From Tottenham's upswing to Pearson's sacking: Premier League talking points

Here are the three talking points from the Premier League after the penultimate weekend of the season.

Tottenham replaced Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho.   -  Getty Images

TOTTENHAM HAVE IMPROVED UNDER MOURINHO

When Jose Mourinho was named as Tottenham Hotspur manager after the shock sacking of Mauricio Pochettino in November, the reaction amongst the club's fans was lukewarm.

Yet seven months on, the Portuguese is gradually winning them over, if not for the style of the football but for the fact that the team once again looks a cohesive unit.

Tottenham had won only three of its opening 12 games when Mourinho took charge and was 14th in the standings.

It is now sixth and while there will be no fifth successive Champions League campaign, it looks like qualifying for the Europa League instead.

Initially, Tottenham lacked identity under Mourinho, but since the season's restart, apart from one poor display against Sheffield United, it has looked solid defensively, powerful in midfield and dangerous on the counter-attack.

What is more, striker Harry Kane looks back to his best after four goals in the last two games, including a superb brace in the 3-0 win over Leicester City on Sunday, Tottenham's fifth win in eight games and fourth in succession at home.

READ| Ballon d'Or 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus

VAR HAVING A SAY IN RELEGATION BATTLE

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe   -  Getty Images

 

The final desperate weeks of a relegation battle are fraught enough, but the first season using VAR has added yet another layer of torment into the mix.

Spare a thought for Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. On Sunday he thought his team had scored a precious late equaliser against Southampton when Sam Surridge fired home. However, relief turned to despair when the goal was referred to VAR and chalked off for an offside decision.

Howe looked distraught as for the second time in the run-in his side had been denied a goal by the system, having had what would have been a late winner against Tottenham ruled out.

“We've had a couple of nearly moments. If that was scored last year it would have counted. It certainly hurt us psychologically in that moment,” said Howe, whose side will definitely be relegated if Watford gains a point from one of its last two games.

READ| Nigel Pearson overwhelmed by fan support after Watford sacking

PEARSON DENIED CHANCE TO COMPLETE RESCUE MISSION

Nigel Pearson was appointed as Watford's manager in December.   -  Getty Images

 

The timing of Nigel Pearson's parting of ways with Watford is bizarre, to say the least.

Hired in December with the club bottom of the table, Pearson has proved the club's most successful manager in the Premier League in respect of win rate (35%).

While a capitulation at West Ham United on Friday left it still in danger of going down, the chances are they will just about hang on to its top-flight status and that would be in no small part to Pearson's galvanising effect.

Watford hosts Manchester City on Tuesday when Hayden Mullins will be interim coach. It finishes against Arsenal on Sunday.

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