OK, I was off with the my cautious approach last week concerning the Premiership race. City are a hopeless bunch indeed and Chelsea is simply below par this season, so for once football gave the logical outcome. United have won the league, deservedly!
But in this entry I am not going to tell a story about them. Instead I will focus on a team whose feat is, in my opinion, much more deserving of plaudits even though the competition they competed in is much less glamourous and does not bring any silverware. However, the price of failing in that quest is much higher then of not winning the league. I am talking about West Ham United and their relegation battle.
Two months ago Upton Park seemed bereft of even the faintest hope. The team was packed with talented players, even superstars, but to say that they were not delievering would be an undestatement. They couldn't score, let alone win and the loss at home to Spurs still beggars belief! Oddly enough that game seemed to be the turning point. Instead of killing the team completely, it lifted the weight of pressure of them. Seen as a team that is already all but down by everyone, West Ham confronted the remaining games as a collective with nothing to lose. And lo and behold, inch by inch, they began to claw their way uphill. All of a sudden the porous defense looked rock solid, the midfield finally began to string up a couple of passes togehter and strikers began scoring, especially Tevez. If it's true that class players shine when it's most needed Tevez is class without a doubt since at crunch-time he delievered in goals and assists alike.
Talking of Tevez, his transfer saga is not yet over it seems. There are talks even of High court. But if you ask me that is just the graceless losers clutching at straws. Sheffield United have nobody but themselves to blame, and if you can not at least draw against Wigan at home...
Just before the now legendary 1989 championship decider at Anfield George Graham was asked how are his team handling the pressure. "Pressure?" he replied "Pressure is being bottom of Division 3!" West Ham faced pressure, an outcome that might have even meant the demise of their club altogehter(just ask Leeds fans). And they hadled it in the best possible way. Bubbles will be blowing at Premiership grounds next season as well.