Am I the only person who is sick to death of having the league table flashed up at every opportunity? Am I the only person sick to death of hearing ‘If Liverpool win today they will go back above United’ (despite the fact they will have played more games)? And last but not least, am I the only person who doesn’t need to hear about Alan Shearer’s ‘monumental task’?
Of course these issues are among the most intriguing. However when watching Match of the day etc, you would think the relegation battle has been won/lost every single weekend. Newcastle are the perfect example of this. They have five games to go (of which three are at home) and yet every week it would appear that the Toon Army’s current ‘messiah’ has already fallen. Now bear in mind they are four points behind Hull City with a game in hand before facing Portsmouth at home on Monday night. Should the Magpies win this they are a point behind City with another twelve points to play for.
No one can deny that the current relegation battle is a fascinating, dramatic and enthralling one, but there is a considerable amount of football to be played yet. It is also very likely that we will witness another final day of the season crescendo at that end of the table like the one involving Sheffield United, Wigan and West Ham. But for the love of god, why must every single point be the resurrection of a team’s survival hopes or the Coup de grâce? Yes Lee Dixon, Gary Lineker et al, every point lost is more sand into the bottom dome of the hourglass. BUT there are six teams realistically fighting to stay out of two relegation places - all of which have at least four games/ twelve points to play for. Add to that the even West Brom are not even down yet and we’ve all accepted they are dead in the water, it makes the constant analysis of the table ridiculous.
Here’s an idea for the pundits, go into huge detail about the drop-zone when a team can be relegated the following WEEK and not in four games time!
Now, when thinking about the other end of the table, I go to bed at night and suffer from the following three Premier league induced sleep disorders:
1) Images of the table before and after every Manchester United or Liverpool game BURNED into the insides of my eyelids - Who cares when United kick off half an hour after Liverpool anyway? I might be interested after BOTH teams have played.
2) The lack of peaceful silence in which to drift off into a delciate snooze because I can still hear echoes of Martin Tyler and Andy Gray from Sky Sports to the tune of “Well that three points for Liverpool piles the pressure on Manchester United who face Portsmouth at Old Trafford this evening” or how about ” A win for Liverpool today will take the Reds back to the summit of the Premier League table, meaning United MUST win to keep ahead in this extraordinary title race!” Yes guys, we know this and do not need to be informed of this twelve times per day. Additionally - title ‘race’ is only going to be particularly interesting to us neutrals if United actually drop points – they have won their last four games in the league . Perhaps not at their best - but win their game in hand and they could be six points clear.
3) Last and certainly not least, ‘The War Of The Words” between a certain Scot and a particular Spaniard. Who ACTUALLY cares about the overweight David Guest look-alike having a handbags at dawn with a man who thinks every controversial decision that is ruled in his team’s favour is ‘about time because we never get these decisions etc’ - We’d rather watch some football please.
So a final word, YES it is the pundit/journo’s job to hype things up so they can sell airtime and newspapers but must we be saturated with constant analysis from people who have never even managed a successful side?