It may not have had the whirlwind ending of last, but this season has still generated headlines galore. Daniel Storey draws ten Premier League conclusions...
Following Man United's decision to appoint David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, Matt Stanger looks at ten bosses who have struggled to maintain success...
10. Gylfi Sigurdsson
Liverpool may count themselves rather fortunate to have missed out on Sigurdsson's signature in the summer after the attacking midfielder's lacklustre performances this year. Sigurdsson grabbed seven goals during an impressive loan spell at Swansea in the second half of last season, but his poor goalscoring form at Spurs has revealed that he doesn't offer a great deal else. After starting the campaign in the first team, the Iceland international has seen his role become increasingly marginalised and the arrival of Lewis Holtby has pushed him further down the pecking order. However, with Jermain Defoe injured and Emmanuel Adebayor misfiring, there is still a chance for Sigurdsson to play an important part in Spurs' race to finish in the top four if he can rediscover his scoring touch.
9. Yaya Toure
Fetch the mechanic, Yaya's broken! Along with Samir Nasri, City's midfield engine has been nowhere near his motoring best this season as the champions have slipped 12 points behind United at the top of the table. Toure was crucial in City's title success last year and his two-goal performance in the must-win game at Newcastle in May epitomised his contribution. But this season the 29-year-old's poor form has been equally instrumental in a disappointing campaign and Roberto Mancini's claim that City have struggled in the past few weeks owing to the midfielder's Africa Cup of Nations absence was an exaggeration of Toure's recent impact. There is still time for Toure to turn his season around, but it's likely to be too little too late for City at this stage.
8. Bacary Sagna
If you're going to question Arsenal's ambition, Bacary, you had better make damn sure that people can't pick holes in your own performances. After voicing his frustration in the summer following the departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song, Sagna's form has plummeted in the current campaign culminating in a shambolic display in Arsenal's recent defeat to Chelsea. The France international was much-improved in an unfamiliar centre-back role at Sunderland, but his contribution to the Gunners' bid to stay in the top four has been well below what Gooners have come to expect from the defender. With Carl Jenkinson proving a convincing alternative, Sagna may be more cautious over what he says in the future.
7. Nikica Jelavic
The problem with strikers whose sole job is to score goals is that if they lose their instinctive finishing touch, they often don't offer much else to the team. Chelsea have learned this the hard way with Fernando Torres, whose loss of pace over the past two years has seen his role change from the all-round forward he was at Liverpool to merely an unconvincing finisher for the Blues. While Jelavic's woes are by no means as severe, the Croatian international has only scored two Premier League goals since mid-October and six all season. The striker's form represents a stark decline on last season's fortunes when he hit 11 strikes in 16 appearances after arriving from Rangers in January. With Victor Anichebe taking his place in the starting line-up, Jelavic has plenty of work to do to rediscover his magic touch.
6. Papiss Cisse
Similar to Jelavic, Cisse's form has taken a sharp downturn this season after an impressive first five months in the Premier League following his move to Newcastle. It took the former Freiburg striker until the end of October to score his first top-flight goal of the campaign and although he often played on the wing before Demba Ba's departure, his return of only five league goals thus far is still a disappointment. Cisse should start to improve now he has returned to a central role and Newcastle will hope the striker can fire them away from the relegation zone as they bid to sneak a top-ten finish.
5. Joe Allen
Allen recently blamed his poor form for Liverpool on the fact that he's a 'perfectionist' and the midfielder has done little to justify his £15million price tag at this stage. Indeed, the Reds could have found considerably more value in the players Swansea signed with the hefty fee they received for the Wales international and Brendan Rodgers must be relieved at Daniel Sturridge's immediate impact otherwise more questions would be asked over the performances of his summer signings, including the disappearance of Oussama Assaidi. Allen showed flashes of his ability earlier in the season and there was a lot of pressure on the midfielder to help with the transition to the new manager's possession-based philosophy. But despite a worrying drop in form, there is still plenty of time for the 22-year-old to turn his fortunes around at Anfield. For a start, as an unused substitute on Monday night, he can't be blamed for the miserable 2-0 defeat to West Brom.
4. Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor has endured a stop-start season so far with injuries and Africa Cup of Nations absence preventing the striker from building up a good run of form. The 28-year-old proved to be an inspired loan signing last year with 17 goals and 11 assists in 33 Premier League appearances, but he has managed only two strikes and zero assists so far this campaign. Although Andre Villas-Boas has occasionally asked Adebayor to perform the donkey work in a support-striker role, the forward has few excuses for his wretched form in front of goal and his red card against Arsenal in Spurs' 5-2 north London derby defeat is another reason for fans to lament his contribution.
3. Martin Skrtel
Similar to Grant Holt at Norwich, Skrtel's bumper new contract in the summer has been followed by a string of disappointing performances and Liverpool may wish they had encouraged Zenit St Petersburg's interest in the defender in January. It's quite embarrassing for Skrtel that Jamie Carragher is still seen as a more reliable centre-back at Anfield despite his age and obvious lack of pace, and the 35-year-old has started the last four Premier League matches, including the trips to Arsenal and Man City, while Skrtel has been forced to watch from the bench. To add to his woes, the Slovakia international was singled out by Brendan Rodgers following Liverpool's miserable FA Cup exit to Oldham and it's clear he has plenty of work to do to adapt to the manager's system and regain his confidence.
2. Joe Hart
Hart was instrumental in City's title victory last season, but the goalkeeper has been some way below his best in the current campaign and Roberto Mancini singled him out for criticism after a costly error in the champions' 3-1 defeat to Southampton. "It was a really bad mistake from Joe. It was not good enough," said Mancini. "It's not strange because he's done a few mistakes this year." Indeed, Hart's blunders are hardly a surprise anymore and the 25-year-old has become worryingly complacent, as Roy Keane warned following his mistake against Poland in England's World Cup qualifying draw in October. As well as the occasional gaffe, Hart's form has declined in general, and although City have allowed fewer shots on goal in the Premier League at this stage of the season they have conceded more goals with the keeper's save percentage plummeting. Unless Hart's form starts to improve, City may look to increase the competition for the number one spot in the summer.
1. Antonio Valencia
Although Manchester United have impressed in their bid to regain the title this season - picking up more points at this stage than ever before - Valencia has been a huge disappointment. The winger has only ever had one foot and one trick with which to beat defenders, but in the past his pace and power have always helped him to get around the full-back to deliver a dangerous cross. This year, however, Valencia has looked devoid of his strength, and opponents have had few problems dealing with the threat of the Ecuador international. The 27-year-old has contributed zero goals and only four assists so far, compared to four strikes and 13 assists in total last season and although Sir Alex Ferguson still seems to favour him on the right flank, Valencia needs to start fulfilling his manager's faith. And what better way to do that than with an inspired performance against Real Madrid on Wednesday?
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.
@sean obrien Kagawa has played 90 minutes in the Premier League this season and that was the loss to Everton in the first game. The difference of strength from the Bundesliga to our league is huge and he probably wasn't expecting that. But I've watched him a lot and occasionally he looks a brilliant little player, he drowns out towards the end of the game but I have no doubt that next year he will be one of the most important people in the United squad.- neilk27