As the end of the season approaches you best make the most of what little football you have left before three months of pretending to like Wimbledon and counting the days ’til the fixtures come out.
But before then there is still some action to look back on and tales of managerial emotions as the \’business’ end of the season is upon us. Some are happy, some are sad, and others are just plain annoyed…
Happy: Sir Alex Ferguson.
Well happy is an understatement. Fergie has had this 18th League title in his sights for a long time. I get the impression that he will never quit until he has overtaken Liverpool in terms of League and European success, and, with regards to Premier League betting, you wouldn’t go against him doing it, particularly on the evidence of this season.
Sad: Tony Mowbray.
The inevitable finally happened on Sunday in a match that was a microcosm of West Brom’s season. A decent start, they fluffed their chances before a comedy defensive error yet again gifted Liverpool the lead. There was no great escape this time but don’t be surprised if they swap places with Birmingham again next year.
Relieved: Mark Hughes.
Sparky has avoided the axe – for now. Their mega-rich owners have decided to stick with Hughes, despite guiding City to the dizzy heights of 10th after spending billions of pounds on the likes of Craig Bellamy and failing to buy Kaka. Expect plenty of tabloid rumours about Raul,Messi and the like over the summer – but they will probably end up signing David Bentley.
Uncertain: Arsene Wenger.
Perhaps the first sign that Wenger is frustrated at having the purse strings tightened at the Emirates can be seen in his admission that it would be “interesting” to work with Florentino Perez if the former Real Madrid president returns to the Bernabeu this summer as expected. After failing to win a trophy since 2005 and the fans’ patience being tested for the first time, Wenger might use it as an excuse to jump ship – or is being very clever and worrying the Arsenal board enough to make sure they give him enough money to persuade him to stay. I guess we will wait and see.
Worried: Alan Shearer.
Oh dear oh dear, the Geordie messiah is on the verge of taking his beloved club down to the Championship. A victory over Boro last Monday set them up perfectly on Saturday, but they failed to turn up and Fulham came away with the win. They now have to travel to Villa and better Hull’s result against Man United to stay up. On the face of it, it is very possible but given United will be off to Rome a few days after the game, expect a youthful side to travel to the KC, much to Shearer’s frustration.
Our loveable Rafa. The turning point in the season perhaps coincided with his Keegan-esque rant at Alex Ferguson in January, as Liverpool stuttered and United went a record 14 games without conceding a goal. The pair have traded verbal insults ever since in what has become an amusing footnote to the year. To finish it all off in his post-match interview against WBA on Sunday Rafa, rather stubbornly, refused to congratulate Alex Ferguson on his title win:
“I will say congratulations to Manchester United. They have done well, but I do not want to say too much. Normally you have to be polite and respect the other manager. During the season we have seen a lot of things I didn’t like, so that’s it.”
Will this make Rafa more determined to win the league next year? Or has Fergie got him right where he wants him?
I can’t wait till next season already!!