1. Chelsea get a taste of their loan medicine
Some Chelsea fans continue to insist that Romelu Lukaku’s move to Everton was all part of Jose Mourinho’s master plan to halt the title charge of his closest rivals. That opinion is of course flawed – Lukaku can take a maximum of six points from any one side, and the Belgian would surely have gained Chelsea more than that had he remained at Stamford Bridge.
But you can bet Liverpool fans are still smiling after one of their reserves shipped out on loan – Oussama Assaidi – lashed one into the top corner for Stoke against Chelsea in the dying seconds. What goes around comes around, Jose.
It’s been a horrible few months for David Moyes. Not only are his United side languishing in mid-table but his former charges, Everton, are playing like Barcelona. It’s ridiculous and it almost certainly won’t happen, but the Toffees are still in with a shout of not just making the top four, but actually winning the Premier League.
Martinez was never going to land the United job scrapping over 17th with Wigan season after season, but he is highlighting what an astute tactician he is with each passing week. United like attacking teams – Martinez fits the bill. United like youth to be given a chance – Martinez fits the bill. Give it a couple of years and there is no reason why the Spaniard cannot be in the Old Trafford dugout.
3. Lloris is not the same player since that bang to his head
What has happened to Hugo Lloris? Ever since he tackled Romelu Lukaku with his head, the Spurs stopper has made all sorts of mistakes. His woeful clearance sparked the rout at Manchester City, his poorly timed lunge sent Danny Welbeck sprawling to the turf for a penalty against United, and his tame punch at the weekend allowed Adam Johnson to tuck home the opener for Sunderland.
Lloris is integral to the way Spurs play – often acting as a sweeper so they can press the opposition in with a high line – but unless the stopper sorts his indifferent form out it might be time for 42-year-old Brad Friedel to dust off his gloves and step in for a couple of games.
4. Deulofeu is a tasty addition to the Premier League
Gerard Deulofeu: the latest talent to step off the Spanish conveyor belt. He tore Stoke apart on his full debut, threatened the United backline in midweek and rifled in a late equaliser against Arsenal. If he was English, that would be good enough for a call up to Roy Hodgson’s side.
Here was a young man who was completely unfazed by 60,000 fans, made talented defenders look average in a matter of minutes before smashing past Wojciech Szczesny and – perhaps most impressively – was happy to cynically bring down an opponent to prevent a late counter attack. The 19-year-old has a bright future, it’s just a shame most of that looks destined to be played at the Nou Camp with Barcelona.
5. England’s left attacking midfield spot is screaming out for Lallana
If Adam Lallana wore the red of Manchester United, this wouldn’t even be a debate. But the fact he plies his trade at Southampton means a couple of off games and his England chances are in major doubt. In comparison, Danny Welbeck appears assured of a spot on the plane to Brazil regardless of what he does over the next six months.
Although Lallana wasn’t on top form against Manchester City, he continued to find space throughout the match – something his team-mates often failed to do. He's already demonstrated his ability with a mazy solo goal against Hull and continues to cause problems for the league's sternest defences. Fortunately Hodgson appears to be taking note.
6. West Ham are in deep trouble
It seems ages ago when Ravel Morrison waltzed through the entire Spurs team to seal a 3-0 victory. Since then West Ham have been pretty abysmal and are perched just above the relegation zone on goal difference alone. There’s no denying the Hammers play a good game under zero pressure but if a team really turns the screw then they start creaking at the back.
They kept Liverpool at bay for much of the first half on Saturday but the hosts upped their game and eventually forced an opening. Likewise, they looked fine against Palace in mid-week but Tony Pulis’ men found another level and the Hammers crumbled. One thing’s for sure: they really miss Winston Reid.
7. Norwich are Spurs without the luck
Optimism was high at Norwich and Tottenham following a transfer window of steady investment. The Canaries brought in Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel upfront while Spurs pinned their hopes on Valencia’s Roberto Soldado - strikers who feed off crosses. And yet both sides continue to employ bizarre tactics which sees their wingers drift inside and have a crack at goal from just about anywhere, leaving the frontline feeding off scraps.
And the similarities don't end there. They're also guilty of playing a succession of sideways passes and are all too happy to slow down the play. Spurs may sit sixth in the league and 10 points clear of Norwich, but that’s as much down to a string of soft penalties and, in their last two games against Fulham and Sunderland, a slice of good fortune. The duo picked up wins this weekend but unless they address their alarming tactical faults, it's going to be a long season for both clubs.