Here’s what we’ve learnt from the weekend.
1) Ravel revels at Upton Park
Ravel Morrison looked to have thrown it all away. As Manchester United allowed him to join West Ham in January 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that Morrison needed to “get away from Manchester and start a new life”.
Morrison’s career at Upton Park didn’t get off to an excellent start, nor was his loan spell at Birmingham particularly impressive but the 20-year-old has enjoyed an excellent first two months at West Ham this season, following up his goal against Everton two weeks ago with a superb solo effort at White Hart Lane yesterday.
Sam Allardyce’s pragmatic approach wouldn’t normally resemble the ideal environment for a player of Morrison’s flair, but the former United man has thrived under Big Sam’s tutelage and, whisper it, England might have found themselves a talent.
2) United must be careful with Januzaj
Manchester United fans know all about headline-grabbing debuts. Wayne Rooney and Federico Macheda both enjoyed first matches to remember, but that’s where the similarities between the two end.
The United faithful must hope Adnan Januzaj will follow the former’s path, rather than the latter’s, for the Belgian looks a real talent. Januzaj is far from the finished article and while it would be premature for United to expect from him the level of performance he produced on Saturday, the 18-year-old is definitely a contender for a starting spot.
David Moyes has received a lot of criticism this season, but deserves credit for trusting the Januzaj and both, player and manager, could reap the benefits of Moyes’ decision.
3) The Saints keep marching in
Southampton’s impressive start to the season has been met with a rather dismissive attitude in some quarters.
Granted, the Saints will almost certainly slip up at some stage and perhaps even endure a mini crisis but, for now, the “It’s only [insert number of games here] into the season” line only smacks of contempt, an attitude Mauricio Pochettino and his men do not deserve.
The Argentinian has proved to be a much more astute manager many would have given him credit for when he replaced Nigel Adkins last season and the Saints’ defensive solidity – they’ve conceded only two goals in seven games – could see them go a long way this season.
4) Consistency anyone?
Roberto Martinez was livid with referee Jonathan Moss as Everton’s unbeaten run came to an end against Manchester City at the Etihad.
While City looked good value and would have probably won anyway, Moss’ decision to let Matija Nastasic’s push on Romelu Lukaku go unpunished looked all the more baffling considering the soft penalty he later awarded City, as Pablo Zabaleta went down after a contact with Seamus Coleman.
If Coleman’s touch on Zabaleta was deemed worthy of a penalty, then surely Nastasic’s decision to barge into Lukaku in the penalty box should have been punished too but Moss, like many other refs, failed to adopt a consistent line of conduct.
5) Spurs needed a reality check
Having conceded two goals in six games, Spurs let in three against West Ham, as the Hammers pulled off a shock 3-0 win at White Hart Lane.
Andre Villas Boas claimed that West Ham goals came courtesy of a set-piece, a fluke and a moment of individual brilliance, but while his back four didn’t cover itself in glory, the Portuguese manager should be more concerned about his goal-shy attack.
For a side as ambitious as Spurs, a return of six goals in seven games is simply not good enough.