5 Things We Learned from Premier League Weekend

Neri Stein@neristeinFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2012

5 Things We Learned from Premier League Weekend

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    There are only 12 games left to play (13 for a couple clubs), and we still have no idea who will win the Premier League or who will finish in the fourth and final Champions League spot. 

    Isn't that just the way we want it?

    Arsenal secured a huge derby victory over a very disappointing Tottenham side, and Chelsea saved manager Andre Villas-Boas' job for at least one more week.

    Manchester United got all three points at Norwich thanks to two of their oldest and finest servants to keeping the gap at just two points behind Manchester City at the top. 

    All that, and so much more. Read on to find out what we learned from this past weekend. 

Changing Managers Midseason May Be a Good Idea

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    Firing a manager midseason usually means the club isn't doing so hot, but the new blood often brings a new, winning style along with it. 

    Terry Connor only just took over Wolverhampton Wanderers for Mick McCarthy, and he saw his side fight back from two goals down at Newcastle to earn a draw.

    A little over a year ago, Newcastle's Alan Pardew led his brand new side to a 3-1 win over Liverpool. 

    When Harry Redknapp first came to Tottenham in October of 2008, his bottom-of-the-table, winless side defeated league leaders Liverpool 2-1. 

    Excluding this weekend, Martin O'Neill has had a fantastic start to his stint at Sunderland, just to name a few.

    Players lose faith in managers just like fans, and when times are tough, it's always nice to see a change. 

    Too bad this trend didn't work for Liverpool. 

Chelsea Just Delaying the Inevitable

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    Chelsea defeated Bolton 3-0 at Stamford Bridge Saturday, but it was in no way easy. Chelsea looked slow and lethargic for much of the first half, but recently recalled Frank Lampard and Michael Essien made big claims for starting spots.

    The win keeps Chelsea level on points with Arsenal, only behind on goals scored, which is amazing in itself, but there's still no way Andre Villas-Boas makes it to May as the manager Chelsea. 

    He's mixed up the squad so many times it seems he still doesn't know who his players are, and Didier Drogba, who has been arguably Chelsea's best player this season, is constantly frustrated on the pitch.

    Chelsea have a slim shot at making it to the Champions League quarterfinals and are still in the FA Cup, but AVB isn't inspiring his team anymore. If the team brings in someone who will, maybe they'll be back in the Champions League next year as well. 

Harry Redknapp Must Already Have Taken the England Job

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    Tottenham led at Arsenal 2-0 inside 30 minutes, and they ended up losing 5-2. Pretty much the worst derby performance you can have. 

    With 12 games left, there's still time for Tottenham to lose hold of third place if one of the teams below catches fire, so Spurs and Harry Redknapp cannot afford to lose focus. 

    After Sunday's loss, it seems they already have.

    Just like it's hard to have a manager you know the fans hate, it's hard to have the manager constantly being linked to another job. 

    There's no doubting that Redknapp is what makes Tottenham tick. If he were to leave before season's end, Spurs could even fall out of Champions League places.

    But if he really is going to stick around until season's end, he should at least do his job. 

Manchester United Always Need to Be Rescued

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    In his 900th match for Manchester United (take a minute to let that sink in), Ryan Giggs scored at Norwich in the 92nd minute to give the Red Devils a much-needed 2-1 win. 

    Paul Scholes had put United in front inside 10 minutes, but the Canaries were certainly ready to play and gave the champions everything they could muster throughout the game. But as has been United's custom of late, they get wins when they need them.

    And most often, it's their longtime servants doing the rescuing.

    However, with their best players being over 35 and not used to starting every match, it's hard to imagine them rescuing the title later this season. 

Which Race Is More Exciting, Title, 4th or Relegation?

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    With 12 games left to play, there's still everything to play for in the Premier League.

    Manchester City only has a two-point lead of Manchester United at the top, and with the two not meeting until the end of April, there's plenty of time for mistakes.

    Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and Liverpool will all think they have a great shot at securing fourth place and Champions League football next season, and they will each play each other again this season. Newcastle has probably the toughest schedule of the four, while Liverpool is finished playing all three of the top sides.

    At the bottom of the table, Bolton and Wigan look set for the drop, but with only two points separating the bottom five clubs, there's no telling who will be relegated come May. 

    So, with nothing set in stone yet, which race do you think is heating up most?