Open your curtains and take a deep breath, it’s time to stick it to Blue Monday.
Whether it’s a PR stunt or not, experts reckon today is the most depressing day of the year; Christmas is long gone, winter is still well and truly here and we’re all skint in January.
However, it’s not all bad: McDonald’s are giving away free Cheeseburgers (you’re welcome).
Here at Squawka, we’ve got Premier League fans covered with a reason why every Premier League team should be cheerful – even Huddersfield and Fulham, who are both stranded at the bottom after Sunday’s defeats to Man City and Spurs respectively.
Read on and put that smile back on your face.
1. Arsenal: We beat Chelsea, woohoo!
Arsenal exacted revenge on London rivals Chelsea, who beat the Gunners in a 3-2 thriller at the start of the season, by putting the Blues away 2-0 at the Emirates on Saturday.
The result was great, but the style and performance had Arsenal fans purring on Twitter.
— LukeG (@lukeafc13) January 19, 2019
GET IN pic.twitter.com/05OrvGUQ7s
— Met. (@AFCMet) January 19, 2019
Arsenal defence today….
— E (@eSHEIKH_) January 19, 2019
Credit where it's due. Emery's system in the first half was perfect. Sticking Ramsey onto Jorginho – masterstroke
— m (@920401) January 19, 2019
2. Bournemouth: Fraser and Wilson the best double-act since Morecambe and Wise
Callum Wilson bagged his 10th goal of the season to help fire the Cherries to a 2-0 win over West Ham on Saturday, while Ryan Fraser, despite not being directly involved in either goal, was as lively as ever and has nine assists so far this season, second only to Eden Hazard.
It is this double act that is leading Bournemouth to an incredibly comfortable season, sitting 11 points clear of the relegation zone and just three points off seventh place. Eddie Howe will be keeping these two under lock and key for the rest of the January window.
3. Brighton: They’ve found the cure for ‘second-season syndrome’
After last season’s relatively comfortable 15th-place finish, many people were still looking at Brighton and searching for symptoms of ‘second-season syndrome’.
That, however, has not been the case with the Seagulls sitting pretty in 13th in the Premier League, even after defeat to Man United at the weekend. Chris Hughton’s side are seven points clear of the relegation zone and can look up the table, sitting just four points behind Bournemouth and Everton.
4. Burnley: Remembered how to defend again
A 5-1 boxing day humiliation at home to Everton had things looking incredibly desperate indeed for Burnley, with Sean Dyche’s players seeming to forget how to defend altogether.
Since then, though, things have turned around with the Clarets going unbeaten in their last five in all competitions, moving up to 16th in the Premier League table and conceding just two goals during that time. The return of Tom Heaton between the sticks for this run is no coincidence.
5. Cardiff City: Strikers, strikers everywhere
Only Huddersfield (13) have scored less than Cardiff’s 19 goals this season, with the Bluebirds truly grinding out their 19 points so far. That could all change soon, however, as Neil Warnock has opened the chequebook to make the £15m signing of Emiliano Sala, as well as bringing in Oumar Niasse on loan from Everton. Sala, in particular, could provide the fine margins that are vital in the Premier League.
6. Chelsea: The arrival of Higuain
Chelsea have scored just seven goals in their last seven Premier League games, a terrible return for a side battling for Champions League football. Fear not, though, Chelsea fans – Gonzalo Higuain is edging ever closer to a move to Stamford Bridge to show Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata (who might be on his way out) how to score goals. Remember, Higuain scored a Serie A record of 36 goals in one season under Maurizio Sarri in 2015/16.
COMPARED: Gonzalo Higuaín vs. the centre-forwards of the Premier League ‘big six’ – https://t.co/iG5aIVOk02
Only one player has a worse recent conversion rate. pic.twitter.com/Vb8wIihGjg
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2019
7. Crystal Palace: Giant killers… sort of
Crystal Palace didn’t beat Liverpool Saturday but, my word, they scared the proverbials out of them. The Eagles went in 1-0 up at half-time at Anfield before being pegged back my Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino goals, but battled back once again to make it 2-2 courtesy of a James Tomkins goal.
Even after going 4-2 down, Roy Hodgson’s side weren’t done and gave Liverpool a very nervy ending, making it 4-3 in the 95th minute. This all follows on from holding both Man Utd and Arsenal to draws this season and that win against Man City. Spurs will be looking nervously at their FA Cup fourth-round tie this weekend.
Liverpool 4-3 Crystal Palace FT:
Pass accuracy: 86%-70%
Chances created: 16-7
Liverpool survive a late scare to go seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/7R20sksSGE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 19, 2019
8. Everton: No more Niasse
Nothing represents Everton running out of ideas more than when Niasse is thrown on with 10 minutes to go. Maybe he might knock a goal in off his shin? Honestly, you cannot fault the endeavour of the lad, but he just isn’t good enough for the ambition being shown at Goodison Park at the moment.
— Oumar Niasse (@niassebayeoumar) January 19, 2019
Anyway, Evertonians need not fear that embarrassment any longer as the Senegalese has been shipped out on loan to Cardiff City.
9. Fulham: Claudio Ranieri
Fulham fell to a heart-breaking, 93rd-minute defeat at home to Tottenham on Sunday after pushing Mauricio Pochettino’s men all the way, leaving them seven points adrift of safety in 19th.
However, the performances since Claudio Ranieri’s arrival at Craven Cottage have been much improved and even if they don’t manage to stay up, the warm Italian will have them smiling all the way.
10. Huddersfield: Wagner 2.0
Huddersfield’s tribute to David Wagner against Man City on Sunday was awfully nice, if not a little strange for a recently departed manager. However, Terriers fans will be heartened by the appointment of Jan Siewert as his replacement.
Siewert is just like Wagner: German and had success in charge of the Borussia Dortmund II side. If he can achieve a fraction of the success that Wagner did in Yorkshire, he’ll be just fine.
— Huddersfield Town (@htafcdotcom) January 21, 2019
11. Leicester City: At least we won’t be relegated
Leicester lost out to Wolves in a 4-3 humdinger on Saturday that was about as close a representation of their season as you’re likely to find. One minute, they’re looking like that side that everybody worries about facing, with the likes of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison making you look daft, but the very next they’re leaking at the back like a dodgy plumber’s kitchen sink.
The Foxes are in absolutely no danger of being dragged into the relegation battle, though, and can keep on focusing on winning the ‘seventh-place cup’.
12. Liverpool: TOP OF THE LEAGUE
Hugs all round. 🤗❤ pic.twitter.com/rk8ACgJW81
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 20, 2019
Yep, they’re still there. Defeat to Man City recently seems to have done nothing to derail the Liverpool title train, with the Reds still sitting four points clear of the Premier League.
Things are getting tight, beating Brighton 1-0 and being taken all the way to a 4-3 win against Crystal Palace, but the fact that they keep on grinding out results will certainly be eating away at Pep Guardiola, as well as Man Utd and Everton fans.
13. Manchester City: Sane and Sterling
Manchester City’s performance against Huddersfield was reminiscent of the nice, Sunday morning stroll many of their supporters will have taken before heading across the Pennines. However, despite not getting out of first gear, Guardiola’s side put the Terriers away 3-0 with wide men Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling both bagging goals and continuing to look like the absolute dog’s.
Leroy Sané in the Premier League since the start of last season:
• 53 games
• 24 assists
• 18 goals
Directly involved in a goal every 87.2 minutes on average. pic.twitter.com/NhxRZUphvQ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 20, 2019
14. Manchester United: Solskjaer 7/7
Who have they played? The bubble will burst soon.
Yeah, keep saying what you want, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just keeps on winning with Manchester United. The Red Devils beat a resolute Brighton side 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday and are now just three points away from the Champions League spots. Moreover, it seems like Man United fans are just having a really good time watching their team again, with the Norwegian ‘getting the Man United way’.
15. Newcastle United: Not in the bottom three
They might have absolutely no money to spend in the transfer market and are struggling like hell, but Fabian Schar (twice) and Ayoze Perez fired Newcastle to a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Cardiff City on Saturday to lift them out of the relegation zone at the Bluebirds’ expense.
Against all odds, Rafa may just keep them up.
16. Southampton: Hasenhuttl is a genius
Remember how bad Southampton were under Mark Hughes? We’re struggling to picture it now as Ralf Hasenhuttl continues to work his magic and show just how much of a genius he is.
The Saints’ 2-1 win over Everton at the weekend was hailed as ‘the best so far’ by Hasenhuttl since he joined the club, which lifting the club to the lofty heights of 15th in the Premier League table. They’ve gone from slow, lethargic and bereft of ideas to energetic, tenacious and threatening in a matter of weeks.
17. Tottenham Hotspur: Well, at least Eriksen is fit!
Christian Eriksen has provided 18 assists in the Premier League since the start of last season, only Leroy Sane has set up more goals in that timeframe (24).
He's now had a hand in 101 Premier League goals for Spurs. pic.twitter.com/RoKAMLp2ad
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 20, 2019
Harry Kane is out with torn ankle ligaments, Son Heung-min is away on international duty and Dele Alli picked up an injury against Fulham that will likely keep him out of this week’s League Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea.
Could it get much worse for Spurs? Well, yes. If nothing else, at least they still have the final member of their ‘fab four’, Christian Eriksen, available… for now.
18. Watford: Best of the rest
With just six points separating seventh-placed Watford and 12th-placed Bournemouth, the ‘best of the rest’ title, jokingly referred to as the ‘Everton cup’ in some quarters, is still well up for grabs.
The Hornets currently top that particular section, even after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley on Saturday. Hats off to the job Javi Gracia is doing at Vicarage Road – even if it has caused a very strange Twitter storm.
Sorry, @GaryLineker, no offence meant to anyone. They got carried away celebrating when they realised the Head Coach had been with us for a whole year!
I might be going through more Social Media Managers than Head Coaches soon 🤦♂️
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 21, 2019
19. West Ham United: Arnautovic set to stay
Last week, West Ham fans were calling the Marko Arnautovic situation ‘another Payet’. This week, it looks like their Austrian talisman will be staying at the London Stadium for the foreseeable future after Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG reportedly failed to meet the Hammers’ valuation of the 29-year-old.
20. Wolves: Donning the Premier League
Wolves’ 4-3 win after a ding-dong battle with Leicester on Saturday lifted the club to eight in the Premier League and means they are just one point off matching the total of last season’s 18th and 19th-placed clubs, Swansea and Stoke.
Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo was sent to the stands for joining the #WWFC celebrations after the winning goal.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 19, 2019
With 15 games to go, though, Nuno Espirito Santo will be aiming much, much higher than the aforementioned clubs – even if he did get sent off for being a human being on Saturday.
The post Every Premier League club’s big reason to be cheerful on #BlueMonday appeared first on Squawka News.