Thursday, 29 April 2010

Hostage to Fortune

Chelsea's squad in 1905. (L to R) Back Row: Jo...Image via Wikipedia
Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager, said at the weekend that the Premiership will not go to goal difference to decide the winner. This was just after Chelsea had beaten Stoke 7-0. It was a public message to his team not to rely on anything but winning the next two matches.

If Chelsea lose at Liverpool by 2-0 and Man U draw 1-1 at Sunderland in their penultimate match then they will be equal on points but Chelsea will have a goal difference of 6 to put them at the top of the table. Both teams are expected to win their final matches at home. Suppose Chelsea beat Wigan by 2-0 and Man U hammer Stoke by 7-0 then Chelsea win the Premiership by a goal difference of 1!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Reviewing the situation: Who will win the English Premiership, 2009-2010?

The weekend ahead sees Chelsea and Man U play Liverpool away and Sunderland away respectively.

Chelsea are one point ahead since last weekend's matches. The last match of the season for all  Premiership teams is on May 9th KO 3pm UK time. On that day Chelsea are at home to Wigan, and Man U are at home to Stoke City (beaten 7-0 by Chelsea last weekend).

So -  only two matches remain of the most important English football competition lasting 38 games; started last August.

How about a report on this situation as seen from South Africa - where many Premiership players will be headed in June for the World Cup final stages?

Other comment:

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Pictures of men

English Premier League trophy, inscribed with ...Image via Wikipedia
An early kick-off on Saturday saw Man City drawing scoreless and clueless against Man United - four points behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.

At the end of 92 minutes Man U were 18-1 against to win the Premier league with three matches and 30 seconds remaining. 30 seconds later they were 4-1 on to win the Premier League - from quick re-action bookies. Why?

Paul Scholes had headed a goal after playing the whole game at the advanced age of 36 - an even more remarkable achievement than the header? Poor Paul's reward was a kiss from his captain, Gary Neville. A hand on each side of his face with fingers spread, the fanatical Gary gave Paul a mouth-to-mouth. I dare you to have a look !

See Scholes header.

The importance of the last gasp goal was increased when later in the same afternoon Chelsea lost 2-0 to Spurs and reduced the former team's Premiership lead to one point with 3 matches to play.

In Sunday's punditry on this match Paul Merson made the usual obeisance to Andy Gray about heading the ball. The prevailing myth promoted by Sky commentators, especially by Andy himself, is that he, Andy, is the best header of the ball since Adam first headed the apple in the Garden of Eden.  Merson said,
"That would have been a difficult one even for Andy"  
Merson and Andy Gray were watching video of Scholes's header. Personally, I think that Scholes was so knackered that when he saw a fuzzy mass coming towards his head he tried to nod it away.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Strictly Come Footering

Last Saturday Man U were at home to Chelsea in the English Premier League. It was the 33rd league match of the season and only 5 more to play.  Man U were leading the League with 72 points; Chelsea were second with 71 when the match began. This game was obviously going to be critical in deciding the league and the plaudits, the prestige, and the extra millions from sponsors and fans worldwide. Chelsea won 2-1 and now stand two points clear of their immediate rival.

Drogba scored their second goal but was clearly offside when seen on video replay. Man U's goal looked to have been involuntarily pushed over the line in a goalmouth scramble by their substitute Macheda. Each team should have had a penalty but the officials did not see things that way.

And the FA are doing sweet FA about making sure that referees get help to make the judgements they have to make. In this vacuum, conditions are ideal for another method of making judgements. It seems that everyone: pundits, columnists, even my ManU fan friend, Ivan, stated that Chelsea deserved to win despite the offside goal by Drogba.

So the field is open for a panel of judges and a phone-in open to the public to give their verdict on matches. Whatever, the score the final result will be what the public decides.

(Sometimes I don't know where I get my ideas from)