While many of Europe’s league settle into their winter break the Premier League starts its busiest period of the year. In the 11 days between this weekend and New Years day each club will play four games. So with the first games of this whirlwind period complete let’s see what we learned this week in the Barclays Premier League.
What does £200,000 a week buy you?
On Friday Luis Suarez put pen to paper on a new four year deal at Liverpool with many media outlets reporting that the Uruguayan would be paid £200,00 a week. If there’s anyone in the Premier League this season who has earned such a sizable paycheck it’s the 26-year-old, a point that he reiterated this weekend.
The Premier League’s top goal scorer added another two to his tally, bringing it to 19 so far this season, not bad for a player who was suspended for the first five games of the season after biting Branislav Ivanovic.
Those goals mean that Suarez is the first player to score 10 goals in a calendar month in the history of the Premier League, he has nine goals from his last four games, he’s the first player to score at least two goal in four consecutive games and should he score in either of the last two games of the calendar year he will be the first player to score 20 in that period of time.
One more stat? Well it is nearly Christmas. Despite missing the first five games Suarez has more goals than the total goal tallies of the following clubs this season: Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Cardiff, West Ham, Fulham, West Brom, Norwich, Villa, Hull City and Stoke.
The football world does not want to see Malky Mackay sacked
A lot has changed at Cardiff since Vincent Tan became owner in 2010. The Bluebirds have controversially changed their home shirts to red, a colour that Tan thinks will bring the side luck.
Other changes include a new club badge, the traditional bluebird replaced by a red dragon, and the firing of Malky Mackay’s key adviser, Iain Moody, who was replaced by Alisher Apaslyamov, a inexperienced 23-year-old who is thought to be a friend of Tan’s son.
While none of these changes were welcomed by the Cardiff fans they were not resisted as adamantly as what the fans suspect might be Tan’s next move; the sacking of Malky Mackay.
Reports suggest that Cardiff will part ways with Mackay in the coming days after Tan handed down the ultimatum to the manger that he can either resign or be sacked.
The Cardiff fans sang their managers name throughout their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, songs that were greeted with applause by the home fans.
After the game it is rumoured that for now, Tan will be reconsidering his decision.
Old Trafford is safe ground again for Manchester United
This season Old Trafford has not been the fortress that it usually is for Manchester United. Having lost to Everton and Newcastle in their last two home games United were keen to prove a point when they faced West Ham on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck, Adnan Januzaj and Ashley Young were the scores as Untied ran out 3-1 winners, Carlton Cole scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.
Sunderland are bottom at Christmas
In football folklore there are few curses more consistent than that which falls on the side bottom of the league on Christmas day. In the history of the Premier League there has only West Brom, in 2005, have been in that fateful position on December 25th and have escaped being relegated that season.
Sunderland’s 0-0 draw at home to Norwich on Saturday means that they are 3 points behind 19th placed Fulham. The Black Cats face Everton, Cardiff and Aston Villa over the Christmas period.
Adebayscore. Sherwood you believe it?
Out of the wilderness and onto the score sheet. Until Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking last week Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor had only seen 45 minutes of football this season in all competitions.
However, with interim manager Tim Sherwood in charge the Togolese striker was handed his first start of the Premier League season. It was an opportunity he took full advantage of.
With just 25 minutes on the clock Adebayor provided a superb finish from a Roberto Soldado cross to equalise and with the score tied at 2-2 in the second half he found the net for the second time to give Spurs the lead and eventually the points.
This weekends game is the first time that Tottenham, much criticised for their lack of goals under Villas-Boas, have scored more than two in a Premier League game all season.
It was announced on Monday evening that Tim Sherwood would be the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur on a contract lasting to the end of the 2014/15 season.
The first Christmas cracker popped with a whimper
Monday’s night game between Arsenal and Chelsea was billed to be the first big game of the Christmas period. The top of the table clash between two of London’s big clubs had so much promise. Promise it did not deliver.
The game ended a dull 0-0 draw. The result means that Liverpool will be top of the table on Christmas day.
That’s it for the first round of fixtures in the Premier League, your next installment will be December the 26th when all 20 teams will be in action.