With around 1/3rd of the season left we are starting to get a clearer picture of how it will end. However, there is also still enough time for major changes.
Interesting times ahead. So for a moment let me gaze into my crystal ball I have borrowed from the gypsy lady down the street, and see where we may end up by the end of the season.
Well shut my mouth. A few days ago I thought Arsenal would limp to victory over Blackburn, and couldn’t see them achieving anything else this year. However their 7-1 thumping of Rovers sent a message that they are not out of it yet. And with RVP in the form of his life, you wouldn’t want to rule anything out.
It can not disguise what is a disappointing season, and will do nothing to abate the calls for Wenger’s head, but Arsenal will finish the season with a good run of form, that will see them just keep space above Liverpool and Newcastle (the latter of which will push them close). Europa League glamour ties and a summer of rebuilding await the Gunners.
A quiet season all round for the Blues. Low-key transfers, mostly low-key results. Terry’s troubles seem to be the only reason Chelsea make the newspaper these days. Much like the rest of the season they will have a fairly quiet run in.
After typing this Chelsea threw away a 3-0 lead over United, which epitomizes what I wanted to say. They’ll play well, there’ll be no drama, but they aren’t in winning form right now. They’re too far ahead to be caught for forth, but despite playing well, they face Liverpool, City and Arsenal away, which is why I don’t think they’ll pick up quite enough points to catch third either.
It’s hard to say whether AVB’s Chelsea are just in a rebuilding phase or if the problems run deeper. Fans will hope that 4th and a Champions League spot will set them up well for next season.
A disappointing transfer window should not take away from a great season, and hopefully won’t affect the team’s run in. Spurs 3-0 victory over Wigan should set them up well for what is a make or break month. February holds Liverpool, Newcastle and Arsenal, whilst the first match of March is Man Utd.
A tough, tough run of games, and frankly impossibly to predict. But I think Spurs will come out of it well enough to maintain at least some of their 6 points gap over 4th. However they will lose enough points to see them slip away from the top 2. By the end they will finish closer to Chelsea in 4th, than either of the top 2.
It will be CLOSE. Possibly final day of the season close. But I still think City’ will lose out. It could be down to the lack of winning culture that United seem to have. It could be that City don’t seem to have perfected ‘winning ugly’. But it’s not really any of that. It’s that the team always seems one moment away from complete implosion, and will be put under even more pressure as the end draws near. I’ve never been convinced Mancini’s role is stable or he has complete control of the dressing room.
This is epitomized by the man himself Balotelli. Throughout his troubles his goal scoring has remained solid. But he seems unhappier everyday, and would you rely on him when the going gets tough? Maybe. But I still think they’ll find themselves runners-up this year.
One more time. I think Man U have it in them to hold on to the title again, but possibly for the last time in a while. The future is shaping up to be City’s and the current United squad doesn’t fill me with confidence for the next 2 or 3 seasons. But right now, United have the history, they’ve already ridden through their rough patches, and they are still were they should be to push on for the title.
Talk of ‘been there done that’ can seem like superstitious nonsense, but today’s recovery at Chelsea shows how powerful winning culture and mentality can be. At 3-0 down, and not performing all that well, United had no right to salvage a point, but they did. Much like this season, with one of the weakest squads on paper for a while United have no right to win the league, but they will.
However, team spirit and winning mentality can only take you so far, and despite the win this could be the start of a period of struggle for United.
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