This time last season, West Ham United were mid-way through their seemingly regular flirtation with relegation and were preparing for a painful second half of the season... Here are the five defining factors in the East London club's rebirth, other than the obvious arrival of new and improved players.
While not a carbon copy of Mourinho's 4-1-2-1-2, Manchester United, West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool have all, at one point or another deployed a diamond midfield in the 2014/15 campaign. The 4-3-1-2 allows teams to maintain numbers in the middle of the park, but means managers can field a creator in between the midfield and attack.
At the same stage in his career, Leon Jeanne was a highly hyped, pacey, skillful midfielder with the world at his feet. He had a few off-field issues, but City took a chance on him. Now he plays for Weston-Super-Mare. Nothing against Weston-Super-Mare. It's a nice place. I visited once. But let's hope Morrison doesn't go the same way.
No strangers to false dawns, the Spurs faithful filed out of the Lane to a murmured chorus of 'let's not get carried away'... But, while a much more thorough examination is in store when Liverpool come to visit next Sunday, the fact that Pochettino's plan was so clear and that it worked so comprehensively was as joyous to behold as it was unexpected.
Managers have been taking risks by signing injured players or those with a lengthy injury history for a while now, as well as being desperately unlucky when they pick one up soon after arriving. Here are five recent signings who, had they stayed fit, could have drastically improved their club's season.
Let's face it, West Ham are going nowhere fast with his approach to football. There is no long term strategy here, and the fans are ridiculed and criticised for daring to want more... by bullishly clinging on to a bygone era, Allardyce is damaging not only West Ham and the Premier League, but the English game as whole.
After news of Andy Carroll's new injury surfaced, West Ham chairman David Sullivan said that the club would not have signed the crocked number 9 had they known he would be injured, well, all the time. West Ham aren't the only club to regret a signing, however, and here are six Premier League flops who their managers almost certainly regret recruiting.
For it to regain it's prominence in the football calendar, the FA Cup has to make dreams come true again. It still provides us with giant slayers and gives lower league clubs the chance to play against Premier League opposition, but maybe now it needs to offer lower end Premier League teams something more than FA Cup glory.
Every football fan relishes the appearance of a local derby on the fixture list. It makes the game just that more exciting. But, locality is not the only reason that rivalry erupts in the beautiful game. Here are just seven examples of when feuds have spilled over between two seemingly unrelated clubs....
The generation we need to inspire has never needed us more. The UK has experienced the fastest rise in youth unemployment of any country in the G8 since the start of the recession. Today, nearly one million young people are struggling to start careers or even find any work at all. At the same time, employers struggle to recruit entry-level candidates with the right skills. Last year, a staggering one in four businesses didn't recruit a single young person. The legacy of the Games will be failure if we don't create opportunities for this generation to be successful.