Friday, October 30, 2009

Comics this week

Blackest Night #4- As the undead rise, the various heroes of Earth tried to turn back the tide. The main character of this issue is the much-maligned Barry Allen. The returned Flash spread the word on how to fight the Black Lanterns and actually seems cool for the first time since his return. However as much love as writer Geoff Johns has for Barry Allen, the real star is Ivan Reis. The art of this series is going from strength to strength. At the end when the central Black Ring appeared in Coast City; that scene was nothing short of greatness! Brilliant!

Astro City: Astra #2- What happen after school? For Astra Furst, the choices are limitless and this issue showed why. I find it interesting that this series is the first real cosmic series from Astro City but the real meat of the story is Astra. The story was never forced and the smooth transition of Astra from a child to an adult was great. A short series but great nevertheless.

Nova #30- The Nova Crops officially grew by 1 this issue. As powerful and as experience Richard Rider is, he is not a veteran and new guy Philo will fill up that role in the Corps. I’m not sure about yet another new base for the Worldmind, they are moving a little too much for my taste. If the writers want a base for the Corps, then they should have a permanent one and not have the team moving every now and then. Outside that, this is a solid issue.

Guardians of the Galaxy #19- Wow! When I saw Kang the Conqueror on the cover, I went, “Oh no.” Luckily Kang only showed up for half the issue and his involvement exactly made sense. Starlord’s group finally got back to the right timeline (with the help of Kang), and confront Magus Warlock. By the end, about half of the Guardians of the Galaxy were no more and the rest were left picking up the pieces. Wow! Writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning hit a homerun here and if not for the poor art, this issue would have been perfect.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Agassi's Bombshell

Andre Agassi dropped a bombshell on the world of tennis when he admitted that he used a banned drug (crystal methamphetamine) while he was still playing, but escaped a suspension by blaming his positive test on the spiked drink of a former assistant.

Personally I don’t think much of this. I was never a fan of Agassi but he isn’t the first elite athlete to be caught using drugs, and it’s a recreational drug, not a performance enhancing one. Agassi isn’t even the first tennis player to be caught (Martina Hingis come to mind); however I have to question how in the world the ATP accepted Agassi’s reason.

I tested positive for crystal meth because my assistant spike his drink with crystal meth and I accidentally drank the drink. I mean that reason was ridiculous! How could they accept such a reason?

Don’t get me wrong. I admired and applaud Agassi’s guts for admitting to using the drug (his autobiography “Open” would have sold well even without the revelations) but I have to wonder about the anti-doping system the ATP has in place. Agassi’s excuse was ridiculous and I’m amazed the ATP accepted it.

In the end, what’s so shocking to me wasn’t that a tennis player used drugs but how easy it is to get away with it even when you are caught.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hardly LTA's Fault

A transport survey in Singapore of some 10,500 households has shown that despite efforts by the Singapore authorities to get more people on public transport, the percentage of Singaporeans using public transport has actually went down. The survey found that 59% of respondents used public transport last year, down from 63% in 2004.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) says that this is due to a lack of major infrastructural improvements in public transport during that period. Sorry but the LTA is wrong here. There’s no lack of major infrastructural improvements in public transport, just try driving along Cross Street and see all the MRT construction there. The biggest elephant in the room is the population explosion in Singapore.

Singapore’s population grew these past few years. For the past few years, Singapore has accepted more than 100,000 foreigners per year and much like the housing problems Singapore is currently having, the population growth has exceeded the public transport capacity and that’s why the percentage went down instead of up.

With all the new Masterplan by LTA, all the new traffic schemes like Mandatory Give—Way to Buses, or all the new MRT lines coming out like the Downtown Line, the percentage of Singaporeans using public transport should (in theory) go up instead of down. The fact that it went down instead has nothing to do with LTA and more to do with the Singapore government’s policy as a whole.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New NBA Season

It’s one of those things last year when the Los Angles Lakers won the NBA title last year. It was inevitable. Even discounting the fact that no one thought the Orlando Magic had a chance of upsetting the Lakers, you just know Kobe Bryant was going to win a ring without Shaquille O’Neal sooner or later.

Will the Magic and Lakers meet again this season? I doubt it.

In the East, I don’t think the surprising Magic will be able to match their run last year. The Cleveland Cavaliers may have taken Shaq to deal with Dwight Howard but I think the finalist from the East will be the Boston Celtics. They were the favorites entering the playoffs last year till Kevin Garnett got injured. Garnett is okay now and with Rajon Rondo, Ray Allan and Paul Pierce all in the last year of their contracts, it’s now or never for the Celtics. That desperation will see them to the finals this season.

In the West, I just have to go with the San Antonio Spurs. They have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Michael Finley, Antonio McDyess, Theo Ratliff, and Richard Jefferson. That’s 7 current or former All-Stars on their team. As good as Kobe is, I just can’t see anyone beating against the Spurs this year.

A Celtics-Spurs finals this year with the Spurs winning.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crazy Sport Fans

Sport fans can be crazy at times. Soccer fans are in general crazier than others.

We can now add to that; Liverpool FC fans are crazier than most soccer fans. Last week Liverpool lost a game to Sunderland 1-0 by one of the oddest goals in football history. In the 5th minute of the match, Sunderland striker Darren Bent fired a shot on goal, the ball hit a beach ball that was lying on the field, took a big deflection off the beach ball and went into the goal.

A 16 year old fan has been fingered as the culprit who threw the beach ball onto the field and has received death threats on the matter. I'm sorry but those fans are crazy. I saw the game and while I found the goal funny, I failed to see how this fan was the reason for Liverpool’s defeat. The goal was scored in the 5th min, Liverpool had 85mins to claw back the score and frankly I can’t remember the Sunderland keeper having a hard save to make.

Liverpool was poor, Sunderland rightfully won the game and I dared anyone who saw the game to tell me otherwise. Not only that, I didn’t remember the Liverpool players complaining too bitterly about the beach ball being a “foreign object” and that the goal shouldn’t be allowed to stand. Liverpool lost the game, and they deserved to lose the game. The fan was unlucky, but he wasn’t the reason Liverpool lost the game.

The ironic thing in all this; the teenager was a Liverpool fan and the beach ball had the Liverpool-brand on it. Sometimes it’s just fate.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Activate Laughter

In the fight against pirated games, game developers have come out with some pretty crazy nonsensical scheme but this one takes the cake!

IGN had just reported that legitimate early owners of the PC version of Borderlands can’t play the game. Reason is because Borderlands PC requires online activation…and that would work until its official release date!

I was laughing my guts out right now. Never a fan of online activation to begin with, this is just beautiful to me. To sell a game people can’t use because your online activation service is not working…where’s my pirated copy of Borderlands?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Who is my MP?

Now everyone knows that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has crafted policies to better suit the ruling government in elections. A majority of Singaporeans accept that if you live in an opposition ward, then your facilities will not be as good as those in government wards.

However the official reply from the Ministry of National Development (MND) to justify why opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) should not manage the Government's lift upgrading program (LUP) in their wards had brought verbal jiu-jitsu to a whole new level.

In a confusing reply to a question by opposition MP Low Thia Khiang, MND press secretary Lim Yuin Chien argue that the MND should not work with opposition Members of Parliament on the LUP because 'The will of the people expressed in general elections is to elect a government for the country as a whole; and not to elect separate local governments for each constituency.'


If that’s case, why are there different constituencies then? I could have sworn that when people vote for their MP in Hougang, they are…you know, voting for their MP in Hougang! Is Mr. Lim arguing that Mr. Low Thia Khiang who won the seat of Hougang is NOT the MP of Hougang? Is Mr. Lim arguing that Mr. Low Thia Khiang is instead the MP of…Sembawang? Who is the MP of Hougang then if the will of the people expressed in general elections is NOT to elect their representative for each constituency?

I live in the Tanjong Pagar GRC, a GRC won by the PAP in the last election in a walkover. However if what Mr. Lim said is correct, then the PAP is NOT the representative of my constituency because we are not voting for our MPS! And yes, it’s a walkover to boot! Who is my MP then?

Note: The Tanjong Pagar GRC team is led by MM Lee Kuan Yew

Who is Ms. Singapore World?

Singapore has a reputation of being a nanny state. A country where the people will only do what the government tells them to do and expect the government to have a hand in everything.

Frankly, there is some truth in that. And frankly, Singaporeans can’t really blame the Singapore government for this. I mean which county in the world would exactly have a Member of Parliament (MP) suggest government supervision and regulation of beauty contests? For oversea readers, this year’s Miss Singapore World winner, Ms. Ris Low, was stripped of her title after it was revealed that she had a past conviction for credit card fraud. It was then revealed that the second runner-up will represent Singapore at the Miss World pageant as the first runner-up in the contest has a bad relationship with the contest organizers.

Now Mr. Baey Yam Keng, the MP in question, did not suggest this out of the blue. Ever since the beauty contest scandal broke, there had been public suggestion that the Singapore government has some regulations of beauty contests as the winners are representing Singaporeans.

My attitude to all this is, “Who cares?”

I mean this is a beauty contest and this is Singapore. We are not like say, Venezuela where beauty pageants are big businesses. Who care who the Miss Singapore World or Miss Singapore Universe is? Not only do I say that there is no need for the Singapore government to regulate pageants is not enough, I think there is no need for it to be a question in Parliament.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guinness Stupid Records

I know there are stupid world records for all sorts of things, but a world record for playing a video game non-stop?

In India, a 26-year-old man is now the Guinness World Record holder for…the longest play session of Grand Theft Auto IV. The Indian man played GTA IV for over 40 hours straight, with only 4 10-minute breaks during the record attempt.

Since Singapore is always desperate for world recognition, quick let’s have a world record attempt on every video game in history and we will break all the old records for longest play time of each and every game. I mean play GTA IV for over 40 hours straight? Hell, I can beat that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Speak Singlish

Occasionally Singapore would go into a “Speak Proper English” campaign. Usually I ignored these campaigns as an absolute waste of time and money. I mean in Malaysia, I’m expecting the locals to speak Malay; in China, I’m expecting the locals to Mandarin; in Japan, I’m expecting the locals to speak Japanese; in Singapore, I’m expected to speak not only English but “proper English”.

It’s stupid but not my problem because I ignored these stupid campaigns. However the nit-picking of these “Speak Proper English” people has went to another level this year. Just yesterday there was an article in the newspaper which shows some wrong signs in Singapore. One of them is a “Wash Hand” sign at a sink and the sign was wrong because…the sign never said which hand to wash? The sign should read “Wash Hands” and without the “S”, the sign is wrong because it is not proper English.

I don’t know if I should laugh or cry at the stupidity of it all. You want to spend a few hundred dollars just to paint a “S” at all the signs in Singapore? I have a better suggestion; this is Singapore, so let everyone in Singapore speak the Singapore language: Singlish.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New OPC scheme is Not that good

On 29th Aug this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it will review its Off-Peak Car (OPC) scheme and will implement a few changes. One of the changes is that LTA will now give cash rebates of up to $1,100 once every 6 months after owners convert their normal cars to the new OPC scheme.

Now Singaporeans are jumping up and down in happiness at the news, LTA is paying you to drive your car, but frankly I don’t get why Singaporeans are so happy about the new scheme. Currently when a Singaporean change his car from a normal car to an off-peak car, he will get an extra rebate base on long he drives his vehicle as an OPC vehicle. He will receive this rebate of $2,200 per year, in one lump sum upon the de-registration of the vehicle provided the vehicle is below 10 years old and is eligible for PARF.

Under the new scheme, LTA will give cash rebates of up to $1,100 once every 6 months. So basically there’s no change! Only thing is that instead of giving it to you in one lump sum at the end, they are giving it to you piecemeal once every 6 months. If anything, the new scheme is worse because you don’t get the money in one lump sum but piece by piece.

So all those Singaporeans jumping in happiness; please sit down. LTA is not paying you to drive your car; they are just giving the money to you piece by piece.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No More Ice Cap

Global warming now has another victim. A polar research team believe that the Arctic ice cap will disappear completely in 20 to 30 years.

The polar research team said that the ice cap will be largely ice-free during the summer months within 10 years, and in 20 to 30 years it will be completely ice-free.

Without the Arctic ice cap, temperatures will rise in the world and will mean even more powerful climate changes. This will mean higher sea levels and more powerful storms and heavier flooding.

Considering all the typhoons that hit the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan recently, I'm loath to think what damage even more powerful storms would do. However, would this report lead world leaders to curb greenhouse gas emission?

One can only hope.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Paying Students To Attend School?

Usually I am a person who is all for alternative ways to get students to study. To me, the most important part of a student is to study. Uniforms, moral education etc; everything else is secondary.

However the idea of paying students to go to school and get good grades is a step too far for me. Now I know parents bribed their children all the time (more pocket money if you get As; I’ll buy that Xbox if you get good results) but state-sanctioned bribery is just a step too far for me.

In France, there is a pilot program that is paying certain students, the ones considered most likely to fail and drop out, to attend classes and get good grades. The idea is that if the student maintained a good attendance record and reached performance targets agreed upon with their teachers, reward payments will be added to their class account which will then be used to finance a school-related project like a class trip abroad or even driving lessons to obtain a driving license.

Now I understand the French government's desire to increase the students’ motivation for good grades but for the government to actually pay the student to attend class and get good grades is just too much for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this scheme could work. Money talks no matter how young you are, but a financial motivation scheme is just plain wrong no matter how successful the scheme is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Comics this week

Secret Six #14 – What was a pretty good arc went to pieces this issue. The story itself was okay; Deadshot was killing guys, Catman was slicing dead body parts, Savage Scandal made herself an addict to Venom, but everything was just so anti-climatic. Grendel lasted all of 1 scene the moment Wonder Woman showed up. Ditto for that traitor Amazon, and just about anyone else fighting against the Six. About the only interesting thing that came out of this issue is that Bane is now in charge, so that’s something good for the future. Too bad about the here and now though.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Exclusive Rant

Coming in October, Grand Theft Auto IV: Stories from Liberty City (featuring The Lost and Damned & Ballad of Gay Tony); exclusively on Xbox 360.

This ad just gets to me. What are all these exclusive deals game developers have going these days? I remember in the past game developers aim for their games to be on as many platforms as possible; Xbox, PS, Nintendo, even PC.

These days there are more and more of these exclusive deals and gamers are the poorer for it. Take Fable 2 for example. Everyone says that the original Fable played better on the PC than on the Xbox, but Fable 2 is Xbox exclusive.

Now I know game developers got some sweet deals going exclusive on 1 system but I can’t understand what good it does anyone making Fable 2 Xbox exclusive. Putting Fable 2 means lower sales because people without an Xbox360 can’t play the game while no one is going to go buy an Xbox360 just to play Fable 2. It’s Fable people, not Final Fantasy.

Gamers can’t play the game, developers get lower sales, and console sales get no boost. So what good are exclusive deals for?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The announcement that U.S President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize drew gasps of surprise from around the world. Put me in that category as well.

I like Obama but I cannot understand how he won the Peace prize. The judges said that they found his promise of nuclear disarmament and diplomacy too good to ignore.

That’s the problem!

Obama has promise but he hasn’t done anything yet! I don’t even think it is a case of too much, too soon because the Nobel Peace Prize is given to people who has yield concrete achievements in peacemaking. Obama has not. The U.S is still in Iraq, they are still in Afghanistan, war is still brewing in the Middle East; why should Obama win the prize in front of say…the Dalai Lama?

The Dalai Lama has adopted a path of peaceful negotiations between the Tibetan people and the Chinese government. Despite the wishes of his own people who are tired of 20+ years of fruitless negotiations and want to start fighting against the Chinese, the Dalai still want peace. The moment the Dalai die (which will be soon), war will erupt in Tibet.

Obama? The guy couldn’t even solve the problems in Honduras.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Define Choosy

With rising housing prices hitting headlines recently, Singapore’s National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has come out to say that “HDB figures yesterday showed that eight in 10 first-timers could get a flat on their first try if they were not choosy ; the success rate was 96 per cent for the second try”.

Unfortunately for the Singapore government, this is a figure few Singaporeans believe. A study by National University of Singapore economists Tilak Abeysinghe and Gu Jiaying published last year found that the buying power of people's lifetime earnings in 2007 was lower than it was in 1990 when it is tracked against the prices of HDB resale flats. Basically, prices of HDB resale flats have become less affordable for Singaporeans.

Not only that, the latest statistics by Minister Mah came in the midst of several complaints about the difficulty in getting a flat. So how do you explain the numbers by HDB?

When I read the statement by Minister Mah I think the important part of it is “if they are not choosy”. How do one define being “choosy”? I mean to buy a flat in Singapore means you will putting yourself in debt for the next 10 to 25 years. If you put that in the equation, would it be “choosy” if you reject a flat on the second-storey or in an out-of-the-place area? In either one of those scenarios, the resale value of the flats would be lower.

So would that be considered “choosy”? Maybe Minister Mah can explain what is considered "choosy".

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Comics this week

Irredeemable #7- After the weakness of last issue, writer Mark Waid crank up the story this time. We find an important reason for Plutonian's rampage and the Paradigm found some very interesting things in his very cool-looking home base. Another interesting thing we get is that we finally got someone who can last a second against Plutonian without getting his head crushed like a grape. Irredeemable seems to be kicking in gear...and not a moment too soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What will it take?

Last week, there is a massive earthquake in Indonesia, a tsunami hit Samoa, massive floods in India due to heavy rain, floods in Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan due to tropical storms (and Japan will be joining them in a few days time), and snow hit New Zealand…in the middle of spring.

All these disasters in one week and what happened? Nothing! Talks in Bangkok right now on climate change is going nowhere, just like what happened in the recent talks in New York and at the G20 meeting.

No one is even questioning that climate change is seriously affecting the world now, but is anyone willing to do anything about the matter. No! You have to wonder if there is any hope for mankind when nothing changes even after the week of disasters.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It’s seems Ponzi is more famous than I thought. I mean I only knew of the man and his Ponzi scheme last year when Bernie Madoff became famous but he was known to certain Singaporeans before that.

3 directors of Sunshine Empire, a multi—level marketing firm in Singapore, are on trial for running a giant Ponzi scheme that may have came to more than S$180 million. Small fry compare to what good old Bernie did but the 3 directors still faced 37 charges for falsifying accounts, making false capital declarations and running a fraudulent trading company.

A $180 million Ponzi scheme in Singapore? Yes, you know Singapore has made it when we have our own mini-Bernies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Enough With the Complaining Already

Since SingTel won the rights to broadcast English Premier League (EPL) matches, most Singaporeans have been crying bloody murder. Currently EPL matches are broadcasted on Starcable cable and with the switch to Singtel, football fans will now have to subscribe to SingTel's mio TV.

Not only do Singaporeans have to fork out money to get a new system, we also have to pay more for the football as there is a likely price increase. Rumors are that Singtel is likely to charge $40 for the football channel as they are rumored to have paid $400 million for a 3 year right to show the EPL. That’s $133 million per year!

So it’s highly likely Singtel will charge a high price for the football channel and football-mad Singaporeans will either have to pay the price or give up watching soccer. Even in money-mad Singapore, I believe most football-mad Singaporeans will foot the bill to get their football fix.

SingTel won the rights to broadcast the EPL matches. To watch Singaporeans need to get SingTel's mio TV. And the reason SingTel was willing to pay such a high price for the rights to broadcast the EPL matches is because they believe that in the end most Singaporeans will pay whatever the price they set to watch their beloved football.

I believe they are right.

So Singaporeans should stop complaining already. If you are that upset about the price increase, then you should do what I will be doing; forgoing EPL from next season onwards. Yes, there will not be any monthly EPL review from next season onwards as I will not be getting mio TV. I have Starhub and I’m not changing because mio TV is lousy. My sister and her husband actually had a free mio subscription, but they gave it up after a few months because they say it wasn’t user-friendly and there’s wasn’t much programs on it.

So for Singaporeans angry about SingTel winning the rights to broadcast EPL matches, stop complaining already. Your choice is clear. Either pay the new fees to see your football or forgo the EPL. Stop whining and make your decision.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Overlord 2

The first Overlord game was a fun, if slightly flawed, game. There’s just something fun about being an evil overlord bringing darkness to the world. You do it by ordering your goblin-like minions about and building a Dark Tower to spread your evil. There were some problems in targeting and camera controls but ultimately it was a fun game.

I was looking forward to Overlord 2 and after playing it; I will have to say that Overlord 2 is fun but like the first Overlord, slightly disappointing.

All the fun aspects of Overlord are here. You start off weak and as the game progresses…you stay that way! The minions are the ones who do all the work and like the first game, the minions are funny and fun to control. You do missions, built up you Netherworld Tower, collect mistresses (3 of them), and destroy the Glorious Empire, bringing evil back to the land.

However just as the fun parts of Overlord are in the game, the faults of the first game are here too. At times, it is still a pain to target objects. When there are a lot of enemies around, the best way is just call your minions to destroy and kill everything. Targeting specific objects or enemies at those times are just a waste of time. The developers did improve the camera but at times I still can’t move the camera to the direction I want to look at. There also no differences conquering through domination or destruction. Very disappointing as I was hoping to conquer the elves and sent them against the humans of the Glorious Empire; what could be cooler than sending one enemy against another.

However my biggest complain about Overlord 2 is that it is just too similar to Overlord. So similar that at times I feel like I was playing an expansion and not a sequel. Despite my misgivings, I will still recommend Overlord 2. The missions are for the most part fun to play (the mission to collect the green hive was the best in my view) and at certain points you even play as a minion to complete the mission. Overlord 2 is flawed but it is still fun. Afterall, how many games out there allow you to collect a harem and spread evil?

If you are still wondering about Overlord 2, then I suggest you can get the first Overlord game. If you love the first game, you will love Overlord 2. If you hate the first game, nothing in Overlord 2 will change your mind. That ultimately is the best, and the worst, part about Overlord 2.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Comics this week

Dark Reign: The Hood #5- An interesting mini-series that ended on a whimper. That in essence is Dark Reign: The Hood. I can understand that at the end Parker Robbins is further down the magical path than ever before but what the hell happened at the end. That showdown with Force makes no sense. The action jumped all over the place and when did Force and White Fang start having feelings for each other? Didn’t they just meet in this issue? I can’t help but feel there was a rush to clamp everything in one issue and that the series would have been better served if there was 1 more issue in the series.

Astro City: Astra #1- Although I never reviewed it, I did collect Astro City: Dark Age Book 3. It was sadly the first disappointing Astro City series I ever collected (and I have them all) but Astro City: Astra #1 is a return to form. The issue is about Astra Furst who last we saw was entering school; this issue we see her graduating from collage. Yes, the little girl is all grownup. Astro City works best in this format, showing the ordinary lives of the heroes and civilians in Astro City and again this is gold. Thanks Kurt for returning Astro City back to greatness.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

EPL this Month

Anyone who question there is a gap in the EPL can just look at the league table. The season has barely started and Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea are in the top 3 spots of the league. And the only reason why Arsenal didn’t make it 4 out of 4 is because they played a game less than everyone else. Frankly I think this is very bad for the EPL but unless they put in some sort of salary or transfer cap, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

Top Teams this Month
Manchester United – They haven’t been lighting up the league but they are leading the EPL. With grit, luck and referee’s help, Man Utd has been scoring 3 points game after game. Winning while not playing well is the mark of champions, so that’s a good sign for Sir Alex Ferguson.

Chelsea- Yes, they just lost at Wigan but I think that’s just a small hump on the road to success for manager Carlo Ancelotti. Chelsea has the look of a winning team with the best midfield in the league. They even have luck on their side. Ashly Cole is out injured but Yuri Zhikov has just returned from injury. It’s a straight like-for-like replacement. Now that’s luck.

Sunderland- Manager Steve Bruce has always proved that he has a good eye for talent but in Darren Bent, he might have done his best bit of business ever. The striker looked like a misfit at Spurs, but at Sunderland he is scoring goals for fun. You add that to a competent midfield and a solid backline; Sunderland is looking good.

Surprise Team this month
Liverpool- Why is Liverpool the surprise team of the month? Because Rafa Benitez has finally got rid of his rotation policy! Never thought I’ll see the day but Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are scoring goals and Liverpool seems to have a settled look about them at last. Rafa is even putting out a team that attacks! That’s amazing!

Disappointing Teams this month
Portsmouth- They got a new owner and went on a mini spending spree just before the transfer dateline. Manager Paul Hart has got his (new) team fighting and scraping but Portsmouth just can’t get a break. They were the far better team in a few games (the Everton game spring to mind) but they just can’t buy a point at the moment. They look almost certain for the drop.

Hull City- I thought Hull has a great chance of getting relegated at the start of the season and so far, they are proving me right. Manager Phil Brown is in danger of getting the sack and that may not be a bad thing as he seems to have lost the locker room. However I still have to wonder if that will be enough for Hull to stay up.