Chelsea vs. the Top Six
With just ten games of the season remaining (save for those who have a game or two to make up on the rest of the league), it’s looking more and more likely that Chelsea are the champions in waiting. Back in August many did not see that coming, not even the most ardent of Blues fans. The most many of us hoped for was an instant return to the most prestigious club competition in the world, the UEFA Champions’ League, but here we are on the verge of recording our fifth title triumph on the back of perhaps the worst championship defense ever (that’s before Leicester made mockery of that this season of course). Last season was an anomaly in terms of the way the season panned out for the usual title favourites with Chelsea, who was the defending champion, finishing the season in 10th position, and Leicester City .who barely escaped relegation the previous season, being crowned champions.
This season however order seemed to have been restored as the usual suspects are the ones vying for the title and European places. It’s no surprise that we’re where we are on the table because we have been the most consistent of the top six sides this season, particularly against the sides currently outside the elite group. While our results against our direct rivals are not something to be ashamed of (W4 D1 L3) it’s our record against the rest of the league that’s been bordering on exceptional with 17 wins and 2 draws from 19 matches.
Liverpool looked the most likely to run away with the title with the way they started the season. Their record against direct rivals is the best of the current top six sides (W5 D4) but their stuttering performances against the rest of the league has seen them just hanging on to the last Champions’ league qualifying spot by the skin of their teeth. Losses against Leicester, Swansea, and Hull City since the turn of the year and to Bournemouth, and Burnley earlier in the season have dented their title aspirations.
Manchester City are another team with an astonishing record against teams outside the current top six but their record against their rivals has left a lot more to be desired with 2 wins and a draw from six outings.
Spurs are beginning to look like the real deal after their run at the title last season ended at Stamford Bridge. They seemed to have kicked on and are a sure bet to qualify for the CL if they keep their run of results going. Questions would be asked of them during the run in with their main striker, Harry Kane, on the sidelines. They also seem to be dispatching of teams outside the top six with minimal fuss, it’s their record of 9p oints from a possible 24 against direct rivals that gives cause for concern and that is where they need serious improvements.
It’s the same old story for Arsenal this season. They have always been let down season after season with their results against their top four/six rivals and this season has been no exception as they have the most contrasting results of the current top six. They have a miserly 5 points from 7matches against their rivals and a massive 45 points against the rest of the league. With all the problems they are currently battling with, it’d be a miracle if they make it into the CL for next season, which time and time again had proven to be their Holy Grail.
And last but not least is of course Manchester United. Nobody expected them to be where they are on the table in mid-March, even with their problems from the last three or so seasons, with the appointment of Mourinho to succeed the departed/sacked Van Gaal. The Europa league seemed their most likely route into the CL as it stands and that’s because the only thing consistent in their results is the amount of draws they have recorded which is mostly against teams they are expected to beat. Also, their record of 6 points from 6 matches against direct rivals needs to improve.
While Chelsea have put teams outside the top six to the swords, the rest of the top six have stuttered against them and that’s why we are on the way to winning another Premier League title. Antonio Conte does not get the accolades his work at Stamford Bridge since taking the reins deserve. To do what he’s done takes a lot of guts and hard work and to pull it off and drive us to the title is awesome to say the least. Thank you Signor Conte!
Judas or no Judas During the FA Cup match between Chelsea and Manchester United on Monday, a section of the Stamford Bridge crowd chanted for Mourinho to f**k off repeatedly after his altercation with Conte on the touchline and he in response said he’s still our number one manager and until we have a manager who’s able to win three titles then “Judas is number one”. No one can deny his achievements at SW6 and a lot of Chelsea fans has come out to criticize those fans for their actions, and rightly so, but I think Mourinho has it coming for a long time with his anti-Chelsea speeches. He’s loved by the Chelsea fans immeasurably but he’s betraying that love by stating that Manchester United fans are the best even though he’s been with them less than a season. He seems to be doing everything to get under our skin but I can only hope we don’t stoop to his level like those fans did on Monday. He’s only mad to see Conte succeed where he’d failed. Upwards and onwards, Blues!