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.

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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine