After the disastrous extended blip we had, to come second in a two horse race between United & Arsenal would have been an achievement in itself, but to actually be in a position where the title is a possibility is tantamount to a miracle.
To think, when we were losing to the likes of Wolves & Birmingham I was seriously doubting we would even qualify for the Champions League. Yet here we are just having equalled the longest winning streak in the league this season (also held by us) and having conceded considerably less goals than anyone else – I am gobsmacked.
I am sure that many will be raging at the way we won the game against Spurs but I shan’t be making any apologies. We’ve all heard the argument for technology – so I am not going to bore anyone with the pros and cons again. All I will say, is that goal line technology may perhaps tell us if a goal crossed the line or not, but all that does is move the focus to somewhere else – say, the handling of a ball in the penalty box which should have seen a penalty, a red card and a suspension for a crucial player in what is arguably the most important match of the season.
I for one won’t be surprised if Vidic scores against us on Sunday in a game which he should not have been playing in – just as Rooney did. But these things happen.
It may not be a popular view, but personally I love the fact that we won with two questionable goals against Tottenham – makes then all the more bitter. They did little to actually try & win the game so got what they deserved. Bale once again proved that he is a serious case of the “emperor’s new clothes” – and to think that he is valued at £40million – madness. Luka Modric on the other hand – what a wonderful player – playing in a team that simply does not deserve him or have anyone of his calibre – Abramovich could do worse than tip his wallet in his direction this summer.
Ancelotti is still an enigma to me – I can’t quite work him out nor his tactics, but now is not the time to question it I guess – if it’s working then so be it – but I need to say, that judging from the muted booing, I wasn’t the only one thinking that Torres was having a great game before he was hauled off. Again, I am not going to make a big deal out of it as we won, but I do often think we win games more through luck than judgement. But then my sensible head kicks in and reasonably argues that you don’t slash a 15 point lead over Manchester United to three points through luck.
There are some big decisions to be made this Sunday which, without over stating their importance, could decide the league title this year. The one that most will be debating is who he plays up front – Drogba & Torres? Drogba & Kalou? Drogba & Anelka? Drogba to start on the bench? I’m not sure I would want that decision as I really don’t know what would be foraaz the best. Equally as important though will be who makes up the midfield. Ancelotti has steadfastly stuck by Michael Essien since his return from injury despite his continual poor form. Ramires has grown in influence after a shaky start and now could be argued is our main playmaker.
However since his injury we have seen Mikel return to the midfield and instantly we have looked more balanced, less fragile and more in control. Personally, I think the set-up of the midfield will determine whether Monday morning we are sitting top of the Premier league table or not.
Fergie has of course already been trying to tip those psychological scales in his favour by putting the referee under pressure barely moments after the final whistle at the Emirates. He really is a piece of work – with no hint of irony or shame he speaks of how we are getting all the decisions and how we got them last year – he sighs at the injustice of it all – is he really playing this one? I would take this from ANYONE else but him. I am almost admiring that he has the balls to say it considering what they get away with. I think if any of us had to bet our mortgage in whose favour a dodgy decision would go next Sunday, it would be a very brave (read stupid) man that would bet against old Red Nose.
I’m not even going to begin speculating on what becomes of Ancelotti should we pull off the impossible as there is still a lot of football to be played, but it would be interesting being in Ancelotti’s mind if we did.
If nothing else, I am ecstatic that United cannot technically win the title against us now – that would have been hard to stomach. It’s in our own hands which is as good as it gets – come on Chelsea!