Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Photo Finish

Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks

Football is by nature exciting but the last day of drama that occurred on Sunday, May 13, 2012 will unlikely be repeated in a hundred years. Manchester City and Manchester United were tied on the last day of the season. The Manchester United players did what they had to do to keep their title hopes alive. They defeated Sunderland 1-0. It appeared that the gods were on the side of Sir Alex Ferguson. Manchester City with five minutes to go in overtime, were down 1-2 to Queens Park Rangers who were defending brilliantly, stopping wave after wave.

In the five minutes overtime, Mancini’s Manchester City accomplished the impossible by scoring two goals in rapid succession.

Yaya Toure was injured and did not play in the second half. Mancini replaced one bad boy for another, Balotelli for Tevez. Manchester City miraculously snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Queens Park Rangers lost but by Bolton drawing with Stoke City, that meant Wolves, Blackburn and Bolton are the teams that are relegated. Queens Park Rangers survived to play again in the Premier League another year.

The EPL is rapidly becoming the billionaire league. Only teams with unlimited amount of funds will be able to compete in the top four places. The 2012-2013 season will be a zinger as Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool wrestle for honors.

What teams do in the off-season will determine if they get a leg up on their opponents. Certainly mucho bucks are needed but managerial savvy is indispensable. Allan Pardew has shown that putting together a great team requires excavating talent, fostering the right chemistry and forging a sense of team spiritedness. The EPL on this year’s dramatic finish should draw millions more of viewers to appreciate the beautiful game.

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