Month: September 2014

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the sixth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got five out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 


Liverpool vs Everton (12:45)
Both of these sides have suffered very poor starts to the season by their standards. Liverpool are enduring a terrible run of form. They were fortunate to beat Ludogrets Razgrad in the Champions League after a moment of lunacy from the opposition’s goalkeeper, they’ve suffered back-to-back losses in the league and required penalties to knock out Championship opposition in the League Cup. Other teams have worked out how to play against them and Steven Gerrard is a passenger at the moment who is being too easily marked out of the game. Everton, on the other hand, have been appalling at the back – similarly to Liverpool – and have lost to sides that they should really be beating. With both sides struggling at the back so much, this should be a high scoring and entertaining match.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-2 Everton

Chelsea vs Aston Villa (15:00)
Chelsea may have dropped points at The Etihad last weekend but they remain the favourites to lift the trophy this season. Their title rivals have all struggled to hit top gear but they are ruthlessly dispatching weaker sides in the division. Villa have made a good start and, despite losing to Arsenal last weekend, have already earned more points out of their horror run, that sees them facing last season’s top five, than many would have expected so can play without pressure. Chelsea should emerge victorious.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Aston Villa

Crystal Palace vs Leicester (15:00)
Neil Warnock masterminded an excellent win for his side against Everton, despite being under the cosh for long periods of the match. Whilst they were largely gifted goals from Everton’s back five, they capitalised on those mistakes and were good value for their win. Meanwhile, Leicester smashed five past Man United and tore them apart in the second half. The speed at which The Foxes attack and can hit teams on the break is frightening and no side in the league will want to face them at the minute. The Foxes should have enough to see off The Eagles.
Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-2 Leicester

Hull vs Man City (15:00)
Steve Bruce’s side have put in a mixed range of performances and are yet to fully click at the back. Letting a two goal lead slip against a struggling Newcastle side was particularly disappointing. City, on the other hand, showed great resolve to get a point against Chelsea and they have kept themselves within touching distance of the table-toppers. Pellegrini’s men know that they can’t afford to slip up again and must keep the pressure up on Mourinho’s men.
Prediction: Hull 0-3 Man City

Man Utd vs West Ham (15:00)
Louis van Gaal watched on in utter disbelief last weekend as Leicester picked off his side. This must be the worst defence in United’s history and they have to tighten up at the back if they are to be successful this season. The saving grace for van Gaal and his side is that other top-four contenders are currently struggling too and they have not taken full advantage of their failings. West Ham look very organised and produced a wonderful performance to beat Liverpool last weekend. They are playing with attacking flair and confidence and Sam Allardyce deserves great credit for his summer dealings. They will be confident of scoring goals against this poor United defence, however, keeping the likes of Di Maria, Falcao, Rooney and van Persie at bay remains a terrifying prospect for any defence. United should bounce back.
Prediction: Man Utd 3-2 West Ham

Southampton vs QPR (15:00)
Ronald Koeman’s side have been a revelation this season and have demonstrated how important it is to be united as a team regardless of the calibre of players who leave. Whilst their former stars struggle at their supposed greener pastures, Koeman’s team find themselves sitting pretty in second place. QPR, on the other hand, have struggled to find a team identity this season and they need to find a level of consistency to their performances. Southampton should run out comfortable winners.
Prediction: Southampton 4-1 QPR

Sunderland vs Swansea (15:00)
Swansea have suffered back-to-back losses against the top two sides in the league but Garry Monk will be delighted nonetheless with the start they’ve made. Wilfried Bony got himself stupidly sent off last weekend, which ruined their chances against a strong Southampton side. Despite his red card, he has served his ban by missing their midweek League Cup match; another reason that clubs should aim to stay in the competition. Sunderland are hanging perilously close to the drop zone and are in real need of a confidence boosting win. Swansea will have enough to deny The Black Cats all three points.
Prediction: Sunderland 1-1 Swansea

Arsenal vs Spurs (17:30)
This is the second local derby of the weekend and it promises to be an intriguing encounter. Whilst Arsenal have not played particularly well, they are still unbeaten in the league and their performance improved dramatically against Aston Villa at the weekend – although the Villans were suffering from a bug. It was the same old story at White Hart Lane, however, as they dropped points against weaker opposition in the form of West Brom. Spurs are looking to avoid their third straight loss in the league but The Gunners should have too much for them.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Spurs


West Brom vs Burnley (16:00)
This is an early relegation battle and one that both sides will be desperate to win. The Baggies performance improved greatly against Spurs as they came away from White Hart Lane with a surprise victory and the addition of Joleon Lescott at the back really added solidity to their defence. Burnley have also looked fairly sturdy at the back and are keeping clean sheets, which is important at this level. The biggest problem both these sides face is sticking the ball in the back of the net and both seem to struggle for firepower. Both sides will know how important a victory is here and may be more adventurous, however, it is vital that neither side loses this game so a draw is the more likely outcome.
Prediction: West Brom 1-1 Burnley


Stoke vs Newcastle (20:00)
Had Stoke not shocked Manchester City, this would be a clash between the bottom two sides in the league. Stoke have been very disappointing thus far in the campaign and need to rediscover their strong home form. Newcastle have also been extremely poor this season and are yet to register a victory. Alan Pardew’s job was saved by a Papisse Cisse-inspired comeback last weekend, however, pressure remains on him to deliver results. A bad performance and result here could lead to the end of Pardew’s reign and Stoke should nick it.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Newcastle


Weekend Preview and Predictions

@Originalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the fifth weekend of Premier League football. Last weekend we got five out of ten predictions correct and one correct score. Will we do better this week? 


QPR vs Stoke (12:45)
Both these sides have made very poor starts to the campaign. QPR have the worst goal difference in the league and have lost three of their opening four matches. Stoke, on the other hand, have had what on paper looked like a relatively easy start and only a shock win over Manchester City has saved them from being glued to the bottom of the table. They will be desperate to get a win against one of the sides around them but a draw seems more likely here.
Prediction: QPR 1-1 Stoke

Aston Villa vs Arsenal (15:00)
Villa have been one of the best sides in the league to date and put in a magnificently gritty performance to earn a victory at Anfield last weekend. Arsenal, meanwhile, have made an indifferent start to the campaign and were battered by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday. However, they still remain undefeated in the league. There are serious concerns over Arsenal’s defence but they are always a threat going forward and should bounce back against Paul Lambert’s side.
Prediction: Villa 1-2 Arsenal

Burnley vs Sunderland (15:00)
Burnley were agonisingly close to sealing their first league victory of the season against Crystal Palace and saw a late penalty wonderfully saved by Julian Speroni. They are proving to be no pushovers though and can take heart from their start. Sunderland have started decently enough and have earned draws against Spurs and Manchester United but they look a little toothless in attack. A low scoring draw seems the most likely outcome in this one.
Prediction: Burnley 1-1 Sunderland

Newcastle vs Hull (15:00)
Newcastle have won the award for worst performance of the season so far with their dismal showing against Southampton and Alan Pardew is under huge pressure to get a result here. Hull have made an okay start to the season and will fancy their chances of picking up at least a point here. Pardew will probably need a win to keep his job but it’s hard to see them getting it.
Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Hull

Swansea vs Southampton (15:00)
This could be one of the games of the weekend as two sides who have played some excellent football go head to head. Swansea’s winning streak was brought to an end by Chelsea last weekend whilst Southampton mauled Alan Pardew’s hapless Newcastle side. Both these sides were tipped to struggle this season due to their manager’s lack of experience in the league and, in Southampton’s case, a mass exodus of their playing staff. However, both sides and managers deserve immense praise for their start and this is a tough game to call. It should be a game full of goals and a great one for the neutral.
Prediction: Swansea 2-2 Southampton

West Ham vs Liverpool (17:30)
West Ham have had a decent start to the season and fought back well to draw against Hull on Monday night. Liverpool, on the other hand, dropped points against Villa at the weekend when trying to rotate their squad. They were very easy to defend against in the absence of Sterling and Sturridge. Fortunately for Liverpool, West Ham aren’t as solid as Villa are at the moment and an away win is on the cards.
Prediction: West Ham 1-3 Liverpool


Leicester vs Manchester United (13:30)
What a start to the season Leicester have made. They have been a brilliant addition to the league and have secured some fantastic results. Leonardo Ulloa is proving to be a superb buy and will cause this weak Manchester United defence a lot of problems. United, however, managed a good result and performance themselves last weekend, albeit against a very poor QPR side, but there are still questions to be answered at the back. Leicester won’t be afraid here and can continue their brilliant campaign.
Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Manchester United

Spurs vs West Brom (13:30)
Spurs threw away three points against Sunderland last weekend and were guilty of not taking several great chances in the second half. They did play well though and Pochettino can be encouraged, on the whole, by his sides performances. At the other end of the scale, The Baggies look like a very average side and they will struggle to score against this Spurs team. Don’t be surprised to see Alan Irvine’s team rooted to the bottom of the league after this weekend.
Prediction: Spurs 3-0 West Brom

Everton vs Crystal Palace (16:00)
The Toffees finally got off the mark with an away win at West Brom and that should kick start Roberto Martinez and his side’s season. Palace are still finding their feet under Neil Warnock and were very grateful to Julian Speroni and his penalty save to avoid defeat last weekend. This should be a fairly routine win for Everton.
Prediction: Everton 2-0 Crystal Palace

Man City vs Chelsea (16:00)
This is a clash between the two sides most people believe will win the league this season. City have made a fairly poor start by their lofty standards and are without a win in their last three matches after defeat in Munich. Chelsea, on the other hand, have been magnificent in the league but a midweek home draw with Schalke demonstrated their reliance on Diego Costa. Mourinho ended City’s fantastic run at home last season but he would be happy with a draw to maintain the early five-point gap.
Prediction: Man City 1-1 Chelsea

A First Time Footballer

Having watched snippets of last weekend’s games and spent a fair bit of time with two of my football-mad friends, I feel relatively clued-up about the Premier League’s latest happenings. The core theme of my post this week is the unpredictable, exciting and, often, cruel nature of the Premier League.

I’ll begin with Manchester United. A couple of weeks ago, after Man United’s surprise loss against Swansea, I appealed to fans to give poor Louis van Gaal more time before giving up hope. I felt bad for the United manager – who hadn’t had much time to settle into his new role and was dealing with injuries plus a lack of decent arrivals over the Summer. So, I was pleased to see their hefty 4-0 win over QPR at the weekend: “By the end I hope to be a Premier League champion, if not this year, then in the second or third”, rejoiced van Gaal. Now Louis, whilst it was great to see a stadium full of delighted fans and a team refuelled with self-belief, you can’t afford to get too carried away. Even I am fully aware of how quickly the fate of certain teams can change from match to match.

Take Brazil in the 2014 World Cup – they more or less cruised through the group stages and were many people’s favourite to go all the way in the competition. This was before one of the biggest shocks in footballing memory took place where Germany thrashed the Brazilians 7-1 in the semi-finals – a game that will go down in history! The Man United manager might want to calm down a bit and not get supporters fired up in a frenzy with rash predictions about a league that has only really just started. Not only is it a rather hasty projection so early in the competition, but also the impressive victory was down to a number of factors that have the potential to drastically change throughout the season.

Di Maria was supposedly the man that made the difference at the weekend, scoring his first United goal within half an hour of his home debut – it seems that the £59.7 million signing was worth every penny. However, it’s a dangerous idea to put all your eggs in one basket – we saw how Uruguay lost all momentum after superstar Suarez was banned in the World Cup. Di Maria’s future performance is dependant on a lot of factors – not meshing well with his new club, personal issues or injury all have the potential to rule him out of the season. Furthermore, QPR put on a particularly poor performance and United still face some challenging games.

Aston Villa have also showcased the unpredictable nature of the Premier League – with a pleasantly surprising victory against Liverpool at the weekend. I was busy in my kitchen late on Saturday afternoon, when I heard an ecstatic screeching, followed by a series of bangs, coming from my living room. When I went to investigate, I found my Villa obsessed friend grinning on the sofa after Agbonlahor had just scored, 9 minutes into the match. From my limited knowledge of Villa, I knew better than to let him get over-excited – there was still plenty of time for it to go to pot. I was surprised to return, 63 minutes into the match, to find the score line still at 1-0 to Aston Villa. When the final whistle was blown, there was further screeching from the sofa followed by more than a couple of beers. To my restricted Premier League knowledge, Villa don’t have the most fantastic reputation with regard to their performance, so I have to hand it to them – they’ve had a brilliant start to the league, where they currently sit in 2nd place.

There is, of course, a however. They haven’t had such a promising start to their Premier League campaign since 1998-99 and even then they dropped from the top spot at Christmas 1998 to finish 6th at the end of that season. Furthermore, their next four games are going to be extremely tough, even the most optimistic Villa supporter isn’t expecting four wins, and so it looks like their luck could be rapidly changing fortunes. Even just by looking at the first few games played by only two Premier League teams – with an array of surprise wins and shocking losses – it’s easy to see why it can be such an addictive sport to watch. Hopes are regularly raised and dashed as the unpredictable, exciting and, often, cruel Premier League progresses. 

Weekend Preview and Predictions

@0riginalfooty takes a look at the fixtures for the fourth weekend of Premier League football. Last week proved to be an absolute shocker on the prediction front with a measly one correct result out of ten. We’ll surely do better this week…


Arsenal vs Manchester City (12:45)
Neither of these sides will have been too happy to head off for the international break on the back of poor results. Arsenal will be even more incensed with the injury to Aaron Ramsey that could rule him out of this one. The Gunners were very poor against Leicester and were fortunate to get a point against Everton after being wholly outplayed. City, on the other hand, suffered an unbelievable home defeat at the hands of Stoke. It goes to show how unpredictable this league can be. Arsenal were very poor against the big teams last season and City will be out to avenge that Community Shield defeat at the start of this campaign so expect a City win.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-3 Man City

Chelsea vs Swansea (15:00)
1st plays 2nd in an early top of the table clash. It seems unlikely that The Swans will continue their push at the top of the league for much longer but they should enjoy their run whilst it lasts. Chelsea have made an equally impressive start to the season and are full of goals. They should have too much for Garry Monk’s side in this one despite Swansea’s confident outlook.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Swansea

Crystal Palace vs Burnley (15:00)
This is a clash between the bottom two sides in the division, on one point respectively, and they will both be desperate to hoist themselves out of the relegation zone with this one. Although it’s very early on in the season, psychologically you don’t want to be stuck down at the bottom of the pile. Whilst a trip to Selhurst Park is never easy, Burnley will give The Eagles a good match. Neil Warnock is still getting to know his side and may have to settle for a point here. Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Burnley

Southampton vs Newcastle
Southampton have started the season fairly convincingly under Ronald Koeman and don’t seem to be suffering too much from the mass exodus in the summer. Newcastle, in comparison, are still desperate for a win and there is talk of Alan Pardew having only two games to save his job. The Magpies probably need this win more but an entertaining draw is a more likely outcome.
Prediction: Southampton 2-2 Newcastle

Stoke vs Leicester Stoke secured the most unlikely of results by beating Mark Hughes’ former club Man City at the Etihad Stadium and that has really saved them from what had otherwise been a very poor start. Leicester have been one of the surprise packages of the season so far and have done remarkably well to get two points out of three of the best teams in the division. A note of caution, however, it is often easier to get fired up against the big teams where there is no pressure and it’s the results against the smaller sides that keeps you in the division. Leicester may find that out the hard way here.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Leicester

Sunderland vs Spurs
Both sides will be keen to bounce back after disappointing defeats prior to the international break. Sunderland succumbed to defeat away at Loftus road whereas Spurs were hammered by Liverpool at home. It will be interesting to see how both sides recover. Sunderland, on the whole, have looked pretty tough to beat but don’t seem to have that killer instinct in front of goal. Spurs, on the other hand, have performed admirably against weaker sides but there still seems to be a gap to bridge with the big boys. Expect Spurs to just edge a victory.
Prediction: Sunderland 0-1 Spurs

West Brom vs Everton (15:00)
These teams find themselves in and around the relegation zone at this early stage. The Baggies were thrashed last time out by a rampant Swansea and scoring goals seems to be their Achilles heel. Everton, conversely, have made a really disappointing start to the season. Although they’ve had relatively tough fixtures that included Chelsea and Arsenal, they have thrown away several leads in their opening two fixtures and conceded six against a rampant Chelsea. West Brom shouldn’t threaten the Toffees though and an away win should kick start their season.
Prediction: West Brom 0-2 Everton

Liverpool vs Aston Villa (17:30)
Liverpool negotiated a potentially tough trip to White Hart Lane with ease and they have made a decent start to the season. Villa have also made a terrific start, however, they are about to embark on a tough run that sees them play five sides out of last season’s top six. Villa have been remarkably good at Anfield in the last two seasons beating Liverpool 3-1 in the campaign before last and drawing 2-2 earlier this year. Despite their good start and the injury to Daniel Sturridge, it’s hard to see anything other than a Liverpool victory.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa  


Man United vs QPR (16:00)
Rio Ferdinand returns to play against his old club and Radamel Falcao could be in line for his Manchester United debut; two subplots that make Sunday’s tie a mouth-watering clash. Louis van Gaal will need to get a win sooner rather than later after an uninspiring start that sees them languishing in the bottom half of the table. QPR changed their formation last weekend at home to Sunderland and looked instantly more solid as they came away with a good win. This should be an entertaining game and United should, finally, come away with three points.
Prediction: Man United 3-1 QPR


Hull City vs West Ham (20:00) Hull were absolutely terrible in the first half against Villa last weekend and their exit from the Europa League could prove a blessing in disguise so that they avoid abject performances like that in future. West Ham are trying to improve their style of play, with mixed results, but I think they’ll go back to basics here and try to grind out an away point.
Prediction: Hull City 1-1 West Ham

A First Time Footballer

Unsurprisingly, I am still struggling to get to grips with the ins and outs of Premier League football. I certainly feel like I understand a bit more about the different clubs, where they are from and who manages them – so that, at least, is a step in the right direction. However, while I continue to try and get my head around it all, I’ve been finding it interesting to look a bit more into the footballing world outside the actual matches.

Last time, I briefly looked at the behaviour of football fans after the tragic incident involving Albert Ebosse – – in which I logically concluded that enthusiasts ought to find less extreme ways to express their disappointment (preferably not involving injury or death…). After criticising the inappropriate actions of die-hard supporters, it is difficult to ignore the actions of the players themselves.

I am sure that we are all familiar with the infamous Luis Suarez of Uruguay. Suarez sunk his teeth into the tasty Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup this summer and was consequently suspended from all football-related activity for 4 whole months. Extreme? No. I might feel a little bit of sympathy for the star player being handed this harsh punishment if it had been his first warning. But it wasn’t. And it wasn’t even his second. In 2013 Suarez was banned from a total of 10 games after taking a bite of Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match. Previous to that, it was PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal who had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting Luis. I appreciate that he is a phenomenal football player but how many times does he need to be warned? He’s like an insolent child who refuses to do as he’s told. I hope he will have learnt his lesson after the most recent incident that also cost him a whopping £65,680 – although that probably didn’t dent his bank account too heavily.

This week, it was a lesser-known player that hit the footballing headlines. Austrian player Ismail Gunduz was given a hefty 70-match ban for head-butting the referee. Gunduz, playing for SK Rum, was far from impressed after being shown a second yellow card and assaulted the referee without warning. Naturally the club immediately threw the player out, assuring fans and the press that they firmly distance themselves from such behaviour. “This sentence is madness,” claims the Austrian, who maintained that he slipped and fell into the referee. To be honest, denying the offence just makes the whole debacle more embarrassing – he should take the ban like a man and apologise for his actions.

Whilst I am not a professional football player, I have been in my fair share of pressure situations. There have been countless occasions where I have had to hold back from lashing out at someone, so I understand the feeling. If I were to head-butt an annoying person in my life, my Mum would be far from impressed. However, as a full-time footballer, you’ve got your Mum and the rest of the world judging your actions…

Possible solutions?

  • See an anger management counsellor on a regular basis
  • Find a new, more relaxing, job e.g. beautician
  • Calm the hell down

Top Signing Per Club: M-W

The transfer window has now closed and the Premier League sides will have to make do with what they have until January. Here @0riginalfooty takes a look at the top signing made by each club whose name begins between M and W.

Manchester City
Fernando (FC Porto, undisclosed). Fernando was signed to bolster City’s options in midfield and has slotted seamlessly into the side thus far. He is a strong and powerful midfielder who will do the dirty work in midfield to allow Manuel Pellegrini’s attacking options more freedom so they can maximise the damage they inflict on the opposition.
Other notable signings: Willy Caballero (Malaga, undisclosed), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto, £32m), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, free).

Manchester United
Angel di Maria (Real Madrid, £59.7m). Louis van Gaal has smashed the British transfer record by acquiring the services of Argentine winger di Maria. Di Maria was influential in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory last season and was a key member of the Argentina side that reached the World Cup final. United have signed a world class player and one that has the ability to turn their fortunes around.
Other notable signings: Daley Blind (Ajax, £14m), Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco, loan), Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao, £29m), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon, £16m), Luke Shaw (Southampton, £27m).

Newcastle United
Jack Colback (Sunderland, free). Sunderland fans were furious that Jack Colback was allowed to move to their bitter rivals for no fee. Sunderland’s loss is Newcastle’s gain and Colback should play a big role at the heart of their midfield. He was recently called up to the England squad and, although he had to leave the squad with an injury, has a bright future in front of him.
Other notable signings: Remy Cabella (Montpellier, undisclosed), Karl Darlow (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Facundo Ferreyra (Shakhtar Donetsk, loan), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Siem de Jong (Ajax, undisclosed), Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Ayoze Perez (Tenerife, undisclosed), Emmanuel Riviere (AS Monaco, undisclosed).

Steven Caulker (Cardiff, £8m). QPR manager Harry Redknapp has been keen to add solidity to his back line this summer and highly rated English centre-back Steven Caulker fits the bill perfectly. QPR kept their first clean sheet of the season in their last match against Sunderland and there were encouraging signs that the Caulker-Ferdinand partnership is ready to blossom.
Other notable signings: Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United, free), Leroy Fer (Norwich City, £8m), Mauricio Isla (Juventus, loan), Alex McCarthy (Reading, undisclosed), Jordan Mutch (Cardiff City, £6m), Jack Robinson (Liverpool, undisclosed).

Fraser Forster (Celtic, £10m). A lot of the focus of Southampton’s summer spending has been on replacing the key players who left for pastures new. There are question marks over how successful their recruitment drive has been, however, one position they have certainly strengthened is in goal. Forster is a top young goalkeeper who has the potential to challenge Joe Hart for the England goalkeeping jersey and represents a major coup for The Saints.
Other notable signings: Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid, loan) Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea, loan), Florin Gardos (FC Steaua Bucharest, £6m), Shane Long (Hull City, £12m), Sadio Mane (Red Bull Salzburg, £10m), Graziano Pelle (Feyenoord, undisclosed), Dusan Tadic (FC Twente, £10.9m).

Stoke City
Victor Moses (Chelsea, loan). Mark Hughes has largely spent the summer bolstering his attacking options and Victor Moses represents a good piece of business for The Potters. After an uninspiring loan move at Liverpool, he will be keen to get back on track with Stoke and rediscover the form that made him heralded as a highly rated prospect.
Other notable signings: Oussama Assaidi (Liverpool, loan), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland, free), Bojan (Barcelona, £3m), Mame Biram Diouf (Hannover 96, free), Steve Sidwell (Fulham, free).

Jack Rodwell (Manchester City, free). Rodwell’s career may have stalled at Manchester City but The Black Cats have pulled off a major coup in landing him. He is a tall combative midfielder but has rediscovered the attacking side to his game that was evident in his goal against Manchester United. Sunderland fans can expect Rodwell to really kick on and become a key player for them.
Other notable signings: Patrick van Aanholt (Chelsea, undisclosed), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan, loan), Will Buckley (Brighton and Hove Albion, £2.5m), Sebastian Coates (Liverpool, loan), Jordi Gomez (Wigan Athletic, free), Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion, free), Costel Pantilimon (Manchester City, free), Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes, loan).

Gylfi Sigurdsson (Spurs, undisclosed). Sigurdsson has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far and has played a large part in guiding Swansea towards the top of the table. Swansea fans will expect more of the same from a man who looks to be enjoying his football again after an indifferent spell at Spurs.
Other notable signings: Tom Carroll (Spurs, loan), Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough, undisclosed), Lukasz Fabianski, Federico Fernandez (Napoli, undisclosed), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon, free), Raheem Hanley (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed), Stephen Kingsley (Falkirk, undisclosed), Jefferson Montero (Morelia, undisclosed).

Tottenham Hotspur
Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon, £4m). Spurs haven’t splashed too much cash this window as Mauricio Pochettino has been briefed to bring the best out of the players already at the club. However, the signing of Eric Dier looks to be an excellent piece of business. Not only is he solid at the back, he is also a threat going forward and already has two league goals this season. He is still a young prospect and will be a major asset to Spurs in the future.
Other notable signings: Ben Davies (Swansea, £10m), Federico Fazio (Sevilla, undisclosed), Benjamin Stambouli (Montpellier, £4.7m), Michel Vorm (Swansea, £5m), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC, undisclosed).

West Bromwich Albion
Joleon Lescott (Manchester City, free). It’s been a summer of change for West Brom. The Baggies have brought in more new faces than any other side in the Premier League as they hope to draw a line under last season. Their most impressive signing is that of Joleon Lescott. Lescott has vast amounts of Premier League experience as well as playing international football and in the Champions League. Once fully fit, he will be a vital part of West Brom’s plans to stay in the division.
Other notable signings: Chris Baird (Burnley, free), Sebastian Blanco (Metalist Kharkiv, undisclosed), Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo, undisclosed), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg, undisclosed), Craig Gardner (Sunderland, free), Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev, £10m), Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover 96, undisclosed), Georgios Samaras (Celtic, free), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool, loan)

West Ham United
Alex Song (Barcelona, loan). Sam Allardyce has been told he must bring style rather than just substance to Upton Park and he has brought in some exciting attacking prospects to do just that. However, The Hammers’ most high profile signing is Alex Song who has joined on loan from Catalan giants Barcelona. The former Arsenal man is a quality defensive midfielder who has an excellent range of passing and will drastically improve the quality of the London club’s midfield.
Other notable signings: Aaron Cresswell (Ipswich Town, undisclosed), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal, loan), Cheikhou Kouyate (Anderlecht, undisclosed), Diego Poyet (Charlton Athletic, free), Diafra Sakho (Metz, undisclosed), Enner Valencia (Pachuca, £12m), Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield, undisclosed).

Top Signing Per Club: A-L

The transfer window slammed shut last night and the Premier League sides will have to make do with what they have until January. Here @0riginalfooty takes a look at the top signing made by each club whose name begins between A and L.

Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona, £30m). Similarly to the capture of Mesut Ozil last summer, this signing has caught the imagination of Arsenal fans and has generated belief that The Gunners can be genuine title contenders once more. He may not have made a flying start to life in the Premier League but the Chilean should prove to be an excellent piece of business.
Other notable signings: Calum Chambers (Southampton, £16m), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle, £12m), David Ospina (Nice, £3m), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal, £16m).

Aston Villa
Philippe Senderos (Valencia, free). The arrival of the Swiss centre-back was greeted with caution by Villa fans as Senderos had never really proved himself as a totally reliable defender. However, he has struck an instant understanding with Villa skipper Ron Vlaar and Villa’s defensive woes now seem a thing of the past. If he can keep up this form, he will prove to be a marvellous addition.
Other notable signings: Aly Cissokho (Valencia, undisclosed), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United, loan) Joe Cole (West Ham United, free), Kieran Richardson (Fulham, undisclosed), Carlos Sanchez (Elche, undisclosed).

Matt Taylor (West Ham United, undisclosed). Burnley have had a tough set of opening fixtures and, despite performing valiantly, they will know how difficult it will be to stay in this league. They were a side who needed to add Premier League experience to their ranks and Taylor certainly fits the bill. His know-how at this level could prove vital to The Clarets survival hopes.
Other notable signings: George Boyd (Hull, £3m), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea, loan), Matt Gilks (Blackpool, free), Lukas Jutkiewicz (Middlesbrough £1.5m), Michael Keane (Manchester United, loan), Michael Kightly (Stoke City, undisclosed), Steven Reid (West Bromwich Albion, free), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers, undisclosed), Stephen Ward (Wolves, undisclosed).

Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid, £32m). Costa has been a revelation since signing from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and has scored four goals in his opening three matches. What has been more impressive, however, is his work-rate off the ball and willingness to battle and make defenders lives a misery. Jose Mourinho will be delighted with his contribution so far and he could easily prove to be the best signing of the season.
Other notable signings: Didier Drogba (Galatasary, free), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona,£30m), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid £20m).

Crystal Palace
Brede Hangeland (Fulham, free). Hangeland has been a quality performer in the Premier League for many years now and will be an excellent addition to Neil Warnock’s defence. He is a natural born leader on the pitch who is dominant in the air and will happily battle with opposition attackers.
Other notable signings: Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff City, £900k), Kevin Doyle (Wolves, loan), Martin Kelly (Liverpool, undisclosed), Chris Kettings (Blackpool, free), Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United, loan).

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, £28m). Roberto Martinez smashed Everton’s record transfer record by bringing in burly Belgian frontman Romelu Lukaku. He was the top scorer for The Toffees last season and is a constant menace going forward. Everton have put a lot of faith in him with such a big outlay and will hope he can fire them to Champions League football this season.
Other notable signings: Christian Atsu (Chelsea, loan), Gareth Barry (Manchester City, free), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros, undisclosed), Samuel Eto’o (Chelsea, free).

Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United, loan). Hull were very busy on deadline day and surprised many fans with their capture of Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa. Ben Arfa fell out with his parent club when he was fined for being overweight but has been given a lifeline by The Tigers. There is no doubting Ben Arfa’s quality if he can stay fit and Hull fans will be eagerly anticipating his debut.
Other notable signings: Michael Dawson (Spurs, undisclosed), Mohammed Diame (West Ham, undisclosed), Tom Ince (Blackpool, undisclosed), Jake Livermore (Spurs, undisclosed), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United, £2.5m), Andrew Robertson (Dundee United, £2.9m), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City, undisclosed).

Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton, £7m). Ulloa, Leicester’s record signing, has made an excellent start to life in the Premier League and scored the equaliser in their most recent draw against Arsenal. He’s a powerful striker who is deadly in the air and The Foxes will be hopeful that his goals can keep them in the Premier League.
Other notable signings: Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa, free), Jack Barmby (Manchester United, free), Esteban Cambiasso (Inter Milan, free), Ben Hamer (Charlton Athletic, free), Matthew Upson (Brighton, free).

Mario Balotelli (AC Milan, £16m). Balotelli has returned to English football, much to the delight of the media, and Liverpool fans will be hopeful that he can produce the world-class form that we know he is capable of on a regular basis. If he can put his troublesome ways behind him and focus on his football then he will be a steal at £16m.
Other notable signings: Emre Can (Bayer Leverkusen, £8m), Adam Lallana (Southampton, £25m), Rickie Lambert (Southampton, £4m), Dejan Lovren (Southampton, £20m), Javi Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, loan), Lazar Markovic (Benfica, £20m), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla, undisclosed).