Have Chelsea lost their bottle?

by Jack Hayes

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

After another eventful week in English football we’ve seen Chelsea crash out of the Champions league, drop more away points at Blackburn and Fulham overcome the impossible against Italian giants Juventus, United beat Liverpool and 10 man Arsenal made light work of West Ham.

Off the football field was just as interesting. Arsenal drew defending champions of Europe; Barcelona with most likely Jose Mourinho’s Inter lying in wait for the winner. Man Utd were handed a draw that they must be delighted with, firstly facing Bayern Munich in a repeat of the 1999 final with either Bordeaux or Lyon waiting in the semis. Fergy would never admit it, but he must be over the moon with the draw avoiding all three of Arsenal, Inter and Barca until the final. However Roy Hodgson will be less pleased with his draw. Wolfsburg proved in the Champions league this season that they are no pushover and although Fulham have been unbelievable at home, Wolfsburg have to be favourites over the two legs.

Arsenal are also underdogs for the mouth-watering tie everyone except Arsenal fans wanted. This game also comes with some tasty side plots, Cesc Fabregas auditioning for his most likely next club, Thierry Henry returning to the Emirates and the clash of the two most beautiful styles of football.

Back in the Premier league the race for 4th took several twists and turns. Firstly Spurs overcame Stoke at the Britannia, Villa struggled to gain a point from Wolves with two dubious John Carew goals, with Kevin Doyle in particular impressing for Wolves. This was followed by a limp performance from Liverpool leaving the door open for Man City who gladly took advantage, leaving them two points off 4th with a game in hand.

Things at the bottom are starting to spread out, Wigan gained 3 vital points from a late Hugo Rodallega header and Wolves grit and determination personified by their manager Mick McCarthy earned them a shock point at Villa Park. West Ham slipped down to just 3 points from the drop zone, but they must have enough quality to survive. In particular Alessandro Diamanti is destined for much greater things. Things are not looking rosy for Burnley or new football management consultant Ian Dowie. His team look like a sinking ship with all the signs of a team destined for the drop; defensive frailties, conceding late goals and a lack of quality up front.

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  • http://www.footybetpro.co.uk Bob

    I don’t think Chelsea will win anything significant this year. They may get the FA Cup but Abromovich only really cares about the Champions League and Premier League title.

    I think Man United will win the Premier League again this year and may do the double with the Champions League.

    I’d love Arsenal to prove me wrong and win either the League or CL but they have their work cut out; especially facing Barca. Hopefully Wenger can pull some magic out of the hat so we can have an all English final.

  • Mike

    I thought chelsea were dead certs to win the league this year but It seems that their old legs have caught up with them. Referees at old trafford are just too biast towards Utd and that’s why I think they will win the league yet again.

    I hope arsenal give them a real run for their money though

  • mickeymarbles

    Go on the Devils, it’s in the bag….again.

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