Tonight, as millions around the world wait for a jolly fat guy to break into their house, eat their food and pinch their alcohol, talkSPORT.com wonders what each Premier League club’s fans wants on Christmas Day.
Chelsea – A new striker
It’s the one glaring bullet point underlined in triplicate at the top of every Chelsea supporter’s Christmas list this year. The Blues’ decision to sell Diego Costa at the behest of Antonio Conte has been nothing short of a disaster due to the fact that replacement Alvaro Morata has desperately lacked consistency and struggled under the mental pressures of the role. Back-up striker Olivier Giroud has not been much better and so a new front man (preferably one who can score goals on a regular basis) is badly needed.
Bournemouth – A lifetime contract for Eddie Howe
Christmas is all about the Son of God, but Bournemouth have their own lord and saviour, who will be celebrated on the south coast. Where would the Cherries be without Eddie Howe? He’s the man who has guided them from the brink of collapse to the Premier League, playing what many would call ‘the right brand of football’. It can only be a Christmas wish, but how happy would Bournemouth fans be if Howe signed a contract keeping him at Dean Court forever.
West Ham – A quality central midfielder
Not since Mohamed Diame in 2013 have West Ham had a truly dominant central midfield player. The Senegalese star was instrumental for Sam Allardyce following the Hammers’ return to the Premier League six years ago.
This season, Manuel Pellegrini has been forced to experiment with Robert Snodgrass and Declan Rice in the engine room thanks to Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez’s injuries. Having turned a corner in recent weeks, the east Londoners must push on and show their ambition in the transfer market.
Tottenham – @talkingTHFC on Twitter wants a new home
You see a lot of homeless appeals at this time of year, and rightly so.
But never did I think this would be applicable to a football club, certainly not one as big as Tottenham Hotspur.
All I want for Christmas this year is a stadium. Not Wembley, not Twickenham and definitely not Stadium:MK.
With the news that yet another game has been shifted to the alleged ‘home of football’, Spurs fans are more desperate than ever to return home.
Spirits couldn’t be higher after our heroics in Barcelona, but now is time for Levy Claus to deliver the one present we all desperately crave: our new stadium.
Everton – Liverpool to stop being good
Now this really is a pipe dream… but Christmas is a time for miracles. Everton supporters really want to see their local rivals stop being so good, especially now, for the first time in ages, they may actually win the Premier League. It must be annoying for the Goodison Park faithful; Everton have finally got a top class manager and a good squad, which is picking up results and playing entertaining football, yet the only thing anyone can talk about is that red lot from across Stanley Park.
Watford – A new striker
Watford supporters are pleading for a second half of the season that does not follow the club’s usual template of ‘miserably woeful’, and getting a new striker for Christmas would be rather lovely. Andre Gray, Troy Deeney and Isaac Success are good but don’t really score goals, Gerard Deulofeu is just not a striker, and Stefano Okaka is nowhere to be found. As Javi Gracia will be singing in the run up to Christmas: ‘Santa Baby, slip a striker under the tree for me…’
Fulham – Dedryck Boyata
Fulham need to bolster their ranks in January and the Celtic defender would be the perfect signing to strengthen their defence.
New boss Claudio Ranieri will be given money to spend in the transfer window and reigniting their interest in Dedryck Boyata should be at the top of their Christmas wishlist.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted it is likely Boyata will move on in January in search of a bumper new deal and, with is contract up in the summer, Fulham could do well when in the New Year sales.
Liverpool – A protective shield for Virgil van Dijk
It should be no surprise that Liverpool are Premier League contenders after finally fixing their back line.
At the time of writing, the Reds have conceded fewer than any other team thanks to the developing centre-back partnership between Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
However, with Gomez now out with a leg fracture, Jurgen Klopp cannot afford any more injuries at the back and a blow to Van Dijk would be catastrophic for their title dreams.
Liverpool’s attack is a weapon but maintaining their defensive form will be crucial in their quest to end a 29-year wait for the league title – and Van Dijk is the cornerstone.
Southampton – Saints fan Alex Crook thinks some wins would be handy
It has been a miserable couple of years at St Mary’s as Saints have gone from being perennial European contenders to relegation fodder.
Fans yearn for the days watching their team play high-pressing, attacking football under Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino.
The appointment of forward-thinking Ralph Hassenhuttl as manager has at least restored some of the lost feel-good factor, but the Austrian will need a decent transfer kitty to hit the January sales with if he is to keep Southampton in the Premier League.
A no-nonsense centre-back and free-scoring forward are also high on the fans’ Christmas wish-list.
Arsenal – A new centre-back
It really is time to get the chequebook out and sign a top class centre-back because if they don’t, then Arsenal could miss out on the Champions League. They have been hampered in recent months by the absences of Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos through injury or suspension.
Newcastle – A new owner
In a prepared statement following Newcastle’s last game of the 2017/18 season against Chelsea, owner Mike Ashley stressed that “Rafa, as always, has my full support.”
That was demonstrated for all to see in the summer, eh? Newcastle spent just £22.5m in the transfer window, while newly-promoted side Fulham – showed their ambition by spending £105m on new additions – the third highest in the division.
Ashley’s reign has essentially been “all talk no action” – and now is the time for action to be taken. A new dawn for the Magpies is so badly needed.
Huddersfield – A natural goal scorer
Finding the net has been a struggle for Huddersfield since getting promoted to the Premier League. Last season they found ways to get results which eventually helped them stay up. This season has been much worse. Aaron Mooy and Mathias Jorgensen are Huddersfield’s joint-top scorers at the moment with a grand old total of two. It’s clear a striker is needed pronto.
Brighton – A Chris Hughton who will never grow old
Has anyone invented a potion to make people immortal yet? If so, Brighton fans would love their manager, who recently turned 60, to have a swig. Hughton got the job in 2014 when the Seagulls were struggling near the bottom of the Championship and not only guided them to safety, but has established them as a Premier League side.
Cardiff – A new striker
The January transfer window will be key for Neil Warnock’s men – they must make reinforcements and a striker has to be at the top of their Christmas wish list.
They’ve already deployed Callum Paterson as a makeshift striker this season and Warnock admitted they’d be lost without the Scotland international.
Despite being signed as a right-back last year, the fans’ favourite has shone up top, but Paterson alone won’t be enough to keep the Bluebirds up.
Man City – For Jesus to keep scoring goals
Manchester City’s season has been going very well, however, things have not worked out for 21-year-old striker Gabriel Jesus, who until his double in the 3-1 win against Everton, had just one league strike to his name in the 2018/19 season. Given Sergio Aguero’s current injury problem, a purple patch in front of goal would not go amiss.
Wolves – European football
You can’t qualify for Europe at Christmas time, but some presents are worth the wait! Wolves’ results so far have opened the door to help them compete for a Europa League qualification place. They are hot on the heels of Manchester United, so Europa League football is not necessarily out of the question. It could also help the club keep hold of some of their prized assets.
Leicester – A Jamie Vardy party
Jamie Vardy’s having a party. It’s a song that was never more appropriate than on that Monday night in 2016 when he invited his team-mates to his house to watch Chelsea v Tottenham.
Spurs failed to win, Leicester won the Premier League and Vardy had a massive party, as did the rest of the city. The striker also scored 24 Premier League goals and rejected a move to Arsenal – what a time to be a Leicester supporter and more of that would not go amiss.
Burnley – To get the eye of the tiger back
Manager Sean Dyche feels his side have lost it this season. They are fighting near the bottom of the Premier League table, but the boss is working on fixing it. “To get that, it’s like a good boxer,” Dyche explained. “He gets back in the gym, just as we have to get back on that training pitch and work hard, because changing things around all comes from a base of hard work.” Fans still smiling from their performance last season will hope they get it back soon.
Manchester United – Their old United back
Imagine Rudolph started passionately disliking Santa for not letting him sit at the front of his sleigh and you can basically sum up the power struggle at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho’s rigid tactics apparently limited Paul Pogba, who was reduced to a place on the bench in the manager’s final games in charge.
Mourinho has gone and with hated rivals Man City and Liverpool dominating the league playing attractive football, United fans must be hoping executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward brings in someone capable of doing the same.
Crystal Palace – A proven goalscorer
It’s fair to say the Eagles are in a spot of bother this season. However, a natural goalscorer would alleviate those problems instantly. With Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend on the flanks, a lack of service will not be an issue, so manager Roy Hodgson must find a player capable of converting chances in crucial moments for his side.