premier League games.
Man United looks to be a sinking ship. The players are leaking information to the media. Their manager appears to be viewed as a director of football instead of a manager. While the fans booed the team off the pitch and half time and full time on Saturday.
For the club to be successful, everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction. This is the opposite of what is occurring at Old Trafford currently.
No matter who is managing the club, if the environment is toxic, there is little to no chance for the team to be successful. United needs an overhaul from top to bottom.
Gary Neville spoke out on Sky Sports against the leaks that have been coming out of the Old Trafford dressing room about the management team. "I didn't find it funny at all, I thought it was disrespectful. I thought it was disgusting in fact."
"I didn't find it funny at all. I thought it was disrespectful. I thought it was disgusting in fact."
Gary Neville assesses the current state at Manchester United and shares his views on the leaked reports of disharmony between the players and the coaching staff 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/6IY4DdcI09
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 14, 2022