The final international break of 2016 has come to an end, which means no more dreadful weeks without Premier League football till March of next year. Phew! That's a big positive, isn’t it? Premier League football was back this weekend and kicked off with the biggest match of the weekend as Manchester United played hosts to Arsenal.
It was yet another interesting weekend of football as we now have a new leader in the race for the Premier League title and this time it is Antonio Conte’s Chelsea. With the top three separated only by a point, it looks like title race is shaping up pretty nicely for Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea while the North London clubs are not too far away. Mourinho’s Manchester United, on the other hand, have a lot to do to challenge for the title this season.
Here are the 10 things we learned from gameweek 12 of the Premier League:
#1 Oliver Giroud is the super-sub
Over the last few weeks, Arsene Wenger’s experiment with Alexis Sanchez as the striker has worked very well for the Gunners. However, when Oliver Giroud was back, there were doubts about his place in the squad. However, the Frenchman has done exceptionally well after coming on in both the games so far scoring in both.
It looks like Arsene Wenger could have a problem in who to select in his main 11 but Oliver Giroud adds a different dimension to Arsenals game i.e., height. Hence, Wenger should stick to having Giroud on the bench and bring him on as a substitute whenever the game looks to be out of favour for the Gunners just as it did at Old Trafford.
#2 Leicester City – from Champions to Relegation battle?
At the end of last season, Claudio Ranieri pleaded with his players to stay on for at least another season so that he could build a team that would last for a few years. However, things seem to be going downhill for the Foxes, and Jamie Vardy and Riyadh Mahrez’s decision to stay at the club seems to have backfired.
After 12 games, Leicester City are on 12 points, which is just two points off the relegation zone. Their midfield lacks imagination while their defence looks like a mess. They over-rely on Mahrez to create chances which the opposition teams have easily figured out. Ranieri needs to find a plan B, and quickly.