Five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend: Gus Poyet is playing dangerous game; Steven Gerrard could be out for Liverpool; Norwich manager Chris Hughton has true bouncebackability

A look at what the latest round of Premier League action has taught us

Gerrard could miss Liverpool’s critical month

The hamstring injury that forced Steven Gerrard off against West Ham could not have come at a worse time for Liverpool. The indications are it could keep the England captain out for up to six weeks. Since Daniel Sturridge’s ankle injury will prevent him playing again until the end of January, Liverpool could face away fixtures at Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea without two pivotal players. More than ever they will seem a one-man team. Fortunately for them, that man is Luis Suarez.

Some academies are not just for show

When Abu Dhabi United took over Manchester City five years ago, it was said the club’s academy, which had produced Micah Richards and Michael Johnson, was at the centre of their plans. The team Manuel Pellegrini fielded at Southampton on Saturday was all bought in and, James Milner aside, entirely foreign. Southampton, by contrast, may be the club around which England’s World Cup challenge of 2018 is based. The academy that produced Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain now has Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, James Ward-Prowse and Adam Lallana showing what can be done by growing your own.

Hughton has true bouncebackability

It was Iain Dowie who invented the word bouncebackability but it is Chris Hughton who has turned theory into practice. Wednesday night’s 5-1 humbling at Anfield was the sixth time Norwich have lost a Premier League game by four goals or more under Hughton. However, only once have they lost the next match. They followed up their 7-0 annihilation at the Etihad last month with a 3-1 win against West Ham and on Saturday they washed away the too familiar taste of Suarez with a 2-0 win at West Bromwich.

Crystal Palace are beating the teams they have to

In 1997 Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League at Selhurst Park after a campaign in which they beat Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea at Roker Park. Unfortunately for Peter Reid, Sunderland took three points from eight games against Leicester, Southampton, West Ham and Wimbledon. Crystal Palace have produced no kind of heroics against the big clubs this season. However, their three wins under three different managers are against the teams they need to keep down if they are to survive – Hull City, Sunderland and now Cardiff City.

Poyet is playing a very dangerous game

Having lost narrowly to Chelsea and Tottenham, you might have expected Gus Poyet to produce the “I couldn’t have asked any more of the lads” cliché (copyright Tony Pulis). Instead, he laid into his players for not having the heart to compete with Spurs and said that if Sunderland did not win three games over Christmas they would probably be relegated. Poyet is banking a lot on replacing some of those players in January; if he can’t and their form doesn’t pick up, he is left with footballers whose spirit he does not trust and whom he publicly believes will go down.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas