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PLAY IT SHORT: Falcao biggest Premier League signing; City fans classy towards moaner Johnson; Rodgers needs to act on Suarez; AVB rewards Lloris whining

CITY FANS SHOW CLASS TOWARDS BIG MOUTH JOHNSONManchester City fans were at their best on Saturday. Many of them will have read Adam Johnson's attack on City boss Roberto Mancini in the morning's press, but still gave him a warm farewell as he was hooked by Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill after 68 forgettable minutes. Johnson may've been swept away by the emotion of returning to the Etihad, but he did himself no favours with his withering attack on Mancini and the club's transfer policy. If he had a couple of months of excellent football under his belt, then you could understand it. But he's hardly set the world alight since his move and really set himself up for failure on Saturday.

CITY BACK TO BEST THANKS TO ENGLISH COREOne of Adam Johnson's complaints in his splash across Saturday's morning press was an anti-English bias from Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini. You wonder if the Italian was sending a message to the Sunderland man with his team selection - five England starters, the same as the visitors. City were back to their best at the Etihad, with David Silva pulling the strings in midfield. The reinstatement of Gareth Barry and James Milner provided the extra security for Silva to do his stuff. After a tough opening month of the season, Silva's return to form will send alarm bells ringing from Stamford Bridge to Old Trafford.

FALCAO COUP SWINGS MOMENTUM BACK TO PREMIER LEAGUEHe's made his mind up. It's England for Radamel Falcao. The Atletico Madrid striker's PR team had him do a series of interviews across the English press last week, talking up his desire to play in the Premier League. Whether it's Chelsea or Arsenal, it's a huge coup for English football. We're talking a future Ballon d'Or winner and genuinely the biggest star signing we've seen in years. After seeing Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas lost to the Spanish Liga, Falcao's arrival - after Sergio Aguero last year - helps the Premier League claw back some ground on their big rivals.

OLSSON COMMITMENT VICTORY FOR CLARKEJonas Olsson's new deal is a huge win for Steve Clarke at West Bromwich Albion. The Swede could easily have quit for a bigger club in January, the Bundesliga and Spanish Liga were calling, but he's bought into what Clarke is trying to achieve at the Hawthorns and the rookie manager has to be delighted with the show of faith. It's not difficult to forget that Clarke is still barely a month into his new career as a management No1. But Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish can't be wrong. And to think, he was willing to stay at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers.

ROBERT HALL - BEST SINCE COLE?If there's one sure thing at West Ham United, it has to be Robert Hall. We've been talking about him for over two years, when he was the youngest member of England's winning U17 Euros team. He turns 18 later this month and has been the U21's outstanding player so far this season. Big Sam has kept him involved in the first team, but now faces a dilemma after their Capital One Cup dumping. Does he loan him out or is Hall better served staying on the fringes of his senior squad? Last season, at Oxford United, he simply proved too good for League Two level. It was his first taste of the senior game and it was doddle: six goals in 14 games. The best we've seen at West Ham since Ferdinand, Cole and Carrick.

RODGERS NEEDS TO GET GRIP OF SUAREZLiverpool boss Brendan Rodgers needs to get a grip of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan is a leader, a role model for the bright young things now coming through at Anfield and his ridiculous frog splash yesterday not only reflects poorly on himself, but also Rodgers. Like Sir Alex Ferguson did with Cristiano Ronaldo when he first was breaking through at Manchester United, Rodgers needs to demand Suarez end his antics. He's had no problem publicly berating Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing - who didn't even make the bench against Stoke City - so why not Suarez? There's no need for a public statement, but Rodgers must convince Suarez to quit the theatrics for his own good and that of the club.

DID AVB REWARD LLORIS MOANING?The explanation from AVB makes sense. He wanted Hugo Lloris to maintain a playing run. But it still must be difficult for Brad Friedel to accept his axing for Tottenham's win over Aston Villa. The American almost single-handedly, kept the pressure off his manager's shoulders earlier this season. He hasn't put a foot wrong and again was a major influence on the win at Manchester United. AVB's decision has ended the 41 year-old's record run of 310 consecutive league games. Records are there to be broken, sure, but Friedel will have expected his run to end over an error, not for a 'gimme' to a keeper rival. Especially one who - along with high-profile supporters - has been in the press moaning about the situation. The sense of entitlement stunk. So did AVB's decision yesterday.

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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