ARE CITY DOING ENOUGH FOR HART?
Are Manchester City really doing their very best by Joe Hart? His form has quite rightly called into question both his status at City and with England. But what is going on behind-the-scenes at Carrington? There's been little acknowledgement that Hart has seen a personal coaching change this season, with Spaniard Xabier Mancisidor now the club's keeper coach following the arrival of manager Manuel Pellegrini. For the previous three years, Hart was working with Roberto Mancini's man, Massimo Battara. But it's no secret that Hart credits England keeper coach Dave Watson as the biggest influence on his career. With City's spending power, it's a surprise they haven't pushed to buy Watson out of his contract at Norwich City.
GENIUS MORRISON MUST STAY GROUNDED
Big Sam described the goal as "genius". Everyone involved at West Ham United can be proud of Ravel Morrison's wonder effort against Tottenham. It capped off the biggest week in the midfielder's career after a first call-up to the England U21 squad. Bombed out of Manchester United, he could have been lost to the game if not for the intervention of first Sam Allardyce and then Birmingham City's Lee Clark, where Morrison spent part of last season on-loan. Both managers had their doubts, but persisted - as did the senior players at both clubs. The penny now appears to have dropped for Morrison and Gareth Southgate's selection is a just reward. Significantly, Morrison is on no huge Premier League contract. He's still having to pay his dues - and that incentive is working. You hope, when it comes to discussing new terms, Morrison and his minders recognise what West Ham have done for him and accept Allardyce's roadmap is the one to follow.
BUSY DELPH DESERVES HODGSON CHECK
He's doing it in Aaron Ramsey's shadow. But when it comes to fighting back from serious injury, Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph deserves the same recognition as the Arsenal ace. First the knee, then the ankle, Delph just didn't look like he'd ever fulfil the promise he showed at Leeds United. But after finishing last season strongly and being handed the captain's armband in preseason, the midfielder is now in career best form. Villa boss Paul Lambert says Delph deserves an England call. And why not? Delph is a rarity in the modern English player - a box-to-box midfielder. He was the highlight of a "bang average" stalemate at Hull City on Saturday. Definitely deserves a closer look from Roy Hodgson.
CITY CHIEFS FAILED PELLEGRINI
Can Manchester City sustain a title challenge without Vincent Kompany? Certainly, the result against Everton was a morale boost after the midweek whitewash at the hands of Bayern Munich. But with Kompany again breaking down, the 3-1 win came at glaring cost. It's baffling how City chiefs Txiki Beigiristain and Ferran Soriano, after their impressive early work in the summer market, would ignore Manuel Pellegrini's clear concerns at centre-half. Yes, Martin Demichelis was brought in, but at 32 and already sidelined with a knee injury, he's not the player to step in for the captain. Kompany clearly needs an extended break to heal his nagging problems, but a lack of quality cover means Pellegrini must continue to gamble with his long-term fitness, which could ultimately cost City a trophy this season.
IF SHINJI IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALISTS, THEN...
Where there's smoke there's fire and Jurgen Klopp won't need any encouragement should Manchester United even hint at a willingness to sell Shinji Kagawa. It's difficult to comprehend why United would be happy to lose Kagawa to such a European rival. A £17 million signing, with all the earning potential from his Far East profile and rated so highly at last season's Champions League finalists, it would really be a mark against David Moyes' coaching if he is prepared to sell Kagawa. If Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger can find room for Mesut Ozil and Jose Mourinho can handle the overload of No10s in Chelsea's squad, then it shouldn’t be such a difficult task for Moyes to work Kagawa into his system. On the weekend of Ravel Morrison's touch of "genius" and Paul Pogba again speaking out against United, it's madness for Moyes to even contemplate offloading such a talent as Kagawa less than 18 months into his Old Trafford career.
MICHU SPAIN CALL GREAT SWANSEA TRIUMPH
A great moment for Swansea City yesterday with the call-up of Michu to the Spain squad. The achievement is all the more remarkable when noting Michu has never been capped by the world champs at any level. Perhaps that's why Swansea were able to land him ahead of bigger rivals last year? Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester City all took a close look at Michu while with Rayo, but never pulled the trigger on bidding for the then attacking midfielder. Swansea did, perhaps ignoring the holes in his playing CV, and have been rewarded for the gamble. They've basically produced a player for the world champions - a great achievement for the club.
DE GEA HANDS MOYES HIS 'MARK ROBINS' MOMENT
Did David De Gea produce a 'Mark Robins moment' for David Moyes at Sunderland? At 1-0 down and with Manchester United on the rack, Emanuele Giaccherini had the chance to put the game beyond the visitors. But the Sunderland winger's header was turned away by De Gea with an effort described by Peter Schmeichel as the 'greatest save in Premier League history'. A little dramatic to say Moyes' head was on the block, but you can only imagine the pressure going into international week on the back of three consecutive Premier League defeats.
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