The first international break of the season is always the hardest to take - we've just had our first taster of club football only to be faced with a 2 week break. There was however some exquisite talent on show and some highly entertaining games. This week I take a look at which of this years Champions League stars were at centre stage during the international games...
On Monday night the transfer window battened down its hatches once again. Summer is over and it's time for football transfers to go in to hibernation until New Years Day 2015. Some Champions League clubs will be delighted with their summer dealings - others... not so much.
It's back - the greatest club competition on the planet and the 2014/15 season promises to be one of the most exciting yet... the draw for the group stages has just taken place and the excitement surrounding how the English clubs will fare this season is paramount. Let's take a look at who they'll be up against...
Naismith is Everton's highest rated player having scored in each of their opening league games against Leicester and Arsenal... His performance in Everton's 3-1 win over Fulham was lauded as one of the best substitute appearances in the league last season... Do you consider Steven Naismith to be Everton's unsung hero?
Louis van Gaal's first foray into competitive Premier League football ended in disappointing fashion on Saturday afternoon as he watched his team slide to a 2-1 defeat to Swansea City... However, despite the initial sadness in defeat, Saturday's disappointment could be the best result for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United.
Every player in the Premier League is under pressure to be at their best all the time, but each club always has those one or two players whom the fans expect that little bit extra from... this season's Premier League has a few players who will need to be firing on all cylinders from the off to win over the fans and help their team succeed.
Spurs may not be throwing the money around like they did last summer, but they are solidifying key areas, while trimming the fat off a squad that needed to be cut down... The north London side have spent wisely so far as the new boss strives to improve them defensively and the players brought in seem to adequately match the needs of the Argentine.
When Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge last summer, there were musings that things might be different this time around. A few months into his second stint he hinted at wanting to build a dynasty as part of a long term project. But it seems that plan soon fell by the wayside as he reverted to putting his faith in established stars rather than promising youth.
Can Diego Costa buck the trend of failing Chelsea strikers? He can, he is a Mourinho-type player and able to spearhead the Blues' attack next season. He will give them the physical presence they have been sadly lacking since Drogba's departure.
Yippee, just what we need - more live football. Don't get me wrong, I love football. I love watching football, but there is nothing better than getting out there and attending a game, no matter the level.
For any player, signing for your boyhood club would be a dream come true. For Rickie Lambert, that dream this week became a reality. The striker - and lifelong Liverpool fan - joined the Reds for an initial £4m on Monday, bringing an end to his five-year stay with Southampton.
Whilst the drama and excitement of the 2013/14 Premier League run-in has come to an end, UEFA have wasted no time in enacting an elementary sanction on billionaire Premier League champions Manchester City for breaching the rules of Financial Fair Play.
Prior to Real Madrid's 4-0 thumping of Osasuna last month, Sergio Ramos had netted just 1 goal in 43 appearances in all competitions this season. Fast-forward to the present day and the defender has 5 in his last 6, including a brace against Bayern to cement Los Blancos' place in the Champions League final...
Plenty of English fans delighted in the schadenfreude of Liverpool's late-season collapse but it's to the detriment of the sport the underdogs don't succeed more often. Regardless of club loyalties we should be able to enjoy the unlikely success of clubs with significant financial disadvantages.
Chelsea welcome Atletico Madrid to Stamford Bridge this evening to play out the second leg of their respective semi-final ie - and, following a dead heat in the first meeting, both sides still have it all to play for.
This has not been about David Moyes at all. His sad fate would have been the natural destiny of any inheritor of what was clearly a poisoned chalice, made more poisonous by the addition of that lethal factor of self-delusion. Because Manchester United have succeeded in convincing themselves that they are something special; the Biggest Club in the World.