The results of some key clashes this weekend highlighted the huge impact the retirement of the great man Sir Alex Ferguson has had on the Premier League. Yohan Cabaye scored the only goal in Newcastle United’s upset victory at Old Trafford and consigned the Red Devils to consecutive home losses. One by one, Premier League clubs have been heading to Manchester and breaking down the fear factor that was so imposing in Ferguson’s era. So far this season, West Brom, Everton and Newcastle United have all come and conquered. Injuries and suspension to some key players, such as Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney, have been offered up as excuses, but their overall performance with a low pass accuracy and lack of confidence is alarmingly worrisome.
Meanwhile, the departure of David Moyes to Old Trafford has opened the door for Everton to progress and Roberto Martínez’s Toffees are both a joy to watch and a good match-up against any big club this season. They drew 1-1 against Arsenal this weekend with Deulofeu, on loan from Barcelona, producing a stunning late strike to cancel out Mesut Özil’s opening goal. David Moyes’ Everton was well organized and pragmatic but Martínez quickly drilled his football philosophy of possession and swift attack into the club since taking over.
As Ferguson’s “Chosen One”, Moyes has not showed any signs of bringing the club out of crisis. Whether the selection was based some sort of Glaswegian’s baptism, or some personal attributes Ferguson saw in Moyes that might lead United to further success, right now they are hard to spot.
Apart from Liverpool, who registered another big win at home against West Ham United, the other big clubs all struggled over the weekend. José Mourinho’s first visit to Stoke City ended up in a 3-2 loss. Oussama Assaidi, on loan from Liverpool, scored the winning goal for the home side towards the end of the game. With Manchester City drawing 1-1 at Southampton, Liverpool was able to leapfrog both and move back into second place on the league ladder.