Rather than bask in the reflected glory of Blackpool's remarkable start in the Premier League, Karl Oyston, the club chairman, fell on his sword instead this week. Having brought the club to the highest level on a shoestring budget last season as they clinched promotion via the Championship play-offs, it took Oyston all of one match to be sickened by the murky waters of the Premier League. The main source of his ire was player agents. Oyston hates them, and was so disappointed that none of his peers agreed with his loathing, that he opted to resign rather than continue to try to work with them.
Jussi Jaaskelainen, Bolton's No 1, has spoken out for the Goalkeepers' Union by suggesting Robert Green, his opposite number in the West Ham United goal tomorrow, is getting unfair treatment from supporters. Green will have been expecting jeers and criticism following his embarrassing blunder playing for England against the United States in the World Cup this summer which resulted in the Three Lions throwing away two points. Jaaskelainen knows who he would blame, however: "[Fabio] Capello should have given him more confidence by giving him a few more games before the World Cup and made sure he knew he was his No 1."
Chelsea's players are used to having to fight for their place in the Premier League champions' starting XI, and John Obi Mikel, the Nigerian international, has vowed to do just that following the arrival of Ramirez, the Brazil midfielder, from Portugeuse club Benfica. Mikel's place in the side is the one most likely to come under threat by the new addition, but judging from what he thinks about Carlo Ancelotti, the manager, he is up for the challenge. "After a season together I feel I know him well," Mikel told the Evening Standard newspaper. "He's a manager I can speak to, in many ways he's like a father. He gives me great confidence."
Jack Rodwell, Everton's precocious midfield talent, has long been talked about as a target for the Premier League's richest clubs. Last season it was Manchester United. Now Chelsea are said to be the latest suitors planning to woo the 19-year-old England hopeful. For all their lavish array of stars, Chelsea are short on English talent to fill their homegrown player quota stipulated by the new Premier League 25-man squad regulations. David Moyes, the Everton manager, would try his best to resist any offers for his club's leading emerging talent, however, the lure of a move to the capital may prove hard for the player to resist.