Anything You Can Do
Burnley 0 Chelsea 4
Sunday 28th October 2018 13:30
Football hasn’t been a place for levity this weekend. Too many people at Leicester and at Brighton have died in the simple act of going to a football game. Glenn Hoddle almost died on the floor of the BT Sport studio. It doesn’t seem right to produce the usual litany of mockery here this week. A short write up of our game follows, and normal service will be resumed again on Wednesday when we welcome Frank back to the Bridge.
Rudi, Luiz, Dave and George Michael all returned to the back line, and Kante and Jorginho came back in the starting line up. Barkley got a start over Kovacic, completely warranted at the moment and Pedro Pony comes in for for Eden, whose back is still giving him jip. Loftus Cheek was rewarded with a place on the bench after his Europa League heroics in midweek.
Burnley have begun to motor after an appalling start to the season, which is typical as far as we are concerned, but Sarri was bidding to become the first Premier League manager to go through his first ten games unbeaten. We started well enough. There was a chance for Morata and Barkley to put us ahead early on, but otherwise pretty even. Brady put it wide on 16 minutes too, though Kepa was fouled with an arm in the face. Luiz was determinedly evening up the score on that front, laying into Vokes with a little too much vigour.
Burnley got extremely lucky when Little Willy hit the post on 20 minutes and nobody was coming in on the follow up, but they weren’t so lucky a minute later when Barkley put a sublime ball through to Morata, who made a perfectly timed run and slipped it into the net. He’s starting to score regularly now, although of course every time he falls over or makes a pig’s ear of a chance it still provokes a torrent of criticism. Barkley has already played double what he did for the entirety of last season.
We lost Pedro Pony on the half hour, he is still wearing a harness over his bad shoulder and something not right at all. Definitely un fortunate Pony Pedro today. Good news at least for Loftus Cheek, who was going to get more action than anyone anticipated with an hour left to play. Despite this upheaval we continued to establish complete dominance. Morata made a great run, after Alonso was sent on his way by Barkley, but this time the Spaniard’s finish was wide after he wasted time taking it onto his right foot.
And yet, typically of us there was still only one goal in it. Morata was in again on 41, but the ball would not have been an easy one for him to have convert. He was, however, making a mockery out of the Burnley defence with his runs. He went down in the box, but it wasn’t a dive in particular. It was a good tackle, Alvaro didn’t overreact particularly, but something was said and handbags were brandished. The home side were lucky when Pawson decided to just book everyone involved. A justifiable yellow for Willian, however, for an easy collapse in the box followed shortly afterwards.
Morata almost scored again on 55, then along came Barkley. Wasn’t passing that. Was he f*ck. Outstanding solo effort from range that left suckered Tarkowski and Joe Hart and doubled our lead. You could have bought Pogba four times for what we paid for him. Over to you Ruben.
It was game over 62 minutes thanks to Willian. Hart done again from long range, thanks in part to a slight deflection off his own defender. The Beard came on for Morata, who was already booked and losing his rag with defensive roughhousing and he hit one wide of the post on 77. He also rattled the bar, and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet today. In the meantime Cesc made his season debut in the league in the act of giving Sarri stalwart/lovechild Jorginho a rest. RLC was desperately trying to make his mark too. He kicked it into the side-netting before managing to pounce on a loose ball in the box to make it four. Hart has conceded 9 in two games and looked as depressed as you’d expect.
So: Second for now. A draw tomorrow night would suit us best, but would make me want to be sick in my mouth because it would leave the Scouse two points clear at the top. This could have been a pesky fixture, but in the event Burnley weren’t even in it. A highly satisfactory example of what happens when you combine Sarri’s style of football with us actually taking our chances. Wouldn’t have used Hazard for this even if he had recovered in time. Wrap him up in cotton wool and snuggle him. RLC did well. The problem for him is that everything he does do at the moment, Ross Barkley does it better, but both are now arguably on top of Kovacic, who can’t hit a barn door at the moment at least. Healthy competition, and plenty of fixtures to keep them both happy for now. On to Wednesday and the ovation at the Bridge that we’ve been waiting for
Stay Away From Patient Zero
Chelsea 3 Bate Borisov 1
Thursday 25th October 2018 20:00
In the News: In the world of petty media f*ckwittery, we’ve had a multitude of dross about how Ross Barkley has had the tattoo commemorating his Everton debut removed. Ungrateful Chelsea wretch that he is. Except that he has had about a yard of the things burnt off because he decided the whole sleeve looked sh*t. A rare and commendable move amongst footballers. Ianni has been charged, because he works for us. Alonso has signed a new deal, and Rudi is set to follow apparently. We’ve decided to let Mason Mount play in the cup game next week, which is all very sweet until he dumps us out of the cup, and everyone is mean to him, and then all turn on Frank and it becomes a Press Pleb feeding frenzy.
Keita says he hasn’t fathomed listening to people Speak Scouse in six months. Who wants to tell him he never will? And that he needs to invest in a snorkel? Chequebook Pulis says he’s never heard the Bridge so quiet. Might have something to do with a stupid early kick off, or the fact that his lot didn’t make a peep until the game was well into the second half. He could obviously have added to the volume had he not spent the entire game slouched in his seat sulking like a great big tart.
The Others: In Europe’s secondary competition United were bitchslapped around by Juventus whilst Ronaldo walked around on tiptoes trying to look taller than everyone else. Because that’s what he should be concerned about right now. This is after United managed to risk a fine by being late despite staying 250 yards away from their stadium. As someone who has missed a quarter of a Champions League game at Old Trafford because they and the local plods couldn’t orchestrate a p*ss up in a brewery where all the doors had been left open and the staff had all gone on holiday, I say, ha. Real Madrid finally won a game. Against Minnows. And they’ve got UEFAlona at the weekend. Conte in! I know, I’m mean. But then Hazard wouldn’t want to go there. And I’m not as mean as St Pep, who let Zinchenko buy 27 tickets for his Ukrainian friends and family and then didn’t even put him in the match day squad. Ouch. But nothing is more amusing than watching Sp*rs freefall out of the competition after they bragged so heartily about being in it in the first place. Suckers. Still trying to decide whether Lloris being utterly useless when he’s sober is more amusing than Jermaine Penis having a massive bitchbaby meltdown about the goal he wanted to stand.
Our Game: The Chicago massive are still in town including our favourite Chelsea fake-hooker, my fellow history loser and BRDJ - also known as Patient Zero. Don’t leave him alone with your pork.
Them: It took me until Hleb was subbed off to realise that I’d heard of any of their players. But dispensing with Eastern Europe’s underated finest is what fighting for Europe’s biggest trophy is all about.
Us: A multitude of changes. No Eden Hazard obviously, since Ashley Young did his best to cripple him. He wouldn’t have played anyway. Chances for Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta, Emerson and Fabregas. Pedro Pony gets the opportunity to retake a spot in the starting line up after his injury and The Beard is picked up front over Morata. Most importantly, Ruben Loftus-Cheek gets a start. And he needed to come sprinting out of the blocks in an attempt to catch up with Ross Barkley.
My he did. Within a couple of minutes he had put himself in a positively Lampardlike position to pounce on the ball in the box and make it 1-0. It could have been two in the sixth minute when he launched forward again, but Willian’s shot was deflected over. It was going to be a long night for our Belorussian visitors, for Ruben was on a hatrick after eight minutes when we carved them open again.
He’s having a field day said Mrs. Brown
He needs one, said I.
And in the opening ten minutes RLC had basically outclassed everyone on the pitch. The remainder of the half was spent watching an endless litany of Chelsea chances go begging.
On 10 minutes Pedro Pony was almost on the end of a sublime ball forward from Fabregas. Mrs. Brown applauds his granddaughter’s shiny nickname for the artist formerly known as Pesto, but has decided that when he’s bad it gets reversed to Pony Pedro. The 14th minute saw a criminal miss on the line from Christensen coming in from a corner. All anyone wanted right then was a third for Ruben. He got the chance on 15 but the goalie comfortably took the ball out of the air. Forward we came again. Zappacosta crossed it into the box but nobody was deep enough to hit it. Then we lapsed a bit. 20 minutes had ticked by and suddenly we were sloppy in places. It was all a bit too easy, and there were lazy giveaways from Willian and Zappacosta. But the opportunities continued to flow. Kovacic squandered a shot on 23. He hit another one straight at the defender shortly afterwards, reinforcing my opinion that in terms of finding the goal he is the is the new Mikel and should be banned from shooting, ever. He missed out on a header on 29 too, before Willian shanked another chance wide. Of all people, The Beard wasn’t getting a look in and there were some frustrated exchanges when he ran into position and the ball wasn’t played through. On 35 a quick break and Willian ran the length of the pitch and touched it in towards the Frenchman, but it was just a tad long. Before the half ended Ruben had yet another chance to claim the match ball, and then in injury time it fell to Willian in the box. He launched himself up like a gazelle, toes pointed and poised for the overhead kick. Then managed to hit the roof. Oops. Still, fifteen shots to their one off target, and none of us could remember when that was.
At least one of the random extra officials behind the goal kept himself amused this evening. I have never seen anyone spend so much time fiddling with their hair as the one at the Shed End. Borisov were still plugging away, in the face of overwhelming odds. They won their first corner in the opening seconds after the restart, but unfortunately it was bad as ours generally are. Then normal service was resumed. On 53 minutes RLC had his hatrick. The keeper could have done better but it was well deserved for all of his effort tonight.
Sarri began the subs straight away with Burnley in mind. Willian off... go on… Hudson Odoi... But no. Moses first. Shame. Unless you’re Moses of course. Pedro Pony made way shortly afterwards though, and on came the youngster. Both subs were in the mood, given a rare chance to impress the boss. Finally, just after the hour mark the opposition managed a shot on target, but it was rather tame. I was feeling sorry for The Beard at the other end. He’d not had a decent ball to latch on to all night. That’s not to say that more chances weren’t piling up for us. Zappacosta forced a flying save on 66, then finally The Beard got a great shot off but it was met by a bit of an epic save. Then CHO tried to pass it into the net. The visitors were still giving it a go thought, although someone needs to tell their goalkeeper that there’s no point wasting time when you are losing. Everyone around us was starting to go home. Mrs. Brown and I did have to have a chuckle as one walked past us and declared loudly: “It’s much smaller than it looks on TV.”
Then because we are a little bit too benevolent for our own good (ref. United game, Mount playing next week, etc) we decided to let them score a goal. Aleksey Rios. Who I wouldn’t recognise in a lineup if you gave me all the gin in England. Mrs. Brown had already mapped out an entire nightmare scenario where they got another and we then spent the last ten minutes running about like headless chickens trying not to drop points against a team that looked as much as though they belonged in this competition as Sp*rs do in the Champions League. But Ruben was trying for a fourth and nearly succeeded on 82 minutes, and that was basically it for the action.
So: The most comfortable display I’ve seen since, well, the first half against United. Fabregas shone, as of course did Ruben Loftus Cheek. Does Barkley have competition? Is this beginning of a glorious run into the first team? Or did he just admirably turn up on the night against a very poor side? He was imperious at times tight, exhausted by the end. He could have done no more. We’ll see, but he deserves his plaudits tonight. That’s it he even gets a mention in the press. Who will inevitably produce a lengthy article about how The Beard didn't score whilst having a massive circle jerk about Arsenal’s unbeaten run that a pub team probably could have amassed against the opposition they’ve faced lately.
The Kid's fund is up and running. As with last year we'll be shaking down Blues far and wide in aid of children who will spend Christmas in a shelter owing to domestic violence. Last year not only did we manage to fulfil their modest requests from Santa, and then some, but we also helped out a family in dire straits with winter wardrobes for all three little ones. You can find out more by dropping me a PM on facebook under the Girl Who Likes Balls Page or on twitter: @CFCgwlb
When £15m Starts to Look Like Peanuts
Chelsea 2 United 2
Saturday 20th October 2018 12:30
I dedicate this to Robby-kins. The only United fan with a northern accent I've ever met We'll ignore the fact he should support Bolton :D
Somewhere in West London, Sarri is chain smoking himself into oblivion after watching that. I am too, and I don’t even smoke.
In the News: Speaking of Sarri, apparently superstitions on his list include lighting a fag at a hairpin bend, three coffees before a game and he’s incapable of crossing white lines on a pitch. No wonder he was never a player, he’d end up glued to the spot unable to keep up with the game and looking like a total bellend - a bit like Lukaku yesterday. Eden Hazard saying if he never leaves Chelsea he won’t lose sleep. Good boy. Morata has been waxing lyrical about his tough start at Chelsea. Apparently it even caused him to have a row with his wife. My heart literally bleeds. As I sit here actually saving up for a filling.
Joyfully, I did not watch a single second of turgid international football because I was too busy listening to boys with guitars and raiding Bath and Body works in Hill Country. “I wish you cancer and leukaemia and I hope you get raped” was one message sent to England’s female players this week. Vile and disgusting, but as the profile of the womens’ game rises, so do the number of coward a*seholes with nothing better to do than pound their keypads when their knobs have taken too much of a battering in their mums basement from constant w*nking over vintage episodes of Xena Warrior Princess. It’s no worse than the stick the blokes take and not worth anyone’s time. I’ve saved all the similar I get sent and when I’m bored I bring them all up and have a chuckle. And when they’re stupid enough to leave an email I sign them up for dodgy porn sites.
“My stars are hurt by cruel attacks” said Chequebook Pulis during the week. He does realise he’s the one doing most of the attacking right? Benitez says he doesn’t fear the sack at Newcastle. No, I expect he kneels next to his bed praying for a way to get away from Mike Ashley at night, just like everyone else involved with the club. Juve’s stock has plummeted by 37% since rapegate started with Ronaldo. Unsurprising that they will stick by him while it’s all allegations considering they have invested a quarter of a billion in him and he’s their cash cow. Even though his “fake news, fake news” stance makes him sound like Trump. More dubious is the madwoman in the Italian media that has already decided he’s innocent because he’s too rich and good looking to rape anybody. Sigh. Conte apparently on Real’s radar for replacing their failing manager, who probably wishes he’d stayed with Spain. And that they hadn’t signed Thibaut, who let in another two yesterday. 465 minutes Real have now gone without scoring, which is a club record. If Conte does go there we can rule our Hazard following him, which is a bonus. Speaking of Spain, UEFAlona apparently eyeing a shock swoop for Ivanovic in January.
The Others: Unsurprisingly we lost ground on the other two, because this weekend they faced the likes of Huddersfield (and didn’t make that look easy) and Burnley. (Who rolled over and collapsed like a fat bulldog after a bacon binge like they absolutely won’t next weekend) You know you are living in a parallel universe when people start talking about Lamela like he’s a game changer and Cardiff finally won a match.
Us: Eight of them as you’d expect - then out of the puzzlers, Willian over Pedro Pony, Kovacic over Barkley and Morata over The Beard.
Them: The now usual overpaid, moany, underperforming and generally very un-Unitedlike set up. Which is very entertaining for the rest of us.
There was only one team in it in the first half. Our first break came on 2 minutes with a decent cross from little Willy but the end result was air kicked by Kovacic. Hugely enjoyable stadium-wide chants of “you’re f*cking sh*t” at the away fans, which is joyous after thirty years of their smug w*nkery. Usual aim with Chequebook Pulis - score early and ruin the game plan of boring football he’s been plotting all week. First ludicrous challenge on Eden went unpunished. Matic committed an outrageous foul as he was about to shoot, Ja-ooung (still massively entertained by Spanish commentary of Young’s name during the World Cup) had already had his elbow in too. So beganeth my bi-annual reminder (the other 363 days I forget he exists) that I hate Ashley Young more than just about anyone in world football.
The resulting free kick from the Matic outrage was too close, so Morata, Kovacic and Rudiger put themselves in the wall to fly to one side and leave a gap, but what does Willy do? Tries to send it up and over and faceplants. Sigh. Their first break on 11 minutes was tame by the standard we’d created, and the cross went across the face of goal and out for a throw in. Matic ran out of luck very early on with another shocker of a challenge. Once again it was on Hazard and this time Dean brandished a yellow. To his credit, he let the cyclical fouling on our star man happen a lot less today than other referees. United definitely seeing the alternative side of Matic now.
Despite utter dominance (well, aside from inside the colourful mind of Chequebook Pulis) we were lucky not to concede on 15 minutes when we left a man open on the far post, but they could fashion nothing from that or the follow up. They hadn’t had a single attempt on goal thus far. Our breaks continued and then we were ahead. A rarity for us: perfect corner by Willian, Rudi left completely free in the box, I blamed Pogba and De Gea didn’t stand a chance when the German nutted it towards goal. Hurrah. They were in disarray. Martial shortly after at left back rescuing Shaw. On the half hour Alonso was in, and onside, but couldn’t control the ball. Shame because they were done. And shame because that was the high point of the Spaniard’s afternoon. Janice (muppet alias) is still p*ssed he didn’t head it. She says even Torres would have scored. (She has had some wine)
A note on Morata today - I see him getting more sh*t, but I didn’t think he didn’t score because he was rubbish yesterday. And he was effective in the box when we were defending too, apart from one it looked to me simply as though the attempts he had were well dealt with. Though I’d still rather start with The Beard at the moment. We should have made it 2-0 on 40 minutes after a sublime high ball in from Jorginho to William, but alas, he couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Inexplicably, United were still playing like it was 0-0. They were actually woeful, and CP couldn’t even be a*sed to get out his seat. Matic terrible, Shaw and Lukaku look dumpy to me in particular. And where was the guy that’s getting 350k a week? Ah, on the bench. This was the most pathetic I’d ever seen United in my lifetime. De Gea was shaking his head like he’d rather be anywhere else the whole half. More cards than they’d had attempts on goal and it was so easy to play the ball around it was ridiculous. So what could possibly go wrong after half time? Right?
It looked like nothing initially. On 46 minutes a run from Morata was well blocked. They tried to break twice but gave the all away stupidly.’ Did he kick them up the a*se? It didn’t look like it. Is it that he, or they, or both just don’t have it to give - was he wholly reliant on us making a mistake? And obviously just as I typed this that’s exactly what we did. Because it’s us. Luiz has been excellent this season, and was partly excellent again yesterday, but he gifted them both goals. Alonso was lying prone in the six yard box when it happened - and I’m not sure I’m ok with that. No it wasn’t a head injury but he’s in the way, he’s playing them onside and I can’t remember another instant when a referee has let play go on in a situation like that. This might be because I am jet lagged and hungover at the same time.
Bring on The Beard please, because after that we completely lost our composure. It was all the more frustrating because they didn’t suddenly outplay us - they improved yes, but we basically took half an hour off. Much to the rage of Sarri who was repeatedly punching his chair. I just didn’t see us not getting something out of this game, butt Eden had gone off the boil, as he is apt to do the more he gets savagely kicked; on the whole we were scrappy, indecisive and disorganised. We’d gone from a slick footballing machine toying with the opposition to a collection of lemmings following each other off the edge of a f*cking cliff.
Ashley Young, who should have been sent off by now, as always, had already begun time wasting. If you want to amuse yourself today have a look online for the video of a bird sh*tting in his mouth. It always cheers me up.
The Beard. Now please.
On 65 Luiz almost had the equaliser, but our dominance of the game was gone. Mata could, probably should have seen red for a disgusting tackle on Dave on 66, but he’s such an ordnarily nice chap he was given a pass on that one. Martial desperately tried to win a penalty. And failed. The eight and ninth rolls were probably unnecessary. And he only stopped then because he was about to clatter the ad boards.
Hurrah, Barkley coming on on 68 to offer something different, but it was getting desperate. What the f*ck? Luiz and Jorginho having a complete throw down after the second United goal. As well they might. Shocking. Pedro Pony was introduced Kante forced a save from De Gea with a long range shot, but you know it’s time for Morata to go bye-bye when he tries to tackle and falls on his arse. Refwatch: Mike Dean made a few decisions that made me mutter offensive, Dobby the House Elf insults at him, but ultimately he did not alter the result. We only had our own stupidity to blame for not beating a team that was at best competent but for half of the match a complete shower of sh*t.
How were we not winning this. Sarri was still beating up the dugout. Our lot were all standing with their hands on their hips. Barkley at least had a go from range on 76 but United we’re employing the dark arts now. Chequebook Pulis at his finest. Remember that last fifteen mins against Milan at the Bridge? Where the ball was in play for two of them? We had achingly slow substitutes, Young tying his shoelaces at every given opportunity, people just sitting down on the pitch and pretending to be injured (yes Rashford, I’m looking at you - although until that point I hadn’t noticed that you were on the pitch) Walking three laps of the pitch before going off after treatment. We got one corner played, and then someone else sat down. God give me strength. Even when we did get it we couldn’t do anything with it. Just when you thought Alonso couldn’t play any worse he was air kicking it in the box.
Finally, The Beard made an appearance with a quarter of an hour to go. Too late, should have been ten minutes earlier at least. Kepa nearly did a Thibaut by flailing about on the edge of the area but managed to clear it. For some stupid reason, that apparently had nothing to do with Sarri, we had resorted to punting it long and hoping that something would happen. We had basically fallen apart and they couldn’t believe their luck. Yes Rob, luck. Tyler (sitcom alias) and I wanted a minimum of six minutes added. Two goals, six subs and two minutes of Rashford being a dickhead. That didn’t even allow for Young and his shoelaces, so we were being restrained. And lo and behold, we got them! Our very own Fergie time, and it came back to bite them in the a*se. Ha. Suckers.
So: If Sarri had gone around with a BB gun and potted them all in the knee caps at half time they could not have been any worse as a collective. In Alonso’s case I’m pretty sure he did pop him in both legs. Tragically a f*cking draw was about all we deserved. They paid for cheating with Barkley’s last minute goal and were lucky to be in it at all after the dire performance in the first half. Everyone out there at some stage looked more jetlagged than me. Of them, none of them would have got in under Ferguson save for De Gea. He may have got more out of Pogba but doubtful whether it would cancel out the fact that he’s got the IQ of one of Sir Alex’s old socks. Marco Ianni becomes a cult hero. Chequebook sensible enough to keep his trap shut on mouthy assistants after fifteen years odd of Rui Faria acting as Luca Brasi to his Corleone. They were the better side today if you listen to the Godfather (of lunacy) CP really needed a win today, but the fact that they were terrible and came from behind for a point will appease their people. It appears the rabid old dog might have some life in him after all, but at least a scouser went and kicked him at the end. Disappointment led to the drinking of much gin. Sometimes in shot form, mixed with vodka. Urgh.
Smoke in a Minute!
Southampton 0 Chelsea 3
7th October 2018 14:15
In the News: Eden refuses to be complacent despite his staggering form, the dressing room jokes that Jorginho is Sarri's lovechild, Ruben's talent is not in question, but Sarri hints that he needs to get better at following tactical instructions. Cesc says he feels "sensations" with Sarri he thought he'd never feel again. Probably best he doesn't regale his wife with that titbit. "Chelsea denying youth," headlines from the Press Plebs. Again. Yawn. And egg on our face they say because Sancho and Mount have got England call ups. Guess what, sh*theads? Getting into the England squad is easier than getting into the Chelsea first team. And if they weren't out on loan they wouldn't have been picked, because they would not be playing. If Loftus Cheek, Barkley, FABREGAS and Christensen are clawing like angry kittens to get into the starting lineup, how far down the pecking order do you think those two young chaps would be? Morata cried when he scored on Thursday. Sarri asked what he thought - "if he wants to cry when he scores I hope I see him cry a lot." And a great interview with Kepa this week. Surprised at how much he has to play with his feet at Chelsea, but something they did through the Spanish age groups, so does not feel uncomfortable. Aims for the season? Stay in all competitions as long as possible and still be in the mix for the league with 5-8 games to go, sensible lad.
Huge thanks to @cfcunofficial for the photograph!
Podgettino has been bitching that football is negligent for how much players are expected to do. It's only October you bellend. He says it's dangerous, but attributes no culpability to Sp*rs, who were simply too stupid to buy anyone in the summer so they could rotate. Sanchez is paid £391,000 a week. On top of a six and a half million pound signing on fee. How particularly galling when he has done nothing to earn any of it. 1-0 to Chequebook Pulis though, because I like to think he has dropped him for no other reason than denying him the ADDITIONAL £75,000 he gets for each appearance. Though you wouldn't have been able to ask CP to confirm this, as his press conference lasted precisely three minutes and thirty two seconds. Jermaine Penis says he cannot imagine a way for Mourinho to still be in charge come the end of the season. Stranger things have happened. Him getting a job stating the obvious for one. And Juve's stock price has plummeted thanks to the rape allegations against Ronaldo and their pledging their support of him. Hmm. Where do I stand on this? One of them is a disgraceful human being, that is for sure. Rape is obviously disgusting and wholly unacceptable. But I find the taking money from your rapist in exchange for your silence distasteful. You either want to pursue the case against someone who assaulted you or you don't, but you don't turn it into a business arrangement. But then money talks. And from the other side this is a man who bought half his kids like he'd buy a new sports car.
The Others: The United game was entertaining. If they had not come back, it would have been the first time in 28 years that they had gone 5 games at Old Trafford without a win. Smelling (ha - autospell) has a sad little ponytail. As if he wasn't a big enough laughing stock already. Chequebook Pulis's programme notes amounted to 167 words and were mostly devoted to the boast that they have more points in the Champions League than any other English club. Don't ever change CP. One commentator was boohooing at 0-2 that he hasn't had enough money spent on him. Funny, because Bailly, who he hooked on 18 minutes, was one that he picked. At one point they had a back three of Matic, Pogba and Smalling, but a combination of one of those daring Chequebook Pulis substitution master classes, Mata bailing him out and Newcastle being idiots turned it around. And Sanchez justified about 1% of the money expended on him so far. To hear them singing CP's name then made me almost cry with laughter at the hypocrisy. Funniest moment?Graeme Le Saux said Matic's turning circle was the same as a small cruise ship. Funniest thing I've ever heard him say, but only with his left foot Graeme. If he tried to use his right, he'd sink. Not satisfied with that amount of drama though, CP apparently exclaimed "f*** off sons of a b*tch" at the TV cameras, assuming that nowhere in the world was anyone who could speak Portuguese watching his petulant outburst. Of course everything afterwards was about how the media are to blame for his woes. City had to take a different route to their game lest they get attacked on the way to the "Anfield Torture Chamber" (yes, I sh*t you not, that's how amazing they are apparently) by the darlings of football. Again. Klopp apparently decided to dress up as the Michelin man’s chavvy younger brother. Lovren, allegedly made a late play for man of the match. That should tell you everything you need to know about this game. The Scouse have, in the last fortnight, failed to beat us or City, but over the radio it came across as a wet affair where neither side went for it. St. Pep gave his usual petulant post match interview when he hasn't got his own way. He's got all the charisma of one of Sarri's used fag-ends when he's got a sulk on. Mahrez has missed four of his last six penalties. When asked why he took the crucial one today; "because he kicks them well in training." Right. You carry on then. P*ss those points away. Arsenal destroyed Fulham, tedious b*stards were singing “We’ve got our Arsenal back.” This is why any contact with them other than my one Gooner mate makes me wretch. Since getting destroyed by United, who are in chaos, they have amassed this stunning run which apparently makes them title contenders by beating Newcastle, West Ham, Cardiff, Vorskla, Everton, Brentford, Watford and FC Carrier Bag. I’m sure City are quaking in their football boots. None of those are higher than 9th in the table.
More from the annals of Sexpest today. In case you missed this a few months back - this is one of our home and away season ticket holders, he's 71 and the perviest septuagenarian you will ever meet. Last time we went over how he accidentally added 200 fourteen year old girls on Facebook when his granddaughter put him on it. He didn't travel with us today, but emerged soon after we arrived in Southampton waving his sausage around. (Fear not, the kind with onions and a bun) Sexpest is on the road to recovery after prostate cancer and can't taste anything since he got sick. Still deep throated his hotdog tho. He was told by his female doctor this week that he can't have sex anymore. I'm disappointed, he said to her, but not as disappointed as my right hand will be. Poor woman. After the United game I'll regale you with the story of how he lost his virginity to a 65 year-old hooker. We worked out that she would have been born in the 19th Century. When Queen Victoria was still on the throne.
Welcome to St. Mary’s, which is lovely, but if it is remotely windy, you get the sea in your face, if it is remotely sunny you will go blind in the away end until the last twenty minutes when it finally starts to go down. F*ck sake Nike. That kit was awesome, until I saw the socks. That’s definitely getting raised at the forum conference with them. Collected groan of horror from the away support. Don’t forget to email myself (or any of the reps) through the club’s official site (the Fans Forum page) it you want to voice your opinion on anything Nike-like before out meeting with them and the club in ten days or so.
Them: Captained by Champions League winner Bertrand, but more importantly, how very dare they not bring on Charlie Austin on Charlie Austin Day.
Us: Kepa, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Barkley, Hazard, The Beard, Willian, Dave and Luiz. Cesc and Cahill drop back to the bench along with Morata. Kovacic and Pesto ready to come on if necessary too, as was Zappacosta, who must have been amazed he wasn’t relegated to washing the kits after almost chucking our slender lead away on Thursday night.
Our first foray into their box was claimed by the keeper after a minute and a half. In fact, the ball remained cemented in their half almost exclusively for the opening five minutes. They barely touched the ball, and on 7 minutes Eden was in, and only after much faffing in the box was the ball put over the bar for a corner. Total dominance ensued, though there were no outstanding chance to speak of. In the opening quarter of an hour we had 86% possession, no shots on target though.
So much space, and they don’t look entirely comfortable at the back. Barkley had out best shot yet from range, and on 18 we had it cleared off the line. Kepa till that point was doing aerobics to keep himself entertained, but he was about to be called into action. Midway through the first half they finally got inside out box, and managed a shot on target, though it was easily saved. On 24 we were screaming about the lack of a free kick on the edge of their box and I realised who the bloody ref was. Craig Poorson. Urgh. The man who massively over, or under-reacts to absolutely everything and never manages to land in the middle and make a sensible decision.
They should have been ahead immediately afterwards. Harder to Danny Ings to miss than it was for him to score but there he was, smashing it twenty feet over the bar from about six yards out. They had barely touched the ball, and yet it was a miracle they were not winning. Out on the right Dave was under pressure from both Bertrand and Redmond, and finding life hard today, everything was coming from that channel. Life was not helped by penalty decisions being waved away. I’m going to say that both were dead certs, purely because if it comes down to our between our judgement at the other end of the stadium and Pawson’s, I know who I trust.
It mattered little, for on the half hour, a fantastic assist from Barkley’s backside as he used it to flatten the opposition Half the Southampton team were back but none in a position to stop Hazard from making it 7 so far this season with ease. Barkley continued to put them under immense pressure in the box by strong-arming defenders. On 35 minutes the ball zipped across the face of goal to no avail. You know the advantage of this kit? You can see the shirt being pulled from vast distances, unless you’re the referee. We were pressing for a second, but the home side were putting in blocks and maintaining jut enough composure at the back to shut us out. Pawson was at it again, booking Bertrand for making sense as we approached the break, but despite our superiority on the pitch, we remained ahead by just the one at halftime.
Romeu on at the break for them. The opening couple of minutes were as you were, but then Bertrand missed a good chance on 50 minutes and straight afterwards, a rather limp Little Willy gave the ball away and let them run at us again. He was a bit erratic today, some very good stuff from him, but a couple of shockers too, probably evened out in the end. In the meantime Southampton were looking much more like a football team and we were a bit lacklustre. More of that horrid, lazy “Maurizio” song. Almost as mercenary as our board have been in the manager stakes, just replacing Antonio’s name with the new guy. Another shocker from the referee on 56, when he ignored a savage tackle on Hazard. It didn’t matter. For from a Willian free kick, The Beard then popped up with the best assist I have seen anywhere this season. In fact I guarantee you won’t see a better one before May. He peels off, nobod goes with him and he volleys it towards the six yard box.Barkley was there to put it over the line for his first Chelsea goal. He’s like a new man. Pawson by now appeared to have noticed that they were taking it in turns to foul Eden. An hour in and half the team had been booked for kicking him. In the crowd, we finally had an entertaining alternative to that sh*t Sarri song in the shape of “Smoke in a minute, he’s going to smoke in a minute.” The home side were coming into the game more. On 66 minutes we had an epic clearance from Rudi. A subsequent shot from Southampton, however, hit the corner flag. Subs began; The Beard was replaced by Morata, and a few minutes later Pedro Pony came on for Willian.
Lots of love for our keeper too today. He tipped one over the bar with a flying leap on 75 and was met with chants of the renewed crowd favourite: “Kepa, you know, he’s better than f*cking Thibaut.” (Daddy Cool - I Think) Once again Morata appeared desperate to make a point, and on 79 minutes he was in after a quick break fuelled by the likes of Hazard. He tried to get it under McCarthy, and in fairness, he nearly managed it, but there wasn’t enough pace on it. Kovacic replaced Barkley, who left to a rapturous ovation, with ten minutes to go. Jesus wept. We’ve got “Kovacic, in the middle of our pitch,” at the moment. Please someone think of something better.
More heroics required from Kepa were required on 82 and he pulled off a magical save. At the other end Rudi nearly managed to bundle it over the line with a combination of his chest, his belly and his testicles but there was not enough momentum on it. Southampton’s final chance fell to Danny Ings, who once again crowned it with an atrocious finish. Charlie would have done better. Just when we were ready to call it a day, Hazard cuts the ball in and Morata was in again. I’ll be honest, from directly behind the keeper it looked as if the ball had run away from him, but he managed to send it up over the keeper and he might even have smiled at this one. Just. Well done. 0-3, seven unbeaten, top of the league for a couple of hours at least.
So: It’s hard not to give Eden man of the match every single time, because he is incredible, but for me Ross Barkley was outstanding today, for work rate, fight and of course he made one and scored one. Without slagging Everton off, Blue Squirrel says Chelsea were not a little bit horrified at some aspects of how his injury had been handled up north and had a lot of work to do to fix him “our way.” Whatever they have done has worked. A*se jokes aside, he looks in better condition than I think I have ever seen him. Loftus Cheek has got quite a bit of catching up to do. Still the only unbeaten side in England in all competitions, still right in it at the top, and Chequebook Pulis in mid-meltdown to come after another tedious international break which nobody wants.
I’ve set up a Patreon page, which is basically a way for arty type people to generate a bit of income from their creative efforts, especially when they are dispersed for free. If you like what you read and want to kick in the equivalent of a gin and tonic every month, you can find it here:
Please Make It Stop
Chelsea 1 Vidi 0
Thursday 4th October 20:05
In the News: Valencia has apparently joined the ever-growing list of players at United who don't want to talk to Chequebook Pulis. And Pogba has been gagged. Which has done the world a favour. CP’s life is not going to get any easier. He’s now got us, Juve twice and City. Snigger. The club, gloriously, are entwined in far more important matters, namely whether or not they should introduce gender neutral toilets at Old Trafford. If there are two places I absolutely don't want to share a cubicle with blokes, it is in a pub or at football. Because you f*ckers lose the ability to aim straight when you've had beer. Speaking of, one of the Hammarby players has celebrated scoring by catching a pint from the crowd then downing it. He was heard to toast Lloris as he did so. Joe Gomez has hailed Sturridge as one of the best in the world. Which serves to illustrate that Hugo isn't the only premier league footballer hitting the bottle. Hard. Apparently Cardiff vs Burnley only pulled in 450,000 viewers. I'm surprised it was that many, seeing as the ball was actually only in play for about 42 minutes. Eight minutes were squandered JUST on watching Morrison take throw ins. And after Villa were so bad that Bruce got pelted with cabbage (might have been a well-wishing fan dropping a hint) JT is now in the frame to become the Villa boss without so much as having got his managerial feet wet before. Unless you count all the times the Press Plebs claimed he was undermining various managers and calling the shots at Chelsea. Idiots.
The Others: All has not been rosy in Europe's secondary club competition this week. I listened to the commentary team making excuses for Sp*rs being shit and crying about their injuries and over why Harry f*cking Kane couldn't score and blaming the referee for twenty minutes before I started choking on my own vomit and had to turn it off. But not before Lloris had made a catastrophic error in the opening two minutes that f*cked their night right up. P*sshead. And after listening to how they'd already won everything in August, the Red Scouse now haven't won in three. Stank royally against Ancelotti's Napoli. Shame. Carragher says Salah is letting everyone down. I thought he was God? I bet they loved the photographs of him emerging from the Manc team hotel. If the Red Scouse had brain cells they'd be churning. As far as Europe's top table is concerned, it was not the actual story about Aaron Ramsey not travelling to F.C. Carrier Bag because his wife is heavily pregnant that disturbed me beyond measure, it was the selfie of her that revealed he sleeps in a bedroom that, short of some glitter and a life size plastic unicorn, is so pink and terrifying it looks like a twelve-year-old girl decorated it.
So back to the Bridge it is, where it is so easy to be a tout than even the ambulance men are at it. I hope they made a massive loss tonight. Buoyant Hungarian support outside the away entrance. I shall marvel at their jubilatory antics from the posh seats with JK. Whilst I feast on the club's pick 'n' mix.
Us: wholesale changes as you'd expect - Loftus-Cheek's rumoured start came to pass. Pedro Pony returns from that clattering he took. Hurrah. I was going to revert to Pesto, until knobhead in Australia revealed that the new nickname leaves him entranced and not a little bit mortified by inappropriate sexual imagery of our midfielder pulling a trap. So it can stay longer. Mwhahahaha. Little Willy and Kovacic are basically the only ones apart from Kepa that remain, with Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Emerson, Fabregas and Morata also coming in to the starting lineup. God help him if he didn't score tonight against this lot, that would be sad.
Them: They wore white and red. That's about all I can tell you.
Before kick off JK had a diva fit. The Pick 'n' Mix section of the buffet was dominated by M&Ms, with the result that the staff went scurrying our the back to find him Smarties. And we'll they should. Before he started throwing the furniture onto the pitch. With him quietly seated and not about to smash any televisions or eat any hamsters, the game began.
Much fuller inside the stadium than last time we embarked on a run in this competition. I think that was when the stadium was half full, of basically the entire London population of Romanians who turned out to see Bucharest. But then I've been drinking so I might have just made that up. Disappointed when we weren't 2-0 ahead after five minutes. Corner for them on six minutes - they were feisty but you could see their problem when straight afterwards Pedro Pony broke and played it in for Little Willy, who fortunately for them kicked it like a bellend. Shortly afterwards Emerson managed to do channel Eden and literally skip his way towards goal before he finished by smashing it over the bar. Can you see a theme emerging? Willian hit it just wide on 11 minutes. I don't like plain M&Ms. I never buy them, I couldn't give a crap about them, so why is it when they are in a pick 'n' mix cup I am incapable of not stuffing them in my face? Meanwhile on the pitch landing the ball in row Z was catching. Kovacic shanked it well wide. We should acknowledge though that this is not surprising. For he is the new Mikel, in that he should never, ever shoot. Morata missed a great chance on 16 minutes, and tonight was going to get a lot worse for him before it got better. Emerson's turn to miss again, then Alvaro proved to be so frustrated already that he started trying to fight a defender. He missed another shortly afterwards. After half an hour, one shot on target in what arguably should have been the easiest game of the season so far, NINE ridiculous misses. And 70% possession counting for nothing.
Loftus-Cheek had powered his way in towards goal already, and on 38 minutes he made the kind of run we dream about, Hungarians bouncing off him like skittles. He was robbed of his glory tonight, because then he was shamelessly brought down in the box and the referee did nothing. Neither did the moron with the stick standing three feet away who gets paid to do literally nothing . We could have been four up at half time, such was the gap between the two sides. We weren't because we couldn't have hit a barn door if the continuing existence of humanity had depended on it.
Morata's desperation to score was growing, and was painfully apparent. Shortly after the restart he threw his entire body at a loose ball and couldn't get it over the line. But if the game wasn't entertaining (it really wasn't) at least Eden had emerged to warm up about fifteen feet away. Hurrah. Make way bitches. Daddy's home. On he came to a rapturous reception on 53. Within four minutes he had smashed it across the face of goal. Where it just kept on going because nobody was in the six yard box. Annoying.
More importantly so far as our little section was concerned, Barkley had emerged now in a pair of skintight leggings. The next six minutes is a blur. One of our number was singing "Get your buttocks off the pitch" for she could not focus on anything else. Don't tell me he didn't know exactly what he was doing. It was as titivating as that Call On Me video with the girls doing the aerobics. At one point I looked across and JK was just mesmerised by it. Lucky that like all celebrities he had his sunglasses on. At night. So nobody else noticed.
RLC perhaps came closest of all just after the hour mark. Sarri was having a nicotine deprived meltdown on the sideline. I love that after a season of fussing over whether or not Antonio was wearing a suit or a tracksuit, he basically just turns up in his pyjamas and still gets the job done.
On came Barkley (Buttocks Barkley, as he has been christened in the East Middle) for Loftus-Cheek on 65. One minute and he'd had a shot on target, which was really saying something in this game. Morata was moaning at everybody now. Players, officials, Stamford the Lion, ballboys. Even when he was winning corners. If they gave out a Golden Gob for whinging he'd be uncatchable. And then suddenly everything was rosy in his world. Cesc ball, brilliant flick on from the head of Little Willy and a great goal from the Spaniard. Not faffing, moaning or stropping, just instinct, sublime touch and in the back of the net. Thank f*ck for that. I would have worried for his mental health had he got to the end of this game without scoring. Willian appears to whisper something in his ear while they are celebrating. Answers on a postcard.
Vidi slumped, but we were far to excruciating to then go on and taken them apart tonight. On 71 Hazard danced into the box - but Barkley wasn't expecting it to fall to him and it wasn't to be when his shot hit one of them and went out for a corner. The Matthew Harding Lower has started singing "Maurizio" to the tune of "Antonio." JK does not approve of the lack of creativity. "That is shit." He says. "That is really shit." On 75 Barkley had the ball rebounding off the bar. Comedy moment then when the Vidi bench appeared to fiercely instruct their keeper to kick the ball out of play, then when he did they gesticulated that he was a moron while the whole MH sang "you're f*cking sh*t." Baffling. Speaking of goalkeepers, Kepa, who apart from being stamped on had been a spectator, pulled off a handy save on 83.
By this point we had noticed that Zappacosta was wearing salmon coloured boots. Last player to do that? Lord Bendtner. Number of times anyone took him seriously after that? 0. A's the clock ticked over the 90 minute mark and we still hadn't made the result a certainty, the Italian started fannying about with the ball down at the corner and gave it away before trying to win it back and conceding a free kick. Sarri, apoplectic with rage went straight for the notebook and started frantically scribbling. JK's money was on “DON'T EVER PICK THIS IDIOT AGAIN!!" Mine is on a to do list. "Rip of Davide's head and sh*t down his neck." That's #2, right after #1 "Have a fag."
What a difference an hour makes. For it was Morata that rose to head the ball clear when the free kick was taken. Zappacosta had meanwhile popped up on our side of the pitch. "What is he doing here?" Said JK "Running away from his own shame “said I. Afterwards we adjourned to Ossie’s Bar where BT Sport was on. And Michael Owen was wearing a plum coloured jacket. Didn't make him remotely more interesting. In fact, he clashed with his own denim shirt, Glen Hoddle's blue jacket and the bright orange set. Which makes me think BT punked him and dressed him in it because they dislike him as much as we do.
So: I can't be a*sed to check, but apparently we remain the only one of 92 clubs in the country unbeaten in all competitions. We did the absolute minimum tonight, and not an iota more. 23 shots OFF target and 4 on. I forgive the club because they gave me gin. Let us never speak of this again.
*Picture of Morata looking marginally happy comes from Chelsea's official website