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And so to the final day of the season. I don't know about you, but I can hardly believe it.

I wouldn't say it's been a classic, not by any stretch of the imagination. Chelsea were more functional than stylish, but simply the best. They deserved their title and I make them favourites to win it again next season. They'll push on, as good winners do, leaving the rest to play catch up.

City's form at the end of the season was terrific. I couldn't help wondering if it had anything to do with Vincent Kompany's absence? When he was in the team this season he was poor. When he was out there seemed to be a determination from those who were starting to make a point. It might just have been co-incidence, but they showed better form without him.

In general, the problems there were all too familiar to me. There's no doubt that there's talent at City, but it's flawed and they need a strong man to come in and sort it out. Someone like Mancini perhaps?!? I've said it before - when they backed the dressing room, who got Mancini sacked, it was a big mistake.

I still don't rule out Guardiola turning up this summer, but if not, then definitely next. These things don't happen in the blink of an eye.

I also fully expect big YaYa to move on. Next stop? Inter Milan.

Arsenal can yet make it a very good season again, but that all depends on whether they retain the FA Cup. Finishing third without it is a mild improvement on last season, but I believe Wenger needs a trophy again.

He's made much of how the WC affected his players and how they might have launched a title challenge had so many of their squad not been playing international football for most of the summer. I'm not sure I buy that, but next season should give us the answer after they've all had a rest!

Wenger's biggest regret this season? I reckon he'd say conceding that third goal at home to Monaco in the CL. Arsenal were naive chasing it. They didn't need to and they paid a heavy price.

I fully expected Van Gaal to make Utd competitive. Fourth was a minimum requirement after spending all that money. Did Utd do good or bad business? Largely bad for me. At the end of the season, of the players Van Gaal spent £150m on, only Daley Blind was in his starting line up. I've said it before and now others are agreeing - even Paul Scholes - Utd are still six very good signings from mounting a title challenge.

De Gea will go, so one of those might have to be a keeper, depending on whether the belief is that Valdes can fill the gap.

Liverpool failed. Simple. After last season's wonderful title challenge they failed. Failed to push on. Failed with a big spend in the transfer market. Failed to get anything out of Balotelli (but we all warned Brendan) and failed to qualify for the CL. They also failed in that same competition this season - just what was Rodgers thinking about picking the reserves in Madrid?

They also failed to hang onto Steven Gerrard. The ramifications of the decision to wait until January to offer him a contract worth only half the money he was on, will only be felt going forward. Gerrard is going to prove a massive loss. Big mistake.

I also believe they'll fail to hang onto Raheem Sterling. Brendan Rodgers has a big job on. As he said of Spurs the previous season 'any team spending £100m on players should be challenging for the title'. True Brendan.

Also failing - Everton. I think both  Merseyside clubs will have to get off to a really good start next season or both Rodgers and Martinez will be in trouble.

Southampton and Swansea get top pass marks. Koeman and Monk can be rightly proud of what they achieved this season.

QPR? They were a shambles, but that wasn't a surprise to me. And when the going got really tough and the money had run out 'Arry f****d off and left Chris Ramsey try and clear up the mess. 'Nice people', he said after Jamie had weasled him into the job. Remember? Same people 'Arry when you left and dropped them in it.

Burnley were fantastic. I'm sorry we've lost them. I hope Sean Dyche and his team bounce straight back. They didn't beat anybody badly, didn't ever get beaten badly, and never gave up. They went down after a battling win at Hull. In a way - the perfect end.

Going with those two, of course, will be either Hull or Newcastle. A bit like the X Factor judges, if I could save one, who would it be?

The answer is Hull. Steve Bruce is a mate so that's largely why! But I happen to believe they can beat a United team with nothing left to play for. A United team that he played for with so much pride and distinction.

Those are two qualities that NOBODY has displayed at Newcastle this season. I said when they got to 34 points (check when that was) it might not be enough. Now 36/37 might not.

I can see West Ham getting something at St James'. Big Sam would love that after the way it ended for him there. And he'd really love to do his mate Brucey a favour - before walking away.

He'll leave Upton Park on Monday and I don't blame him. He's done a fantastic job - everything and more their ungrateful owners and fans have asked of him.

So what next? After a break Sam will be back to do it all again for somebody else. The Hammers? Be careful what you wish for......

I was delighted for Nigel Pearson. Top class Nige. What a job done at Leicester despite all the goings on behind the scenes. And we'll done Tim Sherwood. He took the brakes off at Villa and got them playing. His confidence can sometimes be misinterpreted as arrogance. It's not. He has a deep belief in his own ability. Good luck to him. I hope he stays on there and turns that giant of a club round.

A special mention for Mark Hughes and his back room staff at Stoke. I backed them all the way at QPR - and warned about the mess 'Arry would leave. What an irony as things were unravelling at Loftus Road Hughes delivered a record haul of P Lge points for Stoke.

I'm off for a short break in Bali the weekend after next, but the blogs will keep coming, all the way through and beyond the Copa America, which Andy and I are off to Miami to be part of for BeIN Sports. It's a tough life, but someone has got to do it!

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It's one of the more tedious stats that gets dragged up every Xmas - 'and, of course, only one team has ever survived after being bottom on Boxing Day'. Well we won't hear it anymore, thank goodness!

What will we hear is this 'and, of course, only two teams have ever survived having been bottom at Xmas'! Make a note if you're a BeIN Sports watcher because you won't hear it from me!

Those two teams are West Brom and Leicester. But what else have they got in common? I'll let you think about that and come back to it in just a moment.

The Baggies' escape was a bit special and wholly unexpected. I remember sitting at Fulham's Craven Cottage watching Norwich getting battered as the drama unfolded at The Hawthorns. We made a bad decision at Sky that day!

I've watched Coventry pull off some dramatic escapes down the years. Some were with scrupulous honesty, others were fortunate and once or twice they left a sour taste in the mouth. Sunderland fans especially will know what I'm talking about! Mind you, when relegation did finally come - and it was a Derby win AT Manchester United that sent us down - there was a story I heard many years later accompanying that game that would blow your mind. That's not for now!

There was our final day win AT Spurs. We started the day in the bottom 3 and got out. Sunderland failed at Wimbledon and Middlesbrough (or should that be 'borough!!) at Leeds.

After the game at Elland Road, our reporter Nick Collins (a really good guy by the way) asked the 'Boro captain how he felt. This was the reply 'fucking hell Nick. How the hell do you think I feel?'. Brilliant!! It caused a bit of panic on the day but it largely went un- noticed! That captain? Nigel Pearson. Straight talking and honest, Nigel Pearson. Nothing has changed him down the years.

He's been a breath of fresh air in the P Lge this past season. And, in my opinion, he's pulled off the greatest escape of all time. Leicester were buried at Xmas. In total they spent 140 days bottom - a new P Lge record, but that extra-ordinary run at the end of the season not only got them out, it got them out with a game to spare. Now, if I was Pearson, I'd get out.

Why? Because inevitably it'll go wrong and those who've had their knives out all season will eventually get him.

There's been a lot going on behind the scenes at Leicester that Pearson has had to deal with. It's true that he lost his job at one stage. Those that engineered that situation should hang their heads in shame. They know who they are, but they won't go away and eventually they'll get him. That's why I'd go now if I was Pearson - of my own accord and with my head up. It's a very good feeling, I know!

He's is an honest man. That makes him special in football. He has integrity and belief. He's also got a very good track record in management. He'd get another job, no problem at all.

That brings me to the question I posed earlier. Did you get it? What else do West Brom and Leicester have in common? The answer is Pearson! He was Bryan Robson's assistant at The Hawthorns when they pulled off their 'great escape'.

He also kept Southampton up after a dramatic last day finish - and spectacularly kept Carlisle in the league after encouraging goalkeeper Jimmy Glass to go up for a late corner. The keeper scored - remember? Dramatic stuff.

Pearson is a very good example of a coach that has successfully made the transition to management. I don't believe there are No1's and No 2's. There's no reason at all why a good No 2 can't make the step up - none at all. But it has to be a 'good' No 2. Those that fail generally aren't good' enough.

Pearson is my Manager of the Season, but I know Mourinho will win it. I wouldn't argue with that decision. All I would add is that my belief is that the top guys SHOULD succeed given the money and the opportunity they have to work with the best players. Could Mourinho do what Pearson has done? Could Nigel do what Mourinho has? I believe he could and I hope he gets the chance. Where? Well somewhere like Liverpool perhaps?  Why not?

Again, it won't happen, but I'm interested to hear that Brendan Rodgers' position isn't so solid after all. He's got a lot of explaining to do come the end of the season.

Ballotelli? Disaster. What on earth made him think he'd succeed there? We're talking about a player Mourinho called 'un-manageable'.

And do you remember what he said about Spurs' £100m+ spending? Let me remind you -'any team spending that amount of money should be challenging for the title'. I agree. So why weren't Liverpool?

I don't think any harm will come to Rodgers right now and nor should it after the season Liverpool had last time out. But it could get interesting if the Raheem Sterling battle gets personal and it comes down to one staying and the other going.

Another one we've been talking about here for months - De Gea to Real Madrid, is edging ever closer. What Utd can get out of Madrid is going to be fascinating. I still don't rule out Bale being part of the deal. Utd have certainly been asking.

I don't see Kane to Old Trafford as a starter, although I'm fully aware that Utd have floated this prospect. It's an example of what I was talking about previously in these blogs - put it out there and see what happens!

Oh - and another one to keep an eye on - YaYa to Inter. If Mancini can pull this off he will. And if he does Inter will go very close to the Serie A title next season. It's that challenge - and not so much the money - that I believe will appeal to the big man. He wants to go down as one of the 'greats'. And Italian cakes are lovely!!

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It's his unique style and brilliant writing that draws me to read Richard Littlejohn's column in the Daily Mail.

You might not like what he writes, but you can't deny that he's a brilliant wordsmith and how many waspish nicknames has he given us to have fun with? Oh, I should add that I regard Richard as a mate as well. I mention that in the interests of fairness!

Anyway, one of his regular favourites is the section called 'You couldn't make it up'. I'm going to offer you a spin here along the same lines.

Why would anyone 'make up' a story concerning Pep Guardiola's impending move to Manchester City? It's a story of such enormity you quite literally 'couldn't make it up'.

It's all that the world of football has been talking about since my colleagues at BeIN Sports Arabic broke the story on Saturday afternoon.

I'd received the same information as them about two hours before they let the story go. My reaction when I did? I just stared at the text and swallowed - hard. I sat on it for an hour or so because of the enormity of it but never once doubted it because the source was impeccable - somebody I trust implicitly.

As a journalist you have to make a judgement on whether to let the information out. I was fronting a monstrous 'live' football show so had the ideal opportunity, but it never once occurred to me that it was information that should be in the public domain. If it was going to come out I was more than happy to follow my colleagues on our Arabic channels

A decision was made there, once it had been checked thoroughly that it was good to go. I should add that we don't sit out here in the desert twiddling our thumbs and sitting in candle lit tents drinking coffee. As inconvenient as some find it, this part of the world is a financial and football powerhouse. We know what's happening, more often than not, before the rest of the world catches up. We also make it happen.

I was exchanging tweets with the very fine journalist and broadcaster Gab Marcotti on Twitter Sunday night. He, like I had been all weekend, was asking 'in whose interest is it that this story comes out?'.  That's the more mature approach to a story of this magnitude, not the childish rush to knock it down. I haven't got an answer yet. What I do know for sure is that a verbal pre-contract agreement has been reached.

I was intrigued to read this morning that the Bayern legend Lothar Mattheus is claiming that Guardiola has 'lost' the players at the Allianz. Mmmmmm!

Now. Not every story that makes it into the public domain happens. Memphis Depay has ended up at Man Utd and not Liverpool, who were front runners a fortnight ago. No-one was fooled by Brendan Rodgers' denials that he'd been interested in the player!

Why did the story come out in the first place? It originated from Holland. I repeated it. Others followed. Once it was out United, who'd only made one call to find out if the player was available, were pushed to make a move. Clever. Can you work out the originator of the story?

I also read Manchester United have decided against naming rights to Old Trafford being sold. Really? Why would they announce that? A year ago they denied they were discussing the possibility! Of course they were. Get the story out - see what the reaction is - deny it - and try to come up with a diluted formula that's more acceptable. Bingo!

Benitez to Chelsea. It happened Guillem. Cavani to Utd? Not yet! Hulk to Chelsea? Somebody ask the player what he was told by Mourinho!

So let's wait and see where Guardiola ends up. The next 48 hours are going to be fascinating.

Back to the business on the field. QPR were a shambles at the weekend. I felt for the fans that followed them to Manchester and spent their hard earned money to watch them. Shambles? No, a disgrace.

I feel for Chris Ramsey and Tony Fernandes, the part owner. But I did warn Tony. Who in their right mind trusts their club to 'Arry? I know I'm going to get a bit of stick for returning to this subject, but as about the only person prepared to speak honestly about 'Arry, I have to. This mess is on his toes. He spent the money - £72m of it + wages and agents fees - more than anyone outside the top 7, on this bunch of ageing has beens. He was the Captain of the ship. He's to blame, no-one else. And 24 hours after he was denied two more money wasting buys he makes up some nonsense about dodgy knees and walks out. Thanks 'Arry.

Pompey remain a mess after his time at Fratton Park. What an era of excess he was part of there. Scandalous. Southampton have recovered, and West Ham, but both were 'touched' by his financial profligacy. This is somebody who admits openly that he can't spell or write. Can't he do sums either?

Remarkably he's recovered from his knee problems and is 'raring to get back into football'!

QPR are a good club, staring into the abyss and it gives me no satisfaction to have been proved right about how things would turn out there. Meanwhile, Mark Hughes and the 'Tafia' are 9th with Stoke and heading for a record finish for the club.

Spare a thought for Rob Green as well. I remember sitting at Fulham in 2005 and watching them send Norwich back to the C'ship on the back of a 6-0 hiding. Who was in goal for Norwich that day? Rob Green. Poor fella was in goal this weekend too as QPR shipped six at City!