Robbie Keane celebrates a goal in the Spurs 2-2 tie with Arsenal. (Image)
It was a weekend of highs and lows over there in Great Britain. Lots at the top, lots at the bottom, and, oh yeah, Celtic are Scottish Premier League champs. Didn’t see that coming. We at Mr. Thursday extend our congratulations to the Ol’ Bhoys.
Firstly, Watford’s draw with Manchester City saw them officially relegated to the Championship after only one year in the top flight. Aidy Boothroyd’s battling Hornets can be very proud of their season that saw a lot of bum luck. A lot of games should’ve been won, only for their opponent to score a late equalizer and force them to do with a draw. We at Mr. Thursday offer our commiserations and eagerly await the arrival of the Yellow Army back in the big time, hopefully sooner rather than later. Family friendly team with a great bunch of supporters, a great manager, and players who really care.
West Ham, Charlton, Sheffield United, Fulham, and Wigan are fighting to stay out of those last two relegation spots. Mr. Thursday predicts West Ham and Charlton for the drop. Charlton still have to play Liverpool, Blackburn, and Tottenham while West Ham still have Wigan, Bolton, and Man Utd to consider. They’re both classy sides and we wish we could say Sheffield United are for the drop but that just isn’t so.
The top of the table didn’t fare so well this weekend. Manchester United saw a dream start with Kieran Richardson scoring in only the 3rd minute. It fizzled away on the stroke of half-time as Stuart Downing sent a tailor-made cross to the near post that met a diving Mark Viduka, who made no mistake for Middlesbrough’s equalizer. The game ended 1-1 and Manchester United would’ve been on the edge of their seat for Chelsea’s showdown in the northeast with Newcastle. Chelsea with a win could’ve closed the gap at the top to 1 point. But instead they were held to a 0-0 draw with the Toon and United’s 3 point lead at the top of the table remains. Perpetually villainous Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had plenty to say about a penalty non-call in United’s favour in the game with Middlesbrough. We’re not crazy about Manchester United here at the Curious Mechanism, but Mr. Mourinho should ensure his own side gets 3 points before he tells the referee of another game to do him a favour.
The four spots for next year’s Champions’ League seem to be already decided (Liverpool, Arsenal, Man. Utd., and Chelsea) but the UEFA Cup and Intertoto Cup spots are hotly contested. Everton, Bolton, Reading, Portsmouth, and Tottenham will have to battle it out for three spots in Europe next season. Everton lost to strugglers West Ham (Hahahaha!), Bolton lost to Reading, Portsmouth only swung a draw in the Midlands to Aston Villa, and Tottenham came away with a heroic draw that broke Arsenal hearts.
Our favourites in the lower leagues both managed good weekends. Notts County got a good point against already-promoted Hartlepool on a goal from Andy Parkinson down in League 2. Austin McCann missed a penalty which could’ve given the Mighty Magpies all three points, but we’ll take the draw. Notts County are into the playoffs with a shout if they keep up the good performances. And in League 1, Nottingham Forest spanked Bournemouth like ginger step-children 3-0. Kris Commons scored two and assisted the third. Forest are firmly in the play-offs but more good show from those Reds could mean automatic promotion to the Championship! Up the Forest! Up the ‘Pies! Come on, you Notts teams!
In other news, CHELSEA VS LIVERPOOL Champions’ League semi-final this Wednesday. Come on, you Reds!