Chelsea are twelve points away from a guaranteed Premier League title win, but only need one point to guarantee a top four finish, which was the stated aim at the very beginning of a season that began on the back of a surprising and terrible 10th place finish last year.
Expectations did not get raised until Conte and Chelsea embarked on a 13-match winning streak after switching to the now standard 3-4-3 system, and while now anything other than a title win would be tremendous disappointment, it’s important to keep in mind where we started from last summer.
In light of that, it’s perhaps a bit surprising that Conte’s contract* does not include a bonus for achieving this primary goal of a top-four finish. Then again, we’re not Arsenal.
“No, only if we win [league]. When your team is able to reach this target I think it is a good achievement. Don't forget it is only four teams that can play in the next Champions League, with the six teams, between Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, United, Arsenal and Liverpool two strong teams don't play next season in the Champions League.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Football.London
So there you go. Top four does not pay at Chelsea. Only titles.
Let’s do it.
*while players’ contracts may be structured differently, I would be surprised if any of them included significant bonuses for placing in the top four