Usually when we reach the fag end of a season, the Top 4 that is always at the tip of our tongues – Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool (Man City). Well this was not the season where the top 4 were at their supreme best. Stumbles have decided the pecking order, rather than remarkable team form.
The defending champs, Chelsea, started the season with a lot of promise; only to wither mid season due to internal issues and questionable player performances.
Manchester United were driven forward more with the grit and determination of SAF and his troops without ever reaching their peak. Untimely injuries, off the pace legends and lack of quality replacements in the centre of the park have kept them subdued.
Arsene’s Arsenal are a side that is ever improving, but their innate qualities of losing ground when least expected, and the manager’s stubbornness to deviate even 1o from his principles has seen them also staring down another RUNNERS UP season.
2 managers, 2 different outcomes, Liverpool, has shown a lot of fight to rise from the dead after almost battling relegation mid season.
The noisy neighbours, Manchester City, ably lead by Mancini [I say ably, cause he no doubt has the toughest managerial job], are on course to achieve their top4 goal. What happens next, we shall soon see.
Let’s start off with defending champs, Chelsea
- First 5 games: Beats West Brom and Wigan 6-0 and trumps Blackpool 4-0 – The champs get off to a flyer
- 8/8: Loses first silverware [Community Shield 1-3 Manchester United]
- 9/22: Knocked out of Carling Cup [3-4 Newcastle United]
- 11/11: Departure of Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins marked the downcurve of the Blues progress in the league.
- Barren run: 11/7 to 12/27 – Chelsea’s form read P 8 W 0 D 4 L 4 – saw them drop out of pole position.
- January: Roman gets into the act. 2 massive signings – David Luiz £21.3mand Fernando Torres£50m
- 2/19: Loses to Everton in FA Cup 1-1 [penalties]
- Feb/Mar: P 6 W 4 D 1 L 1. Resurgence. Ancelotti and Luiz bag the Barclay awards.
- 8 games in the month of April, with 3 in the first ten days, a fit squad will be key considering Chelsea have only European glory to chase and having to win all games in the league to exert any pressure on the top 2.
- Yossi Benayoun‘s return to footballing action last week [20 min, Israel] means he is one more weapon for Chelsea to wield and none other than Torres will be looking forward more.
(A) Brittannia Stadium: Following Manchester United’s early kick off at Upton Park, the Blues will battle it out against the Potters (1930 IST ESPN). Any point taken there will be a struggle and well worth it. I go for a 1-2 with Torres to score the winner. [I see Torres returning to his old self this month – the scene is set for him.]
Next post will be on table toppers and the very likely title winners – MUFC.