YOUNG FINALLY COMES GOOD IN BIG GAME
From the first minute, Ashley Young just looked up for it yesterday. He got his foot in a couple times against Mario Balotelli, snarled and snapped, and then created Manchester United's opener for the derby win at Manchester City. For the magnitude of the game and the consistency in his performance, it has to be Young's best game in a United shirt. So often found wanting in the big matches, Young was as dangerous as any high calibre player on show at the Etihad.
WHAT'S HAPPENED TO YAYA?
What's happened to Yaya Toure? He looks a shadow of the midfield powerhouse of last season. He was even knocked off the ball by Tom Cleverley yesterday! Last season, he would've matched Carlos Tevez's energy, but he looked heavy and sluggish in comparison to the Argie. The goal apart, he was a virtual spectator in contrast to the Toure of barely six months ago when he was bossing games at both ends of the pitch.
PREMIER LEAGUE SHOULD TAKE AFL'S SMS CROWD SYSTEM
After the scenes at the Etihad, the Premier League should consider the crowd security measures Australia's AFL have taken in the past 18 months. An SMS alert system allows fans to anonymously 'dob in a yob' via their mobile phones. The number is displayed on the ground's big screens so that members of the crowd can report via text unruly behaviour without the need of confrontations. Given the high-tech stadia now used in the Premier League, such a system could quickly be introduced.
HOW CAN WENGER BE HAPPY WITH THAT?
Boaz Myhill had one save to make on Saturday at the Emirates. ONE! Apart from the three points, Arsene Wenger cannot be pleased with the manner of Arsenal's win over West Bromwich Albion. There was no genuine threat or presence in attack and if not for two rubbish penalties, the repeat of the Swansea City result could easily have happened. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar can't come quick enough - but the question for Gooners is whether the board will cough up the £6 million to sign the Schalke striker when they can sign him for nowt in June.
CAZORLA FLOP A TEST OF ARSENAL LEADERSHIP GROUP
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has to have a word with Santi Cazorla about his tumble against the Baggies. The Spaniard has charmed us all since arriving from Malaga, but his actions under pressure from Steven Reid aren't welcome in England. This will be a great test of the leadership at Arsenal. If the senior group collar Cazorla and demand he stay on his feet, then the doubts about the culture inside the current dressing room will lessen. But the question is, who among the squad have the authority to shake up Santi? Or will it have to be left to Steve Bould?
SNODGRASS ALL CLASS FOR NORWICH
Robert Snodgrass is a great footballer. The Scot was absolutely outstanding for Norwich City in their win at Swansea on Saturday. He simply lit the Liberty up. It was not just his delivery from set-pieces, or the stunning free-kick he struck for Norwich's fourth. There was the back-flick to create Steven Whittaker's opener and his wonderful, inventive scooped pass which saw Bradley Johnson hit the post after halftime. Snodgrass really turned it on, not just from the touchline, but also through the middle and is proving himself a great advertisement for the talent that can be found below the Premier League after his time with Leeds United.
BURNLEY WELL WORTH SHOCK FA YOUTH CUP RESULT
Manchester United will be disappointed being bundled out of the FA Youth Cup in the third round. After reaching last season's final, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expected them to go one better this term with the majority of the team still eligible. But Burnley's academy are doing great things, spreading their recruiting strategy beyond England - and even Europe. Cameron Howieson, who starred in last season's run to the semis, hails from New Zealand and was again on the mark in the 4-3 triumph. Jason Gilchrist was the standout, however, netting a hat-trick. And where did the Clarets find the teen? Manchester City.
WILL FALCAO UNSETTLE IN-FORM TORRES?
Four goals in two games, do Chelsea risk unsettling Fernando Torres just as he's hitting his straps. Roman Abramovich's assistant, Marina Granovskaia, was in Madrid last week for talks over Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) and Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid). Both massive names and massive talents, but also the types of centre-forward that Torres didn't play with at Liverpool. Benitez brought out the best in Torres by playing him on his own at Anfield. If Falcao does arrive, so similar to Didier Drogba, can Benitez do what Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo failed to achieve and get Torres succeeding alongside a strike-partner?