Anybody who advocates a winter break in the Premier League is basically trying to ruin the best time of year to be a fan of English football. Between now and January 6th, there are four rounds of league fixtures, plus the third round of the F.A. Cup. It is the time of year where maybe you do not win the title – that comes between March and May, which Sir Alex Ferguson so eloquently referred to as “squeaky-bum time” – but you can definitely lose it. Seasons can be made by hitting a good run of form: teams can propel themselves into a top four race; move away from relegation trouble; or, conversely with a string of poor results, ambitions can be brought down before the Christmas decorations.
Since it is the season, the roundup of last week’s games will be brought to you in the style of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Every team across England liked playing Tottenham a lot.
But the Swans, who came from South Wales, did not.
Swansea hated playing Spurs, they lost every season,
It didn’t matter how well they played, it seemed to forgo reason.
It could be perhaps that they missed too many chances,
Or spent too much time pinging around passes.
But I think the most likely reason of all,
Is that they did not stop Eriksen shooting the ball.
But whatever the reason, the passes or misses,
They lost two to one, to fulfill Pochettino’s wishes.
While over at Old Trafford, Rodgers had a sour frown
As he watched United send his team three nothing down.
And Rodgers knew every Red in the stands up above,
Unlike last year, were showing him no love.
“We made poor mistakes” he said in a post-match chat
“We won’t get anywhere playing like that.”
Rodgers snarled as he looked at the Premier League table
And realized his side was unlikely to be able,
To finish fourth, the thought made him laugh.
For Liverpool were sitting out of the top half.
At Stoke, a weak earlier after a loss,
Arsenal fans expressed feelings, without any gloss.
And they did something Wenger liked least of all,
They booed him at the station, for allowing a fall,
Of his team out of reach of the Champions League places,
Which made Gunners supporters show him their angry faces.
But on Saturday he made them stand up and shout,
As Arsenal beat Newcastle, without any doubt.
They sang! And they sang!
And they SANG! SANG! SANG! SANG!
And the more Wenger thought of the Arsenal fans happy-sing
The more he thought “I must stop this whole thing.
For if they are cheering and standing to clap,
How will they eat their fennel and quinoa wrap?
Why we beat them four-one, they should be more quiet,
I don’t want them ending their rich Emirates diet.”
At the Bridge, Jose got an awful idea,
Mourinho go a wonderful awful idea.
“I know just what to do” the boss laughed in his throat
“I’ll claim we don’t cheat, that will rock their boat”
And he chuckled and smiled as Cahill took a dive
That should have left Chelsea with only ten on their side.
“All we need is two goals, from Eden and Costa,
Then Bruce will be mad, as his side will have lost…ah!”
While over at Leicester, a Blues legend of yore
Popped up to give Man City a crucial score.
Frank Lampard’s strike was the match’s only goal,
Leaving City in second, and the Foxes in a hole.
Then the Eagles and Potters, Hammers and Black Cats
All scored a goal each, for two draws in two matches.
Now don’t asked what happened, to old Aston Villa,
Their 1-0 defeat at West Brom was hardly a thriller,
While the Saints also lost by that very same score,
That they were playing lowly Burnley, made it extra sore.
And Queens Park Rangers are no good away,
For which Everton made them pay.
Eight matches away from Loftus Road of which they’ve won none,
A trend that was continued, as the Toffees triumphed three-one.
This weekend, the most exciting looking fixtures are both being played on Sunday, as there is the Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland; followed by Arsenal’s trip to the north-west to face Liverpool, a match that ended 5-1 last season. On Saturday, the action starts with Manchester City hosting Crystal Palace; then Manchester United travel to Aston Villa, a fixture they have not lost since 1995; Southampton try to return to winning ways as they play Everton at St. Mary’s; QPR will need to continue their impressive home form as they take on West Brom; and Swansea are at Hull. Also that day, Tottenham and West Ham both have home games against struggling opponents, as they host Burnley and Leicester respectively; while the league leaders Chelsea do not play until Monday, when they are away at Stoke.
Last week’s jinx special, 3-7 (so 7 fixtures went they way I had hoped, I’m doing that again!); Season, 67-93
Home teams listed first, all predictions opposite outcome of what I want, draws mean I do not care.
Manchester City vs Crystal Palace – Away win
Aston Villa vs Manchester United – Away win
Hull vs Swansea – Away win
QPR vs West Brom – Draw
Southampton vs Everton – Home win (I would like a draw)
Tottenham vs Burnley – Away win
West Ham vs Leicester – Home win
Newcastle vs Sunderland – Home win
Liverpool vs Arsenal – Away win
Stoke vs Chelsea – Away win