West Brom may have decided to finish their season in the middle of March, what with the fact that they have not won any of their last eight matches, but football writers simply do not get that luxury of downing tools that early, and with that in mind it’s once again time for my Real Football Man review of the week.
The title race has finally been run and more importantly has been won by Chelsea. First, they were winning the league at a canter and then Tottenham made it a two horse race, only to see themselves fall at the final furlong.
That is all of the horse racing analogies that you will get from me, but credit has to go to Antonio Conte who has growled into a microphone better than any other top flight manager this season, impressively on his way to masterminding a Premier League title at the first time of asking.
They have simply been relentless this season as 13 wins in a row will attest to, but they were at least push closed by Tottenham, who in comparison only managed nine straight wins towards the end of the campaign. Turns out you cannot mastermind a title race unless that run hits double figures, so that is food for thought for Mauricio Pochettino.
Food that will be eaten at Wembley, which if you have been to Wembley you will know is not all that special, and the football that Tottenham served up this season was not all that special either. They are certainly going to have to shake off the stadium jinx early in the next campaign, or this momentum while in a state of transition could be seriously derailed.
They said the perfect goodbye to White Hart Lane last Sunday. Well, as good as you can give a sendoff to an inanimate object such as a football stadium. A 2-1 win over Manchester United was enough to secure second place, but this was a United in name but certainly not in spirit.
It’s ok Jose we get it, your team is playing in a Europa League Final next week, but there is really no need to bore the rest of the country into submission in the build up to it. Their last three league games have been both a real test for real football men such as myself, but also a fantastic cure for insomnia. You really have to hope that when they go head to head with Ajax next Wednesday that the display is at least a bit more invigorating.
Issues at the bottom have been resolved as the Tigers of Hull became extinct in regards to their top flight status. You can only say that they are masters of their own downfall. A toothless defeat to Sunderland was then added to with that pitiful showing at Selhurst Park last Sunday. Questions will now be asked as to whether Hull can keep the man in charge who nearly kept them up. If not I guess it could be a case of…..Bye, No Silva Lining.
Another manager who is saying goodbye or arrivederci, in this case, is that of Walter Mazzarri. Once again Watford have sunk down the table like a stone, and once again it has meant the Pozzo family who own the club have stoked up the warmest managerial hot seat in this division. It can come as no real surprise as Watford lack an identity under Mazzarri, unless that identity is trying to keep the United Nations safe from relegation.
While dropping down a level because I see “All the football, all (some) of the time”, we must not overlook the playoffs as the most vanilla club in the world Reading will go head to head with Huddersfield. If Reading do get promoted then we may as well move Newcastle to leafy Surrey and then build a wall around Yorkshire and the North East. They used to play football in the North of England you know.
That concludes my whistlestop tour of what has happened in the world of football, I’ll be back next week. Until then.