Pitchside

Facts – 7 truths: Mourinho vindicated over big decision

Pitchside

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1. Mourinho right to go for Courtois over Cech

Jose Mourinho decided the time was right to opt for Thibaut Courtois over Petr Cech, and it is decision that seems to be right. The Belgian goalkeeper made three crucial saves before Chelsea progressed to a 2-0 win over Leicester City. Petr Cech has done little or nothing wrong. But like the cop said in Die Hard 2, Cech is the wrong guy, in the wrong place. Will the Czech goalie stick about to watch the younger man do what he has been doing for the past decade at Stamford Bridge? It will be interesting to see what the final 10 days of this window bring. Could Cech end up on loan at a club like Atletico Madrid? Stranger things have happened.

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2. Non-league football can be better than Premier League

It wouldn't be wrong to say that Aston Villa's match with Newcastle United would get football closed down. There is much fanfare made about the Premier League, particularly when television companies such as BT Sport pay millions of pounds for the right to show this stuff. "Stay with us," was the mantra repeated and repeated from the ongoing presenter Jake Humphrey. We did, and we shouldn't have. It was a hopeless match to watch. Roy Keane's developing beard that looks like the 'Wildman of Borneo' was far more interesting.

The 'Old Farm' derby between Norwich and Ipswich looked preferable a league down on Sky at the same time. It just goes to show that football doesn't always come down to the level it is being played at, but how watchable the sides are playing it. The depressing thing is, Villa and Newcastle seemed content with their lost. We later had West Brom and Southampton boring the crowd and themselves with an almost chanceless 0-0 draw at St Mary's. And Jose Mourinho was nowhere to be seen.

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3. Diego Costa is going to score over 30 goals this season

A striker that doesn't do too much but gets you a goal most matches. That was the story of Diego Costa against Leicester. That is the story of any good striker. The Spain forward helped himself to 27 goals in La Liga last season. He has now netted two goals in two games. There is every chance he will snatch over 30 in the Premier League if he stays fit.

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4. Palace without Pulis is like a dog trying to find its bone

Palace had the bit between their teeth under Tony Pulis, but they have lost the Premier League's best manager and suddenly the momentum is gone. It is too early for alarms bell to start ringing, but a 3-1 defeat to West Ham would never have happened in the death throes of last season. Worrying moments, especially when you are losing to Big Sam's Hammers, a team not exactly overflowing in optimism prior to the campaign. You can see why Pulis was unhappy with how the squad was taking shape during the close season.

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5. Roman Abramovich loves Didier Drogba. And then some.

He doesn't do much smiling, but the Chelsea owner looked like was in the mood for moon walking during the second half of his side's 2-0 win over Leicester. He greeted the goals of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard with some relish, but the real time to start breakdancing was when Didier Drogba emerged for the final 10 minutes. It was almost like Chelsea had won the Champions League all over again. In saying that, Chelsea were easy on the eye for much of the second half. Wonder how much Abramovich is enjoying Jose's new-look side? It is certainly a departure from what went on for much of last season.

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6. The Champo is exciting, but it is not as cut-throat as the Premier League

Getting up, and staying up is the real challenge for newcomers. Swansea have managed the feat, and they showed Burnley what is going to be needed to finish fourth bottom of the Premier League this season. Leicester paid the price for missing three obvious chances against Chelsea before they were condemned to defeat in London. Burnley and Leicester look two very decent sides, but there is a concern the exacting nature of the Premier League may take its toll upon the newly promoted sides. Perhaps before the year is out with Burnley not really made for such heady environs. The idea for them is to get some points on the board early on, and hang on. No points early does not bode well for Sean Dyche's team.

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7. Arsenal's central defence needs more than the increasingly boring 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to waken it up

There is nothing more predictable than the increasingly drab 'Ice Bucket Challenge' than Arsenal shipping a goal from poor defending. Just as it is time to give your cash to charity and put this 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to bed and admit that is just not funny, it is time for Arsene Wenger to sort out his central defence. The first goal they lost at Everton was instantly preventable when Gareth Barry was given the freedom of Goodison Park as Seamus Coleman somehow headed into the visiting net unmarked.

Arsenal cannot rely on a teenager in Calum Chambers to solve those issues. Just as they cannot depend upon the returning Per Mertesacker to solve the obvious deficiencies that caught up with them last season. Give your money to the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' for charity if you like, but the Arsenal board must give Arsene some cash for a fresh centre-half before the month is out. This seems like history repeating itself.

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