David Healy: Manchester City won’t go fourth - it’s between Spurs and Liverpool
I know it is being billed as the fight for a Champions League place, but Roberto Mancini perhaps took that a bit too literally when he squared up to my old boss David Moyes this week.
I guess it shows the pressure Manchester City are under. It’s the same for Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa.
The hype surrounding the battle to finish in the top four is incredible.
It’s almost become as important as winning the title itself!
At the moment Tottenham are in a fantastic position.
After beating Fulham to reach the FA Cup semi-finals, I’m sure they couldn’t believe their luck on Wednesday night, coming off the White Hart Lane pitch to hear that City had lost 2-0 at home to Everton and Aston Villa had drawn 1-1 against Sunderland.
The defeat for City was so hard to take that Mancini lost it for a few seconds in that spat with Moyes.
All season City have threatened to become a really good team and to become a really big club, but they haven’t quite managed it.
My feeling is that they will be left disappointed come May because I can’t see them finishing fourth.
The same goes for Aston Villa.
They have played a lot of games this season and in the run in I think it will catch up with them. Martin O’Neill has spoken this week about his concern that his younger players could start to suffer from fatigue after all their efforts.
O’Neill doesn’t have the same size of squad as the other three and with injuries mounting, that will tell.
Spurs will feel fourth place is there for the taking. You have to give credit to Harry Redknapp for building a tremendous squad.
He has let Robbie Keane go on-loan to Celtic and Jermain Defoe is injured, but still he has strikers like Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko and now Eidur Gudjohnsen to score goals.
Bringing in Gudjohnsen for the rest of the season was a shrewd move. He will be a key figure in the Champions League bid.
David Bentley could be too. When he joined Spurs I tipped him to really shine. It hasn’t
worked out that way, but in the 3-1 win over Fulham he came off the bench and showed real quality with his crossing and technique.
Spurs must be considered favourites now. The one team who could stop them though is Liverpool despite all their problems this season.
They have the experience of what it takes to get into the Champions League and crucially Fernando Torres is on a scoring run.
They also have Steven Gerrard, who, come crunch games, has always delivered in the past.
Believe me Liverpool aren’t out of it yet.
It’s between them and Tottenham for that fourth place.