… So, I’ve been wondering to myself for most of the day about the Paul Ince dismissal at Blackburn. I don’t think it can be characterized as a surprise. Blackburn are in the relegation zone currently and perhaps worse, are not really relevant in the Premier League this year. As a United fan, Blackburn used to be a game I would circle on the fixture list – only because on its day, Rovers could play with anyone and they seemed to come up with stirring performances against teams like Manchester United in the past.
Then I started thinking about it in a larger perspective. This past weekend was another in which the supposed top four teams in the Premier League all sputtered through their games, each earning a point – but with Arsenal getting jumped by Aston Villa for fourth place. It was a whole lot of blah, basically, and it seems to me at times that in a sense, this has been what the whole season has been. Maybe it’s a jaded perspective because United isn’t top of the league – but they haven’t necessarily been top of the league at this stage in recent years when they’ve won the title, so I don’t think that’s it.
Maybe it’s because I have more going on personally these days (in a good way) and I just don’t care as much about what’s going on. Oddly, even with a close race at the top between Liverpool and Chelsea – I think I might actually be more interested in the league this season if one team was already 10 points clear (whether or not that team was United). There would be one great team at the top that you’d have to watch the results for every week to see if there is a chance to catch them, and everyone else would be the hunters and it’d be interesting to see what they did each week (and what happened when they played each other).
I still think Chelsea are going to end up winning the league. But it’s not going to be a big surprise if Liverpool holds on and claims the trophy (and hell, it’s not like they aren’t due). I don’t believe United can rally – especially given the extra games they face and continued injuries in the side. I don’t doubt Sir Alex Ferguson’s management skills in the least – I just think there might be too much to overcome this year. Not to mention, once January rolls around again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Real Madrid-Ronaldo stories fire up again, and that’s going to take more attention away from where it needs to be, on the field.
But it just seems to me like something is missing this year, and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around just what it is yet. Maybe Villa or Hull needs to spin five or six straight wins together and get in the race to make it interesting. Maybe City needs to fall into the relegation zone to make it such that they and Rovers might go down this year (hey, when things are boring, why not root for carnage).
I don’t know what it is, but as Ince goes by the wayside and Blackburn fights for survival, I kind of wonder to myself if everyone is watching is intently as in the past.
Maybe they are – I’m just wondering.