As Christmas is upon us, I’ve speculated on what each team has put in their letters to Santa.
Need a fit and healthy Fernando Torres to have any chance of league success. Also, a therapist to cure Rafa Benitez of his fear of playing two strikers together would be helpful.
Need to recapture their home form. They have dropped an unusually high amount of home points this season, particularly as they were unbeaten there for three years. Need Scolari to find a way to keep his squad happy.
Another striker to partner Gabriel Agbonlahor would be nice. They need a left-back as Shorey has not really worked out and Luke Young is much better on the right. Other than that Villa look good and Ashley Young should cement himself in the England team in 2009.
Need to start turning on the style. United have looked laboured at times this season but that can change quickly. Berbatov needs to do more to justify his transfer fee and it’ll be interesting what happens to Gary Neville, thanks to the emergence of the excellent Rafael Da Silva.
Need a spine! They have a real soft centre and are too easily steamrollered by teams, despite still playing some lovely football. Fabregas is a huge loss and they’ll need to buy in the transfer window in order to salvage their season.
Need some home wins to compliment their excellent away form. Also, signing Marlon King permanently will bolster their squad.
Need a striker or two desperately. Saha can’t be relied upon and Anichebe has scored once in his last 38 premier appearances. Some hair clippers for Fellaini would be useful!
Need to keep hold of Jimmy Bullard and more importantly Brede Hangeland, the leagues most underrated central defender. They also need to find a way to pick up points away. They haven’t won away for far too long and this needs to change if they are to progress.
Need some players! They have a really small squad and will have to bring some talent in. Also, the Chairman resisting the bids Sam Allardyce is sure to put in for Kevin Davies and other players is a must.
They need stability. There are lots of players that are either out of contract in the summer or being touted for transfers. They also need someone other than Defoe or Crouch to score.
Need two questions answering: Can they keep Amr Zaki? Will Heskey leave? Other than that, Steve Bruce has done a great job and if he can keep Zaki, Heskey and Luis Antonio Valencia they will do well in the second half of the season.
With Mike Ashley trying to sell, it’ll be interesting to see what they have to spend in the transfer window. Will they sell Owen to raise some cash?
Need a manager. Ricky Sbragia has done well so far but they need a decision making soon. Also, Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse are in good form and they need to keep that up. There are still defensive problems so maybe one more centre back to partner Anton Ferdinand.
Need some goals and consistency. Tuncay is a brilliant player but needs some support. Boro are capable of beating anyone but also can be beaten by anyone. Until that stops they’ll be yo-yoing up and down the league table
Need another defender or two, as they are prone to conceding soft goals. Also the midfield is high on effort but low on quality. They really need to find a way to score that doesn’t involve a long throw.
Heading the right way up the league but need strikers. Darren Bent has gone off the boil and Pavlyuchenko has not lived up to expectations. Need to decide if they are going to stick with Gomes in goal and where to play Gareth Bale.
Need to get Dean Ashton fit quickly. They have an awful goalscoring record and when you rely on Carlton Cole for goals, something is badly wrong. Also being able to get Kieron Dyer fit would be good (though that would count as a Christmas miracle!). West Ham are in financial trouble and need to get one of their big (i.e. stupid) contracts off the payroll. They’re saying he’s not for sale but Upson may be the one to go.
Need to play as a unit. They have quality in all areas of the pitch but there is no cohesion. With money to burn, big names will be arriving but how will they fit in. Also, Micah Richards has been in poor so that needs to change.
Need Sam Allardyce to wheel and deal in the transfer market and uncover some bargains like he did at Bolton. It looks likely Roque Santa Cruz and Stephen Warnock will leave, so he should have some cash to play with
They need goals. Badly. They play good football so they need that predator in the box to put the chances away. Rumours say they will go for Man U’s Manucho and that would be a step in the right direction but they need a proven goalscorer.
Merry Christmas everybody!!