It was a Bad Weekend for...

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

Simon Carter lists the weekend's main sufferers...

Sorry Arsenal
The autumn is traditionally the ‘oil and water’ period of the season. Early front-runners get rude awakenings, early strugglers wake up, and the league table settles into the form it will roughly take for the rest of the season.

With Chelsea thumping Spurs in the early Saturday kick-off, and the Manchester clubs both winning against Stoke and West Brom, the onus was on Arsenal to join their ‘Big Four’ chums in rising to the top.

A tea-time trip to Norwich didn’t look too daunting for the Gunners, given City’s recent results (4-1 and 5-2 defeats bearing more resemblance to betting odds) but a “very, very poor” Arsenal could find no way back from Grant Holt’s first-half opener.

Manager Arsene Wenger’s comments that the Canaries “wanted it more than us” and that Arsenal “didn’t win the decisive fights” hints at a note of complacency. Whatever the reason for Arsenal’s lacklustre performance, the visit of Schalke 04 in the Champions League is bound to resharpen the focus.

Adam Lallana
The Southampton captain struck his first Premier League goal in his team’s visit to West Ham. The smart turn and ferocious finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen offered a glimpse of the talent that has seen him capped at three levels for England and justified some of the expectation that followed him into the Premier League.

But Lallana’s goal was ultimately of little use to his side as their defensive failings struck again – this time to the tune of four second-half goals. Southampton have now conceded 24 goals in their eight Premier League games (a league record) and with Tottenham next up, things could be about to get worse for the Saints.

Paul Jewell
Ipswich's likeable Liverpudlian manager provided a breath of fresh air when his Bradford side arrived in the Premier League in 1999. He has maintained an affable air ever since and as a breezed into Portman Road in January 2011 as a replacement for the unloved Roy Keane, Jewell was all smiles as he set about trying to deliver the promotion repeatedly promised by chairman Marcus Evans.

However, like Keane and Jim Magilton before him, Jewell has failed to position Ipswich even as contenders for promotion and their latest defeat, 2-1 at Hull, has left the Tractor Boys struggling in 23rd place in the Championship.

After the latest defeat Jewell told reporters that he would “think seriously about” resignation – and having previously walked out at Bradford, Wigan and Derby, he certainly knows where the door is.

Leeds’ reputation
The ‘Dirty Leeds’ moniker that attached itself to the Elland Road club in the 1960s and 1970s referred as much to the tough style of players like Billy Bremner and Norman Hunter as anything inherently rotten about the club and their fans.

Despite widespread historical enmity, Leeds have spent the best part of this millennium picking up a certain sympathy for their many plights, and attempted to shed the unwanted nickname. Pity then that the club's reputation has been dragged (back?) into the mud by the actions of one fan, who ran onto the pitch following his side’s equaliser in the Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night and attacked goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

Of course, Leeds United cannot be responsible for the actions of all of their fans – and have been quick to ban the protagonist, who has now also been arrested and charged with assault. But there is no doubt that the incident has brought unwanted attention and embarrassment to the club once again known as Dirty Leeds. 

Tranmere's unbeaten record
This is as much a doff of the cap to Tranmere’s early season form as it is a commentary on their shock 3-1 reverse at Bournemouth on Saturday. Merseyside's third club have enjoyed a tremendous start to the League One season and remain well placed for a promotion push despite their first defeat of the campaign.

Ronnie Moore will no doubt be quick to chalk up the defeat to the effect of Eddie Howe’s return to the Bournemouth hot-seat and will today set about rallying his men for back-to-back home games this week against play-off chasers Doncaster and Preston.

Northampton Town
Northampton have muddled their way through League Two so far this campaign with strong home performances undermined by poor away non-performances – but there was nothing in their opening 12 games that hinted at Friday’s 4-0 defeat at Barnet.

The league-propping Bees have been Bad Weekend regulars this season but for once, they were the ones doling out the punishment. Perhaps they were inspired by the inclusion of Dutch legend Edgar Davids, or maybe they were galvanised by the unusual setting of a Friday night fixture. Maybe they've summoned the relegation fighting spirit earlier than usual this campaign.

Whatever it was that stimulated this spectacular win, you can sure they’ll be trying it again before Tuesday’s trip to fellow strugglers Wycombe.

Accrington’s Swedish pretensions
The highlight of the international break, other than watching Adrian Chiles trying to fill an hour of watching a roof not close, was Sweden’s visit to Germany.

The Swedes were 3-0 behind by half time and even a Zlatan Ibrahimovic team talk couldn’t prevent them from going four down shortly after the break. But then, the magic: Sweden became the first team in history to come back from 4-0 to Germany after a 93rd-minute equaliser from Rasmus Elm.

Not many in the UK will have seen that game but there were echoes when Accrington Stanley travelled to Oxford on Saturday. Oxford’s Tom Craddock was allowed a first-half hat-trick as Stanley slumped to a 3-0 half-time deficit. Like the Swedes, Stanley conceded a fourth goal (again for Craddock) soon after the break… could the Lancastrians emulate the Scandinavians?

No. Not even Ibrahimovic himself could have saved Accrington on Saturday and by the time Alfie Potter scored to make it 5-0, any thoughts of an unlikely comeback had long since disappeared.

International football
The astonishing events in Germany aside, the international break was met with a trans-European disinterested shrug – European and World Champions Spain didn’t even sell out their draw with France – and it was with open arms that club football was welcomed back all over the continent.

In England, following stuttering performances from the national team against San Marino and Poland, fans were treated to wonderful football and fixtures at all levels. From Chelsea’s 4-2 White Hart Lane win to Bolton winning from 2-0 down against Bristol City, and super games at Walsall, Bristol Rovers, Gillingham and York in Leagues One and Two, the message remained constant throughout: who needs England when you have English football?