Three in two doesn’t work.
With Southampton already relegated, two from Everton, Leeds and Leicester will be considering trips to Plymouth, Ipswich and Millwall in next season’s Championship on Sunday, as the survivor toasts to a great escape.
So, on the eve of a critical final day of the Premier League season, we asked our fan writers for their heartfelt pleas to their heroes as they struggle to stay in the division.
17th – Everton, two points from the relegation zone
Mike Richards, Holy Trinity
I began writing this piece countless times before finally accepting the words that truly express our feelings towards Sunday.
Overwhelming anxiety and apprehension is the only way to describe our current psychological state.
Asking fellow Everton players what the club means to them, the feelings range from unrelenting affection to unrelenting misery.
The love for our club is what makes the misery of our current situation so heightened.
The golden years of the 80s were simply the pinnacle of our club’s existence.
There has been a fairly steady decline since those glittering days, including numerous flirtations with demotion. That decline has rapidly accelerated over the past couple of seasons, as our current boardroom custodians are responsible for what can only be described as complete mismanagement.
Relegation battles are becoming a habit. You can only go so long before the inevitable happens. The consequences would be vast and, without wishing to sound arrogant, would outweigh the impact on both Leeds and Leicester.
It was said this week that if Everton fall it would be the biggest relegation of the Premier League era. Hard to disagree.
Players and staff now know what this club means to us. They also know what we have done for them in the last two seasons.
We are loyal, proud and have consistently shown that we have the stomach for a fight.
We will be here, whatever the weather, whoever is wearing the jersey and whoever is sitting on the bench. However, it’s time to cash in on some of our adoration. We need revenge.
Quite simply, it’s do or die. It’s fight or flight. It is to win at all costs.
COMBAT. FOR. WE.
18th – Leicester, in the relegation zone
Chris Forrian, Leicester Till I die
If we get relegated this weekend, I’ll be sad, but let’s remember what this club has been through over the past 10 years.
Things some clubs can only dream of.
My son is too young to remember the dark days of the scandals of Frank McLintock, Peter Taylor, La Manga, which failed and fell to the third level.
But what we did share was the record-breaking 2013-14 promotion season, an eight-hour return journey to home games and then the ‘Great Escape’ – accidentally winning the Premier League while trying to avoid relegation.
Plus, Andrea Bocelli singing No Dorma, the great West lifting the trophy, the Champions League theme as your team go out for a quarter-final, finally lifting the FA Cup at the fifth attempt and weeping into each other’s arms more, and then see your team lift a trophy live at Wembley when we won the Community Shield.
Whatever happens on Sunday, I will wake up on Monday morning and thank Vichai (RIP) and Top for those memories. We have been blessed and will be back next season, wherever that is, to do it all over again.
19th – Leeds, below Leicester on goal difference
Adonis Storr, The roaring peacock
If this current Leeds United side has been waiting for a sign, then here it is.
The last 90 minutes – the May sun lights them up like a floodlight – Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road. A game that is worth millions for players and owners, but for the fans it is worth much more.
This is Rocky in the final round, Churchill on the beaches. Who will answer the call to be a hero?
Leeds’ fate may have already been sealed, but there is still some hope, no matter how small – incredibly, and against form and reason – that these players can finally find the fight to save their club and save some pride.
Leeds fans don’t forgive if you fight. This is the town of “Tubthumping”, we all get knocked down. But it’s time for these players to stand up and fight.
While they may not be motivated by the city, the manager, the fans or their own bank account, they must have some pride to hold on to.
Because even after the season we’ve had, show some passion and the Elland Road crowd will respond with a deafening roar.
If the players lead the crowd, this Leeds crowd can lead this team to stay in this league.
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