Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Weekend Round Up (19 Apr 2006)

"ManUtd ALWAYS screw up whenever it comes to the last 4 matches."
- JayWalk 19 Apr 2006

The stupid thing was that I forgot it was going to be an early kick off against Tottenham Hotspur that by the time I was seated down and ready to blog my preview, the game finished at 2-1 already? What the heow? Kan si lang blur!!

Oh well, it was a 2-1 victory and I'll gladly take it anyway.

You know, I was, in a way, glad that we screwed up against Sunderland. All these speculations about us getting a second shot at the title is just plain bullshit. The worse thing is that it is distracting the team and heaping all these unnecessary pressure on ourselves.

Perhaps, in getting caught up with all the euphoria, we didn't realised that we were headed to the Sunderland game on a 9-wins streak. We were lucky just to be there and suddenly everybody EXPECTS us to go 10-UP? Granted that Sunderland were at the bottom of the table and already relegated but they are after all still a Premiership team. That goaless draw to us is perhaps a valuable wake up call advising us against being complacent and over-confident.

Looking ahead, Chelsea has 1 point to go as far as securing the title is concerned. Given that Chelsea's only home game left is against ManUtd on 29 Apr 2006, I would expect the Blues to be fighting tooth and nail for that point. After all, what better way then to win the Premiership on home soil and be presented with the trophy in front of your home fans? Chelsea to seal the title on 29 Apr 2006.

Speaking of points, ManUtd has a target of 4 points to secure in their next 3 games in order to beat Liverpool to the runner up spot. This is assuming that Liverpool wins all remaining fixtures that include 2 tricky games away to West Ham and Portsmouth. While one may say that we shouldn't need so many points since Liverpool is expected to drop some point along the way, I am in line, at this point, with Mourihno's school of thought that rather than worry about how others are performing, why not just score the 4 points yourself and be done with it?

What few people know is that ManUtd ALWAYS screw up whenever it comes to the last 4 matches. Call it coincidence or call it jinx, either way, it is a real cause for concern. It is the very same "jinx" that lost us the title to Leeds and Blackburn years ago. ManUtd will stumble against the most unexpected team. Other seasons when we won are mostly because we already have the title in the bag before coming into the last 4 games. The jinx landed a game earlier this season with the 0-0 draw at Sunderland. We were lucky to be able to bounced back with a hard-fought victory 48 hours later.

JayWalk Looks Ahead: We need 4 points and we are playing Chelsea (Away), Middlesbrough (Home) and Charlton (Home) in that order. I think I can forget about ManUtd winning 3 points at Stamford Bridge which means that I need victories from the remaining 2 home games. Middlesbrough should be a done deal consider the fact that McLaren boys are presently undergoing a crazy flurry of fixtures due to a backlog of games as a result of their continued involvement in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup.

Middlesbrough has a minimum of 7 games to play in 3 weeks compared to ManUtd's 3. If Boro continue their success in the FA Cup and UEFA Cup tournaments, we will be looking at 2 more games. These are not your ordinary games, these are the big ones that requires the players to throw in everything they've got. In other word, Boro will be coming in to Old Trafford a very jaded team or at the very best a make shift team of reseves as they save themselves for the big games. With Boro destined to be in the middle of the table, there really isn't any thing else in the league to play for. Their best shot at a place in Europe would come from these 2 cup tournaments. So, 3 points here, hopefully 1 point from Chelsea (if we are lucky) which means that we cannot afford to lose to Charlton on the final day if Chelsea beat us at Stamford Bridge.

Of course, if Liverpool buang prematurely, we would be able to seal up second spot on 01 May 2006 when we bulldoze Middlebrough into the ground.


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