What a weekend that was - most goals scored on a matchday so far this season, with Southampton getting eight of them, there were six pens, four own goals and three off.
Briefly on the subject of the penalties - six were awarded but only four scored. Two were 'saved' not 'missed'. We're all so concerned with the correct phraseology these days let's give the keepers credit for doing their job. In this case Lloris and Hart. If a player 'misses' the target so be it, the pen has been 'missed'. If not, the keeper had 'saved' it.
It's great to see so many goals and obviously there are many reasons why teams concede, but one thing did occur to me this weekend, where have all the central defenders gone? Chelsea will win the title, in my opinion, because they have the best two - Terry and Cahill. City have Kompany. There's Phil Jagielka at Everton (I know, but he plays for England!) and I can't think of too many more worth a mention.
It used to be the case that we had loads of them - Adams, Keown, Bould, Campbell, Ferdinand, Bruce, Pallister, Vidic, Carragher, McGrath, Distin, the more you think the more come to mind. But you'd struggle to get beyond the four I've mentioned from this era. Why?
I remember when they changed the 'pass back' rule the thinking was it would turn big 'stoppers' into ball players, or produce a generation that would want to play with the ball at their feet. It maybe has, but not many of them can defend properly anymore.
I wonder how many times Arsene Wenger has regretted not re-signing Cesc Fabregas this season? How good does Fabregas look? A class act. I suspect Fabregas is somewhat relieved things have worked out the way they have. Arsenal haven't changed. Not good enough in a battle.
Mourinho is still playing games tho. No Costa this past weekend and he won't play in the C Lge v Maribor, but he wouldn't have played in the last two anyway would he? Against Palace and Maribor? No! I guarantee he plays v Utd next weekend.
Now comes Van Gaal's first real test. Three of United's next four are 'monsters'. We'll get a really good idea of where they are next Sunday v Chelsea and there's City to follow pretty soon after that. I don't think they'll win any of them v the big boys. By the way Louis, what on earth are 'lateral defenders'? Full-backs? The game has gone mad!
Liverpool are all over the place. Rodgers has for his first real test on. Does he know his best team now? I don't think he does. I also hear he's asking everybody he can if he made a mistake with Balotelli. The answer is always the same - 'yes'. Ive told you before what Graham Taylor used to say, 'everybody thinks they can change a wrong 'un. You can't'.
West Ham are flying. Never mind this nonsense 'the fans changed Big Sam'. I've never heard anything so daft. Sam has been managing at West Ham within the limitations of what he had. He's got better and 'bigger' players now and it shows. He's not a mug. They'll hit the wall soon. Whose fault will that be?
Delighted for Southampton. Absolutely brilliant start.
And I would've loved to have finished without mentioning 'Arry, but I can't. What a disgraceful attack on Adel Taraabt that was on Sunday. Talk about trying to deflect criticism away from himself. In any other job that falls into the 'bullying' category. He'd be in front of a tribunal. I actually think the FA should act, but of course they won't. Gary Monk is in trouble for calling Moses a 'cheat', but hasn't 'Arry done the same with Taraabt? The facts are 'Arry has won 5 of 33 P Lge games he's been in charge of at QPR. They're a shambles and it's his fault. Only his fault.