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Sunday, May 20, 2007
End of 2006/07
Finally, the English league season has ended with the FA Cup last night when Chelsea and Manchester United battle it out in the newly built Wembley Stadium. Last week's relegation battle was so intense dat it got me glued to the TV n internet for a good 2hrs. Of cos I would want West Ham United to stay up cos they're the most talented side among the 3 teams consisting of Sheffield United, Wigan n themselves. The problem was they're facing the new England Champion in Manchester United in the final day of the EPL. West Ham has been wrangled with troubles off n on the pitch the whole season.
First, they slump to a low point when they kept losing matches at the start of the season. It's quite unthinkable that they could lose matches with the same set of players dat almost won the FA Cup last season, until Steven Gerrard banged in a last minute equalizer n Liverpool eventually won on penalties. Some said the Final destroyed West Ham, causing them to under-perform this season. Well, I agree to this statement to some extent.
Things got worse when the English FA probe into their controversial purchases of Carlos Tevez n Javier Mascherano(now in Liverpool). The thorough investigation led to a maximum fine of 5.5million pounds(S$16.5m). Mind u, dat's a hell lot of money for a fine, but West Ham will gladly take it cos they would rather not get their points deducted, which will prove costly in the relegation battle. The fine caused an uproar among other bottom clubs n they were set on an appeal for points deduction n detest on why West Ham were still able to play Carlos Tevez despite of being found guilty of rules infringement.
The sole reason why West Ham managed to survive the drop has to go down to the Argentine. West Ham sacked Alan Pardew 3/4 through the season n took in Alan Curbishley as their manager, hoping he could do a miracle n prevent the club from the drop. Hopes were high when Curbishley managed an incredible victory over Manchester United at Upton Park in only his 2nd match in charge. It was his first victory over the Red Devils ever having failed to win them after a decade of management in Charlton Athletic.
However, subsequent results weren't as good n the situation looks gloomy. Then towards the end of the campaign, one man stood up made himself a West Ham hero. His name is Carlos Tevez. He had failed to shine all season until probably the last 10 matches for West Ham. This man came to England with a huge reputation as a powerful forward for both club n country. But this performance was found lacklustre when thrusted into the English game. And how he chose to pick up his form at the right moment. When West Ham needed a strong character to avoid the drop, he showed up. 7 wins in last 10 matches, with Tevez scoring an incredible 7 goals in them. West Ham hauled themselves out of the drop zone. Tevez became an instant hit with the fans n his name could be heard from the chantings in the stands.
Call it fate, West Ham survived n beaten Man Utd 1-0, with Tevez scoring the only goal in the 45th minute. Sheffield United got relegated in the end, along with Watford n Charlton. The battle oso brought the resignation of both Paul Jewell n Neill Warnock of Wigan n Sheffied Utd respectively. It'll be exciting to see how Curbishley will build up the West Ham team n make them qualify for Europe next year. One man dat will leave for sure is Carlos Tevez. He doesn't belong there. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Milan etc etc is where he belongs. He needs to play European football in the form of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Cup, not scraping around in West Ham. Now, the only match left to watch this season will be the Champions League Final in Athens on 23rd May, Liverpool VS AC Milan.
Carlos Tevez scoring against Manchester United on the final day of the season
Drogba scored against Manchester United in the FA Cup, Brilliant. I wud rather the Blues win it than the Red Devils boasting abt winning a double. Good job by Jose Mourinho