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Bragging Rights To United – For Now!

Ok, so whilst we were progressing into the fifth round of the FA Cup, Manchester United were busy taking over at the top of the table and now we have to sit back and listen to how they’re ‘back where they belong’ – for as long as it lasts anyway.

The thing they seem to be conveniently overlooking is that it’s taken them two more games than us to get there and it’s only a 2 point lead. Arsenal likewise, let themselves get giddy with the few days they had at the top with their extra game allowing them to be there by virtue of goal difference. So right now, we’re all square as far as goals are concerned although our games in hand give us the opportunity to do something about it. Are we going to get carried away with ourselves about it though? Of course not, because if anything, the fact that it’s as tight as it is at the top right now will serve to keep some supporters’ feet on the ground.

Obviously it’s not nice being knocked off – worst still kept off – top spot by either of them, I suppose we’d got a bit used to being there after 3 months though. But realistically it was bound to happen sooner or later. In fact, how we managed to stay there as long as we did given the amount of points we dropped was only down to our rivals failing to do a lot better. And yet it’s these very rivals (or at least their supporters), who have suddenly woke up and smelt the coffee or in their case cappuccino because with all the ranting and raving going on having realized they’re in with a shout, you’d think we were already in May with a gulf between us.

So, what are they basing that excitement on?

Well United, as we’ll hear from every wet-handed sports journo for the forseeable future, managed a 4-0 win at home to Hull City yesterday, which saw them take a two point lead at the top. Ok, so they’ve played more games than anyone else in the league but if they can overlook that small matter I’m sure we can for now. What are they going to offer for the rest of the season though?

We know from old that this is United’s preferred time of the season, a time when they habitually stand up to be counted and whilst we’ve heard all about Rooney being ‘over-burdened’ in the absence of Ronaldo and the Argie midget, the fact that he’s the Premier League’s top scorer with 19 so far to his credit doesn’t look as if the burden is weighing him down too much. Of course they’ve had trouble with their defence – and as they’ll point out (repeatedly) injuries have hurt them but nowhere near as much as their FA Cup exit to Leeds and Carling Cup Semi-final 1st leg defeat to City have.

So was it those two defeats that provided the motivation for this weekend’s convincing win, or are United going to do what they often do from this point in the season and kick on? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What about Arsenal then? They’re above us as well after all – yes I know it’s only goal difference but we have to at least acknowledge their current position even if we aren’t necessarily convinced by it. And whilst I know I seem much more dismissive of them, I suppose it’s just because we’ve seen and heard it all before from Wenger.

Ok, so they’re still playing good football on their day but when it comes to the bigger games (of which they have a few coming their way), they just don’t convince anyone. We didn’t exactly struggle to a 3-0 win against them in November and both Manchester sides have done them this season as well. Fair play they picked themselves up and clawed the points back, but if we hadn’t been so careless with the points would they really still be in with a shout now? I’m not convinced.

That leaves us with what we have to offer this season.  Well, we’re now two points off the top but with a couple of games in hand of the current leaders and a game in hand over Arsenal. That game in hand is against a Hull side who conceded four against United this weekend, so we should manage a result from that. We’ve played with a lot more about us this season and even with several key players missing through ACON right now the goals haven’t dried up.

Yes, we had a rotten December and have thrown away too many points on our travels but the fact that United were doing their best to follow suit didn’t do us any harm at all. And whilst it might not be us at the top of the table right now, our season still lies within our own control. So maybe we should be thankful we’ve been knocked off the top spot for now rather than in May when it’s too late to do anything about it?




Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


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