Sorry Portsmouth, Hull City and Burnley fans, but I think this is a formality for you guys. The current relegation spot dwellers will be this season’s casualties. West Ham’s crash and burn routine that continued last night with a 1-3 defeat to Wolves will just stay up.
Portsmouth are already a foregone conclusion, the nine point deduction has crippled any chance they stood of surviving. It is a case of Hull City, Burnley and West Ham to decide the other two trapdoor spots. West Ham will survive purely because they are better than their opponents. The strange decision by Hull City to sack manager Phil Brown with nine matches to play seems ludicrous. The appointment of Ian Dowie has no guarantee that anything will change. He didn’t help to stop the rot at Newcastle United so what is he going to do this time round? Burnley on the other hand has lost the ‘Coyle’ factor and Brian Laws is a celebration of the mediocrity in his appointment to the managerial position. Struggling with Championship relegation at Sheffield Wednesday he was sacked to then get a Premier League job?! Madness.
This is West Ham’s only saving grace. If this was any other season the East Enders would most certainly have gone down. Five losses in a row is relegation form. The fact that I cannot see where Burnley or Hull City pick up points pretty much anywhere is testament to their lack of quality this season. Both sides still have to play one another in a game that could end up costing dear. A draw at the KC stadium on April 10th will almost certainly leave these two with an uphill task. The only chance they have is if one side puts together a run of wins. West Ham will continue to drop points consistently and I would expect a change of management before the end of the season. Gianfranco Zola looked very much out of his depth against an experienced Mick McCarthy on Tuesday.
I for one though just cannot see where this run will come from? There is no fight left in either, particularly Burnley. Hull sometimes do produce decent performances but they don’t back them up with points. They have lost their last five in a row much akin to West Ham. Burnley on the other hand look dead and buried. As soon as Owen Coyle left that was a certainty. It’s hard enough taking a low fancied Championship side and getting them into the Premier League. To maintain that position is probably the most difficult job in football. Changing managers half way through a season is just too much. It’s not Burnley’s fault, it’s just the nature of the game. Brian Laws was no inspired appointment either. Law’s side have lost five of their last six.
I just can’t see where the points come from for Hull City or Burnley. Both have similar run ins and points will be available, but I am yet to see the heart. If one of them starts showing some heart now, before it’s too late then I could be made to eat my words. But I doubt it.
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