The Barn Door Live: Easter Monday Chat

Paul Gilham

Fulham and QPR are lining it up for a bank holiday clash on this Premier League Monday. There are likely some managers out there with an interest in this match both for the scoring this week as well as running the rule over the Rs ahead of their home match with Wigan next weekend.

This note isn't at all relevant to today's match-up but I saw a very interesting theory put forth by Football365's Matt Stanger in this week's Winners And Losers column. If you scroll down to the "Losers" section (remember this is for Premier League action, not the FA Cup win this morning) then you'll find this:

The worry before that point for Chelsea supporters is that Benitez would be willing to sacrifice a top-four spot for silverware. Arsene Wenger may claim that fourth place is a trophy, but a one-off success doesn't glisten as brightly on a manager's CV as a Europa League triumph or perhaps even an FA Cup victory. For Benitez, the best way to put himself in the shop window is to pick up a trophy, and after four turbulent months at Stamford Bridge the manager will no doubt put his own desires ahead of the fans.

The implication of this statement is that while Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea supporters, and (presumably) Chelsea ownership/upper management are prioritizing Champions League spots over just about anything else at this point in the season Rafa Benetiz's personal motivation is to make his resume look as good as possible for his next job. That, in Mr. Stanger's mind, means prioritizing silverware (FA Cup and Europa League) over matches like this past weekend's disaster against Southampton. I don't know if this sentiment has any merit or not but it would go a long way in explaining why Chelsea fielded a significantly weakened team in a critical match in the league while going all-out against United this morning. A few implications if this is indeed true:

  • Arsenal will presumably make the Top 4 given their upcoming schedule
  • The upcoming Chelsea vs. Spurs match will be HUGE and by this logic Chelsea might not field their best team for it
  • If Chelsea don't make the Champions League do they lose out on the chance to recruit someone like Falcao over the summer?
I'm not saying any of this is for sure or that Chelsea will definitely miss out on the Champions League but it would be a stunning turn of events if the man Roman brought in to right the ship ended up sinking it even while winning some (relatively minor) hardware by Chelsea standards.

In any event, here are today's match-ups:

QPR: Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore, Mbia, Townsend, Jenas, Remy, Taarabt, Zamora.

Fulham: Schwarzer; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland (c), Riise; Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis, Duff; Ruiz, Berbatov

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Never Manage Alone

You must be a member of Never Manage Alone to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Never Manage Alone. You should read them.

Join Never Manage Alone

You must be a member of Never Manage Alone to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Never Manage Alone. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker