Sunday 1 September 2019 8:15 pm

Premier League talking points: Struggling Solskjaer, prolific Vardy and naive Chelsea

“We have dominated the last three games and we know we are on the right track, we’re getting used to that way of playing,” said Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his team’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday. 

The problem is that at a club like United you aren’t afforded much time to get used to anything. It also doesn’t help that the ascribed “way of playing” isn’t obvious. 

Read more: Kevin De Bruyne is back and assisting Man City towards another title

At the moment, United are a shadow of their former selves: leaky at the back and one-paced in attack.


After conceding an equaliser due to a lack of communication at St Mary’s they then failed to put to bed a Southampton side who played the final 20 minutes with 10 men.

Fans are understanding of the circumstances at United, but Solskjaer needs to find improvement from his team soon. 

Fox in the box

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and AFC Bournemouth  at The King Power Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Jamie Vardy volleyed home brilliantly to open the scoring against Bournemouth (Getty Images)

Jamie Vardy retired from international duty last summer. His decision was influenced partly by his desire to allow Gareth Southgate to concentrate on youth, but a year on that decision looks curious.

Vardy scored two typical goals in Leicester’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Saturday – a deftly-taken lob after beating the offside trap and a poacher’s finish – and at 32 looks as good as he’s ever been.

Only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have scored more Premier League goals in the last five years, while Vardy is level with Raheem Sterling for goals since March. England could surely still do with his craft. 

Moody Blues

Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard (L) gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 31, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Frank Lampard has made a few missteps as Chelsea boss already (Getty Images)

The mood has changed at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea left the field to muted boos on Saturday after allowing Sheffield United to come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

Frank Lampard’s side look open, naive and disorganised – characteristics which have consistently undermined their performances this season. 


Tammy Abraham’s emergence as a top flight goalscorer and Mason Mount’s as a creative force are encouraging and are exactly the sort of positives it was hoped Lampard’s appointment would bring. But right now they are being outweighed by the negatives.

Lampard pointed to Chelsea’s transfer ban post-match, but his assertion that “we only had ourselves to look at” rings truer. The Blues need to learn how to control matches or the disquiet will only grow louder. 

Main image credit: Getty Images

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