There were three games in the Premier League today and while Villa languish at the bottom of the table, Newcastle are moving on up.
On a day when Arsenal went top of the Premier League, the main talking points lay at the middle and very bottom of the table as Aston Villa continue to struggle in the top flight, Newcastle escape from the relegation zone and Jurgen Klopp continues to adjust to the Premier League.
We will start with the very foot of the table...
Aston Villa look like a team destined for relegation
Remi Garde took over at Villa Park almost six weeks ago and since then they have shipped 13 goals and only picked up two points from a possible 18. They sit buried at the bottom of the table on six points and eight points from safety.
They also have not won at home in nine games, which is the worst streak in the club's history. Garde left Adama Traore, Jack Grealish and Carles Gil on the bench as Rudy Gestede continued to fire a blank up front for the team. Perhaps Garde will look to implement a more fast-paced attack in the future as they go for broke in an attempt to salvage their season.
Jurgen Klopp might need to spend in January
Jurgen Klopp insisted prior to the West Brom clash that he would not spend in January. Understandable, considering he has inherited a relatively young and dynamic squad with plenty of attacking midfield talent. It might be wise, however, for Klopp and Liverpool to consider dipping into the market for a goalkeeper.
West Brom had two shots on target against Liverpool and scored both. Both goals also came from set-pieces with Simon Mignolet failing to convince, particularly, for the first one. Liverpool were in control until a corner for West Brom resulted in a goal that gave them confidence heading in at half time as they drew level with the previously marauding Liverpool.
If Klopp wants his midfield and attackers to push up the field and press, he needs complete and utter trust in his defenders and goalkeeper and that is something that is not possible with Simon Mignolet in goals.
Liverpool also need to take a look at Christian Benteke's current contribution to the team. The ball constantly went into the box with the Belgian either on another page than his team-mates or caught flat-footed and unaware. If Divick Origi or Daniel Sturridge can prove themselves, the Benteke experiment might be over before it really gets going at Anfield.
Newcastle show great character under McClaren
For fear of sounding too much like Brendan Rodgers, the word character will be used once and only once in this article. It must be applauded though, as Newcastle travelled to London to face a Spurs side who had not lost in the Premier League since the opening day of the season.
They closed down Tottenham's danger men and nullified the attack talent of Cristian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Erik Lamela. Steve McClaren made two critical substitutions by introducing Aleksander Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez. Both scored late to earn their side all three points to lift Newcastle out of the relegation zone.
There was talk of Steve McClaren resigning prior to the 2-0 over Liverpool last weekend. In what was their first consecutive victory in over a year, however, they resemble a team who actually care about their future in the league and could make a surge up the table with games against Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom on the horizon.
Newcastle score in added time to win (Ayoze). Back to back PL victories for The Magpies,1st time since Nov 2014 pic.twitter.com/laJ4o6TVgE— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 13, 2015
Sidenote: Mesut Ozil now has 13 assists, which is more than any other player in the top five European leagues. He is on pace to reach 30 assists on the season. That figure would be 50% more than the previous record set by Thierry Henry (20). Not bad!