It’s all over, isn’t it? The Premier League, I mean. Gone. Dead. Extinct. At least as a competitive entity. Chelsea have done that. Well, them and their rivals’ total lack of consistency over the course of an entire campaign. Is it possible for the Blues to be caught?
The gap at the top is 10 points with 11 games to play, after all. For those of you who haven’t been around football much, that equates to Antonio Conte’s team needing to lose four times between now and the season’s end. Four times. Once more for clarity four times. And even then, Spurs must win all their remaining fixtures. Without Harry Kane, who’s been firing quick and sharper than a sniper with an AK47 since Christmas. Let’s face it, it’s dead and buried. The ‘title race’ will have been put to rest, sent beneath the earth and be feeding the worms and
The ‘title race’ will have been put to rest, sent beneath the earth and be feeding the worms and weebly things by the time the actual season comes to a close in May. Chelsea can’t lose four more matches, surely? They’ve only slipped up three times in 27 outings as it is… and two of those came prior to the magical switch to 3-4-3 which turned malfunctioning machinery into top-of-the-line tech. Nah, it’s gone.. Sent from this world.
The Premier League trophy hanging in Purgatory for a few more weeks until John Terry can put on his full kit and run from the stands to parade the famous silverware in front of Stamford Bridge’s baying, loving masses. All over. Look at the fixture list.
Chelsea have got Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Sunderland still to play at home, which is the footballing equivalent of the oafish kid in Year 12 being challenged for his Smarties by three snotty-nosed eight-year-olds. And then they’ve got Southampton… comfortable in midtable, minds drifting to Dubai and Cancun and Las Vegas and wherever else their oodles of millions will take them during the summer.
Not the most taxing of tests. So that leaves us with seven games, of which Chelsea must lose four. Bournemouth away? Not likely. Not if the Cherries’ three-month rut doesn’t come to an end pretty sharpish. West Brom at The Hawthorns? Really?
Like Saints, the Baggies will be done and dusted for the year; their unlikely Europa League challenge fading with every point they slip behind Everton. Even if Tony Pulis’s side have only lost at home to Chelsea in one of the past five seasons. And so six matches remain.
Stoke away is a tricky tie for the Blues historically – the Potters have emerged from the Bet365 Stadium meetings with at least a point on four of the last six occasions – and Goodison Park is a tough venue, too (two wins in eight for Chelsea). But Conte’s men are blitzing everything in front of them like fruit in a bodybuilder’s blender.
The Premier League has become mush around them. Even if Manchester City beat them at the Bridge – and Pep Guardiola’s team might, they’re flying after all. Even if Tottenham do the most incredible double over this blue juggernaut – and Mauricio Pochettino has constructed a side capable of doing just that, even without Kane.
Even if the gods turn on Chelsea and try to smite them from the skies… it wouldn’t matter. The gap is too great, the opposition too flakey. It’s over. It’s done. It’s dead. Start writing the eulogy today and let’s get on with that age-old battle for fourth. Sigh.