Raheem Sterling is fast becoming one of the best forwards in world football
We need to start talking about Raheem Sterling in terms of him being one of the best forward players in the world.
No player in the Premier League has more goals or assists than the Manchester City man this season. That continues his form of last season, where he went from ineffective in front of the net to a genuine threat.
His strike against Bournemouth was simple enough, but what preceded it was not. Sterling, at one stage, collected the ball wide on the right. Dribbling inside, he beat seven Bournemouth defenders before getting a strike at goal.
It did not go in, but it showed him at his best. Pep Guardiola has turned a talent that seemed to be dipping off into a star. The sky is now his limit.
Raheem Sterling was sublime against Bournemouth and is now in the elite bracket of players
Arsenal are going to miss Aaron Ramsey. The departure of the Welsh midfielder seems like it will not be reversed between now and the end of the season.
It’s a shame because despite his bit-part role this campaign, no player in the Premier League has more assists than his six. And his two against Tottenham helped Arsenal secure what will be a famous victory.
Now compare that to Mesut Ozil. Left out of the squad, due to an apparent back spasm, he picks up £350,000 a week. Surely Ramsey, a player who has offered as much, if not more, than the German this season deserves to have his own demands met?
Aaron Ramsey’s performance in the north London derby showed just why Arsenal will miss him
Forget what you’ve heard in the last week about N’Golo Kante. He is not a specialist defensive midfielder and to use him there is a waste.
Yes, Jorginho struggled in that role against Spurs but that’s his flaw, not a need for Kante to be there. The diminutive midfielder has always excelled box-to-box. That is where he shone for Leicester, breaking up play from end to end, not just as an anchor.
He is also far better in build-up play than anyone gives him credit. Now, playing on the right of a three, he might be adapting to the demands. His assist for Pedro was his second of the season. There should be more to come.
N’Golo Kante proved against Fulham he is not just a defensive specialist, playing box-to-box
Here’s the thing about Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. They took a draw at Southampton on Saturday, but more accurately, they scraped it.
Southampton had more shots and more shots on target. Most other teams would have held out at 2-0 up — Southampton are just uniquely bad at holding onto a lead.
United are not unlucky to be down in seventh. It is about their level this season. This was a third game without a win in the Premier League. It is not the form of a side that, in Mourinho’s words, want to be smelling the top four.
Jose Mourinho watched as his side shared the spoils with Southampton at St Mary’s
Just call Divock Origi the Everton slayer. He came onto the pitch at Anfield on Sunday as the forgotten man and left it as the hero of another Merseyside derby for those of a red persuasion.
Origi has featured just twice now in the league over the last season and a half for Liverpool, but he was always likely to have an impact against the Toffees.
His last-minute header meant he scored for the third straight home game against Everton. Now his task is to make himself part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad going forward, which may be doable amid Roberto Firmino’s on-pitch struggles.
Divock Origi came on in the dying moments in the Merseyside derby to win the contest
Javier Hernandez has long been a riddle wrapped in an enigma with mystery poured all over. The man can score goals. Everything else about his game, though, is a giant question mark.
His brace against Newcastle was his first double in the Premier League since August last year. He should, in reality, have had a hat trick — he hit the side netting before his second.
But he was key to West Ham picking up a win to bring them out of a slump. If Manuel Pellegrini can find a way to fit him into the team without damaging it, then he can be a real asset this campaign.
Javier Hernandez is an enigma of a footballer but was key to West Ham’s win over Newcastle
In football, everything eventually reverts to the mean. Burnley did not post exceptional stats last season but seemed to have, in some way, gamed the system. They gave up chances but did not concede goals.
That took them to Europe. The issue is that it was not sustainable. Goalkeepers will not play out of their skins forever. Defenders cannot block shot after shot every game.
Against Crystal Palace, Burnley gave up 29 shots, the most Palace have had since Opta records began in 2003-04. Burnley lost 2-0. But last season, in the away fixture, they let Palace have 23 shots. Burnley won 1-0.
Burnley are now 19th. It took over a year, but eventually the numbers catch up with you.
Burnley gave up 29 shots in their recent tie with Crystal Palace, and were beaten 2-0
Is Jamie Vardy the most terrifying striker for defenders to face in the Premier League?
He has ludicrous pace, he battles and refuses to give his opponents a moment to rest throughout a game. And that is why there is no one better in the top flight at winning penalties.
It is an exceptional talent to have. His 14 penalties won since Leicester’s first season up, in 2014-15, is more than anyone else has managed. It can be a killer blow for an opponent, as it was for Watford on Saturday.
Jamie Vardy has proved again that nobody in the top flight is better than him for winning pens
Sometimes it is worth giving a player time to settle before bringing him in to the team. Florin Andone signed for Brighton at the start of the summer and has been limited to substitute appearances so far — in part due to the fine form of Glenn Murray.
But Chris Hughton threw him in from the start for the first time against Huddersfield and was rewarded when he scored the winner with a flicked header. It was the first time a player has scored on their first start in the Premier League for Brighton.
That is the joy of having a stable team that is achieving its goals. There’s no pressure when the Seagulls are flying and nine points clear of 18th. Andone had time. He has used it well.
Florin Andone was given a rare start for Brighton and rewarded his boss by scoring the winner
Cardiff possess the fighting spirit required to stay in the Premier League and demonstrated it on Friday night.
They could have easily dropped off after going a goal behind against Wolves, especially as the visitors were the superior side and continued to grow into the game. But Cardiff came back to win 2-1.
They have now won three of the last four home games in which they have gone behind. That suggests a never say die attitude that can only serve them well.
With a shock comeback victory over Wolves, Cardiff proved they have the fight to stay up