Premier League MANual - 15th December
A midweek round of Premier League games – surely that’s what December is about? It’s this time of year that titles are decided and with Chelsea being six points clear and never losing grip on the title when they’ve led in December, has the title already been decided?
5. Origi Steps Up
Having reached 50 appearances for Liverpool, Divock Origi has seen his time at Anfield drift on by as a wasted opportunity, however with Klopp’s perceived distrust in Daniel Sturbridge’s fitness, he’s finally beginning to shine. He’s already on par with his goalscoring return of last year and the young Belgian is really beginning to show why Rogers paid the money for him. Whether he can sustain a place in the team or will be used sparingly is yet to be seen.
4. Noble Nails It
Mark Noble gave a real captain's performance and handed the Hammers their first league win since October with a rebound from his saved penalty. West Ham looked formidable throughout the first half, twice hitting the woodwork, but against a team that’s only scored once on the road this term it isn’t much to shout about. Still, it at least gives those Green Street Hooligans something to smile about.
3. Heads Will Roll
Another loss for Swansea cuts them adrift at the bottom of the table, but a surprising fact came out of the Hawthorns last night after Salomón Rondón buried Swansea with a finely taken hat-trick. The Baggies’ striker became only the second top flight player to score three goals with his head, and in a time where those spectacular diving headers are becoming less commonplace, that’s quite a feat. Is there anything he can’t do?
2. Chelsea March On
10 wins in a row. After a small adjustment period Conte and his Chelsea really are going places. They’ve never lost grip of the title when they’ve led from the front come January, and with games against Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke coming up before 2017, it looks like they’re there to stay. Costa is happy, Hazard is bang in form and Fabregas is slowly rediscovering his finesse – this is slowly becoming the team that should have won the league last year.
1. Pog’s Back
Paul Pogba, the £89m man. What a waste of money he seemed at first, not really getting off the ground under the mentoring of Mourinho. It's true that not every player is up to the challenge that the Premier League (Di Maria is proof of that) and after Pogba couldn’t cut it the first time round, there were fears that he should have just stayed in Italy. After a decent couple of performances now and another goal and assist, how wrong we were.