Watch this space....

Published: Monday, 21 August 2017

Business as usual then - at Chelsea, Arsenal Manchester United, Liverpool - and Spurs - at Wembley.

The crisis at Chelsea certainly didn't last long. Conte made his point last week - dressed in his tracksuit as though he was simply 'the boy' on the touchline. This week it was collar and tie again, almost as though somebody had whispered quietly in his ear about not taking the mickey out of the owner. Conte's team were terrific - they went to Wembley with a plan and executed it brilliantly.

They were a totally different team to the one that Burnley took apart on the opening day.

So two games in Spurs have a better away record than they do home - just as we predicted! Of course it's far too early to draw any kind of conclusion from that statistic, only that it highlights what we said was likely to be the case - and that is that teams will love going to play them at Wembley. Conte said as much after Chelsea's win. Having said that, I thought Spurs played well and as Ray WIlkins would say 'were a tad unlucky'!

United were awesome. They are as good as I've seen wearing United red since Fergie retired. They're big - remember what I told you about Mourinho believing you've got to have at least five players over 6'2" if you're going to win the league? Well he has now - but they're not just lumps, they can play. They dug in, did a job on Swansea and when it felt right, put their foot on the gas and took them apart. Here's a little stat to keep an eye on - United have hit four goals eight times under Mourinho but have yet to manage five. Chelsea scored four 11 times under Mourinho before they finally managed five. Thank you Bill Edgar.

Before the season started we posed the question here 'how long before Arsenal fans start calling for Wenger to go'? Unless something dramatically changes - and I mean dramatically - it won't be long now. That performance at Stoke could've come from any of the last ten seasons. Would Sanchez have made much of a difference? Yes, I believe he would, but what kind of Sanchez are Arsenal going to be playing if he doesn't get his move to City? Like Coutinho, who Liverpool will insist they won't sell, they'll have the player in a physical sense, but not mentally. My view is the deal with City eventually gets done. If they come back with £70-£75m for a player in the last year of his contract The Gunners would be mad not to take it. A here's a thought - it was fairly obvious at the back end of last season that Guardiola doesn't really fancy Aguero, so why don't Arsenal suggest a swap? That way everybody is happy surely?

Liverpool laboured against Palace didn't they? Would Coutinho have made much of a difference? Look, top players always do, but I've seen many performances from Klopp's team just like that when the Brazilian has played. I don't believe Liverpool are strong enough to challenge for the title and having only added Mohamed Salah in the summer, they're way short. This is not an 'anti' Liverpool view, it's simply an honest view.

It was back down to earth for Burnley. Say what you like, Tony Pulis is an operator. I was delighted for Mark Hughes as well. I was listening to Stoke get a terrible hammering on the radio last week, unfairly I thought, so I was delighted to see Hughes team play as well as they did, especially Jese. What can they lose by taking him on loan? There's a whole lot more to gain that's for sure.

Everybody in and around Huddersfield must be feeling a little dizzy right now! It's been a great start - but a word of warning - Hull came out of the traps just like this last season and we all know what happened to them. 

Have you looked at the top of the championship? If not, please do. I loved this quote from the Ipswich Town boss this weekend, referring to himself and Neil Warnock 'two old farts that know fuck all about the game hey? I'll have to get my iPad out now."  Brilliant Mick and remember next time someone calls you a dinosaur, those creatures ruled the planet for 300 million years!

Finally, to address an issue I keep getting asked about - Bale to United. Transfers aren't a perfect science - but whilst the window remains open that deal has still got a chance and so have the others that there's been so much speculation about. I believe we're going to see some really big money spent before the end of August, but exactly where is difficult to be certain about. Just watch this space.....