These men stands at the centre of it all, controlling tempo, angles, possession, goals, assists. These men hold the crowd in their thrall - at their whim tattooed dockers weep. Brady, Dagliesh, Haynes, Cantona.
And this week they came again: Arteta, Elano, Fabregas.
Each at the heart of their team's play. Untouchable. The others seem to tip their game to them. The opposition relied upon to do their bidding as reliably as the ball.
Arsenal saw off West Ham thanks in large part to their pint-sized boyband-lookalike/best-player-in-the-world Cesc Fabregas and a misplaced linesman's flag. In the 60s George best boozed, looked like a Beatle and ruled the world as a teen genius. Fabregas looks like a clean-cut member of one of the androgynous anodyne all-boy acts that seem to clog up the hit parade in this post-Blair Britain. But he plays like an angel.
Over in Manchester Elano proved that Sven's eye for talent is of more value than a Thai chequebook. Elano is currently displaying something that Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool lack. Someone to play the ball to and through who has class. City, inspired by this Brazilian from Donetsk, took Big Sam's Newcastle apart 3-1.
Arteta comes from Spain via Glasgow and doesn't look like a boyband member, but that mattered little as he ran the show and Everton lived up to one hack's pre-season hopes in a 2-0 suffocation of Middlesbrough. And McFadden played quite well and looks like he's in Travis, so that's fine.
As well as the return of the playmaker, this week has also harked back to the golden days of Stoke City defeating West Brom 10-3 with Sir Stan running the wing. Yes, in a comedy performance straight out of the 50s golden age, or the MLS, Portsmouth beat Reading 7-4. As I said to the man at the turnstile - if I'd wanted a cricket score I would have watched Fiji play rugby.
Of course, if we wander down the Kings Road we find the home of Haynes, Marsh, Best, and latterly Malbranque and Davis at Craven Cottage. Next to Fulham is 60s glamour side Chelsea. Zola, Gullit, Wilkins, Osgood, Vialli. Unfortunately all these players have now left. About the best thing in a turgid 0-0 draw was "not good enough for the Championship" Diomansy Kamara. Chelsea slip to 8th in the table.
Derby and Bolton joined in with Fulham in proving that not every team in white plays like Real Madrid. In fact, a white shirt seems to be more of a French flag than a symbol of attacking flowing football. Derby and Bolton drew 1-1 with each other. They continue to prop up the table, the less said about Leeds the better.
Spurs - the remaining achromatic outfit - were at home for their 125th anniversary. They managed to blow a 1-0 lead to draw 4-all and complete a whitewash of the relegation places. If they had a goalkeeper they might have scraped to the 4-0 they deserved, but panicking at their lead Leeds reject Paul Robinson (who also plays with the white shirts of England) handed Villa four straight goals to make sure Spurs didn't get ahead of themselves.
Gianni Brera wept.
In other news Mark Hughes' Blackburn beat Roy Keane's Sunderland to cement his position as the top manager managed by Ferguson in a previous life. But then competing with two newly promoted sides makes this job somewhat easier.
Alex Ferguson's Manchester United and Rafa's Liverpool both eked out 1-0 wins against no-hopers Birmingham and Wigan respectively. They are now in second and fourth, split by Sven's City.