Who should we be hoping gets the final Champions League spot?

Paul Gilham

Chelsea are all but mathematically guaranteed to be in the Champions League for next season. That means that the Everton game is mostly stress-free -- we want to win to avoid a) a playoff with Arsenal and b) a potential playoff in August should we end up in fourth, but we're not sweating things like we would be had Frank Lampard not saved our collective bacon at Villa Park.

And, indeed, it'll be a stress-free day for most of the Premier League. The title race was over weeks ago. The relegation battle is over. Chelsea and Manchester City have secured the much-coveted top four trophy. In fact, everything meaningful is decided except the fourth and final Champions League spot, which will be contested between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Who do we want to win? It's an interesting question -- there's a poll at the end of the post, but I'll go ahead and do my best to answer here.

I think it has to be Arsenal. As funny as it would be to see them drop out of the top four (and it would be utterly hilarious), I don't think it would actually hurt them much. They've got plenty of money stashed away, and they could spend it if they chose to. Losing Champions League money for a year would be annoying but not fatal.

A Champions League Arsenal are a known commodity. They're also essentially impotent. Over the last few years, the Gunners have consistently been a good team but have never, never threatened to be great. That could magically turn around, of course, but that strikes me as unlikely.

Spurs, on the other hand, would immediately seek to consolidate their position by spending quite a lot of money. They're a good, if flawed side, and giving them a cash injection would allow them to establish themselves as a force at the top of the table. While Arsenal are a docile giant, we cannot expect the same from Tottenham.

Essentially, I'd rather not replace a toothless pseudo-rival with a team that looks genuinely threatening. As amusing as seeing Arsenal flutter off into oblivion might be... well, better the trophy-less devil you know, at least for me.

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