It's been a bad week over in the correspondent household.
The dishwasher’s on the blink again and the sunroof in the Kermit-coloured Rover 25 is now leaking. Unfortunately, since Rover went the way of domestic fixtures in the Premier League, the only way to get a new one is from the scrapheap. I now know how Harry Redknapp feels. Currently we are being kept water-tight with vaseline. I now know how [editor steps in with massive pair of snipping scissors].
In the meantime the Scudamore and his wonderful band of league schedulers slipped in a second round of fixtures midweek. Midweek games. Joy.
Anyway, as I was sayin...No I CAN'T go on..... EFFING BALSHAW!! You unredeemable arse. WHY, WHY!!!!. No, DON'T give a penalty away there! YOU'RE RIGHNT IN FRONT OF THE POSTS!!!! SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!!!! Now Tindal's hurt as well! Kick it, Just KICK IT. NOW! Oh sweet Jesus WHY!!!!
[Next few sentences unreadable due to tear stains]
I'm okay now. I think. Back to the action in a game where England can probably still beat Wales. At home. Maybe.
It's been a tight few games in the race for the Champions League slots.
Villa and Blackburn drew 1-1, Liverpool lost 1-0 to West Ham. Everton drew with Spurs. Chelsea then decided to enter the mix sneaking past Reading 1-0 then drawing with Portsmouth.
Liverpool improved midweek - with a 3-0 win over Sunderland, but then West Ham went and embarrassed them by losing to a Kilbane goal at Wigan. So that means Liverpool are worse than Wigan then. Villa then fell a little behind the pack, losing 2-1 to Fulham - who it turns out do have a player who can score late winners, he's just been injured for the past year or so.
Blackburn and Everton then faced off in the race for fourth, drawing 0-0. Man City, meanwhile, seem to be determined to prove us right for thinking Sven was punching above his weigh with Ulrika, sorry, England. Throwing away their undefeated home record to Arsenal is one thing, but drawing with Derby?
As it stands there are six teams within six points of fourth place and the glamour that goes with being knocked out of the European Cup in the final qualifying round then making a half-arsed attempt at reaching the Fairs Cup semis. And West Ham aren't that far off joining the pack.
At the top of the table, Arsenal are proving remarkably durable, with six goals scored and one conceded from their games against Newcastle and City, while Man U are being dragged into contention through Ronaldo's attempt to lay the ghost of George Best to rest and write a new chapter in the history of the red 7 shirt. Ferguson is ignoring his heavy over reliance from goals coming from a winger, and decided that benefitting from an own-goal in the 94th minute after being played off the park by a rejuvenated Spurs was, in fact, down to the referee booking 7 of his players. The Gunners are now two points clear.
At the foot of the table - and a nice brass Griffin clawed-foot it is, with a little wheel attached - games were played. Reading lost 2-0 to Bolton, Sunderland won by the same scoreline at Birmingham. Derby and Birmingham drew one all (seeing Derby get two points from two, quite a result for them).
Wigan lost to Birmingham 1-0 to go with their 1-0 win over West Ham, while Bolton and Fulham both failed to score and got a point each for their ineptitude.
The remaining game saw the Geordie nation on the march again, after scoring their first goal under returning legend Kevin Keegan. Robert Huth then equalised for Boro.
Derby are still well out of it (nine points from 25 games does not survival make), while Boro, Bolton, Wigan, Sunderland, Reading, Birmingham and Fulham are all within two losses of the relegation zone or one win from leaving it. The race avoid the drop is tighter than ever with any two of those seven teams looking like they could spend next season visiting Barnsley, Burnley and Blackpool in the Championship.
That's all for now, I'm off to vaseline the roof.