Eden Hazard has seemingly been watching Mario Balotelli as closely as Man City has been keeping an eye on Daniel Agger.
Chelsea's Hazard a quick learner
All hail the return of football! It might only have been the Community Shield but it was still more interesting than watching European handball at the Olympics. (And slightly less interesting than watching the Swedish women's European handballers, especially if Usain Bolt's missives from London can be trusted. But The Circus digresses).
Anyway, the match between Manchester City and Chelsea was everything you would expect from a game between last season's Premier League champion and Champions League champion, with City taking the trophy no one really cares about for the first time since 1972.
What was interesting was to note the way Chelsea did its best to mimic Manchester City – and The Circus is not referring to fringe tactical issues like formations or attack on the ball here.
Those of you with long memories will remember that barely a year ago, Manchester City's mad genius Mario Balotelli attempted a crazy backheel in a pre-season game that meant nothing. It was the start of a crazy season that eventually cost Balotelli a bathroom and saw Carlos Tevez sent to Coventry (figuratively, not literally) before returning to help the club win the title.
For those that don't remember, relive the Balotelli backheel here:
It's clear that Chelsea remembers the incident. Especially off-season signing Eden Hazard:
Now we just need Hazard to start throwing darts at kids and to go on tours with the mafia, and Chelsea might just have a season to remember.
Daniel Agger's Kop-flavoured knuckledusters
The penny appears to have finally dropped at Eastlands, with Roberto Mancini realising you need more than a squad full of temperamental strikers to enjoy sustained Premier League success.
Accordingly, City has made inquiries about the availability of Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger, a veritable Anfield veteran who has three years remaining on his current deal. The Reds have responded by slapping a $40 million price tag on the Danish international's head and manager Brendan Rogers has expressed his reluctance to let Agger leave.
But what does Agger think of all this? It is often difficult to gauge a player's true feelings on transfer matters but the Dane has made it easy for us by getting 'YNWA' - the acronym of the club's famous motto - tattooed on his fingers.
However, if the Reds cash in on City's interest, Agger can always explain away his knuckle tatts to his new team-mates as a dig at his former club ('You'll Never Win Again') or Rogers's managerial prospects once Liverpool crash in his absence ('You'll Never Work Again').
And who knows? The qualified tattoo artist might even get to follow through on his promise of free commemorative ink for his team-mates upon winning the Premier League title at a new club, although he'll have to practice the script for a new motto.
For the unaware, City's creed is 'Superbia in Proelio', which The Circus believes roughly translates to 'How good are petrodollars?!'.
The spoken word
"Since I taught Ronaldo in 2009 he has gone on to score 40 goals a season, I don't think he would have scored them all without my training." – Leaving Manchester United to join Spanish giants Real Madrid had nothing to do with the surge in Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring output – it was all Usain Bolt, apparently.
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