The Antagonist - Unpredictable season leaves the title up for grabs
Published: 02 Apr 2010 - 10:31:32
So, is this to be another big weekend? Another Super Saturday that goes a long way to deciding the destination of the Premier League trophy?
Clearly, whoever wins at Old Trafford will be a step closer getting the Brasso out to polish that cup. Surely, if Arsenal fail to overcome a recently resurgent Wolves they are looking at the bronze position - a slight improvement on last year but still agonisingly short of the prize Arsene Wenger still regards as the holy grail.
That's the current chat in media circles, but don't count on it.
This season has confounded even the wisest of pundits, throwing up freak results like confetti and regularly chucking the form book out of the window. Three weeks ago, for example, Chelsea struggled to get a point against a fairly mediocre Blackburn side, yet strode out majestically at the weekend to smash seven past a normally impressive and resolute Villa outfit despite resting top scorer Didier Drogba.
Arsenal, who have been written off more times than Peter Andre, have put together a run-in that has taken them within sniffing distance of the title despite a slight hiccup against Birmingham last week.
In Europe they looked like world beaters against Porto, resembled boys against men for seventy minutes in midweek against Barca and then morphed again to top class through the catalyst of a stunning cameo by Theo Walcott for the final quarter of the match. The euphoria of this late revival was then severely marred by the prospect of the hobbling Fabregas missing some or all of the Gunners remaining fixtures.
United have lately been the most consistent of the bunch winning their last five games, yet they struggled in a lifeless display against Bayern on Tuesday and look like they will have to manage without their prolific net filler, Wayne Rooney, for a while at least.
But then again, didn't they stuff a normally stubborn Bolton team without him, when the enigma that is Dimitar Berbatov shook off his customary languor to lead the line with aplomb.
So, as you can see, predictability is a characteristic sorely missing from our top three at the moment. All you can safely say, with any sort of assurance, is that they will share first, second and third places between them.
To confidently place them in their final order would be to ignore the inconsistency that has plagued all three this season. Making assumptions based on the apparent difficulty of fixtures remaining is also a dangerous ploy. Who would have tipped Burnley to topple the champions or Chelsea to falter against Wigan earlier in the season?
Pundits and journalists are, as we know, paid to do just that and will continue to do so. They have to earn a crust after all!
In a three horse race, of course, statistically some 'experts' will ultimately be correct in their choice but this, I maintain, will be more through luck than judgement.
This blogger is content to sit rather uncomfortably on the fence until the mathematical evidence is indisputable. That is likely to be several weeks away yet and, almost certainly, will follow yet more twists and turns in this somewhat bizarre season.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:the antagonist
- Love him or loathe him you cannot ignore the Antagonist. His Friday blog tackles the big issues in our game today in an abrasive, often controversial style. He goes where others fear to tread. From wages to wags, diving to drugs - no subject is "off limits", no individual beyond reproach. Miss him at your peril!
Previous Blog Posts
- Horror injuries more than justify footballer wages
- Tabloid trashing could be the making of Rooney
- Rooney and Pietersen are battling the same demons
- Defoe joins the ranks of footballing cheats
- My 2010-11 season wish list
- Money talks this summer
- Football might never come home
- Why we need more Maradonas
- World Cup 2010 has been anything but predictable
- ITV have been hammered by the Beeb
- England are a long way from world-beaters
- England fans find perspective
- Victory against the USA should be a formality
- Five steps to avoid England heartbreak this summer
- Domestic demands have ravaged England
- The lull before the storm
- The madness of Fabio Capello
- Pressure is the lifeblood of the Premier League
- No surprises in the Premier League
- Two very different Champions League deaths
- Unpredictable season leaves the title up for grabs
- Zola was doomed from the start
- Chelsea count the cost of complacency
- Arsenal and United touched on perfection
- Why football should scrap the offside rule
- Why Bullies are good for football
- League football is not fast food
- The England team are a universally flawed bunch
- Football is in danger of financial implosion
- The England squad is in tatters
- No football like snow football
- Petty FIFA must stop tweaking the rules
- New Year Resolutions
- Arsene Whinger is still number one
- Potter Pulis calls the kettle black
- Get ready for the World Cup bore draw
- David Beckham can breathe easy
- Match of Hate ends in handshakes
- Player naming rights are surely next
- Why football is a waste of time
- Spitting in football is an artform
- Benitez tactics undermine Liverpool challenge
- The mystery of club ownership in the Premier League
- What is it with diving in football?