Best performance so far? The first half against Spurs. I had to dash home to watch a replay to make sure I hadn’t dreamt it. Having had such a disastrous start it gave Arteta breathing space, and gave us a glorious post-Covid moment of communion between fans and players.
And the worst? Despite plenty of valid excuses, it was the defeat in our opener to a spirited Brentford side.
Happy with the manager? Apart from Spurs, the performances really haven’t convinced. Mikel needs to find a way to unleash that alchemy more often.
Why I love … Aaron Ramsdale. For far too long we’ve lacked big personalities here. Ramsdale’s euphoric celebration of Auba’s goal against Norwich summed him up: at last we have a keeper who can be the sort of dominant presence we need.
How is the atmosphere? Fans are so grateful to be back: it all feels more positive than pre-pandemic. Our new anthem: “Tottenham get battered, everywhere they go.”
What is the ‘Arsenal way’? It used to be triumph over adversity. We’ve been missing that resilience for years.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Patrick Vieira. See above. The ideal midfield general to set the tone.
Funniest moment so far … Harry Kane leading his dejected troops over to applaud the visiting fans, who’d mostly gone home.
Best performance so far? For frantic excitement it’s hard to top Leon Bailey’s 21 minutes against Everton. An assist, a goal, a booking then an injury, bringing a great result against a proper team. Those Saturday 5.30 kick-offs tend to have wild moments, possibly because the crowd is more oiled than usual, and that was a memorable night. Winning at Old Trafford was pretty good too.
And the worst? Watford was woeful and a terrible start, but arguably the flat performance at Spurs off the back of two good wins was worse.
Happy with the manager? He’s doing a great job. He’s not perfect and can be out-thought tactically, but his instinct is to play attractive football and the club are right behind him.
Why I love … Matt Cash plays how I’d play if I inexplicably got called up. Runs around everywhere, kicks people, shoots from anywhere and goes nuts when we score. Top lad.
How is the atmosphere? OK for the first two, and rocking for Everton, as usual. Man City on a Tuesday night might be a bit lively.
What is the ‘Villa way’? Backing homegrown heroes. Jacob Ramsey and the emerging Cameron Archer will have the Holte End right with them.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Gordon Cowans would give us the control in midfield that we’re lacking, spraying passes about and getting stuck in. A Rolls-Royce of a player.
Funniest moment so far … Bailey said he’d picked up his injury by “kicking the ball too hard”. A new one on me.
• Jonathan Pritchard
Best performance so far? Going toe-to-toe with Liverpool for 90 minutes. The game was bonkers. It could easily have been 6-5 either way. We never looked scared or out of place, and the noise was incredible.
And the worst? Defeat to Brighton – very much a “day after the Arsenal Lord Mayor’s Show” display. It was a wake-up call though: we haven’t lost since
Happy with the manager? Thomas Frank is different gravy. I love the way he and the team defy the pundits. He’s out‑thought Klopp, Arteta and Moyes so far, and what I love is you can see that he’s really enjoying himself.
Why I love … Frank “The Tank” Onyeka. He just doesn’t give up. He’s everywhere, pressing players, keeping the engine chugging. There’s a dip in energy when he gets subbed off as he’s still not 100% fit. Saying that, I feel guilty not also giving Ethan Pinnock, Vitaly Janelt, Ivan Toney, Kristoffer Ajer and Bryan Mbeumo a shout as they have also all been next level.
How is the atmosphere? We were worried our new stadium wouldn’t be as cauldron-esque as a very tight Griffin Park but our fears were allayed. New Griffin Park, as we call it at Beesotted, certainly feels like home. Troubled Oldham brought only 600 fans but were noisier than Arsenal, which is impressive considering they lost 7-0. It’s also great to hear Hey Jude belting from the stands again in the same way it did when I first started going to matches.
What is the ‘Brentford way’? From defence to attack we’re comfortable on the ball – but not afraid to mix it up.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Gary Blissett, for two reasons. He’d take some of the pressure off Ivan Toney up front, and he’d be first to the bar to line up the beers when we win.
Funniest moment so far … Seeing an upset Moyes grapple the ball off Zanka as the clock ticked away with us 1-0 up at West Ham. Minutes later, Zanka cheekily handed him the ball as we prepared to take a throw-in.
Best performance so far? The standout result has to be the 1-1 draw at Palace, with Maupay’s delicious 95th-minute equaliser. Bedlam in the away end, and Zaha had a hilarious tantrum. The way we rallied after going a goal down to win 2-1 at Burnley was really impressive too.
And the worst? It felt like two points dropped at a soaking Amex when we drew 0-0 with Arsenal despite stifling their ridiculously expensive squad.
Happy with the manager? Extremely. He’s instilled self-belief in the players, who look like they’re enjoying themselves, and we’re winning games that last season we would have lost. Plus we’re still fun to watch. And he doesn’t throw hissy fits.
Why I love … Marc Cucurella. The best hair in the Premier League and a bargain at £15m. He’s settled in superbly after arriving from Getafe at the end of August. The prospect of a fit-again Tariq Lamptey on the opposite wing is mouthwatering.
How is the atmosphere? Rocking. It feels unbelievably good to be back: there are fewer moaners and everyone seems more positive.
What is the ‘Brighton way’? Whatever it was, it’s changed. We’re top six.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? “He shot, he scored, it must be Peter Ward.” That man never missed – we always could do with more goals.
Funniest moment so far … Zaha’s Selhurst strop. What a face. Priceless.
• Steph Fincham
Best performance so far? It’s pretty alarming that it’s our 4-1 cup win over League Two Rochdale. We haven’t won a league game yet.
And the worst? We haven’t played anything like as badly as the results suggest, but the 0-0 draw with Norwich was so dull. And it featured a referee who, according to the crowd, really wasn’t fit to be there.
Happy with the manager? I wouldn’t want anyone else in charge, but he has to find a way of stopping us from throwing away leads.
Why I love … Maxwel Cornet. The new signing from Lyon has played around 80 minutes of league football for us but he’s lifted the whole place. Sometimes a game needs an injection of excitement – he looks as though he could be the player to give us that.
How is the atmosphere? It’s been flat at times, but that’s down to results.
What is the ‘Burnley way’? One rule for our players: “maximum effort, minimum requirement”. That will stand us in good stead as the season progresses.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Two goals in four home games isn’t good enough, so let’s bring back the best goalscorer I’ve ever seen in a Burnley shirt: Willie Irvine. Our younger fans would love him.
Funniest moment so far … Our fans doing their best to wind up Andrew Robertson about Scotland’s failings, and Jamie Vardy, again, over his wife’s spat with Coleen Rooney. Robertson laughed, Vardy really didn’t.
Best performance so far? Spurs away. We ran them absolutely ragged in the second half and could have had seven. It’s always a joy beating them at the Lane, or whatever they now call their NFL stadium.
And the worst? The first hour against Man City. We showed them far too much respect and only looked like doing anything when it was too late. City played well but we just didn’t, or couldn’t, get going in the first half.
Happy with the manager? We’re top, so it’s hard to criticise. He’s a master tactician but it does sometimes feel like he overthinks things. Defensively we’re superb: he just needs to get all the forwards firing and this team will fly. His passion on the touchline is a joy.
Why I love … Toni Rüdiger. I’d written him off a couple of seasons back, but how wrong can you be? He loves the physical side of the game. We need to get his new contract issues resolved.
How is the atmosphere? Back to, if not better than, pre-lockdown levels.
What is the ‘Chelsea way’? Never giving up. We’ve continued to fight to the end even when playing badly.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Frank Lampard banging in 20 goals a season would fit into this team like a glove. The one thing we’re missing is more goals from midfield.
Funniest moment so far … Tuchel’s baffled reaction to an injured Reece James being called up by England. “I thought maybe he was called up to the England water polo team. He’s been training in the pool.”
• Paul Baker in memory of Trizia Fiorellino
Best performance so far? The second half of the Spurs match was special; the noise, the goals from Édouard coming off the bench – it felt like a vindication of Vieira’s changes.
And the worst? Watford away in the Carabao Cup. Yet another early cup exit without scoring a goal.
Happy with the manager? He’s done brilliantly integrating all the new players and totally restyling our approach. Passing out from the back, dominating possession, making ruthless subs when needed: it’s such a refreshing change. Long may it last.
Why I love … Conor Gallagher. Incredible energy, great touch, infectious enthusiasm – every picture you see of him he’s grinning ear to ear.
How is the atmosphere? Some fans still seem to be staying away due to Covid fears, and the digital ticketing system hasn’t helped either. But overall, we’re just delighted to be back.
What is the ‘Palace way’? Attacking, entertaining football played at pace by skilful young players who have something to prove. It could be back.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Andy Johnson, with his absolute killer instinct in the box and searing pace, would have loved to play in this team.
Funniest moment so far … Spurs tweeting a photo of Emerson Royal trying to tackle Zaha, captioned “debut”. It had the scoreboard in the corner showing Spurs 2-0 down – and Zaha absolutely destroyed him.
• Chris Waters @Clapham_Grand
Best performance so far? The 1-1 draw at Old Trafford with a decimated squad: solid at the back, Allan and Doucouré magnificent, and Townsend scoring a beauty on the break, running the length of the pitch.
And the worst? We struggled at home to Burnley in the first half. But we were saved by an incredible six-minute spell of three goals, including a goal of the season contender from Townsend.
Happy with the manager? Apart from cup defeat away to QPR, Benítez has not put a foot wrong. Astute, bargain signings and much more attractive football. He’s got the squad playing with an intensity and effort that is so admired and desired by Evertonians. His communication has been excellent too: honest and direct, he’s working hard to win over the Blues.
Why I love … Andros Townsend. A revelation on a free, he’s genuinely delighted to be at (in his words) “such a big club”. He’s working hard and is in the form of his life. Ronaldo will be practising his Andros celebration.
How is the atmosphere? Good. Nice to hear “We are the Goodison Gang” resurrected out of nowhere – last heard on a 1970s away-day football special.
What is the ‘Everton way’? The school of science: the team that play beautiful football, fair and square. We’re not there yet, but there are some blue shoots of a new beginning.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Dixie Dean. 383 goals in 433 games.
Funniest moment so far … Yerry Mina has taken it upon himself to wind up the opposition in every game. Plays with a huge smile on his face.
Best performance so far? Beating Watford, because we won. It’s been that sort of season. But we were good against West Ham, with young Charlie Cresswell, central defensive son of Richard, making his debut.
And the worst? The opening day. I don’t want to talk about it.
Happy with the manager? United’s winless form went far enough for a few brave journalists to carefully phrase questions to Marcelo Bielsa about whether it’s difficult, in a poor run, to stick to his principles maybe not just go 4-4-2 and knock it long to the big man? Oh heck, we didn’t mean to say that out loud! Anyway, Bielsa isn’t going to change so it’s all moot.
Why I love … When Raphinha nutmegged Saïd Benrahma, the West Ham player walked sadly towards the bench as if substituting himself. Raphinha’s tricks are a regular feature but always with a purpose: his will to win is too strong to waste time showboating.
How is the atmosphere? The winless start let back in some of the anxieties we built up during 16 EFL years. We’ve been trying to reignite rivalries with Everton, Liverpool and West Ham. Less bothered about Watford.
What is the ‘Leeds way’? Sometimes it’d be nice if this team employed a few more of the old “Dirty Leeds” arts, but instilling Bielsa’s philosophy through the youth teams should do us good in the modern era
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? Tragically we lost half a team of Don Revie era legends during lockdown, and I’d wish them all back in their seats to enjoy watching their club in the top flight. But John Charles, towering defender turned striker, back again, playing for Bielsa? Yes please.
Funniest moment so far … Kalvin Phillips phoning EA Sports to declare his Fifa 22 ratings “a shambles”.
Best performance so far? It might surprise fans of other clubs but most of us agree we haven’t put in a single good performance. The second half at Brighton was probably our best effort.
And the worst? I could comfortably nominate 80% of our displays so far – but for sheer humiliation it ought to be West Ham away.
Happy with the manager? Rodgers is a very good manager, but there’s no one here more out of form than him. His brand of football has regressed to passive Puel-esque nonsense. He needs to get a grip … quickly.
Why I love … Kelechi Iheanacho. A huge character on and off the pitch. Should be one of the first names on the sheet each week. He’s relentless.
How is the atmosphere? Filbert Way isn’t a fun place to be at the moment but fans are, for the most part, trying to push the team forwards as normal. And belting out Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to the tune of Wonderwall has been a fun addition to the song sheet.
What is the ‘Leicester way’? Zippy free-flowing football. These days it’s slow sideways passing, no off-the-ball movement and chaotic defending.
Which player from the club’s past would you most want to bring back? What I wouldn’t give to have prime Wes Morgan in that defence. But to be frank, any former centre-back would do.
Funniest moment so far … Vardy’s rustling celebrations are still on point. His howl to Wolves fans stands out.