Apparently, according to Setanta Sports, or at least Setanta in North America, Manchester United did not win the Premier league title this season. For some reason, I decided to subject myself to the Manchester United v Arsenal game, in the faint hope that Arsenal would be able to stop the rot that had set in over recent weeks, and conjure up a win at Old Trafford that would at least see the Premiership go to the final day, next weekend.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, the closest Arsenal came to halting the party proceedings, was a Cesc Fabrigas effort which struck the post in the closing moments. A few minutes later, the final whistle blew, and Old Trafford lethargically managed to put down the prawn sandwich's and rise to a sing along to the usual cliche 80's "champions" Ballard's, courtesy of Tina Turner and the like.
At this point, most people (apart from Man United fans of course) would have switched the tele off in frustration and grumbled off the rest of the day in a pissy mood. I retained the mood, but for some reason I chose not to hit the standby button, and stubbornly, slumped lazily in my dressing gown, channel changer in one hand, empty cup of tea in the other, masochistically suffered the celebrations like a unhealthy fetish disorder.
During this time of quiet introspection, I noticed that the level of decibel I was producing was not far inferior to that of the Theatre of Dreams. Why was the atmosphere so subdued? Was it because that winning the Premier league was now such a normal custom, that behaving inappropriately had become a choir, or maybe the delay while the pitch staff setup the winners podium, was testing the supporters patience. All I know is, had Liverpool, or many other teams for that matter, managed to clinch the title, I, and along with everyone in the stadium, in pubs and those sat on sofas would be going mental. The 19 year Premier League absenteeism, has made my heart grow fond, very fond indeed.
When finally the stage had been constructed, the fireworks and bottles of champagne readied, all that was left was for the United squad to reemerge from the tunnel, and administer my final whips of pain. Fortunately for me, and I am assuming more realistically because of Broadcasting rights, Setanta saved me from my own torment, and decided to compensate by cutting to generic shots of the Trafford crowd, and then even more astonishingly, to a take a far more important broadcasting assignment in Arsène Wenger's interview, in French -may I add, with Canal +!!!
What ever reasons for Setanta's baffling coverage, whether it be broadcasting rights or other, surely their must have been a more appropriate alternative than interviews not even in the channels language. Had Setanta's recent financial troubles left them short staffed over the weekend, leaving only the interns nervous fingers gingerly hovering over the producers dials?
I will take it as a blessing in disguise, and probably a happy coincidence that will do my mental state a world of good, probably more than the hollow victory for Liverpool at the Hawthorns did, which also indirectly resigned Albion to the Championship next season.
For every neutral or non Man United supporter, attention can be turned to next season, and more importantly, hoping that Sir Alex Ferguson will hang up his managerial boots some time soon, a fate that I think won't occur until Liverpool's now joint record of 18 league titles is eclipsed.