Huddersfield Town 0 Chelsea 3
Saturday 11th August 2018 15:00
I am most definitely not match fit. My right arse cheek is cramping from standing up for so long.
The Others: Chequebook Pulis and his muppets were fortunate on Friday night, fortunate that Amaty is a bellend and that Andre Marriner is a f*cktard. Fulham got off to a sad start at home to Palace, Bournemouth are only 37 points from safety! Boom! Watford beat Brighton and some a*seholes from a favela in North London beat Newcastle. Most of the juicy stuff happens tomorrow, when I hope West Ham kick the Scouse to pieces. I took the p*ss out if Carroll yesterday and said he is out through injury because he tripped over a kebab. Today I hear a rumour that he actually did. There was a step involved as well. And alcohol apparently. There is a moral to this story. Whenever you think you've discovered the full extent of Andy Carroll's stupidity and mocked it, keep going. Pause. Laugh. And then keep going some more.
Them: Not a clue.
Us: We were eighth at kick off. F*ck this. I blame the board. And Torres. No place for CHO even on the bench - picked up a knock apparently. Kepa started in goal, and they'd just about managed to get his whole surname on the back of his shirt. Kante being Kante went right into the side after fifteen minutes of training.
So, a sunny afternoon in Huddersfield, which was in Yorkshire, so I'm told (Probably still is, unless it's moved since the game) I overslept for this one last year, remember. So. Reflections on the John Smith's Stadium:
Naming rights make it sound like an international gravy swimming venue. Shoot person who agreed this at club in foot.
Also shoot person who thought it was a good idea to label a stand "The Fantastic Fantastic Fantastic Stand” in foot.
Shoot the drummer. In both feet.
I'm now about 60% excited about the start of the season. I'm self healing after the club attempted to destroy me this summer. This was mostly fuelled by winning, and by seeing everybody again, even if I did have to leave the radius of the M25 and even if it nearly resulted in me wrestling the man mountain that is TCW (Special alias) to the ground.
Reflections on what has changed since that f*cking catastrophe at Newcastle in May:
Kepa looks little compared to the legend (in his own mind) that was Tibo. I'm taking this as a positive. Maybe it won't take as long for a message to get from his brain to his legs to tell them to close before a ball goes flying through them. (I'm not ready to stop ripping it out of that clown yet. He ruined my 100% record of liking every Belgian I have ever met.)
Already Kante is playing much, much higher.
Things happen faster.
Kepa, Dave, Luiz and Jorginho are obsessed with pushing our line up.
We broke nicely in the third minute, but were marginally offside. Two minutes further in and the crowd had launched into a tribute to our new keeper:
"Kepa - you knooooooooow, he's better than F*cking Thibaut" to the tune of Daddy Cool.
After being swamped in the opening minutes the home side settled down a bit. A great bit of play from Willian in the tenth minute played us in, but the cross ultimately drifted into the arms of the keeper. The fast break Sarri was looking for came immediately afterwards, but died at Morata’s feet on the edge of the box. It's the opening day of the season, so I'll zip my mouth shut on that one. The likes of Dave, Kante and Pesto (F*ck off autospell) were trying really hard to implement this quick, one/two touch passing and to drive the game forward - I'm not saying the others weren't, but this trio were noticeably industrious.
In a blissful moment when the drummer’s arms got tired, Kepa had to deal with their first shot on target, but it went straight at him and he caught it with ease. F*ck £72m, Rob Green was free and he would have saved that tame effort. One thing we quickly noticed about our new No.1, his accuracy when kicking the ball out. Courtois was sh*t at this. I love Petr Cech, but he wasn't great at it either, so this excites me. Barkley was having a great game, and on 24 he surged through at the other end. Remarkably, it took Janice (original muppet alias) and I this long to notice his phenomenal rear end. We are surely losing our touch. It's like Ivanovic Mk.II. He literally could not have stuffed any more awesomeness into those tiny yellow shorts if he had tried. £15m. That’s £7.5m per cheek. Well worth it.
We looked a bit wayward now, and Janice and I kept repeatedly asking each other “Who the f*ck is number 29?” But Kepa had still not really been tested and we were still managing to break. Another flurry with Willian on the end of it came on the half hour. Then Pesto got tired of faffing and seized the game by the b*llocks, charging through the middle. Played it to Willian who put the cross in. It flew right by Morata and somehow bobbled in off of the Kante twins. We thought it would go over the bar, and so did he apparently because his squidgy, smiley little face was a picture of bafflement. I was going to tweet the deafening rendition of his song that followed, but there was no internet. In fact, technology was so primitive today that I’m pretty sure I saw two hairy Huddersfield fans rubbing two sticks together to try and make fire in the back of a wagon with square wheels in the car park.
Kepa was done once today, at his right hand post in the run up to half time. The ball was headed across the goal and he was stranded, but luck was with us and it struck the post and came back out. No arguments about the penalty surely? A very stupid tackle on Alonso, who has not graced us with a dye-job tribute to Wham this year. Sad times. Despite it being his league debut, Jorginho was massively cocky in slotting it casually along the floor. 0-2 at the break. They probably didn't deserve this scoreline. F*cking shame.
It was as you were after the break. I don't think I ever believed they were going to trouble the result once they were two down, but this is us, I suppose. We did aid them by giving the ball away a bit today, but I am OK with this, because it's coming as a result of trying to learn how to do something new and constructive, it's not like last season when it was just clueless, depressing ineptitude.
Refwatch: Chris Kavanagh. I had not a bad word to say about him before the game. Because I'd never heard of him. Mostly let the game flow in the first half. Some dubious moments, like letting half the Huddersfield team mount Barkley just before half time. Penalty call was absolutely right. Started losing it a bit around the hour mark and giving them free kicks every time they fell over, but overall he was fine. Better than most of the sh*t we endured last year from those with far more experience.
Huddersfield were trying to get forward but they have a distinct lack of quality in the final third, and they kept accidentally punting the ball out of play, or we’d snatch it and run at them. We very nearly had a third on 56 and again a moment later. They were looking a bit bereft, whilst we had found both a measure of comfort on the pitch and our collective voice in the crowd. Morata won a free kick on the edge of the box just after the hour and I'm sorry to say it was the most impressive thing he'd done so far. Ruben was jumping up and down waiting to come on.
"The arse is going off then," says Janice.
"To be honest I'm not sure how much more if it my hormones can take," said I.
Poor Alvaro gave away a silly free kick on 71 which left Kepa trying to tap it over the bar, but thankfully it was already out of play. If the replay says otherwise, I'm right, because I'm a girl, and the camera was probably operated by a man.
There then followed one decision they wanted not going their way, and the whole ground jumped to their feet with "you don't know what you're doing." A tad harsh, but they were fired up now, and take note, they were getting much more of the ball since Barkley and his bum had departed. We kept letting some bald bloke (let's call him Fat Shelvey) cross the ball, which was frustrating, but their best chance of the second half came on 75 minutes and they smacked it ten feet over the bar. Enter Hazard for Willian, to a huge ovation that rang with undertones of "I never thought I'd sing this song again," and "Thank you for not leaving us you beautiful little Belgian man." Finally a break for Morata - but it came to nothing. One player who did absolutely deserve some glory today was Pesto, who was played in by Hazard in the closing minutes to kill the game off once and for all with our third. There followed a slightly odd but sweet little display of man love by way of a celebration. Our work on the pitch done, we turned our attention to mockery of the home support, in particular the drummer. They had one last corner after Alonso's bouffant hair put the ball out, but it went out for a throw in. Summed up their day.
So: I've laughed my head off on the way home. Sex Pest (Special alias) has been telling us why he is scared of Facebook. One day, his fourteen year old granddaughter queried why he was never logged onto it and told him how to add her. Several hours later he'd accidentally added 240 of her friends too, and received half as many emails accusing him of being a pervert.
Huddersfield weren’t actually that terrible, but nothing went for them today. They did their best, they were hanging out of their a*ses at the end, but they didn’t look equipped to make a storming comeback. Don't be surprised if Sarri makes Jorginho captain. He's acting like one already, really impressive today. But actually three or four players were taking the initiative and acting like leaders and this was really positive to see after so much rudderless cockmuppetry last season under Antonio. Six take ons from Hazard, six completed. More than anyone else this weekend so far. He was only on the pitch 14 minutes. Very promising all round, with the exception of Morata who will need to do better next week, but still so much work to do. And we won 3-0, so let’s not dig him out just yet. There were patches when if they had been a better attacking force we would probably have conceded in the first half, so nose to the grindstone next week, interesting to see how we match up against the Goons at this early stage.
I’ll be collecting for greatwar100.online in aid of veterans with PTSD outside the Bridge next weekend. Come and give me your money. Speaking of… the book of last season is out, if you want to relive just how bonkers that was:
PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW PART II.
Since I wrote part one we’ve offloaded Michy. Ouch. Tammy is homegrown and Sarri has seen more of him in preseason. But ouch.
But onto the others: transfer deadline day. Goody. I like to think they put a 5pm deadline on it to spare us from six more hours worth of Scouse Sports News repeating themselves. Their trump punditry card for the last hour? F*cking Allardyce slouching in his chair like a slob and imparting bits of non-wisdom that pretty much show why he has no job. And I don’t mean no job in football, I mean anywhere. There was still the bi-annual entertainment fest of Sky minions battling rain, lawnmowers, workmen and Patrick van Aanholt as they sought to bring us bits of non information, but in truth, the fact that they had no choice but to water it down was a f*cking relief to all. There was very little drama to be had at Chelsea, for once, seeing as our club hankers after it like Norma Desmond clawing away for one last shot in Hollywood. But fear not, because what is more entertaining than Mount Mourinho, regular as clockwork every three seasons, going into full eruption? Especially when it is at someone else’s expense for once.
Here’s a little ditty I like to call The Ballad of a Broken Man. I can’t wait to see the reaction of United fans this season, who went from despising every fibre of his being, to cheering his name, only to now be faced with the inevitable: Chequebook Pulis going batsh*t crazy in his third season. All the signs are there. He’s barely talking to Woodward, if at all, apparently; he can’t be bothered to groom himself anymore, he’s wittering away, imparting utter nonsense. Finishing second was one of the greatest achievements of his career, he says. After he had had hundreds of millions spent on him. In the last three seasons Leicester have won the league with carthorse Wes Morgan in their side. Conte won the league at the first attempt with ten players and Victor Moses. You’ve got nothing to complain about.
As of 29th July he was already the bookies’ favourite to be the first manager sacked. He’d flown off to America with his available squad, all except Sanchez, who no-one thought to check wouldn’t be allowed in the country on account of being a criminal in Spain. It mattered little. Nobody turned up to the first game. He said matches were “killing my brave boys.” If playing football puts your footballers’ lives at risk, CP, potentially they are in the wrong line of work. The next day, in true Chequebook Pulis style, he was blaming the players for his plight. Martial got so fed up with his transcontinental moaning that he had his girlfriend quaff down six curries a day till she went into labour so that he could escape. The 100,000 who turned out to watch the club in Michigan needn’t have bothered, it seems. “If I was them I wouldn’t have come… I wouldn’t have spent my money.” Serious sentiment from a man who’ll once again be getting paid several million just to f*ck off in the near future if this traditional form continues.
He was still moaning when he got off the plane, resembling a freed hostage emerging from 20 years in underground captivity. But who have they signed? Dalot for £17.5m and Fred. They both happened early. And some bloke from Stoke. In the meantime, CP carried on p*ssing off the players he has already got. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on laughing at Pogba, but the guy won the World Cup, which in the first instance made Chequebook look like a dick because he gets nothing out of him, but he exacerbated this by remaining completely incapable of saying anything nice about him. Resulting in Pogba wanting to leave, apparently. F*cking idiots. Pogba doesn't make any decisions on his own. He can’t even be trusted to get a haircut. His agent smelt money. Yes,
Raoila, scum of the football world, decided that the £80m odd he's already made from shuffling Pogba around Europe isn’t enough for all the Jacamo catalogue bills he has run up and started to press for a move to Barcelona.
CP was getting desperate now. He needed bodies, and from the outside, it just kept getting funnier and funnier. Kovacic sacked off United because he didn’t want to play Pulis football. As for the desperately needed central defenders to replace Smalling the Clown and Phil Slothface Jones (Thanks again, for the FA Cup by the way) he allegedly submitted five names. Boateng and Alderweireld came to nothing. When they tried to buy Harry Maguire, the Leicester manager mocked them. Mina picked Everton over United and then finally, the coup de grace. Godin’s agent called Manchester, said he might want to sign for them. Yes, they were desperate now to be chasing after a guy who looks old enough to be Phil Jones’s dad. Except, Godin was never going to move to Manchester. (and who can blame him) Within the hour his agent had used United’s interest to get a better deal from Atletico. United fans incensed. Turns out there’s a football agent who is a knob. Who knew? Things got so bad they resorted to trying to get Zouma on loan from us. It was basically role reversal with us last season, shades of Antonio from CP. “I would like to have two more players.. I think I am not going to have two… My CEO knows what I want.” Three United fans with southern accents proclaimed that it was: “Christmas Eve shopping and we feel like we are going to end up with socks.” Worse. They basically got a lump of coal. United were busy securing a whisky partnership instead of any centre backs. Shame. I’m predicting October for the explosion. Though some think United won’t pull the trigger…
Here’s the space I left to talk about Sp*rs signings:
No but seriously.
Ok. I’m done. They’ve not had any departures to speak of, but could they really expect to sit still and do nothing while everyone else (except United mwhahahaha - evil panto laugh) strengthened? Let’s hope not. They weathered some anxiety early on, when Podgettino shunned Real Madrid to stay and Kane signed a £90m six year deal to remain dribbling (in more ways than one) in North London. But aside from some paltry efforts to sign Grealish for £20m odd (£25m would be the bare minimum once you plonk the tax for being homegrown on I would have thought) they don’t really seem to have even tried to get anyone through the door. They do have a new stadium though. Or will have at some point this season. They’re going to make a nod “to London Riots during opening ceremony of new stadium.” What are they going to do? Set fire to it? But if all of this didn’t make them a big enough laughing stock, along comes their fan representative on Sky’s Transfer Deadline Day. “Expressions Oozing,” he calls himself. What little I understood of his North London slum vernacular was b*llocks. He actually managed to make Robbie from Arse TV look capable of making a constructive argument. Someone might have wanted to vet him to make sure he could speak first, or at least invoked subtitles so viewers could understand what he was going on about. Part of me wants to make it my mission to destroy him this season. But then I’d have to pay attention to him.
City had Toure depart inciting a race row which ended with his agent threatening Pep with an “African curse.” Well obviously it won’t be his hair falling out. The Spoiled One didn’t need to a do a lot after last season. They’ve brought in four - Mahrez of note. But then having spent 12 billion in the last 18 months that wasn’t really required. They let nobody go, unsurprisingly, apart from Hart who had both gloves out the door a year ago along, with his dignity, when he went to West Ham.
I’ve seen coastlines erode quicker than it takes the Goons to do anything, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Emery doesn’t really get going this year. Robbie thinks they are going to challenge, they’re looking good. He thinks their signings are exactly what they need. Litchsteiner is going to challenge Bellerin for a place, he says. Presumably he walked face first into a deftly swung wrench before going on air. Their signings are not good enough. They are squad players. If they are lucky, they will maintain sixth. But that will be a massive achievement. Elsewhere this summer the fools launched a partnership with BYD that was signed off by someone pretending to work with the Chinese company. Put it all over the internet. Lol. Germany has breathed a sigh of relief on Ozil’s international retirement. “Ozil has been shit for years” and “last won a tackle before the 2014 world cup”. Says the Bayern President. No doubt there is an idiot element, but I’d wager that for the most part they don’t hate him because he is Turkish in origin, they hate him because his demeanour says “I couldn't give a sh*t about playing for my country.”
The Scouse are still whining about the Champions League Final. “Ramos is ruthless and brutal… I hold him responsible” says Wurzel Kloppage. I’m sure Sergio gives precisely zero fucks when he’s sitting there polishing his fourth winners medal. Karius feels sorry for us all, for laughing at him. Not as sorry as we all felt for him after they signed Allison. Not only that, but if you thought Brigitte Neilsen was going to have it hard this year, what about Mignolet, remember him? He’s now become sh*t Karius. He’s probably spent the summer eating copious amounts of chips covered in mayonnaise and crying into a bottle of 9% beer. Or searching a playing field somewhere in Scouseland looking for the sad remnants of his career.
They did they business early. Fabinho from Monaco, Keita, Shaqiri and Alisson. They’ve let no big names go, and dare I say it, I am marginally terrified that we might have to witness a repeat of 2013/14 where they started printing up t-shirts and genuinely having cause to bleat on about it being their year. If we go there, as soon as it looks like it might be possible, I’m getting the f*ck out of here. Preferably to somewhere that has no internet, television or radio. Like Scotland.
Behind the Top Six Burnley won’t have wanted to rock the boat too much after a good showing last year. Four in, including Hart, who arguably they don’t need and Vydra. A few departures, but nothing that should unsettle the side too much. No reason why they can’t do well again but it all depends on their home form. More interesting is this insight into life at Burnley. During the week Sean Dyche and his assistant Ian Woan apparently share a flat which resembles The Young Ones. “A Couch, a big screen, two beds - done.” They go out and drink wine together on Thursday nights but otherwise just eat at the training ground. I shudder to think when the last time was that either of them cleaned the bath. Does anybody wash up? Do they just brush their teeth using the water in the toiler? Mowgli is going to be reading this and twitching. That revelation that Dyche has a gravelly voice because he eats worms makes more sense now. Everton have spent £400m in the last couple of years, and offloaded a hell of a lot dead weight, including the not insubstantial weight of Wayne Rooney - and still haven’t really got any better. Somehow they’ve spent £40m on a player who has had one good season for Watford. Massive amount of pressure for them. If they aren’t pushing for the Europa League this season they have failed. Likewise, though Mahrez has gone, Leicester will expect to be up there. They’ve had six come in. In the never-ending, annual roulette of where the f*ck will Jonny Evans end up, it is Leicester this time. And they’ve survived the Harry Maguire saga - well, if it was ever a saga at all. United wanted him. But did he ever want to leave? Leicester certainly never gave any inclination that they wanted to sell him. Well played Claud. Arguably the dullest man in the Premier League made a funny. “Harry is going to Manchester… But only for a couple of hours on Friday night.” Chequebook Pulis is getting mocked by a guy who has never cracked a joke in his life. And West Ham have got no excuse to not be pressing for a European spot. They’ve bought a number of players in who are arguably out of their league, as well as Pellegrini to replace Moyes. One player they won’t be relying on? Andy Carroll has started the season as he means to go on by getting injured for three months, probably by tripping over a doner kebab. My favourite summer moment? Wilshere getting punked by Creswell and Noble, who had an imposter pretend he was there to interview England’s great hope for Betway. The guy referred to him as John Wilshere, and as he progressively fumed asked if he was looking forward to going back to Arsenal and whether he going to try and get back in the Ireland team.
In the category of “Should Be OK” Zaha ended up going nowhere, which was the best thing that could have happened to Crystal Palace and Uncle Woy. Kouyate in from West Ham and Ayew from Swansea isn’t going to set the league alight, but it should arguably be enough to keep them well out of trouble providing they don’t start like they did last season, by failing to score for 12 years. (And then thumping us) Newcastle should have cobbled together enough bodies to keep their head above water, but on account of being a selfish away traveller I won’t lose any sleep if they go down and I will once again be boycotting going all the way up there to suffer the worst view in the league. I expect more of the same, but for them to survive.
There are three sides who arguably have had a great summer but I just hope (because they are all easy grounds to get to) that they haven’t Tried to do Too Much?
Fulham have spent some £100m, and picked up several players like Schurrle, Mitrovic, Mawson and Calum Chambers with Premier League experience. Another eight have come in on loan or permanently too, so hopefully it’s not overload. But the omens are good. On paper Wolves have had a fantastic summer, adopting half of Portugal. They have as many Portuguese players now as Porto. They’ve got Moutinho, and even flirted with Pepe. (who has hair now but still looks like he might kill you in your sleep) If it works out, they should be nowhere near the relegation battle. Brighton I am less confident about. They have gone loopy this summer. A colossal 16 players in, from every continent and 18 out. Surely there has to be an element of quantity over quality. Here’s hoping enough of them click into place or they could be royally screwed.
In the sad category of Potentially Buggered sit Bournemouth. Only three bodies in, and a few out. I worry for them, I really do. If I did’t want to pimp slap anyone who used the phrase “second team,” I would say they were my second team. Cardiff can’t possibly have done enough to outrun a battle with relegation. They’ve taken a couple in on loan, but no real quality has come in to kick them on at this level. They’ve come from Norwich, Preston, QPR, and Bristol City. Huddersfield too have had a big exodus, with not half as an coming in, and a lot of them need to settle in England. On a lot of people’s lists to go down, and now I‘ve said that watch them wipe the floor with us on Saturday. Southampton are another concern. Not least because I like that away day. Tadic going to Ajax is a blow. Incomings include a crocked Scouser and a City reject - so not inspired with confidence. Worse, am completely uninspired by Mark f*cking Hughes being at the helm. Could be a rocky season, which makes me sad. Watford find themselves in this category because they’ve had a few departures, including the apparently world class Richarlison and not so many come in. If they can get anywhere near mid-table I’d be surprised. Also, I’ve put them here because some of their fans were mean to me.
So here we are again, on the threshold of more madness and excitement, hours on the road, fun times, whiny times, meet-ups with overseas brethren at the Bridge and wasteful consumption of celery. (Not to mention bottles and bottles of gin) Bosses can get yellow cards now, the MLS have experimented with sticking a microphone to a goalkeeper so that he could talk to commentators. He got confused and let the ball in the net. Jesus wept. Thank the Lord this twattery is coming nowhere near us. And players and staff can now watch replays in dugouts as the FA have relaxed rules on mobiles and tablets. Those who abuse this, presumably by watching Netflix, or porn, can be sent off. VAR is gone, for now. Hurrah, and Carragher has returned, having promised not to get into any more scraps with teenage girls. Outside of the Premier League we will all have one eye on Frank at Derby, where Mount has already scored for our legend. I’ll also have one eye on Gerrard, laughing if he fails. “I don’t think we ever get anything go for us” he complained after one single match. “They didn’t have any idea… we showed were a class above.” Sadly for Rangers he has taken his Scouse brand of self-pity and delusion with him across the border. But he’s not as bonkers as Sir Joseph of Barton, who classes himself in a managerial group with the two above. At Fleetwood. God help Fleetwood. Maybe this weekend he can bet on himself not to turn up to work in last nights’ clothes. Apparently, but for a twist of fate AVB could have got the Real Madrid job. (My a*se) Here’s hoping that Diego attempts to rip Courtois oversized conk off his face in that local derby. Oh, and Samir Nasri had been banned for doping. Well whadda you know? And here was me thinking he sprouted tits because he got fat.
PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW PART I.
Usually, about now, I’d be climbing the walls with glee about setting off for Huddersfield, of all places, tomorrow morning. I’m about 20% excited, at most. It’s coming, but slowly. Because Chelsea Football Club verily broke me this summer. Not because I nappy shat my way through June and July complaining about the fact that we should have been spending half a billion on players and boo-hooing because we weren’t in for Ronaldo; but because the corporate f*ckwittery finally became too much to bear as they made a pig’s ear of offloading a manager that everyone knew was leaving by about February, and compounded everything from the lack of interest in the club’s key fan base (i.e. the ones that pay to go to the matches) to the Nikefication of our lovably cheesy megastore and installation of their rancid, half-nonsensical and arrogant advertising slogans plastered all over the Bridge. (‘Thrilling’ us all, and ‘We Are the Pride’) I have a pair of Nike trainers I know refuse to wear on principle.
But anyway. F*ck it. The reality is, are we going to go and support another club? No. They have us hooked and they know it. So at least there is now actual football we can concentrate on again, and I can go about rediscovering my love for watching Chelsea play, which (though elements in their swanky West Stand offices seem to have forgotten) is the point of this now global enterprise and the reason we all fell in love with the club in the first place. (Not because of the promise of an on-site shoeshop where middle aged men would have the opportunity to spend £200 on a pair of Nike football boots. A necessary addition. I’m sure.)
So after all this cockwombling through the act of replacing Antonio like also-rans who didn’t make the final cut to appear on The Apprentice: Huzzah! Sarri finally arrived, coach number fourteen of the Abramovich age; bringing a supposedly maverick style of football and 10,000 Rothman’s with him. And, bringing Zola too, double hurrah! The new boss was a banker, not a footballer, and coaching was a hobby. He puffed his way up through the various tiers of Italian football, (I should point out that Mowgli - special alias - has declared that the second he sees the boss light up inside the bridge, all the stewards in the land won’t stop him from having a fag) and has only had four seasons in top flight management, where he over-achieved with Napoli but ultimately failed to dethrone Juventus.
But. He brings with him this fabled attacking football. Let’s lay this out, if anyone uses the expression “Sarriball” within earshot of me, I make no apologies for slapping you with a match programme. Or any solid object to hand. Because it makes us sound c*nty and Scouse-like with their propensity for dreaming up sh*t nicknames. (Hendo - case in point) He plays a 4-3-3 as standard, and advocates one or two touches and no more. All going forward. Poor Mikel’s head would have exploded if he was still here. Early videos have shown him drilling players again and again as they rocket from one end of the pitch to another in a matter of seconds. So strikers love him, and he favours players with technical ability, disciplined, not to mention obedient. He’s a workaholic, and in return he’s demanding, like Conte, but there was no fun under him, he was exhausting without respite. Sarri has the ability to lighten up, apparently. He’s a superstitious chap. He has been known to fly drones over his own training sessions for analysis, (I’d be so tempted to just dive-bomb players) and he has his men practice a full game in one half to get them used to tight spaces. In the sixth tier of Italian football he drilled 33 different coded set piece routines with men’s names. Apparently it is more like 40 now. He said he’s not at all interested in the transfer window. Music to our ears after listening to Antonio bleat his way through every press conference like a spoiled brat as the season wore on. Sarri is not interested in PR niceties either. He wears what the f*ck he wants and there is no angry code to him wearing a tracksuit instead of Armani. (We’ve had Scolari, who looked like a minor sex offender so anything goes on that score really) He says what he wants too, which has got him into shit, but then we’ve dealt with worse. Do I care if he turns out not to be the kind of bloke I want to adopt as my dad? No. Not if he is good at his job. In the minus column? He’s not won anything. I went on my Eddie Howe crusade over the summer. I’m sick of diva managers and taking one from further down the pecking order and giving him a chance to shine is fine with me. He moves on rapidly - which cynics should say will suit us fine. It will make the press plebs happy, at least.
And so a new manager gets new players, and the club get the chance to redress the balance after falling a bit short in the transfer window last summer. It was worth bumping the homegrown quota and picking up Rob Green on a free just to watch the nappy sh*tting contingent reel. Twitter went into actual Chelsea meltdown. But in addition to this, we needed a top class, first choice keeper. Everyone was touted to replace him. I’m pretty sure if my mum put on a pair of gloves the Daily Fail would have linked her to Chelsea. Butland, Cillessen, Pickford, Oblak, Donnarumma, Cech, Hart. And all along we’d been bidding on Bob (or Rodney, or Dave II) for weeks. Which tells you exactly how much the Red Swarm knew all along. Colour me surprised. They made it all up. In comes a £72m, record breaking signing in the shape of Kepa, on a bumper seven-year deal with a lot of potential to live up to and a name that makes Azpilicueta look like Smith.
We tried to bolster the centre-backs, but Juve held out on Rugani, and there were other positions that needed more prompt attention. Unsurprisingly, after a less than inspiring debut season, Morata was linked with a move away. Though using the fact that he was seen wandering Spain, where he was born, or Italy, where his in-laws are, to link him all over the place was particularly sloppy journalism. We wanted Lewandowski, they said. But we’d need to fork out £100. Plus £9.99 for a baseball bat to slug him over his head. Because why he’d step down to the Europa League and a club who didn’t have a manager, or worse still had a bunny boiler still at the helm at the time is anybody’s guess. Then it was all about Higuain, who opted to remain in Italy. They went for the usual ploy too of linking everyone with a similar passport as potentially following Sarri to England. Insigne said he’d be happy to follow along with half of Italy if you believe the media. But in the event, no new strikers have arrived. Which currently leaves us with Batshuayi, Abraham, Giroud and Morata; and nowhere to hide for the Spaniard this season. He was wet, to say the least last time out. My perception of him has not been aided by a photograph of him blowdrying his wife’s hair. He is so in touch with his feminine side to me now he might as well have a face like Rooney for how attractive he is to me. I hope he succeeds, I really do. Because he can;t have become sh*t overnight and if he doesn’t, we’re screwed.
Most of our attention was on the midfield as the summer progressed. Hazard is not going anywhere, and THAT is the best bit of business we did, whether it be because we asked for £200m, or whether it’s a case of convincing the player to “give it one more season and see how you get on with Sarri.” Who cares, I’ll take it. Our position with regard to a transfer fee won’t be any weaker next summer. And we kept Willian too, who was scurrying for the exit like a rat from a sinking ship with inappropriate emoji-itis under Conte. He practically had his tongue in Chequebook Pulis’s ear at the FA Cup Final. “Mourinho is the best manager I’ve ever worked with,” blah, blah, blah. Chelsea can’t be daft enough to sell another first teamer to a rival can they? Of course they can, but they resisted, probably aided, if there was any truth in it, by the fact that United allegedly refused to let us have a sniff of Martial. There was an inexplicable few weeks when UEFAlona, Real Madrid, literally everyone and his dog tried to sign a thirty year midfielder that can’t always get into our first team, but even though he might have tried to set fire to his passport in an attempt to stave off his return, return he now has, apparently with every intention of behaving like a grown up.
Thus we could afford not to hound every available attacking midfielder on the planet. What we did need to do was ensure that unlike last season, we weren’t having to use Fabregas in a more defensive position, because against the better sides, with the best will in the world he isn’t good enough to do it. Kante, of course, is sublime. But Bakayoko is not, yet, if he is ever going to be. Others are untested. And so in comes Jorginho, a blinding bit of business. He played more passes than anyone in Europe last season, which seems like a good thing based on what we’ll be doing, and he knows all there is to know about working for Sarri and employing his methods. If he has the personality to impart that on his new teammates, and it looks like he does, then he is invaluable. In comes Mateo Kovacic in from Madrid on loan too, hopefully with an option to buy clause at the end of the season. Very promising outlook in that part of the field. Giroud says he and Hazard also tried to have a word with Fekir this summer. Apparently he got all the way to the end of talks with the Scouse. Presumably he then actually went there and that’s why that fell apart.
And finally (and this is dedicated to Chicago) THE NOSE GOES. Sarri appears to have had very little interest in spending any effort on Courtois. Good. Ive never given less of a sh*t about a first team player leaving the club. There goes possibly the most ungrateful sod ever to wear the shirt. I’m not wasting any more ink on a man whose own ego far outweighs his worth as a player. I advocated sympathy with him last season because of his personal situation. Then he kept right on talking. My favourite part was when his agent was implying that big bad Chelsea were keeping a man from his children. Considering that the circumstances leading his then-pregnant partner to relocate back to Madrid revolved entirely around his inability to keep it in his trousers, perhaps he deserved to learn the hard way what happens when you don’t pay any regard to your family.
But bugger his private woes. We paid him to play football. He went from being promising, to meh-worthy because of his propensity to talk utter sh*t without running it through his brain, thus offending people, to being about as likeable as a dose of herpes. Not a pleasant man, and with his departure there is no need for Chelsea fans to zip it on the subject anymore. It isn’t bitterness because he’s gone, it’s annoyance that all he ever did was whinge about being made a multi-millionaire when actually, he wasn’t that great when it mattered. There were many and various hilarious remarks when photos were released of his medical. Searching for brains, finding that he speaks out of his arse, inability to close his legs, no backbone, lack of a heart, and so the list went on. Like the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow all rolled into one with a giant fake beak attached, it seems. Madrid “presented” him. All the bells and whistles couldn’t make up for the fact that he has no personality. Then there was the hilarity of his little photo shoot. “Usually they do keepy uppies” said Sky. Behold, Real, how you just spent £35m on a bloke who can’t use his feet. So he settled for dribbling on the badge instead. I wonder if when he was snogging it the Real fans were pondering on all the nasty stuff he’d said about them before. Atletico fans certainly noticed. They are raiding Spanish Ikea for little stuffed toy rats to bombard his goal with on account of him being a traitorous hypocrite in their eyes. Excellent. He’s already yapping about enticing Hazard to join him. So he may have left the country but I still want to nut him. The rats are one euro each, and I’m going to settle for donating a novelty collection pot to fund some on Marco’s stall for Arsenal instead.
And of course it wouldn’t be summer if Chelsea weren’t pimping out half the contents of Cobham on loan. More will depart; there is talk of Bakayoko to AC Milan and Everton submitted the paperwork to take Kurt Zouma on time. Worse ideas for him. For now this is where our little blue birds have flown to…
Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman have gone to Leeds. They’ll be popular.
Reece James to Wigan
Dujon Sterling to Coventry
Nathan Baxter to Yeovil
Trevor Chalobah to Ipswich
Jacob Maddox to Cheltenham
Charlie Colkett to Shrewsbury
Todd Kane to Hull
Danilo Pantic to Partizan
Jhoao Rodriguez to Tenerife
Mario Pasalic to Atalanta
Nathan to Atletico Mineiro
Victorien Angban to Metz
Kenedy to Newcastle
Kasey Palmer to Blackburn
Kyle Scott to Telstar
Eduardo and Jake Clarke-Salter to Vitesse
and Mason Mount has gone to Frank at Derby
Preseason literally had no bearing on what is to come this season, so I went on holiday instead of paying much attention to it. That said, firstly nobody appears to have gone on a Edenesque c.2015 Summer Burger Binge, which was a good enough omen for me. Perth flapped about a bit at the beginning but settled down and made life more difficult. Considering they had had no time at all to learn how to do Sarri’s bidding, the hugely depleted squad that went all the way to Australia didn’t look like headless chickens, which was satisfactory enough for me. Hudson-Odoi began a mini rampage to prove his worth for the new manager, which was carried over to the Inter game, where Bakayoko cost us an equaliser, and beyond. Against Arsenal, RLC took a wayward penalty in the shootout but Hazard has called for his presence at the Bridge this season. I’d be surprised if he was going to go abroad, but perhaps if he hasn’t had any football by January they may rethink the situation about a domestic loan. Barkley has also looked sharp and appears to be enjoying life under Sarri in the early stages. Green was the shootout hero against Lyon, well, for the 12 people that went to watch. No, we didn’t come close to beating City, but we didn’t get mauled either . With half a side playing a completely new philosophy of football I can accept that at this stage - 38 set plays - remember? Lots of positivity coming out of others to. Morata says he never want to leave. Nay! The press made it up? Perish the thought? After 181 days out of the picture, Luiz arrived back in the side at Wembley and Giroud is all for fighting for his place, he says.
Prospects are good - do not forget that our unbeaten run that led to the title in Conte’s first season did not start until October. And we had to get mauled by ARSENAL first. Patience, people, patience. Top four and a decent run in the Europa League will do for me.
Rejoin me for part II later on, where we’ll laugh at Arsenal, United and Sp*rs.
*Picture of a Chelsea Manager actually smiling at a press conference (yes, really) comes from the club's official site.
Chelsea 0 Manchester City 2
Sunday 5th August 2018 15:00 Community Shield
...Mr Sarri, but it's your job to make me love my club again after a pretty f*cking turbulent summer that has left me rocking in a corner, hugging my cat and stuffing chocolate in my face. Good luck.
This doesn't feel like the beginning of - new season at all with half the side still on holiday. They fielded a much stronger team than us. Nobody who progressed further than the group stages on the World Cup started for the Blues but there was a welcome return for Luiz. Debuts - Mahrez for them - a truly horrific warm up shirt for us, as well as Jorginho. Hudson-Odoi got the start he so richly deserves after his showing so far in pre-season. They were closer to full strength so it would be a good marker to see how Sarri is getting on when he is pitched against a side that were dominant champions a few months ago. Although at least Sarri looked like a coach. Pep looked like he has been taking style tips from Joey f*cking Barton - who turned up to Fleetwood's opener looking like he was going for a night out at his local Wetherspoon's and rightly got two points docked for his sartorial whimsy.
The first half-chance fell to Sane on two minutes after Morata gave the ball away. I was more interested in watching Luiz and Aguero, because even if the football was sh*t we would be entertained Gladiator style, with them pulling each other's limbs off and using them as clubs. We were already notably trying to push the ball around, everyone trying to off the ball in two touches or less. And forward. Mikel's head would have literally exploded. It all looked very new though, and certainly not sharp yet. There were some sparks though, Barkley looked out to impress and Hudson-Odoi was the font of all promising attempts to bust through their half. We were not pinned to the wall, but they'd had much more possession. We were a little wasteful in giving the ball away and it bit us in the a*se inside the first fifteen minutes. We just failed completely to shut Aguero down, nowhere near tight enough at all and their first goal notably came through the spot where you'd usually be expecting the Kante twins to have worked their magic. Sarri was making a copious amount of notes, which is what you want to see at this stage. As the half wore on we started to build up some time on the ball, but much of it was still sloppy. Yet they kept breaking and we'd yet to fashion a shot on or off target. Problem number one with this setup. If a side shuts this philosophy down and doesn't let you play this dynamic attacking football then it leaves us bereft. It's going to make it even more imperative that we seize every chance we get instead of wasting 90% of them like we did last season. On the half hour mark CHO (I can't keep typing this out for the next decade) cut inside and it was about as close as we'd come, but still a good way high. He came much, much closer by running through on 33 and leaving the City defence for dust, but it was stopped by the keeper. He had looked the best going forward by miles for us so far. More possession than most of the rest of combined. Morata had been anonymous. If I have noticed him, it had been because he had been giving the ball away. We'd just started to find our feet a bit as the half entered the final stages, but the danger was always there. Luiz had to bail out Alonso on 35. Christ knows where the left back was as City broke. He nearly atoned two minutes later with a looping ball across to the far corner, but the keeper was alive to the threat. He clumsily let it bounce over his head in injury time, but he got out of jail. So at the break we've not seen any evidence of this dynamic attacking football, but let's be fair, it is going to take more than three weeks to learn how to play it. CHO had done more than anyone to claim a start next week so far.
On 47 minutes Morata was in, but what manifested itself was a really limp attempt at driving past the two defenders. As in none whatsoever.
Somehow Aguero only hit the side netting when he was one on one with Big Willy. Dave deserves credit for arriving in the nick of time to push him wide too. Everything they do was coming down our left hand side. Our midfield was being overrun, and no pressure was being applied by the front three collectively, with only HO holding the ball up. Added to that this wasn't dynamic at all, there was no tempo. On 57 the ball was given away cheaply up front and within ten seconds they've gone down the other end and scored. I feel for the defence today. Massive pressure on Luiz and Rudi all afternoon. Dave was commendable but Alonso had been violated all afternoon on the left flank. You can't afford to gift City possession anywhere on the pitch, and we kept doing it, so time to experiment with something different. Willian and Drinkwater poised to come on for CHO and Fabregas, who had been hanging out of his a*se since the half hour mark. Within seconds Pesto (updated my iPhone operating system over the summer - autospell is still sh*t) was limping but he managed to run off knock by the 64th minute when he hit a shot with all the conviction of Bertie the kitten pushing his empty food bowl around the floor and hoping that a pouch of gourmet Felix will appear in it.
Refwatch: Jonathon Moss. After Bobby Madley last year the FA continued their habit of awarding the Community Shield to a complete f*cktard. That said I barely noticed the chump was there. If only it could be so every time his podgy face emerges.
The new boss continued to ring the changes. Tammy Abraham came on on 69 for Morata, but we looked ragged and as if we are running out of steam. It was a big ask to expect him to turn it all around. St. Pep sacrificed Aguero for Kompany to see out the result, and enter Moses stage left for Pesto on 79. He looked spritely, almost breaking through on 84, but Chelsea fans were already streaming out of the ground. I don't know how the f*ck he missed on 88 minutes. Another half chance that might have turned this into a match, but failed to materialise. There had been a few.
So: If Kante is even 15% match fit for Huddersfield he'll start. I was already confident that Fabregas will be a bit part player this season and nothing happened to convince me otherwise today. Not only that but Jorginho's afternoon was hampered by covering for him, and he was much helped when Tenacious Double D came on. More promise from CHO, no improvement from Morata yet, David Luiz making Conte look like a mug by slotting straight back in the side next to Rudi. Concerns over Alonso in a more traditional left back role for me, not so for Dave on the other side. Nothing special from Pesto and a bit of a dud game for the subs to come on and make a play for a starting berth next week. I don't think Caballero was at fault for either goal, but none the less all eyes will be on what's happening with Courtois in the run up to the close of the transfer window. I'm of a mind now that we make him stay and he can do what the hell he wants as a free agent in the summer. Rather that than us end up short.
This was a reality check for all those who thought Sarri might turn up with his famed relentless attacking and we'd surmount the thirty odd point gap to the top of the table last season in the blink of an eye. It is just another pre-season friendly, let's be honest. Albeit with a lot of bells and whistles attached. Lots to work on. Sh*t gets serious tomorrow when everyone else returns from holiday. Just get through Huddersfield without a disaster and then for me our season really begins with Arsenal, when the damn window has been shut for fortnight and everyone has had time to settle down more. This was by no means as hilarious and exciting as I anticipate the bonkers end to the transfer window to be - At which point I will be back to mock it all.
You can now purchase the book of last season. Huzzah! A version for phone and tablet etc. is to follow in the next 24 hours or so:
*Photo of Alonso pulling a face that summed up his day is from Chelsea's official website
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0
FA Cup Final: Saturday 19th May 2018 17:15
Conte doesn’t win cup competitions.
Mourinho had won 12 out of 14 finals.
But he'd never been dumb enough to start with Phil "Sloth from the Goonies" Jones before...
In the News: We'd been playing with Swiss balls all week in preparation for this game. Make of that what you will. If Chelsea fans hate me so be it, says Chequebook Pulis. No actual Chelsea fans hate you, you bellend. At some point we've all wanted to smother you with a pillow, naturally, and the ability to electric shock you in any press conference when you started wandering off into nonsensical oblivion would have been handy, but no one who properly supports Chelsea hates you.
JT could be set for a return to the Premier League now that Villa have earned themselves a play off showdown against Fulham. I wish him only the best and couldn't really see why anyone would cry about him playing for them if they come up, but I think I'd much rather have our away day at Craven Cottage back. Poor old Gary Cahill got selected for England. He even managed to get a bit in the paper that pretty much said "meh" before the squad was announced. What a way to spend the summer. Maybe he can trade places with Hart who hasn't stopped bitching since he got left out. You. Play. For. West. Ham. You have conceded 68 goals this season in the league alone. Wilshere got left out too. Celebrated with a spliff. It appears that Souness suddenly had an epiphany on Sky and realised that nobody cares about his opinion, because he stomped off air. Slow or what. Big up Everton and West Ham to saying NO to sh*t on a stick football and ditching Allardyce and Moyes. This is a positive trend for the Premier League. Sam is disgusted apparently. Not as disgusted as his poor wife last time she saw him clambering out of the bath.
You can tell the season's over because the Red Swarm have already resorted to stating the f*cking obvious. Aguero is moaning about how his knee has been hurting for the last five years. So that's about as long as David Luiz's after he jumped on it two footed. Git. We did a little trickery at UEFA to get France and Brazil to the final in 1998 says Platini. No sh*t. It was obvious twenty years ago. And you think we've had it hard. Sporting fans are so miffed at their league showing they have attacked their own players wearing ski masks because they finished third.
Transfer B*llocks: Hazard won't commit until he sees what Chelsea get up to this summer. Don't blame him. To be honest after the f*cking roller coaster we've had since last August I'm on the fence about committing myself to Chelsea next season.
Juventus do want Morata, but on similar terms that took Cuadrado back there on a long, long term loan. Which is better for them money wise, but sh*t for us when we shelled out £70m for him less than a year ago. Doubt that'll happen. We are allegedly front runners for Seri from Nice but I'm hoping that Martial to Chelsea rumours are just bored Press Plebs pulling random names out of hats to fill pages.
Musonda is back already after his loan to Celtic turned out to be a waste of time. Mason Mount has been invited to train with the senior England squad. All that expense on his development and it'll be trashed by being exposed to Southgate and his jobbers in a couple of weeks. It'll set him back five years. Also, nobody needs to be secluded in a hotel with Phil Jones, he'll probably end up snapping one of the kid's legs by accident getting into a lift because he's such a clumsy f*cker.
Arteta 90% certain to take over from Wenger apparently. Excellent. I'll even drive him to work.
Us: "Play like this and we will lose the final," said Conte after Newcastle. He had a point. But then, I could say "pick the team that beat the Red Scouse and stop being a bellend." But he did. Hurrah! Just what we were advocating in large numbers.
Them: No Lukaku. The lovely Mata on the bench. Herrera and Young which meant I'd be swearing my head off. I don't care about Sanchez anymore. I just pity him because every time I've seen him in a Manchester United shirt he's been about as effective as Michael Owen trying in a round of speed dating.
More than double the price of Newcastle and even further away from the pitch. Let's get the seat moan out of the way. The FA are a monumental bunch of cockwombles with sticky fingers who couldn't give a flying f*ck about football fans. They should be categorically ashamed of both their price hikes and their seating bands, which appear to have been categorised by someone with the IQ of Phil Jones after his big meathead has been run over by a steamroller. F*ck you and the extortionate three legged donkeys that you rode in on. You self aggrandising crooked b*stards.
Now we've got that out of the way...
Fozzy Bear: 2-1 Chelsea
Beaker: 1-0 Chelsea Willian to score
Janice: Penalties - at which point she wants Big Willy subbed on and we win
Mowgli: 2-0 Chelsea
First minute and The Beard is already holding up the ball. I could lick him. A forward with some muscle. I have missed this since the Drog left. I don't buy this "when he starts he isn't effective" sh*t. He worked his a*se off for everyone else's benefit today's, ran himself into the ground. And only towards the end did he start to look a bit exasperated that no one seemed capable of putting a ball on his perfectly coiffed head. But by then we weren't really capable of anything. But we'll get to that.
We wiped the floor with United in the first half. Straight away we looked like the side that took three points off the Red Scouse. I could go into a rant about why we took apart that team for no reason against Huddersfield but let's not mar this happy day. We looked great. We were getting stuck in; Cesc had two completed tackles inside ten minutes.
The first shot came from Eden from a narrow angle while we were all sharing a moment for Ray Wilkins, but it wasn't anything really exciting. Refwatch: Michael Oliver. If he strained his nut sack at any point today we were f*cked. Because Lee Mason was the fourth official Oliver didn't even call on VAR for the penalty shout on 13, which at the time made me want to stamp on him with my boots on. This was the only point today when I remembered that Matic was playing for them. If it was Matic fouling Bakayoko. It could have been anybody from all the way up here. I can't see sh*t.
In the meantime Sanchez had started diving, but seeing as he did it at our end he got just about the amount of abuse he deserved as the referee told him to get back up. What a snivelling little f*ckbag he is. Non existent. We'd been on top, but offered little in the box so far, they'd offered nothing bar hoofing it long and trying to catch Courtois out because he had the sun in his eyes.
My love hate relationship with Oliver confused the f*ck out of me this evening. He gave the penalty. Jones lunged after Hazard like a boss eyed wildebeest with a bum leg that had just been wrenched from a deep sleep. But apparently he can't be sent off because of some a*se rule that FIFA or UEFA or the FA made up because some paid them to, or because it at some point benefitted the Red Scouse. W*nk. But then as the game continued and it became apparent that we were actually better off with the great lumbering oaf on the pitch and so I forgave the referee. How is this idiot in the England squad? Actually don't answer that. Fabian Delph and Danny Welbeck are in the England squad. We don’t have time to get into this.
Eden smacks the penalty away and the blue end of Wembley goes wild. F*ck goes Chequebook's game plan. Almost half an hour gone and United hadn't had a shot on target. They could get literally nowhere near Bakayoko. I'd love to see a heat map of Jones. It would just be a single luminous dot representing how he'd stood there gasping for air for 35 minutes.
The couldn't deal with Eden either. I do love how much they hate him. Because it's purely because he's just better than them. And they can't touch him. And he picked us over them. I did have to laugh too because they were getting increasingly frustrated at being pulled up for fouling him. Which makes them morons. Because you had a player sent off against us at Stamford Bridge for persistent fouling on him. By this same referee. And yet you've turned up with a plan to kick Hazard because you don't know what else to do with him. What made you think you were going to get away with it today? It was made better by the anguish on Ashley Young's clueless face every other time he didn't get his own way when he tried diving or whining at Oliver. This culminated in their surrounding the referee on 39 minutes. I look forward to reading about a charge for failing to control their players.
We were now into the realms of "just don't concede before halftime." They did hit one just wide. Phew. With the added hilarity that half of their muppets though it was in and went mad and we got to laugh at them. Then Rudi made a fine clearance just before the break to keep our noses in front.
The half time entertainment at Wembley didn't even stretch to a beach ball penalty shoot out. We were encouraged to watch a tv showing people watching the first half on tv. Which was wank.
As soon as the game restarted it looked like Chequebook Pulis had been chucking hair dryers about at half time. We'd lapsed into a conversation about how we think Phil Jones is going to be massive when he finishes playing. I can just see him passing his days in kids cinema clubs, wearing a dirty tracksuit covered in food stains, watching cartoons at ten in the morning surrounded by five year olds and shoving haribo in his face. Smelling of BO.
We couldn't get a foot on the ball. On 50 minutes their fans arrived and they looked twice the team they were in the first half. Simply put, they had got their sh*t together. And we appeared to have misplaced ours. Luckily for us Thibaut was once again on the money for us today, starting with a punched clearance on 52 minutes. They hadn't quite sussed the final ball yet, but it would, however, have been nice if we had got out of our own half. Another save from Courtois on 55 when he palmed a shot away and the ball came back in slowly, straight into his arms.
Dear Chelsea. Please wake up now. Sincerely, Alex.
We were not even in this game as it approached the hour mark, so far as any attacking endeavours were concerned. We'd lapsed into that oft seen 2017/18 habit of giving the f*cking ball away in midfield at every opportunity, but luckily, Captain Cahill in the centre, with Rudi and Dave either side were in tune.
United scored on 62 minutes, but it was offside. Ahahahahahahahahaha. Though don't think we weren't bricking it at the time.
Down to about 35% possession.
The hatches were battened. But it was as if they are made of Tesco value toilet paper; leaking profusely. When we did break it was six against two because we didn't really send anyone up. There was nappy sh*tting going on full scale in the upper echelons of the top tier, capped off by one generic p*sshead who kept calling everyone c*nts and telling them to sing up. They're always popular.
Alonso had a low shot on 69 that went out for a corner. My WhatsApp went berserk, my brother watching it on tv and apoplectic that Young was guilty of a handball. Nothing doing from Oliver, who had a strong overall game today yet somehow managed to make a couple of clangers. None that are going to cause any Buffon-like outage this time though.
And so we clung on. At least all the scrapping in the box was distracting Oliver from how long we were spending on a single corner. Which of course came to nothing because it is us. Thibaut made a brilliant save on 71, coming right out at the United player and blocking his inward run, before CP went full kitchen sink. On came Lukaku and Martial, off went Rashford and someone else I didn't care about.
A deflection was caught by Thibaut in the area on 73. Despite the changes the relentlessness off the United attacks had just eased off. Jones last act before going off was to haplessly headbutt The Beard, and when play restarted we had the ball again, at least in equal share. We weren’t doing anything shiny with it ,but who f*cking cares. At this point we were winning. Had they run out of steam? For my blood pressure’s sake, I hoped so. But no. On 79 Courtois pushed another shot away. This was going to be like the f*cking Alamo. We had a break on 81, but after a lot of tippy tappy stuff leading up to the box, The Beard was given offside. God bless him, at this point all he wanted was for someone to put the ball on his head so he could have a shot after running about after everyone else all afternoon, but the moment was never quite right.
Seconds later it was back up the other end and the ball was flying across the face of our goal. Conte hadn’t yet made a change, which was novel for Antonio and some in the upper tier were getting restless. Frankly, it felt like this would be a miracle if we won this game 1-0. Another United shot went wide on 84. Morata came on for The Beard. Taking him off in his own garden? Felt like bad Juju. I have nothing against Morata starting plenty of games, but this one, this was made for the Frenchman and the manager made the right call. Eden had absolutely run his legs off and was fading out of the game, so Willian came on on 90. Five added minutes? Where have the dickheads got that from? The first two consisted of pinball in midfield, and a whole lot of panic from us. Please God, not another half an hour. because they will win it if they bring this level, we haven’t been near them since half time. A corner with about a minute to go was caught by Courtois, before Little Willy and Morata combined to take it up the other end and win a corner at the death. F*ck me. We’d done it. The United fans’ reaction to the final whistle was to throw a flare on the pitch and then run away. Faster than Sp*rs when we sunk them 4-2.
So: They huffed. They puffed. They blew our house down. Then they set fire to the ruins and p*ssed on them. But they couldn’t score. Beaker was closest with the predictions, which if nothing else tells you that even when you've basically fermented your brain in alcohol and bacon fat you can still talk sense occasionally.
There were some supreme performances out there today. We had three captains at the back, but Rudi was magnificent and got all the accolades he deserved, not to mention an opportunity to dance his way around Wembley with the first club prize of his career. He was given man of the match, though for me it was a toss up between him and Phil Jones. Much maligned signing Bakayoko put in another performance to be proud of too. Alonso when he was celebrating - Beaker has pointed out that no matter what happens in a game; or afterwards his face always looks like he's just bitten into a lemon. Cesc can replace the 2005 winners medal that his dad lost, Eden was in the crowd, and before his widow presented us with the trophy, we got to pay tribute again to Ray Wilkins. CP shook the hand of each of our players and was gracious on the pitch, but he couldn’t outrun his own personality for longer it took to point a tv camera in his face. Conte even put a suit on and promptly got drenched for his trouble. I don’t want to have a go at him today. That was almost certainly the last we'll see of him. These cute little comments about how he might still get fired even if he won annoyed me coming from a man who’d made his presence at the club for much of this season look about as appealing to him as having his fingernails removed with pliers. But today he deserves as much credit as the team. He’s banked a second trophy in two seasons when others were struggling to pick up anything. And he obviously enjoyed this win. I’m glad. 730-whatever other teams that entered the FA Cup would have killed to pick that trophy up today, and anyone that says the competition doesn’t at least sugar-coat our otherwise disappointing season doesn’t understand English football.
The book of the blog will break down the season, as well as reproducing the complete, uncensored articles in full. Given the relentless, polarising suffering we’ve just endured for the last nine months it will take the form of a survival guide. It’ll be out in June, but I’ll keep updates coming on Twitter and Facebook.
I leave you with this bastardisation of a Manchester United ditty from the tube:
Runners Up, Runners Up Man Utd
Runners Up, Runners Up I pray
Runners Up, Runners Up Man Utd
Playing football the Jose way
Newcastle United: 3 Chelsea: Just Don't F*cking Ask
Sunday 13th May 2018 15:00
In the News: We've been charged by the FA for failing to control our players during the Huddersfield game. I vote we find out exactly how much they're charging us, turn up with sledge hammers and cause exactly that much in damages to Wembley. I have no words. Meantime, Willian wins Players' Player of the Year, the fans vote goes to the Kante Twins. Christensen takes the trophy for best young player. Conte wins the Dr Jekyll Tribute Award for having more personalities than the last ten of our managers put together. Chequebook Pulis says that Noble and Pogba looked like they were in love during that goalless dross of theirs. Yes, because nothing says I love you more than trying to rip out someone's teeth out with your bare hands. (We can at least take solace in the fact that they looked pretty sh*t this week)
The Others: F*ck 'em. Although once again at least we're not Arsenal. Though the difference is getting harder to define.
Transfer B*llocks: So apparently (This isn't Blue Squirrel, this is Chinese whispers) Morata told a fan at the awards do that he's moving to either Italy or Spain because he prefers it there to London. If he did, rage, but take from that what you will. It's about as substantiated as all the w*nk produced by the Red Swarm and it doesn't stop them. And Loftus-Cheek says he hasn't made a decision about where his future lies yet. Excellent. I look forward to another player leaving and then suddenly becoming a world beater.
In ManagerWatch: Napoli are making sad noises about not being able to stop Sarri leaving, and Carlo was spotted at the Bridge.
Them: Twelve different sponsors coughing up cash for everything from the dressing room to the hot dog cart. Took longer to announce that lot than the team, most of whom I've never heard of.
Us: Conte appeared to have given more than a single f*ck about choosing this line up, which was an improvement on Wednesday. Maybe two or three. The Beard starts. Excellent. Barkley back too. Not often you see a player whose had a lengthy lay off go into the starting lineup though. And he's moved Cahill away from the middle of the back three to bring Christensen back in. No Fabregas, where's the imaginative sh*t coming from? I felt slightly like one of the saps who gets killed off early in a Jurassic Park film when they realise they've been locked onto by three raptors looking for dinner.
My kit rage had just about subsided until they showed the team coming out in the big screen wearing the new f*cking shirt. W*nk. W*nk. W*nk. W*nk. Even if we don't all agree on the use of red as part of the design we can all agree that this looks like they looked at a plain blue shirt and thought: "this is a bit boring,” so let a five year old at it with marker pens. It's not got shades of 1984 or whatever it is they are claiming. This is called "marketing." I used to do it for a living. It's code for "talking any bullsh*t you have to to get people to part with money." If that took more than half an hour to do I'd be stunned. It is a blue shirt with some cheap looking, ugly lines squiggled on it. Poke it Nike.
Good luck getting details as to what player is on the ball out of me, because I'm that high up that I can't tell the difference between Bakayoko and Alonso. My nose is bleeding. I have a better view of the John Lewis car park roof. I think that I might actually technically be in space right now. The people in the back row are floating away because there is no gravity. This is why I laugh when Newcastle get relegated. Because it's cheap and nasty stuffing your away contingent in the corner up here when nobody in the league does it to you. I swear this is the last time they get away with it before they are bound by the rule about at least some of us being pitch side.
Most of the opening play came from the barcodes. Kante almost played a sublime ball through to someone else in blue on four minutes but it was intercepted. He is literally the size of my little fingernail from up here. At this point they appear to care a lot more than us, although nobody had actually had a shot yet. I have just figured out that I can identify Voldemort because he's had a shot on 8 minutes and the sun was reflecting off his head. Already I was suspecting that they were going to have that annual cup final performance that they save for whenever we roll into town. Another save from Thibaut on nine minutes. We'd barely touched the ball because they were running everything down, forcing mistakes and just generally making us look sh*t. We had the amusement of a giant beach ball for about four seconds. Then the killjoy stewards took it away. How had we only had fifteen minutes of this awfulness? Fear not. We now have balloons.
A goal mouth scramble on 19 was just about knocked away by Courtois. We'd been amusing ourselves by singing. Spartak Moscow We're Coming For You was my favourite. I refused to sing along to Antonio. He can have some of it next week, as a thank you and goodbye, but at this precise moment we looked bonafide terrible. We were being shown up by Newcastle and he was standing with his arms folded. Possibly picking his nose. Might have been chewing his finger. Or both. Which would have been disgusting.
Just wide again from Newcastle on 20. It'd be no more than they deserve. And they were ahead on 22. A shambles, but it's been coming ever since kick off. My instant reaction was where are all the centre backs, and why is Moses the only bloke there? But I was too f*cked off to break this down with any rational thought.
Europa League We're Having a Laugh now.
23 and Voldemort just missed another. I'm so glad I got up at 4am for this. If he'd have put up half this much fight against Harry Potter and his mob he would have smacked them silly. I'm not sure we can claim we've even been in their box at this point. In the meantime we had another fingertip save from Courtois on 26 from yet another long range effort. But the difference between their long range efforts and ours (if we managed to conjure up any) is that theirs look like they might actually go in. The usual end of season song tributes to each player had died out now to be replaced by random insults and expletives. The Beard looked lonelier than Michael Owen wandering round a Wetherspoon’s at 11am trying to find somebody drunk enough to listen to stories about his glory days.
We can't get the ball. If we do, can't retain it. Conte still about as animated as Sam Allardyce in a f*cking spin class. Thibaut has got the right hump, and over the last five years I'd have sworn most of the time he didn't have any vocal chords. That's how bad this was. He was screaming at people. On 32 minutes Hazard received the ball, wait for it, in the box. But at a funny angle and his back was to goal so he couldn't get the shot off. Unfortunate as opposed to incompetent. But their keeper could have literally lay down and f*cking sunbathed at this point.
They wanted a penalty on 33; I think Atkinson just pitied us too much to give them it. Free kick in their half two minutes later. Excitement. That came to nothing. I've not seen anything this unimaginative since the 89th instalment of the "Saw" franchise. No, scrap that, I've not seen such a complete lack of anything decent going up to Hazard and The Beard since Wednesday night. I'd be relieved right now to actually find Michael Owen sitting next to me. I'd get him to tell me all about his glory days. And then talk me through his cheese label collection.
Praise the lord. 43 minutes and we had a corner. We're shit at corners, but nonetheless this was something to be happy about. Until it didn't travel more than five yards before it hit a barcode. This was f*cking apocalyptic. We didn't have a plague of locusts up on the roof, but we did have one of greenflies. I'd picked six out of my hair already. If only our players had collectively showed the same persistence.
The lumpy Toon playing the goal challenge bucket thing at half time produced more than we had in the first half. Please Chelsea, make the hurting stop.
The second half was better.
This does not mean it was good.
Straight after the break Hazard destroyed the ability of one of the barcodes to ever procreate again. But I didn't know we had to stop play for a stinger to the balls. There was a collective groan of sympathy from 52,293 people. That's everyone except me. Because I'm pretty sure it was still more painful sitting on the roof with the away contingent. And I was too busy laughing.
Save by Thibaut on 48. We've still not had a shot. We then retained the ball for 30 seconds but it came to nothing. Again. The Beard was being tugged in the box, but the ref didn't care and the ball ran out of play away from Eden. Which brings me to Refwatch: Martin Atkinson. He was better than Mason on Wednesday. But then the semi-liquid dump Bertie the Kitten took overnight is more effective than Mason. But me digging Atkinson out today would be like Napoleon blaming his f*cking butler for the pasting he took trying to march on Moscow.
Thank God for The Beard, who managed to hit a sublime volley behind him (at least that's what it looked like from a mile away) We have had an attempt on goal. And apart from Hazards ball cruncher it was the highlight of the afternoon. Now I know what it feels like to support Sterk.
We were back in their box within a minute, but once again squandered the ball and it came to nothing. The Beard was apoplectic up front. Distinctly heard him shout "I left Arsenal to get away from this sh*t." In French. But at least we were actually attacking consistently now. Barkley wound his way in but his shot went straight to the keeper. Just when we looked like being competent enough to mount some form of opposition (Yes, against Newcastle) they scored again. Voldemort hit a nothing shot that somehow took a tiny, perfect deflection off some other barcode and into the corner it went.
For f*ck sake.
So what do you do? You look at the bench, you look at the manager to see what they intend to do about this. The answer? Nothing. Conte hasn't moved from the spot for about ten minutes. He's just standing there with his arms folded watching us implode. They could have been three up on 59 but we got a last ditch header in to put it out for a corner. Poor Barkley had our best chance on 61. A fast break and it falls to him in the box. If he had put it anywhere else, goal. But straight to keeper. A minute later they did have three. I'm not sure you can say that one of them in an offside position wasn't interfering with play but at that point I give about as much of a f*ck as Conte. Also I can't make a proper judgement because I neglected to bring a pair of f*cking binoculars with me.
Antonio still hadn't moved. It'd been better since half time but this line up just wasn't working. Regular stalwarts such as Dave were having sh*tters. Barkley hasn't seen a football pitch in weeks, though to be fair he looked better as the game went on. Why would you heave Cahill out of the middle where he's been doing fine? The Beard has been isolated. There's no creativity (by the way Conte still hasn't moved) and we are an absolute shambles. This game might mean nothing competition wise, but he had zero f*cking respect for the 2000 odd fans that have travelled the length of the country and paid money to watch it. We got royally shat on today.
Still hasn't moved. 67
He moved six inches coming up to 70 minutes, because the ball was coming at his head.
The Beard had another chance, but he had no time to aim and by now he looked like a Frenchman being made to work double time on a bank holiday. Morata was ready to come on and if it's for The Beard there is literally no point.
Wait for it... wait for it...
The Beard off. I despair.
Willian on too for Barkley, who for the last ten minutes has looked like the Chelsea player most likely to do something.
Then Pesto (f*ck off autospell) got a massive ten minutes. Hazard would have appreciated getting put out of his misery. Small children were weeping at this point. Not even a bottle of Silent Pool and a straw would have consoled me at this point.
So: TADA. There you have it, another Premier League season done and dusted. And every issue we've had across the whole 38 games encapsulated in one final, ninety minute sh*tfest. In the words of Fozzy Bear, a perfectly good day out with your mates, ruined by the football. First half was embarrassing. Second half, we actually touched the ball, but it was still embarrassing. Players largely all over the place, manager didn't give two sh*ts about turning it around. I love you Chelsea, but right now I can't f*cking look at you.
I'm going to drink a f*ckload of gin. If I get really, really, sh*tfaced I might get halfway to this twilight zone where all of our problems will be solved by putting Jody Morris and Frank Lampard in charge of the first team at this moment in time.
*Photo of Kante wearing that monstrosity of a strip comes from Chelsea's official website
Chelsea 1 Huddersfield Town 1
Wednesday 9th May 2018 19:45
My old nan once told me that cheaters never prosper. She lied.
In the News: It's been about 48 hours since the last blog, so don't get too excited. For a start, the
fact that the FA fiddle the fixtures every year is not news. It's f*cking obvious. West Brom deserved
to go down if they weren't going to give Moore the job had he saved them. He must be seriously
hacked off. This is in a week when Gerrard got the Rangers gig when his only qualification for a job
in Scotland is that he's proved adept at bottling people in the past. Incidentally, they claim he
needs one title to make Celtic's dominance collapse like a pack of cards. No. What he needs is a
f*cking miracle. Unless he's a puppet and someone who knows what they are talking about is
going to be doing all of the actual work.
Ferguson no longer needs intensive care. Relief. Apparently the first thing has asked was how
Doncaster did. God love 'im, I could make a comment about how giving a crap about the Doncaster result is most definitely sign of a traumatic head injury, but let's just be happy that he's sitting up, doing well
and heading towards the day he can amuse us all by watching Chequebook Pulis in action with a
barely veiled look of disdain again. I'm going to miss Wenger. Arsenal are only two or three players
away from winning the league next season, he says. Because he's addled he forgot to add “in
each position." But at least "Hotel-gate" has proved hilariously entertaining. The Marriott at
Swansea cancelled 40 rooms right before Southampton arrived for their relegation showdown
citing a virus. That seemingly didn't affect anyone else who was supposed to be staying there. Or
anyone else who tried to then book a room. All hail whoever it was at Southampton who left the
review on trip advisor. "Fortunately experience didn't sour our trip. Business meeting was
Transfer B*llocks: Well I suppose we're almost there again aren't we. FML as young people say.
Because typing actual words has become too tiresome for humanity.
We're getting rid of Morata and we want Cavani, so say the Red Swarm. Apparently someone
asked Hazard if he is going to rejoin Chequebook Pulis at United.
1 Are they f*cking stupid? They hate each other.
2 He said "No chance." Good boy. Though I expect them to write about it for another week anywa
because they are lazy.
None of this has been endorsed by Blue Squirrel. Because he's not on crack. One thing he has
revealed this week is one of the candidates for manager that has been interviewed by the club. At
least I’ve heard of him, and if you are looking for a hint, even my mum has heard of him, and he’s
The Others: Stoke say they should have sacked Hughes sooner. No sh*t. West Brom are down
too, which left Swansea, Southampton and Huddersfield in trouble as far as the last drop-spot
goes. Southampton took a step closer to safety last night despite having to camp in a field with a
load of sheep. Huzzah. Because I like Southampton, and because Hughes will probably still be out
of a job there come November anyway, when everyone on the south coast realises that he's really
sh*t at his job.
Us: Lots of rotation. For no clear reason that I can fathom. Six changes to a side that played out of
their skin at the weekend. Totally. Unnecessary. Caballero for Courtois, Morata back in. Zappacosta
instead of Moses, Willian comes back in to the side, as does Pesto in place of Hazard and
Bakayoko. Christensen comes in for Cahill.
Them: Honestly, I couldn't name any of them off the top of my head of you offered me a night with
Charlie Austin. Usually you'd expect to see some fading star on his way down the leagues or a
relegation fodder mercenary like a Barton or a Diouf jogging about trying to stay out of the
championship, but nope.
Lots of the ball from kick off. Role reversal after Sunday, we were the ones playing it from side to
side and not achieving a lot. First half decent cross on four minutes almost came to something,
before Alonso almost hit it through the keeper on five, but it was blocked, Morata couldn't quite get
there on the follow up. Willian had another from range on nine minutes but it was wide. They didn't
look like they had a lot to offer at all going forward, we were witnessing a real gulf in class, but
since when has that ever stopped us shooting ourselves in the foot? Another chance on 10 and
another on 11. Their fans were cheering successful tackles and throw ins, the time wasting was
atrocious but they were at least enjoying themselves. Kante amused himself by running past their
whole team on twenty minutes, and we looked the better side, but we hadn't actually looked like
scoring. And Refwatch: Lee Mason was trying everything possible to give them a leg up, including
letting them kick seven shades of sh*t out of Little Willy. Equally it might be that he is too fat to be a
professional referee. His cousin, the slaphead in front of the west stand with the flag, was equally
This had become one of those cup ties where you play a team from another league and they drag
you down to their level. One goal and I thought the floodgates might open. And we nearly had it on
29 when Morata managed to pull the ball round and smack it towards the bottom corner. Damn it.
"Alex," someone tweeted me. "I know we had our chances, but when you get done with Lee Mason
in your match report I don't want his mother to be able to recognise him."
Someone hold my f*cking drink.
33. note the time. Mason gives free kick in Chelsea's favour. His measurement of ten yards is
criminal. He's so knackered by the eighth step that he looks like a dog dragging its arse across the
ground after it's taken a sh*t.
Their keeper was really getting on my tits now. The entire crowd was on his back about how long it
was taking to put the all into play. It was like watching Sam Allardyce after a midnight orgy in
a pie factory as he slothed his way up to the ball to do anything. The only oblivious person in the
ground? Mason. Dumbly staring at events like Harry Kane trying to work out how to open an
automatic door. No I lie. He warned him. On about twenty minutes and then let him carry on doing
it for another hour. Note also the pre half time stoppage for someone in red rubbing their thigh after
he'd waved off three fouls on Chelsea players. The reason? The honed specimen that was the
referee, yes him that wasn't within twenty yards of the action if the ball was moving, wanted to
stop for a f*cking drink and a kebab. Then followed it up with a beer and a fag. It has been a while
since we've witnessed such an artless performance from an official at the bridge, and this was just
40 minutes and we almost stung them, when Morata just ran out of a viable angle and cut it
across the face of the goal. There then ensued another pretend injury from the away side.
Someone pointing at his toe and crying. Chris Lowe, whoever the f*ck that is. Alf Garnett (sitcom
alias) swears that he won a place in the side in the Huddersfield Lottery. Runner up gets a
cabbage. Two minutes of extra time. P*ss take. As a Terrorist Steve (special alias) pointed out. Each goal
kick has taken two minutes.
But, we said, at least the twat let it run to cover our free kick and corner too. Well at least he
pretended to. When Willian finally received the ball from the away crowd, he waited for him to get
to the corner and then blew the f*cking whistle. Where the f*ck is Jon Moss when you want him
Jesus, I'd take Bobby Madley right now. This could only be worse if someone fished out Overbo at
If we play the second half to 50% of our ability, said I, then we should annihilate these halfwits.
They didn't want to play football, they wanted to just not concede and flail to the end. If we score
first they've had it. The teams emerged. So did Lee Mason with the remnants of a pint of Stella and
some chilli sauce dribbling down his chin.
Then they were ahead, and Caballero was lying dead on the floor, having been fouled. Mason,
I should point out, was still in their half. He had missed one on Willian too. PGMOL would literally
be better off if they piled up his £80,000 salary and set fire to it. They wouldn't have to faff about
working out the dickhead's national insurance contribution. After a five minute lapse in which
Mason consumed two cheesecakes and a jäger bomb to keep himself going, the time-wasting,
feigning injury and general cheating got worse. When the referee is awarding fouls on the basis of
whether he needs a breather or not, you're f*cked.
Within a couple of minutes of their goal Conte had brought on The Beard to partner with Morata at
the expense of a right wing back. I'm not giving him any credit for this, because for me he went full
bunny boiler tonight. Joking about Mason aside, had our manager actually just played the f*cking
team that caned Liverpool instead of unnecessarily changing half of them just for sh*ts and giggles
for people that have barely played, then we probably wouldn't have been in this situation. We
could have been 3-0 up by halftime. Judging by the rage coming off of everyone on the train to
Wimbledon, this was a strong consensus, and people have had enough of him.
For his change to have any impact we were going to have to actually rediscover the art of passing
a football. And stop giving the ball back to a side that just want to lie on the floor holding it till they
can go home. I'm usually pretty pleased to see Hazard stripping off. Even more so today just
before the hour mark. Pesto made way.
We were now playing with two defenders. Full assault on their goal. There wasn't a Huddersfield
player within twenty yards of the halfway line. 1-1 Alonso, who'd spent most of the match playing
as a striker because there was no need for him to defend. He knew as little about it as we did. Who
It's amazing what you can do with half the team playing up front.
64:39 we got a free kick. Probably because Mason needed another fag. If we were Sp*rs we’d
make a DVD about it. At this point Huddersfield were already pretending to have cramp and trying
to employ every last ditch time-wasting method known to football. Point of reference for their manager, this isn't "passion" or "spirit." It's embarrassing. If Lee Mason had once shown a card, or
waved this nonsense on this need not have been the case. But Lee Mason is a c*nt. He was still
giving their keeper friendly warnings about time-wasting on 70 minutes. He didn’t book him until 87.
Boycie was taking out his rage on my bag of jelly babies by biting the heads off them. 82 was the
moment for the winner if it was going to happen. The ball did everything but cross the line. If we
were Harry Kane or the Red Scouse, they probably would have given us a goal.
So: If Lee Mason were a racehorse, you'd shoot him. Brace yourself for a spate of whippets being
named in his honour up north. Had Conte picked a side properly, instead of treating this must win
match like a contempt ridden league cup tie in September then tonight would have been very
different. Huddersfield employed every dirty trick in the book to manipulate a result out of this game
and it worked, just, in large part because the game was shat all over by an appalling referee. The
Red Swarm are going to write this up like they were f*cking gladiators and that this is what football
is all about it. Don't believe a word. It was a travesty for the Premier League because a long
standing representative that actually comes to play football is going to go down this weekend to
make room for more of this dross next year.
We'll all be supporting Brighton come the weekend. In the hope that Conte doesn’t do the same
again. I’d hate to think it was a parting shot, I think he’s a better person than that. I am however
quite looking forward to seeing the back of him now. Ten months of his tantrums, whining and
sulking has taken its toll.
Chelsea 1 Them 'Orrible Gits 0
Sunday 6th May 2018 16:30
Let's get the important sh*t out of the way. Somehow I've been nominated for an award. Who'd have thunk it? Anyway: any and all votes appreciated at:
My category is best new blog. Let's try and paint the ceremony blue too. You've got the lovely Llion Carbis up in best young blogger and Breathe Chelsea up for content creator. Or alternatively you can tweet the following to cast your vote:
I am voting in @TheFBAs for @CFCgwlb in the #FBANewBlog category #FBAs
If you could then threaten/cajole anyone you have power over, namely employees, offspring and spouses it would also be muchly appreciated. I do not frown upon people voting on behalf of their pets either. Voting ends tomorrow, 7th May, I believe.
Swansea 0 Chelsea 1: So after just four minutes we were ahead when Cesc scored his 50th goal in the Premier League. This is rare sh*t. Only two Spaniards have done that. Torres and Costa. So rare that one of those isn't even a Spaniard. At that point, so Janice reports, because I was sunning myself somewhere west of San Antonio, everyone in the away end thought we'd get more and smash them. But nope, because this is us, and round about the 70 minute mark is when everyone in the Chelsea end started crapping themselves, the team took the foot off the gas, and Swansea started coming at us like they were Brazil in 1970. Still we got it done. Jon Moss in refereeing shocker. Is that even news? Missed attempted murder on Cahill, doesn't know what constitutes a free kick. Has possibly since f*cked up Southampton's chances of staying up with his ineptitude.
In the News: Alex Ferguson is poorly in hospital. I just can't comprehend that such a giant figure in our footballing world would be carried off by something like this. He needs to go out twenty years from now in a bare knuckle bout with a giant liver bird, wearing Braveheart face paint and hurling every obscenity in the book. Disbelief seems to be the general response. This isn't the end. It can't be. And we all hope he'll be back and trying to look entertained watching Chequebook Pulis try to defend a 1-0 deficit shortly. In the meantime, if the Press Plebs could stop eulogising him like he has already passed away it would probably be appropriately considerate for his family.
Hughes came out whining after the FA Cup semi final about penalties etc. I'm not taking this moron seriously when he could basically get two teams relegated in one season. Because Stoke are down. I think I can honestly say nobody is going to miss them, as they've been a whopping great red and white barnacle on the hull of the good ship Premier League for most of their decade with us. And Rodgers may have squandered his chances of managing us. Apparently. By not giving Musonda enough time on the pitch during his loan spell at Celtic. Sorry Charley, but this is what you call taking one for the team. Speaking of Scottish football, nobody is allowed to mock my piss take about Eddie Howe being a Chelsea manager now that Rangers have employed the foreheadless wonder as their new boss. True, he could boast amongst his accolades robbing Buck-toothed Brendan of one league title already (chuckle) but he can claim little else by way of qualifications.
Half and half scarves on sale. At a youth cup game. Jesus wept. Then curled up in a ball and started rocking in the corner. On a slow news day we also got a ridiculous insight into David Luiz's fancy dress birthday party. Poor Mrs Terry. It probably didn't occur to her to ring round and check with Pesto (yawn, autospell) that their outfits weren't going to clash. First Wenger says he was given the boot. Then eight hours later the club tells everyone that he didn't mean it. Then there was also a piece about him saying that his departure was down to certain Arsenal fans, I wonder who, "wrecking their identity." No Arsene. It was no secret that your mob were sanctimonious bellends.
We just get to see it on YouTube on demand now. He’s getting out just in time. No wonder he looked so relax today. He needn't worry about his successor making him look stupid. When the Red Swarm were pontificating about it being Enrique they were saying that he was to get... wait for it... FIFTY MILLION to spend. Pip Squeakiola wipes his a*se with £50m. If that was all CP found in his transfer kitty he'd throw a Yaya, birthday cake style wobbly. £50m for a new regime to spend. On a team that's won nothing significant in 15 years and relies on Pothead Wilshere. Good luck with that. Who knows they might get lucky. Nainggolan apparently wants to play for a team that can't win anything and make life difficult for himself. A perfect match I hear you say. Yes, so long as he is willing to take half the money he could get playing somewhere else. And Klippity Klopp in bizarre nonsense statement alert. (Must be a day that ends in a y) Says the Red Scouse will wait for Oxlade-Chamberlain to recover from injury like a good wife waiting for her man to come out of prison. I could make so many jokes about soap on a rope, and their conjugal visits in a beat up caravan. But it's just too easy.
The Others: Wenger signed off at the Emirates after more than 20 years in charge of L’Arse today wearing his best cardigan. Just in time, so far as his legacy is concerned. His team sent him on his way by thrashing Burnley, and left me bemused that they couldn’t have played like this over the last two seasons. The fans actually turned up today, and they all had t-shirts that said “Merci Arsene” which I suppose was nicer than the ones being handed out by Arsenal TV, which said “Thank God, Now F*ck Off.” Ashley Young admits that United weren't at the races against Brighton. Mate, never mind being at the racecourse. You were propping up a William Hill counter somewhere at 9am smelling of pee, drinking White Lightning and waiting to see if your 10p each way bet came in. And does a game of football get any better? That lot beaten in injury time. By a dubious goal. The closest Harry f*cking Kane came to scoring was in the wrong net apparently. Janice (muppet alias) was quick to quip that it was a shame because he could have tried to claim that towards the golden boot too. Last I heard he was allegedly trying to claim adding another to his tally by going home and scoring with his missus. Which led me to think (uncomfortably) about what the pillow talk might consist of afterwards. I'm willing to bet he just gabbles on like a telly tubby. Or one of the flowerpot men. And dribbles all over said pillow. Now that I've put that image in your head on to our game. When we could close the gap on all that slobber to a mere two points if we gave a side who always richly deserve a good kicking a right good seeing to.
Us: Neil Barnett got some of the afternoon off in favour of an American bloke who is supposed to be famous but that I've never heard of when the teams were announced. Dear Chelsea. Never, ever do that again. So far as the line up for them game, Conte got it spot on today, though Willian will feel hard done by at not finding a place.
Them: Who is this Egyptian bloke? Never heard of him.
There ain’t nothing like a sunny spring day for getting you in the mood to have a go at this lot. After 57 seconds we’d launched into a chorus of “sign on” followed by a loud reminder about Steven Gerrard falling on his a*se. At this point, we hadn’t touched the ball, but we were amused anyway. Thibaut was forced to make a save early on and then finally, three and a half minutes in, we got a thrown in. Huzzah. I can laugh and joke about them having all of the ball, because they were doing their headless chicken thing. For all of the possession the ball was just going from side to side, and they’d only set foot in our box once. In a true statement of the totally obvious - the first goal was going to be massive to the outcome of this game. Whoever goes behind has to open up and leave themselves vulnerable to try and get back in it. When two teams are this good on the counter attack, that vulnerability can be crushing.
Eight minutes we made it most of the way into their half. Things were looking up, before Refwatch kicked in. Anthony Taylor. Joy. Doesn’t even book Milner for attempting to kill Hazard. Here we go. Precisely another 200 seconds of his clueless faffing and he was already getting on my tits. On 13 minutes the best chance of the game so far fell to us, but Bakayoko and The Beard got in each other's way, no need to tell you who got the blame. However, moments later the younger Frenchman annihilated Clyne and set up Alonso for a shot that unfortunately went straight into Brigitte Nielsen's arms in the Liverpool goal.
They were away shortly afterwards, Mane surging forward, but Kante got a standing ovation from the crowd for a perfect tackle that stopped him in his tracks. There's an argument for letting these muppets just run themselves stupid to no avail, and it was borne out by our having the better chances at taking the lead. Anything they were having in the way of attempts, we were forcing them to take from questonable range; and providing Courtois stayed alert, and that we could keep our concentration at the back, they were going to start running out of ideas. Our desire was better than I have seen for much of the season too, with some nice, brutal tackles going in when we lost the ball.
I’m just going to start referring to him as Bakaloco, because he was like a f*cking steam train today. Choo Chooo. A header from the much maligned midfielder came close after half an hour, before he started off the move that sent us into the lead with a brilliant cross out to Moses, who duped the defender by putting the ball into the box with his left foot. The Beard rose like a meticulously groomed, furry salmon to nod it to past Brigitte Nielsen and send the home crowd wild. And then oddly ran all the way into the bench to specifically cuddle David Luiz. I’m sure Antonio loved that.
Just don’t f*ck this up before half time Chelsea. But in fact little chance of that emerged. Klippity Klopp’s Plan A, when they are up against anyone good, is to run at the opposition and try to score loads, and hope that that they are ahead when the final whistle goes.
There appears to be no Plan B.
We were tearing them a new one at this point with some really crisp passing around the edge of the box, they’ve got almost no clue when it comes to taking the ball through the middle, and are always looking for a route out wide. Cesc had a ton of space. It was as if he was invisible to them. Literally no Red Scouse within twenty yards of him, Robertson going up to try and cover, meaning that Moses was then left to roam the right hand side. Like tits in a trance, discipline wise, were they in the run up to half time.
Point proven on 35 minutes when Cesc made not a blistering run, because this is Cesc, but a nicely accelerated jog into the box and almost nailed a second on a narrow angle. He had it past Brigette Nielsen but it was just wide. I was ready to decapitate Taylor when he blew his whistle on 38 minutes on the edge of our box, but then bizarrely he gave a free kick against some little Egyptian bloke and booked him for diving when we were expecting him to shaft us. Not only that, but he then booked Clyne for a foul on Alonso. We’d made it to half time in one piece, and in that far corner of The Shed the smuggery had been somewhat silenced.
They came out like they were running from the law in the second half. But we were not about to be caught short. For what seemed like 5 hilarious minutes at the time, we enjoyed Hazard mocking them by refusing to give up the ball, resulting in a near attempt for us. They'd actually half ripped his shirt off. Some more exquisite passing led to another effort, but Kante's shot is still sitting on the roof of the shopping centre. Taylor made a pigs ear out of his job again. And Conte got told off for pointing this out after a shoddy foul went unpunished. Which prompted this exchange where we were:
“Who did that?”
“Robertson. The one that's furthest away from the crime now over there.”
“They teach this manoeuvre to everyone in the land of Scouse.”
We almost doubled our lead on 55 minutes after a narrow cross, before a Rudiger goal was chalked off moments later as offside. Clyne went off before he got sent off, and on came Henderson with his creepy face that looks like it’s been moulded out of play-doh. A tame shot on the hour was spilled by Brigitte Nielsen, but there was nobody on hand to pounce on it, before Moses ran almost the entire length of the pitch (whilst being fouled) and got nothing from Taylor, who no doubt was having a code piped into his ear to invoke Operation Benefit Cheque - that point in every game when they face adversity and cards and free kicks start inexplicably being given in the Red Scouse’s favour to try and help them over the line.
That Egyptian bloke went down easy in the box on 65. They were crying for a penalty, except him, because he was already on a yellow and he knew better. Rudiger sent an attempt over the bar, whilst we all amused ourselves with singing Your Support is F*cking Sh*t and another round of Slippy G bashing just for giggles. One of them was taking his clothes off and waving them at us. Perhaps he intended to return them to their rightful owner.
On 71 Bakaloco dug the ball out from a dicey situation and set Hazard away, but the final cross that came back into him from The Beard was off in height. Look who it is with fifteen minutes to go. Solanke, who went to Liverpool for more money in wages than he had ever earned and because he thought everyone would see how awesome he was. Klippity Klopp now had four up front and the game had started opening up. We were so deep at this point that it was actually terrifying. Chelsea players booked for time-wasting. Oh the comic irony. All at the behest of “Hendo” wailing like a spoiled brat at the referee. Alonso responded to his yellow with what was almost goal of the season, a stunning volley from a narrow angle that flew just wide across the face of goal. Does anyone in the league volley better than George Michael?
They came close to an equaliser on 83 when everyone bricked it for fifteen of the longest seconds of our lives until Courtois had got both hands firmly around the ball. Willian was ready to come on, if the ball ever went out of play. I barely noticed, because I was ranting too hard about how Milner had managed to evade a card for the entire duration of this game. Their best chance to score probably came from Solanke, who rewarded the trust put in him with a sh*t header. He did not get a good reception today. We got Zappacosta tfor Victor, who had run his legs off and made the most hilariously slow exit I think I’ve seen since the days of Bosingwa and his monobrow. Cesc too was wasted after a massive effort and was replaced by Pesto for the final few minutes. By the time we reached four minutes of injury time Van Dijk had gone up too, so that the Scouse were playing with five up top. Ah, so that’s Plan B. It was not going to be their day. Beating them is fun, but there is nothing better than beating them when they are bleating on about some perceived injustice when they have had so much given to them by officials over the years that has been criminal.
So: We have provided you with a blueprint for how to beat the cretins, Real. Use it wisely. And spare us all.
Not one of our players had a bad game today. Every one of them showed up. Kante was exemplary. (Not when he was shooting) When you’re my height and you win everything in the air, you deserve praise. Bakaloco was a monster today, and had what might just have been his best game so far in a Chelsea shirt. All three at the back were disciplined and bailed us out on separate occasions. Rudiger was the best of them. He absolutely destroyed that Egyptian bloke, so much so that he went and told Rudi so as soon as the final whistle went. Our centre back mowed down everyone this afternoon like a rhino who's spent a night doing bucket sized jagerbombs laced with ketamine. Firminho was basically invisible with Mane the only one that really saw any of the ball in terms of going forward convincingly. Hazard got the standing ovation he deserved when he was subbed, because he was unplayable for much of today. Alexander-Arnold got completely schooled by him. Courtois was nigh on faultless at the back, Clyne could not get near Alonso all afternoon and Cesc used every inch of space they stupidly gave him to put in a great performance. And Conte deserves much credit too. This was much more like the bloke we fell in love with last season. I just wish he’d been around more this season.
It's easier to be running down a team ahead with two games to go than it is to hold your nerve. Especially when that team tryinf to do that is Sp*rs. Who excel at collapsing like a child’s step ladder under the weight of Sam Allardyce at any given opportunity. Dare to dream, yes, that we may sucker punch them down into the Europa League and make them cry, rendering that smug once in a generation win at the Bridge totally useless. But don't lose track of the two victories we need to be in with a chance of doing it. We are not in the top four with two games to go because we p*ssed it up the wall in games we should have won. That we get to cause them some angst and possibly turf them or even the Scouse out of the Champions League spots is a massive bonus with which to entertain ourselves on the run in. But we have no chance if we don’t win, and though I like to think we are in a much better place lately, based on our showings this season we could quite easily roll over for Huddersfield midweek if we don't stay focused.
*Picture of a happy Beard comes from Chelsea's website.
Chelsea 2 Southampton 0
FA Cup Semi Final, Sunday 22nd April 2018 15:00
In the News: I would sincerely like it if the grim reaper would take a step back from Chelsea legends. Roy Bentley fell asleep this week. Captain, Champion, family man, gent; gone to have a kick about with Ray and the rest. You will be missed.
But it’s only been five minutes since the last game so what to say?
Well. Whinger. After claiming that he’s not worried about thousands of empty seats at the Emirates because they sell out every game (Let’s not point out that this means people hate watching his team play so much that they pay and then STILL don't go) he's chucked in he towel after 22 years. There will be a big hole left behind, I mean for the last decade in terms of a sure thing so far as amusement was concerned and the knowledge that at least one club was always worse off than you. But it was go or be lynched I think. And there was the faintest rumour that Benitez might replace him amongst the Red Swarm. Oh, but if only wishing made it so.
Man United having signed Pogba for £90m + him having proven he was massively overpriced = them believing that they will now be able to get £140m for him. Not. A. Chance. Although in fairness, half of this might be Chequebook Pulis using his massive, rainy day, severance pay fund that he has amassed over the years to make him go away. And the Fleetwood Chairman insists he’s not giving Joey Barton the manager’s job as a publicity stunt. So he’s just a moron then.
The Others: Yesterday. Wembley.
Ok. I’ll stop now.
Or maybe not. 8 semi-final losses in a row. Still no silverware. Podgettino still saying they’ve come on as a side. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahaa.
“The FA Cup? Is it going to change our lives? I don’t believe so,” says Podge beforehand. They’ve won two league cups since 1991. I can’t imagine that was what their fans wanted to hear. But then they’re mainly dicks so who cares.
My favourite part? It’s a toss up between sitting at Waterloo last night, pointing and laughing at anyone in a white shirt and Slippy G on TV criticising them for having a weak underbelly and not being able to get over the line. Ok. one more.
Us: Big Willy gets the nod in goal. Nice, this is his competition after all. Still no place for Christensen, Emerson continues to deputise for Alonso. Fabregas trades places with Bakayoko and Little Willy and Hazard return at the expense of Pesto (whatever, autospell) and Morata. (Ouch)
Them: Ex-Blues Romeu and Champions League winner Bertrand feature. Bared my teeth a bit at the little rat face of Shane Long. I don’t know why, but every time I see him open his mouth, I’m surprised he’s got teeth. Then I saw Charlie Austin, started perving and didn’t get any further than that. I can’t hate them, but then I saw Mark Hughes’s face as he stole a living doing his pre-match interview and wanted to crush him like a flea wearing a Sp*rs shirt.
Sunshine at Wembley. Our last chance of silverware this season. And they owed us a good showing after the final last year. Conte had apparently told them to play live they’ve got fire in their eyes. Let’s hope that they don't take it too literally and run around with them shut, clutching their face. Because that would be like… well like watching us for a lot of this season. First blood to Hazard after four minutes after a one-two with The Beard. He hit it so well and the keeper was done, but it just drifted wide. My beloved Charlie had a half chance at the other end before we burst forward on the break, led again by Eden. Ball goes out to Little Willy who cuts inside and you’re expecting him to bury it; but it cracked the bar. Good stuff so far. First ten minutes was all us. Great ball in from Fabregas on 11 but some good defending blocked it off from Hazard. On 12 it was The Beard trying to get a shot off after a great takedown but then tying himself up in knots. One way traffic.
And yet we hadn’t had a shot on target. And they began to come back into the game. But at least it hadn’t been a clusterf*ck of ineptitude like the opening spell against them a couple of weeks ago. Relatively easy save for Big Willy on 24, which at least let us know he wasn’t asleep. Hazard was bright, he got some good little exchanges with The Beard going. Rudi looked up for it at the back. Already some really nice touches from Emerson, but we really needed to make them pay. Half an hour had passed now. The longer it went on like this, the more likely we’d be to crap our pants and do something stupid, like concede just before half time.
Great corner (No I haven’t been sniffing glue) from us on 32, flicked on by Dave but then it skimmed across the box and there was no blue head to plant on it. Ball from Cesc on 38, horrible angle for The Beard who better that you would have hoped with making a shot of it, but it went wide and lay on the pitch screaming in frustration. Seconds later cross into the box from Emerson but Moses was lagging behind coming in on the back post and another half chance went begging. We had not conceded a single foul, that should tell you something about the domination in the first half. No added time either. Their service in to My Charlie and Long had been woeful. And yet behold how we are not winning. I’m not sulking yet. But if it’s still like this after an hour then expect this write up to get fighty.
And THE BEARD DOES IT AGAIN! Right from the kick off, Cesc ball in, Hazard pulls it over to the beautiful lump and he winds past FIVE of their team as they all trip over each other like bellends. 28 seconds of the half gone. On 47 Southampton were calling for a penalty but it was a great effort from Cesc, then a swift break, Hazard shot, just wide. More entertaining so far than the whole of the first half. On 53 We almost blew it, great ball from My Charlie through to that little git Long, whose first touch was about as subtle as Allardyce at a buffet table. But they did seem to have suddenly woken up, though I couldn’t help thinking that that means we are going to smash them on the break.
Until they tried to kill The Beard. And failed. They looked ready to crumble after play resumed. Needed to take advantage quick. Not what we usually do. Which is miss multiple opportunities, let it stay at 1-0 and then concede at a really awkward moment. Hughes attempted to look like he actually earns his money by getting Redmond and Tadic after an hour. Willian leaves for Bakayoko, shaking his head, slower than Bosingwa at his timewasting best and goes straight down the tunnel. Blues not happy. Booing. Conte’s trying to shore the midfield up but it’s gone down like a lead balloon tied to Charlie Adam’s ankle.
They came close from a corner on 67 and they looked like a different side now. If it goes wrong from here Antonio might as well rock up by the Osgood statue at the Bridge, pull his pants down and just wait for anyone involved with Chelsea to line up and boot him up the a*se. Because nobody will care about the logic in his substitution. And behold. 72 minutes. Somehow Big Willy goes over the line with the ball. But apparently My Charlie shoved him it over with his a*se. Oh to have been Caballero at that point. Refwatch: Martin Atkinson. He booked three players for fouls on Hazard. I don’t think I’ve seen a referee actually do his job like this, well, ever. After that goal/not goal for Austin they will think they just can’t get a break at the moment. (In the words of Frank Lampard, you might as well het the goalkeeper a VIP rope and a bouncer) But I like to focus solely on the happy fact that Atkinson took a massive sh*t on Hughes’s weekend
74 and Pesto came on for Cesc. Two minutes later a cross came in from Eden and a Southampton player somehow scooped it just onto the roof of the net. Then on 79 Morata finally got some pitch time, The Beard having done his job for the day. And fair play to Morata. Within a minute and a half, basically his first touch, goal. He needed that after Thursday. Dave doing what he does best, setting up his mate for a header.
They were almost back in it on 83 with a miracle shot from My Charlie, but he cracked the post, back up the other end and we nearly stung them on the counter but that Dutch bloke of theirs cleared it off the line after Morata scuffed his shot. By 85 he could have been on a hatrick, but let’s not split hairs. We’re going through comfortably. 86 minutes and Charlie had yet another effort at the other end. He was looking a very frustrated bunny now. Into the first of five minutes of added time we went. Loads of empty seats at the red end of Wembley now, and the fizz gone out of the game. Dutch bloke who cleared it off the line almost scored an own goal, but 2-0 it remained.
So: Chequebook Pulis at Wembley it is in the final. There were a few minutes, when Willian went off and they weren’t allowed a goal, when Antonio could have looked like a prize dickhead. But football sometimes turns on moments like this and today it turned in his favour to take him to his second consecutive FA Cup Final, which isn’t exactly sh*t is it? Giroud is unbeaten at Wembley. He says it’s like his garden. Overall we were the better side, but they could have put a spanner in the works several times throughout the course of it. I don’t want them to go down, it’s a good day out. We’re still in a position to salvage something from this season. I anticipate the price list for final tickets and the pitiful small amount of them available to actual fans with joy. At least our season now ends with a Wembley day out and not a 2000 mile round trip to the northeast.
*Picture of a happy beard comes from Chelsea's official website
Burnley 1 Chelsea 2
Thursday (What. The. F*ck?) 19th April 2018 19:45
Burnley. It basically looks as depressing as “Sterk,” but the locals don’t eat their young.
Southampton 2 Chelsea 3: The nay-sayers had to take it back. Yes Janice (muppet alias) I’m talking to you. I was giving a lecture about monarchy and the Great War entitled “Georgie, Willy and Nicky” which implies I may have used puppets. Part of me wishes that I had been there to witness the meltdown at 2-0. But then perhaps not. Only two players have scored more goals per minute this season than The Beard. Salah (never heard of him) and Aguero.
In the News: Lo and behold the FA exact the maximum punishment on a Chelsea player and give a three match ban to Alonso. I wouldn’t object if certain other teams didn’t just have all of this sh*t routinely swept under the carpet. Ben. Davies. A yellow card? Ridiculous. Another slew of managers linked with us. I’m still leading the cry for Eddie Howe. Just because it’d be funny to see the nappy sh*tters implode and because I’ve had to google all the others. Are we going to get Rudi back today? After asking the question that we have been screaming from the stands all season. Just why do we fall back after we’ve gone ahead and invite teams to score? I suppose David Luiz will at least have had someone to keep him company scrubbing the urinals at Cobham with a toothbrush this week. Rearrange the words: nose your off cutting to face your spite. And Conte’s press conference was interrupted by his phone ringing. His wife. At least it forced him to crack a smile.
I can’t keep up with the emotional rollercoaster that is the life of Paul Pogba. One minute he’s a footballing god, then he’s supposed to be getting booted out with more force than Allardyce attacking a pizza delivery boy. Combine that with the IQ of a flea and no wonder he trips out and attacks his own head with clippers. Pip Squeakiola hints he needs more money spent on him this summer. Because he’s only had half a billion and didn’t buy him all of the trophies he wanted. Supercoach my a*se. Just a couple a hundred million if you are dumb enough to believe the Red Swarm. But then again if they really are going to spend it on the likes of Mahrez then as you were. Conversely, Podgettino thinks he can win without spending any money. It’s not all about money, he says. How did that work out for you this season, skippy? My prediction was that if they won nothing this season their players would be off. Now I’m not sure, they’ve already won one cup final at ours and who can possibly put a price on the excitement of winning the FA Cup for the first time in 300 years. Heady times indeed. The three wise men are at it again. Keown praises special talent Shelvey. Insists he will fit will well into the England squad. Someone has been on the funny fags again. Oh Martin. Martin. The fact that he is a fit for the England squad doesn’t mean he has arrived. It means that England’s prospects are now so dire that they will let anyone in. I’m pretty sure if I could get a pair of gloves on Bertie’s giant clown paws, he’d get a go in goal. You thought our woes with VAR were bad over here. In the Bundesliga the referee dragged the players back out of the dressing room for a penalty at half time. And got a ton of bog roll thrown at him for his trouble. And ladies and gentlemen I give you Russian football, our World Cup hosts. Where a muzzled bear was dragged out to deliver the match ball and clap for fans before a game last week.
The Others: Sp*rs have dropped five points out of the last six. Ha. But I’m not going to get excited until we’ve proved ourselves to be semi-competent. Which is asking a lot. L’Arse are the only side in the top four divisions not to have got a point away from home this year. #WengerIn. Oh no but WAIT. There might be an even BETTER eventually. Benitez to Arsenal? That would be the most exciting thing to happen in the transfer window if you’re a Chelsea fan since we signed Torres from the Red Scouse and they went into complete meltdown and started burning their own shirts and telling their kids he’d died. (I still maintain it was worth £50m just to see this epidemic of hilarious/disturbing nappy sh*tting)
Them: Aaron Lennon? Ahahahaha. I completely forgot that they beat us. That’s how long this season feels. If Sean Dyche could keep his interviews as short as possible. It unnerves me the way he sounds like he is massacring his throat with a cheese grater when he speaks.
Us: Six changes made, just as the door has been left slightly ajar on the top four. Against a team who have won five on the trot. Excellent. Hazard and Willian given a breather. Joy. But Rudi is off the naughty step. Emerson gets his first start has to deputise for Alonso. But hang on a minute. Two strikers. For the first time since 2011 apparently. But you’ll never please us lot. Cahill and Bakayoko both start, so that’ll give the nappy sh*tters plenty to moan about.
So 3-5-2, Interesting. Unlike the opening ten minutes of this match. First flashpoint came after seven when The Beard tried to make the most of going down in the box. Not a penalty. A good run by Morata followed, but his shot came via a very narrow angle. It might have been on the way in at the far post but he’d have been lucky to beat this goalkeeper I’ve never heard of, but who apparently is the best England have got, from there. At this point we’d had the best of the play, the possession and attempts. Which you will know if you have watched most of our games this season means absolutely nothing. I think I unwittingly took a nap because I closed my eyes and when I opened them again the clock had reached eighteen minutes. Don’t get me wrong. This is not the horror show that Southampton was in the first half, but it was about as interesting as watching Michael Owen commentating on watching paint dry. Until for once we profited from someone else’s f*ckwittery. Moses fights his way through, gets a cross (cue jokes about fainting) off and Kevin Long does the hospitable thing and puts the ball in the back of the net. 0-1.
Blues singing that awful We’ve Won it All
Them singing You F*cked it Up
Get what you deserve when you sing that
We had a free kick on 27 minutes on the outside of the box thanks to some bloke with jug ears who looks like a reject from a mid-90s boy band. Apparently he even plays for England. Who doesn’t, it seems? Pesto (f*ck you autospell) goes for the near post an misses. Two minutes later suddenly the game had turned. A long ball into the box for them and they started screaming for a penalty. p*ss off. A half chance shortly afterwards too, but thankfully the ball rolled comfortably into Thibaut’s arms. Suddenly they looked more likely to get forward. Anyone familiar with this tale of woe? But let it not be said that I am a pessimist. We had survived half an hour without conceding a goal at Burnley. Let’s just ignore the fact that they have scored less goals at home than any other side in the country. Jug Ears is trying to aggressively fondle Gary Cahill in the box, when he’s on a yellow. Nothing will happen.
Not much more to shout about in the first half. A great break from Pesto on 37. He was getting so much space thanks to the Giroud/Morata combination. Can you imagine if that was Eden in there? He surged forward and narrowly missed getting it on the end of a striker’s foot. Burnley were getting sulky now. They thought they were hard done by. I’d think I was hard done by if I lived in Burnley too. Refwatch: I think their behaviour was deplorable and that Bobby Madley is a fine referee. They may have scored our goal, but we deserved to be ahead. They hadn’t even fashioned a shot on or off target. They’d looked nearly as flaccid and sad than Trump if he woke up and found that someone had nicked his wig.
46 seconds into the second half and they had made more of an impact on our goal than at all in the first 45. Still no shot though. Beer had not cheered their moany fans up at half time. Burnley fans. BURNLEY, moaning every time you touch one of their players. Or calling for a handball. I’ve seen everything now. They had their first corner of the match on 52, but the high ball in was plucked (I hate that word, almost as much as I hate the word moist) by Thibaut from amidst a cluster of players. Oh dear Alvaro. Kante nicks the ball in them midfield on 54. The Beard busting a gut going with him, two against one, doesn’t want to pass, one on one with the keeper. Misses. Sigh. Watch that come back to bite us in the a*se.
On 57 Pesto was away but got pushed out wide, before Jug Ears clatters The Beard. Appears to just have a free pass to commit fouls tonight. Another break came via Pesto and Moses just after the hour but the shot was tame. And then, having squandered numerous chances to extend our lead, the home team go and score. 1-1. Same sh*t, different day. Who makes the flags? I want a blue flag, with a white silhouette of a subbuteo player shooting itself in the foot to commemorate this season.
Emerson forced a block with a long range shot on 67, nothing doing, but then with substitutes waiting to come on, in skitters Victor Moses. Cross misses the strikers and falls to him on the right of the box and England’s No.1, whoever he is, can’t get down to it in time. 1-2. Get in. But still Eden is going to come on. Willy sits back down. Morata not a happy bunny. Smashing things up on the bench whilst Fabregas tries to hug it out with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get mad before. I won’t lie. I was a bit turned on. I want to see him get mad. I want to see him fuming. Speaking of, Conte hadn’t shut up all night either. Good man. Burnley made a change too. I’d joke about not knowing who Sam Vokes is, but he’s the one that kicked our a*se at The Bridge.
75 gone and we don’t look like losing. Which is of course fatal as far as we are concerned. Pesto could have sealed it on 81 with a long shot that sent the keeper the wrong way, but Jug Ears got in the way. Zappacosta on for Emerson, who did really well tonight considering that was his first league start in a year. Hazard had kept the ball brilliantly since his introduction and was mocking the Burnley defenders as they fought to get it off him. At one point it was seven on one. They did get in our box on 87, but Barnes’s header couldn’t find Vokes.
Ball nicked by Kante on 88, three on three, but then we ended up dicking about on the touchline. As injury time ticked down, Sean Dyche was seemingly angry about something, but I was so mesmerised by how badly his ginger stubbled head clashed with his purple tie I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. No drama in extra time. Three points.
So: We’d never lost at Burnley before tonight and I saw nothing of the team that has made its way to seventh in the league and is trying to finish above L’Arse. Thankfully. But then they appeared to be relying on Aaron Lennon running about with his jazz hands to do something magical. So I’m not sure they deserved any better. What I did see was a professional Chelsea side getting the job done, which was a bit of a mind f*ck. First time we’ve won back to back games in the league since December. Check us out. Solid performances from a few of the nappy sh*tters’ whipping boys tonight too: Cahill, Bakayoko, Moses. And although Morata’s miss made me want to kick things, at least for once he showed some kind of emotion about being disappointed with his performance. Use it.
5 points behind Sp*rs. Deficit halved in a week. Obviously I’d like to mow them down from behind like a tank driven by an angry gorilla amped on special k, but at least we haven’t rolled over and died. We’ll see.
*Picture of Pesto/Moses bromance comes from Chelsea's official site