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Why Jake Livermore is worth England recall - 10 things

by 20/03/2017 11:41:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • Stoke will need patience with £15million January signing Saido Berahino
  • Everton's Phil Jagielka is winning over Ronald Koeman with his work at the back
  • Stewart Downing tried to impress a little too much on his Middlesbrough return

By Ralph Ellis for MailOnline

Published: 07:33 EDT, 20 March 2017 | Updated: 11:41 EDT, 20 March 2017

The Premier League lead us into the international break wanting more domestic action as Chelsea won again and Manchester City played out a thriller with Liverpool.

While the Blues look likely to secure the league title, the relegation battle continues to excite with Sunderland failing to beat a stubborn Burnley side at the Stadium of Light to leave the Black Cats further in the mire.

Ralph Ellis has studied all the stats and facts from the latest round of games from the Premier League and beyond to bring you the 10 things we learned from it all.

Gary Cahill celebrates after snatching the late winner for Chelsea at the Bet365 Stadium Gary Cahill celebrates after snatching the late winner for Chelsea at the Bet365 Stadium

Gary Cahill celebrates after snatching the late winner for Chelsea at the Bet365 Stadium

David Moyes' Sunderland failed to bag a vital home win against poor travellers Burnley David Moyes' Sunderland failed to bag a vital home win against poor travellers Burnley

David Moyes' Sunderland failed to bag a vital home win against poor travellers Burnley

1. Stoke gave Saido Berahino a five-year contract on £75,000 a week when they paid £15m to take him from West Brom, so they must be glad they’ve got plenty of time to get a return on their money. 

The troubled former England Under 21 striker was hooked after 61 fairly ineffective minutes against Chelsea having completed just five passes in that time and not had a single shot at goal.

Stoke hooked ineffective striker Saido Berahino after an hour in the home defeat by Chelsea Stoke hooked ineffective striker Saido Berahino after an hour in the home defeat by Chelsea

Stoke hooked ineffective striker Saido Berahino after an hour in the home defeat by Chelsea

2. Phil Jagielka has clearly got a point to prove to Ronald Koeman after spending eight games stuck on the Everton bench. 

The 34-year-old had plenty of defending to do against Hull despite the 4-0 eventual scoreline making it look an easy win and made more clearances (10) than any other player.

It was the second successive clean sheet since his return to the starting line-up, but the prolonged absence has still cost him his place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Phil Jagielka is making his point to Ronald Koeman after spending eight games on the bench Phil Jagielka is making his point to Ronald Koeman after spending eight games on the bench

Phil Jagielka is making his point to Ronald Koeman after spending eight games on the bench

3. Wayne Routledge is one of those players who divides opinion among Swansea fans and he certainly couldn’t claim the 2-0 defeat at Bournemouth as one of his best games. But he must have been doing something right for successive managers to keep picking him, seven in all since Brendan Rodgers signed him from Newcastle in August 2011. 

Saturday night’s game marked his 181st Premier League appearance for the Swans, equalling the club record held by former captain Ashley Williams for the most games in the competition.

Wayne Routledge has equalled Ashley Williams Swansea record for top flight appearances Wayne Routledge has equalled Ashley Williams Swansea record for top flight appearances

Wayne Routledge has equalled Ashley Williams Swansea record for top flight appearances

4. Jay Rodriguez must be wondering if he should have done more to force a move away from Southampton during the January transfer window. 

The 27-year-old, still trying to rebuild his career after injury, was wanted by West Brom but chose not to rock the boat because he was starting to get picked more often and an EFL Cup Final date against Manchester United was on the horizon. 

Since the window shut, however, he’s been out in the cold again. He got only the last minute on the pitch at Wembley, and a 10-minute cameo at the end of the 2-1 defeat at Tottenham was only his second appearance in the last five Premier League games.

Jay Rodriguez has been out of the picture at Southampton after choosing to stay in January Jay Rodriguez has been out of the picture at Southampton after choosing to stay in January

Jay Rodriguez has been out of the picture at Southampton after choosing to stay in January

5. Craig Shakespeare is bringing an extra dimension from Leicester winger Marc Albrighton by encouraging greater work rate to add to his crossing ability. 

The 27-year-old, whose midweek goal clinched the Foxes place in the Champions League quarter-finals, put in a tremendous shift to pave the way for the 3-2 win at West Ham. 

He ran 7.5 miles, more than any other Leicester player, won most tackles (4) and regained possession most times (17) – as well as providing the assist for Robert Huth’s goal.

Craig Shakespeare is bringing an extra dimension from Leicester winger Marc Albrighton Craig Shakespeare is bringing an extra dimension from Leicester winger Marc Albrighton

Craig Shakespeare is bringing an extra dimension from Leicester winger Marc Albrighton

6. Jake Livermore was arguably the surprise name in Gareth Southgate’s England squad but he showed against Arsenal exactly why he’s earned another international chance nearly five years after his only previous cap. 

The 27-year-old has ousted long serving Claudio Yacob from Albion’s team in a holding midfield role and brought added energy as well as discipline. 

He ran 7.4 miles, half a mile further than any of Arsenal’s midfield men, and won most tackles.

Jake Livermore showed against Arsenal exactly why he’s earned another England chance Jake Livermore showed against Arsenal exactly why he’s earned another England chance

Jake Livermore showed against Arsenal exactly why he’s earned another England chance

7. Few players were under more pressure to perform this weekend than Middlesbrough’s Stewart Downing, restored to the line-up by caretaker Steve Agnew. 

The one-time England winger, told by former boss Aitor Karanka he’d never play for the club again following a training ground row, made only his fourth start in 17 games since October. 

Maybe the 32-year-old was trying too hard to impress. He did set up a couple of chances, but gave the ball away a remarkable 27 times.

Stewart Downing tried too hard against Manchester United, giving the ball away 27 times Stewart Downing tried too hard against Manchester United, giving the ball away 27 times

Stewart Downing tried too hard against Manchester United, giving the ball away 27 times

8. Most managers demand total concentration on match day but Bristol City’s Lee Johnson clearly has a more relaxed attitude. 

He allowed on loan teenage striker Tammy Abraham to take his driving test on Friday morning, even though his relegation-threatened side faced a massive clash with in form Huddersfield that night. 

The laid-back approach worked twice over. Chelsea starlet Abraham passed his test then scored his 19th Championship goal of the season as City ran up a 4-0 home win.

Lee Johnson allowed striker Tammy Abraham to take his driving test on Friday morning Lee Johnson allowed striker Tammy Abraham to take his driving test on Friday morning

Lee Johnson allowed striker Tammy Abraham to take his driving test on Friday morning

9. Adam Le Fondre’s career has drifted since he briefly made his name as a super sub during Reading’s last spell in the Premier League, but there’s clearly something about Bolton that floats his boat. 

The Cardiff striker, now 30, scored eight goals in 16 games for them during a loan spell two years ago and is having a similar impact after returning to the Macron Stadiuim. 

His penalty in the 2-1 win over Northampton made it four from his last three games – one more than he scored during an entire campaign on loan for Wolves last season.

Adam Le Fondre has been enjoying life with Bolton in League One - he's scored eight in 16 Adam Le Fondre has been enjoying life with Bolton in League One - he's scored eight in 16

Adam Le Fondre has been enjoying life with Bolton in League One - he's scored eight in 16

10. Gary Bowyer won’t figure too highly in the Manager of the Year voting, but the job he’s done patching up crisis club Blackpool has been outstanding. 

The 3-1 win at Newport made it 13 points from the last five games and moved the club to within a point of the League Two play-off places. 

If they don’t lose to Hartlepool next weekend it will be nine games undefeated, the club’s longest unbeaten run since Ian Holloway took them to the Championship play-off final in 2012.

Gary Bowyer has guided troubled Blackpool to the brink of the League Two play-off places Gary Bowyer has guided troubled Blackpool to the brink of the League Two play-off places

Gary Bowyer has guided troubled Blackpool to the brink of the League Two play-off places

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