So another Premier League season passes by. A good one, I reckon, if not in terms of quality then definitely in terms of thrills n spills.
Yes, Man U ran away with the title in the end with the tiresome inevitability of a British woman’s defeat in the first round of the French Open. (‘French Open’ always seems to me to be a contradiction in terms, by the way... like ‘US Intelligence’ or ‘mature student’)
And Man City managed to somehow fund a FA Cup/Champs League double from the loose change down the back of an Abu Dhabi sofa.
But the real drama came down among the dead men on Sunday. At one point it was like a quartet of lemmings jostling for the best cliff-top position, all of 'em desperate to revisit the Riverside!
And in the end the downward dogs are Blackpool (shame! weren’t they sweet with their nice passing, Pippa Middleton-coloured shirts and their complete lack of wealth?) and Birmingham (hooray, that’ll teach them nasty bully-boys to steal a trophy of the delicate artistes at the Emirates!).
Actually Brum bagging the Carling was the footy equivalent of ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ pipping Downton Abbey to the BAFTA.
'In all earnestness I put down the demise of the Blues to the most unpropitious ailments acquired by Messrs Dann and Zigic, vagazzle'
So here’s my summation of the season, club-by-club.
ARSENAL: Fell away like a Viagra-starved knob, didn’t they? Even the Arsene evangelists are losing faith now. Wives are walking Islington streets to pay for their husband’s season tickets and still he won’t spend some fucking money. 6/10.
ASTON VILLA: Houllier’s got a dodgy ticker so let’s not be too hard on the bloke. This team has a lot of English talent in it. Which explains why they’ve struggled so much. 5/10
BIRMINGHAM CITY: Europe here we come! Brum, brum, put-put, splutter, pffff! Not a word of support offered to McLeish in the build up to Sunday’s match. I’m amazed the increasingly pink Scot is staying. Hopefully they’ll return playing some recognisable footy.
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Sacking Allardyce was the second dumbest decision I’ve witnessed. Can’t say I watched a single game they played this season. Someone said Chris Samba was huge this season. And last year he was Luka Modric, I suppose. 4/10
BLACKPOOL: Defended like easily fooled toddlers. You could get round they’re centre-backs by tapping them on one shoulder and running round the other. Great entertainment, mind. I wish they’d remained.
BOLTON WANDERERS: Osteopaths in Bolton are out of pocket since Owen Coyle reintroduced the notion of grass as a surface on which to play footy. Incidents of neck-ache have gone down 90%. Still like my missus, they’re not averse to the odd hump and just cos it fizzled out doesn’t mean it was a bad year.
CHELSEA: Ah now here’s the dumbest, crassest, shoddiest decision of them all. Ancelotti tried his best to get this one-paced, shiftless bunch to get their act together. Then Abramovich yokes him to Fernando Tourist who were it not for a puddle would’ve finished the season goalless. Grrr. Is it any wonder we don’t like the Blue Meanies?
EVERTON: Moyes still butting the glass ceiling of the top four. They are the thin soup of the division – very poor starters. If he can get them to win a game before September they may get somewhere. Like 5th.
FULHAM: Sparky’s worked wonders when he’s not getting all chippy about not having the Citeh job anymore. Think they’ve improved since the Michael Jackson statue. I’ve looked closely at it and it moves like an Arsenal centre-back.
LIVERPOOL: ‘Place your hands upon me and I will HEAL you now!’ Okay King Kenny shrugs his shoulders and does the Glasgae grunt thing, but that’s what he’s really saying. He’s revived damp squibs like Meireles and Maxi Rodriguez (surely that’s a hairdresser, not a footballer) and not a Nando or Stevie G in sight – although I reckon you’d find it tough to keep Andy Carroll out of Nando’s. Next year, who knows? Maybe 5th!
'This is just the beginning - soon ALL mercenaries will wear sky blue!'
MANCHESTER CITY: I know, I know. First trophy since the Late Cretaceous period, hard to begrudge the fans, you’re just jealous, etc. But it’s been bought. And come the transfer window, they’ll be like them seagulls in Finding Nemo. ‘Mine, mine, mine, mine!’ Makes you shudder for the future of English football.
MANCHESTER UTD: Pretty ordinary weren’t they? And lucky too. Tsk. I think 19 is enough. C’mon Glazers it’s time to reveal the masterplan. Then the fans can get the Norwich kits on and start from scratch. Hasn’t done AFC Wimbledon any harm...
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Chris Hughton. Well you could tell he wasn’t right for the job. That promotion raised too many hopes, I reckon. Pardew’s come in and lowered expectations - and I reckon that’s Ashley’s new tack. His head’s not as fat as it looks.
STOKE CITY: Bit narked they were so poor in the Cup final. A lot less 1D than previous seasons. But the Rory throw is still the most potent weapon. Which is fine. We all like keepers to look stupid and the Delapidator does that beautifully.
SUNDERLAND: Okay, does Steve Bruce know what he’s doing? No. I reckon if you could pull off that mask of a much-broken nose there’d be a tiny little Steven behind it squeaking ‘Help me! Help me! All my players are shite!’ 2012 relegation candidates, I tells ya.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Larvely European adventure, Arry! They put it right up Johnny Foreigner, bish-bash-wallop! Actually Spurs were the division’s most entertaining team. But there’s a lot of chaff with the wheat still. One top striker and some centre-backs who can walk unaided, v much needed.
'No I don't believe I ever have been to Liverpool. I fear you're confusing me with Boro legend David Hodgson'
WEST BROM: Roy Hodgson. What can you say? Liverpool just seems like a bad dream to him now. (As Middlesbrough does to many a tourist). Old Davwos still knows his onions. They might start to feel at home in the PL by this time next year.
WEST HAM UTD: Another classy dismissal by Sullivan n Gold. Jeez, didn’t they’re used to be a gentlemanly way to sack people. Even that tough old scrote Lord Sugar doesn’t drag his apprentices down a tunnel and tell em they’re fired. West Ham oozed talent and indifference. Even Scotty Praker’s side-parting lost its edge by the end. Dismal.
WIGAN ATHLETIC: No I dunno either. They are the hold-up stockings of British football, no one knows how they stay up. If N’Zogbia goes, things’ll be well tough. But if they keep this up, they’ll get fans coming to the ground and everything.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS: Gone for all money at 3-0 down against the strangely lively Blackburn and still they clamber back out of the swamp. It’ll be good to watch Mick’s shock of grey slowly receding further up his pate next season. Happy for him.
On the whole though, there’s nowt for Boro to fear in season 2012-13. We should beat any team that comes down in 2011-12. Sigh.