Smiles better: but what would your Premier League team's Christmas wish be?
With the festive period now well and truly upon us, we take a look at what every Premier League team wants for Christmas.
And so whether that be the arrival of a prolific frontman, a new manager, a change of luck in front of goal or simply three points to bring a smile to everyone’s face, then keep on reading to discover just what your side has asked Santa for this Christmas...
The North London club may currently be sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League as we reach the halfway point in the season. However, an injury to in-form frontman Olivier Giroud would almost certainly see the Gunners’ season implode.
So Arsenal will be asking Santa for another attacker to help share the Frenchman’s workload up front at the Emirates in the second half of the campaign.
As befits currently the best player in the Premier League, the Reds will be praying for one thing—and one thing only—for Christmas and that is an injury-free run between now and the end of the season for their brilliant Uruguayan forward.
It is not that things have gone badly since the Special One made his emotional comeback to Stamford Bridge last summer.
However, at the same time, it does feel as though something is missing from how things were during the Portuguese’s first, trophy-laden spell in charge of the Blues.
And what would the West Londoners give this Christmas for a return to Mourinho’s 2004-2007 vintage, the unbeatable and machine-like Chelsea?
If City were granted one wish for Christmas, then surely it would be a cure to their inconsistent—and at times woeful—away form in the league.
If the Blues were suddenly able to replicate their devastating displays at Eastlands on the road after Christmas, then the Premier League title would surely be theirs to lose.
With every eye-catching display from the young midfield player, so the scrutiny and attention on the new England international grows ever more intense.
And after what happened back in 2004 when a previous Toffees attacking starlet shone for his country at the finals of a major tournament, only then to be lured to Old Trafford, Everton will be hoping that lightning does not strike twice in 2014.
Every single time that the Magpies appear to be on the threshold of returning to those hedonistic days under previous managers Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, owner Mike Ashley then ends up inadvertently sabotaging all of Alan Pardew’s hard work.
And so with the Geordies once again riding high in sixth place in the Premier League, you can bet the North-East giants’ supporters will be praying that the owner ceases from meddling in affairs of the club that do not concern him.
Oh, how times have changed, however, with Redknapp having since been sacked after guiding the North London club to another top-four finish at the end of that campaign, while star man Bale is now lighting up the Spanish capital instead.
And what Tottenham would give right now to be able to wind the clock back to that time when one of the world’s greatest players was helping to inspire a brand of free-flowing, attack-minded football at White Hart Lane.
Sure United knew that LAF (Life After Ferguson) would be hard, but they probably did not expect it to be quite this hard, with the likes of Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion having both already left Old Trafford with historic league wins under their belts this season.
And so ask anyone associated with the Red Devils what they want this Christmas and the answer would be simple: Bring back Saint Alex.
Just think where the high-flying Saints would be in the table right now but for some of the calamitous mistakes that keeper Artur Boruc has made so far in the league this season?
Sure, the Pole has also turned in a number of man-of-the-match displays between the posts, too; however, Boruc always has been, and always will be, an accident waiting to happen, with the South Coast club praying for a new and more reliable shot-stopper from Santa this Christmas.
Last season, the Spaniard’s first in the Premier League, Michu scored a remarkable 18 times in just 35 top-flight encounters for the South Wales outfit.
However, so far in this campaign the 27-year-old has found it much harder going, with only two goals to his name to date, and so just what would the Swans give for a return to that previous prolific form in front of goal from the striker this Christmas?
The powerful Belgium international hit 23 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign for the struggling Midlands outfit last season, including 19 Premier League strikes that effectively kept Paul Lambert’s side in the top flight.
However, after a similarly blistering start to proceedings this time around, the striker’s goals have recently dried up, with Benteke having not found the back of the net in the league since Sept. 14.
And so Villa will be desperate for their star man to rediscover the path to goal again, and quickly, otherwise the club will potentially be facing yet another campaign fighting the drop.
Owner Assem Allam recently applied to the Football Association to change the club’s name to the Hull Tigers from next season, a move that has not gone down at all well with their fans.
And one can only hope that this unseemly, and very public spat, between owner and supporters does not continue to overshadow what is threatening to be a remarkable return to the Premier League by Steve Bruce’s men.
There is no doubt about it, the Potters have been far easier on the eye under new boss Mark Hughes this season than the team that former manager Tony Pulis put together during his time in charge at the Britannia.
If only the club’s results were as good as their displays, then everything would be rosy in the Stoke garden.
What a difference it would make if record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel could just discover his goalscoring touch at Carrow Road following his move from Sporting Lisbon last summer.
The previously prolific Netherlands international has managed a solitary Premier League strike all campaign long, which goes a long way towards explaining why the Canaries have yet again struggled in the Premier League this season.
It has already been a remarkable start to life in the Premier League by the Bluebirds, a team everyone tipped to go straight back to the Championship come the end of the season.
However, despite currently sitting in a highly respectable 15th place in the table, all the talk in South Wales of late has solely centred on the fractious relationship between manager Malky Mackay and billionaire owner Vincent Tan.
As a result, what the club has managed to achieve so far in this campaign has largely come against a back drop of disharmony and in-fighting—just imagine what Cardiff could pull off if the two men simply buried the hatchet in the interests of the club for the remainder of the season.
The dismissal of the genuinely popular and highly-rated Steve Clarke as Baggies boss on Saturday was a massive shock, with the Scot held in high regard throughout the game.
In fact, it only seems like yesterday that Clarke was being hailed as a managerial genius after guiding the West Midlands outfit to their first win at Old Trafford since 1978, yet now, less than three months later, he is out of a job.
Having hit the target on a miserly 13 occasions in their 16 Premier League outings so far in this campaign, it does not take a rocket scientist to work out what the misfiring East London strugglers are after this Christmas.
Recently appointed Eagles manager Tony Pulis has given the South-East London outfit hope that they may, against all the odds, be able to pull off what would be a remarkable achievement by staying in the Premier League this season, especially given the woeful start that the club made to the campaign under previous boss Ian Holloway.
Now that Palace have been handed a top-flight lifeline, Pulis and Co. will be desperate to complete the great escape by avoiding the drop come next May.
New Cottagers boss Rene Meulensteen arrived in West London with a glowing reputation on the training ground, although there were some doubts about the Dutchman’s managerial abilities.
Time will tell on the latter, and after only three games in charge, it is still way too early to make a definitive judgement either way on the former Manchester United assistant coach.
However, the Cottagers will just be hoping that the likes of Netherlands international Robin van Persie was right in his glowing assessment of his compatriot.
The relegation-threatened Black Cats face a potentially season-defining run of league games over the festive period, including fixtures against fellow strugglers Norwich, Cardiff and Villa.
And if the North-East outfit can somehow maintain their recent good form under new manager Gustavo Poyet at the Stadium of Light—where Sunderland have beaten the likes of Newcastle and Manchester City—while also continuing their impressive defensive displays on the road of late, including clean sheets at both Villa and West Ham, then seven points out of a possible nine is a more-than-realistic target.