The Real Football Man

Many Premier League teams may well be on the beach right now as they have reached the hallowed marker of 40 points, and the same could be said about some writers as they churn out some substandard end of season copy. Thankfully that is not the case with me and therefore it’s once again time for my Real Football Man review of the week.

Where else to begrudgingly start but the East London Stadium last Friday as West Ham well and truly burst Tottenham’s title race bubble. Depending on what side of the London divide you sit on it was either a night to forget or a night akin to when West Ham “won” the World Cup back in 1966.

Credit must go to West Ham for winning a cup final as that is certainly one more than Tottenham will win this season, but arguably the real losers must be Sky Sports as, try as they might, they really cannot sell the title race to us any longer.

That is because Chelsea steamrollered an abject Middlesbrough on Monday night, a result that came as no real surprise and one that leaves them just a solitary win from regaining the title they gave up in such mediocre fashion last season.

The way Middlesbrough have played this season will not have won many fans and like Sunderland they will not be missed – that may sound incredibly harsh but the brand of football served up in the North East has been dire and not of the Kieron variety (Yes, that was tenuous at best, I make no apologies)

Talking of mediocre, that is a word you can quite easily attribute to Manchester United on Sunday.

Many have asked the question, just when will Jose Mourinho put all his focus into the Europa League, and defeat to Arsenal at The Emirates answered it in emphatic fashion.

His decision to play a Celebrity XI handed the win to Arsenal and with that has given Arsenal’s hopes of a top four finish a huge resurgence. Back to back wins for The Gunners have no doubt helped, but more must be made of Liverpool’s best efforts to secure Europa League football next season.

It’s almost as if Jurgen Klopp sees the competition as unfinished business. After losing the final to Sevilla last season, he seems hell bent on wanting to qualify for the competition so as to avenge the defeat. Someone better tell Klopp this isn’t Hollywood and this game rarely has the happy ending.

Although of course, the North West could be a right barrel of laughs if Liverpool finish 5th and Manchester United fail to win the Europa League. Unlikely but stranger things have happened, I mean Chelsea paid Marseille £33m for Michy Batshuyai last Summer. I think the work experience lad has probably got more Premier League minutes than the Belgian international this season

Birmingham have a new messiah and his name is Harry Redknapp. He has done the unthinkable, actually scratch that. He has done the probable which was keeping the team in the Championship. For as bad as the Blues have been this season, Blackburn have been worse.

You do have to worry for Blackburn as they have very little in the way of quality to help them back up, and they still have a huge millstone round their necks, that being the ill-fated Venky’s still being in charge. It would not surprise me if they were still planning a huge summer coup for Ronaldinho. That would appease the fans, although I imagine it would cost a lot of Chicken Drumsticks.

And finally, bottle jobs seems to be the “in” phrase right now and a mention must go to Brighton. They somehow conspired to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they had to make do with finishing runners-up in the second tier to Newcastle.

Three straight defeats after securing promotion and I guess the phrase “on the beach” considering their location could not be any more apt. So that’s two phrases I can just about awkwardly crowbar into a description of Brighton’s end of seasons woes. Who said this is was not a quality article?

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