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Who’s Staying, Who’s Going? 谁去谁留?

Michael Owen
Owen displayed his acrobatic skills in scoring a goal
After a weekend in which the so-called 'big four' teams of Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal could all only manage draws 平局, the big questions in the Premier League are concerned with who will be sold and who will be sacked 解雇 over Christmas.

The Premiership rumour mill 制造谣言的人或物 is already working overtime, and speculation 猜测,推测 is rife 流行的 that Blackburn manager Paul Ince’s job is hanging by a thread 摇摇欲坠 with a number of other managers lined up to replace him.

Ince’s Blackburn lost 3-0 to Wigan on Saturday, heaping the pressure on the already beleaguered 受围攻的 manager. However, Ince found an unlikely ally不太可能的搭档 in the Wigan manager Steve Bruce.

Bruce predicted that Ince "will come out fighting and snarling 吼叫, and determined to turn it around", meaning that Ince will fight like a wild animal to improve his side’s performances.

Tooth and nail
 He [Ince] will come out fighting and snarling and determined to turn it around.
Steve Bruce, Wigan manager

One manager whose position looks safer, at least until the end of this season, is Newcastle United’s Joe Kinnear, whose team managed to drag themselves up 费力的提升 the table with a deserved 3-0 victory over Portsmouth on Sunday.

Newcastle have been in disarray 一团混乱 since the beginning of the season with boardroom turmoil 董事会混乱 and a serious losing streak 一段时间里连续输球 hurting the club.

But Sunday's win has given manager Kinnear reason to hope that his team have started improving.

"We grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck 颈背部(这里指控制了球赛的局势) and put them to the sword," said Kinnear, meaning his team took charge of the game and killed the opposition’s chances.

Grim determination
 We really wanted to do it and had a lot of determination. We grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and put them to the sword.
Joe Kinnear, Newcastle United manager

Kinnear was delighted with a goal from striker Michael Owen who has started to return to form after long periods out of the game with injuries 伤病.

However, it will be hard to prevent Owen from leaving the team either in January or at the end of the season when his contract expires 合同到期.

Kinnear has said he wants Owen to stay and won’t be accepting any offer for him, but he also admits that although he is confident of other players staying with him, he sees Owen as "a different kettle of fish", which means he is to be seen differently to all the others.

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