Don’t panic but… if Wigan win their game in hand on Tuesday – when they play a sliding Swansea at home – we’ll be three points off the relegation zone. We reached 40 points what seems like a time ago, and until Saturday I never once entertained the idea of relegation and I still think it’s so, so unlikely that it will happen, but after yesterday’s drama in the Championship where literally every permutation was played out at least once that afternoon (what drama! I was drained after a fantastic afternoon spent listening to 5live) I am genuinely quite anxious. Maybe it’s a side effect of the end-of-term Uni stresses but, my word it’s going to be tight. Hosting a Jekyll-Hyde Liverpool side before an away match, you cannot guarantee the win we need. I still feel a little ridiculous talking about a possible relegation but it’s not inconceivable by any means.
If Wigan win Tuesday night’s game against Swansea then, my word, everyone from Stoke in 11th (who join us on 40 points) down will be dragged in to it. And great credit to Wigan who have shown marvellous quality and determination in recent weeks like they always seem to do at this time of the season. But that is what makes yesterday’s display absolutely undeniably inexplicable. A display devoid of shape, consideration and quality – although it was an incredibly exciting match and I think everyone bar Fulham fans would have enjoyed that one – I cannot understand how the players could step out and justify that to themselves. There have been a lot of signs this season that something is fundamentally very, very wrong in the first team set up and I hope that we finally put the nagging threat of relegation to bed next weekend and we have the opportunity to do some serious DIY.
No more patchwork players – I love Karagounis as much as the next man and wouldn’t mind if he stays on for another year, but let’s not kid ourselves; likewise January’s loan deals, with any luck we can keep Enoh who has looked very good and Urby who really is quality, although you might have to take my word for it, and please not a plethora of one-year deals. Let’s see development, the beginnings of a cohesive plan that will bring us prosperity over the next five years.
Maybe this is just the end-of-season blues. And in all honestly it’s been a terribly uninspiring season with no cup runs, no Europe to push for and realistically a little threat of relegation (although it’s far too close for comfort right now), so there’s no surprise if I was a little down. I would have been quite happy for it to have been over three weeks ago because this apathy is sucking the fun out of it. Thankfully, the drama in the Champions League and the Championship has at least reminded me that football really is quite special. So c’mon Jol, Bryan, Berba et. al. Let’s provide a statement of intent in the last two games of the season, and come summertime, build on the handful of special players we do have at our disposal.