Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The Wire.... that's apparently where we're going down to next Sunday

Hey folks,


Have many last day finishes felt like this? Well actually yeah… the trudge of this week with Sky telling us “it’s all to play for” while every expert and man on the street will say United will easily beat Wigan next Sunday, has some form in past years. United defeating Boro heavily in 1996 while Newcastle vainly put away a few goals knowing they needed a miracle springs to mind. Then there was 1999 when United technically won the league on the last day – beating Spurs at home – when we all knew it was over before the first whistle was blown. We even knew it was all over when Spurs went ahead through Les Ferdinand, such was Spurs’ general frailty in that and indeed most seasons.


Most of us know it’s over, but like parents struggling to keep Santa ‘alive’ for the kids, we pretend that this should be a ‘real Super Sunday’ when the image of Ferguson’s red face against the empty blue seats of the JJB holding the Premier League trophy aloft is never far from our minds.


But despite the fact that it would take a lunatic to bet against United, we should at least be grateful to Chelsea for doing what Arsenal proved too timid, and Liverpool too untalented, to do and actually challenge United. Avram Grant’s record for Chelsea has been excellent overall this season despite some bumbling early press conferences and persistent rumours of players leaving and contract extensions remaining unsigned. That Chelsea march to this stage of the season actually playing some decent football is the real achievement here – though around Christmas, when Michael Ballack was given free reign of midfield, they also played some quality stuff when given the chance.


Alan Hansen pointed out today that Grant simply did what Bob Paisley did many moons ago with Liverpool and carried on his bullish predecessor’s work instead of bungling by trying to impose new systems or ideals upon their players. True, Paisley knew his players far better than Grant did and got the job with Bill Shankly’s approval, but the comparison still stands thus far. There is nothing worse than a manager who attempts to change the culture of a club – they tend to leave near irreparable damage as foolish men like Graeme Souness and Gerard Houllier found out at Liverpool; and flops such as David Platt, Ossie Ardiles, John Barnes and others found out elsewhere.


In short, the two best teams in the league are vying for the title while the rest are playing out meaningless, awful games (anyone who watched the Arse v Everton, Pool v Citeh borefest double will know what I’m talking about). Elsewhere the relegation battle is shaping up quite nicely and Fulham might just stay up. Such is my unbelievable surprise at this I can’t comment further and instead point you towards this wonderful, wonderful ad. I knew Mick McCarthy would be useful for something one day.


PS: Stephen Carr has been released by Newcastle. ODF's reaction to the news can be seen here.


Later, JJ

5 comments:

Mark said...

re Carlsberg ad - presumably Taylor, McClaren and Erickkson will film an English equivalent - Taylor shouting 'Hoof it you tart!', Erickkson passed out as all the blood has gone to his crotch and McClaren taking notes as the Goalie makes an error ("Goalie is bad"). Still, not much need for an umbrella for Steve...

JJ said...

Yeah, the Taylor 'Do I like that' line is inevitable. McClaren will most likely try and get 'I took Boro to the UEFA cup final' in the script as well to try and swindle a job somewhere.

darren said...

What about Hoddle saying something like 'Cor Blimey! I've probably had the best previous life in the world' or something along those lines. I'd even abuse my palate with a carlsberg if they did that...

JJ said...

Were the carlsberg in question free then I would agree Darren. Exchanging legal tender for such shite has no excuses.

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm defending carlsberg jj but aren't you often on the pod recommending the latest cheap swill in a can you've picked up. I've expected a lidl pop-up any time I've blogged on. Agree it's great to see Trappatoni going about business in positive manner finally away from the doldrums of Stan noted by his absence in the ad