Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Can you please do us Aussie fans a quick favour?

That's right folks, it's time for more VOTING!

Except this time, it's not to get us a free junket to the other side of the world. You'll be doing City fans all around the country a favour.

Fox Sports, the Australian broadcaster, only has the rights (and capability) to show five fixtures on the final day. Unless the Bolton v City match is one of the five selected, then we won't have the chance to celebrate the conclusion of a successful season with a live screening of the game.

So click the link, click the game, and you're done.

Ta very much!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

City 2 West Ham 1; and a gratuitous Bin Laden reference...

Manchester City look to have all but secured Champions League qualification (you can read a bit more about that below) after grinding out a 2-1 victory over bottom-placed club West Ham United. And with Manchester United and Tottenham failing to pick up a point between them, a good weekend quickly turned into a great one for City fans. And Arsenal fans too, I suppose. Well, except for one, of course...

Manchester City were always going to be too strong for West Ham considering the difference in league position, and of course the matter of City having spent almost as much money on players in the off season as the US had in Afghanistan etc...

The task was made even tougher for West Ham before the clash, with Scott Parker missing the match to sign a contract with Tottenham with injury. Not even director David Sullivan could be bothered making the trip up to the match, such was his resignation to the outcome. But aside from a calamitous opening fifteen minutes, in which even the goal-shy Nigel de Jong managed to get on the goal sheet (and not from a mistimed slide tackle, amazingly), the Hammers didn't disgrace themselves by any means.

They could have concievably drawn the game too, had Carlton Cold's late effort found the net. It seems quite apt that a player with that name goes around for West Ham. Just like the beer, the Hammers were a lot bigger in the 90's and struggle to remain relevant today. And I'd hardly describe anything they do on the football pitch as "crisp"...

Carlton Cole — definitely a poor man's Becks...

It looks like "that's yer lot" as far as West Ham go for this season. Professional-overseer-of-relegations and Toad-From-Toad-Hall-understudy, Avram Grant, is still of the belief his side can amass 39 points and avoid relegation — if their season followed that same trajectory (seven points in the next three games) they'd be leading the league by 16 points.

Of course, the chances of that happening are about as likely as those of him being around to celebrate when they eventually attain that tally, in September 2012, are about as unlikely as Nigel de Jong ever scor... oh.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Race For Fourth (Or Third?) — 4 games to go.

Manchester City moved within touching distance of the all-important Champions League place, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over West Ham. Coupled with Tottenham's recent failures against West Bromich Albion and Chelsea, fourth place is really City's to throw away.

It's at this point where the maths become extremely simple.

Tottenham sit on 55 points, with four matches to play — and two of those are formidable fixtures against City and Liverpool away from home.

The absolute most points they can amass from those fixtures is twelve, which would bring their total to 67. Therefore, with Manchester City currently sitting on 62, and with a vastly superior goal difference to the chasing pack — all it will take is five more points from the next four fixtures for City to be almost mathematically certain (massive goal-difference swing aside) of finishing in the top four.

Even the most pessimistic fan would find it hard to devise a scenario where City could now miss out on qualification. Being as conservative as possible, Manchester City should pick up a minimum of four points from the final four fixtures.

Both Everton and Tottenham have presented many problems for City in the past, so it's difficult to predict wins against either of the two — as long as City don't lose on 10 May against Spurs at Eastlands, then qualifcation is all but assured.

4. Manchester City
Games played: 34
Goal difference: +22
Recent form: 4 wins, and 2 losses. 12 points from the last 18 (4th).
Points: 62

Upcoming Fixtures:
A Everton (7th)
H Tottenham (6th)
FA Cup Final: Stoke City
H Stoke City (10th)
A Bolton (8th)
Predicted points total: 66 (4 more)

5. Liverpool
Games played: 35
Goal difference: +15 (7 worse off than City)
Recent form: 4 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. 13 points from the last 18 (2nd).
Points: 55 (seven behind City)

Upcoming Fixtures:
A Fulham (9th)
H Tottenham Hotspur (6th)
A Aston Villa (13th)
Predicted points total: 62 (7 more)

6. Tottenham Hotspur
Games played: 34
Goal difference: +7 (15 worse off than City)
Recent form: 1 win, 4 draws, and 1 loss. 7 points from the last 18 (13th).
Points: 55 (seven behind City)

Upcoming Fixtures:
H Blackpool (17th)
A Manchester City (4th)
A Liverpool (5th)
H Birmingham City (15th)
Predicted points total: 63 (8 more)