Premier League MANual - 2nd February
The transfer window finally slammed shut this week and with the FA Cup taking over last weekend, we were blessed with a midweek round of Premier League fixtures. Questions were asked about whether we'd see any of the league's newbies in action but it wasn't just the January signings making headlines with Peter Crouch hitting a century of goals and Watford stunned the Emirates boo boys.
Can Jesus Resurrect Pep's Season?
It's safe to say that Pep Guardiola hasn't quite had the effect that many thought he would at Manchester City with a particularly stop-start debut season in England. Gabriel signed for the Manchester club in the summer but didn't make his grand arrival until this window. Having had a debut goal disallowed on his debut, he made sure to net on his second appearance in blue. Maybe he'll add a little consistency to a side that should be challenging for the title come May.
Burnley Make The Top Half Their Home
Who'd have expected that Lancashire's Burnley Football Club would be flying high in the top half of the Premier League come February? Not us that's for sure but by picking up their ninth win of the season at home to Leicester, the Clarets have made the top half their home. What will be worrying Sean Dyche's men will be their disastrous away form, but with the return of Joey Barton and the incoming Brady & Westwood that might be on the up too.
Crouch Hits 100
Peter Crouch, the man, the myth, the legend. He's a little bit like marmite really in the sense that you either love or hate him but nobody can deny that he's done the job throughout his career. Having netted the opener in Stoke's draw against Everton, he joined an exclusive club of players with 100 Premier League goals. At 36 years old he's by no means a guaranteed starter but with a celebration like that he's definitely worth having around.
Sunderland Can't Buy A Win
Weeks before the transfer window opened David Moyes complained that he wouldn't be able to buy anybody in January due to a lack of funds but miraculously selling Patrick van Aanholt freed up some extra cash having to bring in Oviedo and Gibson from Everton. Unfortunately for the Black Cats; what has become obvious is that no matter what they spend, they can't buy a win. A draw against Spurs was a decent result but if they're going to stay in the top flight they're going to need to string some results together.
Arsenal Bow Out
Again Arsenal started the season with high hopes and again we're in February and they're too far behind Chelsea to be within touching distance of winning the league. Another, rather surprising, loss this week against Watford showed the squad's frailties and with a non-existent midfield thanks to international tournaments, injuries, loan deals and suspensions their struggles are set to continue. Questions are asked every year about the club's midfield injury record but really, what on earth does Wenger do to his midfielders?