It's all very well having a go at David Moyes (and a few more do), but just who else would they get in? Plus, England in the Group of Death, Pantilimon and the helicopter...
It's all very well getting giggly and excited about the World Cup, but what of the social cost to Brazil? Do FIFA have a responsibility to ensure accord and sustainability..?
On a weekend in which very little happened in the Premier League, Cardiff's victory over Manchester City was easily the most entertaining match of the season so far, not least because I watched the game at a swing-dancing club after allowing a colleague to choose the venue.
As the high-on-life swingers lindy-hopped and jitterbugged their way around two guests who were "just here to watch the football", we witnessed a slick City side predictably lead Cardiff on a merry dance in the early stages. Manuel Pellegrini's team continued where they left off from a convincing 4-0 win against Newcastle with sharp passing and neat interchanges in the final third, and it seemed it was only a matter of time before the goals followed. City had the control that Roberto Mancini used to crave, if not the incision that drives Pellegrini.
It would not have been a surprise had Edin Dzeko's fine strike shortly after half-time opened the floodgates and a team that threw away the lead to lose only once last season (in a 3-1 defeat to Spurs at White Hart Lane) did not appear to be in similar mood. But an equaliser only eight minutes later changed the course of the game as Cardiff, much-improved from their woeful performance at West Ham, grew in confidence.
"I don't think they are going to fear us," said Pellegrini in his pre-match press conference and he barely blinked as the hosts took the game to City, profiting from poor defending at two set-pieces - such a typical deciding factor on these occasions. Although they averaged just 30% possession and a poor pass accuracy of 71%, Cardiff's tenacity left City floundering, frustrated and in shock at the sudden turnaround.
It was a comeback to ignite the hosts' survival fight and the next two top-flight fixtures at home to Everton and away at Hull immediately appear more winnable. That Fraizer Campbell opened his account is also a huge boost to Malky Mackay, who may have feared (and may still fear) where the goals are going to come from this season. The aim now is to now build on a brilliant first victory and a midweek trip to Accrington in the League Cup should help maintain the momentum.
While it is somewhat difficult to focus on the positives at Arsenal, knowing that the current mood will be short-lived unless Arsene Wenger strengthens his slender squad, it has been a fantastic week for the manager and his players. Wenger has been left in bullish form by the comprehensive victory over Fenerbahce and superb counter-attacking display against Fulham, and said after his team's win at Craven Cottage: "Look, we lost one game since the beginning of March. That's why it was a shock. The media in general has brainwashed a little bit the Emirates."
He has a point, of course, and it's generally accepted that things are never as bad as they seem at Arsenal. Complaining about standing still appears churlish when inertia is 16 successive years in the Champions League, but it takes only a cursory glance at the Gunners' bench on Saturday to appreciate that the fear of being overtaken is increasingly vindicated.
It may seem that Wenger cannot win after finally acquiescing to demands that the fat be trimmed this summer, and he has undoubtedly performed wonders to convince Roma and Sunderland to pay actual money for Gervinho and Vito Mannone. However, the fans' wishes have been left only half-fulfilled as the dead weight still awaits replacement. That Serge Gnabry, 16-year-old Gedion Zelalem (who looked a brilliant prospect in pre-season) and Emmanuel Frimpong were among the substitutes at Fulham shows that Arsenal are in desperate need of reinforcements.
Even if Wenger could boast a fully fit squad (pigs might fly), he would still be worryingly short of numbers to compete for four trophies and options to change the team's approach should they find themselves trailing 2-0 at half-time in the home leg of a last-16 Champions League tie, for example. The Gunners again appeared to lose their shape when Lukas Podolski replaced Olivier Giroud in the centre-forward role on Saturday, following the Frenchman's substitution, and it's abundantly clear that competition is required in this area of the pitch.
Another concern for Wenger is how to determine Jack Wilshere's best position. Following Arsenal's narrow 1-0 victory over ten-man Fulham last season, I wrote that the England midfielder still belongs in the manager's best XI but that conviction is beginning to wane. A much-improved Aaron Ramsey casts further doubts over Wilshere's role and the Welshman currently offers more balance alongside Tomas Rosicky or Mikel Arteta (when fit) in the middle.
There were still moments on Saturday when Ramsey or Rosicky failed to drop into the hole in front of Arsenal's defence when Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna split to each side of the pitch, and a better team than Fulham - Aston Villa with their high press, perhaps - could have punished the Gunners. But this demand for a new defensive midfielder - or an old one, if Mathieu Flamini is awarded a contract - has little bearing on Wilshere's future.
As I wrote here the main positive derived from Arsenal's current predicament is that this team of improvers is gradually repaying Wenger's faith while continuing to exhibit the mental toughness that played such a crucial part in last season's run-in. This column has previously been critical of Giroud - and I am still far from convinced that he is the man to lead the line - but the striker certainly deserves credit for his fearless attitude to the prospect of increased competition, as well as his superb control in the build-up to Saturday's third goal.
Likewise, Ramsey should be praised for his revival, which will hopefully prove to have some permanence. The midfielder improved markedly as last season progressed - despite being played in various positions - and his confidence has finally returned. That much was clear during Arsenal's 3-1 win over Man City in pre-season, when the 22-year-old provided this superb assist for Theo Walcott before coolly slotting home a strike of his own.
It is now Wenger's job to build on this momentum rather than risk it falling flat through injuries, a lack of motivation derived from a lack of competition and, eventually, fatigue.
A hard-fought victory with ten men that would be even more deserving of praise had Norwich not been so utterly rotten. The midfield trio of Robert Koren, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore will be crucial to Hull's survival hopes this season. The idiotic Yannick Sagbo seemingly less so.
Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers
A 1-0 victory that should have been more, followed by a 1-0 victory that perhaps should have been less. Liverpool are learning important lessons ahead of a brace of difficult fixtures against Manchester United (at home) and Swansea (away).
It was very much an in-and-out job at Villa Park, evidenced by the Reds having just a single shot (a dreadful effort from Glen Johnson) in the 69 minutes that followed Daniel Sturridge's superb winning goal. Brendan Rodgers will be pleased with his team's ability to win ugly and the manager also deserves credit for the manner in which Liverpool earned their victory.
"It was a terrific win for us. I thought first half we had good control of the game and scored an excellent goal," said Rodgers in his post-match interview. "Obviously second half, we just needed to defend a bit deeper. Tactically that was the idea. In the first two games Aston Villa have been brilliant on the counter-attack and if you open up too much the spaces then they have players who can hurt you."
Rodgers' assessment was perfect and although Villa had chances, they were mainly restricted to shots from distance as they struggled to work out what to do with the possession ceded to them by Liverpool. That Villa have won more matches away from home than at Villa Park since the start of last season emphasises their reliance on counter-attacking - exhibited in the opening-day win over Arsenal and last season's success at Anfield - but on Saturday they were forced into finding a Plan B that failed to materialise.
There will be plenty of occasions when Liverpool rely on their array of attacking talent this season, but this was not one of those days as big Kolo Toure came to the fore. The free transfer from Manchester City, who Rodgers affectionately describes as "funny to watch sometimes", was magnificent alongside Daniel Agger in a centre-back pairing that offers early promise. Indeed, it will be quite amusing when Toure keeps his place following Martin Skrtel's return to fitness.
Liverpool's lack of options on the bench became an issue in the second half as Rodgers appeared reluctant to make changes and the manager will no doubt be busy this week as he looks to strengthen as well as secure a straightforward victory over Notts County that would set up a League Cup third-round return for Luis Suarez.
Rodgers will also need to work closely with Simon Mignolet if he is to obtain the contribution he desires from the keeper. The Belgian's pass accuracy of 33% against Villa and 54% versus Stoke (Pepe Reina averaged 71% last season) shows teething issues as he adapts to Liverpool's style, but so much of Rodgers' system depends on composure and building from the back. For £9m he will expect this matter to be rectified.
Two match-winning strikes in the first two games and eight goals in his last seven Premier League appearances. Roy Hodgson, take note.
After failing to win a single penalty in the whole of last season, Spurs have settled two matches from the spot at the start of this. Whoever said Roberto Soldado will score a hatful but you won't remember any of them is more justified by the week.
The biggest plus of the past seven days has been Andros Townsend's performances against Dinamo Tbilisi and Swansea. No-one completed more dribbles or won more free-kicks than the winger on Sunday and it appears that after nine spells out on loan he is finally ready to have an impact at Spurs. Cue the 'Who needs Bale?' headlines.
After joining West Brom in 2004, the 25-year-old keeper finally made his debut by replacing the injured Ben Foster on Saturday.
A very Stokish win that provides breathing space for Hughes at the start of his project, or however it should be known. The module is far from being consolidated, however, and Hughes will be desperate to add one or two new attackers this week.
Fortunate to avoid ruining his debut with a second booking.
Two consecutive Premier League defeats, but Michael Laudrup is right not to be worried at this stage.
This was always going to happen and whether it happening now is helpful or harmful depends on how Pellegrini and his players react. The manager's immediate response was as calm as one would expect, but he will not have enjoyed witnessing his team throw away the lead and concede three times to a side that mustered only one shot on target against West Ham.
The 'fronting up' which earned Hart so much reprieve at the start of last season is no longer evident or serving a purpose. Roy Keane's assertion in October that the keeper has become 'cocky' is now redundant; calamitous would be more appropriate.
The last-minute error against Real Madrid for which he was strongly criticised by Mancini; being caught in no man's land for Poland's equaliser in October; the ball squirming through his legs against Southampton; the ball squirming through his legs against West Ham; the surprise at James Morrison's strike for Scotland - Hart's long list of conspicuous mistakes in the past 12 months did not require the addition of another flappy-hands episode on Sunday.
It is no surprise that the 26-year-old still has many areas in which he can improve, but at the same time it is worrying that he increasingly appears to be going in the opposite direction. The position of goalkeeper is one founded in confidence, and Hart's is on the floor after his annus horribilis.
It leaves Manuel Pellegrini with a tough decision to make. It is clearly a gamble to hope that Hart simply plays through his poor form and had he claimed Peter Whittingham's corner at Cardiff, City would probably have held on for a point. He had shrunk so far into his shell that he was almost invisible by the time Fraizer Campbell headed the decisive goal.
David Platt's admission that Mancini had decided to buy Asmir Begovic before he was sacked will come as no comfort to the keeper, while Roy Hodgson has also piled on the pressure as he challenges Hart to eradicate his errors to maintain his position as England's number one.
"The competition for places is getting stronger. And Joe's place is as open to competition as anyone else's," said Hodgson after Hart's mistake against Scotland. "I hope I am not the type of guy who chops and changes at every mistake. But I will be watching him closely in the coming games and hopefully he will produce a few wonder games for City...I would contest he doesn't have competition. Ben Foster is a good goalkeeper and we have the experienced Ruddy back as well."
Hodgson was at Goodison to see his number one at West Brom put in an impressive shift before his injury and Foster's return to the international fold has certainly thrown down the gauntlet to Hart at the start of a crucial year for England. Much will depend on the decision Pellegrini intends to make. The manager came out in support of his player after his error against Scotland, but it's a different story when he has been made to pay the price.
As blunt as a butter knife.
It's reached the stage where failing to beat Newcastle is worthy of a place in the losers column.
Newcastle and Alan Pardew
Singlehandedly destroying the notion that any weight should be given to a team's quality on paper.
The Magpies have won only two of their last nine matches in the Premier League and failed to hit the target in 14 attempts against West Ham. To underline just how poor that is, the excellent OptaJoe tweeted that it's a feat no other team has managed in the past eight seasons. Crikey.
Alan Pardew appears to be hanging by a thread, while Joe Kinnear's famed contacts have failed to make the manager's life any easier. Loaning Loic Remy was a shrewd move; only signing one striker who is out until mid-September was not.
Pardew will be fortunate to survive until the autumn should his team continue to serve up such dire performances and, despite his resilience, this is a battle he is clearly losing. While Yohan Cabaye is undoubtedly a key player, the significance the manager has placed on the midfielder's absence betrays his fears over his position. Newcastle's players don't necessarily deserve better - indeed, many have appeared to be coasting for a long time - but a new approach would surely spark a revival in fortunes. As long as Kinnear isn't handed the reins.
The Canaries have kept just two clean sheets away from home (against Reading and QPR last season) in the two years since they returned to the Premier League. The defeat to ten-man Hull has burst the bubble of optimism over a clutch of impressive new signings and unless Chris Hughton can transfer the club's ambition to the pitch, Norwich's busy summer will count for little.
According to Opta, Jelavic has now scored just one goal in his last 21 hours and 48 minutes of Premier League football for Everton. This column has previously praised the striker's instinctive one-touch finishing ability, but when that fails one is left to wonder what else he offers. I expect Arouna Kone will make the most of a start against Stevenage in midweek to secure a regular place in Roberto Martinez's first XI.
Somewhat absurdly, Sagbo's dismissal may have aided Hull's victory over Norwich, but that doesn't justify the stupidity of his headbutt. "It was completely out of character," insisted Steve Bruce, who has known the striker for all of two minutes.
Crystal Palace's Defending
Oh, the horror!
Matthew Stanger - follow him on Twitter