Monday, 23 May 2011

Ch-Hell-sea, City-ing Pretty and Beck of the Net - Weekend Observations - 22nd May 2011

After all the fun and games of the relegation battle, other final day stories sort of took on far less significance. Do I give mention to the team who actually took the trophy home? Well, having secured the title a week before, I'm going to say no. Besides, aside from vomiting at the fact Johnny Evans and Darron Gibson picked up winners medals, what more is there to say? We've all seen them lift the trophy more than enough times down the years, the whole thing has become boring.

And I mean REEEEALLY boring...

As I planned to write this here blog (yes, some form of planning actually goes into this crap!) I was going to mention the fact that Chelsea's meek surrender in the title race and generally abject end to the season had gone relatively unnoticed and unreported. That was until the whispers about Carlo Ancelotti's future suddenly became so loud they managed to perforate the collective eardrum of the entire population of Kensington when Roman Abramovich actually went ahead and pulled the trigger - as is his wont and a major problem for the club - on the luckless Italian for having the gall to finish 2nd after winning the double in his debut season just last year. Useless so and so! At least he has time to go to the Flower Show this week.

Carlo's P45 followed The Blues' 1-0 defeat at Everton meaning third placed Manchester City's 2-0 win at Bolton capped what has been an impressive season for the... er, lighter shade of Blue(s) as they finished level on points with the West Londoners. The cash rich citizens' win also meant that Arsenal finished a lowly fourth in a season that promised oh so much at one stage. The last few weeks - a surprise win over the champions aside - have seen the North Londoners in freefall. A limp 2-2 draw at Fulham just about summed up their wretched second half of the season showing. The gunners went in needing to win to have any chance of catching City but the result at Craven Cottage was telling as Wenger's team weren't even capable achieving the bare minimum required of them on the day. A few more games and I am certain they would have missed out on Europe altogether so maybe they ought to actually be grateful for fourth...

The only shining light at the Emirates seems to the continued excellent form of Robin van Persie whose record 9th consecutive goal in away Premier League games and 18th overall this season makes you wonder what might be IF he can stay fit for a whole season and IF his manager decides to bring in some decent players to play alongside him.

Arch rivals Tottenham arrested their own recent rot with a 2-1 home win (finally) that of course sent Birmingham down while securing 5th place and Europa league qualification much to the dismay of 'arry and most people inside White Hart Lane. Having tasted the sumptuous delights of the Champions League banquet for the first time, you can't imagine they'll be too pleased to drop back into Europe's secondary competition – the equivalent of eating a cold service station Ginsters slice in a lay-by off the M25.

I know I've been down on the tiresome predictability of the Premier League for much of this season but,  I have to say that the final day made realise exactly why we still continue to watch and love this game oh so much. Has one round of fixtures produced so many top quality goals? I can't be bothered to check so instead I will doth my cap to [deep breath] Roman Pavlyuchenko, Craig Gardner, Brett Emerton, Junior Hoilett, Stephen Hunt, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Stephane Sessegnon who were all seemingly trying to compete in their own goal of the week/month/season competition.

Special praise however goes to a man I have often suggested offers about as much of a goalscroring threat as a stroke victim. Step forward Jermaine Beckford who went all Leo Messi on us as he drove through the Chelsea team with a run from deep in his own half before a cheeky dink over Petr Cech to score a goal of such quality, it would have surely run Rooney close for strike of the season had it not already been decided prior to that last day. Well played that man. Still won't convince me he's any better, mind.


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