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PLAY IT SHORT: Fellaini revival almost complete; LFC need Alexis energy; Ferdinand fawners wrong; Toon kid Aarons new Tony Daley

FELLAINI REVIVAL JUST ABOUT COMPLETE It's unfortunate the phony spit storm around Marouane Fellaini has taken away from the Manchester United midfielder's performance at the Etihad. David de Gea was United's outstanding player at Manchester City on the day, but Fellaini was the visitors' most effective - and it was in his favoured midfield role. A man down, the Belgian was United's most dangerous attacking weapon and also the one outlet their defence could play to confident possession would not be coughed up. With City wobbling in that final 20 minutes, it was just small margins that denied Fellaini an equaliser and hero status amongst the United support.

ALEXIS ENERGY JUST WHAT LIVERPOOL LACK Alexis Sanchez is the player Brendan Rodgers should've signed to replace Luis Suarez. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was right to liken the mentality of Alexis with Suarez in the lead up to victory over Burnley. The Chilean has the same edge and explosive energy that inspires those around him. Juan Mata declared during the week he felt Suarez was "70 per cent of Liverpool". And watching the Reds at Newcastle United, you can understand where the Manchester United midfielder is coming from. Liverpool look lethargic, incapable of reaching top gear. There's no ferocity about their play. Ironically, Mario Balotelli provided the one moment of aggression for visitors, clattering into two challenges, winning the ball back and then being chopped down by Daryl Janmaat. It was great stuff - but an isolated incident in another underwhelming Liverpool performance.

KANE FANS SHOULD CUT POCHETTINO SOME SLACK Tottenham fans should cut Mauricio Pochettino some slack over Harry Kane's selection. Given his backing of Ryan Mason and Danny Rose, you can't accuse the Argentine of ignoring the local lads. From the outside looking in, Kane deserves a Premier League start. But Pochettino, given what he's done at Southampton - and his work in the first months at White Hart Lane - deserves the benefit of the doubt from supporters.

AARONS MORE TONY DALEY THAN STERLING For Rolando Aarons, comparisons with Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling don't quite hit the mark. The Newcastle United teen went into victory over Liverpool ducking similarities with Sterling. But with his pace, aggression and off-the-cuff style, Aarons is more Tony Daley than Sterling. Like the Aston Villa legend, Aarons is a super athlete, with blinding speed and capable of producing explosive, individual moments during the game. At 18, senior England talk is over the top, but he's definitely one for Toon fans to be excited about.

WEIRD HAPPENINGS AT LIVERPOOL Of course, when you're struggling, everything is amplified, but there's some weird things happening off the pitch at Liverpool. Adding to Glen Johnson being left hanging about a new deal and Victor Valdes' defection from Melwood to Manchester United's Carrington complex, Steven Gerrard went public last week about his contract situation. Why is the board dragging their feet over these deals for Johnson and Gerrard? Daniel Sturridge penned his new deal just a month ago, yet the captain is left in the dark. Just what is going on at Anfield?

AYOZE PEREZ NO VICTIM OF TOO MUCH TOO SOON He's no kid, Ayoze Perez. Barely months ago, Perez was still earning just €200-a-week at Tenerife in the Spanish Segunda Division. Two goals - two winners - in consecutive games for Newcastle United are a sure sign of the 21 year-old's talent and potential. Last week, he was named the season's 'Breakthrough Player' and 'Best Attacking Midfielder' in the Segunda Division at the LFP awards. With the debate raging in England over 'too much, too soon' for the nation's youth players, Perez is another example of how much can be achieved replicating Spanish football's approach to player pay.

FERDINAND FAWNERS REWRITING HISTORY Lot of rewriting of history last week in reaction to the punishment handed to QPR veteran Rio Ferdinand. Without referring to the fan's tweet, Ferdinand fawners claimed it was abusive and that the 'banter' involved was justified. But checking back, the fan's tweet in question was a simple, light-hearted dig at Rio, who then chose to insult the man's mother and family. Just staggering the Rio worship inside the English media. Need reminding? This is all it was:

Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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