Christmas Premier League club manager wishlists part four including Pochettino, Bradley and Bilic
Holly Thackeray | 25 December 2016
Christmas Premier League club manager wishlists
The thrilling 2016/17 Premier League season is almost at its midway point, with managers and clubs in the elite competition now garnering a very good idea of what they need to ensure success or survival in the second half of their campaigns.
So forget the latest designer suit or bottle of bubbly and put those socks back in their stockings as, ahead of the customary festive fixture pile-up, Coral take a light-hearted look at what each Premier League manager should really want for Christmas.
Read on, then, for our Christmas Premier League club manager wishlists part four!
We’re going in alphabetical order, with this final of four sections focusing on Swansea City to West Ham United, so don’t forget to read parts one, two and three to find out what your club’s coach requires…
Bob Bradley (Swansea City)At this point, after vbeing parachuted into the Swansea hotseat back in October to become the first American to manage a Premier League club, Swans boss Bradley will surely be wishing he doesn’t become just another number in the Liberty Stadium’s managerial revolving door.
As the fourth coach to take on the increasingly poisoned chalice in three seasons, Bradley could also be forgiven for asking that critics also look past his New Jersey accent and focus on improved results, with his side having picked up two wins and a draw in the last six games.
With the Welsh side’s board said to be ready to back Bradley in the January transfer window, the biggest festive favour the coach could ask is for teams directly above the drop zone, such as Burnley and Crystal Palace, to keep dropping points too. Swansea are currently even-money with Coral to avoid relegation.
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)Pochettino is certainly popular at White Hart Lane after giving his Spurs squad Christmas Day off. The Argentine coach is no Scrooge, and has already enjoyed an early Christmas present of sorts, with local London and also top four rivals Arsenal suffering successive PL losses.
The icing on the cake for the Tottenham tactician would surely be to claim the Gunners’ Champions League position over New Year, which could begin by beating his former side Southampton, as his team’s upturn in form continues.
Midfield schemer Christian Eriksen’s sudden ruthlessness and scoring streak to last would also come in handy as players begin to step up to support Harry Kane’s goal burden. Spurs are 11/10 for a top four PL finish.
Walter Mazzarri (Watford)Italian adventurer Mazzarri may be hoping that one New Year’s resolution for his side will be greater consistency as his hot-and-cold team have won just six of their Premier League games this season, drawing three and losing eight.
Highs such as scalping Manchester United, Everton, Leicester City and West Ham United have promised the Hornets can be high-flyers, but the Hertfordshire outfit have not yet delivered, with disappointing losses to the likes of Sunderland too.
Key to success will be performances away from Vicarage Road, with four away defeats on the spin and only one victory on their travels all term. To help Mazzarri’s likely request for a better road record alongside his Panettone, would be a Watford wish for last season’s dangerous duo of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo to start scoring regularly again.
Tony Pulis (West Bromwich Albion)Many may have cast Pulis in the role of goal Grinch, but such type-casting has been temporarily put aside as Albion have clocked up 23 in the top tier this term, just one less than Manchester United.
With Salomon Rondon and co taking care of attack, for once Pulis may have to ask for a tighter defence, with his men having shipped a surprising 21, leaving his team with a goal difference of just two.
While, with a top 10 finish (15/8) in the Baggies’ sights, Pulis could use the boost of a January sales splurge to paint West Brom as a more attractive prospect. Landing linked Morgan Schneiderlin over the likes of Everton would be a great addition to the 58-year-old’s Hawthorns makeover.
Slaven Bilic (West Ham United)Finally, Hammers boss Bilic may have more to ask for Christmas than most top-flight managers, so it is apt that he goes last.
West Ham aren’t too big to go down, but do have a five-point buffer now from the relegation zone. Their Croatian coach could understandably have a nostalgic tint to his Christmas list, then, with a wish for playmaking pair Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini to get back to their best and get the team clicking most likely.
A fit and firing frontman would not go amiss either, with Irons attackers’ injury problems well know. While, shipping off forward flop Simone Zaza would surely leave not just Bilic but all of the Olympic Stadium in better Christmas spirit.
Having overcome their apparent stadium switch curse, one of West Ham’s hopes has surely been answered. Though if rumours are to believed that Bilic could bag Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford, that would surely count as Christmas miracle. Or will it be a case of Bah Humbug?