The Holy Grail

What will it take to break the stranglehold of the current 'Big Four'? Even with Arsenals current blip (a problem most other clubs would love to have) there's still no sign that the Big Four will have a new member or that the Big Four will become the Big Five or Six - all taking turns in the Champions League.

Transitional periods and re-building is the current trend with the chasing pack, and all long to be the club that achieves the nigh impossible. And with the odd billionaire financing you, who's to tell you wont buy and bully your way there.

For purists (if there are any left) the irony is that in an age when winning is everything and the only thing........theres only two teams in the Premiership who can realistically win the title. Two teams. Followed by two pretenders. The 1970's or 1980's it is not. Gone are the permed days of 8 or 9 teams who could claim to be in with a shout without being laughed at.

I'm sure some of you are old enough to remember that it wasn't just about Liverpool and Everton. Spurs were in there (top 3 on occassion, gosh the cheek of it) and the likes of Villa, Forest of course, Derby, Ipswich...the list goes on. Arsenal were shit back then too. Maybe the footballing Gods left their dizzy PA in charge of things while they went down the pub and still haven't returned to sort the mess out.

There was even club loyalty back then on account (the likelihood) of playing for someone who might win something. The FA Cup and the Milk Cup were monsters of triumph. They almost seem like an afterthought nowadays. And its still the Big Four that pick up these pieces of silverware.

This isn't a dig against Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal. Utd and Arsenal achieved consistency and challenged for trophies due to good management. They took the throne away from the dominating Red machine from Anfield who lost the magic of the boot room. Everyone else flattered to deceive. And recently, Chelsea, plugging away without the end result got the final pieces of the jigsaw when the Russian and the Portuguese blokes turned up at Stamford Bridge, one after the other.

The blame is firmly on football itself, for growing up. For leaving the streets behind and moving into the penthouse suite. The European Cup become the Champions League, and suddenly, everyones priorities change. For the worse.

At this current time, chances are that if you don't support Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal the club you do support has zero to slim chance of winning the title.

4th spot in the Prem is seen as success. 4th spot is an achievement. Probably only sport where it is. But this is football and its not like any other sport.

Its them and us until something gives way. The top two battle it out for first place and the rest have to settle for the scraps. Wont change anything. It hasn't changed anything. We all still wear our colours and support our clubs. Derby, back in the Prem could never seriously consider winning the title. Forest, long since departed from the Prem wont ever lay claim to the biggest club trophy in the world.

We will still support. But it seems in the modern age, finishing 4th with a chance of qualification into the Champions League is more important than winning the FA Cup or anything else.

Maybe it is. Maybe a club has to claim Champions League to then push towards the domestic title. And sacrifice everything else for it.