#1 Newcastle United
Maybe, just maybe Mike Ashley is on to something. Why do you need to spend big when you can loan in a keeper from Sparta Prague and he is able to play a blinder to keep out Manchester United? Rafa Benitez has now got himself to the same level as Alan Pardew, the level of being yet another Newcastle manager to beat Jose at St James’ Park. Not that Jose minded, actually. He was full of compliments after the game, unsurprisingly taking a morbid pleasure in watching a team park the bus, score a goal on the break and defend like “animals”. It was almost like watching United at their best, less the goal on the break of course.
#2 Olivier Giroud
Credit to Olivier. He needed to work out a way to be accepted by the Chelsea fans quickly following his move across town from a side that used to be their close league rivals. Genius idea Olivier. Show the Shed you are not just a pretty boy by needing a bandage on the old bonce. 10/10.
#3 Alexandre Lacazette
Having been the big summer signing who was going to be the next Thierry Henry, the last few weeks must have been weird for Alexandre Lacazette as the January arrival of the next next Thierry Henry threatens his place in the Arsenal lineup. What better way for Lacazette to nail down the striker spot as his own? Yes, take the late chance to draw the NLD level. Lacazette showed a complete Lacacomposure as Tottenham took the points.
#4 Paul Merson
Merse will have been surprised that Tottenham coped with Yo Pierre so well. In yet another well researched moment of punditry, Soccer Saturday’s finest suggested that Spurs would not have seen much of Aubameyang so wouldn’t be sure what to expect. Merson, you muppet, I am pretty sure that Tottenham were in the same Champions League group this season and Yo Pierre even scored. I think they know who he is.
#5 Kasper Schmeichel
Seriously, who appointed Kasper the shop steward for Leicester City? After Ranieri was sacked, there was big Kasper giving an interview to Sky about how the changing room had nothing to do with it. This weekend, Kasper was on our TV screens twice. Firstly, he was giving another interview this time about how Riyad Mahrez “has to do what he has to do” but giving us a face that really said, “he’s a prima donna idiot who has let us all down”. Secondly, Kasper was on TV playing like he was still on Manchester City’s payroll conceding five as City moved closer to the title.
#6 Daniel Sturridge
“I believe Daniel can give us that extra bit of magic,” is probably what Alan Pardew will have said at some point. Sadly for Pards, and hilariously for the rest of us, all Sturridge has given West Bromwich Albion is another body in the treatment room. Who saw that coming?
#7 Carlos Carvalhal
Go on Carlos. It was going to take a lot to rival Roy Hodgson for the “most unlikely managerial success and dramatic turnaround in club form” award for the season but Carlos is pushing him hard. And he bakes a mean cake.