Thirteen years ago, Blackburn Rovers won the Premier League title, despite losing 2-1 to Liverpool on the last day of the season. This was because rivals Manchester United just simply couldn’t get over the finishing line at West Ham, drawing 1-1 and spurning several chances to land the spoils. Could history be about to repeat itself at the JJB Stadium?
Despite a question mark over Steve Bruce’s allegiances to the Red Devils, his players are talking up their chances of ruining United’s big day in a big way. Emmerson Boyce has told the Daily Mail that the bobbly pitch, the way that the Latics will be organised and a burning desire to make their own headlines could stop Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in their tracks.
He said: “People don’t like coming to our ground and playing against us.
“It will help against Manchester United. On a perfect pitch all their top players will have a field day, but they will have difficulty passing and running with the ball on ours, even though they are top-class players. They won’t be able to play the game they’re used to, it’s nowhere near the standard of Old Trafford.
“We can get in their faces, test their touches and it will help us. A lot of people have moaned about it this season, but that’s usually because we have either got a good result or given them a tough game. We have got good results against the big teams because we love being the underdogs and there will be no pressure on us on Sunday, it’s all on them.”
He added: “We would like to emulate West Ham. People still talk about that team that cost Manchester United the title 13 years ago and I’d love people to remember us in 13 years’ time. We are loving the publicity. Everyone will be watching us across the world and it shows how far we’ve come as a club. We are going to enjoy being in the limelight.
“People are talking about Wigan right now and that’s a good thing. The fact we can have a say in the title race has given us extra motivation. I and the rest of the players want to show people what we can do against Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez and if we cost them the title everyone will talk about us. We are safe in the table. They are the ones with everything to lose.”
This will be music to the ears of Avram Grant and his Chelsea mob as they set about destructing Bolton on Sunday while holding a transistor radio to their left ear. That’s apart from Didier Drogba who will be moodily sitting on the subs bench, listening to his ipod as usual. Wigan managed to hold Arsenal to a goalless draw recently, thus helping to end the Gunners’ title challenge. Emile Heskey then scored in the dying embers of the match at Stamford Bridge to make it ‘advantage United’ in the title race. Will the Latics’ final act be to deprive the champions a second successive league title?