Posts Tagged ‘London’

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It is now Wednesday, 26th May. Manchester City are two points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and an inferior goal difference.

Manchester United are three points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and a vastly inferior goal difference.

The upshot of all this is the following: If Thursday’s derby game is a draw, both Manchester clubs gain a point on Liverpool and both will overtake Liverpool should they win their other game in hand.

If Manchester United win the game, they will be level with Liverpool and City will still be only two points behind but still with a game in hand. So either of these two scenarios would suit United and neither would be disastrous for City.

However, should City win then the outlook becomes a little bleaker for United. They would still be three points behind Liverpool, only have one game in hand and their inferior goal difference would be even more inferior. They would then have to rely on Liverpool slipping up at some stage which, in all fairness, is a probability rather than a possibility. So all would not be quite lost, but the outcome of the derby is certainly more poignant to United than it is to City.

Having won at Old Trafford earlier in the season at a time when City were playing their best football it wouldn’t be particularly surprising if they were favourites for this one. The fortunes of the two clubs have, however, differed slightly since then.

United have gone on to win the EFL Cup and are in the quarter finals of the Europa League. In fact they are now favourites to win it.

City, on the other hand, have been knocked out of the Champion’s League due to attacking a two-goal lead rather than defending it, and been knocked out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. They will end the season trophyless, not something which was expected when Pep Guardiola took the reins.

It is difficult to see these events not having some psychological effect on the players. After all, they were the team who were going to win things with their new manager. This will not now be the case, not short term anyway.

All of this, in our very humble opinion, makes Manchester United slight favourites for the win but the draw still remains the safest bet.

It will certainly be an interesting derby game onThursday.

The FA Cup final will feature Chelsea and Arsenal. Two London teams playing the final in London. Quite fair really. The semi-finals featured three London teams and one from Manchester and were also played in London. Totally unfair really.

How three clubs can play a “home” game whilst another is totally disadvantaged by being the sole “away” team is beyond the comprehension of this fair-minded publication. What happened to playing the semi-finals on a neutral ground in a neutral city?

The result was quite predictable with this heavy bias towards London and now the final will be contested between two teams who, through no real fault of their own, generate no real interest outside of London particularly in a competition which has now become one which nobody really cares much about either.

When will the FA come to their senses, (a perpetually rhetorical question!), and return the old values to the tournament? Maybe then some of the old “magic” may reappear. Until that happens it will remain a bit of a damp squib.

FA Cup final weekend has finally become just another weekend.

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Well here we are, dear readers, preparing for the second Manchester derby of the season and we’re only in October!

Regular followers of this irregular missive will have noticed that I have, on occasion, seen fit to bemoan the way that cup draws seem to bring the Manchester clubs together, before the final, on a fairly consistent basis. They seem destined never to get to the altar, always having to have a sordid little affair long before the big day ever dawns which then, invariably, belongs to somebody else. (more…)

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The MLS season is over for Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. Their respective clubs, New York City and LA Galaxy failed to make the play-offs meaning an early holiday could be enjoyed by our intrepid adventurers.

So, what do they both do? Hightail it back to England to appear on Sky TV and BT Sport, that’s what they do.

Full of remorse for not being able to stay in the US of A for longer, but there was no need of course, their season was over.

What drivel! If, as they say, they are not doing the Columbus run for the money, then why are they doing it? Why do they need to appear more on British television now than they did when they were playing? Why do millionaires always want more?

Firstly, they could both have stayed in England. They would have made less money but, judging by how quickly they both scuttled back home, they would have been happier. (more…)

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Oliver Charles T Holt has a theory. It isn’t a theory I agree with, but it is a theory.

For those of you who don’t know him, Oliver Holt is a football writer for the Mail on Sunday. He is the son of Eileen Darbyshire who, for fans of Coronation Street, needs no introduction. He is also a Stockport County supporter, which is fair enough, as he is from Stockport.

Now to his theory. I have heard it a couple of times on The Sunday Supplement, Sky Sports’ programme for ageing writers to pretend they know something about football and, what is even worse, to display their lack of knowledge to two, or even three, hundred viewers.

Hosted by Neil Ashton, another writer from the Mail, the “show” is an interesting concept but, unlike it’s counterpart in cricket which is hosted by an ex-professional cricket player and attended by journalists who also played the game professionally, this one is strictly for amateurs, and it shows. (more…)