While I regret the lack of quality and consistency in this season’s Premier League I have to admit its lack of certainty means we’re in for a thrilling climax. Is anyone sure who’ll win the title and who’ll be relegated?
I still believe it’ll be a record 19th Championship for Manchester United but the events of the weekend unquestionably cast doubt over that.
I won’t again go into the arguments, many, why I believe the game should introduce video technology and not just goal-line technology. Surely they’re too obvious now to need repeating?
But Sir Alex, railing about perceived injustice, should remember the Vidic handball — and sending-off? — as well as the penalty which the tackle on Owen should have produced.
As to the decisions that went Chelsea’s way and might condemn Spurs to a season without European football they’d be laughable were they not so important. The International Board should dig their heads out of the sand.
Sunday’s match at Old Trafford assumes enormous importance. There is a momentum behind the London side. The gap was once 15 points, now it’s only three, but, even if they win, would you trust them to take maximum points at Everton on the last day? No, United’s run-in is easier and, anyway, I don’t see them losing against Chelsea.
Going down? I think Birmingham and Blackburn are each a win away from being safe. They’ll take that.
I saw West Ham at Manchester City who, towards the end of the game, were really made to sweat over the points that make them odds-on favorites to take the fourth Champions League spot. I was left thinking exactly the same thought I had at Stoke when I watched the Hammers in a draw as far back as September. Surely West Ham are too good to be relegated?
The facts of the matter say otherwise. Only once has Avram Grant’s team managed two consecutive league victories this season, a couple of months back against Liverpool and Stoke. They’ll need at least seven points from matches against Blackburn (h), Wigan (a) and, finally, Sunderland (h): unlikely. And, just when you looked for the support of the boardroom, not even ONE of Brady, Gold or Sullivan attended Eastlands: pathetic.
Wolves missed a great chance on Sunday too against a Birmingham team playing with ten men for over an hour. Mick McCarthy, not for the first time recently, said his team didn’t have “what was necessary”. At least, two of their three remaining games are at home. They need to win them.
Wigan have a difficult run-in, Villa (a), West Ham (h), then Stoke (a), but Blackpool’s is even worse: Spurs (a), Bolton (h) and Manchester United (a) when the title may yet need to be confirmed.
At the moment, it’s the three ‘Ws’ positioned for the drop but I sense Wigan will survive at the expense of Blackpool.
The late, unlamented General Franco wasn’t averse to using his considerable influence to make sure his beloved Real Madrid got their way. Show me a Spanish referee prepared to stand up to the dictator and I’ll show you a former referee.