The Premier League season is speeding towards its final climax.
Most teams should have a decent idea of where they will finish. At this stage, great successes and failures are also hugely obvious. Which mistakes have had a huge impact on each side's progress as we run into the final months?
Read on to find out.
Arsenal haven't won a trophy in eight years. We've all heard this fact over and over again.
Arsene Wenger has found himself under increasing pressure this season. He replaced Robin van Persie with what appeared to be excellent signings at the time in Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud, but the Gunners have suffered an indifferent campaign.
The French manager has been tetchy of late (via BBC Sport) in his dealings with the media, increasing the scrutiny under which he is placed and suggesting that change may be needed.
Wenger's recent outburst is an example of his future becoming more important than Arsenal's result on the pitch. The Gunners need to take a step back, focus on football, and let someone fresh bring in their philosophy.
Aston Villa find themselves teetering on the brink of relegation. The Premier League ever-presents are on the verge of surrendering their top-flight status for the first time since the current format was introduced.
Paul Lambert is an intelligent man and his decision to put an emphasis on youth is to be admired. The problem is, every team needs a combination of young blood and experience to survive.
In the recent 2-1 loss to Arsenal, Villa entered the game with an average starting age of 23. Out of these players, only Ciaran Clark, Charles N'Zogbia and Gabriel Agbonlahor have over 50 Premier League appearances.
Lambert should have added old heads in the January transfer window. Villa are destined for a stint in the Championship, and sometime next season their young talents will be open to poaching.
Roberto Di Matteo was never given a chance. Winning the Champions League could have been the first step on a long road of success for Chelsea and their former boss. As predicted here, it didn't work out like that.
Rafa Benitez will never have the full support of fans. A decent run of results across his first few games could have eased the pressure, but this never came. Since the Spaniard took over, Chelsea have dropped points against Fulham, West Ham, QPR, Reading and Manchester City.
Added to this, a Capital One Cup loss to Swansea and poor F.A Cup draw at Brentford indicated the European Champions have a long way to go before challenging for titles once more.
The interim manager signed Demba Ba in January. Not only has Benitez fully killed off any momentum Fernando Torres had, Ba is now finding being rotated in and out of the starting lineup difficult. Neither player is getting enough time on the pitch to gain confidence and a run of goals.
Chelsea were thoroughly outplayed in the recent 2-0 loss to Manchester City. Tottenham Hotspur now have the opportunity to go above Benitez's men, who will be happy with third place come the end of May.
Everton usually start slowly and come on strong after the new year. Things are happening in reverse this season. David Moyes failed to significantly strengthen his squad in January and he is now paying the price.
The Toffees have often taken one point when they should have taken all three. Nikica Jelavic—last year's January revelation—has failed to score in 11 Premier League games. Although Victor Anichebe has been in decent form, his injury left Everton short in the 2-1 loss to Norwich (via The Daily Mail).
Moyes' squad needs something more. The Merseyside club are only ever one injury away from struggling as strength in depth simply isn't available. If one of the starting 11 gets hurt, Everton are at a disadvantage among the top Premier League clubs.
Fulham fans must be an emotional bunch. One week Martin Jol's side will tear teams apart. The next, they'll get torn apart.
Key departures have left Fulham looking much weaker this season. The Cottagers sold Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele to Tottenham in the summer. Unfortunately for the London club, nobody has managed to step up and fill in for such influential players.
Players including Alex Kacaniklic, Bryan Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov are effective on the ball, but they represent a lack of steel throughout the Fulham side. While Jol will be pleased with the recent win over Stoke, Fulham are destined to float around mid-table if they fail to add a sense of physicality.
Brendan Rodgers wanted a new striker in the summer (via The Daily Mail). Liverpool's willingness to let Andy Carroll leave ensured Luis Suarez was the No. 1 forward at the club—mainly because he was the only one.
Suarez has been fantastic this season. Few players would have been able to score as many goals before January as the Uruguayan notched up. Even so, Liverpool have massively improved since Daniel Sturridge joined from Chelsea.
The Reds have a cut and thrust about them. Suarez and Sturridge continue to link with intricate passes and teasing runs. A 2-2 draw at Manchester City indicated Rodgers' plan is gaining momentum. Unfortunately for the new manager, it took until January to land one of the key ingredients.
While Roberto Mancini's willingness to chop and change tactics should also be scrutinised, Manchester City's biggest mistake was not landing Robin van Persie's signature.
The champions are currently 12 points behind Manchester United. Van Persie has scored 19 Premier League goals for United and even netted a last-minute winner in the Manchester derby.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men have also scored 14 more goals than their rivals. Even if City manage to close the gap, we all know how important goal difference could be...
It's amazing what a run of games can do. David De Gea has the ability to win and lose matches for Manchester United. In recent times, the Spaniard has been doing the former.
Sir Alex Ferguson decided to rotate his goalkeepers early in the season. Anders Lindegaard is an average replacement for one of the world's best young shot-stoppers. Neither player was given the opportunity to gain confidence until it became clear De Gea is the Old Trafford No. 1.
A handful of clean sheets and superb saves later, United's defence is much improved from the start of the campaign. The Red Devils still have plenty of shoring up to do at the back, but progress is obvious.
Eight years is a long time. In football, it's an eternity (isn't it Arsenal fans?).
I am all for managers being given time. Everyone deserves support and resources to install their vision, particularly if you've enjoyed the success Alan Pardew did in his first Premier League season with Newcastle.
The Magpies haven't played well this year. A recent resurgence threatens to mask a dismal run into 2013 for the club. Pardew had to contend with many injuries, but even so, Newcastle shouldn't be loitering around the foot of the table.
Pardew's long contract provided a feeling of suffocation at the height of this struggle. If things go wrong, Newcastle will head down a long road that cannot be altered without a huge sum of cash. As we've already seen with the French invasion, this may already be the case.
Carrow Road is so often a difficult place to visit. Only three sides have journeyed to Norwich and come away with three points all season.
Chris Hughton will be bitterly disappointed with the Canaries' form on the road. A solitary away win and six draws has left Norwich further down the table than they should be. Although relegation is unlikely, away day nerves have hampered a potentially fruitful season.
The QPR project is a fascinating one. An influx of players has turned the club into something of a circus, both on and off the field.
While the team has improved in recent times, it's difficult to see certain players adapting to life in the Championship. Esteban Granero, Jose Bosingwa, Junior Hoilett, Julio Cesar and Loic Remy are among those likely to ditch the club when the inevitable happens.
Prolonged heartache is imminent. Leeds United and Portsmouth fans are among those who understand this with firsthand experience. QPR may have signed many talents for the short term, but this will only be detrimental in the long term.
Adam Le Fondre has 10 Premier League goals this season. This is double the tally of any other Reading player. Interestingly, the sharp striker has started eight games and made 17 substitute appearances.
He is known as a super sub. Le Fondre has rescued the club on numerous occasions, including key goals against West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea. With this in mind, you have to question why Brian McDermott hasn't started the Englishman more often.
Edin Dzeko and Javier Hernandez were also outlined as game-changers when coming off the bench. Both have also scored plenty of goals from the start. Shouldn't Le Fondre be afforded this opportunity too?
Nigel Adkins was extremely unlucky to receive the sack in January (via The Daily Mail). The former Saints boss deserved the chance to cut it in the Premier League, even though his early season struggles were full of naive decisions.
For example, Adkins went through a spell of sacrificing key players when Southampton were winning games against Manchester City and Manchester United. Although he wanted to sacrifice his forwards for a tighter defence, the change in emphasis detracted from Southampton's play.
This is a team that likes to attack, plays sweeping football in the opponents' half and has the ability to trouble anyone when moving forward. Adkins sucked the life out of his players in the latter stages of matches that could have resulted in victory.
Stoke City conceded five goals in a run of 11 games from October to December. Since then, the Potters have dropped their guard 18 times in eight games.
Aside from QPR, Tony Pulis' side snuggle up to Aston Villa as the Premier League's second-lowest scorers this season. A reliance on defence masked the fact that, in their solid run of 11 games, Stoke only scored seven goals.
Pulis needs to strike a greater balance, especially as the Britannia Stadium side's back line is being breached often at the moment.
Similar to Swansea's reliance on Michu, Steven Fletcher is the only Sunderland striker capable of racking up a substantial amount of goals across the Premier League season.
He has 10 in 25 appearances this campaign. Sunderland haven't won in the last four games, a string of matches that coincides with Fletcher's goal drought.
Danny Graham is yet to score for the Black Cats, Fraizer Campbell is tearing up the Championship with Cardiff City and Connor Wickham is adjusting to a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday (via The Daily Express).
Fletcher's goals could be the difference between Premier League survival and relegation for Martin O'Neill's team.
It's difficult to fault a team that has won the Capital One Cup and doing well in the Premier League. If Michael Laudrup has made one mistake, it would be letting Danny Graham go to Sunderland (via The Guardian).
What happens to Swansea if Michu gets injured? Itay Shechter and Luke Moore are yet to score this season. Laudrup has a huge problem if the Spaniard is forced onto the sidelines.
Tottenham's lack of striking options escalated in January. With Emmanuel Adebayor at the African Cup of Nations and Jermain Defoe injured, Spurs' Champions League hopes looked set to crash (via The Daily Mail).
Luckily for the White Hart Lane fans, Gareth Bale is influential enough to carry the team. Andre Villas-Boas must make sure the Welshman receives goalscoring support in the summer. Spurs can't wish to maintain Premier League and European form with a striking duo that continues to stutter for momentum.
Steve Clarke has enjoyed a fantastic first season as West Brom manager. Unfortunately, one striker wants to upset the club's morale.
Peter Odemwingie doesn't want to play for the Baggies. He wishes to become another object on QPR's conveyor belt of signings. In January, the Nigerian forward even traveled to Loftus Road in a bid to secure a move (via The Daily Mail).
West Brom don't need this. Any upset at this stage of the year could influence the final league position of a team striving for European football.
Sam Allardyce often favours one type of football. After so many years at the highest level, Big Sam's emphasis on physicality is combated on a weekly basis.
West Ham have picked up four points from the last six games. A brilliant start to the season has been demolished by a plethora of results that underlines a squad that needs further investment.
Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole are adequate striking options, but something different is needed. Smart summer signings should be No. 1 on the agenda—even before launching a long ball up the pitch.
Wigan have played some stunning football this year. Roberto Martinez has drilled his team into playing a smart game that is built upon quick interchanges between the midfield.
Arouna Kone is the club's top scorer with eight goals. Behind him, Franco Di Santo has five. The current relegation battle could be decided via a handful of important strikes in the coming weeks.
For Wigan, there's a sense that the team is good enough to survive if it can overcome a lack of firepower. Kone's form will have a huge say in who stays up.
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All statistics in this article are courtesy of WhoScored.com.