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PLAY IT SHORT: Eto'o the leader Man Utd lack; Moyes' Kagawa treatment baffling; Boga for England; Llambias good Southampton choice

ETO'O THE LEADER UNITED LACKJose Mourinho warned us all last month: Samuel Eto'o will come good. It's a big step moving from Russia to the Premier League. He was taking time to adjust. Many ignored Mourinho's claims, writing off the Cameroon icon, comparing him with Andriy Shevchenko. But Mourinho knew the player - and on Sunday his faith was rewarded. It was Eto'o's first goal which won the game for Chelsea. Manchester United had them on the rack, carving up Chelsea's defence on both flanks. It was only a matter of time before they took the lead. But then Eto'o stepped forward, sinking Phil Jones and hitting his deflected shot past David De Gea to settle Chelsea nerves. He took it upon himself to change the game's momentum. That' what leaders do - it's that strength of personality United were again lacking at critical moments on Sunday. Eto'o has it. That's why Mourinho refused to lose faith in his former Inter Milan striker. And was rewarded with a magnificent hat-trick on a significant day at the Bridge.

MOYES' BAFFLING TREATMENT OF KAGAWAWhy did David Moyes leave Shinji Kagawa on the bench at Chelsea? Indeed, why didn't the Japan midfielder start for Manchester United? On the back of victory over Swansea City, the attack picked itself, surely? Adnan Januzaj on the left, Kagawa central behind Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia wide right. Simple. This was the structure which turned the game around after halftime against the Swans. Welbeck and Michael Carrick singled out Kagawa for changing the game's momentum - Welbeck even spoke glowingly about his developing partnership with the Japanese. Instead, Moyes ignored what worked, recalled Ashley Young and dumped Kagawa to the bench on Sunday. Chelsea's midfield doesn't have the physical presence of Jose Mourinho's previous rein. There was no danger of Kagawa being monstered out of the game. With Wayne Rooney sidelined, this has been the ideal time to let the former Borussia Dortmund man loose in his favourite position. But Moyes has - for whatever reason - been reluctant to do the bleeding obvious. Baffling.

BEFORE BENTALEB FA SHOULD APPROACH BOGAPlenty of buzz around Tim Sherwood's protégé Nabil Bentaleb at Tottenham. Rejected by Birmingham City - and even Dunkirk (!) - Bentaleb is now one of the most sought after young players in international football. The FA have already made their move, Algeria are in contact and France insist he's theirs. But if the FA are now getting serious about widening their net, then Chelsea midfielder Jeremie Boga is worthy of being asked the question. Only just 17, Boga is a first-choice with France U18s - but has been living in London since he was eleven years of age and has been with Chelsea since the U12s. In contrast, Bentaleb has only been in the country for two years - similar to Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj.

ARE CHELSEA MAKING ROOM FOR SHAW?So can we read anything into Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho's willingness to allow Ryan Bertrand to move on-loan to Aston Villa? Yes, Cesar Azpilicueta has covered impressively at left-back this season, but you wonder if Mourinho is making room for a new left-back signing before the winter market shuts in a fortnight's time. Southampton's Luke Shaw appears nailed on to return to Chelsea after being rejected for being too small as a junior. Eight years ago, Mourinho didn't bat an eyelid with his aggressive and controversial move for then Arsenal fullback Ashley Cole. This time around circumstances are different, but it will still take a lot of bottle - which Mourinho is not in short supply of - to commit to Southampton's £30 million valuation of Shaw, so making him the most expensive fullback in the game's history.

LLAMBIAS GOOD FIT FOR SOUTHAMPTONSouthampton could do worse than bring Derek Llambias back to football. We're still seeing his influence shining through at Newcastle United. It can even be argued that Loic Remy was his and Graham Carr's signing, with all the legwork done 12 months ago only for the striker to sign with QPR. He didn't hit the ground running at Newcastle, but Llambias showed a great appetite for the job he took on six years ago and as his experience and knowledge grew, so did the Toon's playing staff improve. It's still a frustration to see all that expertise garnered now lost to Newcastle. For all the tension with the Toon Army, he did resign on principle over the Joe Kinnear shambles and that should afford him some acceptance from Saints fans should Katharina Liebherr decide he's the man to succeed Nico Cortese.

CAP ON U21 WAGES GOOD MOVE - TO A POINTIt's the first real, positive news to come out of Greg Dyke's laboured FA Commission. A cap on U21 Premier League wages. It's a good idea and emulates the approach to junior wages you see at Barcelona and their La Masia academy. But what doesn't make sense is why the Commission would be concerned about the wages offered to foreign junior talent. They should not be in the business of restricting Premier League clubs from attracting the best teenage talent from around the world to England. Clubs aren't about to fill their academies with overpriced and underperforming foreign teens when they can sign locals to cheaper wages. So leave them alone and let them compete. If the concept mirrors Barca, where junior players are paid between €15,000 to &35,000 a year until they make their senior debuts either for the B or first teams, then it deserves support. But it should end there. We don't need central interference on how the Premier League operates.

CAULKER NOT READY FOR ENGLANDSteven Caulker isn't quite there yet. Plenty have been touting him for England's World Cup squad, but the way the Cardiff City defender was turned inside-out by Sergio Aguero on Saturday does suggest he's not ready for the step up. Certainly, there's no way Rio Ferdinand, at the same age, would've allowed the Manchester City striker to twist him into knots as he did to Caulker.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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