Premier League: Best 11 Players of the Weekend

Because of the winter break in the Premier League there were just 5 games played at the weekend. All of the favourites won their games including Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. But let’s take a look at the players who made a difference this past weekend in the Premier League.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel- Leicester 7pts

A few goalkeepers earned 7 points but Kasper Schmeichel deserves credit as his Leicester side went away from home against a very difficult Wolves side and got a point, keeping a clean sheet too as the game ended 0-0. That was the goalkeepers 9th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Romain Saiss- Wolves 5pts

It’s no mean feat to keep Jamie Vardy and co from scoring a goal and Saiss helped his side Wolves keep a clean sheet at home against the team in 3rd place. Saiss has 17 points this season.

Defender: Trent-Alexander Arnold- Liverpool 5pts

On fantasy ranking points Alexander Arnold is the best defender in the Premier League and he showed his qualities again as Liverpool beat Norwich 1-0 away from home to record his 12th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Virgil van Dijk- Liverpool 5pts

His teammate van Dijk and recognised as one of the worlds best defenders also helped keep a clean sheet and the player now has 74 points in the fantasy rankings and is just 9 behind his team mate in 2nd place.

Defender: Wes Morgan -Leicester 5pts

Wes Morgan had a lot to do in the back four of Leicester as Wolves who were at home asked many questions of the Foxes. Morgan held his ground well and earned 5 points in the process.

Midfielder: Mesut Ozil- Arsenal 6pts

Ozil has been under pressure for the past two seasons for his performances, but against Newcastle he was on the ball. Not only did his side keep a clean sheet but he also scored a goal, his first of the season in the league.

Midfielder: Sadio Mane- Liverpool 5pts

Sadio Mane showed his qualities coming on late in the game v Norwich and ended up scoring the winner- a classy finish too. He dropped a point because he was booked in the final minute though.

Midfielder: Jordan Henderson-Liverpool 4pts

It should come as no surprise to see Henderson’s name on the team of the weekend yet again. He earned 4 points after a solid, professional display as Liverpool continued their unbeaten run this season with a 1-0 win over Norwich.

Midfielder: Lucas Torreira- Arsenal 2pts

It was rare joy for Arsenal and Torreira to win a game, and so many defenders ended the weekend with 2 points. Torreira deserves his place after a tormented time this season with Arsenal, he held firm and didn’t give Newcastle a look in.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Arsenal 8pts

Nicolas Pepe has been criticised this season as he has started his career with Arsenal very slow. But at the weekend he was on top form and earned 8 points after he scored a goal and he also assisted in the opening goal. In 240 seconds he showed why Arsenal had paid over £70m for him.

Striker: Heung-Min Son- Tottenham 6pts

If Tottenham are to finish in a Champions League place a large chunk of that could go to the fact that in Son they have a great striker. He scored 2 goals as Tottenham beat Aston Villa in a thrilling 3-2 win. He now has 9 goals for the season and looks in brilliant form.

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Are London clubs falling behind in the Premier League?

There was a time even in the Premier League era where London clubs dominated the league and its cups, but in 2020 one can question with all validity if clubs from the capital are rapidly fallen behind their northern rivals?

Let’s start with Chelsea who are arguably the best club in London of the past few years. Here is a team that won several league titles from 2005 and a few doubles and also of course won the Champions League in 2012 and have been to 2 Champions Leagues finals. Let’s not forget they are also the holders of the Europa League.

But they lost Maurizio Sarri at the end of last season and replaced him with Frank Lampard, a manager with hardly any experience though Chelsea being 4th presently is some kind of miracle given that the club were banned from a summer transfer window last year.

Chelsea are 4th and are having a decent season, they are also into the knockout stages of the Champions League but they do not look that strong in actually winning trophies this season. They have lost too many games at home, which is alien for a team that once went 4 years without a defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Then there is the curious case of Arsenal, a really great historic side, a team that were wooing fans in Europe in the early 2000s, winning multiple trophies in England and even going a season unbeaten. Since the early part of the 2010s though the Gunners have been going backwards. By every passing season, they have been taking one step forward and two back and this season has really underlined that, and with a thick black marker pen. They are currently in 10th position, this is a staggering decline, and yes the league positions are very close still, two wins could change a lot to their standing, but even still what are they doing in 10th anyway?

This is a club who once kept the same manager for 22 years and yet have seen 3 different faces in the dug out this season alone in Unai Emery, Freddie Ljungberg and now Mikel Arteta. It is early days for Arteta so no judgement is meant to be passed but it is now 7 games in charge in the league with just 1 win. Underwhelming doesn’t come close, and Arsenal look a shadow of themselves.

Tottenham do not look like the team of the past two seasons and could fail to make the Champions League, this after reaching the final in 2019. Finally there is the case of another high profile London club in West Ham. A sacked manager and bringing back one in David Moyes who had already failed at the club the first time makes little sense. The Hammers have a fantastic 60,000 seater stadium and despite all of that they could be getting relegated, they are currently in the bottom three and have some very hard fixtures to come.

And the top two places in the league are being occupied by Liverpool and Manchester City two teams up north and just a few miles from one another, there has been a shift in the Premier League but it has also seen a rapid decline of the London based clubs.

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Were Everton wrong to turn down Barcelona’s €100m bid for Richarlison?

This week Barcelona made a surprise bid for Everton striker Richarlison and reportedly offered the club €100m euros. It is thought that Everton immediately rejected the offer, but were the Premier League side wrong to do so?

Barcelona have been panicking of late after the news that striker Luis Suarez will miss four months of the season which will effectively rule him out for the rest of it. The Catalan giants have been looking to secure a striker, but finding a good one is always traditionally hard in the January transfer window. Not many people would have thought the club would be asking Everton for one of their players, but according to many reports that is exactly what they did.

Everton want to build with what they have and it is obvious that manager Carlo Ancelotti was having none of it, and the thought of selling Richarlison was rejected. There is no clear news about what happened behind the scenes, would the Everton board have sold the Brazilian if they didn’t have such a strong headed manager like Ancelotti in charge? If as expected Ancelotti was against the sale and yet Everton had gone through with it that could have started a snowball effect with the Italian manager which could have led for many problems for the club.

However Barcelona’s bid did seem like a fair one. Everton bought Richarlison for £40m 18 months ago and they would have doubled their profit on the player. Whilst Richarlison has shown promise he has failed to be consistent enough. True the club started to struggle under Marco Silva this season but Richarlison wasn’t able to lead the team as they nosedived near to the bottom three.

In 57 league games Richarlison has scored 21 goals, that isn’t by any means terrible but neither is it good for a player that another team are willing to spend so much on. This season he has scored 8 goals from 22 games. Dominic Calvert-Lewin who is the same age as Richarlison has played the same games and scored 10, and really looks to have grown as a player since Ancelotti came in.

It’s a tough one for Everton then. Because Richarlson let’s face it on his day is the clubs best player, a piece of star dust that can turn the game. But at the same time Barcelona offered a lot of money. There are really many ways of looking it. Imagine if Everton were in the bottom three or 17th and needed his goals, then it would make sense to reject the offer. But Everton are 7 points clear of the relegation zone and they will almost certainly be safe this season. The club need the extra funds too after posting a year end loss of £110m.

But the club also need to be run properly, and had they sold him they would be a man down for the rest of the season, they wouldn’t have found a decent replacement with just a couple of days left.

Does this mean that Richarlison could leave in the summer though? You could forgive him for having his head turned at the thought that Barcelona wanted him, and if the club still feel the same way at the end of the season then Everton will have a huge battle on their hands to keep him.

Perhaps the best solution has already been made. Keep him until the summer and if there is interest and the money is good don’t let this one run and run if the player wants to leave, make it happen and invest wisely.

So Everton could have taken the money now and sold him, but you can see the clubs point of view, and perhaps they have, for now, made the right decision.

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Premier League: Player of the Week: Alisson

Alisson earned 8 points and is our player of the week in the Premier League.

The Liverpool goalkeeper much like his team has been unbelievable this season, and the Brazilian put in another magnificent display at the weekend. Liverpool were playing a potential difficult game when they came up against old rival Manchester United at Anfield. In the reverse fixture earlier in the season Manchester United had held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw. That draw remains the only blemish on Liverpool’s unbeaten season so far. They have won every other game and have 64 points from a possible 66. We can talk about the quality that Liverpool possess up front, in midfield and in defence but there is no denying that Alisson has been the bedrock of this side.

Against United he made some sterling saves and important ones and rode the storm well. In the end Liverpool won the game 2-0 and got even more bragging rights over one of their greatest rivals. Alisson naturally earned another 7 points as a result, but he got even more as he assisted in his sides last minute goal, a rarity for a goalkeeper. Kicking the ball out, it found striker Mohamed Salah who has been quiet for his standards this season and the Egyptian international made no mistakes in sealing the win. The goal was important for killing off the game, as at 1-0 it was always going to be on a knife edge.

In the fantasy rankings Alisson has 49 points and is ranked as number 1 in the Premier League goalscorers list. He has 10 more points than 2nd placed Kasper Schmeichel. Alisson is good value to add to your team and would cost 10m. From 14 starts this season he has kept 7 clean sheets and so every time he plays Liverpool has a 50% chance of not conceding, and that is an impressive statistic.

Whilst Alisson has picked up no yellow cards he has received a red card this season but that is a rarity for the player. Liverpool have also only conceded 7 goals this season when he has been between the sticks. An early season injury did keep him out for over a month when Adrian filled the position.

If we count all major European leagues Alisson would rank as 5th but this is down to the fact that he missed a chunk of the season through his injury.

Liverpool have two testing games coming up. Both are away and the first is against Wolves tonight. They will finally play their game in hand against West Ham on January 29th and the club has a 13 point lead over 2nd placed Manchester City.

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Best 11 Players in the Premier League: Matchday 23

Liverpool gained again at the weekend when they won and 2nd placed Manchester City could only draw. 3rd place Leicester lost and 4th placed Chelsea also lost. It was simply total gain for Liverpool who have now moved 16 points clear at the top with a game in hand. We take a look below at the best performing players in the league this past weekend. Did you have any of them?

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Alisson- Liverpool

The best goalkeeper in the Premier League picked up a massive 9 points and that is huge for his position. Liverpool beat rivals Manchester United 2-0 as Alisson kept his 7th clean sheet of the season. To put the icing on the cake the Brazilian assisted for Mohamed Salah’s goal. He has 49 points now and is 9 points clear of 2nd placed keeper Kasper Schmeichel. Alisson would cost 10m

Defender: Virgil van Dijk- Liverpool

Nine points were earned for Virgil van Dijk as Liverpool kept a clean sheet and the Dutchman also opened the scoring. He now has 59 points and is ranked in third place i the fantasy rankings for Premier League defenders.

Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold -Liverpool

Keeping a clean sheet against Manchester United is no mean feat and Alexander-Arnold was at the heart of everything Liverpool did back there. It is his 9th clean sheet of the season and he is ranked No.1. for defenders in the Premier League. He is valued at 7m.

Defender: Isaac Hayden- Newcastle

The hero for Newcastle! The Magpies beat Chelsea 1-0 due to a last minute strike from Isaac Hayden. That topped off an amazing day for Hayden who also helped his team keep a clean sheet. Hayden is valued at just 2m and has 11 points so far.

Defender: Andrew Robertson- Liverpool

In defence Liverpool almost had a clean sweep. In getting a 2-0 win over old rivals Manchester United, the Reds had achieved a huge result which underlined just how good they have been this season. Robertson earned 5 points at the weekend and is valued at 7m which seems like a great bargain.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool

The attacking midfielder Salah scored Liverpool’s second goal which confirmed the win over Manchester United, and more important for him ended a baron spell. The Egypt international now has 11 goals and 5 assists.

Midfielder: Jack Grealish- Aston Villa

Jack Grealish now has 38 points and his value of just 3.5m to buy looks like a steal. He scored a goal at the weekend too as his side drew 1-1 away to Brighton. Grealish has now scored 7 goals this season.

Midfielder: Jordan Henderson- Liverpool

Jordan Henderson is just getting better by each passing season and is the engine room in this fantastic Liverpool side. He only earned 2 points at the weekend but with many midfielders not performing so well, that was enough to make this team.

Midfielder: Ismaila Sarr- Watford

Ismaila Sarr has really stood out as one of the best players Watford have as they continue their fantastic recovery from what looked like certain relegation a month ago. Watford drew 0-0 against Tottenham. Sarr is valued at 7.5m and has 27 points so far.

Striker: Sergio Aguero- Manchester City

For the second week in a row Sergio Aguero tops the charts as one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He scored two goals and almost won the game for his club who were 1-0 down with 8 minutes to go against Crystal Palace. Aguero earned 8 points and he has now scored 15 goals this season.

Striker: Raul Jimenez- Wolves

Raul Jimenez is a real gem of a player at Wolves, and the club produced the best stunning comeback of the weekend. They were losing 2-0 to Southampton and won 3-2 and Jimenez grabbed two of those goals earning a nice 8 points. He has 50 altogether and can be added to your team for just 5.5m.

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Premier League Predictions: Week 23

It’s another round of the English Premier League with some exciting games as the top 4 is still up for grabs and so is relegation. Which teams will be able to make in roads and can Liverpool stretch their unbeaten run to 39 games when they face old rival Manchester United?

Watford v Tottenham

The weekend kicks off with this Saturday lunchtime game and what a game it looks to be. Watford have been in brilliant form and are unbeaten in their last five games. They have climbed out of the relegation zone. Tottenham have been in mixed form and are 9 points behind 4th place now. With Harry Kane out Jose Mourinho will be relying on Heung-Min Son to find some form.  Watford and Tottenham to draw

Arsenal v Sheffield United

Arsenal have been average even under Mikel Arteta with just one win in his 4 games so far. But last time they were at home they beat Manchester United 2-0. One would think they will have too much for the Blades here. Mesut Ozil looks like a new player, though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang their potent striker will be missing after being sent off. A narrow win perhaps? Arsenal to beat Sheffield United

Brighton v Aston Villa

Both sides have shown a lack of form and Brighton have slipped to 14th place and have won just once in their last five games. Aston Villa lost 6-1 at home to Manchester City last weekend and are in 18th but a win here could move them out of the bottom three and they could join Brighton on the same points. Watch out for Jack Grealish who is using this year to try and get into England’s team for Euro 2020. Brighton and Aston Villa to draw

Manchester City v Crystal Palace

Last season Crystal Palace stunned Manchester City at the Etihad with a 3-2 win. But it was a one off stunning goal that won it for the Eagles. City are in rich form and scoring goals, with 10 in their last 3 games. A win here would take them to 50 points. Can Sergio Aguero score more goals this weekend after his fantastic hat trick? Manchester City to beat Crystal Palace

Norwich v Bournemouth

Norwich look doomed for relegation. They are bottom of the league and 8 points from safety. They have earned 2 points from their past 15. Bournemouth are in 19th but are six points ahead of the Canaries. This is Norwich’s biggest game of the season, they need to win and need a player like Teemu Pukki to show his early season form. Norwich to beat Bournemouth 

Southampton v Wolves

Along with Watford, Southampton have been the team of the moment. They beat Leicester away from home after losing to the same team 9-0 a couple of months ago. Their recovery looks complete. Wolves have quality but had to play in midweek in the FA Cup and lost to Manchester United. The Saints are at home and the fresher team. Southampton to beat Wolves

West Ham v Everton

David Moyes will face his former team who he spent 11 years at. Moyes’ 2nd stint with the Hammers started well but they lost to Sheffield United last week. Carlo Ancelotti has won 3 of his first five games with Everton. We expect to see a very entertaining game with the away side getting all three points. Richarlison looks fired up since Ancelotti took charge. Everton to beat West Ham

Newcastle v Chelsea

Newcastle have only lost 3 games at home and Chelsea usually don’t travel so well up here. The Blues have gone their last three matches unbeaten, but this will be a tough game for them. The Magpies have not won in 4 games but this record won’t keep up. Jonjo Shelvey just needs to show some of his brilliant form before Christmas. Newcastle to beat Chelsea

Burnley v Leicester

Burnley have lost 4 games in a row coming into this match and that includes losing 4 of their last five home games and now they are up against the 3rd best team in England right now. Leicester’s form has dipped but they can get back on track with a win here. Leicester to beat Burnley

Liverpool v Manchester United

One of the all time great fixtures of football. Liverpool are still unbeaten and have a  100% record at Anfield. They have no major injuries and no distractions. Manchester United are missing Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford could be touch and go. Liverpool are light years ahead of United even though it was the Red Devils who have taken the only points from Liverpool so far. Liverpool to beat Manchester United

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Is racism growing in the Premier League?

Many people would call the Premier League the best in the world but the league has been hit hard this season and in recent weeks for racist chanting amongst a minority of fans who have spoiled great occasions and overshadowed matches.

In truth it was thought that before the season started that racist chanting was resigned to Eastern European countries and in Serie A in Italy they have also had their fair share with ex Premier League player Mario Balotelli facing the brunt of so called fans’ actions. But it is easy to point at other countries and other fans, less easy to admit that there is a much bigger problem in England and the Premier League than there was first thought.

There have been countless incidents this season and it really does feel that sadly racism is growing in the league. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba was subjected to racism earlier in the season for missing a penalty. Marcus Rashford then came to his defence and he was subjected to the same vile chants. Again at Manchester United a fan had to be ejected for his actions in the massive game against Liverpool seen by millions of people around the world.

In the Manchester derby a fan had to be arrested after his actions towards certain players and the game had to be stopped as a consequence. Most recently in the Tottenham and Chelsea London derby clash the game had to be interrupted no less than three times to remind fans to stop alledged monkey chanting. Some of these seemed to be aimed at Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger although police later said that there was no evidence of an attack on the player. Stlll if true there were plenty of unsavoury moments.

The Premier League has been excellent in leading the charge to kick racism out of the game. A hint of it and actions have been taken and other leagues can still learn from this zero tolerance attitude. But it is still a worry that some fans turn up to the game not to watch it but to vent their hate for another player based on the colour of their skin.

The Premier League has issued statements and will enforce bans and this is very good and the right steps to make. But this season has clearly been a step back into a time that no one wants to remember and a big wake up call that the Premier League has a huge racism issue that perhaps the people running the league did not think was the case before.

The good news is that punishments are being handed out which normally means an arrest and being banned from football for life. But one senses that more education is needed on the topic, it is just sad that we are still talking about divides amongst people in 2020.

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The 10 best Premier League teams of the decade

In England the Premier League’s best teams have, for a time, been described as the big six and below we look at how these big six teams have compared points wise, which team has garnered the most points since January, 2010- December 31st, 2019?

If one was to say who has been the most successful Premier League team of the decade, do you say Manchester City or Chelsea? Both clubs have won 7 titles between them and of course it is City who have won the most titles this decade winning 7. That would have been unthinkable at the beginning of the decade where City had just been taken over and injected with money.

This table is based on points earned in the Premier League only:

6th- Arsenal  702pts

The great Arsenal side have really had a down turn this decade and winning a few FA Cups aside this has been a disappointing 10 years for the club who finally saw the end of the Arsene Wenger era when he left the club after 22 years. His first half reign had been supreme but after the club moved stadium success did not follow. Arsenal are certainly a team in transition.

5th – Tottenham Hotspur  703pts

Tottenham forever in Arsenal’s shadow it seemed stepped out of it this decade even if they had a lack of trophies to show for it. The club surpassed Arsenal and started qualifying for the Champions League on a regular basis instead of their north London rivals. They even made a Champions League final in 2019 but lost to Liverpool. Now the club has one of the most successful managers in charge of them in Jose Mourinho as they try to continue to build on former boss Mauricio Pochettino’s hard work.

4th-  Liverpool  710pts

It may be a surprise to see Liverpool only 4th in the decade standings and that is in large part because of some of the poor seasons the club had endured. This included finishing below Everton their rivals for a few seasons. Brendan Rodgers did almost win the league for the club in 2014, but they have only looked like the Liverpool of old under Jurgen Klopp. When the German was appointed manager he struggled at first but now he looks like the best coach in the world. Liverpool are the European and World club champions and are after their first league title since 1990 which they look like they will wrap up in style this season. They have not lost in the Premier League for 1 year.

3rd-  Chelsea  740pts

Continuing on from a very successful 2000s, Chelsea went a step further and won the Champions League in 2012 and this decade they have won 3 league titles, with 3 different managers. They are a superb team when they want to be, but surely would have taken 2nd place here after they had two poor seasons this decade.

2nd-  Manchester United  747pts

This has been a very tough decade for Manchester United, their worst since the 1980s, and so this is all very new for a new generation to witness the fall of this great club. The decade started off well enough with 2 league titles and a Champions League final appearance. But once Sir Alex Ferguson left the club the wheels started to come off. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho couldn’t find the solution, though the club still picked up a league cup, an FA Cup and a Europa League in between, they have had a succession of very poor league results.

1st-  Manchester City  818pts

Way out in front is Manchester City who won 4 league titles this decade including their first ever back to back wins in 2018 and 2019. The club have been fantastic and really went up another level once Pep Guardiola came into the fold. He installed a winning only attitude and the club raised the bar so much that in one season they got 100 points, the other Liverpool got 97 points and that wasn’t enough either. In two seasons City earned 198 points, incredible stuff. And no club can come near them this decade.

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Mikel Arteta has stepped into the storm at Arsenal can he prove his worth?

No wins in his first two games does not bode well for Mikel Arteta and one has to wonder if Arteta will be the right man to lead Arsenal forward?

Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal ended in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth. The result was seen as acceptable given that Eddie Howe’s side had taken the lead but at the same time Bournemouth had been in very bad form and fallen in the league, this could have been an opportunity to beat them.

That match was followed up by the recent Chelsea game. A grudge London derby match was not what Arteta and Arsenal needed right now. But the club played good football and took the lead through the excellent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and everything seemed like it was going well. Even with five minutes remaining one could see Arsenal winning the game. Although there was the niggling thought that despite good play the Gunners had only had 2 shots on target and this was a home game.

And then it happened, Bernd Leno made a shocking error and Chelsea scored not one but two goals in the last few minutes to snatch the win. Perhaps a draw would have been the fair result as this was a game of two halves but Arsenal had lost again.

Arteta then has started with 1 draw and one loss and it is clearly too early to judge him yet. However the modern game has turned cruel at times and if Arsenal have not picked up and changed in a months time he will be judged by some.

Have the Arsenal board made the right decision and what is expected of Arteta this season? Well Arteta was one of the leading favourites to be appointed as Arsenal manager after Arsene Wenger had left the club after 22 years but instead the board chose Unai Emery, on paper that seemed like a fair choice. The board have now gone for Arteta, but again on what grounds?

Arteta has no top flight managerial experience however the one card he does have up his sleeve is that he has been Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City in the last few years and has stuck to the former Barcelona legend like glue. But surely management of your own team and making those decisions is quite a different job altogether? When one looks at the fact that Everton were able to lure Carlo Ancelotti one of the most decorated managers of the past 20 years and Arsenal make do with Arteta, one also wonders just how far the Gunners expectations have fallen.

Of course let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Arteta could well end up being a brilliant manager, but maybe Arsenal needed that experience and quality now and not to flourish slowly in the next few years. With the exception of Chelsea hiring Frank Lampard most big clubs go with experience. The other worrying aspect is that with new managers usually come the results. Look at Ancelotti at Everton and Nigel Pearson at Watford.

Arsenal are now 11 points from a top 4 position and it is quite clear that this season is a near write off in terms of the league. There are simply too many points and too many positions in between the clubs, and this league has been fiercely competitive this season.

Arteta’s objective is too surely get the club winning games again and make coming to the Emirates a fortress. The confidence factor has to be reversed. So forget league positions and cups, the priority has to be making Arsenal what Arsenal have been for the past 20 years, a very good attacking club.

On the little evidence that we have seen Arteta is in for a major job, and one has to wonder if he has been thrown in at the deep end? On New Year’s Day Arsenal will face Manchester United to begin their first game of a new decade, good luck Mikel, you will need it.

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Leicester have come up short against the better teams but it has still been a brilliant season so far for them

Leicester have had a superb season but recent results have certainly brought the club back down to earth, but this shouldn’t mask just how strong the side has been so far this season.

The recent 4-0 whitewash against Liverpool confirmed what most people already knew, Leicester are not about to win their second title in four years. As good as the club have been this season they have clear limitations. They have lost to Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool as an example. But the beauty of the club is that they are plugging away and getting the right results against everyone else.

Currently the club are in 2nd place, ahead of champions Manchester City and that should tell you everything about them. They are not just satisfied with the league either and have made in roads on the domestic cup namely the Carabao Cup where they have reached the semi-finals. The Foxes will play Aston Villa in a 2 leg semi final and it isn’t unrealistic to think that they could reach the final where they would meet either Manchester City or Manchester United. So whilst the season hasn’t been picture perfect for the club most teams would give their right arms to be at the level that Leicester are at.

It has been quite an achievement and Brendan Rodgers coming into the club last spring has worked wonders. If anything he has reinstated the belief that Leicester’s 2016 Premier League title was not a one off. Sure in terms of actually winning it again one could see it like that. But he has insured that the club are remembered not for just one amazing season. The clear objective now is to return to the Champions League which would be a magnificent achievement and the club have a 10 point safety net in doing so. That looks good but we must remember that we are only at the half way stage of the season campaign and there will be so many twists and turns to come.

Recent form is not good for Leicester too- True losing to Manchester City and Liverpool is no shame but they have also drawn 1-1 at home to Norwich in between those games. The Foxes will play West Ham at the weekend and lose that and this could be the start of the slippery slide that many have suggested could happen. After that game Leicester will play Newcastle another away game before venturing into the FA Cup.

There is all to play for then and it would be unfortunate if Leicester blew a top 4 place now.

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