Friday, May 11, 2018

Citizens do it right

Yup, its that time of the year again, the final weekend of the Premier League. While there still may be football left this season, the end of the league still leaves a dent in the social calendars of many in the world. It's a somber moment that you can't really put into words as for the next few months, normally, many would not know what to do with themselves. Thankfully it's a world Cup year, so we have that distraction to keep us occupied for a month. This Premier league season has given us a lot to talk about though, records were broken, some amazing players have entered the league to give us some brilliant football, there were antics on and off the field and as always some shockers along the way.

In just his second season in the English league, Pep Guardiola went to prove why he is probably the best managers out there. After finding his feet last season, he made strategic signings to strengthen his team, found the ideal shape and style that suited their play and on they went, rampant from start to finish, suffering only two losses the entire campaign so far! While we can single out key players like Kevin de Bruyne who was instrumental in City's devastating attacks, the entire team pulled their weight along the way and in such helping the team achieve their 3rd English Premier League title.  The trophy was handed to them last weekend, letting the team start their celebrations a bit early as Sunday's game see's that as their last fixture for the season having being knocked out of the major cups. 

Chelsea, where do you start? After coming off as Champions the season before, one would not have expected the team to dip in form so badly. Antonio Conte seemed lost at times, as he could not fathom what was going on with his team. No matter what you say, being Champions the one season and finishing outside the top 4 the next is never ideal, especially from a team that is firmly rooted in the top 4. The fight for those spots over the years have been hotly contested though, with Tottenham, a runner up last year, having a major role in the decided spots. While Conte's team might not see this season as an entire failure with a spot in the FA Cup final booked, it certainly would worry the supporters should they not claim silverware at Wembley next weekend as Antonio's days at the Bridge could be numbered. 

Everyone loves to hate United and with the arrogant Jose Mourinho in charge, that hate grows even more but honestly, I cannot understand the criticism they've been receiving since the beginning. of the year. They are in second spot, be it 19 points behind the winners, but they also will be competing for the FA Cup next weekend, so there is a genuine chance of a trophy but still the press seem to berate Jose and his team, my question is why? They say their style of play is unattractive, but please show me a Mourinho side in the past 6 years that did play attractive football? He's a type of manager who grinds out results, keeps things tight and that's how he's being stacking his sides up over the years, why would you expect anything different now? Because he spent a shit load of money on an overrated French midfielder? No! For him, he's done his job and I'm sure the Glazers are happy so we'll be seeing more of the same next season.

Much was expected from Spurs this season, after giving Chelsea a good run for their money the season before but Mauricio Pochettino's men didn't really live up to expectations. While most of the teams did strengthen over the season, the seemed to be content with what they had. Unfortunate for them, as it saw City, United and Liverpool leapfrog them. While they are currently in 3rd spot, one down from last season, they have a tricky last game against Leicester who seem to be ending the season on a high after drubbing Arsenal 3-1 in midweek. A draw or less for Spurs could see Liverpool regain 3rd spot on the final day. 

For as long as I can remember the English League, there has always been one constant, and that was Arsene Wenger. After he announced he would be leaving the club after 22 years in charge, it was an awakening to many that we will no longer see the tall, lanky Frenchmen in the league again. In my opinion, it was 2 seasons too late. Most of the fans had turned against him, while his teams performances left much to be desired. For the second year in a row, his Arsenal team won't be qualifying in the Champions League, something which was unheard of before as he was masterful in always securing that top 4 spots. Arsenal have good players but not the type of quality required to challenge the likes of City and United, there is no indication yet of who they are going to replace him as manager but I'm sure the Arsenal faithful want someone who has a proven record. 

I'm going to end off with my beloved Liverpool, it was the second full season with Jurgen in charge, much was to be expected but he kept our ego in check from day one. He said we were not title ready yet, and whatever we achieve this season would be the best he could do. With one more game to go, and only requiring a point to secure Champions League qualification, it seems that the German has done enough to please everyone. That position could have been much higher if we didn't have a major distraction in the Champions League, but we're in the final against Madrid and you can bet your bottom dollar Jurgen will want to change his records of being the losing finalist this time round. But we have one more game left against Brighton which won't be a walk in the park but 3  points is needed to ease the nerves and to head into the final full of confidence. 

It's been a great season for the neutral, City will only grow in strength over the summer and so will the rest of the league. There will be many who will be staking claim to the title from early on but only one shall end the season on the top. I cannot wait but for now, let us enjoy the final day of the season and all the drama it will bring with it. 

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