All entries for Saturday 01 April 2006
April 01, 2006
It is, of course, impossible. Chelsea are going to
dive win the Premiership for the second year running and the third time in their history. There's no way someone could overhaul them. After all Liverpool, for all their Champion's League genius, were 5th last time, Arsenal are having trouble blooding a new generation to replace the old one, Newcastle and Everton are in chaos. Who can stop Chelsea? Seriously, don't even mention Manchester United as they are clearly the most spectacularly spent force in the Premiership. Clearly…
It's been nearly a decade, the players are almost totally different, the opponents cannot be compared, but there are still Manchester United fans who can remember when Newcastle were dead certs to win the Premiership under Kevin Keegan. They had the players, the investment, the glorious 12 point lead at Christmas. They knew they were going to win the league. And then they didn't. Manchester United did.
On paper Chelsea have an easier end of season. By this stage the likes of Everton and Newcastle have little really to fight for. Manchester United on the other hand have Arsenal who have something to prove, and Tottenham who would quite like to finish above Arsenal. Plus the Chelsea – Manchester United clash is at Stamford Bridge. Plus there's Manchester United's seemingly unshakeable ability to lose against Middlesborough to overcome.
It will depend very much on how desperate for points West Ham, Bolton and Blackburn. Manchester United have the advantage of knowing that their opponents will either be coming at them with 100% (Arsenal, Tottenham) or are shite (Sunderland), whereas Chelsea cannot be entirely sure how hungry their opponents will be. Plus they have at least one more FA Cup match.
I personally think Manchester United are on a roll (which is now jinxed completely and will end) and will win all remaining games. "Really Hol, even the hard ones against Arsenal and Chelsea"? Honestly yes. Ok, a lot of this is mad optimism on my part, but I think there's something to prove and something in the water at the moment. But I still don't think it's enough. Chelsea would have to lose at least two more games on top of their clash with Manchester United for us to overturn them. One of West Ham, Bolton or Blackburn could possibly force a shock win, but two or more. Or Everton/Newcastle? No chance. Maybe a draw will be forthcoming from one of those four. In which case Chelsea finish one point clear and all Manchester United fans everywhere start crying about lost chances and stupid games from last year.
Actually that'd be horrible, all that regret about how arse we were at the start of the season. Maybe it would be better for them to win by seven points or more. At least then we wouldn't be kicking ourselves so much.
I think 2006–07 might be more interesting than previously suspected…
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