|photo by rappensuncle||via PhotoRee|
o Two things we learned while watching Everton tear Swansea apart limb-by-limb on Saturday: 1) The bloom may be off the rose for Manager Michael Laudrup and his boys from Wales -- the Swans' second loss in a row has seriously stalled their momentum and called into question just how strong the squad actually is; and 2) No such questions are being asked of David Moyes and Everton. Liverpool's top club looked fantastic once again this season at the Liberty Stadium, and only poor refereeing has managed to stop the Toffees from reaching 12 points after their first five games. So much for Everton's traditional slow start....
o Chelsea appear to be morphing into a La Liga side before our very eyes. Pretty to the eye -- except if you're Roman Abramovich, who appeared as if he was watching paint dry from his customary seat at Stamford Bridge -- but lacking a certain directness that is a hallmark of the English game, Chelsea step-overed and back-heeled it with best of them on Saturday but were less successful at finding goal -- only second half substitute Victor Moses seemed the least bit intent on blazing a path toward net for the Blues. On a bright note, however, along with their slim 1-nil victory over Stoke, Chelsea appear to have mastered the art of the Spanish flop, with Branislav Ivanovich and Oscar displaying perfect form in their attempts to con the referee.
o Note to future opponents: please make certain to mark Javi Garcia on set plays. I've lost count of the number of headers the City newcomer has managed to put on-target over the past three outings, and he just may be the most dangerous set piece player in the game right now.
o Like the turning of the leaves, one true sign of the nascent fall season was spotted this weekend as Le Professor broke out the sideline puffer jacket for the Gooners' game at Eastlands on Sunday. If only his counterpart Roberto Mancini had deemed the weather cool enough for his natty blue and white scarf, we could have officially declared the new season to be in full swing.
o Kudos to American Clint Dempsey for his first start in front of the home fans at Whitehart Lane on Sunday. Our view was that the midfielder looked energetic and dangerous against QPR, but may have been trying just a bit too hard to find the net. Here's some advice, Clint: relax and let it flow. The goals will come.
o While we appreciate that Hatem Ben Arfa and the rest of the boys at Newcastle were attempting to restore Papiss Cisse's confidence by letting him take a penalty at home against Norwich City on Sunday, man oh man, we wonder how far the resulting miss may have set back the Senegalese striker. While Cisse may have made the Geordies wonder if his fellow countryman Demba Ba was expendable with his form in the latter half of last season, the shoe is now firmly on the other foot. And that's the same foot that brought about a moonshot of a penalty that should be passing by the International Space Station any day now....
o West Brom perfect at home after three games, with no goals allowed -- did anyone else see that coming? Thought not.... Manager Steve Clarke has the Baggies playing some of the better football in the League to this point in the season.
o They should build a statue celebrating the Southampton's back line. That way their defenders might be more comfortable as they'd no longer be the only non-moving fixtures at St Mary's Park. But if the Saints have problems keeping the ball out of the net, their key man Ricky Lambert has no problem putting it back in, managing to bag a brace against Villa. Congrats to the Saints and Ricky for their first League victory this season, and for his first farlieonfootie Player of the Week award.
This is farlieonfootie for September 26.