Another weekend of top notch Premier League action has passed by, and it's Elano Blumer who once again catches the eye. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has been the inspiration behind Man City's excellent ascent to the Champions League positions, and is surely the buy if the season so far (other notable nominees - Santa Cruz, who is a man reborn, Sagna, and Torres).
On recent evidence, one wonders why he spent so long in Brazil, until 2005, before moving to the Ukraine. It was a lucrative move but eventually Sven trusted him to do the business in the Prem. 4 spectacular goals in his first 10 ten games, and 5 assists is a great return.
See his amazing freekick against Newcastle, and against Boro.
He recently gave an interview in The Times and seems an all round nice guy, an (so far) unassuming man who is the Brazilian equivalent of Michael Essien, playing in every position for Santos, bar goal. Inevitably, a player so talented will be subjected to transfer rumours, and it seems to me that City will need to finish in a high position in the table to keep him. Then again, they could give him a massive contract at the end of the season - after all, it worked for Berbatov...
Man City look set for a great season, now how about a striker to liven things up in the top 4?
The Champions League is back tonight, and after the poor quality football on display in the Internationals, it is a welcome relief. For the neutral there are not many interesting games, on the surface, but there are bound to be some interesting events, as there is always. Arsenal play Slavia Prague at home, in what should be a routine victory. Lassana Diarra has been complaining of not getting playing time (despite playing 2 full matches for France recently) so we may see him come in to anchor the midfield. Also, in his last 2 sub appearances, Walcott has done well, but will Wenger risk him from the start? Eduardo da Silva has a bit to prove after his nondescript showing at the weekend, and a goal here could do his confidence good.
Man Utd play Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine, which they seem likely to win if they can be bothered, and the Rangers v Barca tie should be an interesting affair. Barca will want to bounce back after defeat at the weekend, and Ranger's will be buoyed by their stuffing of Celtic (and their 100% record in the CL so far)
Tomorrow: reaction and more previews.
PS Goodbye Stan, :)