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Monday, April 22, 2024

Father and sons trio excited for Premier League title race

As football fans gear up for the most anticipated title race in recent memory, one household has a fan in each of three camps.

Mohammed (Mo) Bhana 45, a die-hard Liverpool fan is among those excited to witness a finale that could end in the swansong he believes the departing manager Jurgen Klopp deserves.

His eldest son Adam,16 is gunning for Arsenal, having grown to love the style that the north-London club has become synonymous for. Ismail 11, meanwhile has a passing interest in the game but has grown to like Manchester City in between his first love of professional Wrestling.

The weekend stalemate between Arsenal and Manchester City who drew 0-0 at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, has left the father the happier of the trio. Liverpool came from behind to beat Brighton on Sunday with Mohammed Salah scoring the winner at Anfield leaving them two points clear of Arsenal and three clear of Manchester City.

Bhana who is also the author of an acclaimed book about Liverpool’s international fanbase, is not getting overly confident. Speaking to the Asian Standard he says “we have a good squad and the firepower upfront to do it so hopefully we can.”

As a keen watcher of the game, he is also aware of what both City and Arsenal bring citing England midfielder Declan Rice as a game changer for the Gunner’s compared with last year. “I think he (Rice) makes them stronger and more secure so that might help them as they are scoring lots of goals.”

Arsenal’s recent run of victories which saw them become the first side in English league football history to win three successive away games by five or more goals has given them a boost in terms of goal difference. In such a tight race that could prove significant if teams are level on points at the end of the season. After this weekends fixtures their goal difference stands at six over league leaders Liverpool.

A Premier League title to go with the League Cup and a possible Europa League could still make it a memorable end for their departing manager Jurgen Klopp.

Bhana has more reason than most for wanting Klopp to go out with a bang having received a signed postcard from the Liverpool manager as a thank you for receiving the author’s latest book.

Five, is inspired by a real life story where son Adam found a £5 note at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.  Having been told by his dad ‘we cannot keep what is not ours,’ he sent the note with a letter written in pencil to former club director Sean Jarvis, for Australian international, Aaron Mooy. Mooy had scored the winner as Huddersfield Town won 2-1, the first time the Club had beaten Manchester United in 65 years in 2017, a game which all three attended.


The incident left a lasting impression on father Mo who turned it into a sci-fi novel which sees Adam turn into a superhero after the note is returned to the youngster. The most famous British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill who appears on the note comes to life in order to inform Adam, that he is one of very few people who believes in the power of gratitude and is the hero that the world needs.

Adam can also boast of having a personal gift from his team’s manager with Mikel Arteta of Arsenal sending him a signed postcard imploring the youngster to “never give up.”

Mo is not surprised by the class of the mangers in interacting with fans in such a way as he cites the success of another former Liverpool manager Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen.

“I interviewed him (Alonso) for my last book and he was interested in my motivations and also interested in Ancient Egyptian culture and classics. He is well read and cares about detail. You can see why his team is so well drilled and are top of the table in Germany.”

The weekend belonged to Liverpool and fans like Mo and others believe the season could well be theirs. Abbigal Rudkin from the Anfield Wrap says “it feels like it ours because we’ve been winning in so many different ways”, whilst citing the romanticism of winning the League as the perfect swansong for Klopp.


City’s experience in close title races with Liverpool and having won four out of the last five Premier League titles means they have to know-how to get over the line. The Blues who completed a historical Treble last season lifting the European Cup for the first time in their history are chasing another record, hoping to become the first team to win four consecutive top flight championships in England.

All three of the title challengers have won three consecutive championships at some point in their history with Arsenal doing it in the 1920’s whilst Liverpool completed the feat in the Eighties.

Whilst acknowledging that two of the trio will be disappointed at the end of the season Mo is happy with the choices his sons have made in supporting teams other than Liverpool. “I told them they can support whoever they want, just not Man Utd.”

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