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The League Season That’s Stranger Than Fiction!

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So here we are in February, approaching the run in on another season and yet what a strange year this has been. Maybe it’s because the media now report everything, or maybe it really is just a very strange year but consider what has happened so far.

1) Manchester City – Now nobody could have doubted that spending the GDP of a small nation to give Sir Howard Bernstein a team fit to grace the Stadium he created for the City, would have meant anything other than success, but frankly they have not really delivered.

Exits from the Champions League at group stage, knocked out of both Cups and now stuttering in the League – its all rather sad. Add to that the Carlos Tevez saga, the incredible wage bill and the fact the manager doesn’t know what his best team is and you have a recipe for confusion. They could actually throw it all away and considering the talent at the Club that would be incredible.

2) Manchester United – Have we ever seen such an injury plagued season, added to a total lack of funding for new players, the return of Paul Scholes, the illness of Darren Fletcher, the wavering form of Wayne Rooney and the woeful form of David De Gea and Patrice Evra.

Yet we sit next to the billionaires having spent less than Stoke and QPR and with the entire Club in hock to the banks, a manager in his 70’s and a midfield trio of Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Scholes with over 100 years between them.

It’s somewhat laughable that we are up there and we might just win the 20th title before the whole financial mess catches up with us and we do an impression of Leeds United and slide into the depths.

3) Spurs – A manager in the dock, their best striker on loan from City, the longest transfer saga in history and yet they are trashing the other London wannabies into fighting for scraps. How on earth did this happen. Harry Redknapp isn’t a genius, he said so himself, and so was it luck that Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Emmaneul Adebayor ended up in the same space at the same time.

Also it begs the question – why oh why didn’t we ask Brad Friedel to keep for us while De Gea eats some steak and does some weights to try and look less like Stephen Merchant and more like Peter Schmeichel.

4) The rest – meaning Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsene-al……what a mess. Chelski have spent a fortune getting to where they were before he started spending, always bridesmaids and still bridesmaids.

Liverpool full of hope when King Kenny returned are now delighted with a Carling Cup final appearance, and an FA Cup run. They might even fancy a Champions League entry but i doubt Chelski and Arsenal can remain as bad as they have been all season.

And finally the boo boys are calling for Arsene’s head, he seems to have lost his wonderkids and with it the plot. The buys have been makeweight at best, the choices poor , i mean who thinks Per Mertersaker is a Premier League player, and who rates Johan Djourou or Andre Arshavin or Tomas Rosicky? Not me.

So we have a season when the League is poor, the best squad don’t have the bottle and United’s poorest side for years is joint top.

For those who disagree with me saying that please think back to Barcelona last year when they ran rings round us and it was time for Dimitar Berbatov, Scholes, and Carrick to call it a day in most pundits mind. Yet now they are the core of the side, and we have not secured anyone to replace them.

United have some great young players in the Da Silva twins, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Nani, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. But the established stars of Evra, Fedinand, Scholes, Giggs, Rooney and Nemanja Vidic are heading towards the end of the road while Jonny Evans, Anderson, De Gea and Ben Amos are not good enough.

To be great you need a squad of 25 players who can interchange. We have half of that.

I am actually starting to believe we could win the League this season, incredible if we do but odds against in reality. However if we do win the title it will be the last hurrah for many of this squad and there is a need for a major overhaul in the summer.

The strangest question of all is this ….where is the money going to come from?

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve