This year’s Premier League season has been crazy.
From watching the budgeting minnows defy the odds against the high-spending sharks, to seeing teams absolutely demolish each other in such a ruthless and extraordinary fashion, this year’s campaign has been insanely unpredictable. And despite being on the wrong end of these ‘memorable’ matches sometimes, I think it’s been a highly entertaining season.
Even when teams are spending ridiculous sums of money on players, it’s refreshing to see that – sometimes – money isn’t everything when it comes to winning a football match. Now I know Bolton are never going to win the Premier League, as a team’s finances are still a hugely significant part of our game. But for this season at least, it’s encouraging to see that teams as small as Swansea City can turn the odds and beat the big-spenders of Manchester City.
I was born in 1991, and started getting properly into football just in time to see our double-winning season in 1998. I’m still only 20-years-old but even I can realise that the game has changed tremendously. For the 21st century – and no doubt beyond – the sport is a business. And with that, unfortunately, teams and managers are rarely rewarded for doing things the right way.
However, there are still some clubs out there who have the class to accept that, given their current circumstances, sacking their manager just because he hasn’t been able to perform miracles isn’t the right way to go about things.
Arsenal travel to Goodison Park tonight for a tough match, which will prove crucial for our
catch up with Tottenham race to qualification for next year’s Champions League. Obviously I would love us to finish above Spurs this season, but considering what we were all thinking a couple of months ago, I’d happily settle for just a top-four finish.
Everton, a club who – for my lifetime anyway – have always been in the shadows of their neighbouring rivals. But despite being forced to suffer the agony of watching Liverpool triumph in Europe’s most prestigious competition, Everton – fans and directors alike – have been patient and have stuck with David Moyes.
The Glaswegian, who celebrates his 49th birthday next month, has always had to work with a limited budget for each of his 10 years spent in Merseyside. Yet, his sides have still been able to produce entertaining football season after season. Moyes has received much praise from some of the most highly respected figures (including myself) in the game – and rightly so!
Although you get punished at times, I think it’s imperative that football teams play the right way – on and off the field. Of course, I want him to get things completely wrong tonight, so we can come away from the match with a 5-0 win. But in a sport which is sometimes represented by a lot of ‘bad’ people, when you see class, you must give recognition.
So looking ahead to tonight’s match. Arsene Wenger was in good spirits as he praised Mikel Arteta, saying he brings the best out of the players around him. Tonight will be the Spaniard’s first return to Goodison Park since last summer’s switch to The Gunners.
“He always gives you a certain level of quality. He is always 100 per cent focused and committed and that is what you want from a real professional. He brings the best out of other players.
“I believe he is a winner and a fighter as well. I think he possesses both aspects of the game of a real midfielder – that means he can defend and he can attack. That is what we looked for.”
I had intentions of going to tonight’s match, but with our home match against Wigan being changed to a Monday night (WHY?!!), I now have to wait a little longer for my next Arsenal away day. Still, and assuming I am successful with my attempts of finding an alternative way of watching the match, I’m confident we’ll get a positive result tonight.
by MIKE HARVEY | Follow me on Twitter @My_Karvey