Let’s take a step back from the race to finish in the top four this week. It is the final weekend of the Premier League, where we already know who are the champions and the three relegated sides. However, we still get to see whether Chelsea pip Liverpool in the top four, and which side from tenth placed Newcastle to 15th placed West Ham finish in the top half of the table. Tedious, I know.
You know what they say about businesses, ‘Any publicity is good publicity’? It’s a terrible cliche, and an inaccurate one as well. I am sure you have heard but i’ll recap it for you anyway. The Swansea Marriott Hotel, booked by Southampton, unexpectedly cancelled the clubs rooms after a mysterious ‘virus’ was led to occur. Oddly enough, the hotel remained in operation as usual for the general public. Does it not feel like a conspiracy theory between Swansea City and the hotel? Either way, it only served as extra motivation in the 1-0 win that the Saints picked up.
Manolo Gabbiadinni struck home from a couple of yards out to effectively help the Saints cling onto their Premier League status for another year. What about the Swans? Manager Carlos Carvalhal, who will be leaving at the end of the season, said in February that they had got their heads out of water and are swimming to safety. Unfortunately for them, their time is up barring some major miracle. They must beat Stoke and hope that the Saints lose to man city with a 10 goal swing.
It tops off a great week for us Cardiff City fans. Promoted on the Sunday, Swansea City effectively relegated on the Tuesday. Unbelievable.
Near miracle worker West Brom manager Darren Moore became the first man to win the Premier League manager of the month and be relegated on the same day. There’a a first time for everything. West Brom may have left it too late in putting him in charge, but they have ended the season on a high. Spurs were the next top side to fall to a defeat at the hands of Darren Moore, when a dramatic stoppage time winner from Jake Livermore sparked some brilliant scenes at the Hawthorns.
Looking at Huddersfield’s final three fixtures a couple weeks ago, and you would have thought of them as certainties to go down, particularly after their woeful display at home to Everton. Instead, they have earned draws away to Man City (0-0) and Chelsea (1-1). The spirit within that camp has been exemplified throughout the two games with some serious old school defending straight from the Tony Pulis handbook. For Chelsea, it was their last chance to catch Tottenham in the top four because elsewhere in London, Harry Kane’s goal was enough to see off Newcastle. The 1-0 defeat over Liverpool on Sunday only happened to bring false hope, which is something Derby County fans are quite accustomed to.
Manchester United are confirmed as runners up following their goalless draw at West Ham, making this the highest position they have finished since Sir Alex Ferguson left (Get well soon Fergie). The season may be successful in the eyes of some supporters. However, it hasn’t prevented the supporters from witnessing various sleep inducing performances. A dead rubber billed game, and so it proved.
There was one incident that got the fans up on their seat. Irons captain Mark Noble squared up to Paul Pogba and put his hands on his face, prompting a brawl before proceeding to give each other a hug when the match was (finally) finished. I’d expect that the FA will ignore the lovely embrace and hand Noble a minimal three match ban. They probably should.
The worst away side in English football since January were beaten again on Wednesday, when ten man Arsenal lost 3-1 at Leicester City. However poorly Arsenal have been this season, it should never take the gloss off the job Arsene Wenger has done for them. When I was a kid, I genuinely believed that Arsenal were named after Arsene. Although I suspect that I was not the only one. His final outing at the Emirates finished with a dominating 5-0 win over Burnley, playing Wengerball just for old times sake.
Have a great weekend.