A few talking points from the Premier League weekend:
A TALE OF TWO INTERIM MANAGERS
Feisty Scot Duncan Ferguson’s impact in the two matches he has taken charge of at Everton has been obvious, with the team showing the kind of spirit that made the striker a cult figure at Goodison Park during his playing days.
They followed up a 3-1 home win against Chelsea last week with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and while Everton remain at the wrong end of the table a new, positive, vibe has infected the blue half of Merseyside.
The mood at Arsenal could not be more different.
Like Ferguson, Freddie Ljungberg was much-admired by the Arsenal fans but the former combative midfielder has failed to spark an Arsenal recovery in the five games he has had since Unai Emery’s sacking last month.
On and off the pitch there was a mood of resignation on Sunday as Arsenal were outclassed by Manchester City, who won 3-0 seemingly without breaking sweat. Ljungberg was downbeat afterwards and hinted strongly that the club must appoint a new manager quickly, without showing any desire that it be him.
Arsenal have won just once in his five games and are drifting in ninth place in the table.
LEICESTER STALL AFTER INCREDIBLE RUN
Perhaps the pressure of emerging as the club most likely to chase down Liverpool got to Leicester City on Saturday as they were held at home 1-1 by struggling Norwich City.
The result ended Leicester’s club record eight-match winning streak, leaving them 10 points behind Liverpool in second spot.
It may have been a blessing in disguise though as their next two games are against Manchester City and Liverpool when they will be able to adopt the underdog role, one that arguably makes them all the more dangerous.
CHELSEA FEELING THE PACE
Even when Chelsea were flying earlier in the season, manager Frank Lampard knew a dip would come for his young side.
But he might not have been expecting a run of four defeats in five Premier League games.
Saturday’s 1-0 home reverse against Bournemouth was their second in succession at home, following an identical result against West Ham United, and again highlighted the fact that Chelsea will need some strengthening in January when they can trade again after their transfer ban was lifted.
Lampard’s priority might well be defensive reinforcements as the 25 goals they have conceded is the most of any of the side’s in the top eight of the table.