Divine intervention and the Championship

first_img Your man. Photograph: Jon Super/The Guardian One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 things to look out for this Premier League weekend. Count them, drink them in.The City Football Group have bought themselves a nice little holiday home over the pond. Or, the NYC FC Academy, as they prefer to call it. Graham Parker pops down for a look.José Mourinho is still brilliant at managing something: it’s just expectations, rather than teams. So says Liam Rosenior.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY MEANS NO FIVER TILL TUESDAY. EVERYONE’S A WINNER Twitter Facebook Facebook In what can only be good news, Saturday’s Women’s FA Cup final looks like it will have its biggest audience ever: over 40,000 tickets have already been sold, and it’ll be on BBC1 – and Big Website – at 5.30pm.To paraphrase Dennis Pennis, usually it’s The Fiver’s job to make football managers/players look ridiculous, but we don’t think we’re going to bother this time. Here’s Sam Allardyce: “It’s an entertainment game, you’re trying to capture hearts and minds, and certainly I think, particularly from a home point of view, we’ve achieved that, not just with the results but the way we’ve played and the way we’ve beaten teams.”Yaya Touré will do one from Manchester City at the end of the season.Dejan Lovren is absolutely not scared of Real Madrid. No sir. Definitely not. “Why should we fear them?” he quivered. “They should fear us. They are quite confident but we don’t care for that – we are focused on our job.”And hugs all round at Leicester, where Riyad Mahrez has withdrawn his transfer request and is blissfully happy. Well, sort of. “I am still here,” he gushed. “I am still in contract with Leicester so at the moment I am here and we will see.”STILL WANT MORE?Come revel in the misery! A lowdown on who’s going down, a round-up of who’s staying up. Pinterest Fancy composite work alright. Composite: The Guardian Share via Email Twitter Share on WhatsApp Pinterest A happy Pope’s Newc O’Rangers fan, earlier. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images WHERE IT’S ATEarly May, sunshine dappling the blossom on the apple trees, optimism swirling in the air (though it might just be pollen) and the football season drawing to its conclusion. These are heady days, and for the Championship the final one dawns on Sunday with uncertainty at both top and bottom leading to a crescendo of actual excitement. There will even be people celebrating in Sunderland, though inevitably only in the away end. For it is there that Wolves, having beaten 22 of the 23 other Championship sides this season, get the chance to complete the set. Not for them premature celebrations and disappointing drift – they want to win. Quite badly. “The manager,” their captain, Danny Batth, warns, “is massive on it.”But who will go up with them? Will it be Cardiff, who have a one-point buffer and host troubled Reading or … forget it, it’ll be Cardiff. The Bluebirds might have lost three of their last six but will be hyper-motivated by memories of an incident-packed 2-2 draw between the teams in December when manager Neil Warnock – and you’re never going to believe this – was sent to the stands. “When you die and pass away, it’s nice to have something people will remember you by,” said Warnock. “This will be my biggest achievement by an absolute mile. It’d be a miracle if it did happen.” The Fiver Read more Topics Talking of divine intervention, Fulham need help. Still, they could go up if they emerge from Birmingham with more points than Cardiff wrestle from Reading. “We are ready. The club is built for the Premier League,” roared Tom Cairney. Well, the club will be built for the Premier League once their stadium redevelopment is completed sometime in 2021. Anyway, when Cardiff win, the Cottagers will join Aston Villa and Middlesbrough in the play-offs, with the quartet to be completed by Derby if they get a point at home to relegation-threatened Barnsley, though Preston and Millwall are both dreaming of yet more miracles.Where there’s life there’s hope, which is what Nigel Clough travels in as he takes Burton, in the bottom three on goal difference, to Preston. Still, he’s completely aware of the result his side requires. “A point might be enough,” he mused, adding: “It might not.” A win could take them as high as 19th, with the axe hanging dolefully above Reading, Burnley and Barnsley, already smeared with the gory remains of Sunderland and swinging towards Bolton at almost irresistible speed. The Trotters are not without hope, though they would need three times as many points from their final game, at home to Nottingham Forest, as they’ve got in their last seven combined, and even then might not make it. “We will be trying everything,” tooted captain Darren Pratley. “Then it’s up to the big man upstairs.”LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Barry Glendenning from 8pm BST for hot MBM coverage of Brighton 1-2 Manchester United.QUOTE OF THE DAY“It feels like it has been a month. There is so much experience, so much has changed over that time. Football is so intense you don’t have time to sit back and look at what you have achieved” – Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany gets his chat on with Amy Lawrence. When Fulham’s dreams of promotion died in a game that never ended Reuse this content Share on Facebook Facebook features Football Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn THE FIVEЯYes, it’s our not-singing, not-dancing World Cup Fiver. Out every Thursday lunchtime BST, here’s the latest edition, on Japan.RECOMMENDED LISTENINGFootball Weekly Extra is here and all up in your lugholes.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS“Re: Subbuteo launching women’s teams (yesterday’s Bits and Bobs). My mind raced back to my childhood (for sake of argument – 40 years) when my dear mum and a few neighbours used to earn a few bob by hand-painting the tiny men. The excitement each week as we waited to find out which team was palpable. Unlike me, she wasn’t a big fan of the late-70s West Ham chevrons given the detail required, but getting one of the big teams seemed like some sort of neighbourhood status symbol. The sense of deflation most weeks to see a bag of 1,000 [email protected] Subbuteo men, together with instructions for a generic Nottingham Forest / Bristol City red shirt and white short ensemble was generally assuaged by trying to encourage our cats to walk on the players after they were laid out to dry. Marmalade (one of said cats) held the PB of 12 players stuck to her at any one time” – Ian Sargeant.“Bit harsh lumping Mrtn Skrtl in with the likes of Dossena and Spearing (yesterday’s Fiver). I bet you wouldn’t do so to his face” – Tim Woods.“Here’s another omen for Liverpool fans to consider regarding Big Cup final – it’s also being played on the anniversary of this” – Robin Burchfield.Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Ian Sargeant.THE RECAPGet the best of Big Website’s coverage sent direct to your inbox every Friday lunchtime (GMT). Has the added bonus of being on time. Sign up here.BITS AND BOBSIt’s actually true: $tevie Mbe is the new Pope’s Newc O’Rangers manager, signing a deal for four – four! – years, his logic presumably being that if Brendan can win the league up there, then anyone can. “I am happy that he now enters into my world of coaching and managing,” purred Rodgers. Share on Pinterest Twitter Pinterest Share on Messengerlast_img

first_img Your man. Photograph: Jon Super/The Guardian One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 things to look out for this Premier League weekend. Count them, drink them in.The City Football Group have bought themselves a nice little holiday home over the pond. Or, the NYC FC Academy, as they prefer to call it. Graham Parker pops down for a look.José Mourinho is still brilliant at managing something: it’s just expectations, rather than teams. So says Liam Rosenior.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY MEANS NO FIVER TILL TUESDAY. EVERYONE’S A WINNER Twitter Facebook Facebook In what can only be good news, Saturday’s Women’s FA Cup final looks like it will have its biggest audience ever: over 40,000 tickets have already been sold, and it’ll be on BBC1 – and Big Website – at 5.30pm.To paraphrase Dennis Pennis, usually it’s The Fiver’s job to make football managers/players look ridiculous, but we don’t think we’re going to bother this time. Here’s Sam Allardyce: “It’s an entertainment game, you’re trying to capture hearts and minds, and certainly I think, particularly from a home point of view, we’ve achieved that, not just with the results but the way we’ve played and the way we’ve beaten teams.”Yaya Touré will do one from Manchester City at the end of the season.Dejan Lovren is absolutely not scared of Real Madrid. No sir. Definitely not. “Why should we fear them?” he quivered. “They should fear us. They are quite confident but we don’t care for that – we are focused on our job.”And hugs all round at Leicester, where Riyad Mahrez has withdrawn his transfer request and is blissfully happy. Well, sort of. “I am still here,” he gushed. “I am still in contract with Leicester so at the moment I am here and we will see.”STILL WANT MORE?Come revel in the misery! A lowdown on who’s going down, a round-up of who’s staying up. Pinterest Fancy composite work alright. Composite: The Guardian Share via Email Twitter Share on WhatsApp Pinterest A happy Pope’s Newc O’Rangers fan, earlier. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images WHERE IT’S ATEarly May, sunshine dappling the blossom on the apple trees, optimism swirling in the air (though it might just be pollen) and the football season drawing to its conclusion. These are heady days, and for the Championship the final one dawns on Sunday with uncertainty at both top and bottom leading to a crescendo of actual excitement. There will even be people celebrating in Sunderland, though inevitably only in the away end. For it is there that Wolves, having beaten 22 of the 23 other Championship sides this season, get the chance to complete the set. Not for them premature celebrations and disappointing drift – they want to win. Quite badly. “The manager,” their captain, Danny Batth, warns, “is massive on it.”But who will go up with them? Will it be Cardiff, who have a one-point buffer and host troubled Reading or … forget it, it’ll be Cardiff. The Bluebirds might have lost three of their last six but will be hyper-motivated by memories of an incident-packed 2-2 draw between the teams in December when manager Neil Warnock – and you’re never going to believe this – was sent to the stands. “When you die and pass away, it’s nice to have something people will remember you by,” said Warnock. “This will be my biggest achievement by an absolute mile. It’d be a miracle if it did happen.” The Fiver Read more Topics Talking of divine intervention, Fulham need help. Still, they could go up if they emerge from Birmingham with more points than Cardiff wrestle from Reading. “We are ready. The club is built for the Premier League,” roared Tom Cairney. Well, the club will be built for the Premier League once their stadium redevelopment is completed sometime in 2021. Anyway, when Cardiff win, the Cottagers will join Aston Villa and Middlesbrough in the play-offs, with the quartet to be completed by Derby if they get a point at home to relegation-threatened Barnsley, though Preston and Millwall are both dreaming of yet more miracles.Where there’s life there’s hope, which is what Nigel Clough travels in as he takes Burton, in the bottom three on goal difference, to Preston. Still, he’s completely aware of the result his side requires. “A point might be enough,” he mused, adding: “It might not.” A win could take them as high as 19th, with the axe hanging dolefully above Reading, Burnley and Barnsley, already smeared with the gory remains of Sunderland and swinging towards Bolton at almost irresistible speed. The Trotters are not without hope, though they would need three times as many points from their final game, at home to Nottingham Forest, as they’ve got in their last seven combined, and even then might not make it. “We will be trying everything,” tooted captain Darren Pratley. “Then it’s up to the big man upstairs.”LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Barry Glendenning from 8pm BST for hot MBM coverage of Brighton 1-2 Manchester United.QUOTE OF THE DAY“It feels like it has been a month. There is so much experience, so much has changed over that time. Football is so intense you don’t have time to sit back and look at what you have achieved” – Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany gets his chat on with Amy Lawrence. When Fulham’s dreams of promotion died in a game that never ended Reuse this content Share on Facebook Facebook features Football Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn THE FIVEЯYes, it’s our not-singing, not-dancing World Cup Fiver. Out every Thursday lunchtime BST, here’s the latest edition, on Japan.RECOMMENDED LISTENINGFootball Weekly Extra is here and all up in your lugholes.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS“Re: Subbuteo launching women’s teams (yesterday’s Bits and Bobs). My mind raced back to my childhood (for sake of argument – 40 years) when my dear mum and a few neighbours used to earn a few bob by hand-painting the tiny men. The excitement each week as we waited to find out which team was palpable. Unlike me, she wasn’t a big fan of the late-70s West Ham chevrons given the detail required, but getting one of the big teams seemed like some sort of neighbourhood status symbol. The sense of deflation most weeks to see a bag of 1,000 [email protected] Subbuteo men, together with instructions for a generic Nottingham Forest / Bristol City red shirt and white short ensemble was generally assuaged by trying to encourage our cats to walk on the players after they were laid out to dry. Marmalade (one of said cats) held the PB of 12 players stuck to her at any one time” – Ian Sargeant.“Bit harsh lumping Mrtn Skrtl in with the likes of Dossena and Spearing (yesterday’s Fiver). I bet you wouldn’t do so to his face” – Tim Woods.“Here’s another omen for Liverpool fans to consider regarding Big Cup final – it’s also being played on the anniversary of this” – Robin Burchfield.Send your letters to [email protected] And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Ian Sargeant.THE RECAPGet the best of Big Website’s coverage sent direct to your inbox every Friday lunchtime (GMT). Has the added bonus of being on time. Sign up here.BITS AND BOBSIt’s actually true: $tevie Mbe is the new Pope’s Newc O’Rangers manager, signing a deal for four – four! – years, his logic presumably being that if Brendan can win the league up there, then anyone can. “I am happy that he now enters into my world of coaching and managing,” purred Rodgers. Share on Pinterest Twitter Pinterest Share on Messengerlast_img

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