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Gareth Wheeler brings you the news, notes, and commentary each week from the Barclays Premier League. This weeks notebook is all about first impressions, times two. Back from vacation and two weeks in the books with time to make team assessments. Any assessment, however, is incomplete with Mondays transfer deadline taking centre stage. Thus far, four teams on perfect records and early disappointment for Manchester United; heres whats catching my attention. - The panic button is already being pressed amongst some of the millions of Manchester United supporters worldwide. A home loss (Swansea), an uninspiring away draw (Sunderland) and an embarrassing 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to League 1 MK Dons have contributed to a less than ideal start to competitive matches for Louis Van Gaal. Difficult introductions are nothing new to LVG, he only won one of his first four games after taking over Bayern Munich in 2009. His team ended up winning the Bundesliga and reached the Champions League Final, so the process and patience Van Gaal is preaching should be well received. This is not another David Moyes situation in the making for United. Van Gaal has the vision, stature, and tactical grasp essential to lead a club like United. Angel Di Maria brings genuine top-level talent and dynamic play lacking in the team. No matter the price tag, this is not a panic buy. United will get better, yet the problems are plain to see: A) the team is weak thru the spine - look around the world and all top teams are strong through the middle. United are not. Reinforcements in central midfield, whether it be Arturo Vidal or a younger, physical threat in William Carvalho, as well as and a top quality centre-half are a must for Van Gaal, and as soon as possible. B) Poor quality in squad depth - United has a big squad but its not very good. Expensive role players and young players not good enough fail to make the grade. Early season injuries have complicated the issue. Forget the injuries, its well warranted to question the talent in the team. United desperately needs quality in quantity. C) Team belief - building confidence sounds simpler than it actually is. Seeing full internationals hesistant wearing red is difficult to watch and is a fall-out from failure under Moyes. The number of back-passes and absolute refusal to take on an opponent in fear of losing possession is disturbing. Belief in team movement will come in time. The bravery to win one-v-one battles with a team not big, nor quick enough is more complex. The passive nature of the product is plain to see. While player recruitment is a must, a bigger reclamation project is at play for Van Gaal. As he puts it, he is building a new team. That takes time. Wins are expected in the meantime. Van Gaal knows that but he wont waver. Embrace yourself for a roller coaster ride. - Arsenal was my pre-season pick to win the Premier League and Im going to stick with it. I was impressed with the way the Gunners battled back to earn a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park. Olivier Giroud showed his worth with an equalizer out of nothing. The news Giroud will be out until late December-early January is worrisome. With all due respect to Joel Campbell, Giroud is Arsene Wengers only true number 9. Its a significant loss for Wenger and leaves him with a big decision. It seems a no-brainer for the club to dip back into the market and bring in reinforcements. Although it doesnt seem the Wenger-way. Can Arsene get by playing a variety of attacking players, none a true target-man? Theo Walcott is working his way back from a knee injury, and perhaps Wenger has a re-think what to do with Lukas Podolski. But are useful players but natural fill roles occupied by others with the team. A false nine could work, but is a risky proposition for a team with aspirations in multiple competitions. Manchester Uniteds available striker Danny Welbeck seems a reasonable fit and an alternative option. His pace would certainly compliment the superior ball movement in the team. Although the nature of the failed transfer of Thomas Vermaelen whom United believed they had captured may have something to do why this move is highly unlikely. - Most impressive performance of the early season goes to Manchester City in a comfortable 3-1 win over Liverpool Monday. It was the kind of self-assured, composed performance you see from top teams mid-season, not match-day two. The addition of Fernando looks to be a savvy one, with the player looking at home and positionally sound in the central midfield. The plaudits rightfully point out the play of Stevan Jovetic in a two-goal performance goes a long way to adding depth in attack, putting a season of injury behind him. Hes still just 24 years old, and looks ripe for a big season, pending opportunity. What a luxury for Pellegrini to have Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo on the bench in a match against last years runners-up. With depth superior to anyone else in the league at all positions, there is good reason City remains favourite to repeat as Champions. - Risk vs. Reward: Mario Balotelli for £16 million was a no-brainer for Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers is a superior leader and kept Luis Suarez on point en route to one of the top individual seasons in Premier League history. Its not Balotellis persona that should worry; its his form. No player is as enigmatic as the Italian marksman. His natural physical make-up makes him unmarkable at times. Yet his footballing intelligence can and should be rightfully questioned. Does he read the game to a level Rodgers tactical influence can help the player shine? And how will he pair up with Daniel Sturridge in attack? Liverpools success a season ago came from teamwork and sacrifice. Thats tough with a selfish player. I still say its absolutely worth the risk. - Chelsea has been there methodical best through two games. They will never run teams off the field, but they will break their opponent down thoroughly through precision and perseverance. It always seems a 12 round championship fight. Body-blow after body-blow makes staying with Chelsea over 90 minutes as difficult as it gets. The central midfield partnership of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic look very much the part. There is still concern too much of the goal scoring responsibilities will fall to Diego Costa. The returns thus far have been right on script. A reported hamstring injury to Costa threatens to throw the team into unbalance. Dipping back into the transfer window would be a virtual certainty if Costa is set to miss any lengthy period of time. He is that important to the team. - Spurs at first glance: big, strong and fast. An in-form Erik Lamela makes this team a different kind of dangerous from a season ago. Spurs get even bigger at the back with the signing of Federico Fazio from Sevilla. Size and strength goes a long way in the Premier League. With a top goalkeeper and a coach who looks a good fit at White Hart Lane, Spurs are trending in the right direction. - Swansea and Southampton were two teams deemed to be in trouble before the first kick of the season. Both teams have impressed out of the gate. The Swans have a perfect record and are showing indications this team will remain strong throughout. Pace down the wings and dangerous men up top means they will be a constant threat. There is also a lot to like about Ki Sung-Yeung in the midfield, back from on-loan at Sunderland, showing wonderful growth over recent seasons. They could use another centre-half before the transfer window closes. Southampton will take a bit longer to come together with so many changes within the team. Ronald Koeman remains steadfast he will not sell Morgan Schneiderlin, and nor should he. James Ward-Prowse continues to impress and Dusan Tadic in time may be the perfect replacement for Adam Lallana. There is a good mix here and looks to improve whenever James Rodriguez is fit to play a part. Goal scoring remains a question. £12 million for Shane Long was sheer lunacy. - Aston Villa look weak on paper and ever worse on the field. Paul Lambert has to be the most likely manager next to be facing the sack. Villa didnt register a shot on goal in a home scoreless draw with Newcastle on the weekend. Further embarrassment came Wednesday losing to Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup. How long will it be before Roy Keane takes over as caretaker manager? An opening weekend win can only cover up so much. - I like the move by Hull City for Michael Dawson. The centre-half may lack the top quality expected at a club like Spurs but fits the bill for Hull who are embarking on a Europa League journey. The team needs depth and capable players. The imminent arrival of Abel Hernandez up top will help too. You wonder how much more than can extend themselves without spending silly. Another midfielder/attacker would go a long way.Team of the Week (1 & 2): 4-4-2 McGregor (Hull City) Dier (Spurs) - Williams (Swansea) - Kompany (Man City) - Ivanovic (Chelsea) Dyer (Swansea) - Fabregas (Chelsea) - Ramsey (Arsenal) - Lamela (Spurs) Zarate (West Ham) - Costa (Chelsea) Match-day 3 Game of the Week: Tottenham v. Liverpool (830am Sunday, TSN4) Everton and Chelsea from Goodison Park Saturday afternoon is attractive as well, but the potential debut of Balotelli as a Liverpool player is must-see television. Its been a difficult week for Liverpool with back-to-back away matches at City and Spurs. This season proves to be a constant challenge for Rodgers & Co, back in the Champions League. So basically, get used to. Squad depth will be tested and the jury is out whether this group is good enough. Spurs, meanwhile, are top the table and look to continue what has been an impressive start. Tottenham have a Europa League match Thursday, so squad rotation is to be expected. These two teams both have eyes on top four this season. Success in matches as such is critical towards achieving that end. Look for how Spurs deal with the speed of Sturridge and Raheem Sterling being critical to the outcome. Next weeks Notebook will feature a complete wrap of Match-day 3 as well as club-by-club grades after the transfer window closes Monday. By: Gareth Mark Walton Bengals Jersey . -- Ben Brust scored 19 points to lead six Wisconsin players in double figures as the No. Billy Price Jersey .com) - Bradley Beal deposited a season-high 33 points and John Wall posted another double-double as the Washington Wizards went on the road and beat the Houston Rockets, 104-103. http://www.officialbengalsprofanatics.c ... -Jersey/.Y. - Everyone expected Clayton Kershaw to pitch a shutout, and he did — a unanimous choice for the NL Cy Young Award. Andrew Billings Jersey . Shot outdoors against the stunning backdrop of Banff, Alta., the networks 30-minute original production airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET on TSN2. The four All-Star teams will play for $100,000 in prize money during TSNs annual skins game, airing live this weekend on TSN from The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. Sam Hubbard Jersey .com) - A chant of Zeke reverberated around AT&T Stadium before Ezekiel Elliott powered into the end zone for his fourth and final touchdown.TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays power numbers have been impressive during their seven-game winning streak that has taken them to the top of the American League East standings. Theyre also doing the little things right and it paid off in a 10-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. Bunt singles, hustle plays, slick defence, outfield assists -- the Blue Jays are doing it all while keeping the long ball in their arsenal. Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Tolleson and Dioner Navarro hit solo homers and Toronto (30-22) pounded out 16 hits in the opener of a three-game series on a muggy night at Rogers Centre. "They just put the heavy gloves on and beat us up tonight," said Rays manager Joe Maddon. The Blue Jays jumped out to a 2-0 lead after opening with five straight hits on Canadian starter Erik Bedard (2-3). Tampa Bay (23-29) did some damage against Toronto starter Drew Hutchison (4-3) but could never move into the lead. Every time the Rays scored, the Blue Jays were quick to answer. When Tampa Bay tied the game in the third inning, Navarro and Tolleson responded with back-to-back homers in the fourth. When the Rays pulled even again in the fifth, Toronto put four more runs on the board in the bottom half before Encarnacion added an insurance run with a solo shot in the sixth inning. With the win, Toronto remained two games ahead of second-place New York in the A.L. East. The Yankees defeated St. Louis 6-4 in 12 innings. The Blue Jays have won seven of their last eight home games and 12 of their last 14 games overall. "When things are going good, theyre going good," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. It was Encarnacions 13th homer this month, breaking Jose Bautistas club record for home runs in the month of May that was set in 2010. Melky Cabrera chipped in with three hits, while Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., Navarro and Kevin Pillar added two hits apiece. "It was just not enough," Maddon said. "They kept adding on. They have such a good lineup and when the bottom (of the order) contributes like they did today, it makes it even more difficult." The Blue Jays showed their mix of skill and power in the first inning. A bunt single, double and three straight singles got the crowd of 15,616 into the game early. David DeJesus hit a solo shot for Tampa Bay in the third and James Loney later drove in Evan Longoria with a sacrifice fly. The Rays loaded the bases but Tolleson showed his range at second base by cuutting off a sharp grounder by Cole Figueroa and making an off-balance throw to first for the third out.dddddddddddd Toronto responded in the fourth inning by hitting back-to-back homers for the third time this season. The Blue Jays also used a little small ball to push another run across. Pillar reached on an infield single and moved to second when Anthony Gose dropped down a nice sacrifice bunt. Reyes moved Pillar to third on a grounder to the right side of the infield and Cabrera drove him in with a single. In the fifth, Tampa Bays Matt Joyce hit a one-out double and cleanup hitter Desmond Jennings followed with his fifth homer of the season. Loney tied the game with a solo shot -- the first time the Rays have hit back-to-back homers this year. Toronto responded with four runs in the bottom half of the frame. Encarnacion and Lawrie hit back-to-back doubles and Navarro added an RBI single to make it 7-5, knocking Bedard out of the game. Alex Colome came on in relief and didnt fare much better. He walked pinch-hitter Juan Francisco and got Pillar to fly out before being burned by the speedy Gose, who out-hustled Colome to the bag on a slow chopper to the right side. Reyes drew a bases-loaded walk and Cabrera drove in Francisco with a sacrifice fly. Encarnacion led off the Toronto half of the sixth by turning on a 2-2 pitch from Colome. Entering the game, the Toronto slugger led the major leagues in homers in May, was tied for first with 17 extra-base hits and was second with 25 RBIs. Cabrera and Gose each chipped in with an outfield assist. Pillar also showed off his defensive skill in right field by making a nice sliding catch at the warning track to prevent Longoria from driving in a couple of runs. Hutchison allowed seven hits, five earned runs and four walks. Bedard, from Navan, Ont., gave up 12 hits, seven earned runs and struck out a pair. Notes: The game took two hours 58 minutes to play. ... Bautista owns the club record for most homers in a month with 14 in June 2012. ... Toronto leads the major leagues with 55 homers. The Blue Jays have gone deep in nine straight games. ... Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle (8-1) is scheduled to start Tuesday night against right-hander Alex Cobb (1-0). ... 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