UPSET of the weekend was Fulham thumping Tottenham 3-0 while Houllier will be pleased the pressure is off for the time being after Liverpool won the Merseyside derby. If Liverpool had lost that then Houllier would have found himself with serious problems.
Tottenham, I still don't quite know what to make of them. Apart from Manchester United and Chelsea, and perhaps Blackburn but they had £17 million to spend, Hoddle's the only other manager to have spent over ten million pounds on players. Like I said last week, Hoddle's going to need a little time to get his players together, but to lose to Fulham like that was a poor result. Chelsea is another London side which needs to be aware that if it has not got ten points on the board after its next match, the fans are going to be disappointed. Despite all the money, some silly errors on Saturday, especially by Desailly and the keeper, it nearly cost Chelsea very dear and it shows that money doesn't necessarily guarantee success. Without doubt, the Chelsea first team has been improved significantly (and of course, the big winner is Ken Bates - he's finally got his money) - but they will need time and I don't think the Chelsea story is over, we're going to see a lot more happen at the club before they start winning some trophies. Good result for Southampton, I was not surprised, Manchester United have always lost heavily there in the past and Beattie in particular looked very good. I think this is going to be a huge season for him, a lot of people last year said he was not good enough to hold down a regular England international place, but I think that under Gordon Strachan and up front with Phillips we're going to hear and see a lot of him over the next few months. Down at the bottom of the pile, well at least Wolves have stopped the rot and are no longer leaking goals. They did well last week to hold United 1-0, unlucky even not to have come away with a point and I think they'll be pleased with their improved game. So too will Liverpool.
Good to see Owen scoring, especially with the weekend's Euro qualifier looming, and Kewell has started to show that he should be up front with Owen, as I suspected he would. They both worked well together, great for Liverpool but bad news for Heskey. I fear we may see less and less of Emile as a centre forward this season as he drops back to a left midfield position.
He's got great talent, he's a frightening centre forward with height and power, but he just has not delivered.
I think Liverpool are disappointed with him, he's a good lad who works very hard, but that's not enough at this level.
Arsenal have already shown they're champion material, majestic and flowing against Boro last week, at Man City thay showed that they mean business by digging out the 2-1 victory. I think Arsenal are a bit soft in central defence, Keown had a great game but they need a player with the stature of a John Terry say, otherwise, as I've said, the two best signings of the premiership this season may still prove to be getting Henry and Vieira to sign new contracts. I don't think they're going to have any problems this season, nor will Villa.
A good result on Saturday and I think we will see the side improve under O'Leary who, despite having made no new signings, will on the quiet be relishing the chance to shake off the ghost of having lots of money and making big signings. He's a great judge of player and has already turned the club around, the fans have responded well, look at Saturday's 30.000-plus gate. They're playing racy in-your-face football. Villain of the week - Seaman against his old club Arsenal, he'll be disappointed with the second goal he let in while I would not have given Chelsea their hand-ball penalty, it's pretty difficult to do anything when a ball is fired at you from three yards. But Blackburn are a good side, Graeme's (Souness) a good manager, he'll be disappointed with the draw and I think in the long term Barry Ferguson will prove to be a much better buy for Blackburn than Makelele will turn out to be for Chelsea. He's younger and he's British so there'll be no time lost settling in.

ENGLAND
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can't see England not qualifying for Euro 2004, it'll all go down to the game in Turkey, but we'll push through. Scholes is out, but I think this could be Dyer's big chance to prove what he can do and I think Beattie as well, but like Joe Cole, no one's too sure what position to play them in - but no problems there for Eriksson.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Great draw for our clubs in general, Chelsea are going to enjoy Lazio and the United v Rangers game will be a classic, Arsenal are not going to be too pleased with having to travel to Russia, but I can see the three progressing to the next round and of course, this season it's all on Sky Sports. We've got six games on the Tuesday nights and seven on the Wednesday, I'll be in the studio and all the viewers have to do is select which game they want to watch and press the red button, a World exclusive for us and I'm really looking forward to it.

The Richard Keys column will be in two weeks time because there is no Premier League action this weekend.

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