Are the ‘big four’ crumbling?


Chelsea's defence undone for a third time by Everton: are they crumbling?

Last week Manchester City came from behind to beat Chelsea by two goals to one and many a football pundit saw that as proof that, despite all the draws and flattering to deceive, the Eastlands Billionaires could be a real threat to the ‘big four’ this season. Thus, after Everton’s injury-decimated side also matched Chelsea with a 3-3 draw yesterday, the same logic could be used to suggest that my beloved Toffees too, could realistically hope to breach the big four this season.

Such logic is clearly flawed though, because even as an Evertonian I’m realistic enough to know that we pose no threat to the Champions League spots and City’s inability to beat Bolton yesterday has seemingly confirmed that they too lack the necessary consistency to ‘break’ the top four. However, I still think we may see an unfamiliar team near the summit of the Premier League this season, considering Chelsea’s recent stutters alongside those of the other ‘big four’ clubs, it could be argued that they are not as untouchable as they have been in recent seasons.

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You know what? Fuck the Carling Cup.

Gosling & Fellaini looking worse for wear, even after equalising.

Gosling & Fellaini looked worse for wear, even after equalising.

Author’s note: consider this a follow up to my earlier post, ‘Who wants to win the Carling Cup?

I was lucky enough to be inside the Westpac Stadium in Wellington to witness Wellington Phoenix’s 6-0 demolition of previous A-League pace-setters Gold Coast United yesterday evening, but unfortunately that only served as a brief – albeit very welcome – relief from a fairly desperate couple of days for me in terms of football as Everton’s unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt end as a severely depleted squad was hammered in Benfica before losing out to Bolton last yesterday.

In fact, it’s after a few days such as this that Everton, with an already small squad stretched seemingly beyond breaking point by a huge injury list and the stresses of European competition, need a good week’s rest to regroup, nurse some players back to fitness and bounce back for the test against Villa next weekend. Unfortunately though, before the players can put their feet up they must play their third match in six days when they face Tottenham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. You have to ask then, who let that happen?

Click through to find out…