Chelsea 2 (2) Sp*rs 1 (2) Chelsea win 5-3 on penalties
Carabao Cup Semi-Final Second Leg
Thursday 22nd January 19:45
I left you guys for eight days and I come back to a scene from the end of a f*cking Tarantino film.
6,000 rounds of spent ammunition and a bloodbath on the floor of the dressing room.
Chelsea 2 Newcastle 1: So this started (when I was bobbing about on the Indian Ocean) as you’d expect and Pedro Pony put us ahead. Then we went all Chelsea and conceded, before Willian, who had inevitably been slated by everybody all afternoon went and scored a winner near the end. A more predictable day in the life of Chelsea you could not have dreamt up. So I resumed introducing myself to all manner of male giant land tortoises in their 90s that found me utterly irresistible and spent a week chasing me (slowly) about various islands.
Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0: I was all ready to blog from the novelty of 40,000 feet, somewhere over Europe on a 283 degree heading on an Emirates A380-800. For they show live football. Huzzah. The down side? The coverage included Ian Wright. Bearer of the pettiest, loudest and most grammatically incorrectly articulated grudge in football because we sold his stepson. Surely being able to speak in proper English should be a prerequisite for television. The two small people who had been balling every since our second plane departed Dubai five hours before actually displayed more maturity, and made more sense. And I wanted to smother them less.
Ten points from our last four league games. (Though largely while boring the pants off the fans) Win this and we were nine clear of them in the hunt for the coveted Champions League spots. Easy. Right? No. Because it is us. We got beaten up by f*cking Arsenal. Like getting bitch-slapped by your nan.
We nearly f*cked it up less than thirty seconds in, and again before a minute had elapsed. Jorginho and Luiz the culprits. This became a theme. Two minutes of play and we’d only touched the ball to give it away. Then we would absolutely have been behind after three if Aubameyang could kick a football. It barely got better. Off the line from Koscielny after 12 minutes. Epic save from Kepa after Rudi lost his man in the box. I’m slightly concerned I may have been marooned in the Indian Ocean longer than I thought, looking at his mega-beard. Then we almost scored an own goal, meaning it was hardly surprising given what we had witnessed so far when Lacazette put them ahead a few seconds later.
So this was the version of Chelsea that turned up for this one. God help me now I could hear two screaming brats and smug Gooners in stereo. High balls into the box for players almost as short as me, all the impetus of Sam Allardyce on a treadmill and we still looked sadly fragile when they broke. Then it was two. And I decided to invest as much in this game as Chelsea and switched it off to watch the camera taped to the underside of the plane approach the runway at Gatwick. Not a single shot on target did I miss as a result. In the entire game. Then there was the thoroughly Chelsea fallout of a manager complaining about his players to the press. Classy. No, it’s not all your fault, but your high seven figure salary surely puts motivating personnel somewhere in your remit. Much like having a Plan B.
Transfer B*llocks: Incoming is Higuain. Is it the best signing ever? No. Is it a signing that promises much because he already has a bond with the manager and knows exactly what is expected of him? Yes. If he is willing to give it everything and not bitch and whine like certain predecessors. Even if he is but a temporary fix though, fear not, for we are trailing Zeneli - a much vaunted forward who is soon to be out of contract and whom we can pick up for as little as £5m from Heerenveen. I’ll leave you to ponder that one.
On the outgoing side, Cesc made an emotional goodbye speech in the dressing room before bidding England goodbye to go an join Henry at Monaco. Then Henry got fired. Considering his last ditch attempt to save his skin was to try and Fail-lani on loan it is hardly surprising, is it? Bayern still won’t f*ck off re Hudson-Odoi. To the extent that we are considering reporting them for tapping up. They’ve apparently offered him a “staggering 85k a week.” Not staggering by Chelsea standards. If the club wanted to keep him, they would match that without a second thought. Which apparently they have and he has turned it down. Sigh.
Morata edges closer to the door. Simeone reckons he can toughen him up. Good luck with that. I look at him and think “would he have my back if we got mugged in an alley?” I’m not sure which one of us would be running away screaming the loudest. Call me old fashioned but its not appealing in a bloke. He was basically dead to me after the shot of him drying his wife’s hair. Do we really want a man in the shirt who lacks even the motivation to take his f*cking Christmas tree down? And then jokes about how it can be there till the summer because he won’t be around? Can I say what I really think now or do I have to wait till we actually sell him down the line before I take him to task for being a sulky little bitch-baby? Sod off back to Spain and take your revolting attitude and your massive piles of money with you. Lord knows what he would have been like if he’d been dealt a normal hand at life and actually had to work massive hours to fund a roof over his head and/or feed his kids. You’d have found him lying on the floor of NatWest crying at the mortgage broker, or sitting next to his battered car on the M25 just shrugging his shoulders at passers by in the hope that someone would take pity on him and give him a new one. What a sap. For this bloke to stay and impress me now at Chelsea would take a bigger turn around than Bobby Ewing coming back to life in Dallas. I have little patience in the first place, and it has long been exhausted.
In the News: Awful, terrible events somewhere near the Channel Islands with what is surely now the loss Cardiff’s new signing and the father of four flying the plane. Hope has dwindled into despair by now, but the family very much don’t want people talking as if he is dead until they have something tangible to prove it. Big Pete retires at the end of the season after 15 years in the Premier League. What an absolute treasure he has been, whatever shirt he has been wearing. Consummate professional, ambassador for the game. His presence as a player will be missed by all with a true appreciation of the game and I hope he stays involved.
Solskjaer is set to move out of the Lowry already - at a cost of a mere £18k. Chequebook Pulis’s bill? A snip at £537,000. Even more expensive, Sanchez's goals are clocking in at £6m each at the moment. Bargain. The new in thing for combating muscle cramps appears to be pickle juice. There is footage of it being forced down Torreira’s throat at our game last weekend. Who was drinking pickle juice to figure that out in the first place? Footballers are notoriously stupid - what else can we make them drink by attaching some vague and intangible medical benefit to it? And happily some old faces have returned to the country. Ashley Cole has joined Frank Lampard’s Derby County (TM) and Mikel is now at Boro.
Us: Apparently there was a clear the air summit after the Arse debacle. F*ck off. There is never any clear air around Sarri - just a fug of stale nicotine. But whatever did happen resulted in the players taking to social media to tell us how up for this they were. The big surprise was the omission of Alonso for Emerson, but much welcomed, for you can’t maintain a run of form that bad and remain in the side. Barkley started over Willian, and we had a striker. Which is newsworthy indeed.
Them: They had three injuries. Three. Not the thirty the press would have you believe in making excuses for them. And a slender lead going into the second half of this tie thanks to the fact that VAR is a f*cking catastrophe.
View from the West Stand for me, because those horrible gits were in our seats. The beginning was scrappy but at least we looked like we fancied having a go, which is never a given at the moment. Having been incapable of fashioning attempts on goal against L’Arse, it only took Pedro Pony three minutes to get us stuck in. Only took Lamela three minutes to remind everyone he’s a nasty little sh*t too, with some leftovers on Luiz. Cardworthy, but not if your name is Martin Atkinson, and you are a bellend who is going to spend the whole match choking on his whistle.
Another cynical foul from Eric Dire followed, the first of countless infractions by football’s answer to Frankenstein’s monster. I can actually see Podgettino in the basement at Wembley with an industrial sewing machine and cast off body parts stitching him together. It would explain the expression. Shame the brain he is using once belonged to a squirrel. I don’t mind a referee letting a game flow, but if you’re going to let that sack of sh*t kick us up and down with impunity, then we best be getting away with leaving something on them too. The visitors were barely doing what was necessary to stay one goal clear of us. They had hardly even been in our box, let alone attempted to score, so when Kante triple-nutmegged them and smashed us ahead it was not in the least bit unexpected. Have that, tossers.
So far we’d had them by the balls. Ben Davies limped off after half an hour to be replaced by Rose, which prompted a massed cry of: “He cried when we drew, Danny Rose, he cried when we drew.” Then we really socked it to them thanks to a bit of magic from Eden. I was beginning to feel reasonably good about this, which of course is the kiss of death for Chelsea. We should even have made it three before the break. The keeper was nowhere against Hazard on 38, and then a couple of minutes later Pedro Pony was in, but he just overplayed it. The only thing Sp*rs had been effective at in the first 45 minutes was fouling us. And not getting punished for it. If Atkinson was keeping tabs, then it would have taken nothing short of Hazard driving a Ben-Hur style chariot onto the field complete with spinning blades and severing Dire’s legs at the knees before he’d have been able to justify showing us a yellow card. Penalty shout before the whistle went. Just outside the box, and Atkinson didn’t give it anyway. Then a further golden opportunity to finish them off came when Pedro Pony was away, but he ended up channeling Solomon Kalou and running round in circles until he confused himself and nearly fell over. 2-0 it was at halftime.
It looked promising for the opening seconds after the break, with a shot propelled into the arms of their keeper. Straight up the other end though and a rare Sp*d attempt was shanked well over the bar. Then, being Chelsea, we went and conceded a stupid goal. F*cking Llorente. Who hasn’t played a game of football since Alan Shearer had hair. The Beard was in on 51 to set us clear again, but nothing doing. They were time wasting already, and Atkinson suddenly started brandishing yellow cards about as if his life depended on it. But only if you were wearing blue. If you make the likes of Kante angry you need to take yourself off and do some serious f*cking self examination. Thanks to the f*ckwittery of the officials and our infinite capacity to make our lives difficult, the game descended towards end to end carnage for a while. “It’s so quiet at the Bridge,” they sang. Not as f*cking quiet as it is at Wait Hart Lane. Do any of you even remember how to get there? I set myself on a mission to try and get everyone around me to sing: “There’s no lights on, at the Lane,” but they were all too busy swearing at the referee. It took him until the 73rd minute to finally produce a card against a Sp*rs player. Which got just about the biggest, most ironic cheer of the night so far. Hazard came close to putting the tie to bed on 73, before Willian came on for Pedro Pony. Highlight of my night? As if Aurier wasn’t void of decency enough given that the police have had words with him about assaulting his girlfriend, he tried to kill his own teammate. Shame. Watching them clatter in to each other, then us ignoring it because it wasn’t a head injury was amusing. Not so much watching Sissoko depart the pitch slower than Bosingwa with a bullet in each knee cap.
A nervy final few minutes, unless you were Emerson, for he was full of bombing forward and crossing the ball into the box. One of his efforts was so nearly met by The Beard that it hurt. Jorginho gave the ball away in a frankly terrifying position, which is all he’ll be remembered for in that game, but we survived. And he was good. The less said about Willian’s effort in injury time the better. And so we went straight to penalties.
Eriksen - little rat-faced turd.
Willian - First up, after that last attempt? Ok. I forgive him
Lamela - cheating b*stard
Dave - This made me nervous, but he was emphatic.
Then up strolled Dire, with his ambling gait and the physique of a darts player. Both eyes facing in different directions and neither really focused on anything in particular as he concentrated deathly hard on remembering to breathe in and out. Miss. That, you scumbag, was for every last foul you got away with. Or in the words of my one Gooner friend texting me like his fingers were on fire, “HAVE THAT YOU LEGO-HEADED C*NT!”
Jorginho risked being ripped apart for costing us anything by stepping up for the third, but his penalty was a complete, nonchalant p*ss take and never in doubt.
Moura - seems to have aged 30 years since going to North London. Save from Kepa. Get in.
Luiz hits the winner. Of course he does. Anyone who watched him smash one on on leg in Munich wouldn’t have doubted him for a second.
So: Emerson deserves to keep his spot. Well done Barkley. What a shame RLC has been injured for this run of fixtures. Sp*rs have now failed to progress in five of their last six semi finals. Three of them against us. Happy days. Higuain has made more finals in six hours of being in England than any of them in the last decade. “Injury hit” they’ve called them in every match report. You haven’t got your main striker? Ours has been AWOL for about a year. We named Lucas Piazon on the bench. I’d forgotten he even existed. Get out of it you Sp*rsy, lightweight chumps. Let’s hope that none of the delay on the new stadium has been because they’ve been installing a trophy cabinet.
Sp*rs 1 Chelsea 0
Carabao Cup Semi-Final
Tuesday 8th January 2019 20:00
In the News:
Sheffield Wednesday or Luton for us in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Klopp is blaming the wind for the Red Scouse’s hilarious early exit. I blame the fact that you didn’t give a sh*t, that you clearly thought it was beneath you to take the game seriously because you’re so sure that the league and the Champions League are both within your reach and the fact that Wolves were better than you. Bellend.
Of all the TV pundits right now, I think I’d like to punt Jermaine Jenas into a vat of steaming sewage the most. With a nose clip on to ensure that his mouth is open. What a irritating tosser he is. How did he convince the media world that he was either high profile, or cognisant enough to provide football analysis for millions of people? There has to have been a Harvey Weinsteinesque blow job or two in there. He must have been blowing Sky Sports execs till his jaw ached because there was no way that boy’s talent, or lack of, was getting him anywhere. If he has a gag reflex left I’ll be stunned and if he played football as effortlessly as he yaps sh*t he might have been someone. Trash-talking Chelsea again. He has spent the week telling Callum Hudson-Odoi to go to Bayern, and now it is: “Eden Hazard has outgrown Chelsea and should leave.” Not as quick as Willian outgrew Sp*rs. Eh? Before he’d even got off their private jet. And says the man who could barely get on the Sp*rs bench when they were bumbling around mid-table and then retired at 25. F*ck and off.
And Mark Clattenburg has once again been regaling with us with the story of how the Battle of the Bridge was the hardest game he ever had to referee. Last four times we’ve played them now. He’s like Uncle f*cking Albert. And Podgettino said he was going to approach this “smart and naughty.” The rest of us call it: “cheating.”
Them: F*ck them.
Us: Morata last minute injury, which left us with a false nine and a dubiously fit Beard on the bench. All the clamour, though, was around the fact that CHO got a start in a notable semi-final. A well-deserved start.
We survived the first minute; Huzzah. Promising early signs, even though it took them all of two minutes to try and get a penalty by cheating. The first effort from the slobbering moron was solidly saved by Kepa on 4, but we were by no means cowed and pathetic like the last time out. We were using width, and playing with intent, in fact we could even be described as bright - especially CHO. Usually a first leg like this would be cagey and dull, but straight away it was not.
At this point they were booing Alonso (whose only crime against them is to be better than them) and Willian every time they touched the ball. Sad f*ckers are going to run out of breath quick. Shame.
Not only we were better than November, but they were a lot less committed than the opening spell of the league game that saw us trampled. The Diving Little Sh*t, for example was far less harassing so far as Jorginho was concerned. I was glad to see, too, that we have finally learned to hustle that little f*cker in the box in order to not let him score.
We were the better side all night. A shot from Barkley went over on 17 minutes, a long range effort from Hazard a couple of minutes later was better, but still no cigar. Then along came VAR. I’m not seething with rage about it, I’m not about to do a Scouse and start a f*cking petition or demand the game is replayed, but it is stupid and frustrating.
Firstly the linesmen have been told to still put the flag up.
This means defenders stop. As defenders have stopped since football was a load of medieval farmers kicking a pigs bladder about and the flag was made from the flayed skin of a Scotsman.
Someone with a less than ideal view, diagonal, then overrides the Lino on the spot. When it isn’t any clearer on the screen.
Now, Michael Oliver is regarded as our top referee. It’s why he was there last night instead of Jonathon f*cking Moss.
And yet the referees are apparently being “discouraged” from going over to the screen because of how long it takes.
So in all, on a not clear call in a match of huge importance, the officials on the spot were overridden by men not chosen to be there, watching it on television like the rest of us.
And with less than adequate footage. Because if Chelsea have footage from the halfway line, and not a vague cut across, then why do they not?
This cannot become the norm.
I can’t believe how many pundits have claimed Kepa should have been sent off. Surely KNOWING THE RULES OF FOOTBALL is a pretty basic prerequisite for the job?
Anyway, they didn’t deserve it but they were ahead. I’ll also remark that it wasn’t necessary for f*cking Harry Kane to sling himself eight feet in the air but they seem to go in for this in a big way at Sp*rs these days. And their manager is the same nationality as Maradona. I rest my case.
They were booing Kepa now too. Hopefully this meant they would pass out sooner.
Kante proved to be our best hope of an equaliser as the half wore on. On target on 33 minutes, and he was the one at the fore again six minutes later to get in the box and try again. CHO missed the bar straight after. We’d had double their attempts, they were so deep they could have tripped over the f*cking Titanic, but their line was holding. Our best chance yet came when CHO hit a stunner of a cross in injury time that deflected off Rose. Unfortunately the keeper managed to just tip it onto the woodwork. He had looked completely at home in this big fixture. Another reason we shouldn’t sell him. Just like SHOWING THAT WE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM SELLING KEVIN DE BRUYNE.
As you were in the opening minutes of the second half. An early free kick for Willian, up goes the hand signal (number 22 I believe, or 28) and then no joy. But we hadn’t dropped our level over the break and this was good.
We were desperate for the ball to fall for us in the box on 49, but at least Hazard managed to manufacture a corner out of it when he couldn’t find a way to have a shot. After a one-handed diving save from Kepa at the other end, Hazard loosed off one of his running-along-the-edge-of-the-box specials on 52 but it was stopped again.
It certainly felt like we were knocking on the door. Kante’s turn to have ago next and again, he forced a save, Alonso just not close enough fo the rebound as it flew back out. CHO was getting frustrated with nobody chasing his balls in the box, we could really have done with The Beard but he was clearly fit for X minutes and we wouldn’t see him until then.
We were building such a good head of steam but the final punch wasn’t there. Christensen was the latest to just miss the target after a flick on from Barkley on 58. Refwatch: I don’t hold him responsible for the VAR fiasco. It’s a much wider issue. Oliver wasn’t afraid to show the yellow card as they took it in turns to foul Hazard, either. He is one of the only ones that this does not get past. He managed to draw a line between having a physical game and letting it flow without it descending to a Clattenburg-esque free for all of f*ckmuppetry. Is I suppose I have to be nice.
Pedro Pony was about to leap into action on the hour, with Willian making way. Just as they started chanting the Y word in their thousands. Against the express wishes of Jewish organisations everywhere. How long can Sp*rs hold out before they have to attempt to get their house in order too? Harry Kane sat on the pitch wasting time, and then as soon as the game restarted they appeared to remember that they were playing a football match. This was concerning, as we had precisely nothing to show at the moment for all of our hard work.
But Hazard was really working hard now, he’d taken it to another, relentless level in trying to find a way through them. And yet still we couldn’t break them down. Barkley for Kovacic on 74 - which was a very “I’m going to make sure this tie doesn’t get away from us by conceding another” change. I can appreciate that.
The Beard didn’t appear to be that fit at all, else I am sure we would have seen him already. He finally entered the fray on 79 minutes and CHO left to keen applause after another good showing. A little frustrating. Think of Hudson-Odoi as the provider, the waiter - with The Beard a starving diner waiting for his dinner. We could have undoubtedly stood a chance of equalising with them both on, but Sarri would have had to bring off Hazard, or someone from deeper, and you don’t do either of those in a first leg semi-final tie against this lot. I can appreciate that too. I can’t appreciate that Trippier has the worst sleeves I’ve seen, and in the world of football that is saying something. They look like he’s let a toddler doodle on his arm in permanent marker. I imagine the artist was weeping as they were implored to do that.
Note to Sp*rs. It’s not a foul every time you lose the f*cking ball. And who in the name of all that is holy is Oliver Skipp? He looks like a librarian in his mid-40s. Then they brought on Llorente. How’s your career working out for you? He might have been playing every week if he’d signed for us, but of course the likelihood is that he would have signed for us and then become immediately sh*t. It was like the f*cking Alamo as the clock wound down. A goal was the least we deserved, but, oh well. Come and Get It, will be the order of the day at the Bridge in the second leg.
So: Were we hard done by? Yes. Is it too late to turn it around? No. Oh, and f*ck Jermaine Penas.
Chelsea 2 Nottingham Forest 0
FA Cup Third Round
Saturday 5th January 2018 15:00
Transfer B*llocks: Sarri didn’t know on Tuesday that we were signing Pusilic. Don’t know why that should surprise anyone who has been paying attention for the last decade. One thing he does seem to want is a striker, which is unsurprising as we have one. Just the one right now. And he’s as fickle at times as a Frenchman marching on Moscow with a limp baguette and an empty bottle of wine. I’ve abandoned all attempts to fall in love with him as a player now. I just want him to do well, so we do well. I don’t feel any need to abuse him.
A bidding war seems to be gaining momentum for Hudson-Odoi. Ignoring the fact that our homegrown quota is f*cked as it is with departures for Fabregas and likely Cahill, Drinkwater, Moses(?), we would be complete morons to sell this kid. Blue Squirrel says we’d rather he stay. If it goes any other way I’ll be angrier than Sam Allardyce locked inside Nando’s during a chicken shortage. Peter Crouch, the latest spouter of wisdom in the Daily Fail has sent Mowgli (Special Alias) into a complete tizz by suggesting that Chelsea will be better off if we re-sign Diego Costa. Yes and we’d be better off if we could sew Didier Drogba’s head onto the body of a whippet of a nineteen year old with impeccable ball control too, but it doesn’t mean it’s remotely likely to happen.
Elsewhere United’s defensive frailties won’t be solved by Godin, who is going to Inter on a free when his Atletico contract winds down. Solanke has gone to Bournemouth, and is promptly out until February. You wonder if that’s Karma taking a dump on him for getting fat-headed. That giant leap forward he manipulated to go up to Scouseland, and now it’s going to be a long, tough path to the top for him from the other end of the league after stalling for more than a year. More impressively, Newcastle are apparently about to take a punt on Balotelli. Hurrah! English football can only be made more entertaining by the return of this harmless (relatively as long as the rockets aren’t pointed at anyone and the Lamborghini isn’t abandoned on a motorway) nutjob.
In the News: Absolutely, unequivocally, brilliantly, the WORLD Jewish Council, as in ACTUAL Jewish people, have called on Rottenham Hotspur to ban the Y word flouted under the guise of a lot of non-Jewish people saying they have “reclaimed” it. As a club Chelsea have educated, they have punished, they have continued to do all they can, and only when they have the support of the entire game and every other club behind them can we hope to have it eradicated across the board with blanket, brutal punishment to all who say it. I don’t care what a living room of Sp*rs fans are comfortable calling each other. This is how it needs to be in the black and white circumstances of large crowds at football, because then you can have a zero tolerance policy that is taken seriously up and down the country.
11 glorious millimetres. Have you seen the argument about how this is accounted for by the shadow of the cartoon ball on the goal line technology? Or the petition? To have goal-line technology reviewed? Because cheating and referee handouts is, criminally, impaired by actual science and they’re not having it.
All the England players are apparently coked off their nuts. I’d have to be to be trapped in a hotel with Harry F*cking Kane MBE (Massive Bell End) for weeks at a time too. In the world of Thibaut Courtois, he was beaten in the air this week by Santi Cazorla. Who is my height. That’s short. Very short apparently. Craig Bellamy, he of the golf club incident and general vile personality has stood down from his coaching job. He says he didn’t know he was bullying kids while he was doing it. If you asked me to name a former player for whom being a c*nt was so second nature he didn’t even notice he was doing it anymore, it would actually have been Craig Bellamy.
Report on the cost of being a football mascot this week. Hang on. The COST?! Let’s name and shame them all:
West Ham £700
Sp*rs £405 - because £400 wasn’t quite enough when they’ve got all that faulty wiring to fix
Swansea charge more than most Premier League teams.
Everyone else in the league, including Chelsea, does it for free. And don’t give me the cash strapped revenue generation argument, because that includes Huddersfield and Newcastle. Who could do with ten new players each.
The Others: Kane brought on at 6-0. Prompting a completely disproportional meltdown among some of the Sp*ds. Must have nicked the last snickers out the vending machine at the training ground. Podgettino’s a right diva when he’s hungry. Far more funny was the fact that the Arsenal team bus was marooned in Blackpool because a home fan decided to sit on top of it and protest against the owners. No real surprises so far, apart from Frank Lampard’s Derby County (TM) making a two goal comeback against Southampton. Bristol City put Huddersfield out, but the latter have got other priorities. Newcastle got out of jail at the last to earn a replay at Blackburn, which they arguably don’t want and Norwich blew it, which thankfully means we won’t have a repeat of last season’s dross tie with them.
Us: Wholesale changes. Captain Cesc for what could was probably his last appearance at the Bridge. Luiz remained, as did Barkley and Morata, but the rest were turned over. Ampadu and CHO getting starts, along with Big Willy, Zappacosta, Emerson, Ruben and Christensen. Bench mostly stacked with the first eleven but there was a spot for the Lesser Spotted Victor Moses too.
Them: I basically recognised Jack Colback and his Miranda Richardson/Blackadder tribute hair and the Liam Gallagher mophead tribute on Yacob. That was it. And I sat and watched them play Leeds the other day too.
One of only ten games to kick off at 3pm on Saturday on the big cup weekend. SEVEN early kick offs and EIGHT games on Sunday. Magic of the cup officially murdered by television. W*nkers.
We almost missed this rare kick off because we got Rick-rolled in the old ticket hall just as we were leaving but we made it just in time despite the sing and dance-along. And despite the fact that I’ve got a new game at the turnstile with the trio of chaps installed to do a second bag check. It’s called - What’s the most ridiculous thing you can produce from your bag this season? Today will be hard to top, because it was a sort of snorkel full-face/gimp/Power Rangers mask. Don’t ask.
CHO, who was fantastic today, was straight in but he was ahead of everyone and the cross into the box wasn’t met by anyone in blue. We’re rent boys apparently. Watch the Daily Mail ignore that. Zappacosta had had a go, before we saw some more good build up, but the ball was scuffed across the box by Captain Cesc. Forest by no means looked like whipping boys, though. Their support was vocal too, but most of their early energy was wasted on slating Frank Lampard.
Closest yet on 12 from Morata. Ever seen Emerson take a free kick? Me neither, but f*ck me he went close. Morata went down on the edge of the box and the crowd was to in arms about the lack of a free kick. A replay showed that he was absolutely fouled. It took some fierce blocking from Forest on 17 to keep the ball out of the net, then we had a well worked corner from Cesc in which the team attacked without having to clear the first man (genius) but there was no way through at the end of it. We were getting in there, there was the actual intent, which seemed to be completely lacking against Southampton, but they had been solid at the last. Helps when you have seven men across the back at all times.
Ampadu rampaged down the pitch on 28, but being fouled and left for dead owing to the incompetence of the referee he could only get so far. In the meantime he was awarding Forest soft free kicks. He swung our way soon after. Brilliantly drawn foul from Ruben in the box, he’d had been running about like a man possessed. Penalty. Cesc. It was his swan-song after all. So we’ll forgive him for a very dodgy run up and a soft effort that was palmed away by the Forest keeper. Morata laid it off to Zappa five minutes later and his shot was fierce, but stopped once again. Ruben off on 41 - twingy back recurrent, and on came Eden. Forest hadn’t looked like scoring once. One paltry attempt that wasn’t on target. For the umpteenth time this season, we needed to start capitalising on all our possession and our chances on goal. But I don’t think Morata had been offside once, and he’d worked his nuts off. This was at least less boring than the Southampton game. Look at that for positivity.
A bright start to the second half and it took less than five minutes for Morata to break the deadlock. Yes. Chelsea striker scores goal at home, but let’s not be mean. Hurrah. 1-0. I thought it looked like he was willing to take part in muted back-slapping with his team-mates, but wanted nothing to do with the crowd. Both times today. We nearly doubled the lead on 53, before they almost got on the end of a header up the other end. They were having a proper go, to be fair to them. How Morata missed on 57 I can’t tell you. I don’t think he could either, but he made up for it moments later with his second.
They began losing the plot a bit at the back now. "Sh*t Derby County" we sang, and the quintessential “You’ve Had Your Day Out, Now F*ck Off Home” as they got excited about hitting the side netting. Bizarrely they were given a corner. Refwatch: Andrew Madley. Bobby’s older brother. God the latter must be bitter. This one got the hair and the thin genes. And he wasn’t dumb enough to get sacked for mocking disabled people. Reached nowhere near the incompetent thunderc*nt levels we once saw from his sibling. Odd choices between advantage and play on. Not entirely sure what a foul was and wasn’t but he wasn’t terrible.
The away support had more stamina than their team though, because Forest were tiring. “We’re Gonna Win 3-2” they sang. Stranger things have f*cking happened at Stamford Bridge of late. Fabregas smashed it on 70 but it wasn’t going to be his day today in front of goal. Morata off for Dave - our one fit striker wrapped in cotton wool for Tuesday and shutting up shop. Barkley went close on 76, played in Hazard who found Emerson for another go; but the notable incident of the closing minutes was the ovation for Fabregas as he departed the field for Kante.
So: Third Round negotiated without any drama, but more importantly today saw a tearful goodbye from Cesc as his imminent departure draws nearer. Charming interview with him after, wonderful reception at the final whistle. Was he a dyed in the wool blue straight of the womb? Of course not, but when the club who forged him didn’t want him back he came and gave us his last top class years, often suffering personally on the field for the sake of the team. He walks away with a pile of accolades that he well deserves. (And which crap on the sum total of what Arsenal have achieved in the same period, no scratch that, since he was at primary school) God Speed to him in his next endeavour, and thank you.
Chelsea 0 Southampton 0
Wednesday 2nd January 2019 19:45
New year, new entertaining Chelsea, we can dream right? Wrong.
In the News: Pusilic is a Blue, the club wisely sorting that out ASAP and getting his name on the paper before CL qualification is settled. Or not if tonight was anything to go by. We’ve beaten the Scouse for his signature, after he decided he’d rather live somewhere where he wasn’t liable to get robbed when he’s work. On the other hand Thierry Henry is keen to get his chum Fabregas, his cougar-missus and their 15 kids to join him in Monaco. Ha, remember Dominic Solanke? Who claimed that 15-20k a week for doing the sum total of f*ck all at Chelsea was not enough for his stunning prospects and swanned off up to Klippity Klopp? Desperate to get a loan move now, perhaps to Palace, as he’s forgetting what it feels like to punt a football in front of a paying customer.
Two soft Salah penalties and St Harold of Dribblington (MBE - Jesus wept) being booked for diving has referee pundits talking about a clamp down. Which will never, ever happen, especially to the first of those because he plays in Teflon coated Scouse Red. “Do we need blood for a penalty?” Asks Wurzel Kloppage. “No, you scruffy bellend, but an actual foul would be a start. Stop talking sh*t and go and have a f*cking wash.”
And winter break nonsense - Messi dressing up as an elf, Costa attacking his brother with firecrackers and Cavani riding round topless on a horse with a bottle of baby oil sticking out of his pocket like he’s on his way to a Brokeback Mountain tribute party. (I’m so going to hold one of those, it would be a disco fuelled night of awesomeness) If this is what players get up to when they get given rare free time then it’s a poignant argument for making them all play football over Christmas. To save them from themselves and us from the photographic evidence. And just when you thought you’d witnessed all the narcissistic thunderc*nt that Pogba has to offer he starts practicing his goal celebrations in the warm up. Do f*ck off. And take your chavvy earrings and your dopey hair disasters with you.
The Others: L’arse bashed Fulham, Sp*rs bashed Cardiff. The big one is tomorrow, obviously. Time for Pepalicious to pull his finger out and stop dicking round on Amazon Prime. I’m going to wheel out the Bill Pullman speech from Independence Day. It’s warranted, and I’ve made some amendments:
“Good Evening Manchester City. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in this history of mankind.
Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today.
We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore.
We will be united in our common interests.
To stop the unbearable consequences of the Red Scouse winning the league.
Perhaps its fate that today is the 4th of July, 3rd of January and You will once again be fighting for our freedom, not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution -- but from spunk fuelled annihilation by every journalist in the world bashing one out over the end of civilisation as we know it.
We're fighting for our right to live, to exist in a world free of Scouse smuggery.
And should we win the day, the 3rd January will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on!
We're going to survive!"
Today, we celebrate our Independence Day! F*ck the Red Scousers Day!
Us: Giroud left the ground on crutches on Saturday, which adds to our striker woes considerably. No choice but to start with Morata up front, with Pedro Pony absent Barkley retained a place in the starting lineup and other than that it’s what you’d expect. Loftus-Cheek fit enough to take to the bench after a twinge.
Them: Happy Charlie Austin day girls. Only it wasn’t because he was on the bench. Swines.
Angus Gunn called into action whilst we were still debating if his dad played for Norwich or not. (Apparently yes) Southampton began by playing a 5-5 formation. We need to take a team apart to keep up with goal difference and to rouse the place a bit, for there have been a lot of results ground out of late. 75% possession and a smattering of attempts yielded nothing in the opening ten minutes. So I was not confident. Hazard played it in on 12 but Gunn beat him to it. We looked positive but there was no sustained momentum as yet.
In fact as the next ten minutes wore on we descended into more of that interminable dicking around on the edge of the box and sloppy giving the ball away that bored us all to tears against Palace. Downwards we sank into a Pulisesque mire of bland, joy-sucking fare.
In on 24 but Willian’s effort was blocked, chip across the box by Morata on 27 but not a single blue was storming into the box to meet it. Every relegation fodder team in the league’s team talk pre-Chelsea is: “just don’t concede and they’ll a*se it up and give us a chance eventually.” They then spend the rest of the build up eating all the Milky Way Celebrations and Quality Street toffee pennies that nobody wanted over Xmas. On this note, f*ck eHarmony. Everyone’s suitability should be measured using a box of Celebrations. If you marry someone whose going to insist on eating all the Malteser ones first then your relationship isn’t going to last. Find someone who likes the Milky Ways, or is at least willing to eat them so you don’t have to. That’ll be true love.
29 Morata scythed down. How we could play advantage when our striker was lying on the floor dying and we were supposed to be attacking, only Jonathon Moss can tell you. Hazard had the skill to get a corner out of it but as usual we didn’t clear the first man.
Best chance yet on 32. High ball brought down well by Morata but his shot was over. Highlight of the night so far was Boycie’s phone vibrating in his pocket and giving both of us a surprise. Willian was off five minutes later - he didn’t look like he wanted to be out there at all to be honest. Our only remotely-capable-of-attacking options on the bench tonight were Cesc or Ruben, and we got the latter, who immediately tried to inject some pace into proceedings.
Finally we looked like we might score, or at least add a second shot on target on 39, but some bloke called Valery deflected it wide. A corner on 41. We cheered like Gooners. Eden cleared several men, but the final attempt from Alonso was tame and knocked out.
I chose today to ban myself from eating junk, in fact from eating anything after 6pm because a bellend in Chicago who shall remain nameless (let’s call him Budget Robert Downey Jr) convinced me it was a good idea. Wrong night. I day there at half time gnawing miserably on my own fist after that display. Some other moron who shall remain nameless (Mowgli) reckons I should try and be more positive in 2019. Says the bloke who stayed at home with his cat tonight instead of sitting through that. Here goes: Morata was only offside once.
I feel much better now, she lied.
The game had given us nothing to talk about, so we reminisced about sweets gone by, like
Marathons, Opal Fruits and marvelled at how long it has been since Boycie last ate a chomp. He and Alf Garnett got onto retro jokes:
What’s the difference between Joan Collins and Kit-Kat? You only get four fingers in a Kit-Kat
What does Joan Collins put behind her ears to attract men? Her ankles
What has Joan Collins got in common with a washing mchine? Both drip when they are f*cked.
What did the world have against Joan Collins in the 80s?
We bounced out for the second half, presumably to get away from the cloud of second hand smoke that hangs over Sarri in the dressing room. Change at the break for them. The little rodent that is Shane Long. Not that I’m bitter that they didn’t bring on Austin.
We put a ball into the box on 50. It went sailing over everybody. But let’s be f*cking positive, eh Mowgli? At least it was a start. We also crossed the halfway line. We played several consecutive balls forward instead of back to Kepa. Let’s all do f*cking jazz hands. This positive mentality stuff is sh*t. I gave it a go, for a whole half an hour, but it’s doing nothing for my emotional well-being. It’s making me f*cking angry that I’m not supposed to be negative. How do people live like this? They’ll be the same happy-clappy b*stards that claim to have inner peace then complain loudly about there being no vegan menu in a restaurant. Do you know where you can find vegan food? In a vegan f*cking restaurant. Why don’t you go there and sit with the other three? Here’s a thought - if being vegan is so cool why does all their food impersonate nice food they can’t eat? Like sausage rolls? Or they’ll be the people who brag that they’re carbon neutral by cycling everywhere and drinking their own p*ss, when the emissions from one Beyoncé concert will ensure that all of them did it for nothing. Or the ones that label their offspring “gender-fluid” as they lop their tit out in the middle of Starbucks to feed little India or Barty without putting something over their shoulder as if nobody is allowed to disapprove of their god given right to sit massaging their boob in your face when you’ve just spent four quid on a coffee. Or the people who eat Kale instead of spitting it out like any sane human being who finds it imbedded in their dinner. Or the ones that moan about their dogs not being welcome in restaurants. I hate dogs, but ironically I’d rather sit on a table next to the f*cking mutt than them to be fair. See what half an hour of being positive does to a person? It makes rage.
This game was worse than watching Michael Owen recite War and Peace. I’d not been so f*cking bored since, well Saturday at Palace, or Budapest. Finally we forced a save on 59 but the next few minutes were all Southampton. If only the team could show the same desperation to get stuck in as the back of the Shed Upper trying to get us singing. 65 and we had a shot on target. Be still my heart. One option left on the bench to try and improve this and that was Cesc. Off went Ross. Just what we need, a bit of pace, quipped Boycie. At least he might try and out the ball in the box, we prayed. Then wait for it, wait for it, we scored. But Morata was offside. Leading offside goal scorer in the world. Probably. Positive your way out of that one. I f*cking dare you.
Bednarek, pointed out Alf Garnett, runs like newborn Bambi. We still couldn’t get past him. The away side were attempting to bleed all semblance of football out of the tie now, fully indulged by (Refwatch:) Jonathan Moss. Happy new year to you too PGMOL, you b*stards. Manages to make everyone in a half mile radius no matter their allegiance want to dig out his spleen with a rusty ice cream scoop. 77 the ball was here from Cesc. Ruben went storming towards goal and played in Morata. Should he have had a go himself? Irrelevant, as was the rest of the evening, as the actual attempt was saved by Gunn.
Shocking time-wasting. I could have negotiated Brexit single f*cking handedly in the time it took Cedric to drag himself off the pitch. Then his instant resurrection was on a f*cking par with Christ himself.
Suddenly we were playing with urgency. Where had this been for the last 85 minutes? Four paltry minutes added on. Cedric p*ssed that away on his own. There were chances to win it. Ruben to Hazard then Alonso with the shot but it was over the bar; a penalty shout that Moss never even considered in injury time. Off the line at the last. The sad Justin Bieber song they stuck on at the final whistle summed up the tragedy of my evening and guaranteed that I will never, ever be f*cking positive about anything, ever again.
So: Two home games without scoring. People are talking about Dry January. You’ll have to give up attending football for the time being. If I couldn’t go and suck down gin after sitting through performances like that I’d end up in a padded cell. To be honest there’s a lot of turgid sh*t throughout the league at the moment after a busy festive season. Unless you’re the Red Scouse and you get given three non-penalties in every game to help you on your way. But heavy legs was no excuse to be dropping points tonight. Southampton were pretty woeful, but we were no better. Right now winning the Europa League looks by far the most likely route into the Champions League next season, because we utterly lack any kind of consistency that will see us finish in the top four. On tonight’s showing I’m not even sure we’ll get past Malmo.