Top 10 conclusions Premier League weekend 20-21 December
1. Flying to the other side of the world to face pub teams from every continent does not help you in the Premier League title race, even if does mean Sepp Blatter calls you the best team in the world.
2. It is a good job Rafa Benitez’s Sky box is in good working order or his tactical decisions might have been scuppered as he directed operations against Arsenal from his sofa.
3. Mark Hughes is going to get sacked. Sorry Sparky, but we concluded this about Paul Ince last week… And West Brom fans seemed to agree as they chanted: “You’re getting sacked in the morning” towards the Manchester City boss.
4. Roman Bednar will probably be getting a few more starts for West Brom after securing their first win for three months.
5. It was a good week for last-gasp winners. Newcastle’s Damien Duff and the aforementioned Bednar both picked up vital late victories for their sides.
6. Christmas came early for Rafa. He got one of those really rare Robbie Keane goals just like he asked for!
7. Round of applause for Ibrahima Sonko for having the bare-faced cheek to protest his innocence when he gave the stoniest of stonewall penalties against Blackburn.
8. Newcastle seem to be on the up. Two wins on the bounce, and a little bounce in Joe Kinnear’s step too.
9. Arsenal can feel aggrieved. There was no way Emmanuel Adebayor deserved to be sent-off against Liverpool, although they did play better with 10 men.
10. Ricky Sbragia looks to be the man for Sunderland job. A great win at Hull, and the players’ choice.