It's been a busy few days in the Premier League with Robin van Persie sealing a mega-money move to Manchester United and both Liverpool and QPR suffering heavy defeats in their first game of the season. Read below for the Soccer Saturday pundits' views on the big stories...
Last Updated: August 23, 2012 2:27pm
Charlie Nicholas on Liverpool's 3-0 loss to West Brom
"Liverpool didn't play badly in the first half and moved the ball quite well, while the penalties awarded against them were harsh, too. Plus, Luis Suarez could have scored a hat-trick today.
"They are making chances but only for one guy and they need more people to get forward. It's a day that they have to accept and move on from but, having said that, Liverpool were running on empty at the end.
"There was a little bit more fluency under Brendan Rodgers but it didn't happen easily. However, this is the reality of where Liverpool are; they have great history and there is quality there but it takes time to adapt and get everybody working in the same direction.
"Arsenal started embarrassingly last season and Liverpool might have to go through the same re-jigging but they will come through and have the quality to get there. I would like to see Steven Gerrard further forward, though.
"I think West Brom are in for a tough season but this was a confidence booster for them and their manager Steve Clarke. Under Roy Hodgson they played nice fluent football and they continued that today which was good to see as I wasn't sure how positive Clarke would be."
Matt Le Tissier on Arsenal's goalless draw with Sunderland
"Arsenal dominated possession and they were always trying to press, but they just lacked a little bit of quality in the final third to create clear-cut chances. I think they only had three shots on target, two of them from well outside the box, while Olivier Giroud missed a great chance after being fed brilliantly by Santi Cazorla.
"It was very similar to last year where Arsenal dominated games but didn't do enough. However, last season they had Robin van Persie to nick a goal but now they don't. New signing Lukas Podolski wasn't great and only had one half-chance, but I was impressed with Gervinho, who probably had the best game I've seen him have for Arsenal.
"Sunderland didn't threaten much; James McClean had a chance early on but that was about it. They defended very well, though. Martin O'Neill doesn't have that much firepower to work with so he is going to have to make his team difficult to break down and today they were."
Paul Merson on QPR's 5-0 home defeat to Swansea
"There are some experienced players in that QPR team and at 2-0 you'd have thought they would have gone: 'Keep it tight and we'll get chances' but they didn't, and if you lose your shape against Swansea they punish you.
"Ji-Sung Park broke things up and showed the energy that he had at Man United, but all the players disappeared and Djibril Cisse probably hasn't played that badly since he was seven.
"QPR have got some good players but they are weak in certain positions and have players I don't think are anywhere near good enough to play in the Premier League every week. They will be alright but for all the players Mark Hughes has brought in he will probably be thinking: 'I'm three short'.
"Swansea's Michu scored a goal that was world class and one that if it had been scored by Lionel Messi we would have been raving about. He will be a very good player, while Nathan Dyer was like he was last season when you thought he could play for England.
"I thought teams would get used to Swansea this year and close them down, but they played the same passing game that they played under Brendan Rodgers once they went 2-0 up and I was impressed."
Phil Thompson on West Ham's 1-0 triumph over Aston Villa
"The West Ham players would have been looking at Aston Villa's back four and thought: 'We've got to take advantage and win at home'. It wasn't a great game and West Ham weren't fantastic or overpowering. But once Kevin Noland got the goal, Sam Allardyce's side put the blocks on and both goalkeepers had very little to do.
"I thought Mohamed Diame had a sensational game for West Ham; I sometimes think that for a central midfield player he runs with the ball too often, but he is such a strong boy and the crowd really warmed to him because he put tackles in. Plus, Winston Reid and James Collins did not give Darren Bent a kick and were absolutely tremendous.
"You could see Villa have been working on the training ground and Karim El Ahmadi, Fabian Delph, Brett Holman, Stephen Ireland and Charles N'Zogbia interchanged nicely and in the first half Villa had about 75 per cent of the possession.
"But nobody passed the ball forward and they didn't support Bent, who must have had five touches in the whole game. However, I thought their star was Vlaar at the back, who got a cut eye but is big, strong and looks like he has a shot on him."
Matt Le Tissier on Southampton's survival chances
"Southampton's first job is to get to 40 points and go from there but I am fairly confident they will stay up. Playing Man City and Man United early on is not ideal but you have to get them out of the way.
"There is ambition there and if we can pull off the signing of Gaston Ramirez that would really excite me and cement my view that we will be safe quite comfortably.
"The only worry for me is that Southampton have changed their formation in pre-season, going from 4-4-2, which the players were comfortable with, to a 4-3-3- or a 4-5-1 and it looks like team may have struggled to adjust to that."
Matt Le Tissier on whether Rickie Lambert can cut it in the Premier League
"I think Rickie Lambert could be Southampton's Grant Holt. A lot of people questioned whether he would score goals in the Championship and he proved them wrong emphatically.
"He has got bundles of ability and when he gets chances he is one of the best in the business. As long as Southampton create enough chances for him and get enough possession high up the field, he will gets goals. He is a great penalty and free-kick taker, too."
Matt Le Tissier and Phil Thompson on new Man City signing Jack Rodwell
LE TISS: "I don't think I've seen Rodwell be outstanding for long periods of time. He has had a lot of injuries and I just think £15million is a lot of money and a big gamble when you look his fitness levels. Perhaps Roberto Mancini is looking for a bit of cover for when Yaya Toure goes to the African Cup of Nations, but I'm not sure it's the best £15m he has ever spent."
THOMMO: "He has the physique to play as a holding midfielder; he is tall, athletic and gives good protection, but maybe he could play at the back. Vincent Kompany was a midfielder but slotted in at the back and is now one of the best defenders in the business. Rodwell is a talented player and City want him to develop over the next few years, but that's what Everton have been after and he maybe hasn't progressed as they would have liked."
Paul Merson on Robin van Persie's move to Man United
"Van Persie had an unbelievable season last year and everything was perfect. The goals he got were worldy's but can he keep on doing that. If he was getting 26 tap-in goals, fine, but to keep on scoring world-class goals? I'm not sure and I would rather have Carloz Tevez or Sergio Aguero in my team.
"Van Persie was a massive fish in a little pond at Arsenal and now he is a fish in an unbelievably massive pond. Everything went through him at the Emirates but it won't at Old Trafford and he will have to cope with not being the star man."