Aston Villa: Randy Lerner felt physically sick after 8-0 Chelsea loss reveals Lambert

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Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert reckons he left owner Randy Lerner feeling physically sick after last year’s .

The Scot’s young guns return to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for the first time since their humiliation last December.

And Lambert has hailed the support of Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner, insisting he never thinks back to that day.

The ex-Norwich chief speaks to US-based Lerner after every game – and revealed the owner appeared upbeat despite that horror loss.

Lambert said: “I speak to him every week. He is always really supportive. But he probably says one thing, goes away and vomits somewhere else!

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“He’s been great, he really has. That’s what you need at that time, that support. You needed the support from Randy and Paul, there’s no two ways about it.

“When things go wrong it’s my fault anyway, I always think that. When things go right the lads get the accolades.

“It’s happened to me before and with the mentality I know how to handle things. If you ask me who motivates me it’s myself.

“In a roundabout way the experience of Chelsea did them good because you get a spirit through adversity.”

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Lambert is adamant that he never ever worried about his job even during last year’s winter of discontent, when relegation was a very real possibility.

He said: “I never thought about it. I don’t get caught up in all of that. What will happen will happen.

“You are trying to pick up a group of lads. It was never about me. It was this club, the lads who play for it, and the ones who come and watch.”

Hope you’re not eating at the minute, Mister Lerner!

will go top of the Premier League if they pick up a point at Chelsea, with the memories of Saturday’s sensational 3-1 win at Arsenal still fresh in their minds.

But Lambert has hit back at claims from Gunners counterpart Arsene Wenger that Villa are a bunch of bullies.

He said: “Have you seen our midfield? They’re all about 5ft 4in. How can they bully anyone? I don’t think I have a dirty player in my side. We play hard but fair.”

Liverpool news: Sebastian Coates facing up to six months out with knee injury

John Powell

Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates has been ruled out for up to six months with a knee injury, giving boss Brendan Rodgers a transfer headache.

The centre-half suffered a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament of his right knee in Uruguay’s friendly against Japan last week.

Coates, who had been linked with a switch to Fulham this summer, will have surgery on Friday and faces a long spell on the sidelines.

The tall defender has made just six Premier League starts for the Reds, scoring just one goal – although it was a screamer.

Remember this stunning overhead kick in the 3-2 loss to QPR in March 2012?

 

The injury throws into doubt the proposed loan move of Martin Skrtel to Napoli, with Rodgers reluctant to leave himself short of options.

The Reds could now of long-term target Thiago Llori of Sporting Lisbon, who is stalling on a new contract.

Meanwhile, Aly Cissokho trained with his new Liverpool teammates on Tuesday for the first time after from Valencia.

The French defender passed his medical on Monday and will offer competition for Jose Enrique at left-back.

Cissokho, 25, is excited to join Liverpool and have the option to make his switch permanent for £4million next summer.

He has played for a number of top European clubs and has Champions League experience with Porto, Lyon and Valencia.

Liverpool Twitter 

He said: “It’s going to be a great experience to be able to rub shoulders with the club’s top-quality players.

“I have experience in the game but coming here there will still be lots of things to learn and discover as I work with everyone every day.

“I can learn from my new manager, get to know the new style of play here, familiarise myself with different opposition teams and learn the language. It’s going to be a great experience for me, and of course playing for the club for the first time is something I’m excited about.”

Daniel Agger, meanwhile, claims he isn’t interested in joining Barcelona – even if Liverpool miss out on the Champions League again.

Barcelona renewed their interest in Agger this summer and were prepared to pay £15million to lure the defender to the Nou Camp.

Michael Regan

But in a welcome boost for Liverpool, Agger insists he is happy at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers made Agger Liverpool’s new vice-captain this summer and the Danish international says his ‘YNWA’ tattoo on his knuckles shows his love of the club.

“Barcelona are obviously a big club, but I have never thought about leaving Liverpool, unless they want to sell,” he said.

“Everyone at the club is an integral part of my life. I have a YNWA tattoo.

“Frankly I don’t mind if we don’t finish in the top four. I love the club.”

Manchester City aim to win back the Premier League title with style says Zabaleta

Alex Livesey

Manuel Pellegrini wants Manchester City to reclaim the Premier League title by playing attacking football.

City fans got their first glimpse of Pellegrini’s style in and Pablo Zabaleta says it was an example of how the new manager wants them to play.

Zabaleta claims whole pre-season has been based on playing fast, high-intensity, attacking football.

"The battle for the title is going to be interesting," said the Argentine right-back, who has signed a new four-year deal with City.

"We want that title back and we will try to get it back this season with attractive football.

"Our performance against Newcastle was fantastic. The team spirit was great and this is the way we want to play.

"If you saw Pellegrini’s teams before he came to City, they always played this way. They were very aggressive, always trying to kill the ball, get into spaces and, above all, playing to win.

"He produces aggressive, attacking teams who play with a good tempo and a high intensity. We did that against Newcastle.

"We have been working really well in pre-season. His communication with the players has been good and he has made his ideas very clear.

"We know the way we want to play. It’s obviously only the first game of the season, but we scored goals, kept a clean sheet and now we move on to Cardiff."

Transfers: Arsenal's Wenger wants trust from frustrated fans as they wait for big signings

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Arsene Wenger has lost his cool with an angry message to Arsenal fans, claiming: I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, writes John Cross in Istanbul.

Under-pressure Wenger also bit back at Newcastle boss Alan Pardew in as well as insisting he will get it right in the transfer window.

Wenger is facing a huge test against Fenerbahce in their Champions League qualifier which could already make or break season and is clearly getting fed-up with the levels of criticism from angry supporters.

Questioned on , he said: “I would just like to reiterate to you that in the last 16 years we have been very successful with transfers.

“And if you look at the players who will play here, they are top quality players. And you should never forget that.

“Do not always think that what is outside is better than what you have. What is important is to rate what you have and our fans have to understand that.”

Wenger was during the club’s opening day defeat by Aston Villa, and then faced criticism from Pardew over the timing of his bid for Cabaye – which came on the day of Newcastle’s season-opening match at Manchester City.

Cabaye was subsequently pulled from the team, and the Magpies were thrashed 4-0 at Eastlands.

Wenger said: “We don’t want to hurt anybody, not Newcastle, not anybody.

“You can’t reproach us on one side for not buying and yet on the other side, when we try to buy, reproach us as well. That is a bit contradictory.

“I don’t know if it’s unfair or fair. I just do what I think is right for Arsenal Football Club and that’s it. There’s nothing to explain.

“I won’t explain to you what happened. It’s not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It’s impossible.

“If we do a transfer we will announce it. We always inform you. As for the rest, you have to leave us to do our own things."

Wenger’s attempts to buy Liverpool’s Luis Suarez , while also provoking an angry response from the Merseysiders.

But the Frenchman insisted and it is understood they are still keen on – after making enquiries about whether he would be interested in a move to the Emirates.

They are set to make a new bid for France international midfielder Cabaye, while Mirror Sport understands they are now desperate to sign a goalkeeper, with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic back on the agenda.

Arsenal are holding talks with Valencia’s Vicente Guaita, they have also got Espanyol’s Kiko Casilla on their radar, but there is a determination to make one last push for Begovic.

If they cannot persuade Stoke to sell the 26-year-old, they will most likely go for Guaita, also 26.

* FENERBAHCE Ersun Yanal claims their match-fixing scandal will not affect his players in the Champions League play-off against Arsenal, writes John Cross in Istanbul.

The Turkish heavyweights have appealed against a two-year UEFA ban but the outcome is not expected until next Wednesday – the day after the second leg of their group-phase qualification shoot-out with the Gunners.

But Yanal said: "We are in charge on the pitch and our board is in charge on the other stuff. We need to focus on the pitch. Our mission is to be first in every competition."

Fenerbahce defender Bruno Alves added: "We want to prove that we deserve to be in the Champions League and we have the capacity to win. "The away game will be much harder but we are ready for such games. We are excited to play against them. Fenerbahce deserves such games. We fight together."

Fenerbahce boast former Premier League stars Dirk Kuyt, Raul Meireles and Joseph Yobo in their line-up.

Alex Grimm 

But, like Arsenal against Aston Villa, they suffered a shock defeat at the weekend – blowing a two-goal lead against newly promoted Konyaspor.

"We need to play faster," said Yanal. "Tomorrow I believe we will show a different identity.

"The pressure is on. It will be tough, but we have the power. We are a quality team. We want to go to England in front. I trust my players and I think we will the first-leg with the advantage."

Fenerbahce v Arsenal: Probable teams

Fenerbahce Demirel; Gonul, Yobo, Alves, Kadlec; Meireles, Topal, Emre; Kuyt, Emenike, Sow.

Arsenal Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky; Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud.

Fenerbahce v Arsenal: Three to watch

Emmanuel Emenike Nigeria striker rejoined the club this summer for an £11m fee from Spartak Moscow. His first spell, in 2011, was a disaster – he was caught up in a match-fixing scandal and quickly sold. Was later cleared.

Dirk Kuyt Veteran Dutch forward is starting his second season at Fenerbahce. His blond hair and non-stop running, familiar from his time at Liverpool, still catch the eye.

Raul Meireles Portuguese midfielder is also well known in England for his spells at Liverpool and Chelsea – and his extensive collection of tattoos. You can’t miss him!

Football's first ever rules book displayed at British Library alongside Magna Carta and works of Shakespeare

The FA via Getty Images

THE original rules of the game of football go on show today as one of the Treasures of the British Library.

The FA Minute Book was written in 1863 and has been hailed as one of the most important documents of all time.

Now the list that helped shape the modern game will be proudly displayed alongside the Magna Carta and the works of Shakespeare.

A source said: "It’s the original rule book of the beautiful game and so to see it recognised as a national treasure of literature in this way is wonderful.

"It really is one of the most important documents in the world when you think about how popular football is today, and it deserves its place in the Treasures Library."

 

It will go on display in the prestigious Sir John Ritblat Gallery, which features everything from sacred religious texts to handwritten lyrics by The Beatles.

The book was selected by Lord Melvyn Bragg as one of the ‘Twelve Books That Changed The World’ thanks to the global impact it had.

It has previously been valued at more than £1million – but is estimated to be worth more than double that now.

It was written after eight men – dubbed the ‘Founding Fathers of Football’ – gathered on 26 October 1863 in the Freemasons’ Tavern in London.

They had become frustrated at the lack of rules in the game and decided to set their own to regulate the sport and help make it more popular across the country.

The laws were written by Ebenezer Morley, the first secretary of the FA, and includes the rule: "No player shall carry the ball."

The Minute Book, featuring 13 rules, will be on display from today until December as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations taking place this year.

Barry Fry delivers daughter Amber's baby with help from newborn's dad Craig Mackail-Smith

SWNS

Football manager Barry Fry might be more used to delivering tactics than babies but he did just that after his daughter Amber went into labour at home.

Amber Fry is the girlfriend of Brighton & Hove Albion and Scotland striker Craig Mackail-Smith who was also there to help with the birth.

Miss Fry gave birth at the couple’s home in Warninglid near Horsham, West Sussex.

Mr Mackail-Smith said it was ‘the best thing he had ever done’ after he and Mr Fry were on hand to help deliver his baby girl.

The 29-year-old joked Mr Fry could have been a goalkeeper the way he caught the baby, saying he had ‘never seen him move so fast’.

Amber had been watching the tense England v Scotland match on Wednesday with her father as Craig returned home from training.

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The striker could have been playing in the game and missed the birth were it not for an Achilles injury.

Amber started to have contractions so they went upstairs to run her a bath while calling the hospital.

Nurses told them to wait until they had reached one minute gaps before heading to the maternity ward.

Craig said: "At first they did not seem to be getting any shorter and we thought we were going to be in for a long night.

"Then suddenly it went from relative calm to Amber screaming her head off and the head started to appear.

They were advised to try to get Amber out of the bath and off to hospital.

Craig added: "We could barely hear the instructions because of the noise so we did the best we could.

"We lifted her up and she pushed again and Barry was there to catch the baby as it came out – I’ve never seen him move so fast.

"When the baby came we were all in shock and could not believe what had happened.

"It was the best and worst emotions I have been through, all in one night.

"During the labour it was very difficult. Amber was in a lot of pain and we had no painkillers but when the baby was born it was amazing – it was the best thing I have ever been involved in."

He also praised Barry and his wife Kristine for being there and helping Amber through labour.

The couple have named the baby who weighed six pounds 12 ounces, Isla.

Barry Fry, 68, is the charismatic former manager/owner of League One Peterborough United.

He was a former Manchester United apprentice who went on to play for Bolton Wanderers and Leyton Orient before injury cut short his career on the pitch.

He later went on to manage a series of teams including Southend United and Birmingham City.

He is currently director of football at Peterborough United having held the post of chairman/manager until 2005.

John Cross on Arsenal: Prickly Wenger will be stuffed if they get a Champions League roasting from Turkey's Fenerbahce – John Cross

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If Arsene Wenger thought he saw a hostile crowd at the Emirates on Saturday, the Arsenal manager had better brace himself.

It is make-or-break for season already.

On Wednesday night, they venture into the red-hot Sukru Saracoglu stadium for the first leg of a Champions League qualification play-off, with 50,000 screaming Fenerbahce fans hoping to feast on Wenger’s vulnerability.

And no-one is more to blame for their precarious position than Le Professeur, as appears to have caught up with Arsenal.

Even their own as they chanted “Spend some f***ing money” during Saturday’s defeat to Aston Villa.

The atmosphere has turned sour and the new season is not even a week old.

Bold promises about big-name transfers have yet to be kept, while Arsenal’s arch-rivals Tottenham prepare to carry on their incredible summer of spending with , with promises of more to come.

“Honestly!” exhaled Wenger after being asked if he could understand Arsenal fans getting fed-up while their neighbours to continue to splash the cash.

It was almost as if he was incredulous at Arsenal being compared to Tottenham.

He clearly thinks they’re well above that.

Wenger was spiky and prickly here in Istanbul as he rose to the bait when questioned as to why their inactivity and bungled transfer business appears to have completely derailed their preparations for the new campaign.

And the trouble is, they cannot afford to be anything less than fully focused.

Their morale was damaged after a home defeat to Villa, they now face a serious test against Fenerbahce – and they must do so without any of the big-name signings that were promised.

Furthermore, they start their second competitive game of the season having to put a half-fit Nacho Monreal on the bench because they have run out of players.

It is so bad that even an under-21s game next Monday has been postponed, because it is 24 hours before the Fenerbahce return leg.

Wenger enjoyed a 5-2 win in this stadium five years ago, in one of the most fierce and loud atmospheres some of his players have ever experienced.

It is not a venue for the faint-hearted and it will be the ultimate test of Arsenal’s fragile confidence.

The Gunners are teetering on the brink of a disaster. Or a crisis.

Call it what you like.

But going out of the Champions League this early would be ALL of those things for Wenger.

It will hurt him badly and provide a damning indictment of his farcical summer. Defeat is not an option.

Wenger has left his preparations and business late, yet got riled by a question as to whether another last-minute trolley-dash smacked of bad planning and poor preparation.

“I could get lessons of training sessions from everybody at the moment,” said Wenger. “The injuries, though, some of them are accidental. (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain was an accident that could happen in any single game.

“A squad has to have the right number.

“Not enough players is not good. Too many players, there is no competition any more, it is not very good as well.

“And we will have the right balance when the transfer window closes, don’t worry.

“I live in a public job, where there are opinions of everybody. I do with full commitment what I believe is important for the club and the team and prepare for the next game.

“Less than two weeks is a long time and 75 per cent of things happen in the last 10 days. What happens is that we are a bit short because we lost two players, Chamberlain and Arteta, in three days, and for long periods.

“So we are a bit short now, but I don’t worry because I believe in the players we have and the quality of their spirit and attitude will come out again. For the rest we have a long time to do what we want to do.

“As always, we do what we think is right. And to strengthen our team when we find the right players. When we think we have the right players, we do it. We were for years restricted and we competed with exceptional quality.

“This year, we did not lose any players [sold in the style of Fabregas, Nasri and Van Persie] – we lost just two players with injury – but we will try to strengthen the squad and make the right decisions until the end.

“I repeat many, many times that the transfer window should be over before the season starts, because it is destabilising a little bit once the season has started – to be there talking about what is not really important in football.

“What is important in football is to go out tomorrow night and see a good football game.

“All that other stuff is good for the newspapers, but it is not real football. What is real football is the quality of the game tonight and for me that is always the most important.”

Sadly for Arsenal fans, what are important to Wenger – his principles and values – aren’t so important to them.

If Arsenal do not make the Champions League’s group stage, the fans really will be in uproar.

And by then it might be too late to win them over again.

No fuss, sagas, controversy or rows.. Manchester City will make title race a classic: Oliver Holt column – Oliver Holt

PA

It seemed harsh when Roberto Mancini was sacked as manager of Manchester City last season.

He had won the league title for the club for the first time in 44 years the season before.

It was said he was not popular in the dressing room or with club executives, but City still finished second last season and reached the FA Cup Final.

It is too early to say whether City made the right choice in dismissing the Italian, whose name was sung by the fans at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

But to watch City, under new boss Manuel Pellegrini,­ felt like witnessing a liberation.

Under Mancini, there was often a nagging feeling they were not quite as good as they should be.

Packed with extravagant talents, they were frequently less than the sum of their parts.

They were capable of stunning performances, of course – their 6-1 mauling of Manchester United at Old Trafford springs to mind – but those displays of great fluency were relatively rare.

And as Gary Neville pointed out on Monday, too much of the club’s energy was expended on .

Balotelli can be a ­spellbinding player, but the pyrotechnics between him and Mancini made the striker more of a liability than an asset.

It is instructive that without both Mancini and Balotelli, everything has been serene and straightforward at City over the summer.

The dramas have been ­elsewhere: Bale at Spurs, Rooney at United, stasis at Arsenal.

And all quiet at City.

No rows, no headlines, no transfer sagas, no fuss, no controversy.

And then after the rest of the Premier League had made their opening statements, .

Newcastle were rank, yes. That cannot be ­overstated. But there was an exuberance about City’s play that had not been there before.

and ebullience. They looked like they were revelling in their talent rather than being weighed down by it.

Jesus Navas, one of Pellegrini’s new signings, ran the show from the right side. His control and his assurance were bewitching.

Edin Dzeko played like the complete centre-forward (apart from scoring a goal), Yaya Toure oozed class and scored a superb free-kick.

David Silva was quicksilver, Joleon Lescott did not put a foot wrong, Sergio Aguero may not have been fully fit but he was fully ruthless.

And look at their bench, too.

Aleksandar Kolarov, Alvaro Negredo, James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia.

And there is still Stevan Jovetic, who had a slight injury, to come.

City’s strength in depth is ­formidable (Jose Mourinho agrees – click here for ).

So, after Manchester United and Chelsea had turned on the style in their opening games, City more than matched them.

The manner of their demolition of Alan Pardew’s team only added to the impression that this is going to be a classic title race.

If United and , they will be tough to beat.

under Jose Mourinho, as everyone suspected they would.

And Spurs are trying to fashion a challenge of their own, .

Imagine how good they might be if they could .

Arsenal are the ones who have not joined the party, hobbled by .

There is much to admire about the philosophy of Arsene Wenger and many reasons to hope he can yet rouse his team from its ­meanderings.

But watching City’s power being unleashed on Monday night, it was brutally obvious just how far Arsenal have fallen behind.

Best Premier League debutants: Paulinho, Iago Aspas, Jesus Navas and more – Ed Malyon

Robert Cianflone

The season begun with a bang, as Manchester City rounded off the opening weekend with a romp to make it a familiar-looking top two in the Premier League.

An ominously comfortable victory for Manchester United had sent them top on Saturday despite a troubled summer, whereas down at the Emirates Stadium a torrid transfer window for Arsenal got worse as they lost to last year’s relegation candidates Aston Villa in front of their own fans.

Tottenham wiggled past Crystal Palace on Sunday before Chelsea flew out of the blocks, but a ponderous second half demonstrated that perhaps Jose Mourinho’s men are not the finished article.

While the Special One is a returning face to the Premier League, there were plenty of players who had never featured in the English top flight before, and here are our pick of the eleven most impressive Premier League debutants this weekend:

Jesus Navas

Michael Regan 

Manchester City’s impressive demolition of Newcastle United was a rather good omen of what is to come in the Manuel Pellegrini era, and debutants Jesus Navas and Fernandinho both played their part.

The Spanish winger is best-known for his ability to hit the byline with a burst of pace and find a teammate in the danger zone, but his role on Monday night was as more of an interior, drifting inside to find space and even switching wings if he wished.

This of course created space for the marauding Pablo Zabaleta to marauding forward into, as well as for Sergio Aguero and the revitalised Edin Dzeko to experiment with as City ran riot.

Navas’ link-up with Negredo is expected to contribute plenty of goals to this team, but already he looks a player who has slipped perfectly into the framework at City and he enjoyed a very impressive Premier League bow.

Wilfried Bony

Michael Steele 

Not starting against Manchester United due to his extensive travelling in midweek, Bony came on at half-time and showed the Premier League a skillset that indicates he may well be a great success on these shores.

Boasting troubling pace, great strength and an athletic leap, Bony provided an extra, brutish dimension to the Swansea attack alongside the more subtle charms of Michu.

An aerial presence of note, he also found himself in the right place to net the Swans’ consolation and get that all-important confidence-boosting opener. Although, that said, having pumped the Eredivise for 33?? Goals last season he’s probably feeling fairly good in front of goal.

There’s more to come.

Mile Jedinak

Jamie McDonald 

The Crystal Palace man is every inch the rugged Aussie dreamboat, and his assured performance at the base of the Eagles’ midfield was a sign of things to come from last season’s player of the year.

Rock-hard in the tackle and considered in his leadership, his role ahead of the Palace back four will be an absolutely crucial one if the SE25 outfit are to secure Premier League survival for the first time ever.

Occasionally thoughtless in possession, Jedinak’s contract situation is an enormous worry at Selhurst Park and while things are threatening to turn nasty, the midfielder will never be found wanting for commitment and is a pillar of strength for Ian Holloway’s men.

Teammate Joel Ward also deserves an honourable mention.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Getty Images 

Norwich forked out a fair pile of cash to secure the signing of the Dutchman in the spring, and the fans have been moist in anticipation of his arrival this summer while they watched Luciano Becchio plug away harmlessly up front.

Now he’s here, RvW has to live up to the hype, and he began his Premier League career in fairly handy fashion with A GOAL against Everton in front of his new supporters.

Mobile, thoughtful and incisive, van Wolfswinkel was quite the coup for Sporting when they managed to lure him to Portugal from the Eredivisie, but a cash flow problem forced them to sell and Norwich appear to be very fortunate beneficiaries.

Etienne Capoue

Jamie McDonald

He only came on as a substitute, and even that was against newly-promoted Palace, but Capoue boasts the physique and playing style to be an enormous success in this country.

Replacing Moussa Dembele as Andre Villas-Boas looked to shore up his side, Capoue was considered in possession, assured in his role and demonstrated why North London rivals and even Manchester United had watched him while at Toulouse.

With Spurs’ current injury crisis may necessitate him dropping into the back four temporarily, he is more than adaptable enough to impress in central defence and looks another sound purchase from the Franco Baldini era.

Iago Aspas

Getty Images 

The livewire forward lived up to expectations in the weekend’s opening fixture, being a key participant in Liverpool attacks as they played some wonderful stuff against Stoke City on Saturday lunchtime.

Even without Luis Suarez there was a verve and dynamism to the Reds’ attack that will have encouraged Brendan Rodgers no end, but their inability to turn it into a lead of any great margin very nearly cost them and will concern the Kop boss.

Aspas is a big part of that, and if he can add goals to his promising play then he will be a terrific acquisition for Liverpool even in tougher tests.

Kevin de Bruyne

Richard Heathcote 

Finally getting his chance in West London, the midfielder impressed in Sunday’s opener against Hull City.

Part of Belgium’s golden generation, there was understandable interest in de Bruyne when it looked likely he would be sold this summer – and when Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund are leading the queue it certainly speaks to his pedigree.

In the end, Jose Mourinho decided that this was a player he needed to keep at Stamford Bridge and his place in the starting XI on the opening day could be indicative of a key role with the Blues this season.

Dovetailing beautifully with Oscar, KdB is just the young, dynamic midfielder that Mourinho needs if he’s not going to dip into the transfer market again and his assured debut will give the Special One much confidence.

Paulinho

Jamie McDonald 

He wasn’t faced with the strongest of opposition in the shape of Crystal Palace, but Paulinho still managed to impress on his Premier League bow.

Moving from the Brazilian domestic league to Europe is far from easy, and the amount of players who have successfully made the immediate transition to England from the Brasileirao can probably be counted on one hand.

Nonetheless, Paulinho is a far more complete player than those that have previously arrived from CONMEBOL’s strongest domestic competition, and he has a lot of top-level experience having already won the Copa America, Copa Libertadores and being a fixture in the Brazil team.

When provided with a more considered, defensive foil in midfield, he will be able to play his natural game a bit more and should prove an unmitigated success at White Hart Lane.

Victor Wanyama

David Ramos 

The beastly former Celtic man was followed by the Premier League’s top four, but when Southampton were the only side willing to take the risk, the Kenyan decided the South Coast would become his new home and on this display Mauricio Pochettino will be truly grateful.

West Bromwich Albion had a wonderful campaign last season and their midfield duo Youssuf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob was one of the most understated and impressive combos in the league. Wanyama – with a bit of assistance, granted – absolutely dominated the Baggies in the centre of the park, breaking up play, carrying the ball forward and distributing well.

Arsenal must be looking on rather sheepishly at what they turned down.

Dejan Lovren

Laurence Griffiths 

Another impressive Saint, Lovren was not cheap for a centre-back but acquitted himself very well against a dangerous frontline.

Nicolas Anelka is a player with plenty of top-flight pedigree, and Shane Long is one of those natty, annoying little strikers that is a pain to defend against, but Lovren performed well – even alongside the sometimes dozy Jose Fonte – at the back.

Southampton’s purchases this summer have put them into top-half contention and they are now being discussed as outside contenders for Europe.

If they’re to achieve that then Lovren will undoubtedly play a central role.

Nathan Redmond

Jamie McDonald 

With Thomas Ince seemingly being the Championship’s premium winger for sale, young Nathan Redmond slipped somewhat under the radar when Norwich nabbed him for pennies this summer.

Crystal Palace and West Ham were also keen on the Birmingham speedster but he chose to reunite with former Brum boss Chris Hughton and dazzled against Everton on Saturday afternoon.

The club are very confident that he will be worth north of the £10million mark within a year or two, and if he can add consistency to his already impressive skillset then there’s no reason to doubt the Canaries’ strong claims.

A player who will really come to prominence this season.

Manchester City players have cameras mounted to their heads during training session

Manchester City players will wear micro-cameras to allow fans to experience what it is like to take part in a Premier League training session.

City have teamed up with US company GoPro to create the unique content which will give fans as taste of what it is like to train with world-class players at the the highest level.

Members of will wear the tiny GoPro cameras during training to give supporters never-seen-before access to practice matches and workouts.

The innovative feature was trialled on , when the lightweight high-resolution cameras were attached to the club’s coaches and players including Joe Hart and Samir Nasri – during training sessions.

 

Tom Glick, Chief Commercial and Operating Officer for Manchester City, said: “As a club we have always been passionate about providing fans with content that is not only immersive and captivating, but a true reflection of what goes on behind-the-scenes on and off the pitch also.

"From Tunnel Cam to Inside City, we have continually pushed the boundaries to engage fans and bring them closer to the club they love.

“GoPro has enabled us to take that philosophy to the next level, combining both their cutting edge technology and expertise in capturing raw point-of-view sports footage.  GoPro is a perfect fit and together with CityTV, we look forward to creating the next evolution in sports content."

GoPro’s Head of Production, Wil Tidman, added: "It was an honor for GoPro to work with Manchester City.  The experience provided an amazing opportunity to showcase the unique perspectives and competitive edge our camera can offer to one of the most elite football teams in the world."