Sp*rs 1 Chelsea 2
Sunday 20th August 2017 16:00
In the News: Apparently thus far we've fined Diego 150k a week for not turning up. By my reckoning that means that Pogba owes United 7.8m for the last year. Seriously though, I spent the first part of the week raging about that nonsense drivel in the Mail. Oh and Conte is the bookies favourite to get sacked first. F*cking behave. Then I saw Conte's reaction. He pissed himself laughing. I could have done my blood pressure so many favours if I'd have just done the same. Costa is a loon, and the press Plebs are a race of thunderc*nt virgins whose lives are so sad that they go home and spend their time living the life they wish they had through World of Warcraft. Neither of these revelations are new. Just know this - if you were the worst journalist in the world the first question you STILL would have asked Costa would have been "Show us this text then?"
But in addition to Costa and his bleating, the Daily Express claim that after precisely a month at Chelsea Morata is miserable and hates us and wishes he was back in Madrid. I wished I was in Madrid when I looked out at the torrential downpour from the window of the Round Tower at Windsor too. Bellends. Later in the week they also claimed that we were going to sign Messi. So potentially their Sports Editor is just on crack. Jamie Carragher says we need to give up with the "tidal wave of negativity" at Chelsea about our club. Given that he's got the intelligence of something my Kitten buries in his litter tray it seems almost superfluous to point out the hilarity - that he said this in the Daily Fail within days of them publishing their accidental-yet-perfectly-timed-coincidental world exclusive interview with Diego. I pointed out to him on Twitter that the tidal wave of diarrhoea is coming from his chums, not us, but he didn't answer. I'm guessing because he can't read.
The Others: Well done Zouma, said I, before I scampered off to watch Arsenal TV. Stoke won that with 22% of the possession. The Scouse are planning a title charge with James Milner at left back. But it really is their year. Good luck with that. They looked only half convincing at home to Palace. Chequebook Pulis is implying that the league is too easy. (When he's not claiming that United will not win the league) Come back when they've played a rival. He is like a filthy ex. The whole time you are going out with him everyone you know tells you they are a complete c***, but you just won't have it, because you are besotted. Then when you dump them you realise that all your friends were right the whole time. The Press Plebs are the one skank in your circle who, despite the fact that they have slagged him off something rotten ever since you hooked up with him, ends up sleeping with him like a desperate slag. Southampton won. I was too busy screen-capping pictures of Charlie Austin to read anything about this game. Burnley received a reality check at the hands of Real Pulis. How did Craig Pawson get a f*cking Premier League game after last week? Not only that, but the w*nker waved his cards around like there were glued to his hands last Saturday and yet let people get away with kicking each other in the head at Huddersfield today. Elsewhere Bournemouth lost again, while Leicester beat Brighton, who looked out of their depth.
Our Game: If you were of a dramatic nature you could have flung yourself on the tracks at Baker Street today rather that face the match. Eleven days to save Conte, says one rag; doom, more doom. It was like a Thomas Hardy novel, or watching an episode of Eastenders. I wanted a point. If I'm honest, I was already sick of the sight of Wembley this year, even before Janice (muppet alias) and I emerged from the depths of the Metropolitan line and found that literally the whole estate had been plastered with cartoons of a chicken balancing on a beach ball. I felt dirty. There is nothing subtle about the Sp*rsification of the national stadium. Every remotely flat space has been commandeered for chicken propaganda. And despite the fact they had lost six of their last eight games at the place, there were more than 60,000 of them strutting along Wembley Way, pontificating about how many goals they would score today and just how much they were going to bend us over.
Us: When I saw the team lineup I thought that Conte might be going with a back four, but Rudi, Dave and Andreas Christensen made up the back three. Luiz protected them, Morata was right up the top and then other than that, the system was so fluid and interchangeable that it was difficult to define it. F*ck it, as long as they knew what they were doing. It worked.
Them: A varying number of whiny underachievers who like leaving a foot in and have delusions of grandeur. They say “England international” like it’s still 1990, and exciting; instead of something that in 2017 you would want to hide from your neighbours on account of the shame.
It took the Diving Little Sh*tbag (I refuse to use his name) all of 30 seconds to try take someone out. Having boasted about being in that number, all 65,000 of their mugs sat down when the match started and went to sleep, apart from one battered (both in appearance and in terms of blood-alcohol levels) middle aged woman waving a flag who was in a world of her own. Yes, a flag. For all the crap we have taken from them about them over the past few years, they were waddling away from the stadium today clutching handfuls of them, they were that excited. They could have gone ahead in the first quarter of an hour, when everyone in blue neglected to mark the DLS coming in on goal. Thankfully, his aim was sh*t. So fifteen minutes gone and we have eleven players still on the pitch and we are not losing. Huzzah! And I clung to the fact that in every game, Lloris has at least one epic brain fart that presents an opportunity to beat the gits. By far the most entertaining thing of the opening quarter of the game was the Sp*rs attempts to incite some noise from their fans by piping a drum through the speakers. They were a combination of oblivious and as disgusted as we were, and still didn’t get up, but we had much fun mocking them every time the tannoy drum w*nker came back. He shuffled home at half time and gave up. Probably in tears.
We hadn’t done badly, but we hadn’t fashioned much in the way of attempts, other than a Luiz effort which ended up in the middle tier. Then in the 23rd minute a stupid foul by the DLS left George Michael with a perfectly positioned free kick. He placed with with absolute precision and
so here we are. The first team to score against them at “home” at Wembley. Five minutes later Harry F*cking Kane (not possible to say it without swearing) slipped over his own drool and tried to con a penalty out of the referee. As usual the first yellow went to us. Dier only got a yellow for trying to murder Luiz, but then, he doesn’t play for us. Is there anything more joyous than those w*nkers running on goal, all their dopey fans getting excited and then witnessing them hitting the post like bellends? Today, I think not. Then it got less funny when Thibaut was forced to parry another shot away and it became all about trying to get to half time without conceding. Happily, they couldn’t have hit a barn door before the break and Wembley was awash with confused Sp*dling faces who couldn’t quite figure out what was going on.
We looked a bit punch drunk as the second half began. They carried on where they left off and almost scored in the opening minute. About a dozen corners followed before finally the ball came down our end. Yet another shocking tackle, yet another yellow card when it isn’t a Chelsea player.
Which brings me to Refwatch. Anthony Taylor. I can’t stand him, but let’s face it, based on the first game of the season the bar wasn't exactly set high, was it? As long as he didn’t sh*t his pants out there on the pitch he couldn’t do any worse than Pawson last week. That said, in the first twenty minutes he stamped out nigh on every bit of playacting or sly b*stardry they tried, which was hilarious. By the 53rd minute, when he failed to send off Vertonghen, I wanted to fill a football sock with pennies and bludgeon his stupid bald head. As per usual he was massively inconsistent. They are the worst in the league for crying for a penalty every time someone touches them in the box and for sitting on the floor and hopefully looking at the referee, and as the game went on he fell for this like a bellend of monumental proportions. Conversely I watched Willian get fouled half a dozen times and then get told to shut up.
All the play was with them now. My God I’ve missed Victor Meldrew (SItcom Alias) I’ve done fourteen weeks without his random, hybrid obscenities being screeched in my ear at away games and I have been bereft. God help him, he was not going to survive another half of this. Without really terrifying us in the box they were coming forward a lot, and a few of our players were starting to look tired. When we did recover the ball, we couldn’t quite make it happen. But they started to leave themselves open at the back. Willian broke on 70 minutes and Morata just pondered over the shot a bit too long. Willian hit the post himself too and we started questioning whether the tossers in white had shot their load prematurely. Could we nick another one?
We had defended really well, and rode our luck. Every time they got a shot off it invariably hit the anatomy of a Chelsea player as they charged on to the ball. I lost count of the amount of blocks we made. So it was a shame when we went and scored for them. Was that even a free kick? I wrote in my notes. It looked from my excellent vantage point a hundred yards away behind a lanky man jumping up and down like he was falling over. On the replay its on the DLS, so we should be exempt on the grounds that he is a cheating c*nt. I think it might actually have been harder for Michy to score than it would have been to put the damn ball out of play. Arrrggggghhh. Taylor continued to give out dubious free kicks which made Victor work his way through a litany of insults, most of which he made up on the spot and every single one of which was deserved.
Remember that moment I mentioned? Lloris’s epic brain fart? Just when we were praying we’d cling on for a point, George Michael came running in on a tight angle, no reason for any drama and somehow he manages to do Lloris at the near post by playing it under his body. Awesome. Never, EVER cut your hair! The bouffant do is now our lucky charm.
I'll be honest I was so busy gloating I don't have a clue what happened after this. Victor got so excited he nearly fell into the row in front, some random man without any front teeth insisted on cuddling us, and then everybody turned around to give the Sp*ds above us as much sh*t as possible before the final whistle. “T*ttenham Hotsp*r” It’s happening again,” was one chant, “Welcome to Wembley” another. Poor Pochettino thinks they were hard done by. I think as his belly gets rounder and rounder he looks more like the little porky German kid in The Simpsons.
So: Every time we see those horrible b*stards they sound more like Gooners. No doubt there will be a DVD released next week entitled “We Had Six Shots on Target and Made it Really Difficult for Them.” Insufferable, but hilarious that they have become what they despised. As Geoff Shreeves pointed out to everyone who would listen after the game, we only had two shots on target. And? Here’s some stats for you, Geoff. We scored two today. We even scored a third for them. They didn’t score any. We have won four on the trot against the gits at Wembley. Also, I hadn’t noticed this, but we have also never lost a league game that we have been winning at half time under Antonio. And three points today despite enforced changes, half fit players and inexperienced personnel starting against “statistically the best team in the league for the last two years although they haven’t won anything.”
Luiz was outstanding today, I doubt we’ll be hearing any of the George Michael nay-sayers moaning (for a week at least) now he has humiliated the Sp*ds at Wembley. I love that in all the photos from the game he looks as surprised as we were. Thibaut needs some credit, for the amount of times he came for the ball today but STILL he needs to be bossier in the box. Willian was booed off by them. What a proud moment. As for the new guys Morata took one for the team today. He cut an isolated figure waiting for a counter-attack. He got a brutal introduction to the Premiership on his full debut. He was buffeted from pillar to post and looked a bit shell-shocked, and will know now that he’s got to toughen up. I love the way he runs onto the ball. It’s like Torres, but without the demeanour of someone who's permanently contemplating suicide. For someone who hasn’t had a preseason, Bakayoko was immense. He’s going to feel it tomorrow, but he is like Matic, except that the can run. Christensen was called on last week to come on after Cahill’s red, and wouldn’t have expected to be playing in this game, but in both he has been assured.
I said go there and just don’t lose, but Conte went one better. Good man. This should make the spin on tomorrow’s papers interesting. I’m going back to my gin now. Bring your change to the Bridge next Sunday, not to throw at people like the Sp*ds. I shall be outside with a bucket on behalf of Veterans in Action collecting for my desert trek.
Chelsea 2 Burnley 3
Saturday 12th August 2017 15:00
Yep, that’s right. The first time since 1992 (maybe the second, I’ve drunk too much gin to care) that the reigning Premier League champions have not been televised on the opening weekend. Bet they wouldn’t have done that to the Scouse. To my immense amusement though, you have to go back before the Premier League was invented to find when THEY were last champions. That’s before most of their current team was born. And probably the last time Klopp had a shower.
The Others: Urgh. This “Friday Night Football” irks me. It irks me greatly. Clearly all that Shiny Dinner Plate glory went to the Goons’ heads last weekend. They got out of jail eventually, but showed everyone why they probably won’t come anywhere near winning the league. In the words of Jamie Carragher, well, the ones I could understand as he drowned in his own saliva, “Arsenal have played like they’ve never seen Leicester before,” Happy days. The Scouse vindicated everything I said about Klopp and defending in the season preview, Watford clearly didn’t get the memo that this is their year. Shrek scored on his return to Everton, and Huddersfield are top after thrashing Palace at Selhurst Park. They’ve now spent more time leading the Premiership than Sp*rs have in the last two seasons. Southampton and Swansea battled their way to a bore draw, while Real Pulis managed to throttle the life out of valiant little Bournemouth at the Borethorns. In the late fixture Brighton held off City for more than an hour but lost 0-2. This leaves Newcastle to play Sp*rs tomorrow lunchtime and Chequebook Pulis to park his famous bus against West Ham later on. I worry that United will win the league this season. He’s had his first season, then he wins in the second, and then obviously in 2018-19 we can look forward to him having a complete mental breakdown, leaving chaos on his wake in the third.
Nobody is giving us much credit. Chris Sutton and Martin Keown are on my sh*tlist for dismissing us in Sky’s previews. Incidentally, out of every single one of the pundits on the BBC (Boooo - they are in my bad books) only one predicted that Chelsea would finish outside the top four. Gullit. F*cking traitor.
Us: Dave moved up to fill in for suspended Moses and new signing Rudiger went into the back three. In place of Pesto (I yield autospell, I yield) came Boga, which was apparently a shock to the media but not to anyone who’d been paying attention in preseason.
The Game: The first time a Chelsea player tackled someone, he got booked. And so it began. We strung together about 500 passes in the opening five minutes. 495 in our own half, but still, Burnley could hardly get a foot on the ball. Our first break on goal came when a great ball flew out to Dave on the right but he shanked the shot. Shortly afterwards, Boga could have scored on his debut had he made better contact using his head. For his effort he had a foul given against him for having the audacity of trying to win the ball. Then, having dominated we were down to ten men in the first quarter of an hour. My enormous list of transgressions for which I want to repeatedly pimp slap Craig Pawson doesn’t actually include this red card. Uncharacteristic and absolutely no malice in it. Could he have given him a break? Maybe, but allowing for the fact that this referee is a monumental bellend I can see why he sent him off.
So having barely touched the ball Burnley were back in it. I take issue with Fabregas’s first yellow card. You’ve just sent a Chelsea player off. Understandably, his teammates don’t like you. So when you do nothing in the next passage of play when a Chelsea player is hacked down and then Cesc gives you a smattering of sarcastic applause, do you book him? Or do you show a bit of common sense, tell him to watch himself and keep a lid on the situation? Well if you’re Craig Pawson, i.e. a thunderc*nt, you book him and further antagonise 40,000 people before you’re twenty minutes into the game. The crowd response was riotous. I want Mr. Kydd of the Fancast’s opinion, seeing as he has got certificates that allow him to empathise with these twats.
Poor Jeremy Boga made way and Christensen was punted into the deep end to get his first team career started, not only today but probably for next weekend too. For what it’s worth, I think he did OK today. Burnley had a goal chalked off for offside, but following the sending off we were all over the place. There was the odd spell of control, but it was not enough. Burnley did not “stun” us today, as the press plebs are saying, they contributed little before the red card, and sat back for the whole of the second half waiting for a counter-attack, but for that half an hour of the first half when we could hardly string three passes together, they were clinical, disciplined and made the absolute most of the opportunities they got. When finally we settled, looked to be on top despite being a man down, we went and conceded again. Just not good enough. Then the third went in. “Hopefully Trump will choose now to push the button,” said Boycie. Entertainment, this was not. I’ve never seen Gonzo move that fast to get to the beer. All he wanted to do was dull the pain of what was to come after half time.
At least they came out with their heads up. A long range shot from Rudiger on 47 went wide but not embarrassingly so, and a minute later George Michael (still he rocks the atrocious 80s hair) had a shot tipped over. But sadly, for me, despite surmounting our opposition, who outnumbered us, for the whole of the second half, we could not surmount what was the most pathetic attempt to referee a football match I have seen in recent years. No doubt the press will say we booed our team off at the end of the first and second halves. I hear that this is definitely the case with NBC in the States. Nope, that was all for Pawson. Random, stupid stoppages, absurd decisions and about as adept at spotting a Burnley infringement as Nelson would have been waving his telescope in front of his useless eye. In the dark. If he had flown a helicopter over Stamford Bridge and napalmed the stadium and everyone in it, it still would have been more subtle than his car crash of a performance. I just stopped taking notes in the end because it wasn't a football match, it was a farce. I have not see an outpouring of such disgust aimed at the match officials since that ludicrous semi final against Barcelona in 2009. Penalty shouts went begging, at least one of which was blatant. No cards for Burnley in the first hour. To me that implies we kicked them up and down the pitch. Bullsh*t. It just didn’t happen.
Conte changed it up, for what it was worth. On 57 minutes Batshuayi went off for Morata. The first thing he did was hit a shot. It missed by a mile, but sad to say more than Michy managed in an hour of football. George Michael came close with a free kick, but still my little corner of the Shed Upper just watched on in sheer disbelief at the three man comedy act in magenta who were either blind, high, of extremely limited intelligence or most likely a combination of all three. Morata gave us hope on 67. The ball went in. Pawson looked pleadingly at the Lino then realised he was going to have to give it. We had it in the net again a few minutes later, but this time a flag did go up. Jon Walters came on for Burnley. This gave me hope. Apart from Kondogbia the other week I've never seen a player who doesn't wear our shirt go so far out of his way to score us a goal.
Still, the Pawson show went on. Then, when Fabregas received what should have been his first yellow card, Stamford Bridge was deafened by chants of “3-1 to the referee.” Even with nine men we were still better than them. Luiz thumped in a second, and sent Alf Garnett (sitcom alias) leaping up and down and screaming “NOW I forgive him for PSG!” As one last punch in the face? A mere four minutes of injury time to account for two goals, six subs and a disgraceful amount of time wasting. It was that bad that Alf roared: “Spineless c*nt!” Alf abhors the C-bomb. We came so close to an equaliser in the dying seconds, but it was not to be. Opening day defeat, but a dogged showing against the odds for the duration of the second half.
So: Conte didn't look happy. Said one genius on the tube. Are you f*cking surprised? To be honest everyone near me stood in an identical pose with a face of complete bafflement for most of that game too. This match had nothing to do with who we signed and who we didn't or how many players we've got. The fact is that the thin squad Antonio does have almost came back from 0-3 down with nine men to get something out of the game. I heard some snippets today: one that a wide player we've been linked with is close to joining, it's a matter of finances now, and that we haven't given up on another. We've put in an offer and I don’t think we’ve yet been told to p*ss off! In the grand scheme of things, we have 37 games left. Write it off, try and get through next weekend without any players, averting a complete disaster and then our season really starts. Apart from saying that I was sad to see Michy have a disappointing afternoon, and that Morata when he came on bagged his first goal quickly and looked exciting (dare I say Torres-like with his runs) it's not even worth trying to overly scrutinise performances today. Like I said, farce not football.
All that's left to say is that Pawson has form for ruining matches with utterly atrocious decisions. (City's FA Cup final semi last season is one of his most epic recent stinkers) The fact that we (as in the Premier League) talk about the effect on results of inept officials week in, week out, and that nothing changes is of real concern. We can discuss how this gets rectified another day. I'm not in the mood to be diplomatic right now. I'd be surprised if the f*cking Expendables can get that tosser out of Stamford Bridge unscathed this evening. With luck the referees room resembles the inside of that plastic medical capsule in Prometheus after the bird from the dragon tattoo films has given herself an alien caesarean. I'm going to spend my night drinking gin, watching the athletics and mocking up a North Korean passport for the ref. Then I'm sending it to Trump. With a note saying that Pawson cussed his mum. Don't tell my publisher, because I should be doing something more constructive than this.
But the last word shouldn't go on that snivelling butt monkey. It belongs to our team. I think the last time we were three down at half time was at the Emirates last September. That game ended 3-0 and we had eleven men. We were pathetic. Today our boys, all nine of them, came out after the break and refused to lie down in the face of a ludicrous official and literally couldn't stand up at the end. We gave ourselves a lot to do in the second half today, but were undone by the referee. I don't care what it looks like by the time the Press Plebs have whittled it down to two joy-filled minutes of them celebrating our demise. I was there and I believe that had it been officiated fairly, that we would have finished turning the game around to get at least a point by the end of it. But I don't have a time machine, and as Mrs. Brown (sitcom alias) says: if your granny had balls she'd be your grandpa.
Any manager with a brain will pull the significant bones out of it this. Down to ten men, then nine, Chelsea were still a threat and despite the disparity in numbers, came within a hair of taking a point whilst they completely dominated their opposition. We may not have any players for next week but we'll worry about that later. I don't think I've ever been prouder standing there applauding my team after a loss. And nigh on everyone else had stayed to do the same. This did not feel like the beginning of the last Chequebook Pulis season. Happy to say that I departed the stadium today surrounded by an aura of defiance and determination, and to the sound of fans roaring Chelsea songs. As opposed to rampant, overflowing nappy sh*tting. If today’s madness doesn't galvanise players and fans alike for the rest of the season nothing will. We’re not the only contenders to have had a less than perfect start. I’m still massively excited, and actually, a bit relieved that for all the moping and worrying, we are at least still a group of fighters. That’s going to come in handy.
I’m now going to celebrate the 4X100 relay win with a massive amount of gin.
*Photo of the ref w*nker comes from Chelsea's official website
You can buy the book version of the blog from last season by following the link below. Please do so, it keeps me in gin.
Go on let’s have one more go at the Game of Thrones analogies as we have a ponder about what is to come, I enjoyed those and if you didn’t manage the biblical length of the A to Z of preseason bit I did you would have missed them. If you don’t know now what I am going on about, then frankly you must have been under a rock for the last seven years. Or you live in the land of Scouse, where they are permanently frozen in 1988; still wearing shell-suits, sporting tightly curled perms and cussing Maggie Thatcher.
Us: (Chelsea are House Targaryen - A predilection for complete madness, no objection to annihilating all the other p*ssies on their way to the top and the rightful inhabitants of the Premier League throne) God I feel better after the fancast this week. It's amazing what a couple of hours of sodding about and talking sense will fellow fans will do. Even I was starting to get sucked in by the Press Plebs and their spunk-trumpeting clickbait.
Top four please. And last eight in the Champions League would be a great reentry into the competition. Though his demeanour is rather like a teenager consistently denied wifi at the moment, I don't think that Antonio is exaggerating particularly when he says this will be the toughest season of his managerial career. High expectations, less than ideal, though not disastrous summer of transfer business, a squad that looks very light for four competitions. Personally I'd have no issue sacking off the two cup competitions - handing them straight to the kids and concentrating on the big two. But let's hope that by the time the window closes it hasn't come to that. If they know what is good for them, the board are scrambling to bring in the squad players he wants. The higher ups can't possibly do nothing. Right? Pissing off Antonio irreparably within a couple of months of a surprise title win that even shut Robbie Savage up for five minutes would be a ludicrous state of affairs. It'd be like me bagging Charlie Austin then packing him in because I can't be arsed. Unthinkable. Self destructive. And worthy of repeated punches in the face from someone who cares deeply about your mental state until you see the error of your ways. To paraphrase Conte himself, you can’t eat at a £100 pound a plate restaurant with a tenner in your pocket, so they have got work to do.
I think a lot of fans think it’s just a case of offering money and a deal is done. It wish it was that f*cking easy. But if the board do fail us, Dave could end up being the key to our season in the crunch games both at home and in Europe. I’d expect him to end up utilised as a wingback on one side or another in tougher games. Moses and George Michael (No, still not been to the barbers) played out of their skins last season, but if we are to go deep into European competition they will both have to kick on again. I had a few gins last night and started to wonder: if Costa's solicitor had kept his trap shut would we have got desperate enough to use him? It might have been the football equivalent of drunken make up sex that just prolongs the inevitable for a bit longer. Perhaps until Atletico were able to sign him back. Could have worked. Anyway, I've sobered up now and remembered the look of death of Antonio’s face every time a journalist asks about Diego.
If we have offered £25m for Oxlade-Chamberlain then that sounds remarkably low. From what I hear this deal has long been more likely (pending Arsenal’s reaction to an actual bid) than most of the other names we have been linked with. He might not be Sanchez, but he’s a grafter, and one of the only one of theirs with backbone for a fight when the going gets tough, which will no doubt appeal to Conte. I sincerely hope that £37m for Drinkwater is another clickbait fabrication. If not, Emanalo is going to feel like Winston Churchill outlining his plan for the Gallipoli campaign to the rest of the Cabinet in 1915 when he asks Roman to sign that cheque. Even when you slap on the English tax he's not worth more than 20. I have no secret squirrel insight on this one, but if we were to pay any more than 25 we'd be mugs. Incidentally, I doubt Roman's impending divorce is going to have any impact at all on our spending. Firstly, his wife’s company is reliant on his cash and also, her family is minted. So she's got money. That and if Roman didn't pull out a prenup after his last ex-wife stung him for 150m he'd be a lunatic. It isn't worth even contemplating where we might finish yet. Ask me again at the beginning of September.
City: (House Lannister - After nearly a decade can’t understand why supposedly being a sh*tload richer that anyone else doesn’t translate into world domination. People might be afraid of their ruthlessness, but they also love watching them fail) Well Pep has literally no excuse and nowhere to hide as of now. If doesn't win every domestic trophy with the squad he's got he's a schmuck. So good luck baldy. But then you could have almost said that last year and as usual the criminally expensive sum of City's parts did not translate into a team effort. He’s got to start taking defending seriously. This isn’t Spain or the Bundesliga when you can waltz to a multi-goal win most weeks. I also hope over the summer City's media people have sorted out him picking his nose in interviews. And bought some powder for his head. It's like an eclipse. If you stare straight at it you go blind. They've got to be overwhelming favourites for the league. There is a just a shocking amount of talent in that squad.
L'Arse: (House Tyrell; up their own backsides, smug, ultimately trampled on by everyone. Yes, this makes Wenger Diana Rigg) Cut and past any preseason waffle from the last decade here. Because (happily) nothing changes. They’ve had a worse transfer window than us, in that they have strengthened less and weren’t as good beforehand. I saw a headline that claimed Lacazette (yes I have realised it was him that hit the post by now) had scored 122 goals from midfield in a season. This was in the Ligue 1 though, right? I’m pretty sure I could do that. For Arsenal to win this league, this season, they'd have to a Leicester - that is remain consistent whilst everyone else utterly fails and drops stupid points on a regular basis. Let's see how close to the usual trend they run this year:
Aug/Sep: Promising start
Oct/Nov: Decline in consistency. Dropped points. Probably injuries.
Dec/Jan/Feb: Annual implosion. Their fans, like the southern Scousers they are, will start bleating like they don’t deserve it. Then it will be #WengerOut, homemade signs, lame sit outs conducted by 30 fans, hours of hilarity on Arsenal TV, (blud) possibly a plane spotted circling the Emirates towing the not very angry slogan Time to Go or Enough is Enough.
March/April: Champions League humiliation. Oh no, wait… lol. Scrap for fourth, more Wenger out, lyrical waxing about the merits and stability of finishing fourth and yapping about their illustrious history.
May/Summer: Anguish of realising that Wenger is staying. Cue limited transfer window activity, and then mismatching delusions that for some reason beating your head repeatedly against a brick wall is going to have a different effect after a decade. This is the definition of insanity, you know.
Sp*rs: (House Greyjoy - cockless, whiny, ideas above their station and of no real consequence in the grand scheme of things) If they were to win the league this season it would be a more impressive feat than the one that Antonio just achieved. And that's without factoring in the amount of fixtures - because we didn't have European football and they have got the Champions League to fail at. Again. They want to watch themselves. If they have another trophyless season (God willing, praise Buddha, insha Allah etc) then others will follow Walker's lead pretty sharpish. Apart from Harry F*cking Kane (Try saying it without an obscenity at either end, or stuck in the middle, it’s not actually possible). With his IQ, his brain will probably catch up in about 2020, and then he’ll end up signing a 48 hour a week contract with Marks & Spencer's.
The Scouse Muppets - (House Bolton - Unwashed mouthy northerners with delusions of grandeur and grim and unpalatable customs who need to be kept in their place. By extreme force if necessary) Like us, they are too hard to call. They haven't (yet) spent money where they needed to. Why aren't they chasing world class defenders with ferocity? They made complete tits of themselves over Van Dijk and then ambled off on a tangent and never came back. At the very least why weren't they in for Harry Maguire? They've bolstered a ropey defence with a squad player and let's not forget they still have two hilarious clown keepers. It's Klippity Klopp all over. Don't get me wrong, they will smash some teams, but their problems will come in the games when they get shut out by the better defenders. Because they will concede. Goal carnage and hoping you're ahead when the final whistle goes does not league winners make. If they were to suddenly pick up Van Dijk, things would be a bit more concerning from the point of view of the rest of humanity, but he didn’t have bad defenders at Dortmund and they still conceded all the time. Does he just not know what to do with them? I have visions of him sending them off to play dodgeball while the rest of the squad trains. They will also be rocked if Barcelona manage to get in and poach Coutinho. Fingers crossed. Anyway, who knows, if they don't add further reinforcements at the back by the end of the window I'd be amazed if this finally turns out to be "their year.” (Yawn)
United: (House Frey - Ensconced somewhere bleak and northern with a rambling lunatic at the helm) If Chequebook Pulis does win the league I predict that he will be unbearable. They look strong, well, like a more expensive, more competent Tony Pulis side of meatheads, funnily enough. I’m lost with this supposition that Matic is going to "set Pogba free." Not to mention I have this rant to contribute: Why did you spend nigh on £100m on a man when you needed to spent a further £50m on another man to enable him to look remotely like a footballer and not an intruder who randomly wandered on to the pitch, and judging by the hair got run over by a lawnmower in the process? They could win the league, but it will probably be dire to watch. He won’t care. I’ll just add: Mr. “I won’t be ripped off in the transfer market” has just become the first manager to spend £1bn on transfers. Eye roll.
What about the rest? It is a big season for Everton. They have had a massive transfer window with all the money they managed to extort out of United. Even in accepting their failure to get Willian or Cesc out of us in a part exchange, (snigger) Koeman must be expecting big things. I like the look of Palace more this season than last, obviously because Fatso did the world a favour and left. I predict he’ll be back to bore the living sh*t out of us come the end of the year when someone has been fired. The Eagles shouldn’t be struggling and then scrapping for survival though. Bournemouth, have added some good players. Just never change, little black and red men. No matter the opponent they come out and play football. All hail Eddie Howe. Not so Real Pulis. I predict that during the two occasions I am required to watch West Brom I will want to stab my eyes out with anything sharp I can find in my handbag. Same with Stoke. And Watford. Burnley have added some more going forward with smart business, and they’ll at least be hard to beat at Turf Moor again. Leicester aiming for mid-table? They should be with the names they have bought in. Still don't think they will be repeating any top of the table heroics. Swansea have got to hope for better this season, and I am really keen to see what Tammy Abraham does there. West Ham have bought in some good players, I have no idea what methods of threats/bribery they had to resort to to achieve this. But they must have been terrifying. Southampton have changed very little, but still more than Sp*rs. (lol) I think the bottom end of the league is going to be hugely competitive. Huddersfield’s captain has just quit his job four days before the start of the season. Ouch. I don’t know why, possibly because I’ve got a soft spot for the fresh cinnamony doughnuts at the end of the pier, the absurd Pavilion and its WW1 links and stabbing the f*ck out of my feet on the pebble beach, but I think Brighton will do better than them. They’ve had a couple of years to think about playing at this level, I don’t think Huddersfield thought they would be here this time last season. With Brighton it was overdue and as a club, firstly their Captain hasn’t just legged it and secondly, they are better prepared. Newcastle I refuse to talk about until they stop sitting us on the roof with a better view of the John Lewis car park across the way than the pitch. Gits.
So sh*t is about to get real, but lets not take life so seriously. Firstly this weekend BT sport actually entertained us for once, with the revelation that Clattenburg, the man with more bravado than anyone in the refereeing world, sounds like a Geordie Clanger sucking on a helium balloon when he speaks. Aston Villa appear to have ceased to exist as far as the Press Plebs are concerned. I’ve not seen them referred to as anything but “John Terry” for the last fortnight. Chequebook Pulis claims he gave more to Real Madrid than any other club. More of his sanity, perhaps, as by the time he left he had perfected a blank thousand yard stare and abandoned all personal grooming. In fact, dirty, hollow on the inside, he looked very much like he’d just got back from ‘Nam, though in my head he was working as a navvy thirty miles behind the battlefield. Mind you he tidied himself right up to come back to us a few weeks later and he was still a loon. Can’t wash that crazy off. Anyway, you can only hope that PGMOL would have tattooed the word CONSISTENCY on the forehead of every official over the summer. I doubt we’ll see much of an improvement. Not until there is actually some punishment for being really, really f*cking terrible at your job. There will be the usual two week bluster from some of them about pulling in the box and then they will forget all about it again and resume normal service. One that makes Southern Trains look like winners. And lastly, you know those infuriating ad campaigns for those pikey accident recovery solicitors? The ones that send you texts about the injuries that weren't your fault that you've never had, and bombard you with a telesales campaign straight out of a Panzer Division playbook? I heard one yesterday. "My name's Michael Owen. And I know what it's like to be injured." I sh*t you not, the worlds most boring man will do anything for money. Jesus wept. And then hit his digital radio with a sledge hammer.
Community Shield: Arsenal 1 Chelsea 1 (Goons win on mad penalties)
Sunday 6th August 2017 14:00
No. As you can see we learned nothing at all from the FA Cup Final.
Us: It was a predictable Chelsea line up, with Michy replacing Costa. Obviously Matic and Chequebook Pulis have hooked up again like a couple of exes ignoring all the reasons they broke up in the first place, so Cesc started alongside Kante. Willian came in for Hazard, who is still recovering from injury.
Them: Presumably Sicknote Ozil had "flu" again. Or whatever this is code for when he can't be arsed to go to work. No Ramsay or Sanchez either. Shame.
It was almost real football and f*ck it. It'll do for now after a summer spent being conscripted for household chores and Saturday supermarket shopping. The highlight of the first five minutes was us starting a song about how much we hate Sp*rs, then the Goons joining in, with the result that 85,000 people all sang “Stand Up if You Hate T*ttenham” in what is currently their “home” ground.
It was pretty even, but there wasn’t much intensity in the opening spell. The first chance fell to them, a tame header which floated right into the hands of Thibaut. By the tenth minute we looked leggy, lethargic. If anything, they were slightly on top, but it was not a bristling contest. It felt like watching a Sunday morning kickabout. Willian in particularly looked languid, and Moses was doing everything at half speed. On the flip side Michy was tenacious, constantly trying to orchestrate runs in behind. Luiz tried to give us forward momentum and of course, Kante was Kante. There were a couple of close calls, Welbeck hit the post, and at the other end the jammy buggers managed to keep it out after Michy and Moses had combined in the box. Then there was a lengthy break while Mertesacker rolled about on the floor.
Mrs Brown (Sitcom alias): How did Mertesacker get hit in the head? Nobody can get up that high?
Me: Probably elbowed himself in the face. Moron.
This lull rounded off a bit of a flat half hour, and it only got worse as we moved towards the break. We were nodding off in our seats. If anything the sloth like momentum was now with us. The ball was dug out on 34 minutes by Kante, run forward by Willy and resulted in a great long range shot from Pesto (Yawn autospell) but it was expertly saved by Cech. Not, Thibaut, because they play for the same team, BBC journalists. (Facepalm)
The reaction after half time was exactly what you’d expect after an ear-bashing from Conte at half time. And it worked. Within two minutes we had a corner. Trigger (Sitcom alias) pointed out that Cahill was completely unmarked on a corner. That’s f*cking stupid. We said. It was also stupid when nobody had picked him up after the corner was taken too. Not a man near him as the Captain headed it on for Moses to burst forward and put it past Big Pete. Michy could have had one shortly after, and we were looking much better. A naughty one from Pesto on Xhaka prompted no card, presumably because Xhaka has scythed down just about everyone in the league at some stage and it is just regarded as karma. As the half went on, the Goons settled into it more. There were some timely interventions form Cahill and Luiz, ubiquitous foul throws from Moses, the ghastly appearance of Giroud’s beard and a headed clearance from Cesc. On 73 minutes Morata made his competitive debut for Chelsea. Almost immediately he could have scored. The effort, four minutes after his introduction, was brilliantly worked, Willian curling it across the box to him with the outside of his foot, but the new boy connected with the shot all wrong and it blazed over the bar. Rudiger came on, and Musonda was getting ready just as Pesto went crashing in with another naughty challenge. This time he didn’t get away with it and he limped off after deservingly seeing red.
Which brings me to Refwatch. Bobby Madley. Bobby. F*cking. Madley. It took me ages to realise it was him because he appears to have been on a crash diet over the summer. It also looks like he might have embraced the fact that his hair has run away from his head in embarrassment and just shaved it off. So the PGMOL punishment for being one of the worst officials in the league last season? Command of the curtain raiser at Wembley. It beggars belief. What else could he then provide other than the usually volatile, unpredictable and imbalanced minefield of f*ckwittery? The red card call was right, but Bellerin escaped a second yellow after dragging Dave off the ball by the neck, then there was Willian’s booking. From my excellent vantage point 200 yards away it was clear he fell over his own feet, and nobody is going to convince me otherwise. As the game ticked on, it didn’t particularly show that we were a man down. Morata could have scored again and at the other end Cahill put in an excellent block. Why. Why. Why. Why. When there are ten seconds left in a game do we persist in passing it about. Just punt it into the box! Sadly this appears beyond comprehension, and so 1-1 it was, and straight to a penalty shootout.
The overly-excited chump on the tannoy announced that it would be in the new “A-B-B-A” format. Were they going to have a disco dance off? No, apparently this does still involve penalty kicks. Being English, panic set in. There was much drunken bafflement about how it all worked. Then there was drunken shock and quite a bit of horror as the order of our spot-kick takers was revealed. Maybe they did think it was a dance off and Cahill and Courtois are the players with the groovy moves? I know that Cahill initiation song was “Sexy and I know it.” Anyway. He was a Super Trouper. Courtois was most categorically not, then Morata scuffed his wide and we didn’t win. It was over quicker than a Sp*rs title charge. I like not this new shootout format. All the pressure ends up on one team very quickly. And it's over in two minutes. W*nk.
So: We could have won the shiny dinner plate just as easy as we lost it in the end. That said, this just felt like another preseason fixture, as opposed to a competitive one; especially in the first half.
We didn't learn anything new today. Except perhaps that Antonio doesn't give a sh*t about the Charity Shield. Otherwise he brings Christensen on instead of Musonda after the red. Kante is still a boss. Batshuayi is in mid-evolution. He no longer skips around like a harmless bunny rabbit. He holds the ball up much better, but sometimes still gave way under pressure. I want him to instill fear in defenders. I want them to groan when they see his name on the team sheet. Rough em up Michy. It's time to go full b*stard. Great little cameo from Musonda. Rudiger more clumsy but it’s very early days. Morata was the best of the subs. Looking increasingly sharp - he could have won it for us today, but it was not to be. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to watch a Chelsea forward win ball after ball in the air. As a whole we were markedly better in the second half, but very few were consistently sharp all the way through. Fabregas faded, Willian floated in and out. Cahill, Dave and Luiz looked, for the most part, more ready to get going than most. But you'd expect that from three absolute pros, even if one of them is bonkers. Our major problem remains that if the two wings backs aren't at it, we're in trouble. And in preseason George Michael (Nope Alonso still hasn't seen himself in a mirror) has not really been at it. He wasn't great today either. He limped off and I wonder if he's been carrying a niggle. An actual niggle. Not an ITV Sport "niggle" when they are actually talking about someone's broken ankle. Either that or it occurred when Bellerin cleaned him out in the first quarter of an hour. On the other side Moses was good against the Goons in China but in the last three fixtures he's been decidedly ropey in the first half before coming good in the second.
As for them they looked better than when we thumped them 3-0. Lacazette? Their money signing, I forgot he was even playing. He got outplayed by Welbeck. So he might as well go and drown himself in the dressing room jacuzzi. And let's remember that according to their standard schedule, Arsenal will have face-planted by October. That's the highlight of their season. On 6th August. Suckers.
We drew, it's the not the end of the world. Do you know how you know that Conte doesn't care? He was in his tracksuit. Just like at West Ham (sorry, the prized Olympic Stadium that West Ham are squatting in at the taxpayers’ expense) in the League Cup last season. This is the equivalent of you or I turning up in our PJs. Perhaps we had hoped for more progression over the summer and more new faces, especially when the two Manc clubs have spent a fortune. That said, they did that last season. Everyone said it was Pep vs Chequebook Pulis, and they weren't anywhere near the title. Just a thought. Chelsea have not been sitting round with their thumbs up their a*ses all summer. The club has been unlucky in that some of their efforts have come to nothing through no fault of their own. United were willing to pay more than Lukaku was worth, we weren't. They wanted 75m plus Willian or Fabregas. Quite rightly we told them to f*ck off. Sandro was, apparently, a done deal until Juve failed to sign a replacement and wouldn't go through with it. Even the Bakayoko deal went around and around because of his current injury. Nothing has come easy.
Can I say with impunity that I believe Chelsea have done everything possible to boost our numbers, and got every deal right? No. Because I don’t have enough information to make that judgement, and because right now from the outside it looks like they might have missed a trick. But I know that at least four of the outgoing players wanted to leave, however much we'd have wanted to keep them on our books. What do you do in that scenario? (I will say though, that unless he knows where bodies are buried I don't know quite why Matic held so much sway that he got away with his move to United) I don’t like hearing about unprofessional texts and Conte talking about disagreeing with the club in public, but our league winning manager is not happy, and this, considering we won the league a few weeks ago. His demeanour has been miserable in the last few days and if he feels like going through the press is the only way to make himself heard that is just stupid.
He is the manager Roman has wanted for years, so he needs to be backed. The sad fact of modern football management is that the results come down on the boss’s shoulders when they aren’t 100% in control of their circumstances. Conte has a right to feel supported by the players, the board, the fans after what he has produced. As far as the board is concerned, they need to do their jobs so that he can continue do his and this is the discrepancy at the moment, or at least he feels it is. But let's not start bulk buying nappies just yet. We haven’t actually failed at anything. We've got Hazard to come back to fitness, as well as Bakayoko. The window isn't shut, so the club have time to turn it around, even if arrivals will now come in later than would be ideal. I’m happy with the three big signings we have made, and I don't think we need marquee buys, we don’t need to do a Pep and spunk money on every bloke with a Spanish accent who bats his eyelids at him and owns a pair of shin pads. What we need is a deeper squad. Seventeen players is not enough.
In the meantime, Sean Dyche will probably have watched that and been encouraged that he can drag something out of the game next week. The players that we do have have now got six days to get their heads properly in the game ready for Burnley. When the work really begins.
*Picture of Pesto practicing for a dance off comes from Chelsea's official website
Don't forget you can relive the joy of last season (and the sarcasm) in the book of the blog:
An A to Z of Chelsea's Pre-season
A - is for Arsenal. Our first outing. The pundits didn’t appear to have picked up a newspaper this side of May. Hazard had a niggle (bit dismissive for a broken ankle) Zouma should go on loan (already has, bellend) and allegedly, if your name is Tony Cascarino, the only difference between Arsenal and Chelsea last season was “consistency.” (Facepalm)
It was a slow start, until Willian and Michy tore them a new one and gave us a comfortable lead in quick succession. In the words of one Twitter wit, “not one player on that pitch looks like they’ve spent two months eating pies and shagging the club doctor.” This match was memorable for the magnitude of the Goon capitulation. During fourteen decades in charge, Frenchman Wenger has instilled into his troops an efficiency when surrendering, if nothing else. Ospina's attempt to decapitate Pesto (autospell hasn't had any useful updates over the summer) also sticks out in my mind. I don't think he remotely meant it, he is just crippled by having the IQ of a jet-lagged wet lettuce that's got off the plane in China, been brutally shaken and immediately sent out to keep goal. None of the new signings took part aside from Caballero. Michy was immense (all hail the King of Twitter) Boga too, and the North Londoners shuffled off back to their team hotel deservedly chastened. The game was also memorable for the fact that it was the only time I’ve ever seen Gooners still in their seats at the final whistle. Speaking of. Let’s all spare a moment to mock their latest banner, which reads "Boom Xhaka Laca." I'll pause here so you can p*ss yourself laughing... The Goons will forever be the Premier League equivalent of your embarrassing uncle, the one who still acts like it's 1995 because that's when he still had hopes and dreams and hadn't failed at life. The one that gets reluctantly invited to family weddings where you have to watch him cracking on to the Bridesmaids half his age and doing Carlton-from-the-Fresh-Prince dance moves to Run DMC.
B - is for Bayern. Our second match. They had to play well after being embarrassed in their previous outing but still, the disparity was hilarious. Boga had earned his start, and he came in to replace Pesto, who was having his face rebuilt somewhere in West London. Poor Christensen got a start, and no chance of making anything of it because we were so collectively awful. Courtois had a day to forget, Moses was shocking in the first half but atoned in the second. Mostly. Most of my wrath was reserved for George Michael (I refuse to call Marcus Alonso anything else until he gets rid of his 1984 Whamhair) He scored in first half injury time, but that was the minimum requirement after he had spent most of the game running round like he had concussion. Had he not made up for forgetting to defend and pressing so high that Bayern basically had the whole left side of the pitch to themselves, Conte would have been filling up everyone’s sweaty socks with pennies (or the Singapore equivalent) in the dressing room and letting his teammates take it in turns to knock him senseless after the game. I pointed out that they made the last eight of the Champions League last season, and that we weren’t in it, but it was still tough to watch. Boga came close, so did Cahill’s beard, but we still went in 3-1 down. Riveting it was not, after the break. Had Ham-ez Rodriguez had a better sense of direction than a a blindfolded kitten that has just come out of the tumble dryer, we might have conceded another five. But happily he was exactly that inept. At one point he fell over and landed upside down. It said it all that he couldn't figure out how to get up. Morata came on on the hour, but judging him would not have been fair as he was clearly a couple of weeks behind fitness wise. Nonetheless the commentary team slated him for not scoring with his first touch. We got better as the game went on, and Michy put one in from six yards out, but we’d left it too late and they ran the clock down. 3-2.
C - is for Chequebook Pulis, (I'm retiring the HWWNBN nickname this season in favour of this, because it's hilarious) who is already proving hilariously entertaining. He is also turning into a scowlier version of 'Arry Redknapp in that he is hell bent on raiding his previous club for personnel. Mark my words if the trend continues he will put in an offer for Nico Krancjar, Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch by the time transfer deadline day comes round. But the best laugh so far was when, after shelling out enough money to buy a Caribbean Island on Pogba and Lukaku, he said that he wasn’t going to pay over the odds for players. Then he went and gave as nigh on 50m for Matic. What a tool.
D - is for Desperation. The emails have already started arriving from Club Wembley for the September international break, offering me a ticket to see England in return for a packet of skittles. Two days before kick off they will be offering us money to go. I try and make my responses progressively more insulting/disgusting to see if there is a point at which they will give up. This time I replied that I would rather lick Sam Allardyce’s scrotum. I’ll let you know how it pans out.
E - is for End. As in "of the line". Costa. Here is what I know, because it came out of Conte's mouth. He had asked to leave three times. They way the manager tells it the club, the player and his agent all knew that the FA Cup Final would be his last game in a Chelsea shirt. I sincerely hoped that Conte hadn’t sent “the text” but he did. I’d love to know what it said. I will miss Costa, but for all the good things, he was ready to cut and run to play football with a load of goat herders and leave us to burn, so I am not going to cry that his time with us has come to an end. Kenedy might well have become the second Brazilian to yap his way out of a Blue shirt. I said at the time, he was an idiot, and he deserved to be sent home but I did have to laugh at some of the translations coming out of the Chinese newspapers. Apparently Chelsea showed a "lack of contrition" and were labelled as “disrespectful." I’ve got three words for you. Diego. Costa. And January.
I have to admire that Conte believes in unmitigated control of the dressing room. You have to agree, looking at some of our managers that have shuffled off pretty quickly when they didn't have it over the last decade. "If you lose control, anything can happen,” says Antonio. “Prepare to die... if you are lucky three months. Your end is decided."I love that this makes Premier League management sound like an episode of Game of Thrones.
Incidentally, who would be who?
Antonio: F*ck the wheel that is the Premier League. He didn't wait to roll around to the top and try to stay there, he just smashed the wheel. He's the mental bird with the dragons.
Pep: Dripping in money - House Lannister for sure. Specifically Joffrey. Pouty and whiny and a lot less substance than the realm of football would have hoped. And watching his demise is addictive viewing you'll want to rewind over and over again because he's such a smug w*nker.
Klopp: Is Ramsay Bolton. A nonsense pretender to the Premier League Throne. Sneaky, grubby and with dubious grip on reality and vastly overinflated opinion of his own stinky northern army. Would probably look better if his face was chewed off by dogs and everyone would secretly quite enjoying watching it happen.
Pochettino: - That lesbian Greyjoy bird. All gob, we're coming for you, blah blah, aren’t we hard. In reality there are such a weak showing that no body considers you contenders. In fact until you pop up on peoples TV screens they've forgotten you exist. If he's the bird, I am pretty sure makes Alli the snivelling little sidekick that got his knob cut off.
Chequebook Pulis is Walder Frey. Clearly a tit short of an udder, sits in a throne/press room, getting progressively more dishevelled, probably soiling himself and gibbering an unconscious stream of bonkers nonsense in which he perceives himself as the King of the world. And lots of people want to spike him in the gullet with a sword.
I want to be Arya Stark. I can think of so many people I'd like to gut/decapitate in the world of football, but unfortunately I haven't yet figured out how to go around doing it wearing Danny Rose's face. Two birds, one stone and all that.
F - is for Fraud - As in St. Pep. Failed to win anything in his first season, despite spending a shedload of money. So has spent a sh*tload more. For the cash he has spent on players since arriving in England, NASA could launch a shuttle into space. The sum is the equivalent to the cost of every single supply teacher used in the UK for a year. You could buy an Airbus A380. I don’t scorn the amount of money on principle - I scorn the idea that if he wins ANYTHING this season people will be fawning over him like he is amazing. Because if you gave my MUM that much she could win the double, and she can barely tell the difference between Ibrahimovic and Ashley Cole.
G - is for Genius. Possibly. We’ve made £100m in less than three years from selling players who had less than ten league starts for us, apparently. Now, if the players we have let go this time, i.e. Chalobah and Ake have buy back clauses in their deals, Chelsea could have pulled a fast one. Neither have gone to rivals, they’ve gone to mid-table clubs, which suggests their current level. Chalobah was on the last year of his deal, so we could have ended up in a situation where he had no ties left to us. “If” they make it, and we have first dibs/intimations from the players that they’d return in the event of doing really well and wanting to move on from their clubs, it’s a less time/financially consuming system than the loanee one we currently employ and enables them to develop without severing all links with Chelsea. If, however, there are no buy back clauses and we’ve just waved them off, ARRAAARGH!
H - is for Hysteria. More commonly known as nappy-sh*tting and bed-wetting. God we’re good at this as a collection of fans. The end is not nigh after three friendly games. The transfer window is not yet closed. See below for an insight into how the brain of a nappy sh*tter functions during preseason:
I - is for Inter. Our final preseason game. Conte went with what will probably be our starting eleven at Wembley this Sunday pending the availability of Pesto. It was a solid test of where we are at. First half was nothing impressive. George Michael had guilty feet. Again. As they had literally no rhythm. Michy huffed and puffed but his luck wasn’t in, but the difference in him is astounding since West Brom. I would no longer be found at the back of the stand curled into the foetal position and rocking back and forth if he was our only available striker. Good for him. Moses was better than he had been, which wasn’t much, but at least calmed me down. Yet we were 2-0 down. The second half was end to end, we saw Rudiger for the first time. Beast. Musonda got a run out too and was full of beans. We also saw quite possibly the most hilarious own goal ever, which gave us a final score of 2-1. Kondigbia had to shower with our lot after the game to avoid being towel whipped by the entire Inter squad. The nappy sh*tters went into full meltdown, but let’s get one thing straight. At one point we had 17 players on the pitch and I’m not convinced that the referee would have noticed if they had all stayed there. The officials were absolutely atrocious. He gave an offside against us at one point. From a throw in. He awarded them a penalty for nothing. He disallowed out equaliser for no apparent reason. They are just the three stinkers I can recall. Also, it was a tough game, tougher than some of our league games are going to be. I’ve been reading some Italian write ups which attempted to explain that Conte doesn’t give a damn about results in preseason. He spends the days literally running his players ragged to get their condition levels up. That’s two sessions a day, and includes sessions on the morning of those evening games. Juve fans have claimed that the team was then in such good shape when the season began that they exploded out of the blocks. By comparison, Inter were resting in between matches. So we had two teams at completely different levels officiated by imbeciles who didn’t know the rules of football. Windeth in your necks, nappy sh*tting faithful.
J - is for JT - How weird is it seeing him in anybody else’s shirt? As of a few days ago Villa had not conceded a single goal in preseason. Well done Cap’n. Also, how hilarious are the massive hypocrites amongst their faithful? All those years listening to them boo him, abuse him. And now the bellends have run out of ‘R”s in their club shop because they have had to print his name on the back of so many shirts. Tw*ts.
K - is for Klippity Klopp. And his delusional band of f*ckwits bleating about how this is their year. Again. So let’s assess this. They have bought/inherited two of our rejects. Salah and Solanke. Forwards. They have scored some goals in preseason. Yawn. They didn’t have a problem scoring goals last year. Their defence, however, was hilarious. And what have they done in this area? They bought some bloke I’ve never heard of. From a club that just got relegated. Andy Robertson has gone from Hull City to the Champions League. I await the annual implosion with glee.
L - is for Loftus Cheek. I think I waffled on last season about whether he should stay or go somewhere strong, not relegation fodder, and just get a sh*tload of games in. So hurrah. This trip to Croydon might do him a lot of good, even if he does get mugged on his way to work every morning.
M - is for Morata. Our shiniest signing thus far this summer. He looks suitably excited to be here, which is a good start. Plus he is pretty enough to ensure that I’ll be sitting in a puddle of my own drool this season. Apologies in advance to those in the Shed Lower beneath who might get wet.
N - is for Numbers, or lack of them. So far we have 17 players in our squad. Sandro appeared to be almost a done deal, but I’m guessing that the whole thing went away because Juve didn’t have a replacement lined up and wouldn’t let him go. Which is annoying. We were talking to a striker very recently, as well as seriously enquiring about another midfielder, but if we don’t address the lack of personnel sharpish there is no chance that we will be attacking on four fronts. We’ll have to sack the League Cup off for starters and make it solely about the kids. In fairness to the nappy sh*tters, I too find it a bit baffling that people seem to have poured out of the club liberally and that we are now light on players. Why aren’t we putting ourselves first? Like Juve have? I will keep fingers crossed regarding a Plan B where this all suddenly works itself out by the end of August.
O - is for Oxymoron. The Press Plebs came up with a blinding effort the other day. “Sam Allardyce thinks that Loftus Cheek could have been another Delli Alli if he had left Chelsea five years ago” or something like that. Let’s just go back a bit. “Sam Allardyce thinks.” Exactly. The best response came from the Blues in Miami. “Sam Allardyce could have been the next Alex Ferguson if he had won more matches starting twenty years ago.” Also, if you are giving webspace to opinions coming out of that pie-stuffing face you have stopped to new levels of depravity.
P - is for Press Plebs. Obviously they have been at it all summer, but this was my favourite: “Conte signs a new £9m a year deal but there is no extension.” When have you ever seen a headline as stupid as that? He didn't want an extension. What he did want was to be be paid more than 25% of the likes of Pep, and Chequebook Pulis which, given what he did to them last season with the resources he had is completely understandable and completely fair. This kind of payrise deal happens all the time in football, you morons. Further down, they enlightened us that our manager was "now committed" because his family coming over to join him. This was the plan from when he joined us. They just wanted his daughter to learn English in Italy before coming over. The over-stretching to try and find something negative about Chelsea is so desperate it’s embarrassing, but it at leaves give me round the clock ammunition.
Q - is for Questionable Mental Capacity. Obviously Chequebook Pulis is a given, as is Wenger beating away at the same drum for fifteen years now with the same result. But Joe Hart eclipsed them all this month with the hilarious bullsh*it that came out of his mouth after he signed for West Ham. (The Head and Shoulders ads should have told you that he’d do pretty much anything for money) He said that, barring a direct rival, so let’s assume Palace or Millwall, because they hate them particularly, everyone loves West Ham. He’ll make his competitive debut for them in about a week. If they let him out of his straightjacket in time.
R - is for Rudi. In true English fashion our new man has already got a nickname. He didn’t get long against Inter, but I liked what I saw. I noticed that he’s a good replacement from Branna attacking in the box, and that he’s pretty monstrous running at an opponent innocently skipping along with the ball. He’s also pretty damned articulate. I read an interview where he talked about his problems with racism in the Italian League. Articulate, reasoned. Suggest chopping off Kenedy’s hands (he doesn’t need them anyway) and giving his phone to Rudiger.
S - is for Selective Memory Loss - In true Lukaku fashion, he pulled out of the Everton training ground to sign for Chelsea, but his first touch took him to Manchester by accident. (Badoom-tish) Either way, he appears to have forgotten that Chequebook Pulis sacked him off with all the grace of someone flushing a goldfish down the toilet. As far as we're concerned, he’s either lazy or he lacks awareness, and he’s cost far too much money when you don’t know which. Especially when if you haven’t got the latter in your mid-Twenties, you ain’t ever getting it. Bullet, dodged. Then there is Matic. I’ve got no beef with him, but his running back to CP made me chuckle. As for his new (old) boss, Matic was one of the players that went completely AWOL in the run-up to CP’s second departure from Chelsea. Possibly one of the worst culprits. Now he’s lauding him as a genius. Lets chuck in Walker too - who has p*ssed off to sit on the bench at City. He says Sp*rs lacked edge to win things. He does realise that he was front and centre whenever they’ve bottled anything in the last few years. Right?
T - is for Twenty-First Century Football - I’ll condense this rant as much as possible but in short - it’s our new club shop, which is an unmitigated disaster. The People’s Republic of Nike have showered us with money, but they have taken their pound of flesh. The place has been gutted and turned into a Nike store with a Chelsea theme. Style over substance personified, it has had every last bit of club personality and any vestige of soul sucked out of it, not to mention anything without a tick on it, and the capability of a large part of the fan base to shop in there more than once a season. There is even a Nike Commandant (who admittedly is very nice) who now oversees all Chelsea personnel to make sure that they don’t deviate from party lines. This is also the money-grabbing preseason tours. I like the idea of fans around the world getting to see the team, that is awesome, but it isn’t done for that at all. It’s the cash. You can’t tell me the setup/scheduling/conditions this month were planned with the wellbeing of the squad in mind. It’s £198m for a twat like Neymar who can’t even do his hair properly, who can afford to try and hand over a cheque for his buyout clause like he’s paying for petrol. It’s also the disparity between the modern player and the fans. Barkles (special alias) told me this month that as a season ticket holder of twenty years, he’s never felt less of an emotional attachment to the team. He’s not wrong. And it’s just f*cking sad that that is the way it has become, and that this bottom line obsessed, corporate, dispassionate shell is what a club the size of ours has to become. Thank God for the fans, eh, who still remember what it is all about.
U - is for Unbelievable. Yes, we’re back to Neymar again. £200m. Jesus wept. Although, the absolute hilarity of someone ditching the love-in that is Barca made me laugh my head off. Because basically they think they hover somewhere between Jesus Christ and Mother Theresa where their sh*t doesn’t stink.
V - is for Venereal Disease, which I wish sincerely on all at Sky Sports News, the Daily Fail and any Scouse player appearing in sad advertisements for male grooming products.
W - is for WTF? I'm talking about the hilarious nonsense that's been coming out of Pochettino’s mouth all summer. Sp*rs with their “watch us rise” tagline, despite not a single penny spent. They have a "different philosophy,” says Mauricio Greyjoy. The rest of was will stick with "trying to win things.” He’s clearly been snorting whatever concoction Joe Hart has been at all summer.
X - after a drunken night in Colliers Wood - is for Xylophone. One that has Neymar's stupid face on it, so you can beat it repeatedly. This was an achievement for self, Granville (Sitcom alias) and Jurgen Klopp’s long lost twin, considering the amount of gin/ale that had been consumed.
Y - is for Youth. As usual, a mass exodus of loanees has begun from Cobham. As has the accompanying mockery and snooty judgement from all quarters. So all hail Andreas Christensen for shooting them down in flames and setting the record straight. He wasn’t isolated, Chelsea didn’t wash their hands of him. The likes of Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira have worked damned hard with the loanees.
Z - is for Zouma. This loan is the best thing for him. He needs games, and it comes in line with a six year deal, which gives him hope. If I'm honest though, I wonder if we stay with three at the back if he is going to be a victim of our system like JT was.
Shamless book plug here:
June is a tough one. The season has only just finished, and there are weeks and weeks either of international dross (what the hell is the point of the Confederations thing?) or of no joy whatsoever. I'm going to hold off talking about the fixtures until I do a preview post for the season, but I thought I’d sift through the sports pages attempting to get past the endless coverage of egg chasing Lions and filler such as “top 100 football beards in history” in an attempt to find some bits that, even if they weren’t earth shattering, at least made me p*ss myself laughing in the last few weeks.
Allardyce has gone? I didn’t even notice this happen. Although someone will have been sacked at some a*se-end of the table club by November and the northern cockroach will be back to bore the sh*t out of us all again. Player holiday snaps. I approve of these. Alonso, who looks like something out of a pervy aftershave ad hanging off the back of a boat can upload as many of those as he wants, and any and all pictures of Joel Ward and Charlie Austin wearing next to nothing are much welcomed. Not to mention saved on my phone. Oscar kicked off a mass brawl in China, which is about the highlight of his being there so far. And brave when you are the size of a twelve year-old. Oh and some England youth team won a trophy of some description. I didn’t watch it, because it was on Eurosport, which I regard as the ultimate pikey in sports channels, with Annabel Croft wafting around in hooker shoes, its tinny sound and badly dubbed foreign adverts for randomness you have no interest in, such as a cyclist with socks rammed down his lycra shorts talking about the boner he gets using a cooker that magically extracts air.
On that subject, is there anything more unbearable, even more so than the mini heatwave we had this month, than Cesc’s cringey, soft porn holiday snaps? I think not. He even had what looked like a semi in one of them. This I do not need to see. Aside from this, at one point the Daily Fail were filling their empty football pages with Rob Green dressed up as Danger Mouse on the Isle of Wight. Yes, it really was a slow news week. We’ve had Evra getting molested by a dolphin, hours of tedious coverage of Messi’s wedding plans, (I didn’t know a woman marrying a bearded ferret was legal in South America) Brendan Rodgers took his mid life crisis a step further by marrying a bird half his age, Rooney and his identikit meatheaded kids had their days out covered in minute detail, and Pogba has been jetting around the planet with his personalised pillow. Where do they find this sh*t? If only he put as much effort into getting around a football pitch. He might be worth 30% of what United paid for him. The press plebs even ran a story telling us that old Ronaldo is overweight - complete with pictures.
Typical press pleb angle on Salah: discarded by the pantomime villains at Stamford Bridge, blah, blah, gets another chance from the benevolent, blah, lovely, blah, scruff-bag widow twanky that is Kilppity Klopp. This loveable rogue sh*t they peddle on the Scousers makes me want to projectile vomit. Like when Gary goes out the back of the bar in Team America. “I really want to win something’ Salah says. Great choice then mate. Enjoy!
Costagate. No, not the old meltdown, a new one. Conte has seemingly had enough of him, because he did send that text. Whatever, I found the media speculation about his future hilarious, as it was based on him being angry because the club had not made any signings, before the transfer window was properly open, when we are waiting for the Adidas contract to expire lest we give them millions of pounds worth of free advertising with their shirts being waved about when Nike are waiting in the wings. A week later they were banging on about the boss signing a new contract. Tossers. It doesn’t change the fact that the whole rift is distasteful, but whether he was right or wrong to do it the way he did, the club has to stand behind Conte. You can’t have a working scenario where players can go whining to the owner and undermine him. I don’t resent Costa, far from it. But f*cking hell he’s hard work.
Mino Railoa - is most definitely on the ugly list. Super agent. Looks like the only thing he is super for is evading personal hygiene, but my hatred of him is mainly based on the fact that he also looks like a cab driver who moves so little that he’s welded to his car seat and yet he makes millions and millions for seemingly doing less work than Theresa May’s personality coach. I wonder if he needs an assistant…
The Downright Hilarious
Mike Pejic claimed that Gary Cahill is a woeful defender. He claims that he didn’t deserve his league winners medal last season. Firstly, I googled who Mike Pejic was. Which already means I don’t give a f*ck about his opinion. Secondly, he looks like the hound from Game of Thrones. After the fire. Thirdly, he played for Stoke, so I doubt he’s capable of the amount of syllables it would have taken to articulate this opinion. Fool. Elsewhere Jordan Pickford (I know, who?) is now the third most expensive goalkeeper in history, and Saint Joseph of Barton claims that the FA are “oblivious” to match-fixing he heard about on a dubious grapevine of no specificity. “They didn’t know about me and I was betting in plain view for 12 years.” That’s going to help your appeal. Although I don’t see what he is appealing against? His own stupidity? The FA can’t help you there, bellend. Rio looked at Ramos’s shameful play-acting in the CL Final and said that he’d be ashamed to look his boy in the eye after that. Whilst this was indeed, stupid, presumably Rio has forgotten that footage of him assaulting a woman. Hypocrite. Besides, more offensive than Ramos’s play-acting was his copious use of a selfie stick during the Real celebrations. Which immediately renders people dead to me.
Arsenal’s cycle of failure has already started again. Huzzah. Having gone from telling everyone that they could look forward to exciting things going forward, Wenger then gave a warning that the club wouldn’t spend money on more than three transfers. And from one of those supposedly being Mbappe, the most exciting young player on the planet, who was a dead cert to arrive at the Emirates, just like Suarez, Benzema, and about 3000 other world class players that have never even been to North London, they’re now looking at taking Martial from United for the princely sum of £40m. I’m quaking with fear. Credit to the Goon on Twatter that said their transfer talk reminded him of the year when he spent all summer learning how to say the name Higuain, and finding out that it was pronounced “Sanogo”. Another funny one coming from a Gooner on Griezmann and Lukaku both rejecting the idea of playing for HWWNBN inside a week. “What a time to be alive. No-one wants to play left back for Chequebook Pulis. Chequebook Pulis. Brilliant. I think this is what I’m going to refer to him as next season.
So far all the Goons have done is pick up a nobody from Schalke on a free. Now I’ve said that watch Kolosinac light up the league. The Scouse have got our two cast-offs, City have brought in Silva and Ederson and released Clichy, Navas and Zabaleta. United have bought Lindelhof, and there has been less movement at Sp*rs in the ranks than in their trophy cabinet for the last fifty years.
As for us, the press plebs started off gleefully trying to will Hazard into leaving us for Real. He isn’t going anywhere. Presumably they then realised this and instead of wasting our time telling us he was going, they generated a dozen more bits of crap telling us he is staying at Chelsea. Ah, the old transfer window ploy of publishing every possibility then gloating about being right. We’ve already waved off Begovic and Ake (don’t get me started - but I'm hearing the impetus was with the player, not the club) to Bournemouth. Bertrand Traore has departed for Lyon, Atsu has made his move to Newcastle permanent, and there is talk of Tammy Abraham going there on loan too. Solanke has slinked off to the Scouse having moaned about money endlessly and Chequebook Pulis is apparently buzzing round Matic like a fly who has eyed a choice turd.
In return, nobody has yet come in officially, but bring on tomorrow, when there are Nike shirts a plenty for signings to hold and we start revealing the business which has been going on in the background.
I’ll spare the endless speculation about each and every player and stick to what I know, or what I think I know… Caballero is done. I also think you can start practicing how to pronounce Bakayoko’s name. Because you’ll be using it. Van Dijk and Bonucci, who knows? At this stage don’t hold your breath. As for Sandro and Lukaku, the fat lady isn’t singing yet, but you’ve got every reason to be excited about both. I can’t help but hope we are not about to pay £100m for Lukaku. I want to cry thinking about it. For that I should be able to buy Lukaku, a super yacht, a night with Scott Eastwood and a decent supply of Tanqueray Rangpur to last me till I die.
Until tomorrow then, when the real fun starts for us. As you were.
Don't forget you can relive all the glory of last season with the book of the blog:
For want of any summer amusement in the way of football (because the Confederations Cup just does not count) I give you... Something I put together for my mum a couple of years ago. Yes, I know, plenty of women understand the offside rule. I am one of them. But for those that need a little coaching, you can pass this along... I was drunk when I did it, though, so I take no responsibility if it is wrong!
In the last ten years we’ve got through more managers than Joey Barton has betting slips. I’d come to regard most of them in the same manner as fairground goldfish: there is great novelty in winning them, and a sense of accomplishment and jubilation, but don’t get too attached. Because they will only be around for five minutes and then you’ll end up flushing them down the toilet. In most cases a month later you will have forgotten all about them, or tried to.
So after an abysmal start to the season, in which we lost nine of sixteen games, we waved goodbye to our manager (again) in December 2015. Let’s face it with a sigh of relief by that point. Guus had to come and bail us out (again) and all of the conjecture and press f*ckwittery started (again) with regard to who on earth we’d convince to try and steady a ship that threatened to resemble the sodding Mary Celeste by the time the whole Premier League circus began again. If it didn’t sink. At the beginning of April 2016 it was confirmed that some bloke called Antonio Conte had agreed to take over our nuthouse in August, when he was done managing his Italy side through the European Championships. Cue frantic googling.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club,” he said. “I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that… I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League… Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy.”
God love him, said I. (I was very cynical last summer) But does this poor, but admittedly very pretty chump know what he’s walking into?
A clusterf*ck is what. Stropping, under-performing players, alleged mutiny, a sudden, inexplicable and just bizarre slump and worst of all, a poisonous, bitter atmosphere that was partly the legacy of the outgoing manager and partly a result of all the infighting that had frankly made it less than enjoyable to follow Chelsea more than the results had. We’d finished mid-way down the table, there would be no European football, and rumours were rife of pretty much everyone wanting to jump ship. If they weren’t, to quote an over-used press pleb cliche: “fighting for their futures.” Add our trigger-happy treatment of managers in the last decade, and I suspect few in the profession would have envied the job that Antonio Conte now had on his hands...
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Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
FA Cup Final Saturday 27th May 17:30
...Where Arsenal actually look good. I'm writing this in the midst of a joint Chelsea/Arsenal "We hate T*ttenham" singsong on the Victoria Line and I've just realised who Wenger reminds me of. Anyone watch Buffy back in the day? There were these baddies called The Gentlemen who were impossibly old and scrawny with terrifying faces who used to float everywhere. They ripped the hearts out of people's chests having somehow managed to make their voices complete unheard no matter how vehement their protestations. They left misery in their wake. Their continued presence and determined resilience gave people horrific nightmares. So the more I think of the similarities the more I can't believe I haven't put this together before. If you see Wenger hovering with a scalpel. Run.
So the day started well. Pork Pie's massive over reaction to Miranda Hart's face being plastered all over the tube was hysterical. Couldn't have been more revolted if Wenger had turned up at brunch and curled one out on her plate. Also got to have a dig at Slippy G on tv. Then it went downhill.
Going by the team sheet Arsenal looked positively f*cked. All we had to do was play our best football and they didn’t stand a chance. We did not play our best football. By any stretch of the imagination. We started by giving the ball away on the edge of the box. And Arsenal put it in the net. Handball, offside, possibly both. Still we can always rely on the integrity of the officials to sort these matters out. Right? Wrong. Because someone gave Anthony Taylor the whistle. We’ll get to him later.
We did not settle, in fact we failed to string together a coherent set of passes, with the vague exception of an almost nearly moment after fifteen minutes. But then it was back down the other end and Cahill was clearing it off the line. Then they hit the post. We had not looked this bad since we played them in September. And they were out of sight by half time.
We at least managed to prevent this. Just after the clock ticked past twenty minutes there was a slight flickering of intent that intimated that we might be about to wake up, but it didn’t last very long. It took us nearly half an hour to win a corner and a couple of tackles, but we were a yard off the ball and they clearly wanted it more than us. If not for Thibaut palming it away and the constant intervention of Gary Cahill we could have been about 5-0 down by half time. We kept hoofing the ball to Costa. Why we did this when Mertesacker has a two foot head start on him, who can say. Why we didn’t try and run it round him when he is about as alert and spritely as a Koala with a spliff in its paw, who can say.
Still, it’s only one goal. And Antonio will open a stylish Italian can of whoop ass at half time. It can’t possibly continue to be this bad.
We were not as sh*t when we came back out. In fact, the tide had turned fairly comprehensively, and we looked far more like ourselves. We had more possession in the first two minutes than we had in the entire first half and more attempts too; even one on target, but we failed to put anything away in the opening minutes of the second half and they were gradually coming back into it. Combine this with Taylor’s inability to identify who puts the ball out of play and a host of other random twatlike decisions, and we were still behind. Pesto came close just before the hour, we thought it was going in when he hit it, but it went wide.
Fabregas please. And on he came on 60 minutes. To a chorus of boos. From a club that waved a massive banner before kick off that reminded everyone how much class they have. History, Tradition, Class and a long list of dates they’ve won the cup. I suppose when you haven’t won anything significant in fifteen years you’ve got to cling to your glory days. In contrast ours had three words. Pride of London.
Anyway, I genuinely believed that we could come back into this game, which is more than can be said for the voice of f*cking doom behind us. What's worse than watching your team lose? Watching your team lose when someone stands there for the whole game blandly (like a train spotter) telling you exactly why the opposition are superior to us. Your sense or your logic or your reason has no place in this stadium sh*thead.
You could see the joy on Taylor's face when he sent Moses off. (and Sh*thead's, because it gave him another five minutes of ammunition) It was like a traffic warden spying a Ferrari parked on a double yellow. For a man who had missed several obviously nasty fouls throughout the match pulling out a yellow and doing him for diving was petty to the highest degree. I was behind that goal and watching it live I don’t see that he could have thought he’d be gaining anything. Maybe we should be celebrating Taylor’s evil bald genius. He has the power to make everyone in close proximity hate him every weekend by a continuous string of bizarre decisions and inexplicable outbursts of power hungry madness. He’s basically PGMOLs’s answer to Donald Trump. I spent half time having a text debate with Knobhead (my only Arsenal friend) across Wembley about which of us had the right to be more pissed off at him. He was an utter f*ckshit of comic book blockbuster proportions today. Were Martin Atkinson, Michael Oliver, even CLATTENBURG really all unavailable on cup final day? I've have taken Lee Mason or Mike Jones before I started scraping the bottom of the refereeing barrel and gave it to Anthony f*cking Taylor. Dubious goal, petty bookings, ignoring two handed shoves, buying every other dive going, claiming that Ozil got the ball when he almost broke Hazard’s legs in scything him down for it. Arsenal fans have got their own lengthy list of transgressions too.
But though all of this may be true, (it is, because I say so) he didn't lose us the game. We did that ourselves. Thanks to Costa I at least felt like I'd been partially rewarded for getting out of bed. But then we p*ssed it away in the next ten seconds of play. Sh*thead had a boner by this time, pointing out the many reasons why we were going to lose.
Back to square one. Somehow we ended up playing the underdog all afternoon and although we might have nicked an equaliser in the 85th, it came to nothing. It's not even worth picking out who was more at fault. Collectively we were a shadow of ourselves today. I will point out that at 2-1 down on 81 mins I did not want to see Willian cuddling Sanchez. Some tried harder than others, whatever. They will all feel it when they realised they literally chucked the double away. I don't get angry when we lose, I get angry when we lose because we don't show up. But at the end of the day, to use the most overused cliche in football, Champions AND FA Cup Finalists would have been beyond my wildest dreams on 24th September when we went down like a submarine with a sun roof at the Emirates. I can live with this. Providing I don't look at any football coverage for the next week.
Rant: Jester hats. There is no way not to look like a c*nt in one. And yet they're everywhere. Let’s donate them all to the twatter bellends slagging off Conte this evening. F*cking jokers.
Another rant: The Goons pouring away from Wembley as soon as the whistle went are the ones that make my blood boil. What about the trophy says I? To some of them. "Winning this is the least they could do" apparently. No interest in staying to celebrate it. The sense of entitlement makes me rage. Actually, after whimpering across 38 games to fifth place, getting utterly annihilated in Europe, getting bumped through the semi final of the FA cup by the incompetence of Craig Pawson, you might be grateful that you got the opportunity to take try and take home a trophy at all this season. Other fans would be. Tossers.
Still, every mangy French poodle has its day and every cloud has a silver lining. Two more years of Gentleman Wenger at least by the looks of it. It might not be the cup we wanted today, but the cup that we do have runneth over if that happens.
Today was disappointing, but it shouldn't dampen what has been a joyously unexpected success of a first season in England for Conte, who has apparently silenced rumours and committed his long term future to the club. Are we perfect? No. But we are champions, deserved champions if not double winners and now he has a transfer window with the Champions League to offer to strengthen the squad. Then a settled preseason now he's got his feet under the table to move his philosophy along ready for next term's challenges.
The book version of the blog, including season reviews, player review, mocking of our rivals etc. is available in a few days both as a paperback and an ebook. If you previously placed a pre-order, Amazon have cancelled it, because they’re morons, and you won’t have been charged, but it will be available on 5th June in both formats. I’ll drop a link @CFCgwlb
Please buy one. My kitten has expensive tastes in premium food. And I need to have his nuts cut off right about the time pre-season starts. That ain't cheap.
Also, while you've got your hands in your pockets Mowgli (aka QuickDraw) Mini Mowgli and I are walking across the Jordanian desert on November in aid of Veterans in Action. Follow this link to make a much appreciated donation to The Blue Trekkers:
Game 38: Chelsea 5 Sunderland 1
Sunday 21st May 2017 15:00
Spare a thought for the millennials, myself amongst them. If we were conscious of anything other than dribbling before the advent of JT's Chelsea career (not with a football, Harry F*cking Kane style) then it was primitive. Probably involved sh*t like Pokemon, or He-Man. (And yet both of these things are closer in living memory than the last time the league trophy was displayed at Anfield. And at least in living memory, unlike anything decent Sp*rs have done) Today marked the end of an era for all at Chelsea Football Club, but for us, we don't really remember the place before him and just at the moment it feels like it will never be quite the same.
The Others: Now that nothing is at stake Sp*rs won. I’m sure that’s a huge consolation for achieving nothing. Again. Arsenal have been condemned to a season of Thursday night ignominy in the Europa League. Hurrah. Oh, and the Scouse will be dining at Europe's top table with us next season. (And presumably running away without paying their bill) This after they assured everyone that this really was their year and that they were going to win the league. One can only assume that they were planning a shellsuit-clad heist to try and nick the trophy because they were never going to get their hands on it any other way.
Our Game: Yes, there was one of these to be played before we could start celebrating. Poor Sunderland were already down, but they turned up in large numbers. Let’s be honest, nobody really wants to read an in depth report of this dead rubber. Today was about getting our hands on the trophy and bidding goodbye to a club legend and a world class player, so let’s get it over with.
There was a lot of tin foil in the Shed End. We followed the instructions re waving it about, but then we resorted to trying to mummify Gonzo. We then gave Sunderland fans a standing ovation for their joyous celebration after going ahead in the third minute. Free kick came in, ball goes out to the right, lack of defending and put home by someone wearing a red and white shirt. Marcos Alonso cracked the crossbar and there followed some pinball in the box where nobody seemed to want to have a shot. Willian stormed in to save the day and smacked it home. 1-1. Then it was like a lunchtime kickabout in the school playground, all in the Sunderland box. Defenders flopping about, everyone trying to get a shot off, about 300 corners, some of which cleared the first man, JT quite rightly goal-hanging and trying to crown his final appearance with a goal. There was a brief point when everybody ceased to watch the game and collectively tried to figure out if Koscielny and his dinosaur head would miss the cup final as he’d had a straight red card at the Emirates. (Apparently another defender was stretchered off, too, but given how flaky they are I suppose this means that Arsenal are only marginally worse off than when everybody is fit) Then came the moment I personally had been dreading. I thought the 26th minute was a nice touch, same with the Guard of Honour formed by the rest of the team as JT left the pitch. Drogba being carried off was Drogba, but this was an entirely more fitting. There could have been more goals, lots more, but it was all square when we went into the break.
We faffed about a bit more at the beginning of the second half, who was going to put us ahead? Who else but Eden Hazard on the hour, when he combined with Costa to put us ahead. Diego went off straight off afterwards in exchange for Michy. A lot of people read a lot into the copious hand waving that went on as he left. I think attributing any deep subterfuge to him in this instance is a bit like looking at my kitten cleaning his nuts and convincing myself that he’s planning to invade Croydon. I don't think he's already planned his escape yet, is what I am saying, even if he does manage to in the coming weeks. I think he was just waving. The parade pretty much began when Pesto [he tells me he has just changed his name by deed poll now] came on for Hazard, who I am pretty positive is not going anywhere. Fabregas’s long ball into the box came off a Sunderland player fortuitously, but Pesto’s savvy saw him stay on it and head it over the line to make it 3-1. Remember that bloke Michy, who never seemed to be in the place you wanted him? Scratch that. Great sneaky ball in from Pesto and he lunged onto the end of it to make it four. Not satisfied with that, a couple of minutes later he spotted a gap in the defence and curled the ball through, past the Sunderland keeper and into the far corner. Confident as you like. Scored four in the last three games. Where the bloody hell has he come from?! So Dave played every minute of every league game, Thibaut got the golden gloves for 16 clean sheets, and we’re the first club in the history of the Premier League to win 30 games in a season. And yet Sp*rs are the best team in it, don't you know.
I could pass scathing comment about the discrepancy in coverage between Slippy G's last game amongst the Red Mafia, led by Scouse Sports News. But then I'd be wasting words that could be better spent on John George Terry.
Drogba’s departure was somewhat dampened by the fact that he’d already left once before. Frank’s was a clusterf*ck in terms of organisation, but this was done right. Everyone knew what was coming weeks in advance and it gave us a chance to get used to the idea that we were seeing the last of a club legend. We had free souvenir programmes, they even plied us with alcohol. We got to see JT lead the team out, and we got to give him an ovation on the way off. None of this made me feel any better about what was to come. Were we all ready to celebrate the title? Absolutely. And then some. But the mood at Stamford Bridge had a sad edge to it for many, because there was an inevitably emotional goodbye to come too.
We’ll gloss over the bit where JT was born in East London and started off with West Ham, and jump straight to where he joined us as a midfielder at 14. Desperation caused his move to defence and he’s never looked back. Making his first team when Steps were still considered cool (in my world, anyway) he’s since made 717 appearances for Chelsea. There have been downs, namely Moscow, but he’s contributed to nearly fifteen glittering years in our clubs’ history. Five Premier League titles, four FA Cups (and counting) three league cups, the Europa League and the Champions League. Then there are the personal accolades. Highest scoring defender in club history, UEFA defender of the year three times, PFA Player of the Year, FIFPro World XI five seasons in a row. Let’s also chuck in that he was the first player to lift the FA Cup at the new Wembley and also the first international goal scorer at the new stadium as well. Let’s also not forget the FA cutting off their nose to spite their faces with regard to his England role after he’d made 78 appearances for his country. F*ck them. Their loss five years ago was our gain, because in my (probably not so) expert opinion, it’s the reason we have been able to delay today’s pained goodbye as long as we have.
If you had told me that I would have been watching us win the league today back in August, I would have thought that you were as delusional as Wenger. I thought we were a three year project, that we’d see pretty much a full turnover of playing personnel before Antonio Conte had a hope of making his mark, and yet there we were jumping about to One Step Beyond. This season did not define John Terry’s career, he is past his best, but it rounded off nicely. I think that the move to three at the back accelerated the end of his effective days at Chelsea, but not by much. His role in this title win was a cameo, but one that I think we all would have wanted for him, and I am glad that he leaves us on a high. That said just because he has left us, I don't think that that means JT has got nothing to offer the world of football.
Giant beach balls, flames and sparkly confetti dispensed with, hardly a seat had been vacated before someone handed him a microphone. Before he said anything, our Captain Leader Legend made sure that Steve Holland got the recognition he rightly deserved before he departs for a new challenge. (England, so a f*cking big challenge) JT's farewell speech was emotional; thanking Roman Abramovich for making all of Chelsea’s achievements possible in the last decade or so, the team mates that scaled those heights with him. His voice broke when he thanked his family. By this point his kids were also tearful. Then there was thanks for the squad, for Antonion and for us, the fans, who, he says, have never failed him in his time at the club, supporting him when he was on his a*se or out of form. Time is a great healer and all of those other soppy platitudes. Much like those who worshipped Tommy Langley, Osgood or Jimmy Greaves in their youth, we'll have to come to terms with his departure. But I'm going to let myself have a sulk this evening, and a lot of gin.
Veni vidi vici might be more pithy for Antonio, bestow on JT the London version: He turned up, he had a look about, and he f*cking smashed it. For nearly twenty years. Here's to you John. Good luck with whatever (yes, whatever) you chose to do, and don't be a stranger.
Now let’s go and shove it up L’Arse next weekend and make it a double.