One of the most fresh, exciting, eventful and open Premier League campaigns in recent memory comes to an end on Sunday. Unfortunately, it's threatening to be a bit of an anti-climax, compared to the twists, turns and general craziness which preceded it.
So forget matchday 38, we're going to write our own conclusion to 2013/14. Actually, we'll write several. Feel free to pick which ones you'd like to regard as 'canon' - or even which you think might actually happen! - and perhaps even throw in a few loony scenarios of your own in the comments section below.
A new Steve Lomas is born
18 years ago, an own goal by the Northern Irishman sent Manchester City down on goal difference in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool. Will we see a similar act of misfortune gift ‘Pool the Premier League title with victory over renowned final-day spoilers (and another stomping ground of Lomas’) West Ham enough to seal it for the 2012 champions? If so, we don’t think it will be world-class defender turned gaffe-prone clown Vincent Kompany. But how about a certain Argentine who, as a striker, would not be very reliable in defending set pieces? Suddenly the ‘AgueROOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’ soundbyte is replaced by a distinctly more downbeat version, laced with a slight tint of laughter.
Monkey business at Arsenal
Aware his team need an 18-goal swing over Chelsea to claim the last automatic Champions League spot, Arsene Wenger reads up on mathematical improbability on Wikipedia and stumbles across the theory that an infinite number of monkeys, given infinite time, will produce the Complete Works of Shakespeare. An ingenious plan is hatched, but all goes awry on Sunday when his army of chimps defecate all over the away dressing room at Carrow Road, pin kit man Vic Akers to the ground and tear the away shirts to shreds and the Premier League gently reminds the Arsenal boss of its rule prohibiting non-human primates from taking the field of play.
I predict a riot as ex-champs abdicate throne
There’ll be wild scenes at Southampton, as Manchester United fans invade the pitch, steal the goals and sacrifice Tom Cleverley in utter fury that their “single most hated rivals of all” Liverpool/Man City (cross out whoever finishes second) won “their” league trophy. A tearful Ryan Giggs thanks the fans for his support, before Louis van Gaal is parachuted in with a machine gun, laying waste to the squad and coaching staff barring Robin van Persie, David De Gea and Juan Mata, winning himself a cameo in The Expendables 4 in the process.
Norwich City football club cease operations
Norwich’s chief executive David McNally said in January he would prefer death to relegation. After panic-sacking Chris Hughton and watching his Canaries take the third drop spot anyway, the Canaries decide to stick to their guns and remove themselves from the Football League - and from business operations entirely - to prove their point.
Fulham and Swansea get thumped for the greater good
Fulham are already relegated. Swansea are safe. But there could remain a lot to play for… kinda. If Tottenham do indeed finish above Manchester United in sixth, England’s spot in the Fair Play draw for an extra Europa League place will come down to the Swans and the doomed Whites, who head into matchday 38 tied in the FP table. Cue a pair of hideously-poor performances as the priority shifts from ending the campaign with a win to not committing any fouls at all.
The above Fair Play plan may end up thwarted by Spurs, however, who will finish above Man Utd if they secure at least a point at home to Aston Villa. Unfortunately, Sunday could be the day we see the return of ‘Two-Bob Bitspur’ as, just like in 2006, Tottenham are hamstrung on final day by a job lot of iffy pasta. Well, except for Paulinho and Emmanuel Adebayor, who bottle out of having dinner on the eve of the game at the last second. The incident will be even more frustrating than the first time for Tim Sherwood’s men, since for a home game the food would have been produced in-house. At least the replacement chefs for 2014-15 won’t have as ‘tough’ an act to follow as Sherwood’s successor.
After shedding his Dwight Gayle mask, Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo puts on a fright wig and the Andalusian accent he learned at Sevilla, making him look and sound uncannily like he’s from Croxteth. Smooth-talking his way into Anfield, he covers the pitch with EasyGrow, causing the grass to double in length by the time Newcastle arrive. Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez’s agent – who is still in debt to City – arranges the kidnap of Papiss Cisse, with Negredo given a third disguise of the week to try and ensure Alan Pardew’s side, for once, do not absolutely suck. The fact that Mike Ashley owes Brendan Rodgers half a mill in poker winnings could as a result be rendered moot.
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