Well it's Run-In time and the irritating pattern of the season has changed very little.
It’s frustrating that United remain just out of reach, like some unruly kid that keeps ducking under your arm when you really think you’ve got the little bleeder cornered.
Fergie’s touchline ban saw him up in the stand on a trimphone from the 1980’s, supposedly calling his minions on the bench. Is he allowed to do that? How’s that a punishment?
'Sorry Fergie? You want me to pull off Hernandez at half-time?'
The FA have said to his Knightship 'You're grounded son! Now go to your room! Oh by the way I've topped up your mobile pay as you go and there's a bottle of your favourite claret in the airing cupboard. Love you!'
The Gooners continue to play a back four as familiar with the art of defending as Eric Chabal is with flower-arranging. Almunia wandered out of his box like a bloke who’s suddenly discovered he's gone in the Ladies bogs by accident. Hopeless.
Wenger's answer to the psychologial crisis in his defence is to bring in that pillar of rational thought Jens Lehmann. Hmm. He'll be getting Dale Winton in soon to give a bit more bite to the midfield.
Chelsea on the other hand have regained a bit of bumptious swagger if you overlook the distinctly fragile Fernando. Blues fans are not on his back yet but Torres still looks like he’s carrying a heavy burden. Where’s the pace gone? Have those overworked hamstrings twanged too often? He looks nowt less than a Spanish Michael Owen right now.
Or a Castillian Sheva. Perhaps in six years time Torres’ll be back at Atletico and reminding us of what he once had. But the omens aren’t good. And Liverpool’s head honchos must be smirking like April Fools Day Pranksters at the £50 million they got for a toothless nag.
David Luiz, on the other hand, is top notch. You need a certain self-confidence to get away with a barnet like his (although Marouane Fellaini would spit on such coiffurial restraint) and this lad is right to have it.
Here's David Luiz as a toddler. Bless!
Chelsea was my tip at the start of the season and with the bronchitic Arsenal choking and the corridors of Old Trafford getting clogged up by defenders on trolleys the Blues might yet nick it.
More likely is United bagging the league and Chelsea dumping them out of Europe. We'll see.
One club that won’t be in the final shakedown is Man City. I’ve heard Citeh fans saying a top four finish’d be great and that the club are just building but I have to say I’ve found them a right bloody infuriating lot to watch this season.
The main problem is the fact that the footy they play is utterly tedious, especially when up against a team in the top half. Mancini’s selection at Stamford Bridge couldn’t have been more miserable had he had Stockport County’s budget.
But given that money pours out of Abu-Dhabi like chocolate flows through a Willy Wonka factory, you’d think Mancini might be up for putting together something that teeters towards a style that might just pass, on a good day, for enter-flaming-tainment.
I tell you what, you wouldn’t give Roberto £300 million to design you a house, would you? He’d just build a big solid grey concrete box with iron gates everywhere and CCTV at every door. I suppose you might have David Silva watering the flowers in a couple of window-boxes but that’s your lot as far as flamboyance is concerned.
It’s not like they haven’t kept spending the money. But Balotelli seems to have more loose screws than a mother of fifty-seven kids. There’s a lot of talk about body language these days and Mario’s is easier to read than most. Right now, I reckon his body is saying is saying ‘I’m barking mad, me’. And only someone temperamentally unsuited to the pressures of top-flight footy could get a grass allergy.
"Please, gaffer, let us keep the snood n gloves"
Actually I needed a new TV the other day so I bought a Marioballo telly. It didn’t stay on for long.
Mind you even a sneezing itchy-eyed Balotelli’d do a better job for you than Edin Dzeko. I’ve seen shopping trolleys with a better first touch and his awareness of others couldn’t be worse if he played with a bag over his head. He's not lazy, or potty, just a bit shit.
The aggrieved skipper Carlos might not hang around much longer if he constantly has to cope with either Nutty or Slack as his partner upfront.
In the end Citeh’ll win summat – maybe even the FA Cup – but I preferred Sparky’s Citeh when they were throwing caution into a very strong wind and just about winning 4-3.
Meanwhile we’ve got the latest episode in the Lame Duck Meets Damp Squib farce that is Fabio Capello’s England. It’s not the Italian’s fault that England have a game against Wales followed by a friendly v Ghana. I mean What the Fuck?
When you look at how sports are administered in this country – and you only have to look at the England’s cricket schedule this winter to realise it’s not just the FA - you’ve got to wonder whether an aquarium of randomly quizzed octopuses might do a better job.
Meanwhile John Terry, a man so unpopular he wouldn’t win a Mr. Unpopularity contest cos no one wants him to win anything, is back as skipper. Capello hasn’t spoken to Rio yet. The idea that they’d understand each other is preposterous anyway.
Terry is a natural leader, I’m told. And yes, he has got a big gob and he gets stuck in. And I dunno, what with the centre-forward’s elbows and the left-back’s handguns, it’s hard not to think that Terry is the epitome of the England footballer right now. And as such, he’s the man to lead us through the Oblivion that is Capello’s England.
PS Well done Matt Jarvis! (‘Boro born!)