April 21st, 2011 at 12:05 am
FOOTBALL FANS and the media are so fickle it is hard to take them seriously when they instantly call for the manager’s head whenever things don’t go according to plan. And this time it is Arsene Wenger who is the target for the baying mob.
When Arsenal allowed two points to slip away for the second time in four days and let North London rivals Tottenham fight back from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw, it was inevitable that radio phone-ins would be swamped with disgruntled Gunners fans calling time on the greatest manager in their history.
A few days ago the media was telling us that Carlo Ancelotti is a dead man walking at Stamford Bridge following the Blues Champions League exit at the hands of title rivals Manchester United.
But with five matches remaining, the race for the Premier League is still very much alive – despite United holding a six point advantage over their two London rivals. Wenger and Ancelotti still have the chance to finish up with a piece of silverware if United slip up – and that makes it even more ridiculous that the media and the fans are already writing off the London bosses.
It remains odds on that the title will go to Old Trafford. And yet there is still everything to play for because there is mounting pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson’s men who have yet to face both Arsenal and Chelsea either side of their decisive Champions League semi-final second leg against Schalke.
Certainly there is no margin for error when United face Everton at home on Saturday lunchtime, ahead of Chelsea’s game against West Ham and Arsenal’s Monday night trip to Bolton.
Thirty years ago Ipswich Town were heading for a Treble when Sir Bobby Robson’s men were derailed in the FA Cup by Manchester City. On that occasion Aston Villa came strong on the rails to take the Championship – and Robson’s team had to settle for the UEFA Cup.
Fergie knows he still has a big job on his hands to go one better than his old friend. And it is no surprise Manchester United’s manager is still fuming over the referee’s failure to award a pivotal penalty at the end of Tuesday night’s goal-less draw at Newcastle.
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