Since the second Mr Ralph has arrived it has been very like Christmas time in any household.

One of the hard things at first is getting the Christmas tree to stand up in the corner of the room, which he nearly managed at Cardiff.

Then, of course, the hard job is getting the star on top of the tree. The next two games proved he had done it. That then enabled him to wrap all the tinsel and other bits and pieces around the tree.

Unfortunately, after two successive wins, the first time in the last couple of years it had happened, the star fell off.

The hard task now because of all the trappings is to get the star back on.

It is more difficult this year because look who is coming – Manchester City and then Chelsea away.

Would you believe, while their trees are a lot taller and well planted, suddenly their stars have fallen off.

So it really means that whilst I think the success our new manager had had made most supporters think the West Ham game was a definite win, we are back to the situation where the next two games are more difficult again looking at where they are in the league and knowing they will be just as keen and desperate to get their stars back on top of the tree.

The fact is that there are so many places to fight for at the moment with clubs like Manchester United, who everybody would normally put in the top four, having to change things around.

People like our next two opponents are looking over their shoulders at them and clubs like Everton.

The same is happening at the bottom, which we all hoped we would be out of for the new year.

The league is such that clubs we have to admire, like Burnley, because of their small size, lack of funds etc, a solid, good, English manager who got them into Europe, are now down in the bottom three.

Clubs like Newcastle, for instance, who have got one of the biggest grounds in the country, best supports, and a well experienced manager are talking more about relegation than Europe.

I suppose this is what makes the league probably the best in the world.

It reminds everyone how important it is to stay in the league and whilst a club like Burnley would normally be happy to be fourth bottom, unfortunately if we can’t get our star back on the tree before our next two opponents we might have to feel the same as opposed to what our normal position should be as one of the solid middle eight clubs.

The test now, of course, is for our new manager.

He has been made welcome and become popular very quickly but all eyes will be on him and how he handles the giants, particularly Manchester City, who will certainly not want to lose three games in a row.

The problem a new manager has at any stage of the season, and particularly if he has come from abroad and has not been experiencing our games on a regular basis, is finding out which of the 20-30 so called first team players will make up the side of his choice.

Whilst this makes players realise they are not an automatic choice any more, no matter what experience they have had or how much their transfer fee was, it still has to be the right formation and it hopefully gives more opportunity to young players coming through.

Our manager has already shown he is happy to play them but he will realise that we are in a much more serious situation where experience would normally be ahead of opportunities for youth.

Let’s hope that everyone can have a New Year’s weekend to enjoy football wise, but regardless of that happy New Year to both of my readers and let’s look forward to lots more to celebrate.