Tuesday, April 29, 2008

No point flogging what now? - PremCorrespondent

Well who’d have thought it? The dead horse that was the Premier League three weeks ago has sprung to life and started to charge through the field like a thoroughbred.

At the bottom of the table Fulham and Bolton had seemingly already joined Derby in a division below West Brom for next season. But the Wanderers have risen from the ashes and accidentally dragged a reluctant Fulham with them.

Bolton’s 1-1 draw in front of new Spurs record signing Luka Modric (not from Basingstoke presumably) was among the least remarkable results of the weekend. The home side has long since gone on holiday, or in some cases to Newcastle to prematurely discuss terms.

However, the scrappy goal that earned that point topped an amazing turnaround in form that has seen Bolton jump to 16th.

While that was an unremarkable game, the opposite was true in Manchester where City blew a two goal lead that at one stage seemed set to formally relegate poor Fulham, who eventually won away from home 3-2.

While Roy Hodgson knows his side are still in trouble, he also now knows that one more win could now keep them up. And with a visit by Birmingham City coming up, that win may yet happen.

That Bolton and Fulham do not yet have an R beside their names on the league table is thanks to the utter inadequacy of Birmingham City and Reading.

Both sides have finished the campaign so badly that it is hard to find a redeeming feature in either. Birmingham let slip a 2-0 lead against Liverpool’s reserves while Reading successfully defended a 0-0 position against Wigan. And frankly those two facts sum those sides up better than anything I could add.

Above those sides remain the sadly unlikely now to be relegated Wigan. Their present haul of 37 points is likely to be their final hall after 38 games. But for them that should suffice.

So to the other end of the table where there came a different order of excitement.

Bad refereeing; fists being thrown; stewards being kicked; and racism directed towards players. Stamford Bridge returned to its 80s heritage for the showdown with Manchester United. But unlike the 80s the home side played quite well and won.

Players fought with each other, with officials, with ground staff, and with a guy in a burger stand who looked at them funny while he wiped down his grill. More important than any of that though was that Chelsea went level on points with the former Champions-elect. With just two games to go the Red Devils will probably still claim the title, but it is no longer certain.

And in games now only being staged because of contractual obligations…

Aston Villa failed to loosen Everton’s grip on their well earned Uefa Cup spot as the teams drew 2-2.

Blackburn beat Pompey at home 1-0, finishing off what little chance the south coast side had left of earning a European spot in the league.

West Ham drew 2-2 against Newcastle as Keegan’s side came back from two down and Ljunberg refused to play on with a cracked rib.

And finally it was Arsenal’s turn to whip Derby, recording a 6-2 victory that begs the question how bad will Arsene Wenger let his defence get before studying some old videos and remembering that Tony Adams and Martin Keown were worshiped too?


Ebren said...

Good job - Premco. But can't Pompey still get into Europe by beating the Welsh?

bluedaddy said...


Go on Chelsea!

andrewm said...

Proof, if proof be need be, that ebren is always, always right.

Another nail in the coffin of Paul Jewell's ridiculously inflated reputation, which is nice. It takes a particularly arrogant manager to slate his new players as they lose heavily week after week, implying as it does that they're not good enough to be in a team managed by someone as wonderful as him. You motivate them and organise them then, Jewell - I believe that's why they pay you.

Sorry, but he gets on my nerves.

guitougoal said...

Sorry Premco,with all due respect, you're not qualified to
discuss Arséne's problems, it takes a
Sig. Freud to figure this guy out!
Barça may be Chelsea's white knight for a change.

mimi said...

Sven's getting the sack and I don't understand. Surely Man C have had their best season for yonks? Thai corruption? Oh maybe it's Tesco?

Ebren said...

AM - I love you for your faith, but I hasten to point out that I predicted Newcastle might finish fourth...

Mimi - Tesco should always be feared... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfSi0D7KESk

mimi said...

Ebren: you're link didn't work but of course we must be feared of the almighty Tesco God of all things.

PremCorr said...

They can indeed Ebren, but they no longer can via the league.

A tongue in my mouth and an ability to use it qualifies me to discuss any problem I like. I'm just not qualified to certify him.

Is this not payback for Sven's gaff calling his side Manchester United at the start of the season?

MotM said...

Down at the bottom - you couldn't make that up could you? Sky must be pleased that their last day extravaganza has something riding on it.

andrewm said...

And how are you seeing things at the moment, Mouth?

I'm glad you were right and I was wrong about fourth, but how confident are you for next season? What sort of players are you looking to sign? Does Moyes have a long-term future at the club?

Feel free to answer any or none of these questions, and any more that you can think of.

MotM said...

AndrewM - Commisserations. I fine attempt to win.

Everton need three or four players. A 54 game season is too much for the squad we have.

Moyes? He'll stay as long as he wants, but if Celtic come calling, he might go. If we don't make the Top Four next season, he should go for his own sake as he'll be treading water.

andrewm said...

Thanks Mouth. Ah, I've had my fill of CL finals anyway :) It's time for BD and CE to share the wealth.

Moyes to Celtic? No offence to them, but I think he's made for bigger challenges.

MotM said...

If Moyes has three seasons at Celtic all in the CL, he will be fifty or so and have CL experience which will make him attractive to the elite. No CL club will risk a manager who has led a team in the CL will they?

andrewm said...

Fair point, and I suppose if the job becomes available it makes sense to take it now, but I would have thought better to wait for a situation like the one O'Neill found at Villa. Can it be too long before another midtable Prem club gets a superrich owner? Surely such a scenario would be perfect for Moyes.

MotM said...

Torres miraculously recovered? Ludicrous that he was taken off on Wednesday.

offsideintahiti said...

Maybe he was knackered and Benitez hought a pair of fresh legs were better than no legs?

offsideintahiti said...


greengrass said...

BD & CE?
(hurt) There is another side involved...

I am very, very disappointed that you didn't work "frogs' legs" into your post.

andrewm said...

Ah, come on GG - you've been through bigger occasions many many times, in all walks of life. My only disappointment is that you won't tell us more about them.

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