Play beautiful football and lose, or to play ugly and win? It is a question that has divided fans for years. Cardiff City are just one win away from promotion, and us Cardiff fans are still not unanimously happy with the football we’ve played, irrespective of our position. To be honest, the vocal minority has always kept quiet when we win. I wonder why?
It’s (almost, well maybe not) a similar case at Everton. Before Everton’s 2-0 win at Huddersfield last weekend, some fans unveiled a banner asking for the board to sack Sam Allardyce. The irony is that Big Sam is actually up for April’s manager of the month. It can’t all be bad at Goodison. Kevin Mirallas, who I thought had left for good, is back after having his loan contract at Olympiakos terminated due to bad performances.
Now 10-15 years ago, the biggest match in the English league calendar was Manchester United vs Arsenal, Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp vs Andy Cole, Sir Alex Ferguson vs Arsene Wenger. Next season, it could be Jose Mourinho vs Zeljko Buzac (Jurgen Klopp’s assistant). Sad times.
Arsene Wenger’s 22 year reign in charge will end on a whimper, through non-European qualification and no Europa League trophy to bring the curtains down. His final game at Old Trafford saw him pick a more experimental side, containing the likes of Reiss Nelson and Sky’s man of the match Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The youngsters actually fared pretty well, despite what the match stats may have lead you to believe. At 1-1, Manchester United threw on Marouane Fellaini to try and repeat what normally happens when he’s on the pitch, aim for the guy in the box with massive hair and he’ll head it home. And indeed he did.
After overcoming Roma, Liverpool are through to the Champions League final to face Real Madrid. The Reds lost 4-2 on the night but the result mattered nowt, and are off to Kiev. Belgian Rajid Naingolan’s first time strike onto the inside of the post may have been the best goal on the night. However it was quite simply rubbish in contrast to James Milner’s fine ball-to-face own goal. Asked if the Liverpool players were going to enjoy some wine tonight, he responded “I might stretch myself out to some Ribena or something.” Hamez Milner for you.
There could be a Southampton playing in the Premier League after all, that is if Dusan Tadic has anything to say about it. His two goals to see off Bournemouth saw them move within one point off Swansea, who themselves lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea. Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson appears to be as good a combination as bacon and eggs. During the visit of Leicester City, Palace absolutely slaughtered them 5-0. It means Leicester City will have to settle for mid-table, however much their owners want that second Premier League title.
Champions Manchester City showed no signs of complacency when they beat West Ham 4-1, minus the five minutes they were under the cosh just before half-time. A free kick from Aaron Creswell capitalised on West Ham’s pressure however that was all they had. A fun (dull) fact for you, Man City have now scored 4+ PL goals in a game against 9 different teams this season. It was announced this week that Yaya Toure was leaving the club, after 8 successful years and three Premier League titles. My fondest memory of him in England, apart from the birthday cake fiasco, was the privilege of watching him during the 2013/14 season. What a player.
Have a great weekend.