The saying goes that championships are not won in October, which is true, but no matter what anyone says, I think that they can easily be lost in October. I think that there are a few big teams that may have just blown their chances of winning their domestic titles by giving their rivals a head start. Here are a few who I think are, if not totally, then more or less out of it:
Borussia Dortmund – Being a Dortmund supporter, this makes it even harder for me to say, but the cold hard truth is that Dortmund are currently nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich. What it means is that Bayern will have to lose three games or draw five games or any combination of that for Borussia to have any chance. Their only hope is to beat Bayern twice, which makes it a tough task ahead for Dortmund.
Schalke 04 – In spite of the fact that Schalke won their last league title over 50 years ago they still would have harbored realistic hopes of winning the Bundesliga title. With seven games gone they are seven points behind Bayern Munich and have already lost at home to the runaway leaders. They also have tough matches ahead, including a local derby against Borussia Dortmund. In my opinion, Schalke can write off their title hopes for at least one more year.
LOSC Lille – Lille won the Ligue 1 title in 2010-11 season, but since then have seen a massive overhaul at the club, with many big names like Gervinho, Cabaye and Hazard leaving. Last year, the club finished third, behind eventual champions Montpellier and big spending Paris Saint-Germain, and up till the penultimate week had a chance of winning the league. Now as things stand they are nine points behind leaders Marseille, and look a shadow of the team that won the league title in 2011. So as far as this season is concerned, for me, their title hopes are cremated.
AC Milan – Like Lille, AC Milan won the Serie A title in 2010-11, but last season came second to eventual winners Juventus, who went unbeaten throughout the season. In addition, Milan have sold two of their best players to PSG in Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Milan are currently 12 points behind leaders Juventus and Napoli, and can’t seem to buy a goal at home. For me their hopes are all but gone.
Real Madrid – I had to literally pinch myself before writing this but I must be honest. Real Madrid are currently eight points behind league leaders bitter rivals Barcelona, and have looked really poor in their matches so far this season. Barcelona will have to lose three games or draw a hatful of games, and even then Real will have to improve a lot to have any chance. Real fans may not like me saying this but Atletico have a fair chance of finishing above their city rivals. In my opinion, Real will do well to focus on the Champions league and the Copa Del Rey.
It’s never over until the big fat lady sings, but if she hasn’t sung already she is on her way to the stage. You never say never in football but one must be pragmatic. So, though it’s a little tough on teams, you only get what you deserve, and all look like winning is a wooden spoon.