Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken exclusively to CaughtOffside about the state of the title race and the Harry Kane situation after his poor start to the season for Tottenham.
The Red Devils had a bad weekend as they lost at home to Aston Villa, and Chadwick has already spoken to us about what went wrong for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, and what changes he’d like to see his old team-mate make to the team.
We also asked Chadwick if he felt there were some positives for Man Utd to take from the weekend’s results, as Chelsea lost at home as well, while Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw with Brentford.
“City are still the team to beat”
Unfortunately, Chadwick isn’t sure that Manchester City’s win at Chelsea is anything for his old club to be celebrating, as it once again shows the credentials of Pep Guardiola’s side, even if Chelsea had been hyped up as the big favourites for the title.
Chadwick also admits to being hugely impressed with Brentford’s rise, warning that the Premier League as a whole just continues to look more competitive.
“The teams outside that top four or five are improving greatly and finding a way to compete with the bigger clubs,” Chadwick said. “Brentford have done really well since they got promoted. They’re really well set up as a club with their recruitment and other stuff, and they’ve been a breath of fresh air really with the way they’ve played.
“It was a proper Premier League game against Liverpool – full of excitement, full of goalmouth action! Brentford can do that to teams with the strength they’ve got, they can play long or short. It showed what strength they’ve got and that the teams lower down can compete. Liverpool showed that, again, at the back, even with Van Dijk back in the team, they struggled to contain Brentford.”
On City’s win at Chelsea, he added: “City showed what they’re all about, they really laid down a marker against Chelsea.
“People have raved about Chelsea, and rightly so, they’ve had a great start to the season, but I think this showed what City are capable of. It might’ve only been a 1-0 win, but they dominated completely and looked a long way ahead of Chelsea with the way they pressed, created chances.
“It was a positive for United that Chelsea lost, but it also showed that City are still the team to beat. Chelsea still have a fantastic squad, but I think it shows when City come together and play like that in a big game, it shows how far ahead they are of Chelsea.”
Tottenham have to take responsibility for Kane’s slump
A player who could’ve been playing for City this season is Harry Kane, but he’s endured a nightmare start with Tottenham.
The England international is yet to score in the Premier League so far this season, and was poor again in their weekend defeat to Arsenal in the North London Derby.
Chadwick expects Kane will soon get back to finding the back of the net again, but also feels he’d be doing a lot better if he had got that move to City, with Spurs needing to take some responsibility for affecting his mood by going back on their promise of allowing him a move.
“I’m sure Harry Kane’s still going to score goals this season,” Chadwick said. “The whole situation and the way it played out seems to have left a sour taste. I think something’s happened at the top of the club, where Kane was promised, maybe not in writing, that he’d get the chance to go off to pastures new.
“The way the team’s playing now, he doesn’t have a huge amount of involvement in games. It seems like that good start they had papered over a lot of the cracks at the football club. It looks like it could be a real struggle for Spurs to finish in the top four or five. They were absolutely torn apart by Arsenal, a much-criticised Arsenal, who looked fantastic against this placid Spurs team.
“I think there might be an element of regret from all parties, that Spurs missed out on getting a lot of money for the player, and Harry Kane would surely have been a lot happier and playing a lot better if he’d got the move to City.
“Obviously City still played very well against Chelsea but Kane would still add a lot to this team in terms of what they’re missing a bit in that number 9 position.
“It’s not played out particularly well and Tottenham have to take some responsibility for that, if it is true that Kane was promised a move that didn’t come to fruition.”