Some random thoughts on the Premier League now that there is just a third of the season to go.
1) No matter what happens between now and the end of the season Leicester City boss Claudio Rainieri should be named manager of the year. Funny, humble and even when he slaughters referees, he does so in a very polite way.
2) No matter what happens between now and the end of the season, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Gola Knate should be among the top six in the PFA player-of-the-year poll. If they are not, footballers are much thicker than I thought.
3) Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany remains the most over-rated central defender in the league. He’s better than team-mates Eliaquim Mangala and Martín Demichelis, but then so am I and I’m 53.
4) John Stones is the second-most over-rated central defender in the league. Everton leak goals galore when he plays and keep clean sheets when he doesn’t play. John Terry didn’t survive 15 years in the top flight by looking pretty on the ball. Stones needs to take note.
5) Manchester United bosses should look at the improvement in Chelsea since Jose Mourinho left. He’d clearly alienated the dressing room at Stamford Bridge and United can ill-afford such a confrontational character when they finally put useless Luis Van Gaal out of his misery.
6) Manchester United should try and poach Ronald Koeman from Southampton. The Saints let their best players go so they’ll probably let the manager leave. Southampton are currently sixth in the Premier League. an astonishing effort given what Koeman has to work with.
7) You need fight, heart and a battling spirit to get out of relegation trouble. That’s why Sunderland could well manage it and it’s why Newcastle United might not.
8) Clubs should always be wary of a bounce in form caused by a new manager. Alex Neil’s ‘bounce’ took Norwich all the way into the Premier League where he has been found wanting. Not enough new signings followed by too many poor signings is a recipe for disaster.
9) There’s every chance the title race or the relegation battle will be decided by a refereeing blunder. It’s a huge concern the best ref in the league, Mark Clattenburg, blatantly guessed (badly) and gave Spurs a crucial penalty in a big game last weekend. If he’s so susceptible to error what chance for the rest of them?
10) You can give Spurs midfielder Dele Alli the young player of the year award now. I just hope former club MK Dons aren’t on a massive pay-out if Spurs win the league because it might just happen.
11) Most over-rated manager currently working in the Premier League is Roberto Martinez at Everton. Making the same mistakes over and over again is a form of insanity. Albert Einstein said that or it might have been Robbie Savage.