Four-way fight for Premier League fourth place hots up between Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle
Reputations of players and managers are on the line in the battle to secure fourth place. Alan Smith assesses each team’s strengths and weaknesses.
The lack of goals lately must worry manager Andre Villas-Boas, as must the seemingly endless travails of Fernando Torres. Finding the answer is proving quite hard, no matter how many chances the Spaniard receives. With the shape Chelsea play, a misfiring lone striker does not help at all.
On top of that, the John Terry issue continues to distract, what with the defender now being dropped as England captain. Maybe it would have been better all round if Terry’s trial had not been put back.
More pressing, however, is the need to find some rhythm on the pitch, preferably when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
With Terry still injured, perhaps Gary Cahill will get his first game to shine a light on the future under Villas-Boas.
This was always going to be a transitional season as the new manager went about building his own team. If they can finish fourth under such circumstances, that should be regarded as something of a result. If they cannot, a certain Russian won’t be too pleased.