Heroes and Zeros

Heroes and Zeros: So long, Stoke City. See you in hell

“Just two more rounds to go and then we’re off to warm, sunny beaches, away from this madness,” said the manager of a mid-table Premier League team to his players. A voice exclaimed, “But gaffer, we’ve got nothing to play for. We can’t go down and we can’t get into Europe”. And thus, the phrases “already on the beach” and “playing in flip-flops” were born.

As the season winds down, the realization dawns that most of the teams have already been half-arsing it for quite some time now. And so, we decided to focus on teams that still have something to play for, even if it’s just rubbing in the nose of their former manager. With that unnecessarily long and half-arsed intro, let’s jump right in.

Heroes

Crystal Palace: They live to fight another day. Hopefully, this time they won’t start the fight by punching themselves in the face and spending the first eight rounds crawling on the canvas.

Roy Hodgson: The redemption is complete. Hodgson’s remarkable rescue of his boyhood club has made me wonder whether it was him who assigned Harry Kane to take all corners or if it was Kane who claimed it for himself. “Get in the box, Harry!” “No, MINE”. “Oh, for fu…” *starts scratching own face*.

Brighton: Staying up, courtesy of Mourinho’s marvelous record of losing to every promoted team this season.

West Brom: Their chances of survival are slimmer than an anorexic supermodel, but in the words of the inimitable Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber – “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

Chelsea: Fourth place is just two points and a Spurs slip-up away. So basically, just two points away.

Olivier Giroud: Will he continue the Arsenal tradition of finishing fourth and winning the FA Cup, at Chelsea too?

Arsenal: Speaking of tradition, how about Arsenal finally turning on the style at a time when no one really gives a sh*t about the result?

Arsene Wenger: You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Sadly, Wenger chose the latter. But he’s gone now. Time to bring in Arsenal’s version of David Moyes.

Southampton: The team with the notoriously goal-shy attack is now out of the relegation zone purely on goal difference. Who writes this stuff?

Zeros

Stoke City: Down and out. They won’t be missed, except by the local pub bore who would love to see Messi do it on a cold Tuesday in Stoke if he wants to be called the world’s best.

Spurs: Riddle me this. Two words. First word starts with a B and rhymes with “throttle”. The second starts with a J and rhymes with “Bob”.

Swansea: Timing is everything. Swansea have chosen the worst possible time to dip their toes in the bottom three. They could get dragged into the abyss faster than Mourinho throwing his players under the bus.

Manchester United: Beating the Champions and losing to relegation fodder. It’s the United way.

Liverpool: They can’t lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League final and finish 5th now, could they? Could fate be so cruel? Could it be so hilarious?

Mohamed Salah: All those awards, all those trinkets and you end up in Antonio Rudiger’s back pocket.

Jon Moss: Should have gone to Specsavers.