Football: Premier League talking points

David De Gea's wobbles appeared to shake Manchester United's fragile confidence. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Talking points from the English Premier League weekend:

De Gea a real problem for shambolic United

The problems facing new Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag are so numerous that the Dutchman's head is probably spinning.

Saturday's humiliating 4-0 thrashing at Brentford, where they conceded four times in the opening 35 minutes - showed up the lack of quality and personality in his squad.

United were widely mocked afterwards and squad strengthening is clearly required in many areas if Saturday's debacle is not to be repeated. A new goalkeeper might be a start.

David De Gea was a liability on Saturday, failing to keep out a weak shot by Josh Dasilva for Brentford's first, then being culpable also for the second goal as he played a risky pass out to Cristian Eriksen in a dangerous area.

He was not the only player guilty of a woeful display, but de Gea's wobbles appeared to shake United's fragile confidence.

With Liverpool up next, fans of the club will be anxiously peering at the transfer window.

Jesus can thrive as Arsenal's main man

Gabriel Jesus' July move to Arsenal has offered the 25-year-old the chance to grab the spotlight and how he has taken it. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus collected 11 winners' medals while at Manchester City but for all his brilliance, he often had to be content with a cameo role in a squad loaded with superstars.

His July move to Arsenal has offered the 25-year-old the chance to grab the spotlight and how he has taken it.

He was sensational in Arsenal's 4-2 win over Leicester City on Saturday, scoring twice, claiming two assists and being at the heart of a vibrant display by the hosts.

He could have scored more, such was the hunger he displayed throughout the match, so no wonder manager Mikel Arteta was delighted at the former City man's impact.

Tottenham show Conte spirit, but still behind Chelsea

Tottenham's coach Antonio Conte (right) clashes with Chelsea's coach Thomas Tuchel after shaking hands in London on Aug 14, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Antonio Conte's trademark passion was clear at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as his Tottenham grabbed a last-gasp 2-2 draw with Chelsea - moments before he was shown a red card along with his opposite number Thomas Tuchel.

Conte and Tuchel were at each other's throats during and after a riveting derby and, while neither man can be condoned, it made for compelling viewing.

Tottenham, outplayed for much of the match, showed that the Italian's hatred of losing is seeping into his team.

Harry Kane's stoppage-time header ensured Tottenham left with a point and with their pre-season optimism intact, although Conte admitted afterwards that they still have ground to make up on their West London nemeses.

Forest provide early statement of intent

Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrates scoring their first goal in Britain on Aug 14, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

If there was an element of Nottingham Forest not being ready for the top flight after their dismal opening-day defeat by Newcastle United, they put those fears to rest in Sunday's 1-0 victory over West Ham United.

Forest's expensively assembled squad is understandably still gelling but offered the first indication that they are aiming to build a team capable of more than just Premier League survival.

Steve Cooper selected a team featuring eight of his 14 summer signings but Forest did not play like a team who had only just been introduced to each other as they came out fighting and put on a gutsy display for the frenzied City Ground crowd.

"This is a ground that can help you win games," said Cooper, who has turned the stadium into a fortress - Forest's last home loss came in December 2021.

"We won't win as many games as we did last year but if we try to play the game that we play, and especially here if we have moments like we did today, then it gives us a good chance."

Southampton show mettle after difficult week

Southampton's Stuart Armstrong (centre) in action with Leeds at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on Aug 13, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl began the week amid reports he had lost the dressing room and ended it by hailing the unity of his team after they came back from two goals down to earn a precious point against Leeds United at home.

Leeds looked like they had sealed the deal after a Rodrigo double but the Saints summoned all of their resolve to salvage a draw and ease the pressure on Hasenhuettl, whose methods have reportedly been called into question by his young squad.

"We had a tough week because of some circumstances but we showed a good reaction and nothing less than I expected from this fantastic group," said the Austrian.

But Hasenhuettl's joy might be short-lived as Southampton, among the bookies' favourites to go down, face Leicester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in their next three league games.

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