Four things we learned from the weekend: Olivier Giroud’s capital gains; Ben Foster’s injury; Pablo Osvaldo’s no saint; St James’ Park misery for Newcastle

 

Giroud’s capital gains made easy by Fulham free spirits

One of the weekend’s most striking statistics was that all of Olivier Giroud’s 13 Premier League goals for Arsenal have come in London.

Yet the manner of Arsenal’s 3-1 victory at Craven Cottage on Saturday suggested Giroud will not be the only forward relishing visiting one particular riverside spot in the capital this season. In front of new owner Shahid Khan,  Martin Jol’s side were opened up with disconcerting ease by Arsenal’s counterattacking thrusts, leaving Harry Redknapp on Match of the Day to question the surplus of “free spirits” in the Fulham side, and giving some context to an impressive-looking Arsenal victory.

Foster’s injury could prove to be a worry for Hodgson

West Brom manager Steve Clarke will not be alone in hoping that the injury that forced Ben Foster off at Goodison Park is not too serious. Foster, in Clarke’s words, heard a “pop” in his foot towards the end of the game when he had performed well in front of England manager Roy Hodgson, with saves from Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini that earned a goalless draw. Given Joe Hart’s latest wobble at Cardiff yesterday, an in-form Foster – whom Hodgson persuaded to return from a self-imposed international exile earlier this year – is vital to provide competition to the Manchester City goalkeeper.  

Osvaldo’s no saint but well worth a gamble  for Pochettino

Southampton broke their transfer record three times this summer, most recently with £15m for Daniel Pablo Osvaldo from Roma. He is a goalscorer – with 16 strikes in Serie A last term – but his debut  on Saturday suggests he may occupy referees as well as goalkeepers. Sent off three times in two years in Rome, he could have earned an eighth career red. Booked for a trip on Modibo Diakite, he was lucky to escape further after a challenge on Adam Johnson minutes later. Mauricio Pochettino knows what he’s working with, having managed him at Espanyol.

No signings and no local boys add to St James’ Park misery

It is hard to think of a Premier League stadium where early-season optimism is more scarce than at St James’ Park. The locals saw their team fail to score at home for the fourth game running in Saturday’s stalemate with West Ham, a match that Yohan Cabaye refused to play in and which featured an early miss-of-the-season contender when Yoan Gouffran failed to score from two yards. “Where’s the signings, Joe Kinnear?” was one chant but it is also worth asking where are the young players in a football-mad region after, for the second game running, Newcastle started with just one Englishman.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried