Postecoglou is keen to build Spurs around Son after Kane's exit

The coach explained that he saw the Korean as a leader, handed him the captaincy, previously held by Hugo Lloris,

In Summary

•Gabriel Jesus brought joy to the Arsenal staff and fans this week by declaring that he is ready to resume normal duties after the international break.

•Following Aston Villa’s successful roller coaster start to the season, coach Unai Emery has taken over complete control of football strategy at the club.

Tottenham's Harry Kane and Son Heung-min
Tottenham's Harry Kane and Son Heung-min
Image: /FILE

There is a belief at Tottenham that with the departure of Harry Kane, his partner Son Heung-min could become an even better player. New coach Ange Postecoglou had a one-to-one meeting with Sonny when he arrived.

The coach explained that he saw the Korean as a leader, handed him the captaincy, previously held by Hugo Lloris, and said he wanted to organise Spurs to be a strong attacking team playing through the middle with Son being the spearhead.

Pep Guardiola once described Tottenham as the Harry Kane team and Postecoglou wanted to prove him wrong. The 5-2 win against Burnley demonstrated how far the team has come under the Australian. The entire team now presses forward and gone are the defensive days of Antonio Conte which frustrated the fans.

Tottenham focused on buying versatile players during the summer transfer period. Kane’s number 9 focus was no longer vital to the team's success.

Son is a great dribbler of the ball and he is different to many strikers because instead of relying on being in the right place at the right time his hat-trick against Burnley resulted in runs from behind the defence.

Son has already struck up an impressive partnership with newly signed James Maddison who is controlling play from Harry Kane’s position and even wears his No10 shirt.

Maddison’s impressive passing ability is intended to drive Tottenham forward. He has been made vice-captain with Cristian Romero next in line and the three are now the powerhouse in the players’ dressing room.

Postecoglou said he is pleased with how the three work closely together in training sessions and how that understanding transferred onto the pitch. He said, “They are also good as individuals and take their responsibilities very seriously which is exactly what I want.”

Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson has been purchased for £45m and the plan is to use him across the front three. Postecoglou said, “He is a real threat in the front third and is different from what we’ve already got.”

Pochettino could play his best midfield

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino

As Mauricio Pochettino searches for answers to his mediocre start at Chelsea, he might be able to use his best midfield line-up after the international break.

Romeo Lavia, the £58million signing from Southampton, trained at the Cobham facility this week with some of his new teammates and despite Pochettino saying that Romeo needs a few weeks to be ready before starting a game, he could be on the bench against Bournemouth on September 17.

Depending on how things go during the international break fortnight, he could even start the game but Pochettino is being cautious.

Lavia is a No.6 and operates at the very heart of a midfield three. With Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez alongside he will have speed and energy around him.

Bournemouth coach Andoni Iraola has tended to use a 4-2-3-1 line-up with Philip Billing playing the Messi role as a No10 behind Dominic Solanke. Playing a high possession team such as Chelsea he usually drops back to increase the defence to three. 

Jesus and Nketiah good for the Gunners

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus
Image: FILE

Gabriel Jesus brought joy to the Arsenal staff and fans this week by declaring that he is ready to resume normal duties after the international break. Jesus came off the bench to score against Manchester United and looked full of running.

Jesus missed 12 weeks of football after being injured in the World Cup with a knee problem and missed the start of the season when he underwent a minor operation to address the injury. A brief appearance against Fulham in the final 15 minutes and again against United was enough to convince Mikel Arteta that he would be ready.

Jesus said, “I feel good. It’s tough when you come back to an injury after a holiday because I started to feel my knee again. It was unlucky. After pre-season, you go again but you feel in pain. I made the decision to have surgery as quickly as possible.”

The question for Arteta now is how to use Jesus and Eddie Nketiah who has led the line for the past few weeks and done an excellent job. Jesus commented, “Competition is good for me and for Eddie because the way he works and the way he trains is amazing. It is not easy to come from the academy and win a place in the first team. It’s good competition because for sure he’s making me a better player and I’m making him better too.”

Beto and Calvert-Lewin bring Toffees good news

Everton’s under-siege coach Sean Dyche had a double gift this week. A goal drought problem at the club has possibly been solved with new striker signing Beto scoring on his debut and now the club have received news that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will not need surgery on his facial injury. Dyche said that he should be available for selection immediately after the international break and will wear a face protector.

Sancho faces social media punishment

Jadon Sancho applauds fans
Jadon Sancho applauds fans

Have you ever written an email in an emotional response to someone who has upset you, pressed the send button, and then regretted it? If you have, then you share an experience with Jadon Sancho who hit back at Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag for dropping him from the side in last week’s defeat to Arsenal. Ten Hag said Sancho had not reached the required level of fitness and under-performed in training. The midfielder criticised Ten Hag and said publicly that the coach lacked respect. He said, “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people to say things that are completely untrue, I have conducted myself in training very well.”

Ten Hag is a strict disciplinarian and he punishes players who fall below his high standards. Cristiano Ronaldo lost a battle with Ten Hag and Marcus Rashford was dropped for a game when he turned up late for training. 

Many of the staff at Old Trafford feel let down by Sancho and point out how much they worked together to help him last year. Ten Hag even allowed him to train in Holland away from the United squad when he struggled to overcome physical and mental issues. Ten Hag even arranged for Jadon to work with local Dutch coaches.

The two are not likely to speak for a few days because the international break has given them time off but several insiders at the club have voiced the opinion that Jadon might not play for the club again. He has three years left on his £200k-a-week Contract. The current transfer window is now closed but Saudi Arabia might still be a possibility. However, at 23 years of age, it would not be a good move. He has not started any games this season and his agent would not comment on the current situation and how it might end.

United failing on so many levels

In many ways, the Sancho situation demonstrates what is wrong with United. Fans have been warning that years of mismanagement at the club would prove disastrous and the sight of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans playing as the last line of defence left them chanting: “You don’t know what you’re doing!”

United wanted to sell Maguire this summer but a deal with West Ham failed. Jonny Evans was signed as an emergency cover player only a few days previously.

Neither should have been anywhere near playing in such an important match. A match fact that shows just how bad United performed: only three outfield players completed more passes than goalkeeper Onana! 

It was pointed out that the star of Nottingham Forest’s away defeat of Chelsea was Anthony Elanga who not only scored but gave defender Thiago Silva a difficult afternoon. He was surplus to United’s requirements and sold to Forest for only £15million.

Emery becomes all-powerful at Villa

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery
Image: FILE

Following Aston Villa’s successful roller coaster start to the season, coach Unai Emery has taken over complete control of football strategy at the club.

The Chief Executive, Christian Purlow, has departed and Emery has assumed many of his responsibilities.

Purslow was key in appointing Steven Gerrard as coach and his influence was damaged when the ex-Liverpool legend was sacked. New owner Nassef Sawiris has become more involved and has told Emery that he is in charge of all football decisions.

* Incoming Clement Lenglet said he was delighted to join up with Unai Emery as he leaves Barcelona on a season-long loan. Emery pressed for the move and said the 28-year-old French center-back international would boost Villa’s defence.

Frank knows how to make Brentford winners

Thomas Frank has proven over and again what a great manager he is and his Brentford team continues to punch above their weight. Usually, a coach sticks to a favourite formation no matter which team they face.

Frank however spends much of the week before a match analyzing opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and changes Brentford’s line-up accordingly.

He moves his players around during training and then plays either a 5-3-2, 3-4-3 or 4-3-3 formation. He knows how to break down an opposition team and his players know that he expects total commitment, passion, attitude, and plenty of energy. They have totally bought into his vision of how to win.