The unpredictability of the league that you and I watch every week was there for all the world to see yesterday as Liverpool conceded a trio of relatively late goals to all but sink their hopes of picking up their nineteenth title. It’s why we have – no mistake about it – the best league in the world. We can’t pertain to have the best couple of players in the world, but for entertainment factor, you can’t beat it. How a Crystal Palace team with the cushion of mid table mediocrity, could scupper a Liverpool team that we’re bulldozing their way to making the league one with another teams name etched to the bottom, is beyond me. Like I say: it’s an entertaining league.
Unless you’re one of those fans at the top like Liverpool fans this morning. We know how they feel, because we’ve been there before. We’ve seen The Arsenal implode and we have held our heads in our hands. Heck, we could still see it this season when we take on Hull in the FA Cup final, so I’m sure you’ll join me in not counting your chickens this morning – however tempting it may be. Hopefully they’ll be no Arsenal fans furiously signing off ‘FA Cup winners 2014′ T-Shirts unless the trophy is being held aloft above Vermaelen/Arteta’s head come the evening of 17th May.
I personally feel sorry for the British media and ‘professional pundits’ nationwide. Littered with scousers and ex-Liverpool players, the infiltration of pro-Liverpool ‘experts’ is evident with every news outlet you turn to. The narrative had been set as early as February: Liverpool were to be crowned the Fairytale champions in what I’ve already heard being described by one ex-player as ‘the greatest league win of all time’. Of course, being an Arsenal fan, I would hotly contest that, what with a dramatic last-ditch victory at Anfield 25 years ago or an unbeaten season ten years passed. But hey, we’re not that famous old club on the Mersey with the greatest players, greatest fans, greatest managers, greatest history, greatest stadium, greatest songs, blah-blah-blah-di-blah.
The best thing about winning the Premier League – or any division – is that over the course of nine months the best team will win it and with the resources at their disposal it’s hard not to argue that Moneychester City are the best team.
Speaking of which, how about those rumours coming out that Moneychester City are still not agreed on the sanctions that UEFA have said they will oppose on them.
Sorry, what? I’m sorry you’re honour, can I just clarify what you just said? You just said that even though I broke into somebodies house, stole their car keys and drove their Aston Martin Vantage into a wall whilst perfecting the action hero ‘jump out of a moving car before it explodes’ trick, you want me to choose my punishment? Well, I think I’ll choose a minimum sentence in a minimum security prison with full Sky TV privileges, a PlayStation4 and the opportunity to leave the confines of the prison every day if I so choose. Thanks.
Financial Fair Play ladies and gentlemen. Being made a mockery before it’s even begun *slow hand clap towards the direction of UEFA in Switzerland*.
Anyway, what of Arsenal? Well, Abou Diaby has spoken about being in the first team fold, hoping that he gets a final outing on the last match of the season. With the match being a dead-rubber from an Arsenal perspective, I’d expect Arsene to rotate a wee bit, so would certainly think that Diaby should be given an outing. He has already talked to L’Quipe about this current absence being the longest of his career and whilst I sympathise for him, with an injury record like his, it’s not going to get any easier for his body to recover. He’s 28 years old but to all intents and purposes should probably have the body of a 40 year old and it’s for that reason that his comments about the World Cup may be the naive musings of a dreamer, I don’t begrudge him the desire. If by some farcical reason he was picked for the national side and inevitably got injured, I’d begrudge him going then most certainly. But you’d have to be a desperate French manager if you’re putting faith in Mr Glass.
Szczesny isn’t happy about not winning titles, which is kind of what your hope players say, but it’s still good to her. The players took a bit of a pasting when we secured fourth last season on the final day, but we’ve all known that it was more a relief of securing the minimum requirement, rather than the joy of winning the ‘fourth place trophy’. It’s the same with Wigan this year. We played poorly, were ten minutes away from losing a game we should have won, then did it on penalties. Victory in a penalty shoot out is always going to result in an overriding emotion of jubilation. But what’s important is the mentality of the players to win. Just look at Suarez yesterday. Sure, he cried like a baby without its rattle, but don’t you want that from your players? Don’t you want them to have put so much into a season that it feels like the end of the world if we’re not tasting victory? I certainly do and I hope being in contention for the league for such a long time gives the players that hunger to get even closer (hey – maybe even win it!) next season.
There’s also some stuff floating around today about Sagna being off to Chelski, but that doesn’t even bear thinking about right now, so I think I’ll just leave it.