Welcome back. So we witnessed another interesting set of Premier League results today to say the least, as this crazy 2015-16 campaign continues to amaze and amuse in equal measure.
Leicester City maintained their scarcely believable form this season by winning 3-2 at Everton, to extend their lead at the top of the table to five points. Manchester United lost 2-1 at home to Norwich, and Chelsea’s players, having finally rid themselves of Jose Mourinho’s ghastly leadership, returned to winning ways by beating Sunderland 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.
First, a word on the Foxes and that word is ‘when’. When are they going to stop playing like champions-elect and more like the mid-table/bottom half side they should be? It’s getting silly now. They’re clear at the top and will now definitely be top on Christmas Day, which is often used as some kind of symbolic yardstick as to whether they’ll emerge champions come May.
I still think they’ll drop off because
they’re Leicester ffs their squad isn’t good enough to compensate for any absences for the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy for instance, but the longer they continue their run, the more you’re forced to wonder whether we’re witnessing what would be one of the biggest sporting shocks of all time.
I mean, it’s Leicester! They don’t have a super-wealthy benefactor who bought a star-studded squad last summer. They have Robert Huth, who makes Per Mertesacker seem like Usain Bolt, at centre half, and with one game shy of half the season played, they’re top with a five point cushion.
Meanwhile, let’s spare a thought for Untied, who are now nine points off top spot. In fact, not a thought, a good old LOL. All that money wasted away on players like the past-it Bastian Schweinsteiger, the bang-average trio of Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay, and in terms of wages, on the scandalously over-paid, over-rated and over-fed Wayne Rooney.
Thank God Arsenal have a manager who’s not just a brilliant, trophy-winning, player-developing, talent-spotting master, but also a supreme economist. Louis van Gaal’s days appear to be numbered, I just hope Bobby Charlton’s stance remains steadfast when it comes to the possibility of hiring Mourinho and they don’t offer the Sacked One a quick return to the Premier League.
And so onto to Chelsea who raced into a two-nil lead against the Black Cats today and reportedly played like reigning champions are expected to, not the disinterested, impotent, porous shambles they’ve been so far this season. No surprise there really, given Mourinho’s long gone and they can now start trying to win games again.
But even after his departure, the ruinous after-effects of the Portuguese’s tenure were evident at the game today. Large sections of their support sang Mourinho’s name, but booed the names of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa as they were announced before kick-off. And there was even at least one placard on show in the stands labeling Fabregas, Costa and Eden Hazard as ‘rats’. In truth, the biggest rodent at the club was removed last Thursday. Time will help them see that, no doubt.
Oh, and Chelsea’s fans also serenaded their players with a chorus of ‘where were you when we were shit?’ after they raced into an early 2-0 lead. Hilarious. Although the players may well throw that question right back at their ‘supporters’, given the lack of atmosphere at Stamford Bridge so far this season, which, ironically, was something Mourinho himself complained about during his latest spell at the club. Long may the civil war continue, not that they’re a threat for the title this term anyway.
What today’s results mean for us though, is that a win over City on Monday would close the gap to Leicester to two points, stretch our lead over City to four, and leave us seven clear of fourth spot. A draw or even a defeat would be far from disastrous but what a boost three points would bring, both psychologically over our likeliest competitors for the crown in City, as well as for the rest of the festive fixtures and the season beyond.