Now the dust has settled on the weekend’s football action, here’s out top 5 talking points
1. Suarez re-establishing himself as the loveable rogue
Within what was a searing display by the mercurial Uruguayan at Norwich came a great moment that we enjoyed watching. After being derided by the Norwich fans for an uncharacteristically poor effort on goal, and while visibly still reeling from the miss, Suarez was alert to Ruddy’s short goal-kick, robbing Michael Turner, nutmegging him for good measure before hitting a beautiful finish with the outside of his foot. Cue the obligatory celebration to ram it home to those that were mere seconds earlier delighting in his failure.
Suarez’s obvious history to date will no doubt continue to hang over him for quite a while yet. But you had to smile at that series of events.
2. Vertonghen quickly becoming one of the signings of the season
While Spurs have taken a while to get going this season, from the off the Belgian defender has impressed wherever he’s been asked to play. On Saturday, as AVB opted for the back 4 that played in the 2nd half in the win over QPR – bringing in Steven Caulker alongside Gallas – Vertonghen shifted leftwards and put in an excellent display at Old Trafford.
With a left-hand side of Vertonghen and Bale, and an already-impressive right-hand understanding between Walker and Lennon, Spurs took the game to United in the first half and ultimately left deserved winners. “Don’t cha wish your left-back was BAE?” – not based on Vertonghen’s performances there, no.
3. Don’t write off Fergie Junior just yet
Since the start of the season, Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson has looked like he was going to be one of the season’s early managerial casualties. The Posh’ wretched start to the season looked set to continue, when without a single point to their name, they visited a Hull side who’s decent start under Steve Bruce has seen them amass maximum points at home.
Inspired by an impressive hat-trick from Emile Sinclair, Fergie Junior’s side ran out 3-1 winners, and are now within sight of the teams immediately above them. They have a long season in store – that result may kickstart their season though.
4. League 1 is wide open
Last year, Charlton were the run-away winners – this season is, so far, shaping up to be a surprisingly even contest at the top. In the top 4 at the minute, you have the surprise outfit of Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere, the tough outfit of Keith ‘Shirt-tugging’ Curle’s Notts County, League 1’s nearly-men of recent seasons MK Dons, and the unpredictable Italian with Swindon Town. Add to that a Stevenage team that’s surprised people in following on from their impressive showing last season, and a bizarrely impressive Walsall, and this is not what was expected. Pre-season bookies favourites Preston & Sheffield United sit just outside the playoffs following starts that have not matched the high expectations.
The reason for the openness? Probably a lack of obvious quality up front. Last year you had Wright-Phillips, Madine, Evans and Rhodes providing a wealth of goals all season. This year, you’d struggle to pick out any obvious 25 goal a season player.
5. Steven Fletcher, an apology [kind of]
When Sunderland parted with £12m for the former Wolves frontman, we scoffed at the inflated fee Martin O’Neill had paid for a mediocre talent and confidently predicted disaster. But with his fifth goal in four games, Steven Fletcher served up another slice of humble pie to the writers at 1FITG.
Given that we’re prepared to fling brickbats at a player, it’s only fair that we hold our hands up when one proves us wrong. However don’t let that fool you into thinking we’ve conceded the argument on Fletcher, we still think a 20 game plus goal drought is just around the corner. Although frankly I’d take just one game without a goal at the moment, because watching him bang them in each week is just becoming too painful to my ego.
Written by @josephclift and James Albion