Add to Technorati Favorites

Monday, 16 April 2007

Red Devils v Blues – get used to it

If you are a fan of any football team in the country apart from Manchester United or Chelsea, then, face it, it is time to take a back seat. The season ends in approximately 5 weeks, and between now and then you can look forward to the following games:

Manchester United v AC Milan (twice)
Chelsea v Liverpool (Twice)
Manchester United v Chelsea (league, May 9)
Manchester United v Chelsea (FA Cup final)

And potentially they may face off in The Champions League final as well.

So is this a good thing? Some would argue no, that two teams’ dominance of English football is bad for the longevity of the game. But don’t forget that Hooliganism would ruin the game, Bosman would ruin the game, and players wages will ruin the game. All complete nonsense, and don’t forget that when Mr Abramovich took over the purse strings at Stamford Bridge, many said that Chelsea would dominate for many years. They managed two.

It is a credit to Sir Alex Ferguson and his team that Manchester United have been the country’s leading team thus far. And if Fergie’s charges typify their manager’s spirit, then the drive, determination, will to win and sheer bloody mindedness (that’s meant as a compliment, folks) shows that the Chelsea side take after their gaffer as well.

Say what you like about Jose, but the man is a winner, and it would have been all too easy for him to see the writing on the wall for his job, phone in the effort, not put much in, and accept a worthy second. That’s not Jose’s style.

I think it is fantastic, as a Premiership neutral, to have this potentially thrilling conclusion to the season ahead of us. Think about this, despite leading the Premiership and going after a treble, United could end up with nothing. Zip. Zilch. Diddly Squat. The Square root of fu……well, nothing.

By the same token, despite currently still laying claims to be able to take every trophy possible, I doubt Roman will be satisfied with the Special One only bringing home the Carling Cup, which is very much the consolation prize to the big four. And that could happen.

I imagine the tabloids will very soon go into overdrive with the war of words or the ‘mind games’ as they like to express it, and although Jose and Sir Alex are different characters with conflicting styles, I get the feeling there is a mutual respect between the two, something which I don’t think exists between either man and Arsene Wenger.

It largely doesn’t bother me which sides comes out on top in any competition – I’m just happy to see things go down to the wire.

No comments: