What’s wrong with finishing in the Top Four?

Imagine the biggest game of hot potato ever. Now imagine that the competitors in that game are four of England’s richest and most successful football clubs, and they’re playing for the right to compete in next year’s Champions League, which is considered the ultimate stage in club football. So why do these teams want to do everything to miss out on it?

Of the four clubs in question — Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Arsenal FC — all four have suffered awful runs of form, dropping points and even losing multiple games in succession. Obviously it’s a problem, but no one can figure out why a race for the Champions League has turned into a competition to see who can lose more and be relegated to the Europa League.

Now keep in mind that being in the Europa League is not bad at all. It’s another prestigious European club competition. But it’s not the Champions League, which has the goal for all four of these clubs have been throughout the year.

So, missing out on playing in the Champions League isn’t the worst; what’s worse is the poor runs of form each of these four clubs have endured. Arsenal has lost three games in a row and Tottenham lost its last game, insisting that everything is alright, since the Spurs are concerned about the current Champions League semifinals. Meanwhile, Chelsea has been tepid, dropping seven points in three weeks, and Manchester United is languishing in its worst run of form since 1962, winning only two of the last ten matches in all competitions.

Obviously, the remedy to each of these problems is to win matches. However, that’s not so easy to do, considering that these clubs seem to be allergic to winning at the moment.

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