Three teams, two colours, and one disastrous weekend.
Fans of West Ham, Villa and Burnley will be forgiven for lying in on Monday morning, pretending it’s Saturday and the previous two days were just a horrible nightmare.
All three clubs shared more than just their kits colours with three shocking results that have left their fans bewildered and their seasons on a steep downward curve.
Working from the top down and Villa look to be paying the price for only playing about 16 first team players this season.
A marvellous run to the league cup final, FA Cup semi-final and the fight for fourth place now look to be taking their toll on Martin O’Neill’s men. Two home draws against Sunderland and Wolves suggested the wheels were wobbling but no one expected them to fly off so spectacularly at Stamford Bridge.
A severe case of defensive amnesia enveloped the Villains defence as each Chelsea attack almost inevitably ended in a goal.
It has been far from a disastrous season for the Midlands club but with another collapse seemingly underway the fans are beginning to grow frustrated at boss Martin O’Neill’s continued failure to address their annual end of season blues. Players like James Milner are supposed to be challenging for a place in the England team, but they will have to buck up their ideas if they want to help Fabio Capello’s men justify their World Cup 2010 odds in the summer.
However, given their lofty position maybe Villa supporters should spend a day in the shoes of a West Ham or Burnley fan before complaining.
The Hammers are dropping like a stone, as we all know thanks to loud mouth co-owner David Sullivan. If he spent as much time attempting to sort out West Ham’s financial problems as he does talking about them, they may not be in as much danger. But as it is the signs are that relegation, and the resultant drop in TV money, could spell doom for the East London club.
Poor Gianfranco Zola. Nice bloke, brilliant player, but he just seems too nice to cope with an agricultural, dogs of war style relegation scrap. The sight of Ricardo Fuller being made to look like Lionel Messi could be the final straw for the likeable Italian.
That Stoke defeat was the perfect opportunity for Burnley to go level on points with the Hammers, and beat the local rivals Blackburn to boot.
Fair play to both sets of supporters they didn’t half make a racket and gave an edge to a game which, if you live outside of East Lancashire, you didn’t really care about.
But bumbling Brian Laws in doing his best to put the Clarets out their misery early. Once again he seems a nice enough bloke, but being drummed out Sheffield Wednesday is hardly the ideal qualification for taking over from Owen Coyle. All the Scotsman’s good work has been undone and any lingering hope of survival, mainly down to their impressive early home form, has been extinguished.
True it took an outrageous dive from Martin Olsson to condemn them to their latest defeat, but the writing has been on the wall for a while.
It looks like being a tough run-in for all the sides sporting claret and blue.
Meanwhile, in horse racing news, the Irish Grand National is set to take place on Easter Monday at its traditional home of Fairyhouse.