The Premier League title race is incredibly different to those we've seen before and the absence of Manchester United is the biggest factor behind this. Liverpool are also having a very different season to last and are real contenders for the title, although they face stiff competition from Manchester City and Chelsea.
Vela never lived up to the hype during his time in north London and was loaned to Real Sociedad in 2011 before signing permanently 12 months later. In Spain though, the 24-year old has exhibited the qualities that saw him garner such a reputation at his tender age and his form has helped push the Txuri-urdin towards the Champions League places.
The upturn in Spanish football's fortunes has been little short of remarkable, having spent most of the '90s enviously watching the seemingly inexhaustible conveyor belt of talent playing in England and Italy. However, two crucial developments in recent weeks have threatened to plunge Spanish football, both at club level and internationally, into an unprecedented disaster.
Before Barcelona beat Getafe 4-1 away from home last Saturday, Cesc Fabgregas said it would be a difficult game "because Getafe's fans always put pressure on us". Players flattering opposition supporters is nothing new, but Fabregas was simply not telling the truth: Getafe's fans make hardly any noise at all, for the simple reason that they seldom turn up.