Premier league

5 things we didn’t learn from the weekend

Are Man. City the real deal or just pricey pretenders?

Losing to Chelsea was no disgrace. Drawing with West Brom raised a few eyebrows. Then City lost to a rejuvenated Sunderland and questions are now being asked about whether this is a simple blip or a collective breakdown by the Citizens. They seemed odds on for the title a few weeks back but now they look every bit a team who hasn’t won The Premier League before. In a league with too many teams in transition, City still have a great chance of taking the title but United’s experience, twinned with Spurs form, could make the race far more interesting than hitherto expected. Tonight’s game between City and Liverpool should offer a good portent as to the current mentality and form of the team on the blue side of Manchester.

Will United buy?

Whatever you think of United’s form, you would struggle to find a longer injury list around The Premier League. They have actually done remarkably well considering how many senior players have been injured this season. City, by contrast, have hardly suffered from injuries at all. Still, United were alarmingly bad in the first half against Blackburn and seemed to think they had already won it when they got back to 2-2. The only real positive was the performance of Antonio Valencia, who destroyed Blackburn’s left side time and again in an emphatic return to form. Thankfully for the Reds, City also lost in the same round of games, but the exclusion of Rooney from the team could still prove decisive. United have a harder run in than City so if they have any aspirations of winning the league surely they need to buy a defender and midfielder in January. De Gea is also costing United points on a regular basis and the impressive Anders Lindergaard is now almost certain to take the reins.

Can AVB last?

AVB seems like a nice guy but his lack of success at Chelsea has proven, yet again, that Roman Abramovich is only inhibiting the club by making the managerial and football decisions. Where would Chelsea be now if Jose Mourinho had stayed on? Serial champions of Europe? The only team that could compete with Barca? All we can say is that, for now, they are a shadow of their former selves and AVB looks like a schoolboy who has got lost and wound up pitch side at Stamford Bridge.

Will Carroll go back to Newcastle?

If reports today are to be believed Liverpool are considering loaning their expensive flop back to Tyneside for the rest of the season. I’m not sure they would do it without recruiting a replacement (especially in the imminent absence of Luis Suarez). But Carroll desperately needs football to improve his confidence and this could be a good move for him. Perhaps Liverpool should loan Fernando Torres and complete this bizarre merry-go-round?

What day is it?

I can’t work it out for the life of me. With Christmas Day and New Years falling on the weekend, the fixture list seems to have gone into meltdown. But, with games seemingly being played every day of the week, noone is complaing.

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