PLAY IT SHORT: Santi better than Cesc; Evans return under radar; The next Man Utd superkid; QPR credit for Dyer return
JACK JEBB THE NEW WILSHERE
Could the decision to hand Jack Jebb a first pro deal be in preparation for involvement in the Capital One Cup? At Arsenal, they're already likening Jebb to Jack Wilshere and think so highly of him they convinced his parents to allow him to quit school a year early to go fulltime. Now he's turned pro and like Wilshere all those years ago against Wigan Athletic, he could be introduced to English football fans in the League Cup this week against Coventry City.
JAMES WILSON - THE LATEST OFF UNITED CONVEYOR BELT
After so many years without a local lad leading the line, Danny Welbeck now appears just the tip of the iceberg at Manchester United. John Cofie is turning it on at Sheffield United, Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Will Keane is a first teamer, once he recovers from his knee injury, and now there's young James Wilson. Just 16, Wilson hit an amazing five goals on the weekend in the U18 team's 7-1 rout of Newcastle United. He scored on his U18 debut last season as a 15 year-old and frustratingly for Tony Pulis, hails from Staffordshire.
DI MATTEO KIDDING HIMSELF ABOUT CHELSEA WIN
When Roberto di Matteo was reviewing the win against Stoke City yesterday, he must have recognised how lucky Chelsea were to get the three points. Di Matteo claimed the victory was always coming in the immediate aftermath, but whose he trying to kid? For the last half-hour it was crossing practice for the visitors. Chelsea couldn't lay a glove on them and if not for Juan Mata's genius, it would've been more dropped points for the Blues. Tony Pulis is no mug. He threw on Michael Owen with over 25 minutes left because he saw Chelsea were there for the taking. Di Matteo still has plenty to work on.
EVANS RETURN MASSIVE FOR UNITED
Amid all the emotion yesterday, the significance of Jonny Evans' return yesterday was glossed over. Evans played a huge role in keeping Manchester United close to Manchester City last season and his performance at Anfield made Nemanja Vidic's absence only an afterthought in the post-match wash-up. United weren't outstanding, but with no Rooney nor Vidic, to win at Anfield on such a day can't be dismissed.
SANTI BETTER THAN CESC
Santi Cazorla. Wow, what a player. Some of the stuff played between Arsenal and Manchester City was from another world. The little, angled passing from both teams, all being done at the Premier League's traditional frenetic pace, was incredible. And the biggest influence was Cazorla. He's barely a month into his Gunners career. He's going to get better. Better than Cesc? Who would argue with that now?
DYER RETURN GREAT CREDIT TO QPR
All Premier League fans have to be happy for Kieron Dyer. QPR deserve great credit for standing by him after such wretched luck with injury. Being thrown into the derby yesterday at Tottenham was no easy task - particularly at right-back against one Gareth Bale! But Dyer didn't look out of place, some of his thoughtful distribution really had Spurs on the backfoot in the first-half. He's obviously still working towards full match fitness, but it's been a show of great courage from all sides to see him playing the game he loves again.
CITY DIDN'T BUY TO WIN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Kenny Dalglish urged Manchester City on the weekend to forget about the Champions League and focus on defending their Premier League title. You have to agree after seeing their draw with Arsenal. City didn't buy in the summer to win the Champions League - Rodwell, Sinclair and Nastasic aren't worldbeaters. It's difficult to see how they actually improve on the current City team. Javi Garcia is more a like-for-like replacement for Nigel de Jong than a step up. Sitting in seventh place, Mancini now faces a true test of his managerial ability.