7 Things We Learnt From Premier League GW7

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

20 Sep 2022

After disruption to the football calendar over the past couple of weeks, The Premier League returned with an almost complete schedule this weekend. Here are some of the key takeaways from the weekend’s action:

Bees Lose Their Sting Against Impressive Gunners

While one procession was happening at Buckingham Palace, another took place at the Brentford Community stadium. The thought of ‘Away to Brentford’ just a couple of days ago would have left a bad taste in the mouth of Gunners fans. Their shock 2-0 defeat in last season’s opener to the then Premier League newbies was celebrated universally. Pundits and rival fans the country over were delighted as Arsenal’s ‘soft underbelly’ reputation reared its head. But look at the difference a year can make: Arteta’s boys – the perfect description considering they rocked up with a 15 year old on the bench – brushed past the same side who put Manchester United to the sword over a month ago. 

Offensively stylish and defensively decisive, Arsenal plugged away and deservedly broke the deadlock on 17 minutes. Saliba’s towering flicked header was quickly followed by another astute headed goal this time by Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus, courtesy of a delicious pinpoint cross by Gunners captain Granit Xhaka. 

With midfield linchpin Martin Ødegaard out, fledgling Fabio Vieria put the game to rest 5 minutes into the second half with a sublime 25 yard strike, kissing the inside of the post on the way in. 

The Bees managed just the two shots on target, with Brentford’s players (*cough* Ivan Toney *cough*) learning a lesson in humility and why it’s not a good idea to externally motivate your opponent through internet provocation. 

All things considered Arsenal’s process looks back on track after a “nice kick about with the boys”, but the real test will be against fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur after the International break. Jesse Williams

De Bruyne Shows Class As City Dismantle Wolves Defence

Kevin De Bruyne showed once again on Saturday that he may well be the best midfielder the Premier League has ever seen. The Belgian notched an assist after just 55 seconds before adding another to his tally in the second half. That means that KDB has equalled Steven Gerrard’s Premier League assist tally in over 200 less games of football, demonstrating the fact that he should be talked about as one of the best ever to grace our league in any position.

City have struggled at times this season defensively but with Erling Haaland at the figurehead of their attack, goals never seem too far away. John Stones deputised well at right back for Pep Guardiola’s side and the Manchester City boss will be pleased that Jack Grealish could silence a few critics by getting on the scoresheet. The former Villa winger has struggled to add end product to his game since joining City, and has probably felt the pressure of his monster transfer fee, but if Grealish can keep his place in the starting eleven there is a possibility he could form a great partnership with Haaland. Wolves were outclassed in this one, but they certainly won’t be the last team that City brush aside this season. Joe Simpson

Toffees Battle For First Win Against Lacklustre Hammers

Everton finally got off the mark with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers West Ham on Sunday afternoon. A second half strike from Neal Maupay proved the difference in a game that was relatively sloppy from start to finish in all honestly – with neither team able to argue had it ended a draw.

A scrappy first half affair saw the teams go into half time at 0-0 – with neither team creating any huge chances. Great play from Alex Iwobi throughout the game led to a chance early in the second half, playing in Maupay who’s impeccable first touch set himself up for a nice half volleyed finish past Fabianksi in the sticks. Declan Rice worked hard as the powerhouse for West Ham, trying to pluck strings into positive attacks from the midfield, however a agonisingly close effort from Benrahma from outside the box which struck the post was the closest the Hammer’s came to finding an equaliser.

The home advantage for Everton played a massive part in their team spirit; despite a somewhat disappointing start to the season their fans stuck right behind them and became the 12th man. David Moyes has some serious thinking to do in order to get this West Ham in shape – it’s not looking an easy task but we know the side can show quality on their day. Harvey Marwood

Willian Shows He Still Has It As Fulham Battle Against Forest

Many were bemused at the signing of Willian by Fulham, after his failed spell at Arsenal and an even worse time at Corinthians. But he could end up as a coup for Fulham after he showed his class during a comeback win over Nottingham Forest.

After going behind from a corner, Willian showed his quality with a perfectly curled delivery onto the head of Tosin Adarabioyo. The Brazilian then brought away the defenders from Kenny Tete after some nice play down the right, whose pass was rifled home by João Palhinha. Willian worked his magic again, bringing away defenders and allowing Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s ball to be slotted home via the boot of Harrison Reed. Dean Henderson kept things from getting embarrassing, but Forest had some good chances themselves to at least get a point. It’s safe to say the defenders need to go back to the training ground.

It was a thoroughly entertaining match at the City Ground between two potential relegation rivals, showing the quality of the Premier League. But if you take one thing from this game, it’s that Willian may not be as done as first predicted and could be a key player in this Fulham attack. Tom Atkinson

Disciplined Bournemouth Frustrate Blunt Newcastle

Newcastle are a team that fans of the Premier League would assume are doing fairly well this season, but take a look at their results and that assessment doesn’t hold.  Not to accuse Newcastle of turning it on for the camera and only performing when on National TV, but their form should be cause for concern. 

The Tyneside club who hope to soon become infatuated with success have just the single victory this campaign gaining the rest of their 8 points through draws, of which they have five. 

Bournemouth, despite their new manager bounce were thoroughly dominated but still managed to breach Newcastle’s defence for the opening goal. Summer signing Neto had his best game so far and will need to continue this type of form if Bournemouth are to dream of reversing the gloom surrounding their top flight survival chances.

Failure to break down Bournemouth who have conceded 17 goals already this season showed just how bereft of attacking ammunition Newcastle are. Eddie Howe will however take comfort in new boy Alexander Isak grabbing his second goal in 3 games, cooly dispatching his 67th minute penalty but there’s clearly something missing with his attack as an ensemble.

When Allan Saint Maximin is absent, so is the Magpies cutting edge, and with a club that holds major ambitions for this season it would be a shame to see it fall flat so early.  Jesse Williams

Son Finds Form To Fire Spurs Past Foxes

Son Heung-Min proved that form is temporary but class is permanent as he came off the bench to score a hat trick on Saturday evening against Leicester. Tottenham suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Sporting Lisbon in midweek before struggling defensively in the first half of this game. Davinson Sanchez proved to be somewhat of a liability at centre back, giving away a penalty inside ten minutes.

Spurs’ attacking prowess however was on full display at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Harry Kane added to his tally and his side dominated set pieces before Son put the game to bed late on. It will be interesting to see if this is the turning point in Tottenham’s season, as they have previously been winning without putting in high quality performances. Perhaps the return of Son to his best will be enough for Spurs to maintain a title charge. Spare a thought however for Leicester fans, whose side were defensively abject from the first minute. Danny Ward continues to underwhelm between the sticks and Brendan Rodgers cannot get his side to defend set plays at a Premier League level. The Foxes need fast change if they want to start climbing up the table. Joe Simpson

Saints Need New Signings To Step Up After Dismal Defeat At Villa

With football returning after a week off, some teams were lacking in match fitness and Southampton was certainly one of them. Whether in defence or attack, the Saints were outclassed by a rejuvenated Aston Villa who never looked under threat. The poor defending allowed for Philippe Coutinho to take us back and show his qualities, as he glided through Southampton’s defence with ease.

It was no surprise when a goal came after Ollie Watkins’ header hit the bar and after not being dealt with, was put in the net by the talented Jacob Ramsey. This was the 6th time in a row Southampton have gone behind first, highlighting their need to make a more forthright start to games. The few chances that the Saints had were of no real danger, with James Ward Prowse not able to lift the standards to his level. Fans will be excited by new signing Juan Larios making his debut, but this was a glint of sunshine on a cloudy day for Southampton.

While Steven Gerrard can breathe a sigh of relief, as his time as Villa manager continues, Ralph Hasenhüttl will hope the new signings give some energy to this underperforming side. Tom Atkinson