Today’s best news as the Premiership season gears for the final leg of the season:
1. Robin van Persie is expected to be out till the end of the season and Arsenal are not prepared to risk the striker by bringing him back for the final games in May.
Sensible move – Arsenal should finish 3rd/4th without his help, although whether they will finish 3rd or 4th could depend largely on tomorrow’s game at Anfield.
2. Owen Hargreaves and Kevin Nolan write their weekly columns. A must-read. Personally, I prefer Nolan’s writing to Hargreaves’, although Hargreaves is probably a better player. Nolan is also honest enough to admit that he might not be good enough to play in the Premiership towards the end of his career – how many players do you hear saying that at 24, when they are captains of their team and leading the charge for Europe?
Frank Lampard has a blog too. Have a look…
3. Max Clifford – Steve McClaren’s ex-publicist – talks to BBC Sport about the current media crisis facing Steve McClaren. It’s an informative read.
4. West Ham’s ‘punishment’ is not expected to be more than 3 points and a low six-figure fine. Even 3 points might be too much.
5. ITV and Setanta combine to pay 425m for FA Cup and home England games in a four-year deal starting from the 2008 season.
6. UEFA are exploring a proposal where the cup winners from different leagues in Europe will enter a playoff system to determine a Champions League qualifier.
Personally, I think it’s an excellent proposal, ranks right up there with Platini’s move to include fans into the decision making process and his desire to take a no-holds-barred approach to violence in football.
7. James Dart at the Guardian lists the fan chants from the Andorra game.