The final day of the season, and what a season it has been. I am not sure even the most confident of us back in August would have been thinking that with 2 games left to play we would have an outside chance of European football! I am glad we can’t finish 7th...I think the extra games in odd European countries might be a step too far for 2021/22, but hopefully in a years time we can experience the delights of continental nights once again. I was too young to have gone to those games last time round, so now as a fat, middle aged bloke it gives me something to look forward to.
So it comes to pass that we face the West Bromwich Strollers, as they were originally called, at the church that is Elland Road. Fans return and I am sure the 8000 lucky ticket holders will raise the roof and make sure Big Sam gets a proper Yorkshire send off! But speaking of send offs it will also be a chance for fans to say good bye and thank you to two fantastic servants of the club. I, for one, am proud that Leeds rewarded Berardi with the contract extension after the injury, and I was both surprised and delighted to see him get his Premiership debut at Southampton, but I am sure I am not alone in thinking he is the future. We all thank the Beast of Elland Road for his dedication and wish him the best of luck for the future.
As for Pablo, what can I say, the Magician has cast his spell over the last 5 years with 36 goals and 41 assists. I am sure we all remember the one at Swansea that almost guaranteed promotion, but there were plenty more that I loved. My younger daughter is gutted that she will no longer be able to sing about Pablo Hernandez who plays for United with Kiko Casilla....we wish him all the best upon his return to Spain for the birth of his 3rd child and whatever he does next. He will always be welcome at ER.
The Baggies, fond of their Boing Boing chant, are bouncing back down, but I am sure we will see them again. However, it will be interesting to see how they rebuild, given most of their key players are currently on loan, and surely won’t be going down with them.
Famous West Brom fans include the obvious choices of Frank Skinner and Adrian Chiles, but also:
comedians Joe Lycet and Lenny Henry
actress Julie Walters
One Direction’s Liam Payne
guitarists Eric Clapton and Ronnie Wood
tennis players Gorman Ivanisovic and John MacEnroe
former Speaker of the House of Commons Betty Boothroyd
Team news from West Brom is that Pereira is likely out with an unspecified injury, and former Leeds player Robert Snodgrass and Inanovic are both still out.
The Leeds team is likely to be a bit unusual this time too. We know Kiko will start, and Berardi and Hernandez are likely to. Llorente is injured and there are rumours about Phillips limping, but Bielsa says he is fine. Koch and Kilich have already been released to a summer break to relax before the Euros. I really do think the kids will get a chance in the second half too given everything else that is going on.
I am expecting:
Ayling Cooper Berardi Alioski
Rafa Dallas Hernandez Harrison
With a bench including Meslier, Phillips, Rodrigo, Roberts, Greenwood, Poveda and Davis
Weather forecast is not good with plenty of rain and about 12 degrees, but plenty of 🍻🍻🍻 and a 🍹for TC.
A mixture of heart and head says a 2-0 win with Hernandez and Bamford scoring and some flapping about on crosses from Kiko. But I predict a riot....
And the bit you have all been waiting for...the next instalment of ManxWhites favourite charts...a fairly well known one this time.
During the Crimean War of the 1850s, Florence Nightingale used this data visualisation (now known as a polar area chart) to show that the majority of deaths were actually caused by poor hospital practices. The red shaded areas of the charts show deaths due to combat wounds, the blue show preventable deaths, and the black other causes. Nightingale’s medical expertise and hospital visits gave her insight to identify the bad medical conditions as the preventable cause of so much death. She went on to set the foundations of modern nursing. She was also elected to be a member of the Royal Statistical Society.
Hopefully more charts to come next season....