Premier League: five lessons we have learnt from the weekend

With six Premier League games left this season, the weekend just gone might have proved crucial in deciding who’ll lift the trophy on May 11. Here’s five things we have learnt over the last two days.

1) Does anybody want to win the title?

Jose Mourinho’s “little horses” clumsily stumbled over a blue and red painted obstacle in South London on Saturday, prompting the Portuguese to declare that Chelsea have no chance to win the league.

Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, has refused to get carried away despite Liverpool winning their eight consecutive game and going top of the table for the first time since Boxing Day, thanks to their 4-0 trouncing of Spurs.

Which leads to the question: does anybody want to win the title? Liverpool were the winners on the weekend, but City’s two games in hand give them marginally better chances than Liverpool, though their trip to the Anfield is likely to be a real title decider.

Chelsea have faltered at the wrong time and though their run-in is the easiest of any team in the top three, the Blues might be made to wait another year for a first Premier League title since 2010.

2) That banner was just plane stupid

David Moyes is a dead man walking at Manchester United and has indeed been so for quite a while now. The squad Sir Alex Ferguson left behind undeniably needed some strengthening, but a 26-point swing from this time last season is unacceptable and, ultimately, the buck has to stop with Moyes.

The former Everton manager has largely been digging his own grave, through a mixture of archaic tactics and ill-advised interviews but, dismal though his inaugural season at Old Trafford has been, he didn’t deserve the treatment some United supporters had in store for him on Saturday.

Flying a plane with a banner demanding Moyes was sacked was a classless, futile and petulant gesture, particularly as it only achieved to get more fans behind Moyes which, as far as the club’s long term future is concerned, was the wrong idea.

3) Goodbye Fulham

Five points adrift of safety – potentially eight if WBA win their game in hand, or even 10, should Sunderland win their three games in hand – yesterday’s defeat against Everton surely spelt the end of Fulham’s stay in the Premier League.

Great escapes have happened before and Fulham’s point tally still gives them a chance but, unfortunately for them, their personnel does not. Fulham are simply not good enough to survive the drop this season and not even Felix Magath appointment looks to have made a difference.

The Cottagers need a miracle.

4) Rodriguez deserves to be in Brazil

On Saturday, Jay Rodriguez’s brace against Newcastle brought his Premier League goal tally to 15 for this season, making him the second-highest English goalscorer in the league, behind Daniel Sturridge.

With fellow Saint Adam Lallana almost certain to be flying to Brazil in June, Roy Hodgson would do well to consider to Rodriguez as well, for the 24-year-old deserves a chance on football’s biggest stage after a fantastic season.

History is full of English strikers scoring for fun in the season of a big international tournament – remember Grant Holt in 2012? – but unlike some of his predecessors, Rodriguez isn’t a flash in the pan, quite the opposite, in fact.

The Southampton striker might have limited international experience, but his goal return this season – as well as his ductility on the pitch – should be enough to book him a ticket to Rio.

5) How bad are Spurs?

Those who thought Spurs’ season couldn’t get any worse than it was under Andre’ Villas-Boas must have spent the last couple of months wondering whether keeping the Portuguese would have been a better choice.

Sunday’s capitulation at Anfield – admittedly against a rampant Liverpool side – was probably the last straw in Tim Sherwood’s short and largely uninspiring spell at White Hart Lane.

Singling out individuals for their team failure it’s normally too easy an option, but that’s simply not possible at Spurs, where mediocrity and ineptitude have swept across the club in every department. From the club’s board, to the managers and, first and foremost, the players.

A season that had promised so much has delivered so little that it’s hard to imagine Spurs wanting anything apart from this campaign to end as quickly as possible.

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