Dynamo Kiev 0 (0) Chelsea 5 (8)
Europa League Last 16
Thursday 14th March 2019 17:55
Chelsea 1 Wolves 1: I was there, but thankfully, given that it was dross, I was paying little attention to the game. For those that know how much maternal instinct I have, it will amuse you to know that I was entertaining a trio of boys: 10, 4 and 3. Our little chum from the domestic violence shelter had his day out. You may remember the eldest received a Xmas present and an invitation to come find him when he was at the bridge from Eden Hazard. Well, he got treated like a little VIP on Sunday. He got a tour behind the scenes, watched the team arrive from the tunnel, and he met Eden too, which sent him into absolute stunned silence. We had to do a second take at their photo together because he was so overcome that in the first one it looked like Eden was trying to abduct him. A trip to the megastore, which thankfully now stocks something other that Nike sh*t, then excellent seats for the whole family courtesy of one of our CFC family, a terrifying amount of sweets from another. Our little chap is astute. He turned to me part way through the game and said: “Is it me, or can Chelsea never take a corner?” And later on “I wish we’d just stop passing it about and worry about scoring a goal instead.” Out of the mouths of babes. I felt what might have been a swell of pseudo-parental pride. That said, this game was always going to be a sh*t slugfest. It was Rocky I. They were Stallone and we were Apollo Creed. Much better, but unable to stamp any class on proceedings, because the other side jus won’t f*ck off, resulting a turgid dead heat. Anyone who is running round screaming about sacking Sarri again is a knob. No, his team choice wasnt inspiring, especially the combination of Kovacic and Jorginho, but his substitutions weren’t the turgid f*ckwittery of old. This was a tough day out, and it led to a sh*t result. Sarri reverted to form a bit, but it was not a repeat of the Bournemouth game. Our little chap’s day was rounded off by tea afterwards. He chose Pizza Express, which I think I might be banned from now after one of the smaller ones punted a soft football into someones dinner plate (see sweety reference above. Mix in a gallon of coke and vegan cupcakes, which they inflicted on themselves voluntarily and they were slightly hyper by this stage) To cap it all, Mowgli (special alias), playing the part of the pied piper, got told off by security for leading them all off starting a mini riot in the shopping centre with a football match. This is what happens when you let someone with a mental age of twelve do the adulting. Three exhausted but very happy kids, one of whom snored and dribbled on me all the way home. Our little friend hasn’t played football in a year, but now can’t stop talking about finding a club and wanting to play for Chelsea. Or about when he can come again. Thank you to Chelsea, Eden and to everyone who contributed on the day to spoil them rotten.
In the News: Callum Hudson-Odoi has got the England U21 call-up he richly deserves. Asked about transfer ban, Willian says he is happy in every way with life at Chelsea and doesn’t want to go anywhere. I’d have loved to have seen the meltdown in some quarters on Twitter. Zidane has returned to Real apparently ready to shell £300m for Neymar to secure his escape from the Parc des Princes, which the ungrateful, spoilt little f*cker acts is akin to the Bastille. They’ve already shelled out £42m on a centre back since his return. He wants Eriksen too apparently, however, Eden is their number one target, and surely now he will go to join his hero. Hold tight though, the messiah may not be around for long in Madrid. Rumours that Zidane is to be sacked again after he wore f*cking cropped pedal pusher jeans to his unveiling.
Rio Ferdinand says Sterling wont win the Ballon d’Or because he is black. No, Rio, he wont win the Ballon d’Or because there are several dozen players who are better than him. You moron. People keep running on the pitch and attacking players. What the f*ck? In my mind its the rampant spilling over of everyone’s appalling online behaviour into the real world. You insult who you want, you say what you want with little or no consequences and generally get to be abhorrent on a daily basis. Rio’s case is indicative. You spaff (new favourite word) nonsense all over the internet and inexplicably end up doing it on TV. The Birmingham dick has been jailed for 14 weeks, which sends a decent message, but this new source of neanderthal entertainment is pathetic and we’re just lucky as a sport that none of them have reached the lower level of stupidity where they take an offensive weapon with them.
FFP investigation for City. One of the cases under investigation is the signing of then-14-year-old Sancho. A number of other clubs intend to write to the Premier League wanting to know what they are going to do about it. Led by the sanctimony of the Red Scouse. In that respect (whining, hypocritical b*stards) they will always be truly unbeatable. It might be the death of St Pep’s love in with the club. Rumours that he has verbally agreed to join Juventus on a four year deal. Likes a challenge, doesn’t he? Klippity Klopp is moaning about not getting special consideration in the scheduling. Everyone else is too busy being indignant that they got the f*cking Porto tie in the quarter finals. Lukaku reading mean tweets. With a face like thunder. I’m still laughing at the “Lukaku runs like he’s got a Deliveroo bag on his back.” Ranieri was only out of a job for eight days after Fulham. He’s taken charge a Roma. There are some desperate divas on the continent at the moment. “Ill tell you the I feel ready to play,” Icardi says to the Inter Milan boss. Coutinho is being booed off the bitch at Farca and has issued a “come-and-get-me” plea to United. Presumably because they’d be the only club stupid enough to stump up over a hundred million for the idiot.
The Others: City are just about clinging on to top spot with a couple of unconvincing wins, Sp*rs keep losing, United got done by Arsenal, so you’d hope that the spaff-fest over Ole might die down. Still, if I hear the words “Spirit of ‘99” again I might choke on my own vomit. Morata is out of the Champions League. Shame. And Ramos
called all the Real players together for an inquest after Ajax spanked them out of Europe. If Ramos is the voice of reason, then they really are f*cked.
Them: Critical absentees thanks to a vague, Ozil sounding sore throat and suspension and a massive, uphill climb in prospect to try and surmount a three goal deficit created in West London last week. They didn’t even have a shot on target and it was hard to see where they were going to come from.
Us: Loftus-Cheek with his first start since the third round of the FA Cup and CHO, fresh from his call up to the England U21 side finally gets a shot in the starting line up. No room for Barkley, The Beard up front in his favourite competition. Nights off for Emerson and Higuain and the bench for Dave, Luiz, Jorginho, Hazard and Pedro Pony, so a strong side and ammunition on the bench should the unthinkable happen.
Sarri was raging about the “potentially dangerous” state of the pitch with a day to go, which was watered heavily the night before and then left to freeze before kick off. It seemed have improved significantly in the meantime, but being a man he still wasnt having it. Neat move making Little Willy captain, for he is always ready to rain more misery on the city of Kiev and throughout the night he was really going to rub salt into their wounds. All whilst patronising commentators made cheeky f*cking comments about his English coming along. Better than yours, douchebags.
Wait for it. We scored from a f*cking corner. Surely this deserves a medal of some sort struck and a round of free Singha at the next home game. Awful zoning defending, if that’s what even was. It could have just as easily been complete incompetence. Nobody doing an effective job in the box and they were all behind The Bears as he darted forward to stab it in. His seventh goal in the Europa League this season. 4-0 up on aggregate. Job done after four minutes. Ruben could have made it two on 10 mins but the keeper managed to get some part of his body on it. Another corner from the fuzzy-headed, most unpopular man in the Ukraine, but the resulting effort went straight into the keepers hands.
All Chelsea. Any rare foray from them broke down and within three passes they were defending deep again. They had it in the back of the net after twenty minutes, but the flag was up because they were the length of an aircraft carrier offside. Foot off the gas somewhat. Shortly afterwards CHO conceded a free kick that gave their fans much hope, but then life got even more miserable for them just after the half hour. Excellent cross from Alonso. Loftus Cheek muscled them off the ball, Marcos rules out three defenders with the cross and thanks to a run from The Beard it was 2-0. Two one-touch finishes from him, which if you’ve witnessed Operation Stack lately in Kent is a commendable French efficiency and proof he should be Minister of Customs when he retires. A whole miserable hour left to go for a side who looked utterly deflated already. By half time it was three thanks to Alonso. To get anywhere they needed seven, with no goal scorers on the pitch, and we had only conceded four in this whole competition so far.
As you were at the beginning of second, with utter dominance, but then they loosened up a bit and mustered a first shot on target in more than two hours of football. Shortly afterwards the goal was wide open for them, but they hit the post, before scoring again from an offside position. That pretty much sucked the life of them quicker than Sam Allardyce eating a creme egg.
On 58 The Beard stormed to the top of the goalscorer table outright by securing his hatrick. Free kick won by Zappa, excellent swinging free kick from Willian, but it was the fact that no defender was anywhere near The Beard as he rose to nut it in that did for them. 0-4 Seconds later they gave away another free kick on the edge of the box by scything down CHO. Losing their sh*t now. Alonso took it and it was one of his stunners, sailing right towards the top corner, but it was. just about saved by a flying dive from the keeper too push it onto the post. For once the defence was awake and the ball was smothered away. But soon we were running at them again. Yet another free kick, yet another stunner from Willian but the keeper reacted well to Rudi’s effort. Kante off for Jorginho on 64. Very much liking his attitude in the press lately. In short: “Fans have a right to opinion, I have a right to disagree, but I will prove the critics wrong and they will learn to appreciate the way I play.” Dave came on for a limping Zappacosta, then Willian went off to an ovation from Blue fans to be replaced by Pedro Pony. On 77 minutes it It was CHO’s turn to get on the scoresheet.
So: We did to them what City did to us. Early goal to obliterate their game plan and then just capitalised on their every weakness to destroy them. Three Chelsea youth products on the pitch. Hurrah. The Hyphenators did well. Loftus-Cheek was the better in this game, really stamped his authority. Hudson-Odoi not so much, but when you win 5-0 and he gets a goal you can’t be criticising. Yes, the opposition resembled crispy Darth Vader clawing his way out of a lava pool missing two legs and an arm, but you couldn’t have asked for more out of any of them tonight. We were still running at them in injury time, despite an eight goal lead. On to Prague. God help Prague on that away day. Thousands of p*ssed up Chelsea in a stag do destination. What can possibly go wrong? In the immediate future some rested legs now in preparation for Everton, which I wont be at because I’ll be doing bath time with elephants in Thailand.
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Chelsea 3 Dynamo Kiev 0
Europa League Last 16
Thursday 7th March 2019 20:00
In the News: The appeal is in against the transfer ban. Don’t know whether yet whether that will enable us to sign people this summer. Sarri’s been having talks about pre-season. Probably along the lines of “why the f*ck are we going to Boston three days after the Leicester game?" Never one to sugarcoat it, Rudi says perhaps some time in the gym will benefit Jorginho as he carries on acclimatising to English football. If the PR team at the club aren’t regularly doing shots before they send the German out to talk to the press I’ll be amazed. Oh and not wanting to rush things, Chelsea are apparently finally looking to replace Emanalo (who has been gone since 2016) with a football brain in the shape of Lille’s Sporting Director, Luis Campos. I googled his name and got a drummer in a Mexican rock band on Wikipedia. But apparently he’s Portuguese, and happily he was not only a major scout for Real, but he was the one masterminding Monaco’s shock Ligue 1 win in 2017 and their run to the Champions League semi-finals. Whilst he was there they acquired James Rodriguez and Bernardo Silva, brought through Mbappe, but bought Bakayoko from Rennes, so pick the bones out of that. Unfortunately, the rumour came out of France, where the Press Putains like making nonsense sh*t up more than our lot do, which is saying something.
Podgettino is “stunned” by his two match ban for confronting Mike Dean. Us too, but not for the same reasons. Sp*ds have an ultimatum from the league - play your next game at Wait Hart Lane or you have to stay at Wembley for the rest of the season. United are introducing an atmosphere section in the Stratford End. Ole has been to the dry cleaners. Apparently this is news. As is the fact that Harry Kane spent a day visiting relatives at London Zoo. And if you think Fernandinho is a nasty little c**t, (he is) a player in the Turkish third tier turned up for work toting a shank which he used on the guy he was marking. Evidently didn’t think his teeth were up to Suarez’s standard.
The Others: Podge has banned his dickheads from dressing room gloating until they win a trophy, (so permanently then) but they don’t learn. Celebrating getting out of the last 16 in the Champions League like they’ve won the bloody thing. Something about football fundamentally changed last night at the Parc de Prince, and I don’t like it. We went from VAR assisting the referees in coming to the correct decision, to using the technology to fundamentally change the way in which a potential handball is viewed. Apparently now that they have it, the referees have received a directive that says “any move to make themselves bigger” in the box that results in a glance off the arm is an infringement. Where do you draw the line between not being able to jump to defend the goal without driving yourself upwards with your arms, to being guilty of a deliberate attempt to use them to impede the ball? Because PSG absolutely did not cross that line last night. United deserved a beating in the first leg, and PSG were in the act of bottling the second, but what transpired was that a critically important game of football that had thus come to be balanced on a knife edge was decided on the flimsiest pretext I have seen since UEFA sent Overbo to West London.
Anyway, give Solskjaer the job full time. Because if the fact that Ferguson, who let us be reminded was critically ill last year, was ON THE PLANE WITH THEM does not tell you who is pulling the strings at Old Trafford in terms of managing the side, then you need to purchase yourself some Stevie Wonder glasses and start busking with a mini-keyboard at Fulham Broadway. A very risky plan for a massive football club, and not at all long term. You’re essentially just hoping that Ferguson can impart everything he ever did on an ex-player who everyone likes and has never done anything more in management than boss a Norwegian side named after fungus. Good luck with that. Hilariously, he wont be able to move back into his house up north, because he’s renting it. He’s Virgil Van Dijk’s landlord.
What a bad tempered week it is turning out to be in Europe though. Neymar apparently tried to break into the officials’ room after PSG crashed out. What a knob. Perez threatened to kick Ramos out of Real. I’m not equipped to lyrically surmise how delicious it was watching Sergio suffer on the sidelines after getting himself suspended on purpose. It needs some perverted voiceover from Nigella Lawson complete with her licking a spoon covered in melted chocolate. In just her bra. Solari is a dead man walking, with Chequebook Pulis or Podgettino touted to replace him. Hopefully neither of which will inspire Eden to go there. (You’d have to say that the former would have him running screaming in the other direction after last time.) Courtois has been chucking missiles at photographers’ cars in the aftermath of his latest humiliation, (whahahahha) the Roma sporting director had a punch up with their fans at the airport, and they sacked their manager after going out to Porto.
In the Europa League. Arsenal kicked off early in their tie against Rennes. It was all going so well, until it wasn't. Sokratis doesn’t look like a brainiac, but you’ve got to be a special level of moron to commit three yellow card offences in one half of football in Europe, where the referees are doubly touchy. They were lucky Granit Xhaka didn’t go too, but I’ve said it aplenty before, what more do you expect from a guy who is named after a rock? Lovely gesture by the Rennes fans with their welcome home banner for Petr Cech. I laughed so hard watching the Rennes goals that I scared Bertie.
Before anything else, Glenn Hoddle made his return to punditry tonight at the Bridge. Huzzah. We went into this one of only three teams in the competition unbeaten so far. On we go trying to maintain our record of winning the damn trophy every time we’ve been it. I just want to laugh at them trying to lift it after the final. Bloody thing weighs a ton.
Us: Most importantly, Ruben and CHO didn’t start, which was w*nk. Zappacosta, Alonso and The Beard, who was the joint second highest scorer in the competition before kick off, came into the starting lineup. Rudgier took to the bench for a well earned rest, as did N’golo and Eden. Emerson and Dave got the night off.
Them: If I told you I cared, you’d see right through it. They were short on strikers, and five were under 21, but half of them are in the Ukraine squad. They had scored in every single one of their away games going into this. Whatever any of that means.
Very positive start, lots of movement down the right and pinned them right back for the opening five minutes. Pedro Pony might have taken better advantage of a silly error by them at the back after 7. They were all over the place, picking up an early booking and generally clinging on. They’d only made one convincing foray into our half in the opening fifteen minutes, and shortly afterwards we made out dominance pay. Put through by The Beard with an awesome flick, Pedro Unicorn (He’s been promoted again already) runs on and slots it between the goalkeeper’s legs. Should have had a brace moments later, three yards out, but somehow it didn’t go in. From then on Kiev started to get a toehold in the match. That said, Barkley could have made it two, had the keeper not learned his lesson the last time and kept his knees together. Just. That’s a faster learning curve than some of the girls I want to school with. Badoom-tish. Pedro Unicorn went down a bit easy just before the half hour mark, no VAR in this competition to give us free penalties. The little scamp could have been on a hatrick. On 33 he was in again but this time it was a great save by the Kiev man, who must have hated the f*cking sight of him already. Alonso tested him almost immediately afterwards. Chances pouring in, and already we could have sent this tie well to bed and saved many, many heavy legs a trip to the other side of the continent. Another squandered chance from Pedro Unicorn and we went into the break just one ahead. Not lost on me that we’d scored just about the most complicated of them either. The Ukrainians would have been pinching themselves after naively playing out from the back against a better side. Wonder where I’ve seen that lately.
Typically, given our complete domination, we came pondering out of the blocks after half time with about as much impetus as Sam Allardyce looking for his local gym. We finally had lift off after 53 with yet another chance for Pedro Unicorn. By this time Ruben and Kante were out warming up, it was as well, as Kiev began pressing for an away goal. Barkley and Jorginho made way for them on 61. Free kick on 63 - could Willian stick the knife in? Yes. With a spectacular effort into the top left corner on his 100th European appearance. Goalkeeper had done well tonight but barely moved. Thank f*ck for that. Now bring on CHO. Whole stadium agreed. Made us wait ten minutes tho. Another move on 82, great run by Ruben but the full back put him under enough pressure that he sent it over the bar. Of course it was us, so we were not above f*cking around at the back and inviting disaster as the clock ticked down. Showed all the concentrative power of Andy Carroll watching University Challenge in the last five minutes of normal time. And yet. Some lucky chaps will not have to board a plane to the Ukraine thanks to Ruben and CHO linking up after Pedro Unicorn’s pinpoint accurate pass to make it 3-0.
So: Hurrah. Could have been more, equally we could have f*cked it up at the end. Are we on a collision course to meet Napoli in the final? Pedro Unicorn sublime again, but the two young subs couldn’t have done much more to stake a claim. Three wins on the trot, knackered players got a night off, and the lack of drama is unnerving me. I’ve already decided that I’m calling this season’s blog book Sarri Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Fulham 1 Chelsea 2
Sunday 3rd March 2019 14:05
This was the 82nd West London derby. Fulham have won precisely nine of them. Hence why this away-day excursion is thoroughly enjoyable, and nobody wants to see them go down, but it doesn’t pack a punch.
In the News: What a difference a couple of results makes. Sarri’s sense of humour has returned. He looks less like he’s about to set fire to his synthetic tracksuit with his lighter on the touchline.
Having compromised with the players about defending a little deeper, and reaping the rewards on the pitch, it’s safe to say he’s not going anywhere for now. And by that, because it’s us, I mean like, a week. Have a guess at which Blue accumulates the most fines in training? St. N’golo of Kante. Always late for training apparently, should probably trade the Mini for something with a more impressive engine to get him there on time. FIFA are doing their best to try and implement this transfer ban whilst the appeal is ongoing, which strikes me as b*stardry, but UEFA have dropped any investigation into the sketchy accusations of racism in Budapest last December. They are, however, looking at banning City from the Champions League after they fiddled Financial Fair Play. Jason Puncheon has been cast out by Huddersfield after a bust up with the manager. For me, he will only every be noteworthy for running off the pitch to take a dump that time. At least he didn’t do it in his pants like Lineker. Chequebook Pulis continues his foray into punditry. Not impressed with Madrid in El Clasico. Apparently the Spanish giants are going to try and give Bale back to Sp*rs to try and leverage getting Eriksen out of them. Celtic unveiled a banner for Rodgers that read: “You traded immortality for mediocrity.” Get over yourselves, much.
The Others: Gloriously, Sp*rs have dropped eight points in a week. Karma. Aaron Ramsey was running about screaming “this is my f*cking pitch” at Wembley. Only he’s Welsh. Whatever, if he caused them pain in the act of doing so, I’m on board. Klippity Klopp is blaming the wind for their inability to beat Everton, which, even more gloriously, means that their “destiny” (God the Press Plebs are tedious) is now out of their hands. The irony that he is a massive windbag is not lost on me. He took it all out on a twelve year old ball boy who took the p*ss out of him. The Scouse have of course notified the police, the FA, UEFA and FIFA of said 12 year-old’s transgressions. And Klippity cuddles stewards so obviously he’s a f*cking saint and nothing will happen to him, because everyone is sprayed with a teflon coating on their way into the Scouse. Just as nothing will happen to Harry F*cking Kane after his lame head butt on Dave. Leicester lost, despite the arrival of Brendan and his giant teeth, Palace heaped more misery on Burnley, with Michy scoring again, City cut it fine against Bournemouth and United made a big deal out of their tie against Southampton.
Them: Denied a reunion with the loveable Ranieri because it’s his fault they bought too many players and then it turned out they cant play together. Babel and his luminous red hair is worthy of a slating. Looks like a f*cking snooker ball sitting on his shoulders.
Us: Sarri has concerns about how tired the players are. Kepa, having taken his medicine, is forgiven. This apparently really is over and done with now. Rotation at the back saw Emerson and Christensen return and Alonso and Luiz sit this one out. In midfield it was Pedro Pony’s turn to take a back seat after his Wednesday heroics and Willian came in. If he doesn’t give Hudson-Odoi the chance he has earned on Thursday I will shake my fist at him.
Blogging this was always going to hurt after nigh on a week spent with the various chapters of Chelsea in America who were over. My liver is actually crying. The rampant narcissist in charge of Chelsea Chicago has demanded the attention he is due in this blog with a mention. So here we go: Brian.
Grown men with clappers is only a step below turning up for the game in a full kit. Apparently it is five years since we were last here. Last time I was stood two seats away from Ray Wilkins. God I feel old. Two gins with a raging head cold meant I was cuddling a lovely chap called Steve that I don’t know before kick off. It was a very positive start. In the away end we amused ourselves by celebrating the annual collapse of Sp*rs title “charge” (which as usual was a tentative, marauding f*cking amble at best) We manufactured some half chances before a stupid error on 5 minutes needed a quick reaction by a furious Dave, but we survived. Higuain could have put us ahead shortly afterwards if he’d just hit the bloody thing. They were finally getting somewhere on 10 before the referee put in an outstanding block. They were doing all right now. On 17 minutes Kepa fumbled the ball and Babel should have been in, but the keeper came flying back and risked a boot to his baby face to get his hands back on the ball. A shot from Barkley curled high and wide, before bang on 20 minutes Higuain flicked it in. 1-0. Cuddle buddy Steve thinks he’s rather like Thibaut. If he has to react to something quickly he’s great, but the second he takes a touch, therefore engaging his brain, it all falls apart.
Rather than motivate Fulham into action they became more cautious after the goal, but it soon passed. Another great save from Kepa, but absolutely ludicrous defending from the resulting corner destroyed our lead. Absolutely nobody marking Calum Chambers in the box, nobody on the far post and even that great oaf had even enough time for his walnut sized brain to register how to bring it down and fire at the target. 1-1. End to end then, but on 30 we were the ones with the time and space. A perfectly placed shot to make it 1-2. We were there when Jorginho scored. Sarri’s illegitimate kids on top. Just over again from Higuain on 32, before at the other end a volley from Denis Odoi went well wide. Eden was in on 36, but had to settle for a corner. Which was as traditionally sh*t as always. Leading into the break, we scrapped well for the ball on the edge of the box, but Eden’s shot went straight at the keeper and there was nobody there for the follow up. Higuain could have had another in injury time when the ball came along the floor from Dave, but his shot was spectacularly tipped out by the keeper. All in all, we really should have put it to bed by now, and we hadn’t.
Fulham were fully on the defensive at the restart, but we still couldn’t score again. Then our ability to pass the ball to each other went wayward for a bit. Fulham were by no means out of this. If they’d have played like this all season they wouldn’t be in their current predicament. Side netting for Little Willie on 52, before a handball/penalty shout on 53. Refwatch: Graham Scott apparently. Not particularly consistent. Not sure what was going on with the f*cking drinks break before half time either. Doesn’t know what constitutes a corner. He does however get bonus points for mocking Dave’s massive overreaction to the penalty claim.
Handbags in the box on 57 resulted in Eden playing it across the face of goal, but again there was nobody there trying to tap it in. Best chance yet for Fulham on 59, a block from us landed at their feet but the shot was just over the bar. The the managers rolled the dice. A change from them ignited a flurry of recognition re the score line. Time to change this up. Inevitably with Kovacic for Barkley, right? Though a bit of CHO wouldn’t have gone amiss, as it had become all about them looking or an equaliser.
Jorginho off for Kovacic. F*cking hell he’s full of positive changes all of a sudden. Bit of a tasteless cheer from us, but he was at least then sung off the pitch. Think it was more that Sarri was making a different change than an expression of antipathy for one of our goal scorers. Another change from Fulham. The snooker ball limped off for some bloke I’ve never heard of. I would have quite liked another f*cking goal now, because it was still it was all about them. Punched clear by Kepa on 71, before Rudi saved the day again less than a minute later.
Tired Hazard off for Pedro Pony on 73, but they were still fully in pursuit of an equaliser. All we needed was one counter attack though. Barkley off for Ruben on 78, but we were faffing with disaster. There was a chance to put it to bed on 84, but again there was nobody waiting for it in the box. We squandered another as the rain lashed down. We were time wasting against Fulham, who were desperately trying to get something out of the game amidst our mockery. “We forgot that you exist,” and “You’re going down.” Poor Fulham.
So: Poor Fulham my arse, for then they nearly scored but for a diving save from Kepa after Ruben gave the ball away. Five minutes added on, and they thought they’d got a point with seconds to go but it was offside. A stupid error to concede, and all we did was give the ball away for the last twenty minutes. But though we huffed and we puffed, we got a result. Some games are just like that, and this wasn’t a reversion to the awful form of pre-City. They were on a traditional bounce after the dismissal of a manager and it is their cup final, after all. Rudiger was excellent again and although Christensen broke my rules governing centre backs not wearing long sleeves, he slotted in nicely again and with Emerson picking up where he left off against City the defence looked competent. Only three days off before it’s Kiev. God if this schedule is ruining me no wonder Eden looks like he needs a fat quarter pounder to revive his little legs.
Chelsea 2 North London Jellyfish 0
Wednesday 27th February 2019 20:00
Ahahahaha, another season, no home, no trophies and a deep sense of emptiness for a club that one week ago thought they might just win the league.
In the News: The fallout from Kepagate/Sarri’s tantrum continued after Sunday. Apparently Kepa was a pariah, despite being very apologetic, Big Willy was p*ssed off and the camp was split down the middle and highly sympathetic of Sarri. AC Milan don’t want Higuain back. Wages are too high. Want to know where your flag was on Sunday? Apparently they weren’t fireproof, so Wembley wouldn’t let them in. Chelsea then spent £120,000 (give or take) on buying all the scarves in the Wembley storeroom at sticker price and putting them out, at which point people moaned that they didn’t get one (guilty) or that they had just purchased one outside only to get one for free. And demanded their money back.
Chequebook Pulis has been yapping again. Apparently he’s plotting a return to Real (as well as Inter) and thinks Hazard will fit in well. What are the odds on Eden wanting to play for him again after he got fat on quarter pounders and refused to do anything last time he was his boss? And this week CP is blaming the scouts for his failure at United. Everyone is injured up there - Ole has broken them all. Bet Fred still can’t get a game. Podgettino faces a touchline ban after screaming in Mike Dean’s face at Burnley. After telling someone else they were a mercenary for leaving Celtic for Leicester, Brendan Rodgers has left Celtic for Leicester and even if we are a complete clusterf*ck, at least Icardi is nothing to do with us. From what I can gather his wife Wanda is his agent, and they are nutjobs and he is now at war with the club, his teammates, his manager and the Inter ultras. Watch us sign the lunatic.
The Others: No upsets, tho City cut it fine with a single penalty in taking the points over West Ham. London is awash with Blues from America so we did some predictions in the pub:
Chicago: “We are smashing those f*cks 2-0 or 4-1 it’s in my bones.”
San Francisco: “I would love 4-0 but I think 2-0.”
Dallas: “3-2 Hell yeah!”
And, randomly, Hillingdon: “I feel something good, 3-1 like the old days, theirs will come on 78 mins.”
Us: Drops Kepa. Mixed messages - a wash of coverage telling us it was a misunderstanding and then he benches him. Which providing we didn’t lose I don’t think anyone really had a problem with, so long as this is the end of it. No Emerson. This enraged me on principle. If a player does really well there should be reward, progression. Otherwise you end up with a dressing room full of sulking and anarchy.
Them: Scanned the pitch and couldn’t see a giant meathead looking like walking and breathing at the same time was the most confusing thing ever, so presumably Dire is wandering round North London in full kit, lost, with dirty knees and his finger stuck up his nose. No Diving Little Sh*t either. Probably arrested for crimes against fashion after those hideous Boohoo adverts. No Danny Rose to start, which robs us of the chance to sing “Cry in a minute.”
A lively start from the diving scum, but we were by no means overrun. In fact, pretty soon we began to give as good as we got. Gilt edged chance for Higuain on 5, we all thought he’d stunned the keeper but it smacked off the inside of the post. Unlucky. Already niggling each other. Was loving our determination to win the ball back in the opening spell, admirable determination to get in there and kick them to get it back. Pedro Unicorn (for verily he deserves a f*cking upgrade after last night) couldn’t quite get his head properly on another cross on 7. At the other end Son had already thrown himself to the ground twice and been told to pack it in by Marriner. Surprised PGMOL gave this one to lurch but as it turned out he wasn’t that bad tonight. We looked much the stronger in midfield, which makes a nice change. Handball shout in the box on 11. To be fair to Ben Davies, because he’s fit, (though obviously you’d have to wear gloves because he is Sp*rs) he was trying to drag himself out of the way. Another shot soon after, but it fell to the white man’s answer to Mikel (Kovacic) and went 30 foot over the bar. Easily on top so far, with some great passing in tight spaces. First to everything it seemed, though actual shots had been at a premium so far. They were feeding off scraps, but we all know that means little in the world of Chelsea.
An absolute gift from Lloris on 18 with one of his regular brain farts. Passed the ball straight out to Higuain, who hit it decisively, but it swung wide. The game was getting more bad tempered as the half went on especially after some cheating from Harry F*cking Teflon Kane, who should have been sent off for a head butt action on Dave. Not least for the trauma suffered by the defender when he got a face full of slobber. Shot high from Kante on 38, then one of their whinging muppets cracked the bar shortly before the break. We’d pressed high, and done well at smothering them on the ball, but nobody’s efforts had yet been on target at either end, so 0-0 at halftime was hardly surprising. And actually not depressing, though that might have been the gin.
Real intent as soon as the second half kicked off, but still no end result. Higuain scored on 53 but was flagged offside. Sooner or later we’re going to have to manipulate a shot on target to go with all of this effort, right? RIGHT! Pedro Unicorn! Dave played him in and he had absolutely no right to find such an easy pass by Lloris. Then again, it helps when the goalkeeper is probably p*ssed. 1-0.
Hazard off for Willian on 58 in what was a very astute change, where is this suddenly coming from? Eden looked leggy and you absolutely couldn’t remove Pedro Unicorn, because he it was like he had sprouted wings and was high on fairy dust. I’ve grown accustomed to not expecting common sense with out substitutions. This sp*rred the rotten b*stards into life. KICK THE C*NT! Screamed Gonzo (Special alias) as Son fannied about on the edge of the box looking for an opportunity to dive. Nothing they could muster could find a way through our defence. The inclusion of the much maligned (by me too, I admit it) Alonso tonight did nothing to shake the rock hard foundation we managed to muster at the back at the weekend. Claims we booed him were b*llocks. Rudi was the excellent and Luiz was in Munich Mode as the night wore on. He was a beast. They were all outdone on the hour, however, by Pedro Unicorn who put in the defensive tackle of the season so far to rob Sp*rs in the box, then skipped round another one of the a*seholes and ran off with the ball. If Sideshow was a beast tonight, then Sissoko was an animal. There’s a difference. Clattered into anything that moved, smacking people about off the ball and then crying like a little b*tch baby every-time someone touched him. Wanker.
I don’t think we necessarily intended to fall back and defend but they definitely pushed us there. And yet, here was another positive substitution! On came Ruben for Kovacic. F*ck me. Refwatch: Andre Marriner in charge. Actually had control of the game, which is a first in this fixture, but is a massive bellend for not sending off the dribbling chimp. Hilariously, Mike Dean, who was the fourth official after overseeing Podgettino’s hissy fit at Burnley, ended up running the line. Two games for Sp*rs featuring him in less than a week, and they’ve lost them both. I officially love Mike Dean now. In fact, details of how to sponsor this blog via Patreon are below. I’m considering ploughing the money into sending him to every one of their games, home and away.
First Sp*d change. Son stayed on his feet long enough to f*ck off, a miracle. Replaced by Maura. Higuain didn’t have the best game, but he was a gnats fart away from scoring and could have had another, and his effort was not wanting. Off he went for The Beard on 82. No sooner has that happened than Kieran Trippier has a brain fart that made Lloris look like a f*cking genius. In trying to pass the ball back to said keeper he booted it right past him and into the goal. We couldn’t have placed it better ourselves. More like a brain implosion. Total shutdown. Wouldn’t be surprised if he shat himself and forgot his own name at the same time. Know what makes it better? Swedish Sp*rs podcast tweeting at the beginning of the second half: “I don’t want to jinx it but Trippier has been phenomenal.”
Podgettino’s response? (Other than eating his body weight in sausage in the dressing room after) Brings on Danny Rose for Sissoko. A Sarriesque, wank substitution if ever I saw one. Only Sarri appears to have been body snatched.
Their fans couldn’t get out of the ground fast enough now. By this point, Knobhead, my one Gooner friend, was getting very excited on a WhatsApp. Apparently we stole “It’s happened again” from them, but in this case L’Arse are willing to share. Who gives a f*ck what happened for the last five minutes, they were beaten. “Hugo Lloris Don’t Drive Me Home” we can claim though. A rousing chorus of “You’ve had your day out, now f*ck off home” as Kane assaults Luiz. Almost a punch up. First two yellow cards of the game, one of which for a player who could have been sent off a second time.
So: Well. Sarri has for the time being, completely turned it around. He’s not actually Sarri anymore. Not only in results, but in his entire conduct of running a football match. Forgive me for being so shocked by this, but as a girl, you have to understand that this is a MAN, who has been told repeatedly that he is WRONG, who has actually not only LISTENED but changed the way he does things. In the history of humanity, this is f*cking unprecedented. The only explanation I can think of is that after the United game, someone, probably Willian, he likes a good player revolt, offed Sarri and shoved him in a biffa bin. But not before someone who looks potentially psychotic (let’s go Kovacic) skinned him. Ever since it hasn’t actually been Sarri on the sidelines, it’s Guus Hiddink wearing the resulting bodysuit as a disguise. Smoking the odd fag to make it convincing. You heard it here first.
If you would like to sponsor this blog, and keeping me merry enough on match day gin to cope with watching our nuthouse of a football club in action, or indeed fund the possible presence of Mike “Dobby” Dean at every Sp*rs match forever and ever ever and ever amen, you can do so here:
Chelsea 0 Manchester City 0 (Citeh win on penalties)
Carabao Cup Final
Sunday 24th February 2019 16:30
A flatter set of fans on their way to Wembley for a proper game (not Sp*rs) you never did see, but by the time everyone converged at the ground we were all more than ready to make an enthusiastic go of it.
In the News: Zidane won’t be put off by transfer ban and will be given £200m to spend. Is anyone else seeing the conflict in this sentence? If any of this is true, and we do get the ban reduced, he must be smoking some seriously wacky sh*t to want to be a part of this madness. But shall I be a killjoy? It wasn’t especially hard to win trophies with the most awesome squad in Europe. We are an entirely different prospect.
Michael vs. Marina. This is obviously a lot more convoluted but I wanted to throw some FACTS out there in the style of a certain Spaniard given where we are now, and how mach of a pariah Emanalo was for so many fans:
Emanalo was appointed Technical Director in summer 2011 with Roman demanding that instead of throwing money around, Chelsea needed to be more savvy in the transfer market. In the first 18 months or so:
21 year-old Kevin de Bruyne for £8m
19 year-old Thibaut Courtois for £8m
18 year-old Romelu Lukaku for £14.8m
21 year old Eden Hazard for £31.5m
22 year-old Dave for £7.9m
21 year-old Mohamed Salah for £14.8m
All of that for little over £80m.
In the windows since he left:
Mateo Kovacic on loan
Gonzalo Higuain on loan
Discuss. If you can be a*sed.
City could be next with a transfer ban apparently. Clattenburg and his mercenary hair plugs are off to China now. Someone has got to deal with Fellaini and his elbows I suppose. Courtois has been named the best keeper of 2018 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. If that doesn’t clarify that 90% of all statistics are a waste of energy I don’t know what does. United have actually been covering their pitch in garlic. Call it an overreaction, but when it comes to Firminho and those teeth you can never take too seriously the threat of vampires dropping by. In the pub pre-game we laughed muchly about the United excuse I was given this week about the reason for giving Phil Jones a lengthy new contract. They didn’t want to get caught out should he go on a free. I’m pretty sure the only offer he’d have got would have been £10 an hour from Morrison’s. And even then they would have had him out the back of the bakery sweeping crumbs and nowhere near the customers. That said, it is always possible that Lidl could have swept in with a better offer.
The Others: After a humiliating result, Leicester canned Puel. Brendan Rodgers is the favourite to replace him, which at least means he isn’t coming to Chelsea. Little Pea did an Henry to sink Fulham. No sooner does a Sp*rs player (Sanchez) go and claim they are contenders for the title than they then go all Sp*rsy and lose to Burnley. That’s the universe telling you to sit down and shut the f*ck up. Dropped points by the Scouse (Yay for humanity) and United, which means if we win against Sp*rs we might not be so monumentally f*cked trying to get into the Champions League. Klopp was caught conferring with Ole about what a sh*t game it was. But Arsenal won. There’s nothing worse than a pseudo middle-class Gooner walking a yappy dog, with a sleeve tattoo, (him not the dog) a massively receding hipster hairdo and a pot belly, wearing a skintight shirt. And sunglasses indoors. Not even on his head but his forehead. Who gets out a pink f*cking blanket for the mutt. And a Tupperware water pot. I almost wanted to glass him and put him out of his misery. But they gave us plastic cups at the pub in Marylebone. So his torment endures.
Us: Gone in 60 Minutes. Hardly any lectures. He gave them a break in preparation, and it certainly seemed to have paid off. No Alonso, no striker either. No starting place for Hudson-Odoi after his exploits on Thursday.
Them: Urgh whatever. Loads of expensive people.
The usual final fanfare. Charles (special alias) was impressed by the cahones on display from the FA. To invest all that effort on a massive banner bearing Sarri’s likeness when you weren’t sure he’d even be there. That said we don’t know that they didn’t have ones of Blanc, Holland, Hiddink, Zola a blank one and even f*cking Wenger out the back just in case.
DISCLAIMER: If I’ve got any of the players wrong, its because we were so far away from the pitch that it was a miracle we could spot the difference between Kepa and Kante.
Five minutes without conceding. We’ll aim low to start with. We can do this.
Four seconds for Aguero to start cheating. For a start, he ran into Jorginho, who is a quarter of his size. There is no way his big a*se is going down in that scenario without his own intent. Unless he’s going to claim that Jorginho’s ears took a swipe at him. 50 more seconds for them to win their first corner, but as it turned out, we went longer without conceding than last time. Jokingly, from on the roof where our beloved club had seated the first people to buy tickets, we set ourselves the lofty target of matching Newport County, who went 51 minutes in the cup without conceding to St. Pep and his minions. Of course they had much of the early possession, but on nine minutes Luiz put a fine ball up to Kante. Who was promptly fouled. You’ll understand why nothing was done about this as we continue. If I can see a foul from two and half miles away, lord knows why the official picked for the biggest fixture of the weekend can’t. But we were doing well. We looked disciplined at the back, which made for a change against decent opposition. In the opening twenty minutes they hadn’t even had a shot. Neither had we, but let’s not get carried away. Over the bar from Aguero on 21. By the half hour mark their fans were getting frustrated about the lack of goalmouth action. We were just relieved. We almost had a hideous own goal for them in injury time, and a corner to end the half. With which we didn’t even manage to clear the first man. But its all about perspective. We were not four goals behind at the break.
As the players reemerged we had six more minutes to survive as long as Newport County. Both sides were willing to attack. Another foul by them unpunished, another high city effort to begin. Still no shots on target at either end. Our defence was still holding up well. The magic 51 minute mark! This time at the Etihad we were about to go 5-0 down. Not only were we not losing, but we were trying to score at the other end. On 52 Hazard broke and we were off, only to be wholly outnumbered in the box. Then they hit us back, but it was finally ushered out. Aguero was blatantly offside on 55, not that their excitable fans noticed, despite his luminous, early mid-life crisis hair. VAR was invoked. Wasn’t going to make it any more onside. Refwatch: Jonathan Moss. Are you f*cking serious? Couldn’t they have just flown Oliver down after the United game? Or found a Big Issue seller looking for some freelance work outside the tube? A litany of the usual sh*t decisions in the first half. 57 minutes before he finally booked any of them for the cheating sh*thousery. Wouldn’t know what persistent fouling was if it ripped his cock off, covered it in scotch bonnets, doused it in petrol, lit it on fire and and shoved it down his throat. Couldn’t get throw ins right, even fell on his pudgy arse at one stage to crown a typically flaccid display.
Anyway, ensuing free kick from rare sensible refereeing decision was a complete waste of time. Landed on the roof of that car park next to the stadium that looks like it’s made of f*cking Meccano.
65 mins we were in again, best chance yet but blazed over. Probably by Eden Hazard but he’s small at the best of times, never mind from this distance. Rudi was great from the off, Luiz got stronger and stronger. But the star of the defence today was Emerson. If he hasn’t budged his way in as the first choice left back this week then truly, Sarri is blind. This was a finely poised game, but it was going to hinge on the changes. Oh dear. Kovacic for Barkley in the next five minutes. You heard it here first. In the meantime we broke again, Hazard gunning towards the goal, played in Pedro Pony, who for some godforsaken reason didn’t shoot. Arrrrgh! It was end to end now. Take a deep breath, but Hudson-Odoi was our first sub. 30-odd thousand absolutely stunned Chelsea fans watching Sarri make a sensible change instead of bringing on Kovacic.
With a little over ten minutes to go, both managers made a change. PP paid for his transgression by making way, and David Silva went off for Gundogan. We were pressing far more now, and trying to be completely objective, our attacks outnumbered theirs. Dare I say we looked like we were actually trying to win it? Which was terrifying knowing what City can do to you on the break. Pep made his last change bringing on Sane for the Ginger Prince (so nicknamed where we were sitting because he was untouchable no matter what he did) We were really pressing with two minutes to go. Of course Moss knew exactly where to find his card when it came to Jorginho. He deserved it, but but it grated when he had failed to punish them for anything. Barkley for Loftus-Cheek. F*ck me, had someone switched out his cigarettes for something more potent? Sarri wanted to win this in normal time. The cynic in me thought it might be because he couldn’t get away with smoking on the premises at Wembley and he was just desperate for a fag.
City burst into life with seconds left of normal time. Four minutes added. In truth it would have been unfair If anyone scored in the dying seconds, as it had been an even, well contested game. Not that I would have given if a sh*t if it had been us that snatched it at the death. We had one tipped over from the free kick, another narrow offside decision. The Lino was right on this occasion but I thought the excuse for letting Harry F*cking Kane through against us was that they had been told to keep their flags down when VAR was present? It was, however, the right decision this time. City rounded off with ten men after Fernandinho was carried off. Karma for all the times he’s tried to decapitate other people. Jammy buggers were going to get an extra sub for extra time, which meant they could bring their numbers up. Unfortunately so were we, but more on that soon.
It was a low key start, apart from the pitch-side beer swilling homophobe on the other side of the divide who barely paused for breath. As the stewards watched on. It took nearly an hour for someone to finally drag the little scrote out. Higuain on for Willian after five minutes, I might get a nosebleed with all these attacking substitutions. He made an early break alongside Kante, but the best they could manage this time was another corner. Higuain and Kanye set us off on seven and won a corner. Both teams threatening to break, and the game was simmering nicely. A lot of faffing in tight spaces on 10 minutes before a wide lash from Jorginho, another high effort from Hazard moments later. After the short interval we had to scramble it off the line, though we were sure they were offside even from a mile away. Rudi fell over and they managed to forge a terrifying opportunity, but Kepa saved, breaking himself in the process. Were we going to see poetry now? A former city keeper to come on for penalties?
Then came Mutiny on the HMS Chelsea.
Firstly, all this crap about Sarri bringing on Big Willy as a tactical decision because he is a penalty specialist is b*llocks. Surely every goalkeeper would claim to be a penalty specialist? It’s their job?
Kepa has been injured
Kepa looked to have broken himself in the same place again
Sarri went to replace him on this basis
Kepa was OK to continue
There was a lack of communication on this point, exacerbated by the medical staff coming off and telling the manager that he needed to be replaced
God bless City, they were booing away as if this was a ploy on our part to waste time. Nope, we are just actually this ridiculous.
Moss goes to stamp his authority, Terrifying.
Kepa refuses to make way.
Moss gets it right, because the recommendation in this scenario is apparently to just play on
Sarri loses his sh*t. Sorry but Team Chicago and Team Sweden and self watched the video back in the pub and cried with laughter.
The Chuckle Brothers do Wembley.
The Wengeresque water bottle slam was nothing compared to the hulk style shirt-rippage that came just before it like Sarri was about to bust out of his special tracksuit (because kudos, he made an effort, he was not in his usual pyjamas) -
A moment that was so intrinsically Chelsea. As in bonkers.
Then he appeared to go: “F*ck this I’m going for a fag” and stomped off towards the tunnel
Before he realised he had two more minutes of extra time and a penalty shootout, both of which he was required to lead us through
“Player power” scream the press plebs after the whistle went and others, mainly Rudi, made a pointed effort to keep the two apart.
This is not player power. This is extremely smart on the part of those involved. We had a shootout to try and win. And any fallout should not have happened in public.
Well done Rudiger.
Being as dumbfounded as everyone else (apart from Little Willy, whose face was a classic portrait of “Oh HELL no!”) does not make Dave a sh*t captain. Daily Fail cites “fans” saying he is a disgrace.
I debate whether these are actual fans, along with the ones giving it the “Kepa should never play for us again” I love that the Red Swarm just dip into the cesspool that is social media daily now to find outrageous quotes they can use to blanket attribute a nonsense opinion to everyone in blue.
He’s apologised - let it go and play him on Wednesday. Tear a strip off him in private if need be.
We talked about who might be the one to start a mutiny in the final on LoveSport on Friday night. I called Eden, another suggestion was Luiz. Nobody called Kepa. He doesn’t even shout at his own defenders.
As a side bar, we spent a fair but of time perving over someone on the bench whilst reviewing all the screen caps of Hulk Sarri, before we realised it was Rob Green. I feel no shame, whatsoever.
Jorginho: Saved easy to read, slow, ponderous. He was suitably devastated.
Gundogan: Sends Kepa the wrong way
Dave: High but emphatic
Cheating peroxide dog nonce: almost saved by Kepa. Jammy bastard.
Emerson: Close, but in
Some Bloke: Saved!! No f*cking idea. Someone in a light blue shirt with dark hair
Luiz: Keeper guesses right but the f*cking thing hit the post. A rare spot kick faux pas from him.
B Silva: Scored
Hazard: Easiest one yet, after a lame attempt by Ederson to put him off.
Kepa goes the right way for the last one but it slips under his body and goes in. Balls.
So: I can’t be angry at the result. We gave it a go, HE gave it a go. The defence was disciplined, and nobody had a bad day. Sarri made all of the changes we’ve been begging for in recent weeks, and every one of the outfield changes was aimed at winning the game. We were talking fine, fine margins today and we just fell short, against a team that decapitated us a couple of weeks ago and shat down our neck. Sarri has more wins in his first English season that Pep did at the same point. He thinks its unfair that he is deemed to be failing when Emery is in exactly the same position. And he has made a final where the waxwork has not. He could not have done any more to keep his job today, but I require much, MUCH more convincing if he is to stay long term. Starting with a continuation of this fine performance and his adaptation against Sp*rs on Wednesday night. I will admit thought, there was a part of me that watched him flinging stuff about like a crazed lunatic and going into meltdown on the touchline, actually showing some proper emotion, that thought: Bless you, you big scruffy dope, perhaps you could be one of us after all.
Chelsea 3 Malmö 0
Europa League Round of 32
Thursday 21st February 2019 20:00
“F*ck Sarriball,” “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” Oh but he does. He knows exactly what he is doing and he refuses to change it. There is a difference, and to my mind it makes it worse. Have you heard this quote about how he hasn’t worked on scoring yet? Apparently all the work he’s done, and its nearly March, has been focused on defending and we haven’t got to that part yet. There was also the priceless quote about how he would rather not have brought Zappacosta on against United too. “The system is a false problem. I know very well that when we are losing I have to put a striker on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way.” If this way doesn’t include attempting to win, then I am at a loss. It’s like listening to a nicotine-stained Yoda.
I did the notes for this game, but if I’m honest, I was having a sh*tter of a week, including a bereavement and no part of me wanted to sit and write the same thing again about our manager’s total refusal to display any adaptability or change anything in the face of adversity. Much like everyone else, when that third substitution came along I could have gauged my eyes out with my bare hands. I’ll stick it into the book at the end of the season. We need say nothing more about this fiasco, for CHO’s evil side eye encapsulated the feelings of all perfectly.
In the News: A transfer ban. Brilliant.
Why? It’s got to do with the signing of minors.
Are we guilty? There were charges on nearly 90 players. Most have been chalked off. But we’ve been found guilty on 29 counts. Chelsea categorically refute the charges and plan to appeal.
How long? We wouldn’t be able to sign anyone until summer 2020. But the club would hope that the appeal would stall it long enough for us to go shopping in May. Don’t forget the Pulisic deal is already done. We do have a monstrous 41 players on loan too, so the likes of Michy, Kenedy, Mason Mount could find themselves punted up the pecking order.
What about players leaving? It may mean the likes of Hazard and CHO staying, as we’d be loathe to let anyone go. Contractually its thought we could keep Higuain, but not Kovacic.
Wenger to Chelsea. F*ck. And. Off. We’ve already been Wengered by Sarri we don’t want the genuine article coming in. The Press Plebs did their best to trip Rudiger up in the press conference, and they got enough of a sound bite to flog. He mentioned the incessant lecturing and how tiring it can be under the current manager. But then of course they completely downplayed his support of Sarri. Morata promised Simeone he’d sign for Atletico before he joined us. The revelation that he’s a rat is not newsworthy anymore. It’s long since been registered.
The Others: Mane has been robbed twice now while playing in Europe. More hilariously, they failed to score at home and are up against it now. City got a scare against Schalke, who couldn’t quite hold on. Stellar reporting from the Daily Fail as usual. Ozil has apparently played his way back into Emery’s good graces during Arsenal’s win over Malmo. Sigh.
Us: Starting Kovacic and Barkley. What was he going to do when it came to the substitutions?Hudson-Odoi started. Ruben was fit again after another back issue.
Them: Some blokes I didn’t recognise accompanied by a lively Swedish contingent. They were all wearing matching sports bras under their shirts. Odd.
It was not an inspiring start. Actually the entire half was atrocious. Kovacic was woeful, constantly bailed out by Kante. Only their inaccuracy saved us on 13 when Rudi was hung out to dry by CHO, who got an ear-lashing for his transgression. It was a rare error, for he was a beacon of hope in a raging sh*tstorm. By 18 minutes we’d woken up. Slightly. However Sarri was already sucking on his fifth fag butt, or the same one for the fifth time. Either way. Ew. If we play like this against City on Sunday, being 4-0 down after twenty minutes will flatter us. Somehow, the most uninspiring corner in the history of the world almost led to a messy goal on 31. By this time we’d actually managed to turn the possession around, for they had been on top until then. Hurrah. I could have stayed at home and translated some French war diaries instead of watching this dross. But then I wouldn’t have got to hang out with my most excellent Fancast brethren in corporate. The venerable Chidge and JK - the Smartie Pimp of Stamford Bridge. Malmo like rolling about on the floor. In Sweden, apparently if you lose possession it counts as a foul against you. I saw hardier netball players in my youth than this lot flapping their arms and crying at an extremely gullible referee. Finally a fair chance for Barkley on 40, one that he made entirely for himself.
Jesus wept. Its a good thing we were in the posh seats, for when we went into the lounge at halftime there was a gin on the table for me. God bless you, lovely Bill. Though it would have taken more than one to dull the pain of that crapfest. And God bless Chelsea for providing bottomless pic’n’mix too. Because if I hadn’t been high on refined sugar I might have cried.
When we emerged for the second half we could hardly see the pitch for smoke. A cynic, which I am, might think that it was a ploy from Chelsea to hide how awful to watch we were. As it turns out some very determined Scandinavians were willing to shove flares in some very rude places to get them in. I dare you to find a £10 an hour steward who will be willing to ferret those out at the gate.
It wasn’t much better first off. The pitch invasion was the highlight so far, and even he gave up halfway across. Then something funny happened. Just as Chidge was saying, “this is going to be a tedious 0-0 and…” Kante was bursting forth, scorning all that is Sarri, ignoring his angles and simply running with the ball at his feet. He’s going to be in trouble. He might as well have run over to the East Stand and mooned Chidge to boot. The cigarette fug that lingers over our squad like a London pea-souper of old seemed to suddenly lift, the ranks led by Hudson-Odoi, who flicked the ball on to set us off for a second on 63, though The Beard put it in from an offside position.
They now needed three goals which wasn’t going to happen, despite the referee, and especially not after he sent one of them off. A second goal followed from a Barkley free kick. Does he even do free kicks? Kante off for a spanking along with Ross to be replaced by Ruben and Jorginho on 75. I may have just been off my tits on sugar, but was the latter really booed by Chelsea Fans? I don’t recall it. Certainly not on the stadium wide level they’ve obviously reported it as in the Red Swarm. Ampadu was getting ready to come on, though from our prime spot we laughed at how he was subjected to a five page lecture from a folder before he was even allowed to remove his tracksuit. On he came for Dave, who despite his obvious effort is really lagging form-wise at the moment. The youngster is a future captain if he stays, Im sure of it. Straight away bossing everyone around and organising the defence. CHO was the star of the show by this point. “They only score when they don’t so what Sarri says” was one interpretation by us. CHO could have got another, Ruben too came close. It was the Chelsea Academy Show. Odds on one of them getting a start at Wembley? We’ve earned ourselves a trip to Kiev in the next round, with the temptation of a snoop around Chernobyl while we’re there…
So: You’ll notice that I haven’t said “sack him” or “Sarri out,” I don’t see the point in shrieking about it. I regret that we are in this position again. I advocated bringing in a manager further down the pecking order in terms of previous glory instead of another prima donna, and this is what Chelsea did. That said, so far as Sarri is concerned, though he may have the potential somewhere to make his style of football work, it wont be in England and this is a failed experiment. Roma apparently want him. He’s demonstrated that he’s not willing to adapt to the Premier League, and that his stubbornness will be his, (and our) downfall this season. But more than anything, the thing that sticks in my throat is that he’s not once turned up to watch the emerging talent at the club. What kind of long term plan does he have if he isn’t interested in maximising his resources, knowing his personnel and bring them through as well as buying players in? Even if we pull off a miracle on Sunday, or in Europe, I still don’t see a future for him at the club. Plus he’s a miserable killjoy. Can he reap the positivity of CHO’s performance last night? No. Says he would have to get rid of Hazard, Pedro or Willian to make room for him. The latter sounds like a plan to me. Considering CHO has twelve years on him and the whole of Europe appears willing to offer stupid money for the Brazilian. I think the only reason Sarri is still here at this point is because it would be cruel and pointless to put a new guy in only to get pummelled on Sunday, because there is little time to effect that. The axe may well fall after Wembley, and there is apparently someone is already lined up to step in. My plan is to get sh*tfaced before kick off and laugh my way through it. See you on the other side.
Malmo 1 Chelsea 2
Thursday 14th February 2019 20:00
Right now my brain is reeling. I never thought that I would hear myself say “Michael Owen has made me feel better.” If he is the voice of reason, then the rest of the world must really have gone to sh*t. Bertie is perched across from me, looking out of the window to catch a look at the Four Horsemen. I blame Brexit. And Torres.
In the News: Another day, and yet more vague reports of clear the air meetings between Chelsea players. They’ve spent more time allegedly jawing about how sh*t we’ve been away from home than they have now actually spent training in the last fortnight.
Here is the gist of the endless Chelsea press coverage since Sunday:
Sarri is going to get fired
Sarri is going to stay
Sarri wears his own clothes to training, must be leaving
Hazard is leaving
Hazard is staying
Zidane is coming (must be certifiable)
Zidane is not coming
Hazard will only stay if Zidane is coming
Pulisic is confident we’ll have got our sh*t together before he arrives (I’m glad someone else thinks so)
All of which can be boiled down to one honest headline on the Press Plebs’ behalf:
“None of us know what the f*ck is going on at Chelsea.”
Ramsey will be on £400,000 a week in Italy. Have they been watching the right player? Or is this going to be like when the Americans thought that they were buying Tower Bridge for a lake in the middle of Arizona? Speaking of Welshmen abroad, let’s hope he assimilates better than Gareth Bale, who is allegedly still communicating with his teammates in Madrid by hand gestures. Because they don’t speak chimp. Marcelo, who was complaining about this, should at least be grateful that they’ve managed to wean him off from throwing faeces at his colleagues like he did at Sp*rs.
The Others: Everyone seems surprised that Sergio Ramos is a sneaky git. Where have they been for the last fifteen years? And poor Ole came down to earth with a bump in the warm-up competition. After admitting he was in fact human (and could do nothing about Alexis Sanchez, who has now injured himself by running into a linesmen) Pogba sent off as well as conceding two away goals. Arsenal lost in Belarus. To add insult to injury (or fake illness, if it’s Ozil) the referee sent off Lacazette too. If a Serbian thinks you’ve been overly violent you must really have given it some.
Them: There was a Dahlin, which allows for all sorts of Blackadder inspired jokes. And a Safari, which is novelty. Other than that there was a bloke who played about twice for West Brom and a former Greenock Morton star.
Us: We couldn’t even beat our youth team in training apparently, so here’s hoping for a miracle. Five changes. Alonso got a night off, as did Ruben who has slightly aggravated his back. Rudi, Eden, Kante and Higuain on the bench just in case and CHO is finally let out of the transfer request doghouse. Why did you make them? They asked. Rotation, he said. The club’s official twitter was trying to give it some oomph and inspire us all from the depths of Mancunian despair as we sought to claim our first away win of the year. Cant blame them for trying. Me? I’ve reduced my expectations drastically in the last few weeks. If we don’t concede four goals and aren’t sh*tter than a beep test contested by Phil Jagielka and Sam Allardyce, I will not cry myself to sleep. Frankly after Sunday I’ll be impressed if we can walk out for the handshake without falling over in a pile of bodies and soiling ourselves. If we can score a goal away from home I will be ecstatic.
They were on a break which hopefully meant that they had all been lying about scoffing cake and/or beer. Their first time in the knockout stages, but it did not bode well for us. They came out wearing sky blue - which made me twitch. Alonso wasn’t actually supposed to have the night off, but he caught sight of that and was found at the back of the coach sucking his thumb and rocking backwards and forwards, curled into a ball and muttering Sterling’s name under his breath.
In the opening three minutes we had already spent more time in the opposition half than the whole of the City game. By the time we reached 15 minutes the feisty home crowd were raging about the referee and lobbing missiles onto the pitch. Aside from one 50-50 where Luiz may have been penalised on the edge of the box though, the replays showed he was pretty bang on. They weren’t bad with the ball, but they looked like a team that hadn’t played a competitive fixture in a while. Uwe Rösler said he thought he’d seen things he could take advantage of. That doesn’t make him clever. We’ve been so bad of late at times that Stevie Wonder has seen things he can take advantage of when it comes to Chelsea. Happily though, Barkley fulfilled some of his potential tonight. He was in the right place at the right time. 0-1. Pedro Pony cross, defender should have blocked but fell over and it dropped to Ross right in front of goal for our first shot on target and his first European goal. Amen. They found themselves in our box shortly afterwards, but couldn’t fashion a shot. Kepa had had nothing to do so far, which must have made a refreshing change. They were pressing quite well though, and really by half time it had been a pretty even contest. So far we’d taken advantage of our one attempt on target, which came as a result of a defensive error, but I’ll f*cking take it.
A promising start to the second half. Actual coherent football. As usual we made nothing of it though and they came back at us. Then Barkely was at the centre of it all again to punish the home side for throwing everything forward. Up he went - three on three with Willian who picked it up on the left and put it into The Beard, who flicked it into the net. Two away goals. Dizzy heights indeed. “They’ve just got to keep a clean sheet now” says the commentator. Moron. Has he not seen us? But they were tiring with half an hour to go, not surprising since they have been on an end of season break since before Christmas and things don’t kick off again in Sweden till the end of March. Barkley should have made it three on 64. What a peasant. Sell him. (It was actually a fantastic save that denied him) A Pedro Pony shot deflected just wide on 68, then a quick free kick on 70 almost fell to The Beard. We really wanted a third, and so Eden was getting ready to come on and really rub their noses in it. Then Kante came on for Jorginho on 73. One more would have made us nice and comfortable, and able to rest players in the second leg a few days before the cup final. So what do we do? We f*cking concede. Christensen done. You really can’t complain about not being picked when you keep making errors when you do get a shot. And Kovacic was sitting in the holding role after Jorginho’s departure, not Kante. And he was second best getting back. Would Kante have been? No comment. Straight back up the other end for a corner to try and dig us out of another mess, CHO on for the final five minutes. We huffed and puffed but with no more joy. Is it just me, or did the announcer in the background sound like he was doing an even more racist impersonation of a Chinese person than Peter Ustinov in One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing? Their goal had given them renewed vigour and they dug in at the end. Curse them.
So:1-2 instead of 0-3. Our usual mantra: At least we’re not Arsenal. Our defensive integrity is as fragile as Lindsay Lohan’s virtue and a team that isn’t even fit almost pegged us back. But after Sunday this win is a bigger deal than it should be and my dreams of a tie in Istanbul this season remain intact, for now. That and as Michael Owen says - whilst you wouldn’t get carried away with us beating pre-season Malmo, you also shouldn’t get carried away with our demise when you consider we look favourites to go through into the last 16, we’re in the final of the League Cup, Fifth Round of the FA Cup, still in the hunt for top four. That’s a hell of a lot more potential for some sort of glory than most teams. Including Sp*rs.
Manchester City: I stopped counting
Sunday 10th February 2019 16:00
Mother of god. This time last week I was watching a lioness chew the middle out of a still bleeding zebra and it was less gruesome than this. Someone’s just lobbed their membership card at Rudiger and I was so jet lagged this morning that I went all the way to the north of England and back without any make up on. Oh and I’ve smashed the screen on my phone.
Sheffield Wednesday: Our reward for not cocking this up? United in the next round. Deep joy.
Bournemouth: Dave and Sarri came to blows during a 50 minute show down which followed the Goon defeat - allegedly without raising their voices, like two librarians going at it over whose effed the date stamp up. Then this was lauded as the worst Chelsea performance ever. (Brace yourselves, you hadn’t f*cking seen nothing yet) “I want to see my football,” says Sarri as he says sorry. Hudson-Odoi was apparently left out to teach him a lesson after he asked for a transfer. Well we showed him. Or not. I wasn’t even safe from mockery after this disaster in the quietest corner of Kenya. All the United supporting Masai warriors descended on the camp to take the piss.
Cue another lengthy, yet non-shouty inquest in the dressing room which resulted in Sarri not travelling back with the squad. Apparently he wanted peace and quiet to scribble some more in his notebook. How many pages must the thing have? He was “visibly dismayed” as he left. Not as dismayed as 1300 fans who made the trip down there to step into a parallel universe and watch us bent over by a team whose collective value is still less that what we paid for Morata.
I’ll say it again. You keep talking about motivating people. If you can’t do it you shouldn’t be in any kind of management role. That said, if you earn £200k a week why do you need to be repeatedly encouraged to try hard? But. In short: another glaring display of what happens when Plan A doesn’t work and you have no Plan B. Chants of “You don’t know what you’re doing” as manager repeats what he does every week that it goes wrong (very little) and hopes for a miraculously different result. He might as well stand there and head butt a goalpost for ninety minutes. At least the fans would be entertained. Calm yourselves tho - Jose’s apparently going back to Inter.
Huddersfield: In true Chelsea fashion we bounced back and destroyed Huddersfield. That’s right. Huddersfield, who look like they would get violated by a pub team. Higuain got off the mark emphatically. “He suits my football” says Sarri. As I rolled my eyes. You might love “your” football, but it you can’t win consistently playing it or you can’t adjust if you don’t have the adequate personnel right now to fit in with it, then your obsession with it makes you a fool on a hiding to nothing. Especially when you are nagging Hazard about not being selfish enough. Stop p*ssing him off, you nicotine riddled bellend.
In the News: JT used to smash the dressing room up. Oh but if only he would come back and wreck the place now. Further revelations from Mikel this week confirm what we already knew: when you’ve got a leader like that in the dressing room it doesn’t matter how many managers revolve in and out. Can’t we just pay him to Skype in and scream at people now? We have nobody like this anymore. Save for perhaps David Luiz, maybe.
Hazard wants to leave. No sh*t. At this rate I’m going to be grabbing Bertie my feline overlord and hiding the pair of us in his suitcase. The Press Plebs have already started photoshopping his head into skinny Real Madrid bodies. Apparently they are going to try and fob us off with Isco in part exchange. The same Isco who’s played three minutes in the last year of football. Exciting. Or we’re being linked with another of Sarri’s illegitimate spawn at Napoli or Richarlison at Everton. Jesus f*cking wept.
Atletico fans raided Ikea for stuffed rats to pelt Thibaut with yesterday. Which made me giggle, but it has been a sad week for football. Emiliano Sala’s body has been recovered from the plane wreckage on the bottom of The Channel. But not before Nantes sent Cardiff a letter requesting his transfer fee. Do we perhaps want to wait until the victim of a tragic air crash has been laid to rest before you start with this sh*t? Almost as disrespectful as the two Southampton fans doing aeroplane impressions at the game in Wales. And let us not forget either that the pilot’s family are still without a body to bury when it comes to their loved one.
The Others: The Scouse have stumbled enough to let City back in; losing to Newcastle, (I always did like that Rafa bloke) and drawing with West Ham. Pellegrini took a dig at how many offside goals they’ve scored this season. The internet says it’s eleven. And the internet never lies. It’s hard to follow then exactly in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Because literally nobody cares. Parts of Africa are verily the utopia we will all be seeking if they win because it’s like the Red Scouse don’t exist there.
Ozil sick again? B*llocks. Sp*rs never learn. They’ve started banging on about winning the league. You don’t even have a stadium. Sit your arses down. And this Solskjaer wankfest is getting tedious to say the least. United have been crap for five years and it’s only taken them five minutes of results to return to being the smug, tedious b*stards they always were under Ferguson. They have ridden their luck ever so slightly, and surely they can’t keep this up? The guy couldn’t even hack managing Cardiff. He works for a team named after fungus. And yet, he admittedly looks streets ahead of Sir Smokealot in the Chelsea dugout right now.
I’m going to approach this abomination in Manchester in the style of Sarri. Instead of making sense and producing a coherent narrative of what happened today, I’m just going to chuck random expletives and philosophy at the page with some observations and hope for the best. I’m pretty sure I will have more chance of qualifying for the champions league than Chelsea at the end of it...
Manchester City refuse to leave the nineties behind. Bludgeoned half to death by Oasis in the build up, Faithless for the team announcement, Fatboy Slim for the team arrival, advertising Spice Girls concerts. Hundreds of them are sporting Marti Pellow yuppie ponytails. (Well, at least two) This is all without me even getting started on Aguero’s atrocious homage to the Red Scouse pre-millennium obsession with bleaching their hair. He’s having a midlife crisis at 30.
It’s like The Royle Family have won the lottery and built a football stadium with the chavvy abundance of neon lighting, massive tv screens and the biggest badge in the world dwarfing the centre circle. It needed half the population of Mancland to hold the bloody thing up. The whole “centurions” tie in for the 100 point thing has been done to death, buried, dug up, and then flogged some more. From a team that can’t even sell out a Champions League knockout game.
If you turn up at the Etihad to ignore anything that a team with limitless funds and an abdunance of player riches, the reigning champions, intend to do to play “your football,” which didn’t work against BOURNEMOUTH then you are either supremely arrogant or a complete f*cking moron. Of late said football has only worked against Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. You’re going to get beat, and yet this is exactly what Sarri did.
Empty seats all over the away end reflective of everyone’s enthusiasm at the moment. I envy each and every person that decided not to bother today.
Hazard turned two of them after a minute, but Higuain’s feet were all over the place on the edge of the box. With scant exceptions, this was about as close as we came to getting a goal today. Sexpest (special alias) had a better chance of scoring this weekend.
Their first goal was a sh*tstorm of nonsense defending on our part. Phil Jones would have handled this better. A weeks work gone to sh*t in five minutes. Excellent. Yes the manager of flailing but when the players keep cocking it up, they’re not blameless either.
To be fair despite the disaster we looked full of beans and showed intent as we sought to make amends. Having said this we then should have been two down within 7 minutes because of our complete inability to tackle. Luckily Aguero tapped it wide instead of in and looked pretty stupid. This was of course exacerbated by his mid-life crisis hair. Made up for it shortly afterward when the nasty sh*t hit a world class strike into the top corner. Then it was three thanks to a Barkley assist. I can’t tell you how devastating it was to look at the clock and see that not even twenty minutes had passed. Somebody find me a getaway car. I don’t care if Prince Philip is behind the wheel. Just get me out of here.
Pretty sure in the first half hour that Eden was the only Chelsea player that had been in their box. Not that Higuain wasn’t trying, but he was getting less support than a girl with an E Cup wearing a bra made out of cling film
4-0 on 24 minutes. This game is not nearly so entertaining as the services when we were discussing what “love sausage” is. If you’re going to google it, for the love of god add “Marks and Spencer’s” to the search terms.
Things I’d rather be doing than watching this: Attacking my leg with a rusty Masai spear and letting a hyena chew the thing off.
On 26 we held on to possession for almost 30 seconds. This must be what it is like to support Huddersfield. There was still an hour to go. “Why the f*ck are you still here” they were singing. Because the effin’ coach doesn’t leave till full time and the only gin you have downstairs is Gordon’s. Peasants.
29 we won a corner. Huzzah. Now they were onto: “Shall we show you how to score?” Followed, outrageously, by: “Where were you when you were sh*t?” In case you hadn’t noticed, we were sh*t today. Secondly, I don’t recall you drawing 50000 crowds when Mark Hughes was in charge.
We nearly ignited a comeback on 37 but the shot from Higuain was tipped over the bar by the w*nker with an emoji tattooed on his neck. City had to do nothing but sit and wait for the counter after the break. Hence why we ran about with the ball a lot. To no avail. I haven’t seen anything as hapless as Chelsea trying to come from behind under Sarri since Grandad Trotter unscrewed that chandelier. If you don't understand this reference you haven't lived and I can't help you.
Mastermind began his substitutions on 52 minutes. Kovacic on for Barkley. 19 times he’s switched those two over this season so of course none of us, nor Pep saw that coming. Give the man a round of applause as he tries to prevent City from scoring again when we are already 4-0 down
He needn’t have bothered. Ninety seconds later we were even more f*cked. Penalty.
5-0. Bournemouth was our heaviest defeat for decades. Now it’s not even our heaviest defeat in the last fortnight. Midway through the game you could still get 12/1 on Sarri being sacked before Malmo. If I could have got a proper reception I would have put everything I owned on it. Except the cat.
But if I see Fat Sam within a hundred miles of Stamford Bridge I’m going back to Africa. For good.
Kepa then had to punch away a free kick that threatened to make it six. Wait for it. Because then came the highlight of our evening. Hazard hit the side netting. Then Aguero went off. Never seen the slightly porky, evil twat move so fast leaving the pitch. Just when we were praying he’d waste some time so we could keep it in single figures.
Pedro off for Ruben. Poor Ruben. He must have literally shat on Sarri’s plate at breakfast this morning to get sent in to this f*cking mess. This whole game had been like the end of a Tarantino film. It was inglorious bastards. And we were Adolf getting shot in the face 200 times.
Best Sarri insult of the day: “Fraudulent scruff-bag.”
Alonso off for Emerson. Because god forbid this should get embarrassing. More clueless than Napoleon marching in Moscow having kitted his whole army out in budgie smugglers.
So: Catastrophic errors and lack of concentration today. BUT. The way we swing from getting battered to destroying people right now doesn’t fit with players suddenly deciding that they can’t but arsed every other week. This doesn’t happen.
Maurizio did himself all kinds of favours by acting like a massive baby after the game. Took it out on St. Pep by stomping off.
“This is not my football.” Shut-up about your football. For someone earning the money you are you should be able to deviate from your footballing philosophy if necessary to get results. Otherwise you’re Arsene F*cking Wenger, but just fatter, homeless-looking and smelling of fags. He sat there staring at the floor at 5-0 down. And even then rather than pondering what to do I’m pretty sure he was looking for a cigarette butt to suck on. It’s too late anyway, for we have already become Arsenal.
And what have you actually got Zola there for? You barely acknowledge him. And you keep booting him and everyone else out of the dressing room to converse in private with the players when the sh*t hits the fan. What’s that about? No wonder you can’t get our house in order when half the residents are excluded from what’s going on.
He also took a dig at Abramovich. He’d welcome a phone call from him apparently as he “never hears from him.” Surely you don’t want the owner interfering with what you’re trying to do every five minutes? You’ve been left to get on with it with only the expectation of making the top four, which is a f*ckload less than the demands the likes of Ancelotti got put it front of them.
I’ve applied direct to Chelsea on twitter for his job. All I’ve asked for is £500k a year which I’d use to build Bertie his own house and keep it filled with premium cat biscuits. For me I only ask for unlimited Silent Pool gin and a chance to see Hazard in his pants before he runs for the Spanish hills.
I’m going to drink Silent Pool now. Lots of it. Not Gordon’s.
Chelsea 2 (2) Sp*rs 1 (2) Chelsea win 5-3 on penalties
Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg
Thursday 22nd January 19:45
I left you guys for eight days and I come back to a scene from the end of a f*cking Tarantino film.
6,000 rounds of spent ammunition and a bloodbath on the floor of the dressing room.
Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1: So this started (when I was bobbing about on the Indian Ocean) as you’d expect and Pedro Pony put us ahead. Then we went all Chelsea and conceded, before Willian, who had inevitably been slated by everybody all afternoon went and scored a winner near the end. A more predictable day in the life of Chelsea you could not have dreamt up. So I resumed introducing myself to all manner of male giant land tortoises in their 90s that found me utterly irresistible and spent a week chasing me (slowly) about various islands.
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0: I was all ready to blog from the novelty of 40,000 feet, somewhere over Europe on a 283 degree heading on an Emirates A380-800. For they show live football. Huzzah. The down side? The coverage included Ian Wright. Bearer of the pettiest, loudest and most grammatically incorrectly articulated grudge in football because we sold his stepson. Surely being able to speak in proper English should be a prerequisite for television. The two small people who had been balling every since our second plane departed Dubai five hours before actually displayed more maturity, and made more sense. And I wanted to smother them less.
Ten points from our last four league games. (Though largely while boring the pants off the fans) Win this and we were nine clear of them in the hunt for the coveted Champions League spots. Easy. Right? No. Because it is us. We got beaten up by f*cking Arsenal. Like getting bitch-slapped by your nan.
We nearly f*cked it up less than thirty seconds in, and again before a minute had elapsed. Jorginho and Luiz the culprits. This became a theme. Two minutes of play and we’d only touched the ball to give it away. Then we would absolutely have been behind after three if Aubameyang could kick a football. It barely got better. Off the line from Koscielny after 12 minutes. Epic save from Kepa after Rudi lost his man in the box. I’m slightly concerned I may have been marooned in the Indian Ocean longer than I thought, looking at his mega-beard. Then we almost scored an own goal, meaning it was hardly surprising given what we had witnessed so far when Lacazette put them ahead a few seconds later.
So this was the version of Chelsea that turned up for this one. God help me now I could hear two screaming brats and smug Gooners in stereo. High balls into the box for players almost as short as me, all the impetus of Sam Allardyce on a treadmill and we still looked sadly fragile when they broke. Then it was two. And I decided to invest as much in this game as Chelsea and switched it off to watch the camera taped to the underside of the plane approach the runway at Gatwick. Not a single shot on target did I miss as a result. In the entire game. Then there was the thoroughly Chelsea fallout of a manager complaining about his players to the press. Classy. No, it’s not all your fault, but your high seven figure salary surely puts motivating personnel somewhere in your remit. Much like having a Plan B.
Transfer B*llocks: Incoming is Higuain. Is it the best signing ever? No. Is it a signing that promises much because he already has a bond with the manager and knows exactly what is expected of him? Yes. If he is willing to give it everything and not bitch and whine like certain predecessors. Even if he is but a temporary fix though, fear not, for we are trailing Zeneli - a much vaunted forward who is soon to be out of contract and whom we can pick up for as little as £5m from Heerenveen. I’ll leave you to ponder that one.
On the outgoing side, Cesc made an emotional goodbye speech in the dressing room before bidding England goodbye to go an join Henry at Monaco. Then Henry got fired. Considering his last ditch attempt to save his skin was to try and Fail-lani on loan it is hardly surprising, is it? Bayern still won’t f*ck off re Hudson-Odoi. To the extent that we are considering reporting them for tapping up. They’ve apparently offered him a “staggering 85k a week.” Not staggering by Chelsea standards. If the club wanted to keep him, they would match that without a second thought. Which apparently they have and he has turned it down. Sigh.
Morata edges closer to the door. Simeone reckons he can toughen him up. Good luck with that. I look at him and think “would he have my back if we got mugged in an alley?” I’m not sure which one of us would be running away screaming the loudest. Call me old fashioned but its not appealing in a bloke. He was basically dead to me after the shot of him drying his wife’s hair. Do we really want a man in the shirt who lacks even the motivation to take his f*cking Christmas tree down? And then jokes about how it can be there till the summer because he won’t be around? Can I say what I really think now or do I have to wait till we actually sell him down the line before I take him to task for being a sulky little bitch-baby? Sod off back to Spain and take your revolting attitude and your massive piles of money with you. Lord knows what he would have been like if he’d been dealt a normal hand at life and actually had to work massive hours to fund a roof over his head and/or feed his kids. You’d have found him lying on the floor of NatWest crying at the mortgage broker, or sitting next to his battered car on the M25 just shrugging his shoulders at passers by in the hope that someone would take pity on him and give him a new one. What a sap. For this bloke to stay and impress me now at Chelsea would take a bigger turn around than Bobby Ewing coming back to life in Dallas. I have little patience in the first place, and it has long been exhausted.
In the News: Awful, terrible events somewhere near the Channel Islands with what is surely now the loss Cardiff’s new signing and the father of four flying the plane. Hope has dwindled into despair by now, but the family very much don’t want people talking as if he is dead until they have something tangible to prove it. Big Pete retires at the end of the season after 15 years in the Premier League. What an absolute treasure he has been, whatever shirt he has been wearing. Consummate professional, ambassador for the game. His presence as a player will be missed by all with a true appreciation of the game and I hope he stays involved.
Solskjaer is set to move out of the Lowry already - at a cost of a mere £18k. Chequebook Pulis’s bill? A snip at £537,000. Even more expensive, Sanchez's goals are clocking in at £6m each at the moment. Bargain. The new in thing for combating muscle cramps appears to be pickle juice. There is footage of it being forced down Torreira’s throat at our game last weekend. Who was drinking pickle juice to figure that out in the first place? Footballers are notoriously stupid - what else can we make them drink by attaching some vague and intangible medical benefit to it? And happily some old faces have returned to the country. Ashley Cole has joined Frank Lampard’s Derby County (TM) and Mikel is now at Boro.
Us: Apparently there was a clear the air summit after the Arse debacle. F*ck off. There is never any clear air around Sarri - just a fug of stale nicotine. But whatever did happen resulted in the players taking to social media to tell us how up for this they were. The big surprise was the omission of Alonso for Emerson, but much welcomed, for you can’t maintain a run of form that bad and remain in the side. Barkley started over Willian, and we had a striker. Which is newsworthy indeed.
Them: They had three injuries. Three. Not the thirty the press would have you believe in making excuses for them. And a slender lead going into the second half of this tie thanks to the fact that VAR is a f*cking catastrophe.
View from the West Stand for me, because those horrible gits were in our seats. The beginning was scrappy but at least we looked like we fancied having a go, which is never a given at the moment. Having been incapable of fashioning attempts on goal against L’Arse, it only took Pedro Pony three minutes to get us stuck in. Only took Lamela three minutes to remind everyone he’s a nasty little sh*t too, with some leftovers on Luiz. Cardworthy, but not if your name is Martin Atkinson, and you are a bellend who is going to spend the whole match choking on his whistle.
Another cynical foul from Eric Dire followed, the first of countless infractions by football’s answer to Frankenstein’s monster. I can actually see Podgettino in the basement at Wembley with an industrial sewing machine and cast off body parts stitching him together. It would explain the expression. Shame the brain he is using once belonged to a squirrel. I don’t mind a referee letting a game flow, but if you’re going to let that sack of sh*t kick us up and down with impunity, then we best be getting away with leaving something on them too. The visitors were barely doing what was necessary to stay one goal clear of us. They had hardly even been in our box, let alone attempted to score, so when Kante triple-nutmegged them and smashed us ahead it was not in the least bit unexpected. Have that, tossers.
So far we’d had them by the balls. Ben Davies limped off after half an hour to be replaced by Rose, which prompted a massed cry of: “He cried when we drew, Danny Rose, he cried when we drew.” Then we really socked it to them thanks to a bit of magic from Eden. I was beginning to feel reasonably good about this, which of course is the kiss of death for Chelsea. We should even have made it three before the break. The keeper was nowhere against Hazard on 38, and then a couple of minutes later Pedro Pony was in, but he just overplayed it. The only thing Sp*rs had been effective at in the first 45 minutes was fouling us. And not getting punished for it. If Atkinson was keeping tabs, then it would have taken nothing short of Hazard driving a Ben-Hur style chariot onto the field complete with spinning blades and severing Dire’s legs at the knees before he’d have been able to justify showing us a yellow card. Penalty shout before the whistle went. Just outside the box, and Atkinson didn’t give it anyway. Then a further golden opportunity to finish them off came when Pedro Pony was away, but he ended up channeling Solomon Kalou and running round in circles until he confused himself and nearly fell over. 2-0 it was at halftime.
It looked promising for the opening seconds after the break, with a shot propelled into the arms of their keeper. Straight up the other end though and a rare Sp*d attempt was shanked well over the bar. Then, being Chelsea, we went and conceded a stupid goal. F*cking Llorente. Who hasn’t played a game of football since Alan Shearer had hair. The Beard was in on 51 to set us clear again, but nothing doing. They were time wasting already, and Atkinson suddenly started brandishing yellow cards about as if his life depended on it. But only if you were wearing blue. If you make the likes of Kante angry you need to take yourself off and do some serious f*cking self examination. Thanks to the f*ckwittery of the officials and our infinite capacity to make our lives difficult, the game descended towards end to end carnage for a while. “It’s so quiet at the Bridge,” they sang. Not as f*cking quiet as it is at Wait Hart Lane. Do any of you even remember how to get there? I set myself on a mission to try and get everyone around me to sing: “There’s no lights on, at the Lane,” but they were all too busy swearing at the referee. It took him until the 73rd minute to finally produce a card against a Sp*rs player. Which got just about the biggest, most ironic cheer of the night so far. Hazard came close to putting the tie to bed on 73, before Willian came on for Pedro Pony. Highlight of my night? As if Aurier wasn’t void of decency enough given that the police have had words with him about assaulting his girlfriend, he tried to kill his own teammate. Shame. Watching them clatter in to each other, then us ignoring it because it wasn’t a head injury was amusing. Not so much watching Sissoko depart the pitch slower than Bosingwa with a bullet in each knee cap.
A nervy final few minutes, unless you were Emerson, for he was full of bombing forward and crossing the ball into the box. One of his efforts was so nearly met by The Beard that it hurt. Jorginho gave the ball away in a frankly terrifying position, which is all he’ll be remembered for in that game, but we survived. And he was good. The less said about Willian’s effort in injury time the better. And so we went straight to penalties.
Eriksen - little rat-faced turd.
Willian - First up, after that last attempt? Ok. I forgive him
Lamela - cheating b*stard
Dave - This made me nervous, but he was emphatic.
Then up strolled Dire, with his ambling gait and the physique of a darts player. Both eyes facing in different directions and neither really focused on anything in particular as he concentrated deathly hard on remembering to breathe in and out. Miss. That, you scumbag, was for every last foul you got away with. Or in the words of my one Gooner friend texting me like his fingers were on fire, “HAVE THAT YOU LEGO-HEADED C*NT!”
Jorginho risked being ripped apart for costing us anything by stepping up for the third, but his penalty was a complete, nonchalant p*ss take and never in doubt.
Moura - seems to have aged 30 years since going to North London. Save from Kepa. Get in.
Luiz hits the winner. Of course he does. Anyone who watched him smash one on on leg in Munich wouldn’t have doubted him for a second.
So: Emerson deserves to keep his spot. Well done Barkley. What a shame RLC has been injured for this run of fixtures. Sp*rs have now failed to progress in five of their last six semi finals. Three of them against us. Happy days. Higuain has made more finals in six hours of being in England than any of them in the last decade. “Injury hit” they’ve called them in every match report. You haven’t got your main striker? Ours has been AWOL for about a year. We named Lucas Piazon on the bench. I’d forgotten he even existed. Get out of it you Sp*rsy, lightweight chumps. Let’s hope that none of the delay on the new stadium has been because they’ve been installing a trophy cabinet.
Sp*rs 1 Chelsea 0
Carabao Cup Semi-Final
Tuesday 8th January 2019 20:00
In the News:
Sheffield Wednesday or Luton for us in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Klopp is blaming the wind for the Red Scouse’s hilarious early exit. I blame the fact that you didn’t give a sh*t, that you clearly thought it was beneath you to take the game seriously because you’re so sure that the league and the Champions League are both within your reach and the fact that Wolves were better than you. Bellend.
Of all the TV pundits right now, I think I’d like to punt Jermaine Jenas into a vat of steaming sewage the most. With a nose clip on to ensure that his mouth is open. What a irritating tosser he is. How did he convince the media world that he was either high profile, or cognisant enough to provide football analysis for millions of people? There has to have been a Harvey Weinsteinesque blow job or two in there. He must have been blowing Sky Sports execs till his jaw ached because there was no way that boy’s talent, or lack of, was getting him anywhere. If he has a gag reflex left I’ll be stunned and if he played football as effortlessly as he yaps sh*t he might have been someone. Trash-talking Chelsea again. He has spent the week telling Callum Hudson-Odoi to go to Bayern, and now it is: “Eden Hazard has outgrown Chelsea and should leave.” Not as quick as Willian outgrew Sp*rs. Eh? Before he’d even got off their private jet. And says the man who could barely get on the Sp*rs bench when they were bumbling around mid-table and then retired at 25. F*ck and off.
And Mark Clattenburg has once again been regaling with us with the story of how the Battle of the Bridge was the hardest game he ever had to referee. Last four times we’ve played them now. He’s like Uncle f*cking Albert. And Podgettino said he was going to approach this “smart and naughty.” The rest of us call it: “cheating.”
Them: F*ck them.
Us: Morata last minute injury, which left us with a false nine and a dubiously fit Beard on the bench. All the clamour, though, was around the fact that CHO got a start in a notable semi-final. A well-deserved start.
We survived the first minute; Huzzah. Promising early signs, even though it took them all of two minutes to try and get a penalty by cheating. The first effort from the slobbering moron was solidly saved by Kepa on 4, but we were by no means cowed and pathetic like the last time out. We were using width, and playing with intent, in fact we could even be described as bright - especially CHO. Usually a first leg like this would be cagey and dull, but straight away it was not.
At this point they were booing Alonso (whose only crime against them is to be better than them) and Willian every time they touched the ball. Sad f*ckers are going to run out of breath quick. Shame.
Not only we were better than November, but they were a lot less committed than the opening spell of the league game that saw us trampled. The Diving Little Sh*t, for example was far less harassing so far as Jorginho was concerned. I was glad to see, too, that we have finally learned to hustle that little f*cker in the box in order to not let him score.
We were the better side all night. A shot from Barkley went over on 17 minutes, a long range effort from Hazard a couple of minutes later was better, but still no cigar. Then along came VAR. I’m not seething with rage about it, I’m not about to do a Scouse and start a f*cking petition or demand the game is replayed, but it is stupid and frustrating.
Firstly the linesmen have been told to still put the flag up.
This means defenders stop. As defenders have stopped since football was a load of medieval farmers kicking a pigs bladder about and the flag was made from the flayed skin of a Scotsman.
Someone with a less than ideal view, diagonal, then overrides the Lino on the spot. When it isn’t any clearer on the screen.
Now, Michael Oliver is regarded as our top referee. It’s why he was there last night instead of Jonathon f*cking Moss.
And yet the referees are apparently being “discouraged” from going over to the screen because of how long it takes.
So in all, on a not clear call in a match of huge importance, the officials on the spot were overridden by men not chosen to be there, watching it on television like the rest of us.
And with less than adequate footage. Because if Chelsea have footage from the halfway line, and not a vague cut across, then why do they not?
This cannot become the norm.
I can’t believe how many pundits have claimed Kepa should have been sent off. Surely KNOWING THE RULES OF FOOTBALL is a pretty basic prerequisite for the job?
Anyway, they didn’t deserve it but they were ahead. I’ll also remark that it wasn’t necessary for f*cking Harry Kane to sling himself eight feet in the air but they seem to go in for this in a big way at Sp*rs these days. And their manager is the same nationality as Maradona. I rest my case.
They were booing Kepa now too. Hopefully this meant they would pass out sooner.
Kante proved to be our best hope of an equaliser as the half wore on. On target on 33 minutes, and he was the one at the fore again six minutes later to get in the box and try again. CHO missed the bar straight after. We’d had double their attempts, they were so deep they could have tripped over the f*cking Titanic, but their line was holding. Our best chance yet came when CHO hit a stunner of a cross in injury time that deflected off Rose. Unfortunately the keeper managed to just tip it onto the woodwork. He had looked completely at home in this big fixture. Another reason we shouldn’t sell him. Just like SHOWING THAT WE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM SELLING KEVIN DE BRUYNE.
As you were in the opening minutes of the second half. An early free kick for Willian, up goes the hand signal (number 22 I believe, or 28) and then no joy. But we hadn’t dropped our level over the break and this was good.
We were desperate for the ball to fall for us in the box on 49, but at least Hazard managed to manufacture a corner out of it when he couldn’t find a way to have a shot. After a one-handed diving save from Kepa at the other end, Hazard loosed off one of his running-along-the-edge-of-the-box specials on 52 but it was stopped again.
It certainly felt like we were knocking on the door. Kante’s turn to have ago next and again, he forced a save, Alonso just not close enough fo the rebound as it flew back out. CHO was getting frustrated with nobody chasing his balls in the box, we could really have done with The Beard but he was clearly fit for X minutes and we wouldn’t see him until then.
We were building such a good head of steam but the final punch wasn’t there. Christensen was the latest to just miss the target after a flick on from Barkley on 58. Refwatch: I don’t hold him responsible for the VAR fiasco. It’s a much wider issue. Oliver wasn’t afraid to show the yellow card as they took it in turns to foul Hazard, either. He is one of the only ones that this does not get past. He managed to draw a line between having a physical game and letting it flow without it descending to a Clattenburg-esque free for all of f*ckmuppetry. Is I suppose I have to be nice.
Pedro Pony was about to leap into action on the hour, with Willian making way. Just as they started chanting the Y word in their thousands. Against the express wishes of Jewish organisations everywhere. How long can Sp*rs hold out before they have to attempt to get their house in order too? Harry Kane sat on the pitch wasting time, and then as soon as the game restarted they appeared to remember that they were playing a football match. This was concerning, as we had precisely nothing to show at the moment for all of our hard work.
But Hazard was really working hard now, he’d taken it to another, relentless level in trying to find a way through them. And yet still we couldn’t break them down. Barkley for Kovacic on 74 - which was a very “I’m going to make sure this tie doesn’t get away from us by conceding another” change. I can appreciate that.
The Beard didn’t appear to be that fit at all, else I am sure we would have seen him already. He finally entered the fray on 79 minutes and CHO left to keen applause after another good showing. A little frustrating. Think of Hudson-Odoi as the provider, the waiter - with The Beard a starving diner waiting for his dinner. We could have undoubtedly stood a chance of equalising with them both on, but Sarri would have had to bring off Hazard, or someone from deeper, and you don’t do either of those in a first leg semi-final tie against this lot. I can appreciate that too. I can’t appreciate that Trippier has the worst sleeves I’ve seen, and in the world of football that is saying something. They look like he’s let a toddler doodle on his arm in permanent marker. I imagine the artist was weeping as they were implored to do that.
Note to Sp*rs. It’s not a foul every time you lose the f*cking ball. And who in the name of all that is holy is Oliver Skipp? He looks like a librarian in his mid-40s. Then they brought on Llorente. How’s your career working out for you? He might have been playing every week if he’d signed for us, but of course the likelihood is that he would have signed for us and then become immediately sh*t. It was like the f*cking Alamo as the clock wound down. A goal was the least we deserved, but, oh well. Come and Get It, will be the order of the day at the Bridge in the second leg.
So: Were we hard done by? Yes. Is it too late to turn it around? No. Oh, and f*ck Jermaine Penas.