Chelsea’s Premiership deciding game in the seasons climax at Stamford Bridge on Sunday is a perfect example of the wonderful stories that football can so often throw up. While champions Manchester United will be desperately battling Stoke City at Old Trafford for the three points which may give them a slim chance of retaining their title, a 38 year old goalkeeper who was rejected by United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson 19 years ago will be doing his utmost to help Wigan deny Chelsea a Premiership that appears to be within its grasp.
Chelsea merely needs to defeat Wigan in order to take the championship away from Old Trafford. Nobody seems to doubt that they will, with the result seen as a foregone conclusion by the vast majority of punters. Yet the fact that Wigan won their only encounter 3-1 earlier in the season is completely overlooked.
The only challenger to Chelsea’s ambition of securing a fourth title in its 105 year history is United who itself is attempting to win the same number of titles in just four years, a feat never achieved by any club since the inception of the Football League in 1888.
Then to add more spice to an already tasty concoction, the man who is likely to be called upon to rescue the reigning champions while at the same time destroying the hopes of the Londoners is Wigans 38 year old, third choice goalkeeper Mike Pollitt who was booted out of Old Trafford by manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1991.
Pollitt began his career at Manchester United when he turned professional in the summer of 1990 following a two year apprenticeship but was then released by Ferguson without ever making a senior appearance. That bitter disappointment for the then 19 year old keeper was somewhat softened by him joining lower division club Bury before signing for Wigan in 2005.
So Uniteds’ title hopes MAY rest on a former reject who is set to replace Vladimir Stojkovic for Wigan. Manager Roberto Martinez reacted to the Serbian’s costly blunder against Hull on Monday by admitting that the goalkeeping situation for the Chelsea match has not yet been settled.
“Regular Chris Kirkland will definitely be out of action after surgery on his finger but who steps in depends on who impresses me most in the six training sessions before the game” says Martinez. The word around the DW Stadium however seems to be that Pollitt is winning the battle with Serbias’ number one keeper who will be facing the might of Germany at the World Cup next month.
United must hope that Wigan will be able to deny Chelsea the three valuable points that the Blues need to clinch the title with Pollitt possibly being a key factor in the equation. The furthest thing from the 38 year old keepers mind when Ferguson gave him the order of the boot from Old Trafford all those years ago was that the day will ever come when he will get an opportunity to contribute to United winning another Premiership.
It’s a great story, all that it now needs for a fairytale finish is for Pollitt to turn in a man of the match performance which will deny Chelsea the win it so desperately wants and help hand the title to his old boss while reminding him of that decision which was taken so many years ago.
Does anyone have any memories of the days when Mike Pollitt was at Old Trafford and can he keep a clean sheet and help United to win the league?!