State of the top 5 (6) in the Barclay’s English Premier League

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The top 5 in the Barclay’s English premier league have actually turned into a top 6. Due to the fact that Liverpool is finding its old strength, we now have another competitor for one of the top 5 spots. Let’s take a look for the next three weeks and see what’s in the cards for these clubs:

Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool have turned the curve and have delivered some good results over the past 5 games. Fernando Torres has left the club and with Suarez from Ajax Amsterdam it seems they found more than an adequate scorer. If they can keep up the momentum, there is a good chance for at least 5th place. Of course that would require a break down in performance of at least one of the other clubs in the top 6.
Current trend: up

Chelsea is the team with the most problems, so it seems for the moment. With the loss in the 4th round FA-cup game at home against Everton, the issues have certainly become more dramatic. The upcoming Champions League game against FC Copenhagen will be of major importance to Chelsea. In my opinion, and I repeat that, the transfer of Fernando Torres to Chelsea did not do any good for the Blues. Didier Drogba’s and Nicolas Anelka’s mood and form has not improved since Torres arrived. Both are of major importance in the upcoming Champions League clash with FC Copenhagen. Manager Carlo Ancelotti had the idea of rotating his players, especially the strikers, in all competitions. In the league cup they were already kicked out, yesterday they excused themselves from the FA Cup and if they are not careful, the same will happen in the Champions League. Chelsea in the current form is certainly not a sure bet for the next round. Then, there is nothing left for rotation and the faces of some players will get longer and longer as the opportunities to play shrink away. Not necessarily of help in the remaining games in the league. There will be a lot of pressure on the team and coaches, since Champions League participation is mandatory for the club. Can you imagine Chelsea is not going to make it?
Current trend: down

Spurs! For me, Harry Redknapp is the coach of the year. He has formed a team of depth at Whitehard Lane. Up until two weeks ago it seemed that Spurs only have “one first eleven” and that any injuries (such as Bales’s) could bring the team down. Well, Harry is now able to rotate players and still has a winning team on the field. The win in Milan this week was the last proof for that. With the win against Milan and the resulting confidence boost, Spurs are flying high, for at least 3 more weeks. There is a good chance that they win the game in Blackpool on Tuesday and take 3rd place from  Man City and further distance Chelsea.
Current trend: up

It is difficult to talk about Manchester City. Looking at the roster, they should look much better in the table than they actually do. They spent so much money to get this roster quality, but it seems there is a struggle to form a team that can go the distance and play constantly on a high level. It appears that the efforts to get results and win something (silverware) become more and more desperate. Looking at the team, I can’t help thinking about a group of mercenaries going to work, including the coach. There is no identification with the club. Yes, they are in the race to win the premier league, FA cup and Europe league, but let’s be honest: The Barclay’s Premier League and Champions League qualification is what they really want and it doesn’t look like they can deliver that.
Current trend: sideways or down

Arsenal has just made their task to catch Manchester United a little harder. With a disappointing 1:1 at Leyton-Orient they got themselves another unpopular distraction on the way to win silverware. There are really games enough for them in the next weeks, they didn’t need that one. However, they are currently the only one that have the means to catch United on the last stretch in the Premier league. For them, the mix of Champions League, FA-cup, Carling cup and League is a good one. With the win over Barca this week, they got a pretty nice boost for the next three weeks and the upcoming games. This sounds crazy, but if they don’t make it into the next round in the Champions League, it is not a neck breaking event. If you look at Chelsea on the other hand, outsch.
Current trend: up

Manchester United is the team to beat. In the Premier League there is only one team that can catch them, in the FA Cup they have another home game,  and as they represent themselves currently, they are a top team in the Champions League and they are the favorite in the games against Olympique Marseille. Besides of a super Manager with Alex Ferguson, they have a roster of experienced guys and they have a run, still. It is very difficult to find a “hair in the Manchester United soup”, for now. It is, however, the only team without a crisis during this season. Even though it is Manchester United, going all the way without a hang-up is the most difficult thing to do

Current trend: up

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