OK, I had to drag out my atlas to see where Northumberland was. No club from that region has ever been in the Prem or even the old first division. The farthest north the league has gone on the East coat is Tyne and Wear. Carlisle United in Cumbria, east of Northumberland, was in the first division as recently as 1975 for a 1 season appearance, but since then, no club north of Burnley/Blackpool in Lancashire has been represented. Leeds give another representative in the north and the West Midlands will probably swap West Brom for Villa. And Birmingham City hasn’t been in the Prem since a 3 season spell ended in 2011. We could get another London club (or 2) if Brentford or Fulham are promoted. Brentford has been out of the top division since 1947.Leeds getting back to the Prem is HUGE and a wonderful way to celebrate their 100th season. Seeing a club with their history make a seemingly permanent home in anything other than the top flight of English football has been borderline ridiculous over the last 20-ish years. Yeah, they deserved to spend some time in purgatory for their financial sins, but 2001 was a LONG time ago. IMO the Prem needs the major secondary markets in Yorkshire, Northumbria and Birmingham to be strongly represented to balance out the three headed monster that is London/Liverpool/Manchester. It's nice to see the smaller markets like Leicester and Burnley and the south coast clubs rise up from time to time, but real competition will only come from bigger markets, big stadiums and big fan bases.
Gotcha. Didn’t realize Northumbria extended that far south. I used to work with a guy from Middlesbrough, but he sounded like a Scotsman to me. The Londoner I was with picked it out as far northeast. I had also worked with a Glaswegian and could have listened to her talk all day and he sounded like her.Sorry ... Sunderland and Newcastle count as the lower section of ancient Northumberland, and I was being cute. At least I didn't call the Midlands Mercia. My bad.
Yeah ... there's not a ton of difference between the hard Geordie accent you find in Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesboro and the regional accent you find in Glasgow and the Clyde valley. Weirdly, although Edinburgh features a very soft Scots accent, the Fife region just north of the Forth is almost back to full Geordie ... with completely different slang. Most Americans seem to have a hard time understanding any of those aside from the Edinburgh lilt, so good on ya for not needing a translator.Gotcha. Didn’t realize Northumbria extended that far south. I used to work with a guy from Middlesbrough, but he sounded like a Scotsman to me. The Londoner I was with picked it out as far northeast. I had also worked with a Glaswegian and could have listened to her talk all day and he sounded like her.
West Ham are 4 points clear after the draw. They have nothing to pay for except the battle for 15th place with Brighton, tied on 38 points. Chelsea can clinch a UCL spot with a win today (as Man U could have with a win over West Ham), but they’re down 4-3 to Liverpool in the 75th minute, clawing back from a 4-1 deficit. If they lose, we could have pandemonium on Sunday. A Leicester win against Man U puts them in the UCL. In that scenario, Chelsea need at least a draw against Wolves to stay 4th. If Chelsea and Man U tie on points, Man U finish ahead on goal differential with a 15 goal advantage.Well, West Ham and Man United just wrapped up the 37th set of fixtures with a 1-1 draw. That probably guarantees Hammers safety since they're 3 points clear of the drop point with a huge goal diff advantage over both Villa and Watford. They've got Villa next and I'm hoping they'll be satisfied enough to take their foot off the gas a bit. Villa could really use a point out of that one, if not three. It's unlikely that Watford get themselves together enough to get a point against Arsenal, but dumber things have happened. Meanwhile Man United, Leicester, and Chelsea have all to play for to grab the last UCL spot ... with Wolves lurking to maybe nick the Europa League consolation prize with their goal diff advantage. Lots on the line on Relegation Day.
Oh, and congrats to Spurs for avoiding St Totteringham's Day again. I mean, it's something.
I hate that Brentford lost to end up in the playoff. They play an aggressive, fast, attacking brand of football that I always like to see rewarded instead of the caution-first same old, same old we get from so many clubs. If the can battle out of the playoffs, then the three highest scoring sides will gain promotion. I have a hard time seeing that as a bad thing. And I absolutely hate what happened at Wigan. Those guys fought valiantly to overcome ownership idiocy and came SOOOOO close. Hull and Charlton can pack sand, but those guys don't deserve the drop.The Championship wrapped up today. West Brom held on to 2nd for the automatic promotion with a draw against QPR. Brentford could nicked it with a win but lost to Barnsley, which pulled them out of relegation. Wigan only managed a draw against Fulham where a win would have seen them survive after their 12 point deduction. Hull and Charlton follow them down.
The playoff matchups are Brentford v. Swansea and Fulham v. Cardiff. Swansea grabbed the last spot by beating Reading while Nottingham Forest lost to Stoke.