Former Premier League striker Alan Shearer has provided a blunt opinion on Chelsea’s chances of finishing in the top four this season, issuing a stark warning to the London club’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino. The Blues’ recent resurgence collapsed in spectacular manner when they were defeated 2-0 by Brentford at Stamford Bridge, ending a four-game unbeaten streak.
“I think the analysis of the defeat is clear because after the first half we should score and we didn’t score,” Shearer after the game.
“It is easy when you dominate and create chances and you don’t concede chances and the opponent doesn’t cross the halfway line. I think you should score. If you don’t score you need to blame yourself and we are going to blame ourselves because we were not nasty or clinical in front of the goal. We created chances but did not score.
“Sometimes you need some luck, you know, to score and after the game changed in the second half but I think we give the belief because we didn’t score and the second half, I think we cannot concede these types of goals. It was our mistake. That is why we lose the game.”
Chelsea had been showing glimpses of promise before the west London derby, earning seven points from their previous three games, which featured wins over Fulham and Burnley, as well as an intense tie with Arsenal. However, their good fortune was dashed by goals from Brentford’s Ethan Pinnock and Bryan Mbeumo.
Chelsea has already fallen 11 points behind the top four contenders with 26 games left this season. Tottenham, Liverpool, and Aston Villa, together with Arsenal and Manchester City, have established themselves as early championship race leaders. As a result, Shearer believes Chelsea’s chances of returning to the Champions League next season are becoming increasingly bleak.
Former Newcastle United striker said: “I tell you who won’t be getting in the top four, Chelsea! They were really poor. Poor in the final third.”
The former striker believes Chelsea’s weekend performance shows the difficulties they have in finishing in the top four. Pochettino blamed the setback on wasted chances and bad luck, but Shearer’s opinion suggests that Chelsea will need a major turnaround to compete for a spot among the Premier League’s elite.