Battered Barton wins me over
I had a miniature lemon cheesecake last night that was simply spectacular. Normally I am not a big fan of 'mini' anything when it comes to grub but this beauty was a six-bite culinary masterpiece.
I had been painting our living room for a few hours and, just when I was considering downing brushes, the lemon 'hit' kept me going until the midnight hour.
Away from cheesecake, I received a request this week for my five Premier League players of the season so far. I know this will cause quite a bit of debate so here we go (in no particular order)...
Paul Scholes, Manchester United:
When you watch a game with a professional footballer - past or present - you start to see everything in a very different light. Lee Dixon made me watch the way Scholes passed the ball at Fulham recently and said there is no other player who can find a team-mate in so many different ways.
On top of that, Scholes has been brilliant in every game so far and Manchester United striker Michael Owen said on Focus earlier this season that he was the best bloke he has played with and that if he did not suffer with asthma he would have been one of England's all-time greats.
Joe Hart, Manchester City:
A bit special, this boy. He has only conceded one goal this season - that was a penalty at Sunderland - and he has got that magical thing that all top keepers have... an aura.
I remember watching Euro 96 and thinking "there is no way past David Seaman and his crazy wicked witch of the west socks". Hart gives me that feeling now and, as our pundits said on Saturday, he could be England's number one for the next three major tournaments if he stays fit. Feargal Sharkey was right... "A good Hart these days is hard to find" (obscure 1980s musical reference).
Florent Malouda, Chelsea:
I was at the press conference when Malouda was unveiled at Stamford Bridge. I was so impressed I instantly put him in my Fantasy League side and stuck with him until Christmas as he toiled at Chelsea looking awkward and out of sorts.
But last season he was class and since we kicked off in August he has been immense, outscoring Frank Lampard and wandering through opposition defences with ludicrous ease. I hoovered up this stat from Opta as well... Malouda's four goals so far have come from four shots on target, all with his right foot. Just a pity about France really!
Joey Barton, Newcastle:
Barton makes it for the simple reason he made it through Newcastle's game at Wolves with all his body parts in the right place. He was thoroughly crunched by Mick McCarthy's men, especially Karl Henry, and went in the book the one time he launched a leg himself.
Barton (right) felt the full force of Karl Henry's tackles at Molineux. Photo: Getty Images
He even smiled at the end of the game and I don't think he ever moaned at the referee. In addition, there was that beauty that he leathered in against Aston Villa.
Theo Walcott, Arsenal:
I am not sure he would make BBC pundit Alan Hansen's top five but Walcott has been brilliant so far. Fresh from the disappointment of not making the World Cup, he already has four in the goal column and seems to be improving all the time.
His speed has never been in doubt but perhaps most importantly of all - as Dixon and Alan Shearer keep pointing out on Match of the Day - he is only 21!
Martin Keown has just entered the office. He is doing his research for Burnley v Preston on Saturday and then he is in the studio on Sunday for England's women's World Cup play-off against Switzerland, which is live on BBC Three from 1905 BST.
The defender's defender is chastising me for leaving Tottenham left-back Gareth Bale off the list. According to Brother Keown (pictured), Bale has either scored or set up seven of the eight goals Spurs have netted so far this season. "Revelation," he keeps saying.
To keep him quiet, here's Martin's list in full:
I know some of you will be miffed that the list is exclusive to the Premier League, so feel free to bung in your Football League players as well.
Focus is out and about again this week. The programme comes live from St James' Park, where Newcastle are taking on Blackpool. Mark Lawrenson - Newcastle's former defensive coach - will be with us and one or two special guests will be dropping in as well.
Don't forget to tell your friends we are on at 1130 BST again. The Formula 1 from Monza has knocked us back to an early kick-off and we are limited to a half-hour of power.
If you want to keep up to date with all the preparations for Saturday's show, the best place to do it is at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc