I'm off then. Thanks for all your emails today, especially the ones which replied to my 'worst player' debate - so many, in fact, that I couldn't publish them all.
Some really interesting results in Premier League today - great wins for West Ham, Swansea and Tottenham, bad losses for Chelsea and Arsenal. A sigh of relief for Liverpool, a decent point for Everton, another setback for high-flying West Bromwich Albion and another game without victory for QPR, who appear to have lost Mbia for a long time due to a serious-injury injury.
Good night and God bless.
Harrogate 1 Hastings Utd 1
Lincoln City 3 Mansfield 3
Accrington Stanley 3 Oxford Utd 3
Bury 1 Southend 1
Carlisle 1 Bournemouth 3
Coventry 2 Morecambe 1
Crawley Town 3 Chelmsford 0
Crewe 0 Burton Albion 1 (latest)
Fleetwood Town 2 Aldershot 3
Luton 2 Dorchester 1
Oldham 3 Doncaster 1
Preston 2 Gillingham 0
Rotherham 1 Notts County 1
Sheff Utd 2 Port Vale 1
Tranmere 2 Chesterfield 1
West Ham 3-1 Chelsea
Arsenal 0-2 Swansea
Fulham 0-3 Tottenham
Liverpool 1-0 Southampton
Manchester City 1-1 Everton
QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
West Brom 0-1 Stoke
Reading v Manchester United (5.30pm KO)
Holman gave Villa the lead before Mackie equalised for the hosts, who have now matched Swindon's record of not securing a win in their first 15 games of a Premier League season.
This match was, however, overshadowed by a serious injury to Stephane Mbia in the first-half. Not sure yet how bad it is.
This from Mohamed-Zain Dada:
Simeon Brown on Twitter: "Wenger may be the new Harvey Dent. You die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
I echo these sentiments, Arsene is an astute business man and as Arsenal fan we have to understand that we are going through a double dip recession
Two goals from Defoe and a daisy cutter/moss murderer/worm burner from Sandro seals a very impressive win for Tottenham, who are now three points behind West Brom in fourth and Chelsea in third
Agger's first-half header is enough to seal a second home win in succession for Liverpool
The champions back on top, but probably only for a few hours with Man Utd playing Reading later. Fellaini gave Everton the lead before Tevez equalised just before half-time via a penalty.
Dean Whitehead's second-half goal seals Stoke's fourth win in succession at The Hawthorns. A second defeat in succession for the Baggies.
In typical fashion, Liverpool are creating some good chances but not taking them. Will they pay the price?
Everton finishing this one on top
Two goals from Michu seals Swansea's first win at Arsenal since 1982. Loud boos at the Emirates.
That should be that. Michu has scored again, cooly slotting past Szczesny after good work from Dyer. A very bad afternoon for Gooners given what is also happening at Craven Cottage.
Dave Edwards points out that Charlton are also playing in London today against Millwall. Blimey, the tube is gonna be moider tonight
This from Gary Naylor:
Why is that a forward punching the ball into the net gets a yellow but a defender punching the ball out of the net gets a red?
OH.MY.WORD. Michu scores with shot into top corner of the net. Boos ring 'round the Emirates
This very nice contribution from Gregory Clouatre:
To further the alternative names for "Daisy Cutter", we in Louisiana have always called them "Worm Burners". For the obvious reasons...
Suarez booked for trying to punch ball into back of the net. I kid you not.
JD strikes again. Right-footed shot from Dempsey's assist. Game.over.
Another update from Simon McMahon, our man north of the border:
It's Russell Mania at Stranraer as the Dundee United hitman completes his hat-trick and United now lead 5-0. A good day too (so far) for the Highland League as Deveronvale are drawing 1-1 at Raith Rovers and Turriff United continue to hold Morton.
Thanks to Mark Jelbert for pointing out that Crystal Palace are also playing in London today, against Brighton. A busy day daan sauf.
And Everton are once again on top at the Etihad, a(nother) shift in emphasis that has partly come from Mancini;'s decision to replace the excellent Tevez with Aguero. Home fans not happy with that change
That should be that for Spurs. Another goal, too, for Defoe. Are you watching Roy Hodgson?
And the visitors have taken the lead at the Hawthorns
West Ham 3-1 Chelsea (FT)
Arsenal 0-0 Swansea
Fulham 0-1 Tottenham
Liverpool 1-0 Southampton
Manchester City 1-1 Everton
QPR 1-1 Aston Villa
West Brom 0-0 Stoke
Reading v Manchester United (5.30pm KO)
This from Peter Kingsnorth:
The whole 'Chelsea have won more cups during the Abramovich era than any other English team' - is that still true if you remove the charity/community/whatever it's called these days shield wins from the calculations?
This very nice email from Ben Mohammadi:
I was buoyed to see you use the phrase 'daisy cutter' to describe Sandro's shot. A few years ago I watched a World Cup Greatest Goals compilation which had a quite ridiculous and hilariously absurd voice-over by Sean Lock. He was quite humoured by the phrase daisy cutter and proceeded to give it various other monikers such as Moss Murderer and Groundy Rolly Goal. The latter not to be confused with a Rolly Groundy Goal. Which I'm sure you'll appreciate is different all entirely.
In the future if you could throw in these alternative names every now and again that would be swell.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Giroud have come on for Arsenal as Wenger looks to wake up his side
And it's turnaround at the Etihad Stadium, too, where City are now all over Everton. Silva has gone close
It's all QPR now at Loftus Road and Brad Guzan is keeping Villa in the game with a host of good saves
Nicholas has been in touch to respond to Tim Williams' cheeky email about Chelsea:
A flagging entertainment vehicle that has long since past its best? Opposing fans' attempts to pretend Chelsea haven't won more trophies since Roman arrived, than any other English team, have gone from ridiculous to delusional.
FT: England 38-21 New Zealand. Rud-dy-hell.
Thanks to Nigel Burnett for this email in reply to Paul Bacon's observation that all six London Premier League sides are playing in the capital today.
I noticed yesterday that all six London teams were playing - I presumed it was planned that way to avoid motorway traffic in the predictably bad weather in early December.
Oooh, this is an interesting idea from Tim Williams:
If things get worse for Abramovich's Chelsea, what odds do you reckon on him imitating Have I Got News For You post-Angus Deayton? Appointing a guest manager each week to oversee a flagging entertainment vehicle that has long since past its best
Deadlock broken at the Cottage. Sandro has let a daisy-cutter fly and its fizzed past Mark Schwarzer, who should have done better to save the effort but was taken by surprise by the effort
Everton have come out of the traps at the Etihad Stadium and once again are dominating proceedings. Could this be City's first defeat of the season? What a boost that would be for leaders Man Utd ahead of their game with Reading this evening
Swansea still on top at the Emirates and Arsenal are not taking advantage of the few opportunities coming their way - Walcott has just made a mess of a corner.
Its all Southampton so far in the second-half at Anfield. They've had four corners and are pinning the hosts back
Too many to go through in detail so instead I'll just chuck a few names your way. Thanks again for a fantastic if not slightly overwhelming response
Jordi Cruyff, Bebe, Liam Miller (Man Utd), Andre Santos (Arsenal), Bosko Balaban (Aston Villa), John Akinde (Bristol Rovers), Salif Diao, Sean Dundee, Neil Ruddock, Harry Kewell (Liverpool)
And the award for most interesting observation of the day goes to Paul Bacon:
Surely the good folks at TfL and I aren't the only ones to notice that all six London Premiership sides play in London today. How infrequently does that happen? Doesn't that create public transport issues and don't the wallahs in charge of the fixture list do all they can to avoid this kind of situation? And yes, I'm too darned lazy to check out the stats myself. I have to work today - and it's not doing an MBM Saturday Clockwatch for The Grauniad.
As Arsenal struggle against Swansea, this email from Jakob Mathiszig-lee:
The team is terrible, the fans are terrible although if the people behind me follow through with their promise to not renew their season tickets I'll be fine another year without a trophy more bareable since they've spent every game since 2006 complaining. Not that it isn't justified at the moment.
England 32-14 New Zealand (64mins)
Holman gave Villa the lead before Mackie equalised for the hosts. The game has become overshadowed, however, but a serious injury to Mbia.
Accrington Stanley 1 Oxford Utd 1
Bury 1 Southend 1
Carlisle 0 Bournemouth 2
Coventry 1 Morecambe 0
Crawley Town 2 Chelmsford 0
Crewe 0 Burton Albion 1
Fleetwood Town 1 Aldershot 2
Luton 1 Dorchester 0
Oldham 1 Doncaster 1
Preston 2 Gillingham 0
Rotherham 1 Notts County 1
Sheff Utd 0 Port Vale 1
Tranmere 1 Chesterfield 1
This from Simon 'Simo' McMahon, our man north of the border:
Dynamic duo Johnny Russell (2) and Jon Daly have put Dundee United 3-0 up at half time at Stranraer. They might as well just give United the Cup now. In other news Highland League Turriff United took the lead against Morton before being pegged back, and Livingston are clearly feeling sorry for bottom of the SPL Dundee and have given them a two goal start.
England 20-14 New Zealand (56mins)
Agger gave Liverpool the lead with a 43rd minute header. Hosts well on top but Southampton did have a decent chance late on in the half
Michael Dawson has had to go off with an injury for Spurs in an otherwise uneventful first-half at Craven Cottage
Fellaini gave Everton the lead with a header before Tevez equalised for City. Shot, there, of David Moyes arguing with the fourth official as the players depart for half-time, clearly not happy with the pen decision
Steve Clarke's Champions League chasers being frustrated so far
Swansea have been on top. Could get shouty in north London later this afternoon.
Liverpool have scored (I know, can't believe it either). Agger with a header from Johnson's cross. Four Southampton players stood and watched as the Dane struck.
And the champions are back on level terms.
An interesting contribution from Cosmo:
Chris Sutton - worse, than, Torres
England 15-0 New Zealand (47mins)
Have to quickly squeeze this one in from Jeff Todd:
Danny Simpson - Homer, Bart, combined.
News of a very serious-looking injury at Loftus Road for Stephane Mbia. He's been laid flat out on the pitch for over five minutes and will shortly be carried off on a stretcher. It looks bad for the lad. Real shame.
Great response to this guys, but too many at moment to get to. Will do asap.
Shelvey has just hit the inside of the post. Liverpool in total control. That'll be a 1-0 win for Southampton then.
The big Belgian does it again! A header from Fellaini following Hart's instinctive save. And it's fully deserved from what I'm hearing.
Fellaini's eight goal of the season and Everton on course for a sixth win in seven games against City
Nathan Dyer with another good chance for Swansea. Vermaelen had to make a last-ditch tackle. Nervy times for the home side
Chris and Doug Boynton: Liverpool - Bruno Cheyrou - Houllier's 'new Zidane' (not three adjectives but you get the idea)
Jason Gregory Isaacs: Liverpool - Stewart Downing - twenty, million, pounds
Nicholas Kingdrummer: Arsenal - Tomas Rosicky - lad's, unbelievably, usless
Liverpool have made a good start against the Saints. But how are they lined-up? My pal Conor Brennan has a theory:
Given Rodgers' predilection for odd formations and false 9s and 7s and so on, I interpret the lineup listed to be as follows:
1-2-3-2-1-2, with Shelvey in goal.
José Reina, Martin Skrtel;
Luis Suárez, José Enrique, Daniel Agger;
Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen;
Raheem Sterling, Glen Johnson.
Benteke has had the ball in the back of the net for Aston Villa but the effort has been ruled out for offside
Cracking response to this peeps. Here are the most recent to flood my inbox
Adam Falla: Man Utd - Eric Djemba Djemba
Kevin Laryea: Man Utd - Erick Djemba Djemba
Colin Flint : Newcastle - Mike Williamson - uncoordinated, pensive, weak
Col Chadwick: Liverpool - Alberto Aquilani - not, Xabi, Alonso
Alex Quick: Man Utd - Ashley Young - cat, in a, bath
Yuval Weber: Man Utd - Bebe - inexplicable, bewildering, embarassing
And the Hoops are back on level terms thanks to a header from Jamie Mackie
... Aston Villa's goalscorer today is, of course, Holman, not Hogan. My apologies.
Daniel Seex and Brendan Large have both plumped for ... Torres
Daniel - Expensive, bloody, disaster
Brendan - effing, bloody, useless
Swansea have made a good start at the Emirates and Angel Rangel has gone close to scoring for the visitors. They'll be grumbling in the expensive seats
Jan Smith - Mark Fish. Again, no adjectives but Jan is Dutch so I'll let him off.
Adam Hirst - Ashley Young. No adjectives Adam. Come on man!
First Premier League goal of the day and it's gone to Aston Villa, specifically Brett Hogan.
Oh dear, not the start 'Arry would have wanted. Mark Hughes must be smiling one hell of a smile right now
This lovely, lovely email from Hayley Geffin:
My husband Miles Geffin has taken Max, his four year old son (five on Wednesday!) - and the most awesome stepson I could ever ask for - to his first ever game at the Emirates today. The littl'un has about 12 layers of clothes on, a fat bag of sweets & is equipped with some Gooner tunes (let's face it, there aren't many - plus we discounted the "My old man said 'Be a Tottenham fan...")
If you could add a note about this to your live blog that be sweeeet. For posterity and all...
Nothing more to add to that. Have a great day Miles & Max
Nial Mullen has his own 'most crap LFC player':
Paul Freaking Konchesky. Useless. Thuggish. Hammer.
Or was that Julian Dicks?
This afternoon's Premier League games are underway. No goals so far. We do, however, have full-time scores in the two early FA Cup second-round games:
Harrogate 1-1 Hastings Utd
Lincoln City 3-3 Mansfield
Thanks to Daniel Sanders for contributing to the 'who is your worst player in three adjectives?' game. He's provided two, which is a bit cheeky, but just this once ...
Washedup - ManU - castoff
Lazy - foggy - confused
... for not pointing out that it's also fourth-round day in the Scottish Cup. And well done to Simo (can I call you that? feel we're friends now) for contributing to the worst player debate. He is his wonderful email:
Afternoon Sachin. Scottish Cup action north of the border today. The early kick-off saw a cracking 3-3 draw between Ross County and Caley Thistle. My team, the world famous Dundee United FC, winners in 2010, travel to face Stranraer. Our worst player? Danny Cadamarteri - disinterested, slow, useless.
... for sending the first email of the day:
Looking at that Liverpool XI, you can have a fun game of 'Guess the left back'. I mean, the logical choice is Enrique, but with Rodgers, you never can tell. Lucas, just back from injury, thrown into a new position? Could be...
I'm certainly surprised to see Lucas start - thought he would be on the bench. Clearly Brendan Rodgers is desperate to get him back in the side and move Joe Allen a bit further forward. Personally happy to see Gerrard play as part of the front three, don't think it's worked out for him in a deep-lying midfield role.
West Ham (0) 3
Chelsea (1) 1
QPR: Green, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Hill, Traore, Mbia, Diakite,
Granero, Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Mackie. Subs: Murphy, Derry,
Ferdinand, Park, Cisse, Da Silva, Hoilett.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Lichaj, Holman, Herd,
Westwood, Bannan, Benteke, Agbonlahor. Subs: Given, Ireland,
El Ahmadi, Bent, Delph, Weimann, Williams.
Harrogate 1-1 Hastings Utd (80mins)
Lincoln City 3-2 Mansfield (78mins)
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Frei,
Diarra, Sidwell, Dejagah, Berbatov, Petric. Subs: Etheridge,
Kelly, Baird, Karagounis, Richardson, Duff, Rodallega.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen,
Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale, Defoe, Dempsey. Subs: Friedel,
Gallas, Sigurdsson, Falque, Walker, Livermore, Carroll.
West Brom: Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Yacob,
Mulumbu, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Gera, Long. Subs: Daniels,
Ridgewell, Morrison, Brunt, Lukaku, Odemwingie, Tamas.
Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron, Walters,
Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Etherington, Jones. Subs: Sorensen,
Palacios, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Wilkinson, Jerome.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs,
Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Gervinho, Podolski. Subs:
Mannone, Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Squillaci,
Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer,
Britton, Ki, de Guzman, Shechter, Michu. Subs: Cornell, Monk,
Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly.
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Toure,
Barry, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta,
Javi Garcia, Sinclair, Aguero, Toure, Balotelli.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Gibson,
Osman, Naismith, Fellaini, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha,
Heitinga, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas,
Allen, Shelvey, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Sahin,
Henderson, Downing, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.
Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon,
Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert. Subs:
Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse,
And that's that. Maiga scores from close range after intercepting a slack sideways pass from Ashley Cole, playing in Taylor and then reacting first after Cech had saved his shot.
My, my. Diame has just given West Ham the lead with a rasping drive from the edge of the area following some excellent graft from Carlton Cole down the left-hand edge of the area.
West Ham fans singing "you're gonna get sacked in the morning to Benitez". Who's to say Roman doesn't pull the trigger this afternoon?
Four mins of stoppage time to play ...
... until then, how about we start a little interactive-online-Q&A-thingy, specifically: "who is the worst player you have seen play for your club and why in three adjectives?"
I'll start: Liverpool - Phil Babb - clumsy, easily-distracted, over-priced.
Freezing isn't it? Brrr!!!
At least we have some tip-top Premier League action to warm our collective cockles this afternoon, with big games at the top, middle and bottom of the division. Champions Manchester City host their bogey side Everton, while Arsenal face Swansea at the Emirates, Fulham take on Tottenham at Craven Cottage and, perhaps most intriguingly of all, Queens Park Rangers take on Aston Villa in something of a relegation six-pointer that also doubles up as 'Arry's first home match in charge of the Hoops. Expect a few waves, a few thumbs-up and, best of all, Joe Jordan snarling at Stéphane Mbia. Can't wait.
Here are today's full set of Premier League fixtures:
Arsenal v Swansea
Fulham v Tottenham
Liverpool v Southampton
Manchester City v Everton
QPR v Aston Villa
West Brom v Stoke
Reading v Manchester United (5.30pm KO)
Before I bring you team news from around the grounds, an update from the game that has already kicked-off today; West Ham v Chelsea. It's currently 1-1 at Upton Park, with Juan Mata having given Chelsea the lead on 13 minutes before Carlton Cole equalised with a - you guessed it - header on 63 minutes. Most importantly of all - Rafa Benitez has a blue tie on. Good lad. Still 12 minutes still to play.
Today is also FA Cup second-round day. Two matches have already kicked-off and it is currently Harrogate 1-0 Hastings and Lincoln City 2-1 Mansfield
The other ties are:
Preston North End v Gillingham
Bury v Southend United
Sheffield United v Port Vale
Carlisle United v AFC Bournemouth
Crewe Alexandra v Burton Albion
Luton Town v Dorchester Town
Oldham Athletic v Doncaster Rovers
Tranmere Rovers v Chesterfield
Rotherham United v Notts County
Barrow AFC v Macclesfield Town
Accrington Stanley v Oxford United
Coventry City v Morecambe
Crawley Town v Chelmsford City
Fleetwood Town v Aldershot Town
In the meantime, why not read our Saturday interview with Jermain Defoe:
The craving to score goals, which has burned inside Jermain Defoe since he was a kid kicking a ball around the streets of east London telling himself to "practise, practise, practise", shows no sign of abating. There is something of that determined child still in him today, and it will stare him straight in the face when the 30-year-old wakes up on Saturday morning, walks into the gym he has at home, and takes a look in the mirror. There, right in front of him, is a list of the top 10 goalscorers in Tottenham Hotspur's history. He wrote it himself, starting with Jimmy Greaves's 266 at the top. He stuck it to his mirror so he can get a good, regular reminder of it. He gleefully amends the names and numbers where appropriate as his own goal collection grows.
At the beginning of November, after plundering a hat-trick against NK Maribor in the Europa League, Defoe went home and grabbed a pen. Those goals had taken him up a position on the goalscoring charts, ahead of Teddy Sheringham, on 128. "I went in there and crossed out Teddy's name and put mine in," he says, chuckling at what some might perceive as a slightly embarrassing confession. But at the same time, there is an earnest side to it all. "It's quite sad really ... But I think it helps my focus," he explains. "I know it's about the team and this is a personal thing, but at the end of the day if I am scoring goals it is helping the team. Having that there, when I get up in the morning I go in and have a look at it and that's a good feeling."
Defoe is thoroughly enjoying his football at the moment. He has already exceeded one of his targets – he aims for 10 goals before Christmas as a marker, but has 12 – and is grateful for the absolute faith of Tottenham's new coach, André Villas-Boas. Defoe may be seen as one of 'Arry's boys but he could hardly sound more positive about André's ways. The jury may be out for some but Defoe speaks with enough genuine fondness and enthusiasm to suggest that the players are won over. It is the little things that seem to be making a big difference.
You can read the rest of Amy Lawrence's interview by clicking here.