The Real Football Man

After the incredible success of my debut column – success measured by the fact that it was posted online – it’s once again time for my Real Football Man review of the week.

I would say whisper it quietly but Sky Sports are hammering home the fact that there is an actual title race on the horizon. That’s thanks to Tottenham’s win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, which sets up Grand Slam Super Sunday this weekend as Tottenham play host to Arsenal while Chelsea travel to…..Everton.

For Chelsea, it’s the opportunity to turn the screw on Mauricio Pochettino’s men while for Arsenal it’s the chance to fly a plane over White Hart Lane for the very last time. Things are strangely quiet at The Emirates at the moment, funny how winning three games in a row can placate your fanbase. I mean who says football fans are a fickle bunch?

Arsenal Fan TV’s viewing figures will have been a touch lower on Sunday after Arsenal booked their place in the F.A. Cup Final for the third time in four seasons. They may have been helped by another dodgy assistant referee decision at Wembley but I doubt Arsene Wenger will care all that much, but please Arsene can you just let us know your plans for next season as I’m getting a bit bored of all the contract talks now.

You could certainly not accuse the other semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham as boring. Tottenham were on top and were ultimately masters of their own downfall as poor tactical decisions and defensive naivety, which ironically came from the poor tactical decisions, means that Daniel Levy will now be looking at a ground share with Leyton Orient next season as their Wembley woes continue.

As a Tottenham fan, the thought of an Arsenal vs Chelsea F.A. Cup Final means I’ll be probably be off down to Homebase to look at buying some Ronseal. I’ve not even got a garden but that is how much I will not care about that final. If the F could somehow navigate a ruling that sees both teams lose and the competition null and void then that would sit very well with me.

In the battle to beat the drop, Middlesbrough beat Sunderland in a ‘six-pointer’, In fairness, you could have given Middlesbrough six points after Wednesday’s win at The Riverside Stadium and it will still not help their plight as they bid to beat the drop this season. I’m surprised Middlesbrough won because my money was on the first ever negative scoreline in Premier League history.

Talking of history, it was made on Sunday as the biggest game on planet Earth took place. Yes, Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the winner for Aston Villa against Birmingham. In all seriousness though Lionel Messi scored his 500th goal for Barcelona and what a time in which to do so. The last minute of the El Clasico to put your team top of the La Liga. It does not get much better than that.

Talking of better, that is exactly what Joey Barton has been and it has finally caught up with him as he was handed an 18-month ban by the Football Association. The former Marseille midfielder is set to appeal and to be honest I really hope he wins it. Not because I feel he has been hard done by but I really don’t want to see him being the “thinking man’s pundit” anytime soon.

And finally, remember that tax does not have to be taxing…..unless you are a director of either Newcastle United or West Ham. Then again I’m surprised the fraud squad have not investigated how Newcastle ended up getting £30m for Moussa Sissoko last August.

That concludes my whistlestop tour of what has happened in the world of football, I’ll be back next week. Until then.