The Soccer Saturday panel give their verdict on a win for West Brom and draws at Spurs, Swansea and Wigan as well as discussing the big transfer signings.
Last Updated: September 3, 2012 8:36am
Matt Le Tissier on Spurs' 1-1 draw with Norwich
I think Spurs will be pretty concerned. Thye really didn't look like the best side today. Norwich more than deserved a point out of this game. They looked the more dangerous side in the first half, Spurs had to rely on a Brad Friedel wonder save and the crossbar to keep them 0-0 at half time. A couple of long-range efforts from Bale and Sandro in the first half and that was it for Spurs. They brought Dembele on at half time and he looked pretty useful. He scored his goal very well but it was against the run of play.
Norwich had to wait until the 85th minute for the equaliser but it was well deserved. Snodgrass finished it off really well and they had a really big penalty shout just before that when Assou-Ekotto was pulling Steve Morrison's shirt quite clearly and dragged him down. Nothing was given. I don't think the Tom Huddlestone red card was anything near a red card. I hope Mark Halsey might have a look at it and say he got it wrong.
Jermaine Defoe didn't look comfortable in that system (up front alone), especially when they have two holding midfielders in Sandro and Livermore. They didn't really create anything and the players didn't look comfortable in that system.
Paul Merson on West Brom's 2-0 win over Everton
There was not a lot in it. Everton started well, passed it around and created some chances but nothing special. West Brom defend very well. We always know Steve Clarke is very organised but they were absolutely outstanding. When they defend they don't let anybody cross the ball. Fellaini had an unbelievable chance from eight metres out and a minute later it was 1-0 at the other end, which was a great move. Everton brought on Anichebe and Mirallas and they went long for the last 20 minutes instead of keeping passing it.
As soon as they started hitting it long there was only one team in it. West Brom looked dangerous every time they broke and then they had a corner and McCauley scored Howard came out and was nowhere near it. I think if West Brom finish where they did or mid-table again I think that will be very good. I think that is seven clean sheets in their last nine games at home which is some going. They are solid. I really thought they would struggle this season but watching this they are very, very organised and they will be very difficult to beat.
Phil Thompson on Stoke's 2-2 draw with Wigan
Stoke had to work very, very hard to claw themselves back into the game and Tony Pullis has to take a lot of the credit for it because Wigan started very well. They were passing the ball around in a 3-4-3 formation that was working so well for them. Everybody understands their position. They were very dominant for 20 minutes. I think they have change the way Di Santo plays. Rather than just be a centre forward because of the three up front they all move. It was a fabulous game of football.
The second half was fabulous because Stoke were clawing their way back. Yes, they do get the ball in the box. But this was not all about long ball stuff. I thought the draw was well justified. Charlie Adam did very well. Early on he tried to be a bit too clever but got back to playing the ball nice and simple and gave them a good base to go from. A draw was probably a just result but it was a fabulous game of football.
Charlie Nicholas on Swansea's 2-2 draw with Sunderland
The first half was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. Sunderland let Swansea have the ball and they worked the ball very well with the wide men. And then Sunderland - who have a nice balance to them now and a nice structure - started to work the ball without looking a threat. Fletcher making his debut didn't get much and then the game opened up. At 2-1 at half time you were thinking a fair reflection would have been level.
The second half was brilliant and nothing but credit for Swansea. They kept at it, passing and probing. Everything is about passing and probing and there is a lovely balance to them. They are strong at the back. I think Williams will be quite relieved the way Swansea got something out of this after his bad pass back. In the end I thought that if anybody deserved it was Swansea.
Phil Thompson on Man City's last-minute spending
Manchester City have got more money than anybody else. Roberto Mancini has wanted to spend the money and yet it was all left to the last 24 hours and then they panic buy. Yes, they might have been on the radar but why did they do it in a 24 hour period? It is absolutely amazing. So many people leave it so late. And they are just spending for spending's sake in the end to fill up spaces in their squads.
Paul Merson on Andy Carroll's move to West Ham
I think it is the perfect move for him. With Jarvis on the wing it is a dream because he doesn't mess about, you tell him what to do and he will do it. He will put the ball in the box and they will play to Carroll's strengths. I think that it is a bad move by Liverpool. I really do. I bet anybody now that he gets more than six league goals (his total last season) and I think he will get more than Luis Suarez. That is the worry for Liverpool. I don't think Suarez is a good finisher. He is a great player but he is not a good finisher. Carroll will score goals. At Newcastle they played to his strengths and scored goals. I think he could come back and cause Brendan Rodgers a major headache.
Charlie Nicholas on Tottenham's deadline day business
I don't think they were the best signings they could have made. I appreciate we talk about Dembele as a very good player. You have got to bring in players who are better than the ones you are letting go. I don't see these players being better yet. Dembele may become a big star because I think he has the ability so I think he has a chance. But how do you fit them all in? I think sometimes you get too many who are too similar. I think Dembele was a clever one but when you lose Modric and you lose Van der Vaart, you lose creative talent and a lot of big time goals from Van der Vaart. He scored a lot of quality goals.
Phil Thompson on Liverpool failing to back Rodgers
He spent a lot of money on Joe Allen but it looks the way things have transpired throughout the close season as though there are far more outgoings, getting people off the wage bill, trying to chip out Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam and big players going on loan. I thought when Andy Carroll went there has got to be somebody coming in. You don't take that chance, particularly a club like Liverpool. You need a minimum three strikers and when you hear Brendan saying he has Suarez and Borini - Borini hs not been there long enough. Is he going to score enough goals to call him a striker? So I was wating for something and it didn't happen. It looks as if it is tightening the belts and I have to say I don't think he has been backed.
Matt Le Tissier on Southampton's tough start
The Wigan defeat was a big blow and a big disappointment. But I hope the players don't lose the confidence they gained with their performance at City the week before and they can take that in to tomorrow's game. I was quite shocked that Billy Sharp was allowed to go on loan. Billy had been one of our better players this pre-season and he had done well for us in the games he's played. He's got a great goal-scoring record so it was a big surprise to me. He was an asset that I think we could have done with at points of the season.