IN DEFENCE OF VINCENT TAN
So the story goes when Asmir Begovic, the Stoke City goalkeeper, scored against Southampton, Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan demanded to know why David Marshall had scored so few goals himself. Cue the guffaws from the football elite. But if the Malaysian is so ignorant about the game, then those so willing to mock him should take a step back and understand his anger over the way Malky Mackay and Iain Moody spent his money last summer. Like any serious businessman, he handed responsibility onto the experts and thanks to the revelations in the Daily Mail last week, you can understand why he feels let down. The big one is Steven Caulker's £11 million deal from Tottenham, which includes a 50 per cent sell on clause. In other words, if Tan is to see a profit on the defender, he'd have to more than double his value. There's also £45,000-a-week for Andreas Cornelius, an untried 20 year-old from Denmark. There's no 20 year-old at Manchester United on that sort of money. Tan's made plenty of mistakes, but regarding their summer market campaign, he has every right to be angry.
NORWICH COUP TYING DOWN MURPHY TWINS
Great coup last week for Norwich City securing the Murphy twins, Jacob and Joshua, to pro contracts. The midfield pair staying at Carrow Road was no sure thing. There's massive transfer activity at U21 and youth level currently in England and the Murphys will have been subject of serious enquiries from bigger clubs in recent weeks. The twins are England U19 internationals, FA Youth Cup winners and Josh is already a Premier League player. Their deals follow striker Carlton Morris' pro contract. Like the Murphy twins, Morris is also part of the current England U19 squad.
WELBECK BECOMES MAIN MAN
Danny Welbeck will be floating after his matchwinning performance for Manchester United at Norwich City on Saturday. It was only months ago that David Moyes was dragging him aside and demanding to know why he wasn't putting in extra effort at training. On Saturday, without Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, United were meandering along in third gear until Welbeck's introduction. He took the game by the scruff of the neck, sparking his teammates into life and deservedly grabbed United's winner. The potential was always there, but we're now seeing a player with the self-belief and desire to take on the responsibility of driving his team forward.
KOKE THE RIGHT CALL FOR MOYES
He's a genuine box-to-box midfielder. He can tackle, hit a pass and score the odd goal. But is Koke worth the £30 million Manchester United have tentatively offered to Atletico Madrid in the last 48 hours? The money should be enough for Atletico to sell, though they may keep United waiting until they find a replacement. Koke was part of that Spain midfield which won the summer's U21 Euros. Teammates Asier Illarramendi left Real Sociedad for Real Madrid for £28 million and Thiago Alcantara left Barcelona for Bayern Munich for £20 million. Koke is emerging as the most expensive of the three and also the most talented, having broken into Vicente del Bosque's Spain team this season. David Moyes was right to put the brakes on a deal for Ander Herrera when Athletic Bilbao's demands went through the £30 million barrier. Koke is a different prospect, a better one, and is capable of matching the success of another young Spaniard, David de Gea, at Old Trafford.
CAN MORRISON HANDLE BEING OUTSIDE WEST HAM ENVIRONMENT?
Fans of Ravel Morrison must be concerned about weekend reports that West Ham United are willing to sell the former Manchester United junior next month. The Hammers want to cash in on Morrison's rising star in order to fund Sam Allardyce's own squad strengthening plans. But after the great strides Morrison has made since moving to the Boleyn Ground, buying into the demands of the leadership group and getting his career finally on the rails, it'd be a great shame if he was taken out of such a positive environment so soon.
COLEMAN FLYING FOR EVERTON
Seamus Coleman is flying this season. His wonder goal against Southampton encapsulated his current form with Everton. The Irishman went around the much-vaunted James Ward-Prowse like he was a training cone before smacking the ball across and past Saints goalkeeper Kelvin Davis. For Everton, the coming days will be all about Leighton Baines and 'will he / won't he' be going to Manchester United. But on the other flank, Arsenal are sure to be joined in their interest for Coleman if he maintains his upward curve under manager Roberto Martinez.
REALITY HITS LIVERPOOL AT CHELSEA
Reality hit Liverpool yesterday at Chelsea. When Branislav Ivanovic broke down on the half-hour mark, Jose Mourinho was able to replace him with Ashley Cole. In the opposite dugout, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, chasing a goal in the second-half, turned to his bench for rookie Brad Smith and the struggling Iago Aspas. He also had Jordan Rossiter, 16, and without a senior appearance to his name, among his substitutes. League titles are won by squads and Liverpool's was found out at Stamford Bridge.