Thursday, March 31, 2011

Title decider

Retainer won under a great Ryan Moore ride, so the  recommendation was good. Kieren Fallon tried everything on the runner-up but the Hannon colt was just too good. Moore v/s Fallon, I reckon we'll see more of  this rivalry as the season progresses, since they seem to be the main protagonists for the jockey title, according to most.

Back to football where I was reading with interest that a recent survey showed that 80% of surveyed managers in the Premier League thought that Man Utd would go on to win the title this year (75% of the managers were surveyed). I am not sure exactly what date the survey was done and what were the standings at that point, but 80% seems a rather high number considering that not so long ago, everyone was saying that Arsenal had the much easier remaining fixtures. So I just went to look at those to have an idea of my expectations for both teams from their remaining games. Below are the potential points (in brackets) I attribute to them.

Arsenal Total: 18.
Blackburn (3), Blackpool (3), Liverpool (3), Tottenham (0), Bolton (1), Man Utd (1), Stoke (3), Aston Villa (3), Fulham (1)

Man Utd Total: 16
West Ham (1), Fulham (3), Newcastle (1), Everton (3), Arsenal (1), Chelsea (1), Blackburn (3), Blackpool (3)

According to the above exercise, then yes, it seems that Man Utd looks good to win the title as it has a 5 point advantage already. Obviously this system is very flawed since my point attribution is speculative and based on their current form. So many things can change in the coming weeks, such as injuries, loss of form etc. Arsenal have the advantage of having only to focus on the Premier League while Man Utd are still in 3 cups. Many uncertainties will come into play; like who'd thought Arsenal will lose 2 points at West Brom while Utd will win with 10 men against Bolton with 2 minutes remaining last week-end?

However, there are 2 things that seem more or less certain though. First, the match at the Emirates will play a huge factor in the title race. This is a 6-point match. Second, let's go back to the overwhelming 80% manager vote for Man Utd. It's called the Ferguson factor. When everything is on the line, most would rather have Ferguson as the manager than Wenger. Man Utd have that fear factor, the feeling that they will grind out results. Arsenal have the choke factor, they have yet to prove they can duke it out with anyone no matter how difficult the conditions are. There are no easy games at this point, even when they are battling Stoke or Blackpool.

Again, it would pure speculation to say that Man Utd has it won already. That's why there is no recommendation from me here. But they are definitely looking good, particularly that their recent injury crisis seems to have considerably alleviated with many key players coming back.

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