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    Which Fans should be most excited this Winter?



    Over the Christmas Period there's only one thing that football fans look forward to other than the Boxing Day fixtures, this is the excitement of the January Transfer Window. With it being exactly a month away I am going to take a look into what each of the clubs fans should be looking out for in January. Be it Buying or Selling or just being Content. An Excitement Rating from 1-10 will also be included to tell you whether it's worth getting excited about Christmas...

    AFC Bournemouth

    At the time of writing this Bournemouth Currently sit in 12th place. For a small club like them this is a respectable position. The first thing to remember is what Bournemouth's objective is; Safety. Last season they avoided relegation by 5 points finishing in 16th. So far this season they have 15 points and are therefore theoretically on course for safety. Although they have 5 tough games over Winter facing the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. I suggest that even with Bournemouth's success' so far this season the thing they really need is a free scoring striker. These are hard to find with any club, though especially for a team that sets its sights only for safety. One suggestion for them though is to recall their Loan striker Glenn Murray. He has been in great Goalscoring Form for Brighton in the Championship scoring 10 Goals in 17 Games. Though only scoring 3 goals over 12 games last season that is still a fair tally for a team that is struggling for goals. Though his age does pose a problem being 33, scoring 10 so far is fantastic showing he is not off of his best and should perhaps be given another chance, especially seeing as Bournemouth's current top scorers only have 3 goals each. The rest of the team is shaping up well- Ake is on form, Daniels looks great and Arter and Wilshere are looking sharp. 
    Excitement Rating: 7/10- They may not be able to expect to much in the transfer window but they are so far so good in terms of their position and aren't likely to suffer second season syndrome.

    Arsenal

    Despite Arsenal's opening day defeat to Liverpool they haven't been privy to many issues this season. Arsene Wenger is well into his 20th year of management with Arsenal and the team is performing well in the league. Being knocked out of the league cup by Southampton is of course a lapse in their season. This though means that the team now will have enough fitness to really push for the title. The most important thing for them to do is to keep hold of their prized asset; the Chilean Alexis Sanchez. There are already so many rumours linking him with an exit and you can see why; he is Arsenal's top scorer. Tying him to a long term contract would really be Arsenal's early Christmas present. The rest of the team has it's strengths. I would expect it to be quite a quiet January for Arsenal however they can always surprise us; look at Özil. Arsenal need another striker though the targets they have could price them out of a transfer such as Cavani or Lacazette. Maybe they could try starting Giroud instead of him being an impact substitute.
    Excitement Rating: 5/10- Nervous times ahead, if they lose Sanchez they could lose a chance of the league. And if they lose another chance of a league title they could lose Wenger, but if they keep Sanchez who knows?

    Burnley

    Burnley are doing better than what was expected of them this season by beating Liverpool, Drawing to Manchester United and losing narrowly to Manchester City. They have made Turf Moor a fortress to be feared. Sam Vokes is performing well enough despite only scoring 4 goals. He really is progressing into a fantastic all round striker. Burnley's objective for safety will include keeping hold of England Prospect Tom Heaton. His performance against Manchester United really turned a few heads. What they could use is an attacking midfielder to supply Vokes with more Goals. They could also play Bamford in the league. One of England's most underrated players, Bamford could really use some more Premier League experience to develop his skills before it is too late for the player. 
    Excitement Rating: 4/10- Burnley are looking strong but are unlikely to gain any major signings as they are teetering on just fine. Just be happy you aren't part of the Relegation Scrap. 

    Chelsea

    Well what can I say! Chelsea have turned around last seasons troubles completely. Eden Hazard and Costa are back to their free scoring ways and they haven't conceded for 7 games. Conte has been voted manager of the month, with Hazard winning the players version. Despite this they continue to be linked with players such as Greizmann. They could sign the likes of the frenchman, but then when would he get a chance to play, even Victor Moses looks like a player transformed by Conte! The problem would show to us another Salah or Cuadrado. I don't think that it would be fair for that to happen to Griezmann. It is also not fair for Moses to be benched after his form. So we will see what happens at Stamford Bridge. Hopefully Abramovich will be too busy to deal with the upcoming Stamford Bridge renovations to sign players in the summer.
    Excitement Rating: 10/10- Top of the league, not conceding anything and linked with the world's superstars. Chelsea are in fine fettle.

    Crystal Palace

    Crystal Palace have won just 3 times so far this season, they are looking more like Pigeons than Eagles. The problem is Pardew it must be said. He has done fantastic work for the club but he just isn't getting the results and the manager is always first on the chopping block. The team looks great on paper with the likes of Mandanda, Zaha and Benteke. They  need defensive reinforcements and if Pardew keeps his job that is what I expect will be the first area that will change. It all depends on whether the board will keep Pardew. Palace need safety. They need something to kickstart their season before it's too late. 
    Excitement Rating: 2/10- A bleak period awaits for Palace and depends on Pardew. If he stays it could be trouble. 

    Everton

    Fans don't seem too confident on Everton's ability this season. They have won just once in their last 6 games, against a struggling West Ham. The worst part for them is that their manager also doesn't seem confident in saying that Lukaku's 'potential is higher than Everton's final destination.' This is a compliment to Lukaku but also a worrying sign for fans. They will want to keep hold of Lukaku, though if they don't get results one could expect him to leave in January. However Everton are still in 7th Place which makes the situation sound better than it is. Ashley Williams has settled well but Everton need a midfield to back this Defensive player and to support Lukaku. Barkley isn't looking as Strong as he can be. So maybe competition in this area will help spur the young midfielder into action. 
    Excitement Rating: 4/10- They aren't doing too bad but if Koeman isn't thinking Lukaku should stay then it is unlikely that they are going to sign a worldie, right?

    Hull City

    Hull had a dreadful start to the season. They had a plethora of Injuries and their first team was lower than a 7 a side team. Plus losing their best manager in years Steve Bruce didn't help their cause. They sit just inside the drop zone. A win against Southampton was their first since September and they have conceded heavily against Bournemouth, Arsenal and Liverpool this season. However forms can change. They just beat Newcastle in the league cup on penalties and this could give them confidence to progress in the league especially with Crystal Palace's dipping form. The club I believe has enough strike force to stay up but it remains to be seen. Abel Hernandez has been a disappointment so far this season considering his form in the Championship last season. If they can buy anyone to strengthen the team I believe another Goalkeeper is key. Especially after the thrashings by Bournemouth etc. Phelan gets the chance to shape the team into his own form which could be good for Hull City. 
    Excitement Rating: 6/10- They haven't done too well but they still have a quality squad and Phelan is likely to shape the team in his own form. Stay Positive Hull Fans.

    Leicester City

    Now then, Leicester won the league last year defining all the odds. They have progressed to the next stages of the Champions League. I don't feel that it's fair anyone expect anymore of them than they've done. Ranieri could definitely avoid relegation. A mid table finish and Quarter Final spot would probably do for Leicester and they're on course for that. What more does anyone want. With Champions league football they could still attract high quality players. Though it wouldn't be fair to break up a squad that has got them so far. Unless Mahrez decides to leave for 'better things' but I would think he would wait until the end of the season for a change in scene. 
    Excitement Rating: 7/10- Ok the league isn't going great but the fans are still trying to comprehend winning the premier league. Let alone being in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

    Liverpool

    With Liverpool sitting in 2nd Liverpool fans really are expecting they can win the league. They perhaps shouldn't be so optimistic as we all know what happened last time. Nevertheless it is still exciting times for Liverpool. The problem is that with success comes transfer rumours. The biggest involving Coutinho with a transfer to PSG or Barcelona. Barça seems like the more obvious option being that he is good friends with Suarez and Neymar and would be a good transition for Iniesta in setting the tempo for their play. Fans should perhaps rejoice that he is injured until after the new year meaning that Barça would not be likely to go for him until summer but anything can happen. There are players that Liverpool could afford to lose too, Sturridge hasn't hit a purple patch for a while despite injuries and most Liverpool fans wouldn't be sad to see him go. Moreno, despite being Liverpool's only left back can't get a game since his errors in the Europa League Final. It seems likely that he should depart. Mamadou Sakho too has not seen a game since his falling out with Klopp, which I feel is unfair as he would still serve to Strengthen Liverpool even by sitting on the bench. He has though fallen behind the pecking order to Lucas. It is only fair that he be given a chance elsewhere as he is still such a great player with a fantastic character. Origi will have more of a chance and has proven his worth already in the wake of Coutinho's injury though if he doesn't continue Liverpool should look towards buying a striker. 
    Excitement Rating: 9/10- 2nd in the league. Another League Cup Semi Final and Coutinho is injured staving off Barca interest. It's not as though Liverpool don't have fantastic backup.

    Manchester City

    Despite staying in the top four City are expecting better. They still look like a leaky defence. A recall of Joe Hart on Loan might benefit City. He has performed better than Bravo this season. Keeping Aguero is also a must for City. He is in fine form scoring most of Citys goals. Fans are being tormented over Yaya Toure's position in the club. They don't know whether he is coming or going. The possibility is that Toure's last performances could have served as a shop window for potential buyers rather than a way back in. Though only time will tell us how he will be treated. Though I don't see a full way back. City need a player like Toure to replace him, like Sanches for Bayern or Goretzka for Schalke. City also need to use Sané more. Another strong winner could be their key in catching up to Chelsea.
    Excitement Rating- 6/10- They are doing well but just need that bit extra in defence to do it. Plus they have to play catch up to Chelsea, which in their form is never Easy.

    Manchester United

    Over to the red side of Manchester things are not looking so good. Although they have had good cup results against Feyenoord and West Ham during the last weeks. Pogba hasn't really shown his worth as a player worth that much, and Ibrahimovic is sadly showing his age, however the real reason for their dip is the manager. If you look at the team you can see the amount of strength in the team. Mourinho has been sent to the stands twice so far this season. His discipline will rub off on his players eventually. Playing Rashford out of position will affect his career also. Mourinho should use him as a Substitute instead of forcing him out of position. United need a winger to lay in more crosses, like Juan Mata. This could help rescue their season. Being linked with the likes of Greizmann could be just what they need. 
    Excitement Rating: 3/10- They spent way too much in the Summer so are unlikely to buy further and Mourinho isn't showing the fans what the fans thought he would show them.

    Middlesbrough

    After promotion Middlesbrough's objective has been to remain safe. They are only a point off of Relegation though their goal difference is just -3. This shows that their defence is strong. Though what Boro need is another Striker. Negredo has scored just 3. They have a lot of strengths however in their team; Adama Traore's pace and Gastòn Ramirez' dribbling just two of those assets. Victor Valdes' experience will also help when times get tough though I feel another defender with the same type of top level experience will help. Their links with Subotic could be just what the Doctor ordered. 
    Excitement Rating: 6/10- The team is getting better each week and can only be strengthened. Boro  are looking set to mirror their Golden Years; with the likes of Mendieta, Viduka and Hasselbaink.. but Ramirez, Negredo and Downing. That has a better Ring. Right?


    Southampton

    Although they suffered a dip in form a draw against Liverpool and win against Everton has made the fans feel positive. All this, and a semi final draw against Liverpool in the league cup is one for the fans to savour. Keeping hold of star player Van Dijk is their goal with Liverpool eyeing him up for a reported £50 million. Charlie Austin has also performed well scoring 6 this season. Puel has showed us that it's the management style that brings consistency with players. However with Austin being on Fire Shane Long has not shown his strengths this season. It could perhaps be time up for the Irishman. Bouffal should also be played more. The Moroccan player has shown potential and needs more time to shine. 
    Excitement Rating: 7/10- Parfet! As Puel would say. Southampton's only worry is in keeping Van Dijk.

    Stoke City

    Stoke City are living up to their role of the classic mid table club. A group full of names but not quite getting into a position to show their strengths to the European Market. This must be the goal for Mark Hughes. The problem with Stoke is that their strikers aren't striking. Looking at the premier League caps for Diouf, Arnautovic, Bony and Walters they have scored just 3 goals in 25 starts between them. This is poor and it seems obvious that Bony should return to his parent club and a new striker found. Their midfield however is arguably one of the strongest outside the top for with Euros players Allen and Shaqiri providing all of Stoke's goal threats. Imbula is also a fantastic player. Transfer rumours linking Glen Johnson to Barcelona should be no worry to Stoke as a younger alternate could be found in the Championship. For instance Leeds United's Unsettled Charlie Taylor. 
    Excitement Rating: 5/10- With no Striker this could be a long and harsh winter for Stoke.

    Sunderland

    Sunderland, as of the last few seasons have always been a team destined for relegation and this year may sadly be their year. However a win against Hull and what I regard in my eyes as a slim defeat to Liverpool could give them confidence. Throughout the last few years the Tyneside Derby has always given Sunderland a revitalising look. Though with no Newcastle the fans could look to Middlesbrough for this fix. A long build up and victory against them could kickstart their season for the better. The premise for safety this year is as long as Defoe can stay fit and score they have hope. Sitting Bottom with 8 points another striker and midfielder would be key. 
    Excitement Rating: 1/10- The team isn't all a mess.. but it's not far off. They don't need players. They need Results. 

    Swansea City

    These are harsh times for Bobby Bradley and Swansea. They sit 19th and are relying on Icelandic Sigurdsson for their goals. Llorente though did prove to be Swansea's hero in the weekend against Palace though that was the first time Swansea had something to cheer about all season. A younger faster striker would be able to help Swansea's fight for survival and help resurrect Brendan Rodger's passing style of play which fans associate with the Swansea of old. 
    Excitement Rating: 7/10- Give Bradley a chance to settle then see how it goes. He gets his first chance to change the squad. With the right changes he could be back to his best.

    Tottenham Hotspur

    Now they are out of the Champions League Tottenham can focus again on the Premier League although they don't have as much of a chance as they did last season. It would take a miracle for Pochettino's men to do as well as they did. Spurs are very much happy with Harry Kane although he is not as free scoring as he has been. Wanyama has been strong as has Son and the whole defence. So Tottenham also don't have much to do in terms of transfers. Maybe the departure of Lamela will benefit the player and the club like with the sale of Chadli. Trying to fit Jansson in his scoring boots is also a job for Spurs or he will turn into another wasted player like so many of the post Bale players at Spurs.
    Excitement Rating: 3/10- Quite a way off catching up with the top. Though Europe is still on the cards transfers probably aren't.

    Watford

    Watford are in inspired form. They have already achieved a lot and are certain for safety. Their victory over Manchester United a highlight and they are just 6 points away from a European spot. This could be a realistic target with Capoue in the form he has been in. They had lost badly to Liverpool though when looking at the goals there was little they could do against the side. With Perreya and Capoue scoring the midfield is looking fine. However Success is not such a suitable striker to partner Deeney and perhaps they should seek another. Perhaps Kenedy playing would more beneficial as he has shown skill in his time with Chelsea or it could be a case of another club wasting a loanee like Juan Iturbe at Bournemouth; a player with huge potential not used.
    Excitement Rating: 8/10- Positivity is key. Who knows, the way they are pushing they could get Europe. 

    West Bromwich Albion

    West Brom are another team in fine form; for instance Gareth McAuley has scored more than the Stoke Strikers Combined in half as many total games. [see the Stoke section for details.] With Rondon being on form the club looks settled in mid table along with the goals coming from Nacer Chadli. The thing that West Brom needs to do is to get Rid of Berahino. He is a waste of time and resources. Selling him will free the club from stress. The club should be less greedy and just cut their losses. They are still being offered high amounts for the player. A backup defender would also help strengthen West Brom's position in the league.
    Excitement Rating: 4/10- They signed a lot in the summer so don't expect to much there though the team may really gel better without Berahino. 

    West Ham United

    West Ham have played more games than they have points. This is a dangerous position for Slaven Bilic. Before the start of the season they were excited at the prospect of a new stadium and European Football. The realisation is that the stadium hasn't brought with it the results of the Boleyn Ground and this hit home after going out of Europe in the Qualifying rounds. Being in this position means they are more likely to lose their key players; the likes of Payet and Antonio. For they might want to leave before the ship sinks. A new striker is also key as their current batch cannot provide. The team itself has scored just 14, and their strikers provide just one of those, and Antonio, 6. That's something that really worries the hammers. They were hoping to buy Lacazette in the summer, they should consider buying him whatever the cost. This high quality signing would, one would think, help keep Payet and Antonio over January.
    Excitement Rating: 2/10- It can get worse. If their stars leave. Bur to be honest, things can only get better. 

    One thing is for certain, the asset teams need are strikers. Showing just how hard it is to find the next Aguero, Suarez etc. 

    Alfie Lumb 2/12/2016
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    Item Reviewed: Which Fans should be most excited this Winter? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alfie Lumb
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