For me, I'll tell you what, oh my days, there's something quite likeable about Danny Murphy - even if he has the sunken eyes of a man with a lot of demons...
Back in June we looked at what each PL club needed this summer. Now we re-visit last season's top six to assess their progress. There are an awful lot of gaps...
Football fans are a cruel bunch with exceptionally high standards, particularly when it comes to judging the performances of a player who's made a big-money move. The pressure that comes with a transfer is often too much for new signings to cope with at their new clubs; Fernando Torres' £50m price tag is still weighing heavy on his shoulders as he struggles for consistency at Chelsea while the likes of Sergei Rebrov and Andy Carroll never repaid their hefty fees. After such a busy summer in the Premier League, there was always bound to be one or two more under the spotlight.
Tottenham broke their transfer budget three times in the off-season, and while Paulinho has been the most successful of those signings, Roberto Soldado's lack of goals or noteworthy performances is more attributable to poor service than his own failings. Erik Lamela, meanwhile, the youngest and most expensive purchase of Tottenham's extravagant summer spending, has the greatest expectation to deal with. While his tender years should encourage fans that the best is yet to come, £30m is so much that something in the way of immediate should be a minimum, but Lamela has largely failed to impress.
Restricted to just 68 minutes of Premier League action, Lamela has struggled to find the kind of form that won him the move in the first place. He is rated by WhoScored.com as 'very strong' at both through balls and dribbling due to his performances at Roma, but he is yet to successfully complete either a through ball or a dribble in the league for Spurs. He set up the winning goal against Cardiff but otherwise has shown little sign of adapting to the faster-paced Premier League, while his penalty miss in the shoot-out against Hull last week rather summed up an unhappy start to life in England. A drop in average WhoScored rating from 7.58 last season to just 6.21 this term is the biggest of any player currently in the English top flight.
Not far behind is Fulham's Adel Taarabt, who at times last campaign looked like he might be the man to save QPR from the drop, attaining an average rating of 7.20. This term, though, the Moroccan has barely managed to win himself a place in the team, with his rating of 6.24 leaving him behind the likes of Alexander Kacaniklic and Pajtim Kasami in the pecking order. Taarabt has looked far from committed to the cause, only averaging 14.5 passes per appearance, and making only one tackle and not a single interception clearance or clearance in his six appearances. His attitude has failed him before and it is time for him to wise up so as to avoid letting another good Premier League opportunity pass him by.
Andre Schürrle has arguably not even been the least impressive of Chelsea's signings this summer, but his performances in London have been a huge drop on last season, his rating falling from 7.62 at Bayer Leverkusen to 6.71 this term. His only goal in 11 league and Champions League appearances was an important one but was not a strike of any particular skill, while he is still yet to register a single assist in either competition. A conversion rate of 6.7% is one of the worst in the Premier League, and it isn't unfair to expect more than four shots on target in 11 appearances from an £18m signing who is playing in his favoured left-sided position, surrounded by arguably better players than he was in impressing so much for Leverkusen last season.
£27m always seemed far too much money for a player that was not going to address the glaring problems in Manchester United's creative department, and Marouane Fellaini's transfer has proven as much of a failure as many expected. After hitting a WhoScored rating of 7.57 last season the Belgian has managed only 6.67 this season, making fewer tackles per game (one compared to 2.6) and passes per game (45.8 to 52.5) at his new club despite playing a deeper role. He is adding less in the way of goal threat and it remains to be seen as to what exactly he is bringing to the Old Trafford club.
Liverpool's lavish summer was built up perfectly for another flop on Anfield. Iago Aspas' current injury is rather sparing him of any blushes, as he can put his absence from the Liverpool team to that rather than his poor performances before Luis Suarez returned from injury. An assist on the opening day of the season set the tone, but he has followed that with a string of below-par displays. Having scored the goals that kept Celta Vigo in La Liga last season, Aspas has failed to find the net so far this season, and his growing frustration has seen him booked three times from the five fouls he has committed. The only strikers that had a higher rating than Aspas' 7.13 in La Liga last season were superstars Messi, Ronaldo, Alvaro Negredo, RadamelFalcao, Soldado, Gonzalo Higuaín and Karim Benzema, but for Liverpool this season he is languishing with the rather less glamorous likes of Danny Graham, Dwight Gayle and Connor Wickham with a rating of 6.29.
Notable mentions should also go to new Norwich strikers Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper, who have one Premier League goal between them since joining for a combined fee of £14m. Van Wolfswinkel will have encouraged fans that he was going to be the prolific striker they have lacked in recent years after scoring on his debut against Everton, but he has since failed to find the back of the net and has not hit the target with a single attempt in his last sixappearances. Meanwhile, another of the Canaries' attacking options in Hooper has, according to WhoScored.com's statistically calculated rating system, been the worst performing player in the Premier League, with an average rating of just 5.97.
Alistair Tweedale - follow him on Twitter here
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.