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The Home Straight

Wednesday 28th March 2012
So here we are, at the business end of the season with the majority of clubs having just eight games left to play. This will be make or break for a few clubs, especially those at the foot of the table.

It's only a two-horse race for the title and it's the two Manchester clubs who are streets ahead of the chasing pack. Arsenal are in third and 15 points behind United in first place, I don't see them pulling that back. Stranger things have happened. Problem is though, it just doesn't happen to United.

The thing about United is that they know how to win things. That mentality is soaked into the Old Trafford walls and any young player coming through Sir Alex Ferguson's youth ranks will again in turn soak up all that knowledge and expertise.

This season has been one where Sir Alex has had to rely on a few of his younger or should I say fringe players, and at certain points you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were not capable of keeping touch on Manchester City, but whether it was City giving it away, or United grinding out results, they kept in touch, caught them, and are now at the sharp end of the table.

I'm going to put my 'football romantic' hat on now and say that I'll be glad if United win it, purely for the reason that City are only at the top because of a massive cash injection from the Sheik. Don't get me wrong, Sir Alex has spent his fair share of money, but nowhere near like the huge bloated bank roll from across town.

I keep finding myself wanting any team playing against City to  win, just nick a goal and win it 1-0. Normally, the more devastating and soul-destroying, the better. I'm not sure if it's normal to have an irrational despise of a team for having money, but it's definitely there. I didn't take this sort of dislike to Chelsea when they had some money stuck in their hand. Might be because my Dad's a Chelsea fan and didn't want to upset him, he was on cloud nine.

At this point I want to keep my Gooner readers happy and give The Arsenal a shout-out. They have epitomised team spirit for me this season, they have been a joy to watch. If I had to choose one team from the Premier League who are really enjoying playing the game, it would be the North Londoners in red. They all seem to have a smile on their face, and a spring in their step, and for that I applaud them.

Now to the sticky end of the league, where it would seem that five clubs, maybe six or seven are clawing away for points hoping that their rivals are going to slip up and give them that little bit of breathing space for survival.

Wolves are absolutely nailed on for the drop, and this is going back on what I said originally a few weeks ago. They just look dejected, tired, unorganised and almost like they have just resigned themselves to playing Championship football next season. Things might have been bad with Big Mick, but they were not this bad. He instilled a do or die cavalier attitude that kept them up last season by one goal, now they don't even have that.

QPR have not got a hope either, purely on their fixture run in:

Arsenal - Man Utd - Swansea - West Brom - Tottenham - Chelsea - Stoke - Man City

Sheesh! I got them as possibly getting 5 points maximum out of all that lot, and that's being generous. Plus Cisse is actually mental. I think Sparky has shown him how to tackle!

The third team for the drop? Well you can take your pick from Wigan, Bolton or Blackburn. All of these teams have started to play decent football, but good football doesn't always get you the results you need.

All managed by men with quite possibly the thickest skins ever. Especially Steve Kean, how he had the resolve to stay after the quite frankly disgusting abuse from his own fans is beyond me. Coyle and Martinez can share the Eternal Optimist award, pulling the positives from some performances that left me embarrassed to watch.

Villa and West Brom are hovering the bottom five, with a five and eight points gap respectively. I think they're safe, but a poor run in will get them sweating.

I'm going to read this again at the end of the season, just to see how right or wrong I am.

See you on May 13.
Gianni Sawyer

Total articles: 6

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