With Newcastle United passing the forty point mark some weeks ago and my own personal safety mark of thirty-seven points, sometime before that, you could be excused for saying that the players have been on the beach.
That would, however, be a wrong assumption if you’d witnessed their recent games.
The West Brom home game aside, in which I thought we were laboured and maybe with thoughts on just what to put in that suitcase, we could have seen results go the other way and instead of four losses on the spin could well be sitting here even prettier in the league as the effort levels have been more than there.
As it is, we go into the final game of the season sitting in 10th position in the premier league. A more than respectable return if it finishes that way but at 4:50 pm or thereabouts on Sunday afternoon, we could find ourselves as low as 15th. In theory for this to happen, we have to see a lot of unlikely results where David needs to slay Goliath but the final day is usually the arena for such a scenario so for that to be avoided, we have to win.
A game against Chelsea brings the curtain down on our season at St James’ Park with a chance of them qualifying for the champions league, a slim one to be fair but more than enough impetus for them to put a shift in. With current fourth-placed side Liverpool only needing a point to guarantee their own participation in that tournament, you get the sense that the Chelsea performance may be dictated by the urgency of the shouts from the bench as they keep an eye on the goings on at Anfield although it should be all about how we approach it as well.
With league prize money being something like £2 million a place, we could earn around £12 million more for winning the game than all results going against us so it’s important and more so if Rafa Benitez is allowed that extra cash in his transfer fund. A long shot I know but the alternative will surely see a lower kitty used as an excuse.