One hot take for each Premier League club after the Christmas fixtures

The infamous festive period is over for Premier League clubs, and it's safe to say that it was... interesting.

The hectic run of fixtures has taught us a lot about each of the 20 teams in the division, and we've now got a pretty good idea of how the remainder of the season is going to go.

Let's get into the hot takes from over the Christmas period.

1. Arsenal - Smith Rowe for Ballon d'Or

Smith Rowe could save Arsenal's season | ADRIAN DENNIS/Getty Images

Lionel Messi wears Emile Smith Rowe pyjamas.

In the least surprising revelation of the festive period, Arsenal looked infinitely better when playing the players who actually deserved minutes.

Bukayo Saka was sublime, but the emergence of Smith Rowe as a genuine top-tier playmaker could be the most important thing to happen to Arsenal's season so far

2. Aston Villa - Europe is coming

Villa have been better than results suggest | LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images

Sure, one win, one draw and one loss after Christmas isn't the best record, but it doesn't tell anywhere close to the full story for Aston Villa.

They deservedly thumped Crystal Palace and were then unfortunate to come away with just one point against Chelsea. It was a similar story in the 2-1 loss to high-flying Manchester United.

Villa might not have bagged the points, but their performances proved they can hang with the big boys. European football is definitely the target.

3. Brighton - Please start defending

Brighton have shipped goals | Pool/Getty Images

Brighton play some really nice football, but the defending is just awful.

Graham Potter's side scored five in three games after Christmas but managed to concede six, including three against a Wolves side who are desperately searching for their mojo in attack.

The Seagulls can't keep relying on their attack to get them out of tricky situations. It's time to put the focus on the other end of the pitch.

4. Burnley - Let's get spending!

It's time for Dyche to get busy | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Historically one of the most boring teams in the Premier League, Burnley just got a whole lot more interesting.

American investors ALK Capital have completed their takeover of the club and are ready to back manager Sean Dyche in the transfer market. Anyone for Kylian Mbappe?

Burnley need some more attacking oomph, and with a boosted transfer kitty, they might just get it.

5. Chelsea - Hudson-Odoi is the real star

Hudson-Odoi has been Chelsea's shining light | Pool/Getty Images

Chelsea spent well over £200m to bolster their squad, but the real star has been wasting away on the bench.

With all the Blues' big names battling injuries or poor form, Callum Hudson-Odoi has quietly proved himself as exactly the kind of attacking spark Frank Lampard needs in his squad.

If Chelsea want to get out of their slump, Hudson-Odoi needs minutes. It's as simple as that.

6. Crystal Palace - Eze makes Zaha expendable

Eze is pure excitement | Clive Rose/Getty Images

Ebere Eze is really, really good.

His solo goal against Sheffield United brought the kind of excitement which is rarely seen at Crystal Palace when anyone not named Wilfried Zaha gets on the ball.

With Zaha again finding himself in the gossip column, maybe Palace shouldn't be scared to cash in anymore.

7. Everton - The new most boring team in the Premier League?

Everton are looking a little stale | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

For all the talk of an early season title charge, Everton have lost a little bit of their mojo. Results are still good, but the performances could be better.

The problem for Everton is a lack of creativity. James Rodriguez has been out and left-back Lucas Digne still faces a few weeks on the treatment table, and that's left Everton looking a little stale at times.

Reinforcements might be needed in January if Everton are to ensure they don't fall off.

8. Fulham - Improved defence could save Cottagers

Fulham are figuring things out | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Fulham are still woeful in attack, but at least they're not being comprehensively pumped by each and every team these days.

December saw Scott Parker's men concede four goals in five games, three of which came against Liverpool and Manchester City. That's more than respectable, which is all Fulham need right now.

They didn't even win a game in December, yet it was their second most successful month since returning to the top flight. Keep that up, and they might just scrape survival.

9. Leeds United - Bielsa does not need to change

Bielsa has come under scrutiny | Pool/Getty Images

A 6-2 loss to Manchester United and 3-0 loss to Tottenham left some calling for manager Marcelo Bielsa to stop being so 'naive' and adjust his tactics to stop the flood.

However, Bielsa has always been about high-risk, high-reward football. He's delivering what he has promised to deliver, and he's got fans on his side arguably now more than ever before.

Bielsa knows his style can win games, and thumping wins over West Brom and Newcastle are all the evidence you need. Leeds are fun. Get over it.

10. Leicester City - Iheanacho ain't it

Iheanacho is floundering | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

In Jamie Vardy, Leicester City have one of the Premier League's finest strikers on their books.

In Kelechi Iheanacho, they may well have one of the worst.

Okay, that's a little harsh on the 24-year-old, but there's no denying that he missed the chance to impress on a rare start against Crystal Palace. If he wants to be genuine cover for Vardy, he's going to need to show more.

11. Liverpool - Trent Alexander-Arnold is a problem for Jurgen Klopp

TAA hasn't been great recently | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Look we're not saying Trent Alexander-Arnold is a bad footballer - far from it - we're just saying that his performances haven't been particularly great recently (so calm down, alright).

The right-back's showing at St. Mary's was perhaps the most alarming one to date as he lost possession a ridiculous number of times (38 to be exact), was caught out of position time and time again, and was generally ran ragged defensively without Virgil van Dijk alongside him to cover.

It's clear that TAA is a special attacking talent, but his performances in the defensive third need to improve - and fast.

12. Manchester City - We back

City look back at it | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

It's been a slow start to the season for Manchester City, but their 3-1 win over Chelsea was terrifyingly impressive.

Chelsea didn't exactly make life hard, but City looked ten levels above their competition for the entire game, dancing their way through the Blues' defence with ease.

Pep Guardiola's slow quest to steady the ship is complete, and now it's time for City to launch an all-out assault on the top of the table.

13. Manchester United - It's actually happening

United are in a title race | CARL RECINE/Getty Images

Remember when Manchester United were in a crisis just a few months ago? Now, they're right in the mix for the Premier League title.

While almost everyone around United has been faltering, the Red Devils have been slowly chugging on. Five wins and two draws from December, and all while still not looking like the finished article.

Ole's at the wheel, and after a bit of a bumpy detour, he's dragged things back on track.

14. Newcastle United - Andy Carroll is back

Carroll scored at the weekend | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Callum Wilson has been the only Newcastle attacker that's looked remotely capable of doing anything this season...until now.

That's right, Andy Carroll is back fit (for now) and firing (for now) to help Wilson out a bit in attack.

The former England international scored at the weekend, and is sure to score at least another 20 before the season is out.

15. Sheffield United - Maybe it's time for a change

Wilder is under pressure | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The idea of parting ways with Chris Wilder seems almost blasphemous to Sheffield United, but when is enough enough?

The Blades have two points from 17 games this season. They're already the worst team in Premier League history at this point and they're on track to rack up even more embarrassing records as the season progresses.

Wilder deserves all the credit in the world (and more) for the job he has done with Sheffield United, but something has gone horribly wrong.

16. Southampton - Build a Hasenhuttl statue

Hasenhuttl has worked wonders with Southampton | Robin Jones/Getty Images

The scene of Ralph Hasenhuttl crying on the St. Mary's touchline after beating Liverpool 1-0 deserves memorialising.

Once seen as the worst coach in the club's history, Hasenhuttl has turned things around in spectacular fashion and has built a team capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone on the planet.

He has singlehandedly dragged Southampton away from the brink, and now the Saints are laughing.

17. Tottenham - Kane & Son are Premier League GOATs

Kane & Son are on a different level | Pool/Getty Images

No duo has ever assisted one another in a single Premier League season more than Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, who shattered the record despite not even being halfway through the campaign.

Talking about the greatest pairings in league history is always a fun debate to have, and now you simply cannot ignore the Spurs boys, who are making a mockery of defences up and down the country.

Jose Mourinho might not play the most exciting football, but what he has done with Kane and Son is downright magical.

18. West Bromwich Albion - Bye Bye Baggies

West Brom are in trouble | Pool/Getty Images

Replacing Slaven Bilic with Sam Allardyce doesn't look to have been the smartest decision from West Brom.

Sure, a point against Liverpool is great, but when you ship 12 unanswered goals to Aston Villa, Leeds and Arsenal, it means literally nothing. The odd moment of magic isn't enough to survive in the top flight.

Allardyce has a monumental task on his hands, and thus far, he doesn't look up to it.

19. West Ham United - A striker away from something special

Haller is enduring a rough patch | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

After a few years of struggles, West Ham are genuinely a good football team again, and they've accomplished that while carrying Sebastien Haller in attack.

The focal point of the team, Haller has looked a speed below the rest of his team-mates over the past month, and that's reflected in their run of draws. West Ham need more in attack.

David Moyes' men are getting good results against good teams, but imagine what they could do with an in-form striker.

20. Wolves - Keep looking for the Jimenez replacement

Wolves need to figure themselves out | Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

Despite putting three past Brighton, Wolves are still looking shaky in attack after losing Raul Jimenez.

Players of Football Manager will tell you that Fabio Silva needs a little more time before he's ready to lead the line, while chopping and changing between the likes of Adama Traore, Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto is yet to find the answer.

Results have fallen off a cliff since Jimenez's injury, and Wolves need to find a solution soon before things get any worse.

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Source : 90min