Same old Arsenal, but Chelsea not as bad as we think

Rafa Benitez 3

Steven Altman discusses the teams battling for a top four place among others as the Premier League season begins to draw to a close.

Wow, it's getting squeaky close at the top end of the Premier League table!

And down at the bottom, things are as tight.

Alex Ferguson said a few weeks ago that he thought that, judging by last year's last gasp winning of the title by Manchester City that he expected a closer fight for the title this year. Clearly, City has let themselves down, however the Manchester teams still dominate the top two places which is just not good enough as far as the London (and other) teams are concerned.

United have not looked as strong as in past seasons. Ferguson admits that their midfield needs strengthening. Added to this is talk about Rooney not being first choice any longer, losing out to Van Persie in a few games.

And yet the other teams cannot catch them. Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal are in a race to finish third or fourth and it seems that there is a general acceptance that these places are good enough.

Arsenal's season has been anything but perfect and for their 'prize' to be a third or fourth spot is surely poor spoils indeed. Not a hint of silverware. I have heard some fans saying how despondent they are. Even if Arsenal were to get a top four spot, the chances of them getting into the quarter finals of the Champions League are not good - so it's the 'same old' another disappointing season, possibly another season to forget. It's frustrating because as individuals, many of the players are very good, and some are exceptional. As a team, it's another story. Very hit-and-miss.

Chelsea has been hamstrung by a temporary manager who has hit the headlines in all the wrong ways. Actually, if one analyses the stats, they haven't been doing badly but the perception is that there is discontent in the camp. Benitez's out burst against the management surely didn't help the club's image, despite the fact that there was truth in what he had to say.

Spurs have been good this season. Bale is a wonderful player, and deserves all the accolades that he gets, yet when the finishing line is in sight, this team tends to stumble, and there is a chance that this will happen again this season.

Regarding the bottom of the table, bit seems that poor old Harry couldn't pull the rabbit out the hat, and it seems that this time QPR are going down, as are Reading.

Whatever the case, the next few weeks until the end of the season are going to be tense, and there will no doubt be some nail biting moments for all of us!

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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