Liverpool got the 'fear' at times on Sunday, but Vincent Kompany was there to allow the little kid to carry on sprinting. The sort of mistake that wins or loses a title race...
The argument is not that Hughton should have been kept on because of his race, but the under-representation of certain demographics must be addressed once and for all...
The Premier League is very serious about the arrival of a new year. Not only are there ten full games - soothing balm to a weary and overhung nation - but there are also the resolutions. It falls to the Diary, in our occasional role as the finest investigative journalists in the land, to reveal a little-known bylaw of the top-flight: all managers are required, on pain of pain, to submit their resolutions in secret to the FA. These are kept in a safe until the end of the season, when they are opened. Any manager that has failed to keep to his resolution is immediately required to submit a bid for Joey Barton.
Anyway, after an elaborate series of negotiations with a complex network of contacts and insiders, which culminated in a daring act of something we like to call information liberation but the police insist on referring to as burglary, we've got them. All of them. Here they are.
Arsene Wenger: Everything's working. It's all just working. Even Nicklas scored. I'm touching nothing. Nobody move. Steve, sit back down. Nobody move.
Manuel Pellegrini: Right, that's 'attacking' sorted. Now, what's this 'defending' I've heard so much about?
Jose Mourinho: I will break him. I will force tears from his eyes. I will drive him to the very edges of despair. I will shatter his cuddly soul into a thousand engagingly bearded shards, and I will laugh while I do it. Also, win the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers: [envelope was empty]
Roberto Martinez: Bill has promised that, if I do well with these players, I get to keep them!
Tim Sherwood: I'll try medium cheddar, as I do every year. I won't like it, as I don't every year.
David Moyes: If you are reading this, please send help. I've made a terrible mistake. It's all going wrong. I couldn't say no to the job, and I can't do it, and I don't think the owners know who I am, and every time I turn round Sir Alex is just standing there, looking at me, and I think all the players are laughing when I'm not in the room but falling silent the moment I come in, and I think Giggs is planning something, and I accidentally called David de Gea "Mummy" the other day, and Bobby Charlton is nice, I suppose, but he keeps trying to persuade me to wear a flat cap and I don't want to, and keeps asking if I have any spare tickets.
Alan Pardew: Milk Eggs Cat food (salmon?) New lightbulb for living room, screw-in Tuna (tinned) Disposable razors Also ring electrician Ring Mike Buy pineapple juice
Mauricio Pochettino: Destroy every fax machine in Southampton. "Have Manchester United been in touch, boss?" "No, nothing. Sorry, Adam. I'll keep you posted."
Steve Bruce: Everything's working. It's all just working. Even Tom scored. I'm touching nothing. Nobody move. Curtis, put your headband back on. Nobody move.
Paul Lambert: This year, I hope, will be the year I finally muster the courage to pair my shirt-and-V-neck with the short trousers that the look so desperately deserves. My knees are beautiful creatures and deserve to be free.
Mark Hughes: Dear Sir, I am writing to complain about the recent installation of speed-bumps, or "sleeping policemen", in and around Stoke city centre. Quite why innocent hard-working taxpayers should be inconvenienced simply to satisfy the whims of a council staffed with no-marks, jobsworths, and ... [letter continues for 3,000 words]
Michael Laudrup: I have been told that there is more to football management than simply being really really good-looking. I will continue to prove this wrong.
Keith Downing: Not my problem, suckers!
Chris Hughton: I solemnly promise that I will not embark on any long-winded comedy riffs, nor to presume upon the readers' patience, without stopping to first think about the fact that twenty managers is quite a lot to get through. That is the Politburo's decision.
Rene Meulensteen: YOU ARE A DOLPHIN, RENE. A DOLPHIN. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK DON'T SELL BERBATOV CLICK.
Malky Mackay: Thought I'd send this in early, hope that's alright. Think I need to try to make more of an effort to connect with Vincent. Yes, he comes across as a bit strange at times, but I'm sure that deep down he has the best interests of the club at heart, and that if we both put in a bit of effort, we can make this relationship work.
Tony Pulis: Continue my so-far futile search for a tiny baseball cap that fits on the end of my penis.
Sam Allardyce: I don't like shouting at Kevin. It's like shouting at myself. Yet his approach is all wrong, it's not working, and he needs to be told that if things don't improve drastically then this might not be the club for him ... oh. Oh dear.
Gus Poyet: I have been told that there is more to football management than simply having terrifying eyes. I will continue to prove this right.
Happy New Year!
Andi Thomas and Alexander Netherton