One Hot Take for Each Premier League Club After Gameweek 8

There may be a pandemic ongoing, the likes of which we have never seen and hopefully will never see again, but the Premier League is only heating up.

To add fuel to the furnace, we've taken a look back at all of this weekend's action to come up with a whole recipe book of spicy takes.

Well, they're not all spicy. There's nothing spicy about a 0-0 between Brighton and Burnley, or the mug of lukewarm milk that is West Bromwich Albion, but we've done our best.

1. Adam Lallana Is Back to His Best

It once looked as if Adam Lallana was made of jelly, but he's making a go of it at Brighton | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Brighton's turgid 0-0 with Burnley didn't teach us much, but it was the eighth successive Premier League game in which Adam Lallana kicked a ball.

March 2017 was the last time that happened.

James Milner's little brother is setting the standard down on the south coast, and is once again regularly playing the sort of football that once had him starting for England. Things we love to see.

2. Burnley Should Still Be Fine

Thanos looks on in despair as Thor smashes his troops | Pool/Getty Images

Yeah yeah, they've been really, really rubbish...but they've still conceded fewer goals than nine teams in the league.

Even when Burnley are bad, they're the kind of bad that still looks capable of getting a result when they need it.

You just know Sean Dyche's big strong boys will s---house their way to just enough points against the teams around them to keep their heads above water - especially when the standard at the back end of the table is so low.

3. Stuart Armstrong > James Ward-Prowse

Armstrong celebrates a rare goal | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Stuart Armstrong's development since joining Southampton has been very strange. At Celtic, he was never the hardest worker, utilising his touch and awareness of space to unpick defences more than anything else, but under Ralph Hasenhuttl, he has turned into a winger who just doesn't stop running, ever. He could have beaten Newcastle himself with the amount of ground he covered.

But because he doesn't score 35 free kicks a season, and because he has a weird Highland accent (seriously listen to it, it's bad), he rarely gets the credit.

4. Sean Longstaff: What's Going on, Buddy?

Longstaff attempting to do...something | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Remember when Sean Longstaff was going to Man Utd for £50m? Hah.

Now he's giving the ball away on the edge of his own box and costing his team goals. He will need to get his head together quickly, otherwise we're looking at a Paul & Mathias Pogba situation at the Longstaff family Christmas dinners.

5. Carlo Ancelotti's Magic Spell Is Broken

Ancelotti's team have run out of steam | Pool/Getty Images

Remember when Everton were going to finish above Liverpool and win the Premier League and also probably win the FA Cup as well because they were the best team in the world again?

Yeah, what happened? They were pretty rubbish against Manchester United, falling to their third straight defeat, and it now looks as if they can't buy a point, let alone a win.

Oh, those three defeats? The three games Richarlison's missed. Maybe start with the Europa League and go from there, eh Carlo?

6. David De Gea Is Actually OK Again

De Gea has reason to smile again - even if his team don't have many | Pool/Getty Images

It's now 14 goals conceded in seven league appearances this season, but Saturday's trip to Everton was another game in which the Spaniard didn't do anything actively wrong.

It seems the Dean Henderson-shaped rocket up his backside has finally got got his head into the game.

7. Crystal Palace Are in European Contention

Eberechi Eze was one of many impressive players against Leeds | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It seems to be that when you play Leeds, you're either scoring four, conceding four, or both. With a devastating display at Selhurst Park this weekend, Palace fell into the former category this weekend.

They dismantled Marcelo Bielsa's team as if they weren't even there, taking them up to eighth place on 13 points. That's 1.6 points per game; marginally better than the tally which got Wolves seventh-place last season.

Just saying.

8. Bamford for England

Bamford is in the form of his life | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

We're going to completely pass over the VAR shambles that ruled out Patrick Bamford's delicious first goal against Palace, and instead focus on how Leeds' goalscoring talisman is the man to deputise for Harry Kane on the international stage.

Why did Leeds bother with Rodrigo? Bamford now has seven in eight and is not slowing down. He's constantly involved in everything, just the sort of nuisance England need.

9. Mason Mount Is Better Than Kai Havertz

A rare instance of Mount not actively engaged in a tackle | Visionhaus/Getty Images

For now, anyway. Frank Lampard's golden boy has made himself undroppable, and even if he will never top their scoring or assist charts, you could make a case for him as Chelsea's most important player.

He showed why he is one of the most underrated midfielders around with a busy display against Sheffield United, constantly showing for the ball in possession and harrying out of it, inspiring the unstoppable Blues to another big win.

Havertz has a shift on his hands to get back into this team.

10. Rhian Brewster Might Have Made the Wrong Move

Brewster ball-watching, because that's all he could do on Saturday | Visionhaus/Getty Images

When Rhian Brewster left Liverpool for Sheffield United, he thought he would be playing regularly for a side pushing for Europe.

Well, talk about trial by fire.

Chris Wilder's team look bound for relegation, and at this rate they are going to do well not to break Derby's record. Brewster, meanwhile, looks as if he is desperately lacking in confidence - it's hard to see how this can be good for his career if it keeps up.

11. Tomas Soucek Is West Ham's Best Signing Since Kevin Nolan

SouCEEEEEK! | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Kevin Nolan made 157 appearances for West Ham despite being 29 when they signed him from Newcastle. By that logic, Tomas Soucek is heading for the 500 club.

Whatever did their midfield do without his massive driving presence? He's the perfect counterweight to Declan Rice, and he loves a goal too - just ask Alphonse Areola, who didn't even get the chance to wave at his powerful late winner.

12. There Has Never, in the History of Football, Been a Worse Penalty Than Ademola Lookman's

What are the odds that the best league in the world being home to the worst penalty kick ever attempted at any level of football; professional, semi-pro, amateur, five-a-side, Under-10s; in the history of the sport?

Pretty slim, right?

Congratulations, Ademola Lookman!

13. West Brom Are Still Here, Apparently

Bilic watching his "football team" as they "play football" | Pool/Getty Images

It's difficult to even come up with a hot take for West Brom, such is the beige, vanilla, forgettableness of their current stint in the Premier League. They're getting the occasional point, but do not look as if they will ever win a game - even Fulham beat them.

So, yeah. West Brom. Moving on.

14. Tottenham Are Genuine Title Contenders

Harry kane scored (again) as Spurs beat West Brom | Pool/Getty Images

Sorry, but they are. Jose Mourinho has rediscovered his mojo; his team have the joint best defensive record in the league, and the best combination of attackers since Randy Orton joined Evolution.

Continuing to write them off is an insult given how they've started, especially while neither Liverpool or Man City look up to their previous high standards yet.

15. Give Jamie Vardy the Golden Boot Already

Death, taxes, and Jamie Vardy scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win | Michael Regan/Getty Images

It's kind of obvious Jamie Vardy is going to finish this season as top scorer. Despite being 45 and being wrapped in cotton wool by Brendan Rodgers, he is the only player you can be sure will not stop scoring goals - he's cleared 20 in three of the past four seasons and is already on nine for the season.

He has also now scored against every one of the 19 other teams in the Premier League - just needs an OG for the set.

Just give him it and come up with some sort of silver medal for everyone else.

16. Nuno Santo's Magical Mystery Box

Santo never knows what to expect | Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

There's no point even trying to predict what will happen when Wolves are playing this season. 3-2 win? 0-0 draw? 4-0 defeat? They're all as good as each other.

Leeds away should've been a thrilling encounter; Wolves s---fested to a 1-0 win. West Ham away should've been a straightforward win; they were comprehensively hammered.

Against Leicester this weekend they decided attacking wasn't for them, but while the Foxes, in rampant form, should have run riot, they won 1-0 - and Wolves could have nicked something at the end.

17. Mid-Table Is Not a False Position for Man City

Pep Guardiola waving goodbye to his hopes of a new contract | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

18 months ago, if anyone went to the Etihad and opened up as much as Liverpool did on Sunday, it would have been a massacre.

Yet despite being presented with all the space in Manchester, this time, they looked clueless, slack and indecisive.

They are nowhere near what they were, and not that much of it can be blamed on pandemic weirdness. They need to forget about a title challenge for the time being and focus on getting into Europe.

18. Jurgen Klopp Got it Wrong, and Got Lucky

The face of a man who got away with it | Pool/Getty Images

After the hammer-and-tongs draw at the Etihad, Jurgen Klopp was praised to the heavens for his bravery in lining up with a gung-ho 4-2-4 formation. But let's face it: that was the wrong decision.

It caught City out right off the bat, sure, but after the home side got into the rhythm of the game and adjusted their feet, the Reds looked all over the place. There didn't appear to be a tactical plan for the defending champions, and there was no adjustment even when it became abundantly clear that it wasn't working in the second half.

Helped by a horrible missed penalty, Klopp's players dug deep and came away with a valuable point, but regardless of how well Diogo Jota is playing, this cannot be a thing that happens in the big games going forward.

19. Arsenal Clearly Aren't as Good as Everyone Thinks

Has anyone told Mikel Arteta his team need to score goals to win? | Pool/Getty Images

Arsenal were supposed to be really good, weren't they? What happened?

Their resounding defeat to Aston Vila means they have now lost four of their first eight league matches, and sit 11th in the table - without any games in hand to skew the numbers.

They've only scored nine times, and as much as they're now 'good against the big teams', they've already been beaten by Liverpool, Man City and Leicester. It would be helpful if Artete remembered who Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is, but regardless, the picture is not as pretty as it seems.

20. Jack Grealish Is England's Best Midfielder

Grealish took it to Arsenal's midfield | Pool/Getty Images

On form, this one shouldn't even be seen as a 'hot take.' Just a take.

Grealish registered his fifth assist of the season against Arsenal, having previously scored or assisted eight in the Premier League already. He's played seven matches. Stupid, stupid good.

Source : 90min