A Premier League Christmas
With Christmas upon us, we’ll all be enjoying time with family and time off work and school, but, most importantly, time with presents. Premier League clubs are the same way. With January upon us, and a busy holiday game schedule, many clubs will look at the coming days as a time to reflect and see what they need most to improve in the second half of the season. First, let’s look at the bottom half of the table.
11) Stoke City
What’s the Gift: Luis Muriel
Why: Stoke need to add more goals to their game. That’s the biggest flaw right now. One thing that Stoke have been great at in the last few years is taking a risk on a player. That’s why Luis Muriel would be amazing for them. He’s only 24, but seemingly forgotten in the soccer world. Once hailed as the next big thing, much like Bojan and Shaqiri, he could make that striker spot at Stoke his own.
What’s the Gift: Charlie Austin
Why: Much like Stoke, Southampton could use a striker. Charlie Austin is potentially available, still scoring goals regularly, and could use a move back to the Premier League. QPR are sinking in the Championship and could use the funds to balance out their team. It’s a win-win for everybody.
13) West Brom
What’s the Gift: Goals. From anywhere.
Why: Except the relegation battled teams, West Brom have scored the least amount of goals in the league. They build off of a tough defense, as is the Pulisian way, but without goals they won’t get above 13th. Either get Saido Berahino playing like he used to, or sell him for big bucks and get a striker who wants to play for West Brom.
What’s the Gift: A new goalkeeper.
Why: There have been a lot of keepers on this list, but Bournemouth may be in the most need of one. They have allowed 32 goals this season, which would be staggering if it wasn’t for the other teams in dire need of new defenses. Bournemouth have actually scored a fine amount of goals for a club their size, but if they are able to stop leaking goals, they should be able to escape the drop.
What’s the Gift: A boot in the rear.
Why: Seriously, there is not much to be said here. There is no excuse that Chelsea is this low in the table and they need to have a good, hard look at themselves. That’s all they need this Christmas.
16) Norwich City
What’s the Gift: Moussa Dembele
Why: No, not that Moussa Dembele (that plays for Spurs). Currently, Fulham’s second leading goalscorer, behind Ross McCormack, is a 19 year old Frenchman named Moussa Dembele. Norwich needs goals, they have been crying out for them. I say, give the kid a chance, and who knows, maybe he’ll play well. Norwich is in a spot where they need to take a risk or two.
What’s the Gift: A new owner.
Why: We are now at the part of the article where it becomes impossible to point out just one thing that needs improving. Except for Newcastle. This change has been needed for years. Newcastle United is an old club, a huge club, with a great fanbase that deserves better than they currently have. Get rid of the disease of Mike Ashley and you’ll see a lot of the symptoms leave as well.
18) Swansea City
What’s the Gift: An inspirational new manager
Why: I genuinely have no idea what has happened to Swansea this season. They started out great and just lost it at some point. I’m sad to see Garry Monk go, who I rated very highly, but now is the time for the Swans to bring in somebody to inspire the troops back to the form they started the season in. Do that, and they should be just fine. Getting the right manager in charge, at this point, is more important than any one transfer.
What’s the Gift: Courage for an all out attack
Why: Sunderland are in very much the same boat as Aston Villa. They are having a lot of trouble getting results and are the only other team to have more than ten defeats. At this point, they have nothing to lose if they through caution to the wind and go all out attack. At worst, Sunderland will be more fun to watch, and at best they may scrap together enough wins to not get relegated. It happened two seasons ago for them, and it happened last season with Leicester. Who know what could happen.
20) Aston Villa
What’s the Gift: A miracle
Why: Sorry, Villa. You have some players that are good. If you can get them performing, you might (BIG might) survive the drop. But your team is a hot mess right now. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to flip your form enough to escape relegation.