The (1st) unPUNticipated review – “Dirty” DOZEN

Most of us should be familiar with the old adage that begins with, …when life gives you lemons…  There is a conventional way of ending that statement, (NO it’s NOT….sell them on e-bay…) BUT there have also been quite a few other twists to its ending that have since been crafted.  Whatever your preferred ending may be it’s a statement that has become a quick fix way of establishing one’s state of mind.  You know, whether your perspective on life is rosy, or on the contrary, quite thorny…. glass half full or half empty?  How much credence one can place in one statement may never be definitively resolved, BUT hey, it sure does make reading between the lines of other people’s’ statements quite enjoyable.  Especially if the people happen to be English Premier League managers, and their statements are juxtaposed against this new adage which begins with, …..when the league “gives” you a 12 point gap….

The Dreamy Theatrical point of view

So Manchester United surge a Dozen points clear at the top of the EPL, and just as the rest of the world (most of them begrudgingly) are ready to give them that 20th English League title, a really calm & collected response emerges from Old Trafford.  Asked whether that 12 point gap meant that they were de-facto champions, Sir Alex channelled his inner Amy Winehouse and he said ….Nooo, nooo, NO!  There is, however, a section of  brash (is there any other kind?) Man United fans who, including my friend The Specialist, will gladly tell anyone who will listen that they are already making room in their “walk-in” trophy cabinet.  BUT there are other United fans (yup they do exist), who will cautiously follow the lead that Sir Alex has set in response to how to finish off that adage, saying….

…..when the league “gives” you a 12 point gap…. Acknowledge the FACT that you are in a “fantastic position”, BUT do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT celebrate a trophy before your captain hoists it, triumphantly!

The view from further back in The CITEH

“This championship is NOT over, absolutely NOT. There is still time for a team to make a mistake. We probably now need to win all of our 13 games, but if not 11 or 12.”  That was Roberto Mancini when his Citeh were 9 points behind United and just before they played Southampton.  Little did he know that his CitiZENs would be the team that would “make a mistake” (or is that mistakes, seeing as all 3 of the goals they conceded, were down to their mistakes).  Now that they are a dozen points behind, is their title defence over?  Again Nooo, nooo, NO!  They only needed 6 games to haul back an 8 point deficit last season, when they magnificently hunted down United and in some ways even out-Red Deviled the Red Devils by sensationally snatching the EPL title from United’s grasp, in the season’s Fergie time!  Ouch!  So a dozen games to make up a dozen points (and just over half a dozen goals for that all important goal difference) should be achievable right?  The man who at 9 points back said “If we can recover eight points in six games, I think to recover nine points in 13 games will be easy”, is not sounding as brash anymore.  His new tune sounds a lot more reserved.    Asked if City could still win the title, Bobby Mancini said: “We have a 10% chance: 12 points is too much at this moment.”  Oh what a difference a week, and 3 points, can make!  And now Roberto’s ending for the adage is possibly….

…..when the league “gives” you a 12 point gap….  Blame the players….publicly!  Tell the world “I was really disappointed with my players today. When we perform like today I’m very angry.  It’ll be very difficult to win the league. I used to always be optimistic and want to be in this moment, but it’s difficult.”

Meanwhile further back at Anfield

In mid December of 2012 Liverpool were in 10th place and the footy world was about to be startled by the following statement from Brendan Rodgers…. “For me the ambition is to grow higher. We are 11 points off second and that can all turn around very quickly”  Liverpool had just won back to back league matches and with a struggling Aston Villa being the next opponent, they were odds on favourites to make it 3 in a row.  It remains unclear why such a statement made such waves.  I mean it’s not like there is anything wrong with ambition and publicly showing it, right?  Some would probably have reacted more calmly had Mr Rodgers set his aim at the last Champions League qualifying position, (which was occupied by Everton in 4th), as Liverpool were a mere 4 points behind that position at the time.  BUT he didn’t so neither have they.  It has indeed “…all turned around very quickly…” for Liverpool, BUT not in the way they desired.  Though they now find themselves in the “relatively better off” position of 9th, they are now 17 points away from 2nd place and a dozen points behind 4th.  Not sure what statements Brendan will make between now and the end of the season, BUT if we could just get him to finish off the adage, perhaps his effort would be one that ruffles less feathers.  So as far as The Reds are concerned….

…..when the league “gives” you a 12 point gap….  Pray that you maintain that more important dozen points cushion between yourselves and Aston Villa, (who sit just above the relegation zone) & do NOT make any more statements about qualifying for the Champion’s League automatically (in second place) or otherwise (in 4th place)!


What you make of, and will deduce from, the statements that these 3 managers have made, and will make is up to you.  They say attitude reflects leadership so it’s going to be interesting to see whether we can really draw a parallel between how Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool will finish off the season, & the dozens of statements their respective gaffers will make about them.

So how would you end the adage ……when the league “gives” you a 12 point gap…. ??


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One Comment on “The (1st) unPUNticipated review – “Dirty” DOZEN”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    …keep it at 12 points….

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