It may seem ridiculous to say but we are approaching the end of the 2018/19 football season – it only seems like yesterday that we were putting on our England ‘Shizzle’ and supporting Gareth and the lads as they took on the world in Russia, falling just short of glory as Croatia edged past us at the semi-final stage.
How proud we were of the young-guns Gareth had put his faith in, as pub landlords everywhere demanded that our waistcoat wearing hero was given a knighthood for services to beer sales!
Once the fervour had died down, we settled into the new domestic season and went back to supporting our teams, hurling abuse (naturally) at opposition players who we had been declaring undying love for whilst they performed in an England shirt – normal service returned!
In a flash; here we are almost at the end of a fabulous season for both domestic and national football fans – now I clearly refer to England fans here because it has most certainly not been a fabulous season if you happen to be Scottish, Welsh or Irish but enough said on that one!
The Premier League is delivering a genuine title race as Manchester City and Liverpool fight it out for the honour of being Champions – there is genuine affection for Liverpool amongst the football public (outside of Manchester obviously) – most of us who can remember their complete ownership of the 1980’s are rooting for the Reds to finally win a Premier League and halt Pep Guardiola’s march towards world domination (for Pep Guardiola read ‘The State of Qatar’) – as I write this, Liverpool sit top of the table by two points but Manchester City have a vital game in hand – it’s going down to the wire, but my prediction is that Liverpool will just have enough!
At the other end of the table both Huddersfield and Fulham are already relegated with Cardiff, Burnley, Southampton, Brighton, Newcastle and Crystal Palace all desperately trying to avoid the drop – After Cardiff were ‘robbed’ of victory against Chelsea this week following a ridiculously poor assistant referee’s decision they look favourites to suffer the ultimate heartbreak and when you add the plane-crash which took the life of their new signing before he had kicked a ball for them, you can’t help but root for the Bluebirds – however, my prediction is that it will indeed be Cardiff who fall through the trap-door and back to the Championship.
Speaking of the Championship – this is also providing great entertainment as we head towards the finishing line.
Norwich City and Leeds United look to have the automatic places locked-down (although Sheffield United could yet insert themselves into that fight) with West Brom and Sheffield United looking certainties for the play-offs.
This leaves eight (yes, eight) clubs still harbouring ambitions of making the final two play-off spots – my prediction is that Aston Villa and Bristol City will complete the play-off picture with Aston Villa (of course) bouncing back from last years play-off heartbreak against Fulham to claim their place back at the top table of English football… but I am biased – Come on Villa!!
The Championship Play-Off Final is now estimated to be worth £180 Million to the winners, so club owners and CEO’s will be nervously biting their nails and staring at their P&L’s whilst fans will not care at all about the cash… just the glory!
Once all of these questions have been answered of course, we have the Nations League Finals in Portugal to look forward to when we will again support the boys wearing the three lions as they take England to Glory!!