Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Happy New Year ... or should that be Happy Blue Year

By Steven Beacom

Happy New Year. Or should that be Happy Blue Year. Arsenal may still be top of the Premier League table and fair play to them for that, but it is Manchester City and Chelsea who have been flexing their muscles in the title race.

Over the Christmas period City, just a point behind the Gunners, were the only top flight side to win FOUR games out of FOUR.

Like Arsenal and Spurs, who under new boss Tim Sherwood are on a roll (it won't last), Chelsea claimed 10 points from 12 during the holiday season, though the fixtures for Jose Mourinho's men were tougher than the teams from north London.

Mourinho has been much more vocal lately about other teams like City and opposition players like Liverpool's Luis Suarez which is a clear indicationthat he is starting to feel at home in English football again.

Strange though that he's allowing the gifted Juan Mata to leave the club.

There should be no shortage of takers. Manchester United, for sure, could do with the Spanish playmaker. If David Moyes doesn't have Mourinho's phone number I'm certain Sir Alex will hand it over.

Bringing in Mata this month might save United's season. Someone has to!

Incidentally the Christmas turkeys were Swansea, West Ham and Cardiff, who only totalled one point each.

Cardiff's new boss is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer He was always a great decision maker when a revered striker at Manchester United.

I wonder has he lost that quality, having decided to work for Vincent Tan. Good luck Ole, you'll need it!

Belfast Telegraph

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