It is the final weekend of the Premiership. The champions have been decided and there is a bit of minor placemanship for the UEFA Cup final place but at that end of the table it is pretty much done and dusted. Right at the bottom it is clear as two clubs: Watford and Charlton are relegated but the battle royal is between the three clubs fighting to avoid the third relegation place. They are Sheffield United,Wigan Athletic and West Ham .
It is down to the wire. If West Ham draw or win they stay up. If Wigan (who are playing Sheffield) win and West Ham loses, they stay up and West Ham is relegated. If they beat Sheffield and West Ham wins or Draws, then Sheffield go down. It is on a knife edge. One small piece of information I have not yet mentioned. West Ham are playing Manchester United away and of course they are the Champions who -at home this season- have played 15, drawn 2 and lost but once.
There are a few choices: bemoan your cruel fate at having the most difficult game of the season as the one that decides your future; pray that Wigan is beaten and accept that you will be too, or fight as if your life depended on it.
West Ham’s manager Alan Curbishley has said little, as legal writs are flying around and threats of action fill the air, apart from: our fate is in our hands, no one else’s.
What I have learned: it is easy to complain that the cards you have been dealt are unfair, and easy to feel bitter that you have done less well than you might. Or you can embrace your fate; and fight to achieve the impossible and don’t blame anyone else or expect luck from any other corner. As the novelist Mark Twain said: ‘It is funny how the harder I work, the luckier I get.’
Come on West Ham!
Update on Sunday 13th May: after an incredibly tense battle, West Ham pulled off a remarkable 1 – 0 victory over Manchester United, scored by Carlos Tevez in the 47th minute. Even Alex Ferguson, making all three substitutions at the same time in a blatant act of intimidation as Giggs, Scholes and Ronaldo took to the field like a cavalry charge, had no impact on the direction of the game. Read the BBC report here.