The month of December is the most grueling in the Premier League. The weather can be miserable and pitches soggy. The players no longer have fresh legs as they did at the start of the campaign and the holiday schedule with teams playing multiple games a week only makes the situation worse.
And this year teams are limping into the month of December!
The month of November saw an early slowdown with no matchday providing more than 23 goals and a season low for any matchday with only 19 balls finding the back of the net the first week of the month.
It is not just the players but the teams. Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor are the only 2 players to score for Aston Villa. Liverpool’s high from last season’s 2nd place finish quickly has worn off with Brendan Rodgers side in 12th place on 14 points, the lowest point total at this stage in all but 1 of the previous Premier League campaigns (1992/93 Liverpool only had 13 points. Arsenal is off to their worst start ever in the Premier League with 17 points after 12 matches. Their previous low came in 1994/95 when they collected 18 points from the first 12 matches.
Burnley’s Danny Ings was one of the few bright spots from the last matchday and the only player to hit multiple goals. The forward scored both goals in Burnley’s 2-1 win over Stoke City.
After failing to score in 3 consecutive matches, Chelsea’s Diego Costa has returned to his reliable rhythm with goals in back-to-back matches the last 2 weeks.
The only other player with a goal scoring streak is Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters. He is also sitting on a 2 game streak with 1 goal in each of those games.
6 players opened their accounts last matchday. The players punching in for the first time were Mohamed Sissoko for Newcastle, surprisingly it took Manchester City’s Yaya Toure this long to find the net, Leon Osman for Everton, Hull City’s Jake Livermore, Joe Ledley for Crystal Palace, and finally Liverpool’s Rickie Lambert, who scored his first for the Red ahead of big name signing Super Mario.
Have Your Say…
Who do you expect to have a big weekend this matchday? Who will sit at the top of the golden boot table at the end of December?