The Lead

What you won’t read about in the broadsheets this morning regarding the Premier League title race: no mention of ex-Villa players Gareth Barry or James Milner imploring former-Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill to “do them a favour” against Man United next weekend. No mention of the pressure United have to keep pace with City by beating Sunderland. No calls from City players for Wes Brown to take revenge against his former club for the sake of Man City.

A month ago in the Premier League with United eight points ahead of Manchester City on the table with five matches to go, pundits everywhere declared the title race over in favour of the incumbents. There was simply no way Manchester United could possibly lose a single match, or draw enough to let City back on top the Premier League table. Yet with a loss against Wigan and a thrilling 4-4 draw with Everton and finally, the Manchester derby loss, it’s now City’s title to lose.

And here we are, despite City leading in every notable category in both defense and attack, with an impeccable recent form, and yet the media knives are out for the would-be champions with papers gleefully printing Sir Alex’s remarks over Mark Hughes’ doing them a solid next Sunday because he was “sacked” by City.

Any other manager does this, and it would be noted as unprofessional. Of course Sir Alex does it and it’s his charming mind games at work, with headlines proffered to boot. It’s an old double standard, but it’s getting old…


Gerry Dobson on the CSA elections.

Toronto FC breaks the record for the worst start in MLS history.

Dwayne De Rosario’s patronizing remarks kind of make things worse.

This is interesting.

Vancouver meanwhile continue to impress.

As do the Montreal Impact, and Di Vaio hasn’t even showed up yet.


Roberto Mancini finally concedes Manchester City are title favourites.

Although it’s also too early to celebrate.

Or is it?

How FA Cup broadcasts measured up.

Aww! Lampard wants Drogba to stay at Chelsea.

Alex McLeish expects to be at Villa next season. I ‘expect’ he’s mistaken.

Kean blames lack of funds for Blackburn’s woes.

Jan Vertonghen looks lovingly toward Tottenham.

Today in hubris?


Beppe Marotta on Juventus’ transfer plans in the summer.

Paolo Bandini on Juventus’ epic title win.

And of course it came down to the Milan derby.


Honigstein on Dortmund’s uncertain future.

2. Bundesliga’s playoff contenders.

Jurgi Loew hands Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler his chance with the national team.

Bits and bobs

Paraguay keeper Arrecochea designs his own kits.

Confusing red card watch.

And that, give or take, is the story so far…