Stating the bleeding obvious

Simply this: There is no more 'going for fourth spot'. It's of no relevance any more to target a position in the league that basically amounts to nothing. Sure, any other given season it equates to Champions League (with qualifiers standing in the way) but as witnessed this season that honour is vaporised by UEFA rules deeming its value to be nothing more than a sum of money form the Prem League for finishing in a lofty position. Fourth best club in the land is nothing to scoff at. But this isn't about the semantics of stature and that's what tends to blind us. We're fourth this season because that is what we deserve. It's a positive. But it's one with a devastating caveat. Any club with aspirations can no longer aim for fourth. It must aim higher. It will get congested up there. More so with every passing season, although it's up for debate until the summer is over in terms of which teams have truly strengthened and which teams have simply endeavoured to retain balance once more on the tightrope. As for us, we're going to need padding in our groin area so we're not kicked in the balls again.

RIP fourth, fourth is no more. Third is the new fourth.

 

Required: One centre-back, a midfield playmaker, a right-winger, two forwards.

This won't end well.