‘Time flies when you are having fun’. Apparently. Not that we would know, although we can tell you that the opposite is true.
Since losing to Corinthians on December 16th, it was clear this season was a write-off, and most fans would’ve given their right arm to fast-forward until pre-season there and then.
With the same record as Fulham and Swansea over our last 5 games, it’s clear now that the priority is qualifying for the Champions League next season, even more so after Gareth Bale FC scraped an unlikely victory away from home on Monday night.
Like an injured puppy, it does seem a massive case of having to limp over the finishing line, and after several months of being knocked out of competitions almost weekly, we may well buy into Arsene Wengers ‘fourth place trophy’ claim, if we can somehow end up there come May 19th.
If we are looking at the positives, it does seem like we will finish the season higher than last year, where we finished 6th. However, while we had the Champions League win to bail us out, this year we have no safety rope. We haven’t felt the full effects of a missed Champions League place, yet.
Much has been said of Chelsea’s unlimited stash of money, but would any of our squad be at risk if we didn’t qualify? Most probably not. Everyone knows that this squad can challenge for the title in coming seasons, so with the exception of Fernando Torres, you would expect the majority to still be happy here, but can we be completely sure?
Gary Cahill was making excuses in the week, telling us the squad is too tired, and with 47 games already this season – the most of any Premier league team – he may well have a point. Apart from the week previous to the 4-1 thumping of Wigan, we have not had a week between games since October, where we beat Spurs 4-2 away from home.
It may be an excuse, but it’s not a very good one. If we want to class ourselves as one of Europe’s greatest, we must start acting like them, and they play a lot of games. More games should be rewards, not punishments, and whilst we have the likes of Lukaku, Mceachran, and De bruyne out on loan, we certainly can’t moan about squad size.
It’s time to roll our sleeves up, and start battling like we want this top four spot.
By Brad Smith