2008 has come and gone, but the chase for the EPL continues. Here is the hottest (and coldest) team in the month of December.
Top Teams this Month
Liverpool- No Torres, no problem. When Fernando Torres was injured earlier in the season, Dirk Kuyt stepped up to fill the scoring boots. Now Torres is injured again, and another player stepped up for Benitez. Robbie Keane finally looks like a player again after a very poor start in his Liverpool career and has double his goal tally this month. Manager Rafael Benitez has been very lucky this season.
Aston Villa- When you go 2-0 down to Arsenal, usually you will lose the game. Even when you are at home, few teams in the league would come back to get a point out of it. Aston Villa did. Even if John Carew out injured, manager Martin O'Neill still has the speed of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Ashley Young in attack. There’s still a question of whether Villa can maintain their form till the end of the season, but so far things are looking good. Arsenal better improve or there will be a new Top 4 this season.
Surprise Team this month
Fulham- Roy Hodgson has proven that he is the best English manager in the EPL. Hodgson has turned a team that was certain to be relegated into a respected mid-table team. Not only do they beat teams around them in the league, Fulham is also giving problems to the Big 4 (a 2-2 draw with Chelsea?). If not for the great start of Hull City, Hodgson would be my choice for manger of the year.
Disappointing Teams this month
Arsenal- When it rains, it pours. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s injury list got longer this month as recently installed captain Cesc Fabregas is now out for 4 months. With William Gallas looking to leave the team also, Arsene need to open his chequebook and buy in January. The Gunners need a holding midfielder who is experience and could help the team immediately. Forget youth, they need steel. I suggest Marcos Senna from Spain.
Man City- Mark Hughes is a manger under pressure, and rightfully so. I feel he is a good manger but with the money and players at his disposal, you have to wonder what the hell Man City is doing in the bottom 3. This is a team with Robinho, Elano, Micah Richards, Shuan-Wright Phillips and Martin Petrov. All of whom are match-winners and proven internationals. Man City should be challenging for Europe, not going into the Championship.
Portsmouth- Since Tony Adams took over as manager, Portsmouth has been on a downward slide. They are leaking goals at the back, they can’t score upfront, and the chairman is looking to sell the club due to the financial credit crunch. They still have good players in the team, but Adams need to turn it around in a hurry.