Thanks to West Ham United’s 3-2 win over Manyoo last night, 4th-place is back in our hands!
Sad state of affairs considering we should have put any pursuers to bed weeks ago…but I’ll take it!
I intended to watch it last night but didn’t and, in a way, I’m glad; I’d have been a bag of nerves! It was a close affair where Manyoo came from behind to lead 2-1 with around 20-minutes to go and every time I think of Pep Guardiola joining us in the summer and us NOT being able to offer him the chance of pitching his team in the Champions League competition, my stomach does summersaults!
Why so concerned about it? Is it the prospect of playing so many games in the Europa Cup and playing Thursday night European football and far too many Sunday afternoon league games? Well…partly; we don’t want Pep’s first ‘go at the Premier League' to be hindered more than it has to be.
But more to the point I think it would set us back an entire season in some ways and when you think that Pep might not – and probably won’t – extend his contract beyond 3 seasons; a 1-year set back to whatever degree is a large chunk of that time gone.
Anyhoo…it might not happen now. All we have to do now is not lose at Swansea City on Sunday (huh…)
Weirdly enough now, although unlikely, we could end up 3rd if Aston Villa do the impossible and beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday (all games 3:00pm KO BST).
And West Ham did themselves a huge favour last night – after letting themselves down so very badly at home to Swansea last weekend – by putting themselves in touching distance of Manyoo. If The Hammers manage even just a point away at Stoke City and Bournemouth do what so many have done this season and come away from Scaffold Trafford with all 3 points; West Ham will dump Manyoo into 6th-place and possibly 7th, depending on how Southampton fair at home to Crystal Palace (published before Liverpool’s game against Chelsea tonight).
It’s strange how the picture can change with just one result…
Of course our in-form opponents from Wales will have had almost as much respite as us this week; but I’m hoping that a full week of rest, reflection and preparation will do us good this coming, nervy Sunday afternoon.