LONDON: With Champions League qualification the only major issue still to be decided, focus on the final day of the Premier League season tomorrow will fall on the characters bidding goodbye to English football.
It is certain to be a momentous day at The Hawthorns, where Alex Ferguson will bow out after a record-breaking 26-year spell as Manchester United manager, while veteran midfielder Paul Scholes is also expected to play his final game for the club.
Sunday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion will be Ferguson’s 1,500th match as United manager, but he has warned his players not to be distracted by emotions.
“We need to win the game,” said Ferguson. “We won the last home game and I don’t want to lose my last game, that’s for sure.”
United received the Premier League trophy after beating Swansea and with West Brom already certain to finish no lower than ninth, there is little riding on the match.
Moyes ends Everton era at Chelsea
Ferguson’s successor-in-waiting, David Moyes, will end his 11-year association with Everton at Chelsea tomorrow.
Moyes, who will take over from Ferguson on a six-year contract on July 1, said farewell to Goodison Park after last weekend’s 2-0 defeat of West Ham United and thanked the club’s fans for their reaction.
“There are very few managers who have the opportunity to be cheered off in your last game as manager,” said Moyes. “I have to thank everybody at Everton and the supporters for that — it showed real class. I have one more game to go. If we win then it will be our highest points total during my time there. Who knows? I may be back one day.”
Carragher bids farewell
Liverpool’s fans, meanwhile, are preparing to say goodbye to long-serving defender Jamie Carragher, who is set to make his 737th and final appearance at home to QPR before taking up a position as a television pundit next season.
The 35-year-old said his recent run in the side had merely reinforced his belief that he was hanging up his boots at the right time.
“It’s made me think it is the right time,” he said.
“It’s nice that I’m in the side and people are saying I’m doing well and why not stay for another year? It’s better than them saying you should have gone a year ago.”
Tottenham Hotspur hope to pip Arsenal to the fourth and final Champions League place, for that they must win at home to Sunderland and hope their north London rivals lose at Newcastle United.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2013.
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