Do you think Chelsea’s top four hopes are now over?

Image: SkySports . Having thought about it for a couple of days now, especially after Arsenal beat Watford on Monday night, I cannot...

Image: SkySports.
Having thought about it for a couple of days now, especially after Arsenal beat Watford on Monday night, I cannot help but think that the Liverpool result on Sunday has virtually ended our top four hopes this season. 

We now sit fifth in the Premier League on goal-difference from Arsenal and a point behind Tottenham in third, while Manchester United sit in sixth just two points behind us. All three teams have a game in-hand having only played thirty-three games compared to our thirty-four and you have to state that the betting community using a bet365 bonus code would now back Chelsea to miss out. Arsenal and Tottenham are now favourites ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United.

Looking at the run-in to the end of the season, starting with Arsenal who are in the box seat in my view. They face Crystal Palace and Brighton at home, with trips to Wolves, Leicester and Burnley away. You would have to consider them to be favourites for three of the five games with Wolves and Leicester being potential banana-skins.

Tottenham face Man City and Bournemouth away, with Brighton, West Ham and Everton at home and you have to consider them favourites for four of their five remaining games despite Harry Kane being out for the remainder of the season.

Manchester United face Everton and Huddersfield away, Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff at home and my view are out of it unless they can pick up wins against City and us.

As for Chelsea? We face Burnley and Watford at home, Manchester United and Leicester away. We should be favourites to win three of the four with United being difficult to predict.

It’s such a frustrating time for all of us at the moment. We take one step forward, then one step back under Maurizio Sarri and surely his post-match comments would have riled the Chelsea board in addition to the Chelsea fans around the world.

Speaking after being beaten by Liverpool he said:

Of course, Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe at this moment, they play very well for 90 minutes but I think we stayed in the match really well.

I am happy with the performance, we stayed in the match, probably two or three months ago we weren’t able to stay in this game.

We are improving, it’s hard to cover the gap because the level is high and to cover it against Liverpool and City for us will be difficult. Now we are close to the other teams.

Since when are we considered to be a side to go there to make up the numbers? As Eden Hazard said before the game, “We are Chelsea” and he was spot on. For me that’s been one of the issues with Sarri this season. He keeps talking about closing the gap, keeps talking about how we are behind everyone else and has virtually installed this mentality with the players this season.

If you then add his tactical flaws in the Premier League and his ridiculous decisions with his team selections coupled with in-game substitutions, we cannot complain with where we find ourselves right now. He had a chance to build on what looked like being the solution to our defensive issues against Manchester City and Tottenham (to which I had hoped we would adopt against Liverpool) but has discarded those ideas to revert back to his Sarri-ball style which has proven almost fruitless against our top four/six rivals.

I cannot help but think that we have blown it now. Unless Arsenal and Tottenham slip up, we are fighting Manchester United to qualify for the Europa League but also hoping that we can win the Europa League this season and achieve Champions League qualification that way. The question for Roman Abramovich, Marina Granovskaia and the Chelsea board will be whether that will be acceptable to keep Maurizio Sarri at the club for another season at least?

Maurizio Sarri will champion the fact that we have closed the points tally this year between ourselves and those fighting for the Premier League title but for me that makes no difference. He is not the man to take this club forward and when he had a chance to change for the good of the team he didn’t. As a result, he will cost us the top four this season.

What do you think?


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