|photo by John Edwards 2008||via PhotoRee|
Caution: This article by Correspondent Ed was written under the influence of an adult beverage. Or two:
It's pathetically easy to be a fan of Manchester United. At least it used to be. David Moyes is a great coach, but will he have Fergie's touch? Unlikely, because like him or hate him, Fergie was one of the top coaches of all time. That's a tough bar to meet. Look for United to remain in the top four due to their budget; but don't expect too many top finishes. It's definitely going to heat up in Manchester when Pellegrini shows up at City....
I've never hated Arsenal as much as I have this year. Their perpetually annoying manager aimed for a top four spot, and despite embarassing themselves in the Champions League and playing pretty poorly most of the season, it looks pretty certain that they are going to make it. This is a team with a poor goalkeeper, worse defenders, and some retread forwards and midfielders. Great coaching? I guess. But anyone that has no answer to Olympiakos in the Champions League Group stage ought to be ashamed of themselves. And guess what -- next year in the Champions League someone else is going to embarrass these guys. Arsenal is flush with cash yet all they hope for is mediocrity. This is pathetic and sad, and underserving of a Champions League position.
Well, in Spurs' land you could see it coming. About a month ago you just knew that Arsenal would pass them and take the fourth spot in the League. Spurs did well against the top teams, but produced often unwatchable performances against the middle and bottom of the pack. The recent draw with Wigan -- which lost 4-1 to Arsenal just -- ended up being determinative.
So where does this leave AVB? Failure? Success? Unfortunately somewhere in the middle. Uncle Harry, a guy that "didn't know tactics," took Spurs to fourth in each of his last two seasons. This year, Chelsea had issues as did Arsenal, yet AVB couldn't finish ahead of either. Plus, their performances seemed to get worse and worse as the year progressed. They seemed unable to string three passes together in their last two matches and in others before. And they seemed even more reliant on Gareth Bale this year than in any year prior.
AVB certainly has the players' support, and their season was not bad. But now the loss of Bale - the player that loved him most -- is immininent. Bill Parcells used to say "you are what your record says you are." Well, for AVB, that's not bad, but it's worse than it's been the last two years....
This is farlieonfootie for May 17.