Week in review: Praise where praise is due


We have a heap of congratulations to hand out this week. Manchester United clinched a well-deserved title, Felipe Massa claimed a hat-trick of Turkish Grand Prixs and down at the bottom of the Premier League, Fulham were the heroes of the "Great Escape".

In the end, it was a straight-forward romp to the Premier League title for Manchester United as Chelsea floundered against Bolton. Not that it would have mattered much

if the Blues had won – the 17-goal advantage United carried into the final day was not likely to be surpassed by Avram Grant's team, unless United lost to Wigan.

As a neutral supporter you would have to admit that United deserved the title more of the two. They played better, entertaining football throughout the season and Cristiano Ronaldo was simply unbelievable.

The Portuguese star struck 41 times for the Red Devils this season – he can add to that tally next week in the Champions League final against Chelsea in Moscow – and was a joy to watch. So full congratulations need to go to Sir Alex Ferguson (in his 18th year at the United helm) and his boys.

Some congratulations are due to Grant as well. Not the most popular man it must be noted, even though his side came within a whisker of winning the League and have a good chance of winning the Champions League. Early in the season, Grant replaced the hugely popular Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed 'Special One', and when he was immediately asked in his first press conference what special ability he had, Grant answered: "Nothing, I'm the normal one."

That was it for Grant. The media didn't want a unimaginative and boring man at Chelsea, neither did the fans. Ironically, he was brought in to eradicate boring football at the Stamford Bridge Club – had he achieved that he may just have won some support, but as it stands now, he's not even sure of retaining his job come next season. But praise where praise is due – Grant needs some recognition for the late Chelsea resurgence.

Congratulations also to Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.

The Turkish Grand Prix has only been staged for four years now, of that the Brazilian has won the last three.

Starting on pole, he beat Lewis Hamilton and teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

We would have offered congratulations to McLaren's Hamilton as well, but he beat us to it by claiming that the race was "his best ever" and who are we to question that.

Although let's just clarify he did only come second. Saving the best for last and back to the Premier League and to the relegation zone where it was hearts-in-mouth stuff until the end.

Fulham, Reading and Birmingham entered the final day playing for their lives and the £60 million (Dh450m), which is what a spot in the top division is worth next season.

In the end Roy Hodgson's Fulham, playing a delightful passing game, rallied late to beat Portsmouth and secure their status and a £5,000 Harrods hamper for each player courtesy of chairman Mohammed Al Fayed.