1- It’s not easy being David Moyes
The thing that showed just how hard a job Moyes has was not the fact that his Manchester United side lost to Liverpool, though that obviously did not help. It was the reaction. Why did he ignore Kagawa and Zaha? What was he thinking starting with Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs? And why in the name of god doesn’t he buy a central midfielder or two? Thing is, all these valid criticisms applied to Sir Alex Ferguson - but he built up almost complete immunity over 20 years of outrageous success. Moyes? Not so much. Which means he can do exactly what Fergie might have done and get absolutely hammered for it.
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2- Banning mayonnaise isn’t the answer
Paolo Di Canio outlawed numerous condiments including mayo and ketchup at the start of the season. So small wonder his Sunderland side aren’t playing with much relish. Di Canio kept up the tough guy approach after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, laying into John O’Shea and Ji Dong-Won. Such an approach might have worked at Swindon, but in the modern Premier League of empowered players, you really need a team that wants to play for you. Just ask Roberto Mancini. Di Canio is unlikely to change tack. Next week - no tartare or HP sauce.
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3- West Brom are relegation candidates
Sunday’s deeply dispiriting 2-0 home defeat to Swansea confirmed that the Baggies are no longer the upwardly mobile Premier League darlings of last autumn. They have been on the slide for a while, but a dismal start of no goals in three games (only they and Hartlepool have yet to find the net in the top four tiers) has confirmed their chonic lack of attacking invention or finishing power. Steve Clarke desperately needs a good deadline day.
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4- Tottenham might not be better off without Bale
The proceeds of the Gareth Bale deal (and then some) have already been spent, and very wisely according to most observers. So well, that they’re widely considered to be in a better position now than before the summer. But hang on a minute. First of all, they didn’t want to sell Bale - they had to. And while a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal while the squad settles is hardly cause for major alarm, it’s clear what £110 million can’t get you - anyone as good as Gareth Bale. Spurs have greater depth and balance. What they don’t have is a player with consistent game-breaking ability.
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5- Someone up there doesn’t like Roy Hodgson
It was bad enough being barred from Liverpool’s directors’ box to make way for James Corden and a bunch of sponsors. But if only that had been the worst thing to happen to Hodgson on Sunday. The England manager lost Wayne Rooney for the vital qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, and could also be without Daniel Sturridge, Jack Wilshere, Phil Jones and Glen Johnson. Erm... good luck in Kiev, Roy.
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6- Nobody looks especially good yet
Liverpool may be top with three wins, but they more profited from Manchester United’s inadequacies than won on their own merits at Anfield. And they weren’t great against Stoke. United were awful on Sunday, City have lost to a promoted side and looked shaky against Hull. Chelsea lack balance, half the Spurs squad has only just met, and Arsenal are, well, Arsenal. At some point, the serious contenders will separate themselves from the pack. Three games in, we have no idea who it’s going to be yet.
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7- The Premier League isn’t always the most exciting league in the world
An early contender for the most intentionally funny tweet of the season from the Premier League, at half-time in the 3pm games on Saturday:
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 31, 2013