Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Premiership wishlist for Santa

So the season is nearly half over and Liverpool for the first time in an age on top at Christmas. So what do all the teams want in their Christmas stockings?

Liverpool
About 400 tons of cotton wool to wrap Luis Suarez in. The Uruguayan has been nothing short of sensational since returning from his ban. RVP dragged an otherwise mediocre ManU side to the title last season. Could Suarez return the favour this year?

Arsenal
About the same tonnage as above in steel and grit. Flamini has given the side some backbone but more is required for the big games they will surely need to win their first title in a decade. Superstar January signings are not required, just a couple of prudent ones, preferably with beards and tattoos and muscles.

Manchester City
Travel sickness pills. If City can sort out their away form (Fulham was a start) then the title looks theirs to lose. A wonderful squad with attacking options, pace and power to burn. Another central defender might not hurt either.

Chelsea
One of Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Radoman Falcao, Gonzalo Higuain and did anyone mention Romelu Lukaku? Chelsea need a first class centre forward who can do it week in week out. A top class holding midfielder wouldn't go amiss either.

Everton
A bigger squad. Roberto Martinez has confounded many critics (including myself) by doing an excellent job at Everton so far. Injuries and suspensions will bite and a couple more players could seriously help Everton's push for Europe.

Newcastle United
A period of serenity and calm. The Toon remain a comedy of errors perennially yet they have done superbly well after last season's and this Summer's travails. Pardew is talking of adding a couple of players to an already capable squad. Could be a good season for the Geordies.

Spurs
A tactics for beginners manual. Under AVB, Spurs looked incapable of scoring goals. Under Sherwood it is simple 'up and at 'em'. That served with some adrenalin and Emmanuel Adebayor will work for a couple of games but will not seem them in the top four.

ManU
A left back, a central defender, two central midfielders and an attacking midfielder as well as a time machine to transport back Giggs, Vidic, Ferdinand, RVP and probably Paul Scholes and hey let's throw in Gary Neville too. The Reds are in poor shape but all is not lost. Quality additions to the squad required however.

Southampton
Massage beds and more fitness coaches. The Saints have excelled but their high tempo pressing game means that when the players fall off a fraction from 100% the results can go horribly wrong. They need to address the slide quickly before it becomes a problem.

Stoke City
Patience. Stoke should be the perfect job for Hughes. A limited transfer budget and a small club means he can do little harm in the transfer market like at QPR. A repeat of his work at Fulham and Blackburn would do nicely.

Swansea City
To be knocked out of the Europa League. Swansea's league form is suffering the seemingly obligatory drop off associated with being in this tournament. May need to start looking over their shoulders soon.

Hull City
More of the same pills. City have done very well when they were expected to be wholly out of their depth. A few more wins and they can start dreaming of a mid table finish. There are certainly worse teams than them.

Aston Villa
A new Cristian Benteke as their old one seems to have malfunctioned and is out of warranty. Villa are on the slide after a promising start. Benteke has gone to sleep, they need to wake him up and quickly.

Norwich City
Team bonding gel. The Canaries may well survive again this season. They bought several players this summer and there have been sporadic signs of life. They should get better although the pressure will start to increase.

Cardiff City
A life coach for Vincent Tan. Cardiff have one of the most talented up and coming managers yet the owner seems hell bent on destroying the club he owns from within. It is hard enough in the Premiership without sabotaging yourselves. Unbelievable.

WBA
Romelu Lukaku. Everton's gain has been WBA's loss. The Baggies need to get some points on the board quickly.

West Ham United
A fit Andy Carroll. Big Sam's football has never been about aesthetics and without his spearhead there is no end product to go with the rest of the play. The Hammers are in serious trouble right now.

Crystal Palace
A season that started two months ago. Tony Pulis is slowly pulling the Eagles around but they are deeply in the mire and they only have questionable quality to get out of it.

Fulham
Defenders. Fulham have conceded more goals than anyone and whilst the work rate of their forwards may be contributing they badly need some quality at the back.

Sunderland
A miracle. Di Canio has gone but Poyet looks to be slowly morphing into him. Their squad looks entirely unlike one that is geared to battle relegation. The Sunderland board has to decide whether to stick or twist in the transfer market.

Have a No Nonsense Christmas.