If you believe the papers, David Moyes has 12 games to prove he's worthy of the Manchester United job, but what can he do in that time? A win this weekend would be a start...
Liverpool are doing well despite their defence, rather than because of it - can they get away with that for much longer? Plus, the 'thing' between Arsenal and Stoke...
Given the number of transfers that will have gone through by Friday night that assorted managers looked us all in the eye and assured us would not happen, we should know by now that not everything the Premier League's head honchos tell us should be taken seriously.
Particularly when it comes to Jose Mourinho, who amusingly complained about West Ham parking their big claret and blue bus on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge. You know why it's amusing, but it would be doubly funny should he try just that tactic when he takes his Chelsea team to Manchester City on Monday night.
"I cannot be too critical, because if I was in his position I don't know if I would do the same," added Mourinho, after being very critical of West Ham indeed. "Maybe."
You wouldn't but it past Mourinho, on the basis that a draw at the Etihad is usually something to be delighted with, but a point wouldn't be a particularly good result for Chelsea. Sure, City are currently only three points ahead of Mourinho's side with 15 games remaining, but the relentless nature of City means this is Chelsea's best chance of gaining any ground.
Put simply, which team do you think is going to drop more points between now and the end of the season? Exactly. Maintaining the current gap won't do for Chelsea - they have to close it, and as soon as possible.
Mourinho's claims that City are an unconquerable beast should be filed in the 'don't take it seriously' box, given the riches available to him, but he's got a point about the strength of Manuel Pellegrini's side. They were relentless against Spurs on Wednesday (Tim Sherwood remarked after the game that they don't score one or two and are happy with that, they keep coming and coming), and although they were obviously helped out by Danny Rose's sending-off, there's a good chance the final scoreline would have been something close to 5-1 even if the Spurs left-back hadn't been dismissed.
Perhaps the really frightening thing is that City scored four of their goals after their most potent player, Sergio Aguero, had gone off. Again, the numerical advantage helped, but it's that relentlessness that is presumably giving Mourinho the willies, and what might persuade him that negativity and a degree of damage limitation is the way to go.
He should not acquiesce to this thought. While of course a defeat would be even more damaging - possibly fatally - to their title hopes, Chelsea need to win, and you don't do that at Manchester City by playing football from the 19th century.
Manuel Pellegrini and an Aguero-less City
All that said, it will be interesting to see how City fare without Sergio Aguero.
Pellegrini and the striker himself were hopeful that his hamstring injury would not be too serious, and insisted that he only went off as a precaution, but we all know how volatile that sort of injury can be.
Even if it was a mere precaution, it would represent quite a gamble for Pellegrini to play Aguero just five days later, in a game that City need him to be at his best, and when he could quite easily aggravate the injury and put the whole season at risk.
Perhaps Pellegrini will consider it a gamble worth taking, because if Aguero twangs his hamstring again and is out for say, a month, he will miss league games against Norwich, Sunderland, Stoke and Aston Villa, encounters from which City should take maximum points even without Aguero.
That said, February also includes the Champions League clashes with Barcelona, and the FA Cup game against Monday's opponents. If the Premier League is Pellegrini's outstanding and main priority, then he may truss Sergio up and hope for the best, knowing that a win would make Chelsea hauling in his side over the remaining months of the season incredibly difficult.
Manchester United and Arsenal
If you'd taken the prevailing pulse of the fans of these two after their games on Tuesday, you might have found childlike optimism from the former, and mutterings of going for a walk in the woods with papa's old service revolver from the latter.
Of course, both are nonsense. Arsenal played badly but came away from Southampton with a point (indeed, some observers reckoned they were lucky to get said point), while Manchester United beat the division's bottom side 2-0. Premature rejoicing and despair can be as bad as each other. Cool your jets, kids.
And so, the post-Yohan Cabaye era begins. Well, actually it really began on Tuesday, as the French dreamboat travelled to Paris and thus missed their game at Norwich, but this will be the first match since his transfer to Zlatan FC was confirmed.
Losing your best player is bad, of course, but as with most things, the edge can very much be taken off with an adequate replacement. One of the problems of writing a column like this before the transfer deadline is that we don't know if Newcastle have recruited Clement Grenier, or Remy Cabella, or AN Other, but we can be pretty sure whoever - if anyone - is signed won't be available to face Sunderland on Saturday lunchtime.
Of course, for their immediate prospects, it might not matter too much who they sign, because the chances are they will need some sort of settling-in period, and almost certainly won't be able to replicate Cabaye's form this season, which has been responsible in a big way for Newcastle's league position.
In addition, Loic Remy will be suspended, his appeal against the red card picked up in the rumble with Bradley Johnson having failed on Thursday. So Newcastle go into the most heated game of the season without the campaign's two outstanding performers.
All the best.
Sunderland'Resurgent' might be a tad strong, but Gus Poyet's side have had a pretty decent few weeks. They have won two of the last three in the league, climbing out of the relegation zone in the process, are through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and of course also the final of the Capital One Cup.
Poyet has made what additions he can, but those successes were largely achieved with the players bequeathed to him by Paolo Di Canio. A win over the lads from down the road would be a very nice touch indeed and might provide evidence that Sunderland really are resurgent, while bearing in mind that, as Di Canio found out, winning at St James' Park isn't everything.
Earlier this week, a scampish Manchester United fan claimed on Twitter that, after his return to Old Trafford on Wednesday night, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer answered the question 'What was the hardest thing about tonight?' with 'Not celebrating when United scored'.
He didn't say that - or at least, I hope he didn't say that, and it was merely the invention of someone who wished to test what people would believe. Someone lying on the internet - who knew?
For obvious reasons, it would have been an enormously unprofessional thing to say, because Cardiff are in some trouble. Since Vincent Tan removed his leather gloves, slapped Malky Mackay in the face with them and with his newly-nude fingers typed out that e-mail to his erstwhile employee, Cardiff have played seven times in the league, losing six, scoring just five goals and conceding 18. After the midweek results, they are bottom of the league and three points from safety.
Obviously not all of that is down to the pencil-moustached megalomaniac, but more to do with Cardiff not having a very good set of players. Which might further suggest Mackay was actually quite good at his job, but that argument has been raked over and lost many times now. At the time of writing, deals to bring Fabio and Wilfried Zaha have not quite been done, but should be by the time Solskjaer 's men line up against Norwich, while Kenwyne Jones has signed from Stoke.
"He's what I need. He's a striker I've admired for many years," said Solskjaer (actually) on Tuesday after the United game, of Jones.
"He's always been difficult to play against. I'm looking forward to seeing him play. What he did in training (was fantastic). It's a shame we didn't get the papers signed (in time for him to feature against United), but he'll give us that 'oomph'."
Cardiff probably need a little more than mere oomph, but it's a good start, and should at least propel them in the right direction.
That's five defeats in the last six for Stoke now, a run that has seen them stumble and tumble down to a mere two points from the relegation zone. So bad have Mark Hughes' side been of late that they might even consider the pair of 1-0 defeats they have just suffered to be something of a reversal of form, given the previous four games featured 5-1 and 5-3 humpings.
They are now firmly in a relegation scrap, which they have been in before, but this time they don't have the feeling of background security that comes with having Tony 'Relegation-Proof' Pulis as their manager. Sure, Hughes hasn't technically been through the big Premier League trapdoor either, but that was only because QPR put him out of his misery before the end of last season.
Their January transfer business thus far has been a little...uninspiring too. Their forward recruits have been a potentially talented but unpredictable Manchester City reserve who has spent the best part of two years out with a debilitating illness, and Peter Odemwingie. Not exactly signings to set pulses racing and opposition defensive bottoms twitching.
The one thing that is even keeping Stoke as high as they are is their home form, but as their continue to lose games on the road (no away wins since August), the pressure to succeed at the Britannia, and win games like the one against Manchester United on Saturday, grows.
It's not out of the question, but (and this is something of a stuck record) they need to either improve their away form, or rely on beating some of the bigger sides (they still have to face Arsenal and Spurs at the Britannia) on home soil, otherwise the last few weeks of the season could get pretty ugly.
As both this column and Winners & Losers have pointed out before, it's all very well Norwich being 12th and five points clear of the relegation zone now, but they will have to be further from trouble before their run-in.
To repeat, their last four fixtures are: Liverpool (h), Manchester United (a), Chelsea (a), Arsenal (h). If you see them getting any points out of that lot, particularly if all four opponents still have something to play for at that point, you're either an adorable optimist or Chris Hughton's mum. Even Hughton probably doesn't think they will get much, but your mum always thinks the best of you.
Therefore, as Matthew Stanger noted on Thursday, it's basically a 34-game season, so that leaves Norwich 11 games to get the points they need to survive, which is why the draw with Newcastle this week was inadequate, and why they really need a win at Cardiff on Saturday. A big one in south Wales, and no mistake.
We noted in F365's guide to the relegation scrap that while Fulham's aversion to draws isn't necessarily a problem, that does rely on them also winning a few games. They have lost the last three, and another defeat, to Southampton on Saturday, could well put them bottom of the league.
@tom33. One commenter by the name of 'lankymanc' did write that United had turned a corner, he told him to settle down until after the Arsenal game, I didn't think things would remain so dreadful. While Moyes is at United there is no cause for optimism, no matter who is signed.- solskjaer99