When Football Doesn’t Matter
England did win yesterday. I’m not talking about the borefest against Germany, which was slightly less tedious than under the previous England manager but still, dire. I’ll give him a few more months before I make him the latest object of my ridicule.
Yesterday afternoon a maniac went onto the streets of London in a car and used it as a weapon. He killed a mother on her way to pick up her two little girls from school. At least one more person has died, and he injured more, including school-kids. Some of these victims are still in a critical condition. He then ran at a policeman and stabbed him. He died in the line of duty. In the meantime the perpetrator had been gunned down. For this act, this murderer will rightly burn in hell. Which will be of no consolation to those who mourn their loved ones or to those who have to live physically or emotionally with what he did to them.
Why did he do it?
Brainwashed by extremists, presumably. People who have succeeded in bastardising a whole religion to suit their own f*cked up agenda. They wage this “war” on us, on Paris, on Brussels, on the streets of Germany because they want to end us. They want to destroy our way of life. They want to reduce us to gibbering wrecks who are afraid to leave our houses. They want, basically, to bring our world crashing down around our ears and make us afraid.
This is why we did win yesterday. Because this deluded monster died for literally nothing. Regardless of how many virgins he thinks were waiting for him, or how noble he believed his cause was, he breathes no more. And the world is a better place for it. I'm agnostic, but I believe genuine Islam is better for it. The irony of the actions of an extremist is that they ultimately do our job for us. They eradicate themselves.
I was pretty sickened by the almost gleeful tone of the news last night, trying to make the attack sound as gory as possibly, more terrifying. The extended coverage, the speculation, the repetition, the obsession with the 24 hour news cycle and staying on top. Shame on all of them. Shame on the despicable individual who stood there with a SELFIE STICK taking a photo of the scene. And shame on what we have become in that respect: social media obsessed, impatient, attention seeking drama queens who have to be able to retrieve everything we want (a boyfriend, shopping, news, music, literally everything) at the swipe of a phone screen that we are all glued to not caring whether we are reading fact or speculation, or even fiction as long as we have it NOW. (See worldwide phenomena of substituting “extremists" for “muslim” as if they are one and the same thing for demonstration of how people aren't even reading what they are retweeting half the time) All of this combines to give these a*seholes what they want. Attention for their ludicrous "cause". The notion that they have struck a definitive blow against us. They have not.
Mourn the dead. With sorrow and regret at how innocent people got caught up in his actions. But the tone that should have been struck in all of the coverage last night was distress at what had happened, but ultimately defiance. Because he failed. Miserably. And I am not a gibbering wreck. My fellow Londoners are not gibbering wrecks. The photo attached to this article, I took it myself on 8th July 2005. The day after the London bombings I got on a tube and travelled through the scene to get to work and I saw the flag outside King’s Cross. Because they will not win.
For me, not enough was made of the fact that he completely failed in his endeavour to make a symbolic attack on the heart of our democracy. He may have made it through the gate, but he ran up against the people he and his are aiming to leave quaking in terror. And they stood firm. Rather than run, passers by, British and a multitude of tourists and foreign nationals dropped to their knees to HELP those who had been struck down on the bridge. Doctors and nurses ran from their wards in the nearest hospital, not knowing what was happening and how much danger they were placing themselves in to see what they could do. An MP who had lost a brother to another terrorist attack did not run away, he tried to save the life of another former army man who was dying on the street. Whoever this man was, and I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of naming him even if I could, he may have caused pain and suffering yesterday in the manner of the complete coward he was (because it takes a big man to take on 40 people when you have a 4x4 to use as a battering ram, or to take on a surprised police officer when you are wielding a knife in each hand), but when he tried to attack Parliament, thanks to the men and women whose job it is to keep it safe he got nowhere near the door. His attempt to damage our way of life in a blaze of despicable glory turned out to be quite pathetic. What he did do was show us what we are capable of in a world where an attack of this kind is a constant possibility. We are organised. We are ready for them. We are vigilant. We are brave. We are selfless. We are not afraid.
Better luck next time a*rsehole. But then there is no next time, because you're dead. And you deserve to be for what you did. But this morning our flag still flies over Parliament and the business of governing a democracy goes on. And you? You’re already yesterday’s news.
Stoke City 1 Chelsea 2
Saturday 18th March 2017 15:00
Be warned. This is going to run long. Because I have ranting to do.
In The News: It may not be justifiable to call HWWNBN a loser. Or a Judas. (He really isn't) But if he honestly thinks that Pogba was the best player on the pitch against us on Monday night then he is a monumental bellend. And he needs glasses. But still, we'd all be suspicious if suddenly we didn't get to play Post Match Excuse F*ckwit Bingo with his interviews week in, week out. For the record, Pogba completed twenty passes in the whole game. Less than Thibaut. Fabregas completed 20 passes in nine minutes. The most? Dave with 79. Silence, grumbly little Portuguese man. Get back in your laundry basket. In that hotel where you've entirely outstayed your welcome.
Possibly the only thing Wes Morgan could have done to atone for how shocking he has been this season is score in the Champions League to help the sly (backstabbing) Foxes through to get a pasting in the last eight. I can't feel remotely warm and fuzzy about anything Leicester do in Europe. End them Fernando. I'm just disinterested after what the club did to Ranieri and the players instant winning reaction when he was shown the door. F*ck 'em. Those are Judases.
Speaking of managers lacking a clue, of all of his players, Wenger reckons Coquelin bears the most similarities to Kante. I'll give him three. They are both French. They both have a penis. And two legs. It ends there.
The Others: I wonder what the ratio of viewers is in terms of Arsenal Fans vs. Those Who Want to Laugh at Arsenal Fans on their sad little tv channel. You could hear a stampede of fingertips on smartphones in Stoke after their demise was sealed, rushing to watch the #Wrexit meltdown. My favourite hysterical tweet came from @cjohul
"In Africa we have Mugabe in Europe we have Wenger"
Moron. Anyway. West Brom beat the limp Goons, which lined my betting account and made me laugh. A lot. I watched a fair bit of this in the pub and I now know what all of those stats re how much distance Sanchez covers are about. They quite clearly include all the miles he flounders after the referee bitching and whining. They could be 6th by tomorrow evening. Let's paint their humiliation by numbers. In the middle of the second half they were losing. They had completed, at this stage, 512 passes. West Brom had completed just 93. The home side had had two shots on target. Wenger's muppets? More than double that. And yet somehow they got spanked. Is he to blame, or are his players for being woefully inadequate and listless? Who cares. This probably all equals one manager who shouldn't be in a job come August, but obviously, long may he reign. I reckon he’s a Gooner goner though.
Our Game: Oh goodie. Time for our annual bout of "who can get kicked the most by the red and white donkeys" somewhere in the frozen wastes of the north. Stoke is never a pleasant place to go, but for some reason the whole place smelt like the ar*e end of a cow today. Hazard stayed at home with a muscle strain. I envied him. Probably not a bad thing either as I have it on good authority that Stoke spent the whole week kicking a papier-mâché model of him to pieces in preparation for this afternoon. Willian, whose afro had returned, started along with Pesto. (Look at you auto-spell, isn't it clever) Matic was preferred to Fabregas in the starting lineup, no doubt because the more big buggers we could field against their bumbling carthorses the less likely they'd be able to flail their way through us.
It was a pretty even start. Notable for me was the fact that Luiz looked sharper than I've seen him in a number of weeks. There were no attempts on goal. Already though, the thuggery had begun, and the referee didn't seem to want to lay down a marker against it. He finally found his whistle in the twelfth minute and penalised Arnautovic for a foul outside the box on Alonso. The resulting Willian free kick made Lee Grant look like a complete f*cktard when our Sp*rs hating favourite slid the ball in through his hands on the near post. It was pretty much downhill from that point on as far as the lead official was concerned. Costa was booked for having the audacity to protest at being fouled numerous times in the opening minutes. It was quite clearly part of the Stoke game plan to send him off the deep end and to some extent it worked. In all, I was actually mighty proud that Diego did not completely lose it today in the face of such cynicism. The fact that his yellow was for dissent and not for anything retaliatory to the constant fouls he was subjected all afternoon proves to me that we were not mistaken in thinking that he has grown as a player. A bit of a lapse, but understandable under the circumstances. I'm just going to get Refwatch out of the way. At the beginning of the afternoon Stoke City provided a mobile number and asked us to text in details if we saw anything indecent or offensive at the match today. At halftime I sent in two words. Anthony and Taylor. I quote myself from two other bog entries earlier in the season:
“The usual Anthony Taylor clusterf*ck of inconsistency and just grateful we came out on the right side of it for once”
“True to form, his grip on the game today was about as vice-like and convincing as an old woman trying to arm wrestle The Rock… The minutiae that he chooses to get involved in has no logical correlation at all with all the important stuff that he pretends not to notice. Hence a punch up at the end, and players kicking the sh*t out of each other. And players booked for pretty much nothing, whilst Aguero knocks out a more stringent diving programme than Tom Daley and Fernandinho is swaggering around having kicked every in Chelsea blue for 90+ minutes as opposed to the ball.”
Nothing has changed. Both Taylor and Kevin Friend are said to be under scrutiny following shockers last week after the former's stag do. Friend hasn't been given a game this weekend. Instead he'll be fourth official twice, at the Hawthorns for that delightful result today and at Sh*te Hart Lane tomorrow. So what do they do with Taylor? They send him to a match that will undoubtedly be fiery, physical and require a referee with substantial balls to maintain order. I was not surprised that he was Wenger-like in his observational capacity. I expect it. Neither does it shock me that he failed to remain consistent across a ninety minute football match. Because when does he ever? But added to this he got in the way of the game on more than one occasion, he needed his Lino to make big calls because he lacked the guts, but more galling than any of that was the fact that at numerous points he threatened to completely lose control of this football match. Within half an hour he had let so much pushing, pulling and kicking go that you genuinely believed someone could get hurt. Conversely, Stoke were being given free kicks for falling over the ball. Absolutely woeful from start to finish. Pesto, Dave, Luiz, to name a few, were all doing their nut because time and time again, and a fair bit of it was off the ball, they ended up face-planting the pitch at the hands, elbows or the feet of a Stoke player in front of the referee and he wasn't interested. When players like Alonso are getting involved in scraps you need to reflect on how the game got to this point. I guess what I am saying is that when they get paid something like £100k a year all in, is it so unreasonable to expect to have referees who aren't consistently moronic officiating premier league matches when the result could quite easily be injuries to players? High stakes requires high performances.
As you can imagine it was difficult to try and beat a path through this f*ckwittery. There were a couple of instances of some great play that rounded out the first half hour. The home side's disallowed goal was no more than their thuggery deserved. I was only amazed that Taylor actually chalked it off. Oh no wait. His Lino put him in a position where he had no choice but to. A few minutes later the referee seized on the first mediore opportunity to level it up by awarding a penalty. For me, the supposed push by Cahill was softer than a nonagenarian’s knob. So 1-1. Annoying. But not insurmountable as Stoke had not really created much in open play. But nothing doing our way either for the rest of the half.
I pause here to salute the semi-naked and rotund Blue who spent the whole of halftime singing "Charlie Adam he weighs more than me" at the Stoke fans. It was so funny because it was true.
All we needed to do against these lumps in the second half was play football. Because they are basically an out of condition pub (darts) team on ketamine. "We've got the best team in the world" sang the home fans.
Far from being a Welsh Messi, Joe Allen looks like a wino hobbit who should be begging for change in the doorway of The Prancing Pony. Shawcross’s Pieters’s (insert half a dozen other names here) sole accomplishment in life is to give every dumpy, slightly unfit bloke in the crowd who never so much as made their school team a lingering hope that they could still be a professional footballer. My spell check turns Bardsley into Beardsley. It doesn't even know he exists. Spell check regards Phil Bardsley as a typo. Which is in slightly higher regard than he gets from Victor Meldrew (sitcom alias) next to me, who made my swearing sound amateur every time the great oaf touched the ball. Silver lining? We were spared Charlie Adam, who was presumably sleeping off a hangover on the bench.
We did start the second half better. I wouldn't say we took it by the scruff of the neck, but we actually managed to get some football going. Maybe this half Taylor will get his sh*t together, we said. Nope. Alonso got punched in the face. Nothing. Taylor floundered about making irrational use of playing advantage when there was none and pulling the ball back when there was. Alonso cracked a free kick off the cross bar but no cigar. Matic struck one on target but it went straight at the keeper and there was not enough on it. It felt like we might finally be gaining momentum with the introduction of Fabregas, but for the love of God, said Marlene on the other side of me, just don't slip up at the back. Then the f*ckwittery cranked up a notch. Grant spilled a corner and acted like Costa had headbutted him. Bardsley went down like he'd been run over by a Sherman tank when Pesto (half his size) didn't even touch him. Conte switched to four at the back to try and snatch the game, but then the time wasting began, and the frustration mounted in the away end. Pieters was hunched over acting like he was in cardiac arrest. Next time suggest forgoing chips with the Friday night kebab.
I thought it was interesting that Ruben came on for Matic. A lot of responsibility for the youngster to enter the fray in a shaky position and help to try and turn the tide. I think it showed trust from the manager. Many will have you believe that this left Batshuayi listening to sad Celine Dion songs and crying at the back of the team coach on his way home. I honestly think it was more about Loftus Cheek’s bulk. Did he hold up against their bully-boy tactics? Yes. Did we look better after he came on? Yes. He could have had a goal too in injury time. Well done kid. Now if he'd just shave off what looks suspiciously like a mini-topknot...
Finally the job was done as the whistle approached. Luiz headed it in, Pieters knocked it out and Cahill scored a captain’s goal by slamming it into the back of the net after it fortuitously dropped to his feet. The away end went literally mad. Utter, utter relief after sitting through that dross to have come out on top in the end in the face of 90 minutes of negative, turgid, stop-start sh*t. Spaguin’s (special alias) lucky hat did the job. Taylor did have the last word. Just for supreme, ridiculous irony before the final whistle, Cesc got booked in the corner for time wasting when waiting for the Stoke players three yards away to get back to the appropriate distance.
I give you a pithy ditty for Kante from the pub. (Fellaini has a f*cking song and United fans hate him, lets sort this out)
"He's here, he's there
He's every f*cking where N'Golo, N'Golo"
So: Of course none of this was conveyed in the 2% of the game shown on MOTD. It was borderline insulting listening to some know-nothing pundit on the radio talk about work rate and effort and Stoke in the same badly formed sentences as if they actually played a game of football as opposed to utilising their energy to try and kill our players. I'm glad that's over. A triumph over much-anticipated adversity. No banana skin, lead maintained at the top of the table. The press plebs think they have cause to slag us off again, which will make their day. You can see them sitting at their laptops with looks of maniacal glee as they seek out the most "offensive" pictures they can find of spittle flying out of Diego's mouth or of him with an angry look on his face. Led by the Daily Fail, who it seems learned the concept of a football match from the Wenger Academy for Nonsensical C*nts (WANC) we have every plausible adjective one can imagine used for a wild animal being flung Diego's way, whilst apparently, Shawcross and Martins Indi were just grafting and doing their jobs. Honest guv. Utter b*llocks. At least one of them escaped a red card of his own by the skin of his teeth. Their article does not mention Bardsley's red card. Or Stoke attempts to kick people off the ball for 90 minutes. Or the slew of bookings shown to half their team for dissent and thuggish behaviour. These are the same press plebs who gave literally no coverage to yet another display of nasty b*stardness by Rojo on Monday night, instead they buried another stamp under photos of him eating a banana on a Thursday. "Hard to tell a player's intent in those situations" said the BBC. Unless your name is Tyrone Mings, (which in itself warrants sympathy) in which case you are tried, convicted and banned for five games in 24 hours. Media coverage of Xhaka and his red cards is strangely absent by comparison too. He accumulates them like Katie Price does husbands and yet he is not referred to as a snarling monster. Diego has been sent off once since he arrived in London and the media's Costa agenda is just boring now. And quite sad considering that he's been about as "snarling" as my ten-week-old kitten in the course of the last six months.
Anyway, Rant over. Three more points. Top of the league. Pass the gin. And up the Chels.
*Hilarious picture of Conte swinging on the dugout comes from somewhere on the internet. I know not where it originated, but whoever took it, I salute you.
Patsy's Big Night Out
FA Cup Sixth Round: Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0
Monday 13th March 2017 20:00
For lots of people, real life means that their presence at Stamford Bridge ebbs and flows over the years according to work and family commitments. We all have friends who love Chelsea every bit as much as we do, but who for whatever reason can't get to games as often as they'd like. I dedicate this blog to Patsy (Ab Fab, new alias) who took advantage of the cup to join Boycie, Marlene and I tonight. Patsy and I went to our first ever Chelsea games together, when everyone else at our school was into lacemaking and putting braids in their hair. And talking about their skiing holidays. The first time we went away was to West Ham in the late 90s. We told our mums we were going shopping. Needless to say hilarity ensued. When we scored the guy to our left celebrated by grabbing Patsy's substantial boobs and clinging on for dear life. As she was being bounced up and down she was shouting "I'm only 14!" (She'd kill for this action right now) Then we got grounded I think. Good times. Anyway, I digress.
In the News: Pep has been given a block of gaudy plastic to commemorate his Manager of the Month triumph. Yes, for beating Swansea, Bournemouth and West Ham is surely a triumph worthy of commemoration. What a pile of sh*t. You can tell by his face in the photograph of him with his future doorstop of a trophy that he's just embarrassed. Still some silverware for this season! He really was as good as they all said.
Ah. "Wexit" protests. The most hilarious thing to come out of the Emirates since, well since they were stuffed with more force than Bernard Matthews violating a turkey by Bayern last Tuesday night. The more this faction of spoilt twats bleat about their "plight" the more I want to line them up and go one by one along the row slapping them with a large, wet fish. Suggest considering what fans of Wimbledon, Charlton, Blackburn, Hull etc. have had to endure recently and then shutting the f*ck up. Three quarters of the league would kill to make the Champions League once, let alone the knockout stages every year. To them your whining is offensive. Also suggest that perhaps evidence of performance in this and league over last decade implies that your club just isn't quite as big as you think it is. You've won the FA Cup twice. And nothing else. Portsmouth almost did that. Completely justifies my label of the Wenger Out brigade as London equivalent of delusional Scousers living in past. That said, watching you melt down is hilarious from our point of view, so as you were.
The Others: City went through to the cup semi-finals, as did the Goons after an amusing opening half hour that saw Wenger crap his stained, old man y-fronts and send on Ozil. Scary. Sp*rs haven't had to travel further than Fulham in the competition this year. I didn't expect a shock in the North London ghetto, but I wanted a ton of broken limbs and Millwall-style carnage and within eight minutes Harry F*cking Kane (Try saying it without an obscenity, it’s impossible) limped off clutching his glass ankle. Shame. (Incidentally, when they then went on and on about him, within fourteen minutes my mum had uttered the words "God I'm sick of hearing that a*sehole's name already." Sometimes she makes me so proud) Worryingly, but fittingly, it looks as if their Secret Tossers' Handshake is here to stay. Looks like something that a group of thirteen-year-old boys who have formed a wanking club might have come up with in between bouts of Call of Duty. I'm also reliably informed that they started practicing this twattery at the beginning of the season and that they've had to wait this long for Kane to learn it. He just kept drooling on everyone. There was precious little league action at the top end of the table this weekend. Burnley were attempting to do their first double in a season over the Scouse since the Queen was five and people thought it was a good idea to fill airships with Hydrogen. Right on Gary Neville for his scathing assessment of the whining sh*tc*nt that is Emre Can as Burnley went ahead in the vomit inducing, generally flaccid cauldron that is Anfield. "He bottled that. Just what you want from your holding midfielder. No wonder they concede goals.” He scored a winner, which hopefully means that he’ll survive another week in their side despite being a terrible footballer. Hurrah. But, I think we can now safely say that it is not the Scousers’ year. According to the oracle that is G-Nev (to use his rapper name, which I will do from now on because it amuses me to imagine him in a full tracksuit and wearing a gold medallion) they have only finished in the top four once in the last seven years. They are going to have to do better than they did today to achieve that this season. It was such a slow weekend that I even caught the second half of the Old Firm derby. I didn't realise that Scott Sinclair had ended up at Celtic. Presumably he was been banished there as punishment for that monstrous hairdo that he has modelled on Ru-fi-oooo in Hook. I lived in Glasgow briefly. A one handed pirate with a curly wig and a giant crocodile that ticks is basically the sanest of what I'd expect to find in the East End at the weekend.
Our Game: It turns out HWWNBN lied about the extent of his injury crisis. What a surprise. At least Rojo started, which meant that we had the tingly, warm and fuzzy possibility that some of our players had watched Chopper's bit on the cup coverage yesterday and fancied trying out of a few horrific tackles and possibly decapitating the vicious, filthy little turd at some point tonight, 1970s style. I find irony in being called a rent-boy by United fans when he looks like he could be earning a living dancing in a cage wearing nothing but a pair of spandex hot pants and a unicorn horn. I have gay friends that would place this in the category of awesome. For his part, Conte opted to put Matic back in the starting lineup over Fabregas. Pesto (eff off, iPhone auto spell) dropped down to the bench in favour of Willan minus his afro, which just doesn't look right. (Not to mention he is going to get asked for ID everywhere he goes) One game away from Wembley there was no room for any of the squad players, it was a full strength side. (Insert generic whine from HWWNBN about how we can do this because we have had so few fixtures this season when he is largely the reason for this)
Anyway, we’ll come back to him later. We all went on a jaunt to the Matthew Harding Upper tonight. Did you know they have gin there? OK, sh*t gin, but gin all the same. Football is educational. Fact. As Rafa would say if he wasn’t still trying to figure out how his team got ripped apart by Fulham at home. Patsy did her back in. Patsy can’t exercise. Patsy is suffering unwanted weight gain. Patsy has discovered that she can still be a size 12 if she wears… wait for it… maternity leggings. She calls them her food pants. Because instead of a baby, she can stuff her face and fill the big elasticated waistband by eating more, and not have to be a size 14. There is a dark, evil genius about her, I know.
A lot of the early play was with United, and the first shot of the game was an off target one from Mkhitaryan (whose name I have cut and pasted from Wikipedia) after eleven minutes. After this, we started to play our way into the game, but unsurprisingly, it wasn’t easy to get going in the face of such a cynical setup from our ex-manager. There was a flurry of chances after a quarter of an hour, one of which required a good save from De Gea, but it was frustrating. Hazard looked up for this, and it felt like he might have one of those days when he winds the length of the pitch and does something amazing. If only Plan A for the opposition wasn’t to take it in turns to foul him. Let’s just get Refwatch over with. Michael Oliver bottled it tonight. Here is what should have happened: He should have cracked down on this cynical b*ll*cks straight away and by half time United probably would have had at least four players on a yellow as a result of persistently hacking him down; namely Herrera, Pogba, Jones and someone else whose name escapes me because I’m trying to stop a kitten from ripping open a rubbish bag. What actually happened, though, was that Oliver only booked one, Herrera. Then he let an embarrassing amount of incidents go, culminating in not booking Jones (I think) after what was clearly a yellow card offence. With the next ball, Herrera acts like a bellend and brings down Eden, again. He has to be booked, because it was the equivalent of listening to the ref’s warning and then pulling your pants down and mooning him. So instead of keeping control of the game and being consistent, Oliver has ended up sending someone off who probably wouldn’t have gone if the referee had have done his job properly up to that point and was in a position to use his discretion. He could actually just change his job title to “Pogba’s Bitch,” because how he had the audacity NOT to book him tonight for any of his dirty tackles defies belief. Still, sh*t happens and United were down to ten and ultimately they had nobody to blame but themselves for going down this yobbish route in the first place. It all kicked off and Conte gave as good as he got. I was willing HWWNBN to get sent to the stands at the Bridge. But let me get one thing straight. Laughing at his misfortune, his antics and his general misery gives me no end of entertainment. Some of this things he says want me to go for him like a rabid gerbil. But the man took us to our first title in half a century. He gave us two more. He deserved better than some of the stuff that was sung at him tonight. Especially when you consider we turned him out. Twice.
On our tour of the MHU we found ourselves right below the commentary box. Let me tell you something. The BBC analysis at half time was a farce. Know why? Because the only person watching the game was our Frank. Alan Shearer spent the whole half on his phone and Gary Lineker was stuffing his face (with Walkers, obviously) Also, Shearer was having his head powdered before they went back on air. I swear on Harry F*cking Kane’s ankle. After the break we’d fashioned two half chances in the first five minutes, one for Diego and one for Dave, but it was our little magician, Kante who broke the deadlock with an outstanding long range strike. One does not put those past De Gea easily. Patsy spent most of the second half leering over Eden Hazard like Homer Simpson salivating over a doughnut. “I hate children, but I’d have his babies,” she said. My response? “Well you’ve got the trousers for it.” Some shocking defending on the hour mark almost let the visitors in it. Luiz was undone, leaving Captain Cahill in a foot race with Rashford, but luckily Courtois blocked the shot after the United man’s rampage up the pitch. A minute later Diego headed wide, and Willian put another over the bar shortly afterwards. There was a naff penalty claim just afterwards, but screw that. In the run up to it, Costa literally took the ball off Pogba’s foot and walked away from him with it on the edge of the box. This is precisely the reason why he is not worth half of what they paid for him. Paying for potential is moronic. For nearly £100m you want a player to turn up and be outstanding barring a short period to settle in. He is categorically not.
So: United did their best to take the game to extra time, but in truth either with eleven men or ten they never looked like scoring tonight. On we go to Wembley. Kante is fast becoming the shiniest player in the country. Another stunning display from him tonight, one up against Pogba that made his criminally expensive countryman look very ordinary. Sp*rs up next for us at Wembley. Everyone else has roasted them there this season, I was starting to think we were going to be denied the chance. The double is still on, but there is some stiff opposition in our way. And Arsenal. Word of the day: Gangry. Hangry is when you are so hungry you are angry. Gangry is when you want gin desperately but there are 20,000 people in front of you in the queue for the tube.
You can now pre-order the ebook version of the blog - a season review and the complete blogs at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Who-Likes-Balls-Following-ebook/dp/B06XH3Y8XZ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489455651&sr=8-2&keywords=girl+who+likes+balls
*Picture of The Mentally Balanced One and Hazard comes from Chelsea's official Instagram page.
They’re Behind You!
West Ham United 1 Chelsea 2
Monday 6th March 2017 20:00
The media are doing their best to make a pantomime out of a one-horse race at the moment. A thigh-slapping display from Kante and the front three. Bilic can be Widow Twanky (OK, he looks more like Widow Twanky with a meth habit) taking the laughs, Pep and HWWNBN can be the cross-dressing villains that in reality don’t scare anyone. Sp*rs are the ugly step-sisters that nobody is rooting for, and Dobbin the panto horse? Why, Andy Carroll of course.
In the News: A good week all round for the club. The Mayor of London has approved the plans for the new stadium, Fabregas came up with the perfect response for Chinese speculation when he said: “Leave for China? I’m 29!” And Moses has two more years on the end of his contract. Since the beginning of the season we have won 85% of the games he has started, compared to just 50% without. Good work Chelsea.
The Others: This week’s reason to laugh at Arsenal? Where to start. I have a nine week old kitten now (Bertie) who could have made a better fist of that game at Anfield than the limp, mopey Gooners. He's got more fight in him when he's trying to gnaw my thumb off with teeth that couldn't go through a soggy biscuit. “Why doesn’t Whinger change the game-plan?!” We all asked. Then he did. And it was hilarious. A tired old man all out of ideas. Long may it continue. And it ended up in a massive b*tch baby fit from Sanchez (A bit like the one at the Nou Camp where he rolled around on the floor like JT had shot him in the face) and a frosty handshake in training. Speaking of crappy handshakes. What the f*ck was all that about at Sp*rs? Less time fannying about with that idiocy and more time concentrating on how not to capitulate every time things get remotely testing, perhaps? I can’t put it any better than the words of a ginger bloke we all know well on Facebook: “A special handshake… pair of pr*cks.” Probably picked it up at a dogging hotspot somewhere in Hertfordshire.
The standard of the officials this weekend in the Premier League was atrocious, unless you happened to be Bobby Madley. The f*ckwittery was led by Kevin Friend, who probably has no friends left after everyone disowned him following his performance at Old Trafford. It was the refereeing equivalent of a warhead filled with dogsh*t detonating over Manchester. (I know, how would you tell?) In the course of ninety minutes Kev managed to miss elbows, stamps and yellow cards he had dished out already himself as he flailed around with all the visual accomplishment of a geriatric mole with cataracts. But the upshot is that Ibrahimovic has been charged and might miss the cup game next Monday. He deserves to, just because if that was Costa they would be burning effigies live on Sky Sports by now and because his defence was “he ran into my arm.” Even if English is your fifth language, that’s wank.
Our Game: So, painfully we had to wait until tonight to reply to the fact that the gap at the top had been “slashed” (slight overreaction) to seven points. By a team who have played a game more than us. But hanging around with Granville (sitcom alias) has made me ultra cautious/pessimistic (although I have thus far refrained from taking up drinking pints of gravy) so it was reassuring to see Cesc starting once again. To me it shows intent, and I’d rather we went ahead and then brought Matic on than do it the other way around by faffing around for an hour and bringing on Fabregas to try and help us rescue points. Meanwhile, somewhere in southwest London, Granville had missed all of this and was busy rocking backwards and forwards because we were tempting fate by wearing our unlucky colours.
This is the plan for the rest of the season: (In my head at least) Do not, repeat do not do anything stupid. Don’t worry about trying to smash anyone, just make sure of the points. At this point my nerves are so shot that I will settle in away games for just hitting teams on the counter and not f*cking it up at the other end. If given the chance of meeting Bilic in an alleyway or a madman wielding a straight razor, I’d have to think hard about which one scares me more, but I give him credit tonight for his honesty. Are you going for a back three? He was asked tonight before kick off. “No, we’ll play with our back four,” he replied. “Then if we need to later we can got to a back five. Or six.”
Carroll got a taste of his own medicine in the opening five, when he got smacked in the head and cried like a little girl because he’d been beaten up by Victor Moses, who barely comes up to his armpit. A quarter of an hour in and his side had actually had more of the ball, but I didn’t care, because none of it looked potent enough to break the deadlock. Ten minutes later Hazard, Pesto (yawn, auto spell) and Kante showed them how it was done with just six touches and three passes as they flew down the pitch, Hazard rounding the keeper and slotting it into the back of the net. There was some ping-pong in the opposite box shortly before the break, but any final attempt by the home side to finish it off was lacking. West Ham had tried, but the quality just wasn’t there. We had Kante playing twenty yard passes to himself, they have Andy Carroll lolloping about with all the grace of a pantomime horse with two back ends. He got nothing all night, because every time the great lump went up for a header, which is all he can do, Alonso and Cahill formed the bready bits of a top-knot-gyppo sandwich and let him get nowhere near it. 1-0 at half time. And this wasn’t the kind of 1-0 when you are raging that you aren’t three or four clear and done with them, it was a solid, drama free lead. It felt like all we had to do was carry on doing what we are doing it could be two or three by the end with some more refined final balls and no mistakes at the other end.
West Ham just looked a bit overwhelmed at times tonight. The passages of play that undone the home side looked too quick for them and by the time they had fathomed out what was going on, we’d landed another blow. This was summed up by the second goal. Four defenders went with Cahill and everyone forgot to mark Diego. On the replay you could see Ferghouli’s brain cells working overtime when he spotted him about to get his knee on the end of the ball, by which time he was rooted to the floor waving a leg about to no avail while the ball was already in the net. Alonso could have made it three on 52 minutes. Replays show that he could have had a penalty too. He should moan more. Maybe he can take some lessons from Carroll, who complains to the referee when defenders, well, defend in front of him. I find his tramp beard far more offensive. A great turn from Costa two thirds of the way through the game was well saved too, by Randolph, whoever he is. West Ham came back into it a bit on the middle of the park, but they were just toothless and slow up front. It wasn’t exactly a bus that Antonio then parked, more like a stylish little scooter, the type that tries to kill you everywhere you go to Rome. Matic, Zouma and Willian came on, Pesto, Hazard and Moses went off. Perhaps too much shuffling at the back, that and a lapse in concentration as we were caught out with a minute of injury time to go. We’d pressed a high line all game because they were so sloth-like at coming forward and we paid for it. It was too little too late and we bought the three points home out of the ghetto.
Refwatch: To be honest ours would had to strip off and smear himself in his own faeces to make a negative impact after the rest this weekend. But we did have Marriner, so I didn’t rule anything out. Presumably the FA thought they would mix up the title race by putting someone in charge who only vaguely knows the rules of football. I predicted he’d let everything go and then randomly book one of ours after West Ham had spent most of the play kicking us. Ta-da. Yellow for Cesc. In the meantime, Kouyate kicked everything that moved and nothing was done, whilst every time Costa was hacked to the floor Marriner assumed his oft-used stoned goldfish expression and waved play on. If he had smeared himself in his own feces and run a lap of the Olympic track with his todger flapping about he would have looked more competent than most weekends.
So: Costa, Pesto and Hazard now have 35 goals this season (maybe give or take one on account of the gin) Kante is no longer the new Makelele, Makelele is a bloke that sits at home wishing he could have been as good as Kante. Who really needs a song. Moses was phenomenal at the back tonight more than anything, including clearing it off the line on the hour. Here’s a stat for you. Forget winning figures. With him in the starting XI this season, we have LOST 5% of our games. When he hasn’t started, its been 33%. They’re behind you! Scream Sky. Oh no they aren’t. Not at the moment, anyway. Who are we scared of? City have not beaten a team in the top ten in a league game since mid-December. The only other three ALL SEASON were West Brom in October, United in September and Stoke. In AUGUST! You can’t win a league on that form. Neither can you when your first choice keeper has let in the first shot on target in more than HALF of his games for you. As for Sp*rs. God help us. There’s enough famine and war and nasty sh*t going around already without lumping that travesty on humanity. Same goes for the Scouse, but I’m anticipating that both will shoot themselves in the foot because one team are hilarious from one week to the next and the other tries to fight everyone when things don’t go their way. We are getting into the realms of us needing to completely collapse now to let the others in. Unless we get Kevin Friend or Andre Marriner every week we can only f*ck this up for ourselves now.
Up the Chels.
And here are two more reasons to love Antonio.
1. He makes a cardigan look sexual.
2. He got so into the game that he had to shower and change before his post match interview.