Premier League Opinion: 2 ideal PL destinations for James Tarkowski
According to a recent report by the Lancashire Live, Burnley’s English centre-half James Tarkowski is said to have triggered a lot of interest from a multitude of Premier League clubs.
Despite the Clarets having a decent season in the league last time out, the rumours linking the dominant centre-half with a move away from Turf Moor certainly haven’t decreased. It has been suggested in the report that Burnley are willing to go all out to have their man stay put, ahead of what could be an extremely important season for them.
The 26-year-old has been one of Burnley’s most influential players over the last couple of seasons and since joining from Brentford in 2016, he’s become a key feature at Turf Moor. He was a product of the Oldham Athletic youth academy and he was scouted and signed by Brentford in 2014.
This season, he played in 35 league games for Burnley and even managed to notch up 3 goals and an assist. His efforts helped the Clarets maintain a prolonged unbeaten streak at the break of the new year.
His considerable frame and defensive intelligence will certainly be a big asset to any suitors and the fact that he’s still only 26 will come as an added bonus. With multiple parties interested, a move away from Turf Moor seems likely for the Englishman this summer with just his destination yet to be determined.
Here are the 2 PL clubs said to be keen on James Tarkowski’s signature:
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had what can only be described as a magical first season back in the Premier League.
Although they did have the support of massive funding for transfers, the way in which they manoeuvred the tough course was truly spectacular.
Nuno will now be looking to break into the European places next season and signing a player of Tarkowski’s quality will go a long way towards their cause of possibly achieving Champions League football.
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The Foxes could be preparing for the departure of their star man Harry Maguire, with both Manchester United and Manchester City said to be extremely keen. If the Englishman does eventually leave the King Power Stadium, then the addition of Tarkowski would make a lot of sense.
He would offer the same level of defensive stability that Maguire has brought to the Foxes back-line over the last couple of seasons.
Winners and Losers from gameweek 3 of the Premier League including Liverpool and Tottenham
Winners and Losers from gameweek 3 of the Premier League including Liverpool and Tottenham
The 2019-20 season of the Premier League has already witnessed a bright start and there was no shortage of drama and excitement in Round 3, as large sections of the fans got their money’s worth courtesy of some top-notch entertaining football.
Round 3 kicked off on Friday, with Aston Villa registering a 2-0 victory over Everton at home, their first victory in the Premier League this term following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Spurs and Bournemouth.
Jota’s delightful through ball set up the opener for Wesley, who finally hit the ground running in English football with a cool and composed finish, whilst substitute Anwar El Ghazi netted the second in injury-time to rub salt on Everton’s wounds.
Meanwhile, Chelsea made the trip to Norwich City in pursuit of their first victory in the Premier League this season and Frank Lampard left Carrow Road with a big smile on his face.
After a 4-0 humiliation against Man United on the opening day and a lacklustre 1-1 draw against Leicester City, Lampard was under pressure to guide his team to a much-awaited victory in the league and a brace from Tammy Abraham coupled with Mason Mount’s second goal of the campaign propelled the Blues to a thrilling 3-2 win against the Canaries.
Daniel Farke, though, should be happy with his team’s performance and whilst goals from Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell weren’t enough to earn Norwich a point following an impressive victory against Newcastle United, they should take a lot of heart from a resilient team performance, nevertheless.
Elsewhere, West Ham registered their first three points of the season away at Watford, as mark Noble’s early penalty and Sebastien Haller’s second-half brace propelled the Hammers to a 3-1 victory at Vicarage Road.
Watford, though, will be bitterly disappointed for failing to come away with something from a home fixture that saw both sides create loads of scoring opportunities throughout the ninety minutes.
The defeat meant that the Hornets stretched their losing streak in the Premier League to three games and Javi Gracia would surely be a perplexed man.
In another afternoon fixture on Saturday, high-flying Brighton started as the favourites at home against Southampton, who arrived at the Amex Stadium on the back of consecutive defeats against Burnley and Liverpool. However, it was Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side who turned the tables in a game that had plenty of talking points.
Florin Andone was sent off for a shocking studs-up challenge on Yan Valery midway through the first half and Lewis Dunk had a goal ruled out for offside after a VAR check before Moussa Djenepo came off the bench in the second half to put the Saints in the lead with an absolute stunner.
Jurgen Locadia hit the post and missed the chance to equalise towards the end of the game before Saints’ forgotten man Sofiane Boufal set it up for Nathan Redmond to make it 2-0 in stoppage-time, thus ending Brighton’s unbeaten start to the season.
The most shocking result on Friday, however, came from Old Trafford, where Man United went down 2-1 to Crystal Palace, who registered their first-ever victory over the Red Devils in the Premier League.
Jordan Ayew’s opener put Roy Hodgson’s side ahead before Marcus Rashford missed a glorious chance to equalise midway through the second half, with the youngster’s penalty kick hitting the inside of the post.
Daniel James looked to have saved United’s blushes with a stunning equaliser in the 89th minute but David de Gea’s goalkeeping error allowed Patrick van Aanholt to find the net in injury-time and secure Palace’s first victory of the campaign.
Elsewhere at Bramall Lane, both Leicester City and newly-promoted Sheffield United went into the game looking to continue their unbeaten run but it was the Foxes who had the last laugh.
Jamie Vardy’s first-half opener assisted by James Maddison was cancelled out by Oliver Mcburnie’s header off Chris Basham’s cross before Harvey Barnes came off the bench to silence the home crowd with an absolute stunner of a half-volley that had pure class written all over it, thus making it 2-1 in favour of the visitors.
While most of the games on Saturday were largely entertaining, the much-anticipated big-six clash at Anfield between Liverpool and Arsenal turned out to be a rather one-sided encounter, with the Reds completely outclassing Unai Emery’s side 3-1.
Joel Matip made Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe pay for their missed chances with a towering header just at the stroke of half-time before Mo Salah’s second-half double made it 3-0 for Jurgen Klopp’s outfit.
Lucas Torrerira pulled one back for the Gunners five minutes from time but Liverpool romped home to their third straight win in the Premier League this term, thus finishing Round 3 on top of the standings with a perfect record.
Turning the clock back to the action on Sunday, Man City had absolutely no problems in putting Bournemouth to the sword away from home, as Raheem Sterling’s fifth goal of the season and Sergio Aguero’s brace propelled Pep Guardiola’s side to a 3-1 victory on the south coast.
The most amazing spectacle of the game, however, came from a Bournemouth player. For the second week running, Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson sent the fans crazy with an absolutely sensational goal, this time from a free-kick just outside the box.
Shockingly, Spurs suffered their first major setback of the Premier League season on Sunday, with a 1-0 loss to Newcastle United at home leaving many to wonder whether Mauricio Pochettino’s heavy investment this summer is really going to transform the club into realistic title contenders.
Joelinton’s goal assisted by Christian Atsu in the first half proved to be the winner and whilst Spurs should have had a penalty when Jamaal Lascelles appeared to have dived across Harry Kane inside the box, the travelling fans will be less than impressed with a below-par performance that lacked any sort of class and conviction.
Elsewhere at Molineux, Wolves didn’t have the best of games and Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were probably lucky to have maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Ashley Barnes’ impeccable finish in the first half was cancelled out by a controversial Raul Jimenez penalty in second-half injury-time, just a short while after the Mexican had hit the post with a shot from inside the box.
Clearly the better side in the 1-1 draw, Burnley will consider themselves unlucky for not grabbing all three points ahead of a tough home fixture against Liverpool this weekend.
2018-19 season rewind: Top 4 strike partnerships in the Premier League outside the top-six
2018-19 season rewind: Top 4 strike pairings in the Premier League outside the top-six
The 2018-19 season of the Premier League lived up to the expectations and produced some enthralling encounters, incredible individual performances, moments of sheer brilliance and pure ecstasy, as Man City successfully defended their Premier League title by fending off a strong challenge from Liverpool.
However, the most interesting thing was that the 2018-19 season proved to be the most prolific season in the history of the Premier League, with a total of 1072 goals being recorded over the course of the campaign.
Christian Eriksen’s equaliser for Spurs against Everton on the final day registered the 1067th goal of the season, eclipsing the previous record of 1066 goals scored in the 2011-12 eason.
Unsurprisingly, City were the highest scorers in the Premier League this past season with 95 goals, 11 short of what Pep Guardiola’s side had managed over the course of their triumphant 2017-18 campaign.
Liverpool were the second-best in that aspect with 89 goals, as the likes of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah shared the Golden Boot with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Salah didn’t quite manage to replicate his feat of scoring 32 goals in the Premier League but his tally of 22 for the season wasn’t bad either, and more importantly, he finished as the top-scorer alongside Mane and Aubameyang, which shows he is right up there with the very best when it comes to finding the net.
The trio of Salah, Firmino and Mane for Liverpool, Aubameyang-Lacazette for Arsenal, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane for Spurs and the title-winning combination of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero up front for Man City all produced amazing numbers in terms of goals and assists.
However, it is definitely worth taking a look at some of the less acclaimed strike forces from the 2018-19 season of the Premier League, featuring players from outside the top-six clubs.
Leaving the heavyweights aside, here are 3 combinations that became a force to reckon with in the division last season.
1. Callum Wilson, Josh King and Ryan Fraser
Bournemouth’s leaky backline and poor defensive record might have only secured them 14th-place finish in the Premier League last season but the front trio of Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Ryan Fraser earned plenty of plaudits for their consistent, impressive displays up front.
Wilson (14 goals, 9 assists) tops the list with the most goal contributions, while the likes of Ryan Fraser (7 goals, 14 assists) and Joshua King (12 goals, 3 assists) are not far behind.
As a matter of fact, only Chelsea’s Eden Hazard bettered Fraser’s tally with 15 assists to his name. The trio contributed with a total of 33 goals in the Premier League, which accounts for 58.93% of Bournemouth’s grand total of 56 goals last season.
Fraser’s influential presence in a wide role on the left allowed Eddie Howe the luxury of using the likes of King and Wilson up front to spearhead the attack, with all the three players flourishing under the manager’s quick passing and counter-attacking philosophy.
Wilson’s stellar run of form earned him his first England cap last year, which is certainly a barometer of the kind of impact he made for the south coast club.
The 27-year-old netted a brace in the 3-0 victory over Fulham in October and was heavily involved in the 5-0 demolition of Brighton, where he claimed two assists and a goal, although his most productive outing came in the 3-3 draw against Southampton, with Wilson scoring twice and assisting another.
Bournemouth’s prolific front trio couldn’t replicate the numbers of their counterparts from Liverpool and Man City but they won a lot of hearts, nevertheless.
2. Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu
A 4-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham on the final day saw Watford miss out on a top-ten finish but Javi Gracia’s side put up a number of impressive displays in the Premier League and were one of the teams to beat outside the top-six over the entirety of the campaign.
The likes of Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu were the key men up front for the Hornets, as the duo chipped in with valuable goals and assists, not only in the Premier League but in the Hornets’ run to the finals of the FA Cup as well.
Deulofeu contributed with 10 goals and 5 assists while Deeney wasn’t far behind with 9 goals and 5 assists, as the duo racked up a total of 19 goals in the Premier League last season. Watford finished the campaign with a grand total of 52 goals, with Deulofeu and Deeney involved in 36.5% of that tally.
Deolufeu’s pace, trickery and movement made him a constant threat in the final third, with Deeney playing more of a target-man role as the focal point of the attack.
The Spaniard struck braces against Huddersfield Town as well as in the FA Cup semi-final against Wolves, although his hat-trick and an assist in the 5-1 humiliation of Cardiff City was his most productive outing.
Despite the duo’s best efforts, the Hornets were unlucky to miss out on the Europa League qualification spot.
3. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood
Burnley only managed a 15th-place finish in the Premier League after hovering around the relegation zone for large quarters of the campaign and the Clarets’ scoring record of 45 goals in 38 games was the second-worst outside the bottom three, with Dyche’s side only bettering Brighton’s tally of 35 in that regard.
Well, we all know that Sean Dyche’s old-school defensive approach and long-ball philosophy doesn’t make Burnley a particularly exciting team to watch but as a matter of fact, they too had some standout performers.
While teenage sensation Dwight McNeil made the headlines in his impressive breakthrough season at Turf Moor, the likes of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes chipped in with some crucial goals up front.
Barnes bagged 12 goals in the Premier League and finished as Burnley’s top scorer, whilst Wood also managed to hit the 10-goal mark in successive seasons.
Now, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to justify the inclusion of Wood and Barnes in this list. The fans might argue that they aren’t the best of players to watch on the field but their combined tally of 22 goals accounted for 49.88% of the total goals Burnley scored in the Premier League last season.
4. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison
Everton finished 8th in the Premier League last season and fell three points adrift of Wolves for the Europa League qualification spot, with the lack of a prolific centre-forward proving to be a massive stumbling block in Marco Silva’s pursuit of a top-six finish.
However, Sigurdsson, who played as an auxiliary striker in that No.10 role in the manager’s 4-2-3-1 formation, put in a number of standout performances to finish as the most productive attacking player for the Toffees, with 13 goals and 6 assists to his name.
Richarlison was often drafted in as a centre-forward and also played out wide on either flank, with the Brazilian also registering 13 goals for the season.
Both the aforementioned players formed a deadly goal threat up front for Everton, with each of them registering their personal-best goal tally (13) in the Premier League.
Sigurdsson, in particular, was always a key presence in the final third with his creativity and the Icelandic international scored some absolute screamers, whilst Richarlison often tormented defences with his pace, power and clinical finishing.
Richarlison and Sigurdsson scored 26 out of Everton’s grand total of 54 goals in the Premier League last season, which comes to direct involvement in 48.15% of the goals.
5 instances in the PL last season where referees robbed the teams of some valuable points
5 instances in the PL last season where referees robbed the teams of some valuable points
The 2018-19 season of the Premier League witnessed some horrendous blunders from the referees, as sub-standard officiating continued to tarnish the image of English football.
Several incorrect calls made by the referees and the linesmen last season has strengthened claims that VAR is the need of the hour.
Surprisingly, these refereeing blunders not only took place in the games involving bottom-table teams but the officiating in the fixtures involving title-contending sides also raised a lot of eyebrows.
The VAR is going to be used in the Premier League from the upcoming season. While that might bring some solace to the fans, it has been seen in the recent past that technology can never be deemed as a complete foolproof.
It is true that the introduction of the VAR in the Premier League would go a long way towards eliminating the blatant errors but in all honesty, the standard of officiating needs to improve significantly in order to bring justice to the reputation of the Premier League being the most competitive league in Europe.
As a matter of fact, some of the incorrect calls made by the referees could have had far-reaching implications as far as the two-way title race between Manchester City and Liverpool was concerned.
With all due respect to whatever Liverpool achieved in the Premier League this past season, it is worth mentioning over here that the Reds got a fair share of some of the 50-50 decisions in their favour, while a few others should never have gone in their favour.
Well, that is all history now and the fans can look forward to VAR playing a big role in the Premier League next season.
It remains to be seen as to what kind of impact the introduction of technology has in the top-flight next term but it is certainly worth looking back at some of the top blunders made by the referees in the 2018-19 campaign.
1. Ashley Young’s Handball vs Newcastle United
Man United were under pressure to turn their lacklustre season on its head, with manager Jose Mourinho very much under scrutiny following the Red Devils’ unimpressive start to the campaign.
However, it wasn’t the best possible start to the game for the home side, as goals from Robert Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto put Newcastle 2-0 ahead just 10 minutes into the fixture.
Man United though, managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the second half as goals from Juan Mata and Anthony Martial brought them back on level terms before Alexis Sanchez’s strike in the final seconds of regulation time completed a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory for the Red Devils.
Well, that result could have been so much different had it not been for a massive blunder from referee Anthony Taylor. Ashley Young’s attempted clearance off Jonjo Shelvey’s inch-perfect cross struck him on the arm and went out of play.
Much to the astonishment of the fans, the referee not only denied Newcastle an obvious penalty but he also opted not to point to the corner flag. Forget about a red or a yellow card for the offence.
2. Willy Boly’s hand of god against Man City
Wolves finished the season in the Europa League qualification spot with an envious record against the big-six sides in the Premier League. However, they got extremely lucky in the 1-1 draw against Man City at Molineux in the earlier stages of the campaign.
Willy Boly threw his body on the line to make some sort of a connection from a cross and scored with what appeared to be a wonderful diving header, thus giving Wolves the lead in the 57th minute.
However, replays showed clearly that the ball actually came off his arm and beat Ederson in goal.
Aymeric Laporte equalised late on to rescue a point for City, however, one cannot help but feel that the Citizens were robbed of two crucial points, thanks to some incorrect officiating.
Wolves definitely deserved to get at least a point to show for their lion-hearted effort but scoring with the hand is never acceptable in football.
3. Dejan Lovren’s challenge on Sergio Aguero
Excitements levels were crossing all limits when Liverpool played host to defending champions Man City on 7th October given that both the teams were unbeaten at that point of the season.
The game, which did turn out to be a fiercely contested one, ultimately poured cold water on the expectations and ended as a 0-0 stalemate but there was no shortage of drama over the course of the ninety minutes.
The memories of Riyad Mahrez’s missed penalty in the dying stages of the game is likely to be fresh in the memories of the fans but as a matter of fact, City should have had two penalties in that game.
Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot for Virgil van Dijk’s foul on Leroy Sane in the second half but Lovren’s challenge on Aguero in the first half was deemed unworthy of a penalty for some unknown reason.
Aguero did go down softly but he was well within his rights to go down given that Lovren didn’t get a part of the ball and definitely got some part of the striker in his attempted tackle.
4. Man City vs Burnley
There was not one but as many as three blunders in Man City’s 5-0 victory over Burnley on 20th October and referee Jonathan Moss was the culprit. Vincent Kompany’s challenge on Aaron Lennon only earned him a booking but in all honesty, that should have been a straight red card.
Cynical or not, a high boot challenge with the studs pointing upwards is nothing short of a sending off and the referee got that one horribly wrong, much to the disappointment of Sean Dyche on the sidelines.
That, however, was not the only incorrect call that went in City’s favour in that particular game. Bernardo Silva’s goal to make it 2-0 should not have stood as David Silva was very much in an offside position when he supplied the assist with a picture-perfect cross.
Neither the linesman on the far side nor Jonathan Moss seemed to spot that and that was the beginning of an absolute rampage from City.
Leroy Sane’s challenge on Matthew Lowton towards the end of the game, though not as dangerous as the one Kompany made on Lennon, was also worthy of a red card only for Moss to spare the German with a booking.
The winger was clearly late on the challenge and replays showed that he never really made an attempt to go for the ball.
5. Sadio Mane’s disallowed goal vs Arsenal
Liverpool and Arsenal played out an enthralling 1-1 draw at the Emirates on 3rd December but the outcome of the game could have been so much different had referee Andre Marriner not ruled out Sadio Mane’s goal for an offside.
Trent Alexander Arnold’s cross into the box found Roberto Firmino, whose shot came back off the post before Mane found the net with a simple tap-in.
That, however, was deemed as an offside against the Senegalese international, although replays showed clearly that he was in a clean position when he put the ball into the net.
It is true that he did initially take a step towards the ball before Firmino had his shot but that doesn’t really count as offside.
The rulebook clearly states that an offside call can only be made when a player himself plays the ball, attempts to play the ball or obstructs the opposition while standing in an offside position. Mane’s slight movement had nothing to do with any of those clauses.
James Milner’s goal was cancelled out by Lacazette’s strike but Liverpool would probably have claimed three points had Mane’s goal stood.
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