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Premier League talking points: Man Utd's Rashford risk, Liverpool rebuild, Arsenal boring

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Premier League talking points: Man Utd's Rashford risk, Liverpool rebuild, Arsenal boring
Express Sport reporter Matthew Dunn assesses the talking points from the latest round of Premier League action after Manchester United ended Manchester City’s 21-game winning run, Liverpool lost yet again to Fulham and Arsenal drew with Burnley, while Tottenham hammered Crystal Palace.

Marcus Rashford needed a break. Hopefully he has gotten away with nothing more serious than an ankle sprain.

But the heroic manner in which he injured himself sprinting back 70 yards to defend Manchester United’s lead on Sunday and possibly their Champions League place, was in keeping with the selflessness he has become so well respected for.

The Premier League is a cut-throat world but is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer guilty of taking advantage of that?

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It was clear in recent games that the 23-year-old was on his last legs as United literally ran him into the ground.

Solskjaer himself, of course, rarely saw more than 25 minutes or so of action every week, so probably does not appreciate the burden Rashford has been carrying.

It is the other reason, aside from a lack of goals, that United simply must sign a striker this summer. They are in danger of destroying Rashford otherwise before he has had a chance to achieve his full potential.


It turns out 2021 is the year when we discover whether Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp is a great manager or just a good one.

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The difference lies in an ability to rebuild and evolve a second generation of table toppers.

As Pep Guardiola has built around Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias at Manchester City.

As Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson did on at least four occasions during his two decades of near-uninterrupted success.

As Liverpool legend Bob Paisley did between 1974 and 1983.

Six home defeats in a row suggest that Klopp now needs to do the unthinkable and dismantle his title-winners and start again. Just as Paisley did.

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Kevin Keegan, John Toshack, Tommy Smith, Emlyn Hughes, Phil Thompson, Ray Clemence, Terry McDermott left and the trophies kept on coming.

Is Klopp brave enough to sacrifice Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and, dare it be said, Mo Salah to put his project back on track?


Quite rightly, Arsenal fans are worried about their club’s points tally and position in the league. But another stat does not appear to be of concern. And it should be.

The toothless 1-1 draw against Burnley meant that with 11 games to go Arsenal have scored just 38 times.

They have not been more boring than that since the last century.

It is not just that the club seems to be treading water right now, it is that there is nothing to get excited about.

The young players such as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe may add the occasional youthful buzz to proceedings, but they are not somebody you would pay just to watch them alone.

They were already struggling to fill seats in the Emirates at the end of the Arsene Wenger era. Who knows that the empty stadiums this season are hiding.

One thing is for sure, for all his standing at the club, fail to bring a bit more life to the Emirates after lockdown is over, and the Arteta era may be on a hiding to nothing.


For months Gareth Bale struggled to settle back in at home. Instead of a triumphant return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, it was a struggle as the Welshman found it impossible to settle back comfortably.

He scored just one goal in his first seven home appearances.

Now suddenly, from February 24, he has been smiling and back to his old self. Five goals in three home games since then.

What could have triggered such a turnaround in his mood in the same week Boris Johnson set a proposed date for the reopening of the nation’s golf courses?


Remember when Scott Parker bizarrely won the FWA Player of the Year award despite getting relegated with West Ham?

Well could this be the year where he bizarrely does not win Manager of the Year despite keeping Fulham up?

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Premier League talking points: Man Utd's Rashford risk, Liverpool rebuild, Arsenal boring
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