Manchester City, Stoke City, Wolves, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester United and Sunderland all got off to solid starts to the Premier League season thanks in no small part to our heroes of the opening weekend. As Andy Gray would say, take a bow Sergio Aguero, Asmir Begovic, Steven Fletcher, Ivan Klasnic, Ashley Young and Wes Brown.
Carlos who? If Tevez does leave Manchester City, their attacking force will be led by a new superstar who wasted no time in making his presence felt. Sergio Aguero's 30 minute cameo provided two goals and one assist, and the rush of pundits to praise him will only be drowned out by the sound of fantasy football players scrambling to slot him into their line-ups. City's next game away at Bolton Wanderers will provide a sterner test, but Aguero has scored against Real Madrid and Barcelona and will hold no fear.
The former Portsmouth man has had to play second fiddle to Thomas Sorensen for much of his time at Stoke City. He proved his class with a super double-save in their match with Chelsea, first a chipped effort from Nicolas Anelka, and then a header from Solomon Kalou a minute later. Those saves were enough to earn the Potters a credible opening day point against the former champions.
Steven Fletcher's goals at the end of last season played a vital contribution in keeping Wolves up. He looks to have carried on where he left off with an important equaliser to start the comeback in an early six-pointer against relegation rivals Blackburn Rovers.
The Croat was available on a free transfer in early summer but Bolton Wanderers moved quickly to re-sign him. He repaid them with five goals in pre-season, and netting the third in a 4-0 win over newly promoted Queens Park Rangers. He is battling for his place with Kevin Davies and Tuncay but will be keen to be the main man this season.
Ashley Young's contribution to Manchester United's season has already started to silence any doubters who believe he is not up to the club's high standards. One assist for Wayne Rooney, and superb skill to force a winning own goal, were enough to give United a 2-1 win against West Brom. Young's set pieces will be key and he will compete to provide more assists than any other player in the league.
In 2008 Brown was an ever present in Manchester United's Champions League winning campaign, but his contribution was underrated. He fell out of favour at Old Trafford, leaving for just £1 million three years later. His last game at Anfield was a rare appearance for United last year, and the team lost 3-1. On Saturday he was dominant for new club Sunderland, handling £35 million Andy Carroll with ease, winning respect and plaudits from Mackems and neutrals alike.
Did we miss anyone out? Who was the hero for your club? Do Everton fans hold the London rioters as their heroes?
Image © Bronski Beat