2 to watch – The Managers Play-Off Final
This entry was posted on Friday, May 18th, 2012
Whilst the Chelsea/Spurs conundrum continues to keep Arsenal supporters up all night, neutrals everywhere will be glad that there is no such dilemma ahead of the other big Saturday match – the Championship Play-Off Final. Worth upwards of £20m £40m £50m £80m 90million pounds, Blackpool and West Ham compete at Wembley. For the victor, a battle with Reading at the bottom of next year’s Premiership. For the vanquished, a battle with Bolton at the top of next year’s Championship.
Yet there is no question who the media will be cheering on. If it’s a choice between having to listen to Hammers gaffer ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce whine on in his Brummie accent about referees, or have Ian Holloway talk (see below for video clip) about nightclubs and breasts in his comedy Bristolian twang, there is only one winner. Add to this the fun football the Tangerines played last season, and the fact everyone hates West Ham anyway, and it is truly a no-brainer for the neutral.
But will they do it? We suspect not. Having comfortably beaten a strong Birmingham side in the semis, West Ham will surely feel unstoppable. They were also on the right side of their two league meetings with Blackpool this season.
Blackpool have the experience of doing this two years ago, but that final against Cardiff was freakish in many ways. We fancy the Hammers to bounce back at just under evens with Betfair, and men all over the land should be able to go to bed five minutes earlier on Saturday nights next year, rather than listen to Big Sam.