Arsenal to Wigan: What do the Premier League Teams need for Christmas? (Part 1)

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Assuming that not every manager in the league can excitedly rush downstairs on Christmas Day to find a ribbon-tied, cherub-faced Lionel Messi sitting under the tree, what is it that they most need heading into the new year?


The problem with little Arsene is not that his parents can’t afford to buy him any presents, but that the options in the catalogue seem so vast, and that he’s such a humble little boy that he just tells them that he doesn’t really need anything. They can just decorate the house instead. So maybe what Arsenal need is for his parents to have a mad moment and load his stocking with an orgy of excess without asking first.

Aston Villa

I don’t want to wish their lives away, but the Villains are getting the gift of time. Maybe two or three years of it all in one go to age the squad, give them some experience and allow them to settle with one another. Hopefully a big family Christmas dinner will also bring everyone together and cheer up Darren Bent as well, otherwise he’ll be accepting invitations to vacation with another family.

Manchester City

Even Santa doesn’t seem able to deliver the Champions League to the Emirates. Manchester City, like a child trying to con the big red man, have clearly in the past just asked for millions and millions of pounds rather than proper gifts but have found that it still can’t buy them the ultimate prize. So instead they’ll have to settle for the Premier League again, otherwise Roberto Mancini might find himself cast as Bob Cratchit next year.

Manchester Utd

Having gone round Arsenal’s house and stolen their best toy, you would expect Santa to have Sir Alex firmly on the naughty list this year. So whilst I’m sure they would love to find a time machine under the tree so that they can transport a fiery Roy Keane back into their midfield, maybe they need to learn how to look after their own things first. Some sort of scaffolding for Nemanja Vidic’s knee might help fix their defensive frailties and plough on for the title.


Santa could do worse than dusting off his boots, parking his sleigh in front of goal and starting himself in the holding role. I’m concerned that Harry might not be able to write his wish list and post it to the North Pole, but if he can, QPR are going to have the same present as the Tin Man. Heart. Probably 11 of them, as they’ve got one hell of a fight ahead of them.


A big dose of respect gets spooned into Stoke’s stocking this year. Amidst all the plaudits for Everton, Swansea and West Brom, Stoke go about their business with the blunt trauma effectiveness of a serial killer. It might not be pretty, but they’re defensively excellent, well marshalled and 3 points off fourth. So a bit or respect is the least that they deserve.

West Brom

The Baggies have been very naughty this year and unwrapped their presents a few months in advance. Young, upcoming manager? Check. Attractive, attacking football? Check. Pushing for Europe? Check. You’re getting nothing but some half time Christmas clementines.


Every year is the same for poor old Wigan. They save their Christmas money and spend it wisely during the year, scrape their way out of a relegation battle and then bigger boys come and take their toys. But for their sheer pluck alone, they’re a welcome addition to the league. For the sake of their poor fans hearts alone, I’m giving them 40 points now and they can just coast to the end of the season for a change.

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