1. Another home game, another victory. It’s already becoming something of a habit, and a very welcome one too. You could perhaps argue that City’s succession of wins at The Circle owes plenty to limited opponents with little ambitions – and it’s hard to imagine that Preston, Fulham or Huddersfield will be vying for the automatic promotion spots, while Rochdale aren’t even in the Championship. But that’s also unfair on City, who can only beat who they play – and they’ve beaten them all.
2. Saturday’s win over Preston was the most comfortable and encouraging so far. While Huddersfield and Fulham both had spells in which they caused City problems, and Rochdale’s grim determination to stay in their cup tie made it a dissatisfying evening, rarely did it seem that City would yield anything to Preston.
3. There are reasons aplenty. Defence first: Dawson and Davies look immensely assured at this lower level, and even with the game theoretically in the balance at 1-0, there was no desperate holding on in evidence. They’re a superb pair and if they stay here (and stay fit) all season, we won’t concede many.
4. The midfield looked a lot sharper with the indolent presence of Tom Huddlestone removed. David Meyler is in marvellous form anyway, but the restoration of Mohamed Diamé to the side adds ominous impetus to City in the centre of the pitch. Let’s just hope he hasn’t returned to fitness just in time to be sold.
5. Because the transfer window is casting not light but darkness upon the season so far. Nikica Jelavić’s unjust reward for not giving a toss this season appears to be that of joining a club more suited to his elevated sense of entitlement – what a shame that one of the stars of the ill-fated 2014/15 campaign is blotting his reputation at the end of his time here.
6. But who else could go? Huddlestone, maybe – and frankly he won’t be missed on current form. Diamé would be a gamble for any side with his return to fitness being so recent and as yet unproven, however there are always sides ready to take such a risk. Abel Hernández has looked admirably committed so far this season, though his long-term aims are presumably not to play in the Championship. Add in to that the potential of a lowly Premier League side deciding to bulk up their defensive options with Dawson or Davies, or rain in a few cross with Elmohamady, and it’s clear that a squad that presently looks capable of winning the League could be ripped apart very quickly.
7. The transfer window, in case you hadn’t already realised, is an appallingly stupid idea. And we’ll refrain from justifying Sky Sports News’ revolting lauding and dramatising of this orgy of excess by watching anything the absurd Jim White tries to vomit at your television tomorrow.
8. Swansea at home in the Third Round of the League Cup is an interesting tie. With plenty of lengthy hikes already in the offing next month, it’s a relief it’s at home – and despite Swansea being demonstrably the superior side, this isn’t an unwinnable tie. Go for it, City.
9. Before that, we’ll be back in League action. The next couple of fixtures are testing ones, and you suspect that City will need to improve upon their current performances to prosper. Luckily, you suspect that there’s plenty more to come from this side. It’s down to Steve Bruce to extract those performances from the immense potential his squad possesses.
10. Aren’t Saturday afternoons at the football nice without inveterate attention-seekers in attendance?