SURVIVAL Sunday really was a fantastic advert for the English Premier League.
Perhaps the most remarkable season of the 21st century concluded in remarkable fashion, with five teams scrapping to stay in the best football league in the world.
Eventually Blackpool and Birmingham City bit the dust on a day that had it all.
Personally I’d have liked to see hoof merchants Blackburn Rovers join Birmingham in the Championship, but you can’t have everything.
What makes the Premier League better than the rest is its strength in depth. All 20 teams are treated equally in terms of television revenue, while each place in the table is worth around £750,000.
Compare that to Spain’s La Liga, where giants Barcelona and Real Madrid trouser up to 15 times more than the rest.
That makes for a glorified version of the Scottish Premier League, with only two teams in the running for top players and the title.
Admittedly Spain houses the two best teams in the world (by a distance) and a large proportion of the planet’s best players, but for sheer entertainment no other sport or league matches up to the Premier League.
•DESPITE the on-field excitement, Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking as Chelsea boss left a bad taste in my mouth.
The respected Italian, who led the London side to the first ever league and cup double in their history last year, was sacked in a Goodison Park corridor just hours after the season finale.
Not even bungling Avram Grant, fired in similar circumstances by West Ham the previous week, deserved such an undignified departure.
Surely losing to the ‘mighty’ Everton isn’t a sackable offence these days?
•I’M fed up of reading why or how Manchester United can beat Barcelona in Saturday’s Champions League final.
The simple fact is that they won’t. Barca are the finest club side to ever grace the beautiful game, while United’s current crop are perhaps the luckiest.
Not only are the Red Devils English champions by default, but they enjoyed a semi-final stroll against a Schalke side that finished 14th in the German Bundesliga.
I expect the gulf in class to resemble the Grand Canyon and can’t see anything but a comfortable win for the Catalan side.
Normally I’d back the English side in a final (well, unless it’s Liverpool or United), but I’d like to see it get ‘Messi’ for Fergie and his mob at Wembley...