With the famous old adage of being ‘bottom at Christmas’ sliding ever closer, Norwich City’s desperately frosty position is in need of a gift or two if they are going to save their despairingly dark season thus far.
Yet, with their next trio of fixtures encompassing clashes against three of the most under pressure managers going into the festive period, Norwich have a chance of igniting the flames to their campaign.
Pukki - the gift that keeps on giving... for Finland
They begin a vital 12 days with a visit to Everton where Marco Silva arguably saved his job with victory at Southampton last time out – The Saints who happen to be next on Norwich’s winter travels, three days after hosting Arsenal when Advent Calendars begin to crack open.
Yet the Toffees have been relatively strong at Goodison Park and Norwich will need to light up the building if they are going to get anything from a sticky trip to Merseyside.
Refreshed, rejuvenated and revitalised after minimal action on international duty, Norwich can at least call upon the services of giant central defender Christoph Zimmermann to bolster a backline that have lost more aerial duels than any other team in the league.
One player who has kept the legs ticking over in recent days is Teemu Pukki. The Finnish striker has been scoring more goals than Santa has reindeer on international duty but has failed to unwrap numerous gifts in recent weeks as his domestic drought continues. Like coal in a stocking if that doesn't change.
The men in red who like to dish out presents
The thick fog descending upon the Emirates is so punishing that even Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a move across North London to replace Unai Emery – the current Arsenal manager portraying a drained soul as he watched Leicester ease past his side last time out.
The Arsenal fans will have a good run of form at the top of their Christmas lists but they are notable for freezing at this time of year which doesn’t bode well considering they have managed to squeeze just three away points from the sack all season - Emery will be wary that the wrong sack does not fall on him after that dismal run of form.
That fixture precedes a long trip to Southampton but the South Coast portrays a happy hunting ground for the six teams who have already visited St Mary’s stadium.
Whilst The Saints can boast the eighth best away record in the Premier League to date, they have just a solitary point at home and conceded over 70% of goals on their own turf - albeit nine were scored by one club.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has called on his side to forget the Christmas Spirit – telling the media this week, "We must go back to being a nasty team when we don't have the ball."
Time to come together
It’s a theory that Norwich must also buy in to (a bit differently to Ryan Bertrand) – only three sides have made less tackles weighted against their amount of time without the ball than Norwich. And, even in possession, Norwich have given far too many costly gifts to the opposition.
The Canaries need to join back together as one – fans have taken to social media to vent their frustration, whilst two players have also reportedly deactivated their personal accounts due to the abuse they have been receiving.
Norwich have the opportunity to climb the tree and put a star back against their season. But a poor run of form in their next three could see them slide even faster down an icy hill towards The Championship…