Santa Claus has gone back to where he came from – most people say Rome, others say the North Pole. We have to wait until another 365 days, or so, before we witness another Christmas.
But we won’t have to wait that long for another Premier League fixture as there’ll be non-stop action in the Premier League for the next 6 days at least. This long run of games kicked off yesterday with the Boxing Day action. And here’s what we learnt.
Harry Kane is world class no doubt
Before the game, two records had stood in Kane’s path: most goals in the Premier League in a year and most goals in 2017. After the ninety minutes against Southampton, he had obliterated them leaving no room for doubt. He has two golden boot awards at 24 and is already ahead in the race for a third.
He is simply the best English forward right now by a mile and simply explains why he will carry the Three Lions hopes next summer. He is an ambitious man. Wonder if Spurs can match that ambition.
Lucky United’s biggest headache is their own manager
Jesse Lingard’s 91st minute goal owed more to Burnley’s poor defending than United’s abundance of quality. The Red devils had dug a hole for themselves by going two goals down. But while many would credit the manager for the comeback, he is equally to blame – and mad too – for the first half performance.
United, since losing to City, have failed to recover. They have only won one league game since then, against a goal-friendly Bournemouth. One loss and two draws have followed and whatever Mourinho says, it doesn’t mask his failings that he is not coaxing the best out of his players any more.
Lukaku looks totally shorn of confidence. Mkhitaryan has already been condemned. Rashford is snatching at chances, and Martial is looking tired. It’s up to the same man Marco Materazzi said he was willing to die for to make this United players keep plugging way for him.
The Blues need another striker
Brighton had simply taken Everton’s template of defending against Chelsea. Defend extremely deep and hope to break at speed. However, there was one change, Alvaro Morata was back in the side, and he showed why he is so vital to the Blues cause, poking home a header when Chelsea couldn’t pass their way through the Seagulls.
It’s apparently why Conte thinks Chelsea need another no. 9 especially with Michy Batshuayi not an option for him. January would be a good time to plug that gap as the Blues are still in four competitions and would need Morata to be fresh for important games.
Goal fest shows where Bournemouth problems are
11goals in 3 games: That’s the number the Cherries have conceded. It’s too much, and it is the conundrum Eddie Howe is faced with. It is ironic because it was that exact defense they spent 30million pounds in the summer to improve.
They have been all over the place. And despite the decent performances of Ake and Begovic, it has not been enough. Brad Smith, Trevor Francis and Steve Cook are all not at the levels they have been and it has seen them dragged into a relegation battle; a battle which to survive, you must stop leaking goals at the rate they are doing.
Is Swansea’s Premier League season redeemable?
Swansea conceded five goals against a Liverpool side that were flat for long periods. The score line could have been more, not because the Reds were good, but because they were that poor. Their defenders were all over the place, with their problems in midfield and attack well-detailed.
Poster signing, Renato Sanches started from the bench same as Tammy Abraham. Wilfried Bony missed out altogether due to injury. It was a shame seeing a team crowned League Cup winners as recently as 2013 in this lurch. From being the model Premier League club, the club from the South of Wales are anything but that now. It will take a miracle if they beat the drop.
Notable mentions must go to Abdoulaye Doucoure, who scored the winner to snap Watford’s losing streak. The Hornets had already been looking done for before finding their mojo against a Leicester side who broke United hairs.
David Wagner and his Terriers side march on. Least not because of the result but because of the performance. If gaining promotion was a miracle at th John Smith’s stadium, staying there would be a greater one. They are already halfway to the magical 40, amd only few would better against them reaching it.
The wait continues for West Brom and their first win under Alan Pardew. While the performamces have been impressive, they still lack that cutting edge. Salomon Rondon looks unsure of himself and as such they need a new fire.
What other boxing day lessons did you learn? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment to this post.