Cleat Geeks

Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend

Vardy breaks Premier League record – but can he make English football history? stan

Jamie Vardy broke the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive games when he netted for Leicester City against Manchester United this weekend.

The England frontman has now scored in his last 11 successive games, eclipsing the former record of 10 held by Ruud Van Nistelrooy.

Vardy’s tally equals the run of former Blackpool striker Stan Mortensen, who scored in 11 straight games in the 1950-51 season. However, Mortensen’s goal scoring run was interrupted by injuries – he actually scored in 15 successive appearances for Pool, either side of two spells on the sidelines during the run.

But you wouldn’t put it past the 28 year-old former Fleetwood Town man to find the net for a 12th game in a row when the Foxes take on Swansea next week.

If Vardy can find the net against Garry Monk’s struggling Swans, it would equal the all-time English football record of scoring in a dozen straight games currently held by Jimmy Dunne, who scored 18 goals in 12 successive games for Sheffield United in the 1931/32 season.

However, with Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City on the horizon making up Vardy’s potential 13th, 14th and 15th consecutive games, Mortensen’s scoring in 15 successive appearances looks like it might stand for a little longer yet.

McClaren on thin ice mcclarenn

Things started pretty well for Newcastle manager Steve McClaren on Saturday; Papiss Cisse scored early to give the Magpies the lead away at Crystal Palace, but fast forward another 80 or so minutes and the former England manager’s mood was very different.

The Eagles picked apart their opponents woeful defence and ran out emphatic 5-1 winners – a result that plunged the Magpies into the relegation places.

Newcastle have registered just one win in their last 14 league games, and the former England manager seemed shell-shocked by Saturday’s humiliation.

McClaren, who took charge this summer, questioned the spirit within his squad: “They’re not doing it for each other – and sometimes it’s not about me, it’s about each other.”

“That’s as a team, not just on the field but off it. When you’re a player it’s about peer pressure, it’s about not letting him down next to me, and him next to me. At the present moment we’ve not got that.”

Ironically Palace, who scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time in their history, are managed by former Toon boss Alan Pardew who left the club at the beginning of the year amid ferocious criticism from the club’s fans.

Gunners drop points again as injury list grows wengerr

November hasn’t been a particularly kind month for Arsene Wenger, the Gunners failed to win a single game in all competitions and face December without several first teamers.

Alexis Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny both limped off during the 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday, a result which leaves Arsenal three points off the top spot.

Wenger said that midfielder Santi Cazorla played the second half ‘on one leg’ at Norwich too, as the Londoners find themselves in the midst of yet another injury crisis.

The FA Cup holders are already without Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Kieran Gibbs, Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky heading into the busy festive period.

Arsenal’s medical staff will need to pull off the proverbial Christmas miracle if they are to restore Wenger’s squad to a clean bill of health. If they can’t, it may spell the end of their title challenge.

Costa gives Mourinho new problem costinho

It has been a much better week on the pitch for Chelsea, victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Israel on Tuesday  guaranteed progress into the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Add to that last week’s league win and things were looking up, until striker Diego Costa took exception to being dropped to the subs bench for the trip to Tottenham on Sunday.

The Spanish international threw his substitute’s bib at Mourinho on the touchline at White Hart Lane, leading to questions from the media for the Chelsea boss.

“For me his behaviour is normal,” Mourinho said. “A top player on the bench will not be happy.”

“If he wants to hurt me it would not be with a bib. I have a good relationship with him.”

Costa was dropped after a run of just one goal in his last eight games for the reigning champions.

“Diego is privileged to have been kept in the team for all these matches and today we thought our best strategy was to play with this. I am happy with my decision and the players,” Mourinho added.

Chelsea and Spurs played out a goalless draw at White Hart Lane, a result that leaves the Blues in 14th in the table.

Allardyce turning Sunderland’s form around  Allardyce

Big Sam seems to be leading Sunderland towards safety after his first six games in charge.

It hasn’t been easy, a loss in his first game at West Brom and suffering a thrashing at Everton highlighted the size of the task the 60 year-old had in front of him.

But successive wins – 1-0 away to Crystal Palace on Monday and 2-0 at home to Stoke on Saturday – have seen the Black Cats clamber out of the relegation places and consecutive clean sheets suggest that Allardyce has solved the defensive issues.

In fact Sunderland were without a league win when their former player took charge, but now they look like they are more than capable of escaping trouble.

And, in 21 year-old forward Duncan Watmore, who scored the second goal against Stoke, Sunderland fans might have just found a hero they can cheer for many years to come.

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