IN ONE WEEKEND the Premier League can turn on its head; Arsenal dropped points, Crystal Palace look rejuvenated, Watford seem formidable and Chelsea are suffering.
And I think leadership played a huge part in the shock results, where Davids found ways to beat Goliaths despite a big disparities in budget and talent.
Leaders have become almost extinct within the game.
Characters and big personalities are few and far between.
Changing rooms are now filled with technically gifted players with very little to say.
The likes of Roy Keane, Paul Ince, Patrick Vieira and John Terry has all the obvious characteristics required for the controversial role and at times it boosted their ability or even covered up for their shortcomings.
At the weekend Chelsea lost to a Palace team rock bottom of the league and yet to score a goal, however, with the return of their leader Mamadou Sakho they seemed buoyant and up for it.
Arsenal surrendered a one-goal lead to lose in injury time to a revitalised Watford, after the introduction of their leader and brilliant bully-boy Troy Deeney.
This only highlighted the importance of such a vital player and the effect it has on the rest of the team and its supporters.
Would a Chelsea team of Terry, Frank Lampard, Branislav Ivanovic and Didier Drogba have lost?
Would an Arsenal team of Vieira, Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and Martin Keown have lost?
I have been fortunate in my career to be surrounded by so many leaders and natural winners, most notably at Arsenal as part of the Invincibles.
High standards were set daily, others would have to follow or fall behind and risk falling-out with team-mates.
Hard work was a given, the desire to compete for every ball and win your individual battle was paramount.
No player would accept standards dropping and would tell you straight away in front of the team, it would be addressed, solved and everyone would move on – together!
Child’s play: Can you guess the famous footballers from these childhood snaps?
Do managers find it too difficult to handle too many in the same team? Are they harder to manage?
Do managers feel they can have too much power and influence within the group and can manipulate younger and more vulnerable players?
I believe a manager’s job is made easier if he can assemble a team with a number of trusted players who can lead and manage situations within the changing room and out on the pitch.
Has the latest generation of footballers been spoon fed and wrapped in cotton wool, leaving them unable to lead, have academy players been given less responsibility as young men, have clubs done too much for young players?
Young players seem incapable of delegating and organising other players. Are they afraid, do they have the confidence or bravery to dig out other individuals, do they have the licence to do so or is that the coach’s job?
I grew up in an era being coached by two of the greatest youth coaches in the country; Don Howe and Pat Rice both encouraged younger players to take on the role of the leader. It’s not a trait you can teach but you can certainly encourage.
You don’t have to go around kicking everyone, screaming and shouting, but be controlled and disciplined with your performance.
It was a sign of maturity in a young player and a test or character to see if the responsibility would be a burden or give the player more confidence.
It is becoming clear to me that the art of leadership is underrated and overlooked for more fashionable technical players. But all great teams need a balance.
Manchester City look like a team of FIFA computer game players right now – everything is so easy – right now they don’t even need a general as no one dares go to war with them.
But, my guess is, when a game gets physical or Pep Guardiola’s gameplan is tested by a top side, you will see men emerge from the pool of wonder-boys.
John Stones might rally his troops, a crunching Fernandinho tackle could win over the crowd, Sergio Aguero could grab another game by the scruff of the neck.
When teams are playing well and results are positive, leaders go under the radar.
But when results are poor and the chips are down, your leaders are the players who will steer you over the line or clear of danger.
When the league and cup winners are having team photos done at the end of a champagne soaked season, the leaders are usually tucked away at the side, planning the next one.
When certain teams fall short of their expectations or fall out of the top division, the real men in the side will step up, front-up and address the fans.
It’s those ones in between – too quick to take the praise and fast to shirk responsibility – that you need to worry about.