TEN things we have learnt about the first half of the Premiership season

All three newly promoted teams can handle the Premier League

Who would have thought at the halfway point of the season not one of the promoted trio would be in the relegation zone? At different times throughout the season all three of them have really impressed and deservedly sit three or six points clear of trouble.

Ian Holloway is just immense

And not just for a comical sound bite, his Blackpool side have been a revelation this term. On the smallest budget by a long way they have not be afraid to have a go at anyone and everyone. The highlight of their adventurous attitude was an exceptional victory at Anfield, whilst in a thrilling game they pushed their much more expensive counterpart Man City all the way in a 3-2 defeat. Off the field Holloway has also been at his best, the rant about the Rooney saga was vintage Holloway.

Man Utd can curiously lead the table undefeated without playing very well at all

Everyone has been praising the Premier League for how exciting it has been this year, with no-one being consistent at the top and building up a lead. However as Manchester United sit top with two games in hand over their nearest rivals without playing at all well really suggest to me a lack of real quality at the top. They have dropped so many points from winnable positions and barring a couple of performances and the form of Dimitar Berbatov they have not been very good, but remain unbeaten.

Roy Hodgson and Fulham don’t seem too fare well separated

Last year when united it was magical, a fairytale adventure to the final of a European competition. Now through divorce the spell is truly broken. Both parts are a shell of their former selves. Fulham currently lie in the relegation zone and in real trouble under new manager Mark Hughes, where as Hodgson’s search for greener pastures have turned equally sour. Defeat to wolves leaves Liverpool 12th just three points clear of relegation themselves and the grumblings surrounding his tenancy are growing louder.

Mario Balotelli is the new king of the strop

The King (Cristiano Ronaldo) is dead! All Hail the new king! Balotelli has all the sulking attributes down to a tee. Selfish attitude, check. Believing world to be revolving around him, check. Full on strop in the middle of the pitch when things are going against him, check. Deluded arrogance regarding own ability, check. Actually a good player but all this rubbish detrimental to his own talent, check. Just to clarify these attitudes with regard to Ronaldo were at his early United career now he actually fully has the talent.
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Owen Coyle has managed to get Bolton of all teams playing some very good football

I never thought I would be saying Bolton can play some very nice stuff. But not only has Coyle achieved that but he has also made it work in terms of points. They currently lie 6th and have genuinely entertained on their journey there. Johan Elmander is a very impressive striker with an impressive touch, and Lee is a creative lynchpin of the team. Two of my favourite goals of the season so far have come from Bolton, firstly Elmander dancing through the Wolves defence in the area and secondly a fantastic team goal finished off by Mark Davies against Blackpool.

Chelsea can go very quickly to obliterating all that is in front of them to being scared of their own shadow

Chelsea are extremely confusing. After ten games after obliterating all in their wake racking up 25 points in the process, they looked as if they would run away with the League. Fast forward a couple of months and the following nine games they managed only nine points and are keeping their title hopes barely alive.

Mike Ashley is determined to ruin Newcastle

The sacking of Hughton was nothing short of ridiculous. It is almost impossible to see what Ashley wants out of Newcastle manager. If gaining promotion from the Championship at a canter at the first time of asking making a fine start to their first season back in the Premier League, consisting of being relatively clear of the relegation zone and a 5-1 thrashing of the local rivals is insufficient then I don’t think anyone knows what is required.

Blackburn’s new Indian owners know nothing about football

The little rumour I heard regarding the second managerial sacking of this season is that Venky’s group, Blackburn new Indian owners, throw a party celebrating their acquisition. During which they watched the Man utd Blackburn game, which Blackburn went on to lose 7-1. On the back of this their response was fire the manager. If true this is pure madness, if not true it is still a reckless move by owners who would seem to expect too much from their new purchase.

Houllier seems to be taking Villa on a downward spiral

Aston Villa are not the team they were under Martin O’Neill. Yes, they have been hampered by injuries and have a small squad, but this does not appear to be the team that have challenged for Champions League places over the last few seasons. If he isn’t able to turn things around quickly Houllier could be the third managerial sacking of the campaign.