Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has criticised Mario Balotelli for going against the team rules and taking the penalty – in a recent Europa league match – ahead of stand-in captain Jordan Henderson. Gerrard has missed the last few matches due to an injury and Henderson has been the captain in his absence.
It is a role at Liverpool that the captain should be in line to take the penalty.
It has been a mixed week in a mixed season for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
In many ways, that has been the story of Spurs’ season – two steps forward, followed by one step back.
The highs of a north London derby triumph over arch-rivals Arsenal last Saturday were countered three days later by a potentially costly defeat to fellow top-four hopefuls Liverpool.
They started the campaign promisingly enough, but Mauricio Pochettino took longer than he would have liked to get his philosophy across and his side looked almost confused at times by what they were being asked to do.
Everyone would like to be a Chelsea fan at this point in time. Things are going so well for the London club. They have almost marked their stamp on the Premier League title.
Well, that’s what you have to say about the team which is 7 points clear at the top of the table at a stage when all the teams have played close to 60% of their matches.
Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli has scored 2 goals in 14 appearances; this is a very poor record for a player that cost the Premier League club €16 million, that money could have been spent on signing a more consistent player but this risk was well known to Brendan Rodgers as the manager was well aware of he what he was doing once he signed the Italian attacker who has not helped fill in the gap that was left by Luis Suarez.
There are few Premier League teams who will have welcomed this weekend's break from league action more than Roberto Martinez's Everton side.
Now down in 13th place in the table having lost their last four Premier League encounters, Everton have enjoyed the most miserable of Christmas periods and will be glad of the distraction that the FA Cup third round offers.
After missing out on a spot in the Champions League last season, Manchester United seem to have turned around their fortunes and are once again back in contention for a top-four finish this season.
If United can continue their impressive run of results that they are on at the moment, they could also claw back the deficit between themselves and betfair favourites Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.