Toffees facing a sour taste on final day

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 May, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 1998, 12:00am

FOR those of you just back from Mars, the big issue of the English Premier League race was settled on Sunday with Arsenal putting on a show worthy of champions amidst a carnival atmosphere at Highbury.

The game was such a foregone conclusion from the early stages that the only question was whether or not the Wharf coverage would extend long enough beyond the final whistle to include the trophy presentation and some of the celebrations.

With normal matches during the season Wharf cut away to their studio team almost immediately after the match. This time they didn't, sensibly letting things run a little to include the post-match festivities.

That match had a secondary impact, too, namely on the losing team Everton whose future in the top flight will be decided in final round of games.

The Merseysiders face Coventry (live on Wharf), opponents who so often find themselves on the other side of last-day Houdini acts.

The other relegation candidates Bolton visit Chelsea who will probably have their minds on the European Cup-Winners' Cup final.

Talking of which, that European final (Chelsea v Stuttgart) is on live on Wednesday on both ATV Home and ESPN, part of a European club final treble that both channels are showing in these three weeks.

Wharf are utilising their racing Channel (18) on Sunday to bring the Italian League clash between Juventus and Bologna. The Premier League game will be on their regular sports Channel (6). That's necessary because of overlapping match times. Juventus can clinch the title if they draw. Opponents Bologna include former Juve star Roberto Baggio who has had a fabulous season.

Incidentally, reader Carlo Tei responded to last week's comments about the Juventus v Inter penalty incidents, claiming the referee was right on both counts. Thanks for the letter Carlo, especially the observation about 'Ronaldo-mania, the disease which has been spreading among many Italians these days'.

However, I've seen the controversial incidents a few times and tick by my opinion that the ref got it wrong in denying Ronaldo's claims.

World Cup Official Film 1974 aired last week on TVB Pearl and it hasn't aged well.

The stilted, old-school voice-over dated the film terribly. At one point during the final (West Germany v Holland), the camera focused in on Franz Beckenbauer while the narrator waxed lyrical about the German captain's insouciance, something along the lines of: 'Calm and unhurried like a gentleman strolling down the boulevard to a rendezvous at a pavement cafe.'