Monday, 14 May 2012

Wow! What a dramatic and exciting end to the Premiership season

In the dying seconds of the game between Manchester City and Queen's Park Rangers the Premiership was decided.  Two goals in injury time secured the title for Man. City.  Their rivals, Manchester United, were uncertain about the title when they left the pitch at Sunderland. United had won by a single goal at full time, but Manchester City were a goal to nil down after ninety minutes.  City fans had experienced joy when they took the lead, and then shock when QPR equalized, and then despair when the QPR team of ten men took the lead.  The slender lead remained until extra time, and despondent City fans of little faith were leaving the Etihad Stadium.  The loud cheers brought some of them back to celebrate the Manchester City victory and title celebrations.  Quite a number were climbing over concrete walls at the exits.  I understand the celebrating stewards allowed fans back into the ground. Amazing scenes were shown at the Etihad in the final minutes of the game.  Manchester United fans at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland were in a state of shock and sadness.  Their bitter rivals had won the Premiership on goal difference. It was so, so close.  Who would have believed it would have been this exciting.

Yesterday determined the top four places in the Premiership.  Spurs were hoping for a win against Fulham, which they achieved by winning by two goals to nil, and for West Bromwich Albion at home to hold or defeat Arsenal, their North London rivals. Arsenal managed to beat WBA by three goals to two at the Hawthorns.

Roy Hodgson, who will be the next England manager, finished his time as WBA manager with a home defeat.   His side were really mediocre; the Albion goalkeeper, Fulop, was woeful, giving one the worst performances of the season.  Arsenal consequently won third place and were guaranteed Champions League football next season.  Fourth place normally offers the chance of Champions League (CL) football, but Chelsea will qualify for that spot as holders if they beat Bayern Munich, who play at home in this year's final. Bayern are expected to win on their home turf.  They have won every CL game at home this season.  Should Spurs fail to secure CL football then they could lose some key players, who would not want to play Europa League football. Hard negotiations would take place in the Tottenham camp.

 Harry Rednapp, who would be the best man for the England job, ended his season with a comfortable home win.  I have admired Roy Hodgson as a football manager and coach, but he is not as good as Harry. As an Albion manager Roy will be remembered with affection.  He helped them climb out of the regulation zone and reach mid table respectability.  For the Baggies, in the 21st century and in the context of their recent history, that is success.  Harry has had more success in the Premiership.  Roy has never won an FA cup or managed a top four finish in the Premiership.  Roy's poor track record at Liverpool causes people to doubt his ability to set England on the road to success.  England are not expected to well, so Roy may be given time and space to improve things, but many believe that Harry will, in time, be waiting in the wings to take over.

No comments:


River Stour