Under-fire Arsene, broken dry spells and all the other important Premier League stuff


On a day where Arsenal had their title ambitions dealt a crushing blow and Crystal Palace finally got out of the blocks for 2016, it was two terrible hairstyles which got football fans talking.

Here are all the best bits from the day’s action.


West Ham 3-3 Arsenal
Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth
Crystal Palace 1-0 Norwich
Southampton 3-1 Newcastle
Swansea 1-0 Chelsea
Watford 1-1 Everton

Under-fire manager of the day

(Matt Dunham/AP)

It has become an annual traditional for Arsenal fans to more or less lose hope at this stage of the season. The perennial contenders took another step towards relinquishing their grip on the title after an Andy Carroll hat-trick deprived them of the three points.

Arsene Wenger is facing another season of failing to deliver in the league and it appears that he might be facing a crisis of confidence among the fans.

(Peter Byrne/PA)

Will the Premier League’s longest-serving manager still be leading the Gunners when they mount their next league challenge?

Most overdue goal of the day

After enduring a fairly humiliating run of games which has seen them lose seven on the trot and become a safe bet for relegation, Aston Villa fans needed something to cheer about.

Choruses of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” rung around the terraces of Villa Park and fans began waving white hankerchiefs when Bournemouth went two ahead.

But in the 85th minute Jordan Ayew offered a brief moment of reprieve when he scored the West Midland team’s first goal in more than 450 minutes of play. It proved to be too little, too late, in the end, as Villa suffered the indignity of an eighth loss in a row.

Most overdue win of the day

(John Walton/PA)

Another dry spell was broken when Crystal Palace chalked up their first victory of 2016 with a home win over Norwich.

Alan Pardew’s side were the only team in the top four tiers of English football not to have secured a league win so far this year.

It provided them with a bit of much-needed breathing room from the drop zone, which they now sit 10 points above.

Comedian Eddie Izzard even did a lap of honour to celebrate the occasion

(John Walton/PA)

Most shocking hairdo of the day

Saturday’s biggest goals undoubtedly came from two men who might have the worst hairstyles in the Premier League.

So this one is a pick ‘em.

There was, of course, the hat-trick hero Andy Carroll and his alarming cornrow-manbun hybrid.

(Nick Potts/PA)

And the man who netted Man City’s winner, Samir Nasri, with his Miley Cyrus tribute mop.

(Martin Rickett/PA)

Disappointing full debut of the day


Long-sidelined Chelsea striker Alexandre Pato made a dazzling debut against Aston Villa last week when he scored from the spot. Having momentarily quelled the wave of negativity surrounding his signing, he was handed a start against Swansea.

It’s fair to say this was the difficult second outing. The Brazilian underwhelmed and was subbed off in the 64th, on the way to Chelsea’s first loss under Gus Hiddink.

And, away from the Premier League…

Dampest mascot of the day

(Yui Mok/EMPICS)

Fulham’s mascot Billy the Badger was the victim of unfortunate timing when the half-time sprinklers unexpectedly burst into life at Craven Cottage and left him soaked.

The erratic watering system won’t have dampened the excitement of the Cottagers, however, after the team picked up three points with a last-gasp goal against Cardiff.