Premier League talking points

1. LIKE SAINTS, TERRIERS COULD DO WITH A NEW BOSS

Since taking over, Ralph Hasenhuttl has picked up two Premier League wins in three games, lifting Southampton out of the drop zone.

This upturn in fortunes might make David Wagner worried as Huddersfield need something to change for them and the Austrian is the short-term proof of what a new manager can do for a struggling side.

The Terriers have scored 11 times in 18 matches, losing on their last five outings and, having been overtaken in the table by the Saints, the club's hierarchy ought to consider searching for their own potential saviour.


2. BENITEZ PREDICTS STORMY SKIES FOR MAGPIES

A gloomy Rafael Benitez admitted after Newcastle's goal-less home draw with bottom side Fulham on Saturday that "we will be in the bottom half of the table the whole season" and "finishing higher will be a miracle".

The Spaniard even suggested that the addition of signings in the January transfer window would not alter that reality.

After a match in which his side failed to muster any shots on target at St James' Park, it is easy to see why Benitez is feeling disillusioned.


3. FOSTER SHOWING SAFE HANDS FOR HORNETS

Watford have a knack for finding talented players in far-flung places, but they did not have to look hard to spot Ben Foster, the goalkeeper who rejoined the club from West Brom last summer.

During Saturday's 2-0 league win at West Ham, he showed the ability that once made him Watford's Player of the Season in 2007 and why he was once a Manchester United player.

If the Hornets can tighten up in defence - they kept out the Hammers for their fourth clean sheet of the season - a top-half finish for Javi Gracia's men, now in seventh, could be a real possibility.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2018, with the headline 'Premier League talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe