As all the Premier League fixtures of 2013 wrap up, we also approach the halfway mark of this enthralling and nerve racking season. It has been the most exciting season in many years as the competition for the ultimate prize is atrocious and keenly contested by so many quality teams. This was epitomized by the fact that the team at the top of the table at Christmas had slipped down to 5th position by the end of the year! However, the New Year also brings fresh resolve, hope and expectations and another exciting period to look forward to! The January transfer window!!The Perfect January: For the teams looking to be in the top 4 places!
Here is what i believe the teams that can make it to the top four will be hoping to get during the January transfer window to improve their teams and achieve their respective goals!
Arsenal's great form this season has surprised many people this season as they have emerged as serious title contenders from a somewhat lackluster previous season. Despite having great depth in the midfield department and enough in defense, they look short on strikers. Despite the return of Podolski and Walcott who can fill the front role, they still lack the quality of a frontman to really take the game to the opposition and turn games on their head. Giroud has been playing really well this campaign but hes not your prolific clinical striker who will score 20 odd goals a season or one whom a team can be built around. Something essential in any championship winning outfit! If Arsenal buy a good striker, i will regard them as my favorites to win the league because their quality in midfield to supply the frontman is phenomenal!
Best Buy: Striker!
Liverpool are another surprise package this season flying high and really giving the top teams a test. And when you mention Liverpool you just cant help but mention their star Luis Suarez! He is arguably the best player on the planet at the moment but Liverpool are very heavily dependent on his services. Liverpool without Suarez are almost questionable top 6 finishers because all their attacking play seems to stem from that man.
When you look at their midfield, Henderson has really emerged from the shadows and Allen and Lucas have also stepped up but they don't seem like the players that can compete with the other giants in the Premier League. They also don't have any cover if Suarez has to face any time on the sidelines but midfield is where their weakness lies in my opinion and a real game controlling midfielder could be the ideal buy for Liverpool in their bid for the title!
Best Buy: Midfielder!
This is the only team that doesn't need to buy anything to win the title. They are a real powerhouse and with the stars they have, who can question their title credentials. The only weakness i can pick out in this team is the centre of defence. They really missed their immense club captain Vincent Komapny during the early stages of the campaign but with him back they look much more stable. Nastasic is also a great young defender who can sparkle and the pair of him and Kompany is the best in city's locker if they can play together regularly. Demichelis has been trusted by the manager to replace the CB when there is need, but i don't think hes good enough for a team of City's calibre and was often found at fault. Lescott i feel is a better option in the center back position. But if city have to spend, the only place i can think of is a very good solid CB.
Best Buy: Centre back!
United fans must be feeling very disappointed with the campaign they've had so far and must have doubts about their new manager David Moyes. They just don't look like defending champions at all and must pull up their socks and grind out results to salvage their season!
Their defence seems shakier than ever with Vidic playing only sporadically and with them just having to rotate their back four almost every week! The competition above them is fierce and the thing they lack is any sort of midfield. They just have to buy a marquee player in the middle of the park who can control the game and spray the passes to their forwards. ! With Rooney and Van Persie up front, they can be a fearsome attacking unit with the addition of a controlling force in midfield!
Best Buy: Midfielder , maybe two!
Everton fans are in dream land these days with their team punching way above their weight! Robetro Martinez has been a revelation and has lead me to believe he will become a legendary manager someday! Everton though, do have a problem of their two center backs aging with Distin 36 and Jagielka 31; but that can be put off until the summer window.
The other weak link is their midfield. They don't have anyone who can really dictate the pace of the game. Their midfield, with the likes of Barkley and Mirallas is full of very direct players who run with the ball and make things happen but they lack the ability to take control and pass the ball around. I think they will become a much better side if they can get a player in the mould of Xavi or Iniesta or Pirlo who can pick out the forward runs instead of trying to do it all on his own.
Best Buy: Midfielder!
Chelsea are a solid team this season and even with their occasional hiccups, are right up there at the top of the table. They have often scraped through matches with hard earned wins and their defensive resilience.
What they need is a good striker. Torres and Ba just don't fit the bill and Eto'o is beyond his prime. This is evident in the fact that their 3 top scorers (Hazard, Oscar and Lampard respectively) are midfield players. They really need a goal scorer so that they are not made to pay for not "killing teams off".
Best Buy: Striker!
Spurs are currently not meeting their aspirations of finishing in the top four and are having a somewhat disappointing season. But the appointment of Tim Sherwood as their manager has brought about a drastic change in their tactics. The reign of Sherwood was marked by a very noticeable change in emphasis from defence to attack. Sherwood has immediately shown he will go out and play attractive attacking football and outscore the opposition to win games.
This change has been important in getting the fans excited again and it has also produced the goods in the few matches played thus far. I feel they have a good squad with plenty of depth, but their signings were a bit optimistic. All the new players need time to stick together in a unit and with most of them new to the Premier League, it was a huge ask to get results so quickly. With good players abundant in their squad, one real star in midfield can change the course of their campaign dramatically! A playmaker is what i would suggest they invest in this January.
Best Buy: Midfielder!
This season Newcastle have shown what they can achieve with a fully fit squad. They are a very good outfit who can really threaten the top four places. The on loan striker Loic Remy and their midfield talisman Yohan Cabaye have flourished this season and have helped Newcastle into a good position in the table.
But Newcastle are not a side you can count on to keep a clean sheet even against a lower mid table side, let alone the big ones. Especially with their main defender Colocini not in his best form, they look even more vulnerable. A greater defensive resilience may be their launch pad to escalate even higher in the table so I feel and investment in defence won’t go astray. They also need to hold on to Cabaye with all the speculation surrounding him and a transfer to make the most out of the transfer window.
Best Buy: Defender!
Southampton have really impressed me this season with their high tempo game in both attack and defence and they are producing the results to boot. Even though their extra ordinary start to the season has faded a bit, they are still a very good team and give the big teams a real run for their money everytime they play them!
their incredible run early in the campaign was hugely down to their miserly defence which rarely allowed any goals but injuries to their defenders derailed their defensive momentum and is a major factor in their slump. The lack of depth in their squad is their main downfall as they could not contend with injuries and fatigue when they faced difficult fixtures thick and fast especially during the end of the year. I’d think they should buy a good midfielder to gain more depth but at least one good center back should be a higher priority so they can consistently produce good results.
Best Buy: Defender!
This season, it feels like the European spots in the Premier League are not nearly enough to accommodate the teams that can really compete in and light up the European stage! So many teams deserve a spot but unfortunately not everyone can get what they want!
Feel free to comment below and let me know how you feel :)