As one of the biggest Premier League games is approaching fast, it is time to start looking at certain factors that will affect the match. Whilst others will delve into the line ups, formations and tactics, I will take a look at the most important factor of all. One that can't be quantified. One that is hard to explain. One that was brilliantly brought to the public attention by Sir Alex Ferguson Back in 2003.
"They [Arsenal] have a replay against Chelsea and if they win it they would face a semi-final three days before playing us in the league. But then they did say they were going to win the Treble, didn't they? It's squeaky bum time and we've got the experience now to cope."
So. What the hell does it actually mean?The English Oxford dictionary had it as follows....
"The tense final stages of a league competition, especially from the point of view of the leaders"
So if that is to be taken at face value, it is us, and not Manchester City who should be worried. With three games to play we are three points clear and it may be that "squeaky bum time" has already set in, as we have dropped points at Wigan Athletic and most recently, at home to Everton this past Sunday. Both were very winnable games, as Wigan are fighting the drop, and Everton were two goals down. I don't help but wonder what the outcome of these games would have been, had these games been played in September and not April.
This one, from a website called Phrases, takes the meaning slightly further
The allusion is, of course, to the sound made by squirming in one's seat as one's team's fortunes wax and wane.
This one seems slightly more accurate and actually gives an explanation to the point of why squeaky bum. It also makes me think of Manchester City. They were riding ever so high. They dropped down ever so low. And now they are back in the hunt after our own misfortune. Maybe the start of their own squeaky bum time was at a match in the North East of England. Martin O'Niell had just taken over at Sunderland when CIty had to travel to the Stadium of light. A match that was goalless of 90 minutes, was decided in injury time. From being ten points clear at the top, they sunk to eight points behind after losing to Arsenal.
A lack of experience I think accelerated their downfall. I can only think of two or three players that have been involved in a Premier League title fight. Kolo Toure, Gail Clichy and Carlos Tevez. And it wasn't untill the latter had returned from a six month absence that City's fortunes turned upward again.
In contrast, Manchester United who, as we know, have been their and done it many a time, were fantastic ever since they tasted defeat at Newcastle just a few days into 2012. However that changed in the aforementioned Everton game. Was that down to squeaky bum time? I think not. United showed such a lack of nerves, that Everton were allowed to stroll through our defense and score at will in the last ten minutes to level the match. It was over confidence and not the sound of bum squirming on chair.
All of this had lead to this one game. What could be the decider. I truly believe that the team that gets the outcome they want (United a draw or better, City need a win) will take the crown. Because of the magnitude of the match, I am almost crapping myself.
Which leads me very nicely onto my favourite definition that I have come across. Urban dictionary has this
Old Glaswegian saying for "On the verge of shiting yourself"
Considering the region of where this definition has come from, I think we have found are true meaning. Whose bum will squeak loudest come Monday night at the Ethiad?