Life's just not fair
Well I don't mind telling the lot of you. It's been an emotional weekend. If I close me eyelids that horrible bottom four are stamped on their insides and it's that bleeding -28 that means we're utterly doomed. We'll need a 3-0 at least on Sunday and at present our goals to games ratio is 0.729 recurring. As in recurring nightmare.
There's something noble, steadfast and old-fashioned about Gibson's support for Southgate, and I hope they give him another season, too, if only to buck the trend of treating managers like disposable nappies. But the man has made mistakes, not least in the coiffure department. There's not enough bite and brains in the middle of the park. He's offloaded Viduka and Yakubu and replaced them with Alves. Hmmm.
But we can take our cue as supporters from the Baggies fans, who had me weeping through the 5Live commentary on Sunday afternoon. All right they're a bit more used to going up and down like the pound against the dollar but the unwavering and incredibly loud endorsement for Mowbray, his players and the way the club plays and is run was absolutely brilliant!
Both Boro and Albion have at least tried to keep the ball on the deck and knock it around. At times both teams have been a nice watch - like Arsenal but without the results. Then again Arsenal are like Barca but without the results. It's a bit blinking irritating when teams with big lads who treat a football like it needs to be taught a lesson - Stoke, Bolton, Blackburn - end up way above you. I think all three of them will stay up next year 'n all, mind, cos no matter what your average half-interested lass says, football's not about being pretty. Just ask Steve Bruce. It's about results.
Alan Shearer'll tell you the same. There was a lot of guff following the win against us about the bravery of saviour Shearer. Newcastle weren't saved cos they beat a team like Boro. So it's proved. And I think they deserve to go down now. It's been a horrible, sloppy, mismanaged mess that club and a little spell in the corner just having a little think about how they've behaved might be just what the club needs. No more Messiahs, no more hospital patients on six-figure salaries, no more 'big club' bluster... just a giant dose of reality and a bit of the icky feeling we've been suffering on the banks of the Tees.
Now I don't say this out of malice. There's true blue barcodes who agree with me. Hull can have one more season in the sun - which I think they'll manage as Fergie and Darren Fletcher are spending the week combing the streets of Salford and Moss Side in search of ten schoolboys to join Fletch for an away day at the KC. There's every chance that United's mascot will be the tallest lad on the pitch in a red shirt.
Time too to grit your teeth into a clenched dead man's smile and congratulate the Beetroot of Govan for another job well done. Rafa take note. We used to slate Benitez for his rotation policy but then he used to replace fillet steak with economy frozen burgers. Fergie's first 18 are in their prime. The defence, but for one little blip, has been rock-solid and the Tumbler had been close to his best. Do we think his strop the other day against City was cos he wanted more goals and as it stands Anelka might yet pip him to the golden boot? Nah, he wouldn't be that vain.
As Dixon and Keown admitted last night - the Liverpool squad has a lot less going for it. (Is it me or do the MOTD pundits all buy their shirts from Blandman.co.uk? I mean I'm not expecting Hawaiian shirts and Big Ron bling, but their clobber's so nondescript you'd think they were waiting for a sponsor).
So I'm not sure why Benitez is being quite so petty. Perhaps it's cos he knows that he spent half the season being way too negative and ever since they lost at our place, they've been, well, brilliant and exhilarating and, a poor home display against Chelsea in the Champs league apart, unstoppable. In short, by being too cagey it's Liverpool that've lost it. Can't see that mistake happening next season - so come on, sulky-chops! Say well done, and win it next year.
That's what Guus Hiddink would be saying if he was to stick around at the Bridge. Every time that bloke opens his gob I'm more impressed. The players like him and any one who can get two self-appointed members of football's royalty to dovetail like Drogba and Anelka have done in the last few weeks deserves all the plaudits going. The bloke shouldn't be off back to Russia he should be helping Blair's Middle-East peace talks. I don't know whether Drogba will be there either but every time that bloke sets his mind on staying on his feet for 90 minutes he's twice as good a player. Lesson learned? I doubt it. If he's in Serie A next season he'll be expected to revert to type and he'll be throwing himself on the floor and weeping like a Blue Bell regular.
You're right, Rafa. Life's just not fair, is it?