Game 13: Chelsea 2 Rottenham Effin' Hotspur 1
Saturday 26th October 2016 17:30
Sp*rs prove for the second time in a week that they've got all the backbone of a jellyfish that's downed half a bottle of absinth on an empty stomach. Hurrah.
The Others: At the top end, Coutinho got stretchered off with his foot on backwards, while Burnley have a right to be somewhat disappointed that they didn’t get anything out of their game against City, because they did enough to. Elsewhere, Hull and West Brom shared points, and poor Palace, four goals today and they still haven’t won. They’re now hovering just above the bottom three but you have to believe the results will come for them soon. Sunderland will end this round of games at the bottom of the table, Leicester did enough to claw back to 2-2 at home to Boro and… and I’m trying to pretend I give a crap about what happened anywhere else today but let’s just cut the b*llocks and get to the bit where we beat Sp*rs. Again.
Our Game: When Sp*rs last won at the bridge, 17 of their current squad hadn't been born. Since that heinous day, we've had six Prime Ministers. America has elected four new presidents, including a black one for the first time, and a raving lunatic. The Channel Tunnel opened. The Soviet Union broke up. ER aired for fifteen seasons, winning 116 awards and launching the career of George Clooney and still ended as long ago as 2009. The World Wide Web was invented. Take that formed, ruled the charts, Robbie left, they split up, went on a holiday for several years, reformed, Robbie came back, left, again, and since his blessed second departure they've recorded two more albums and set up two more tours. There have been 462 Fast & Furious films. Katie Price has had twelve kids and worked her way through nine husbands. Harry F*cking Kane (try saying it without inserting an obscenity, it’s impossible) has produced enough drool to fill Lake Ontario.
Jesus, last time they beat us at ours Ray Wilkins had hair!
And happily, nothing has changed. Even more happily, for nigh on 45 minutes they believed it would. Again.
Remember a few weeks back when I said you'd never see such a game of two halves? Chalk that off already, because this was as two-faced as Trump sending Hilary Clinton a Christmas Card.
The team was the same for the sixth consecutive match. I had my own personal hot water bottle, Boycie, (muppet or sitcom aliases, remember) we had a bonkers light show, Gonzo was so excited he could barely contain himself, there was a cautious air of optimism, as well as mad contingent hoping to fulfill their 6-0 prophecy. And what happened? The f*ckers outplayed us for 45 minutes, that is what happened. They shot out of the blocks, while we sort of ambled forth. We found it difficult to get enough time on the ball to settle and do anything with it. We had a good laugh at their muppet fans when they had a goal chalked off, and we looked as if we were starting to motor a bit. But after just eleven minutes we were behind. There was the odd flash, such as when Hazard broke but played the ball in just the wrong side of Costa, (still not been booked, funny how the Press Plebs haven’t noticed) but after fifteen minutes we were pleading with the players to kick on.
But it didn’t get much better. When we did get anywhere near the ball we were sloppy, mainly because we were rushed into making stupid decisions. My Arsenal mate (I have one - I’m selective, we’ll call him Knobhead) sent me a text that said “For the love of God please beat them.” Quite. I’m pretty sure that David Luiz’s free kick on the half hour, one that was picked up easily by Lloris, was our first shot on target. Likewise I don’t remember a corner until the 35th minute. As the half ticked down most people went in search of beer. We hadn’t been good, but it was because they hadn’t allowed us to be. (I can say this like I’m the bigger person because I know we shafted them later on) They had basically packed the midfield out and significantly, Kante couldn’t do anything that he normally does to get us going forward, resulting in his worst 45 minutes so far in a Chelsea shirt.
But luckily sometimes these things don’t matter. Most used phrase at Stamford Bridge at about 18:15? “I take back everything I’ve said about Pesto in the last forty minutes.” (autospell is that determined to rename him, I have given up) He came, he saw, he left Lloris on his arse. It was one of those goals where you know it's going in as soon as they hit it. He couldn’t have had more empty space to wander about in if he had turned up at a meeting of the Robbie Savage fan club. And he used it to do a flashy turn and strike a perfect long range effort.
Knobhead was feeling significantly better at half time, even if he had upset his son by celebrating a Chelsea goal like he’d won the lottery. While he most likely spent the break grovelling, I spent half time eating chocolate with Boycie and contemplating in my head how filthy Tottenham are. Although, obviously, we all hate Sp*rs on principle, I don’t think I have ever disliked so many individual Spuds as I do currently. Dembele is a thug, who like Fellaini gets away with it because everyone assumes it is out of stupidity as opposed to malice, I’m firmly convinced that Harry F*cking Kane is medically incapable of closing his mouth. (or counting to ten) If they weren't footballers, Lloris would be a smackhead sitting in a Wetherspoons in a tracksuit smelling like a wet badger, while Kyle Walker and Alli would be qualified for little more than trying to pick the pound coins out of shopping trolleys in Asda. We were at least spared Danny Rose, who God blessed with fast legs to make up for the fact that he is destined to go through life running away from people who want to punch his face. Which brings me to my uncontrollable hatred for Jan Vertonghen above almost anyone else in football. I've seen nothing today to convince me that I'm wrong about him having started life as a botched science experiment that later got consumed by some toxic/chemical spill that turned him into a bastardised misprint on humanity up there with the elephant man, but minus his charm. Vile cheating c*nt.
We came out for the second half and did what everyone knows we are capable of. Thankfully. I don’t know what they got up to in their dressing room at half time, but it appears that F*cking Harry Kane’s IQ is catching, because they were no longer at it. Kante was reborn, and fired a shot off within two minutes, Hazard was key as always. On 51 minutes, Sp*rs gave it away in midfield, Diego ran it all the way in, taking four defenders out of the game to cross to a thus unmarked Moses. It was even inches away from smashing Vertonghen in the nuts on the way in. Lovely. Then we were all over them, and we could have really driven the knife in when the ball shot into the box courtesy of Diego shortly after the second goal. But it fell to Alonso on his weaker side. I love him, he's pretty, but not only does he not have a right foot, he doesn't even have a ragged stump where a right foot should be. But did I mention he’s pretty?
They started to play their way back into the game, but I think I believed that if they were going to equalise, it would have to be with their starting eleven. I wasn’t convinced that once they were forced to start changing up the personnel for their well drilled game plan, that they would come through unless there was Chelsea f*ckmuppetry involved. And it wasn’t quite f*ckmuppetry, but we encouraged them to pour everything forward by going defensive for a lengthy stretch at the end of the game. Willian, came on for Hazard, who was understandably spent, but then Ivanovic arrived (this season’s Mikel, it seems, when you want to bank a result) and Pesto went off too. Which equalled a quarter of an hour chewing my nails and praying we could hold out while they threw the kitchen sink at us.
It makes me sound like a sadist, but I enjoyed the fact that the likes of Cahill and Matic collapsed on the pitch at the whistle. Bugger the first half, the second was the team we have all been enjoying watching of late and they ran themselves ragged to get the result. I'm glad they were as physically and emotionally wasted as I was by the time it was over. We finally beat another team in the top five. And not only that, we did it by coming from behind - a scenario everyone has been curious about seeing since we changed systems. The fact that it was Sp*rs getting a rodgering has made my weekend. I dare to dream that we can nail a place in the top four if we can keep this up. Dier gave it large afterwards about all the games left to go and everyone having slip ups (ha, Gerrard) but I’m not scared. I don’t feel like we’ve poked a bear here, just kicked a sad little puppy. And now I'm off to drunkenly pick some photos for an article on WW1 in Mesopotamia. Right now I can't even say Mespot... Mesapot... ah f*ck it. Have a look at Thibaut’s hair, it looks like he gels it with his gloves on.
Top of the league.
It’s been a busy week. Apparently some bloke without a forehead has retired, giving the press plebs a license to run riot in eulogising someone who has won the league precisely as many times as I have.
I’m sure the red TV mafia will snap him up, got to keep that quota of 50% Scouse on every pundit panel up somehow. And it doesn’t appear to matter that only 2% of the population can make out what they are saying. Here’s to Stevie Me, who will be forever remembered for falling flat on his face after telling the world “this does not f*cking slip” and then scrambling around like a knob on the floor as Demba Ba lolloped (great word) off into the distance. In other news Samuel Eto’o is apparently going to jail for tax evasion, for longer than some murderers, and Mikel might be off in January. He may be like marmite, but God speed to a faithful servant if that be the case. Only JT has been with us longer.
Who would have thought that the Champions League would be so entertaining when we weren’t in it? I’ve just about finished laughing. Ok, that is a lie, every time I think about their abrupt exit I start giggling again. Call me Scrooge, but I’m bored of the Leicester love-in. They made the knockout stages, woo. But if I have to listen to a tale of non-league football rags to riches repeated for the 300th time, or one more anecdote about how one of them used to bend safety pins into shape in a darkened factory whilst being fed gruel from a drip on seven, 23 hour shifts a week, I might actually chew off my own arm. This state of mind has been muchly helped along by the smugness of the likes of Gary Lineker and Robbie Savage, neither of whom can ever claim to have added to any glory won by their former club. Also, Savage’s quiff? What is that? Is it just going to keep expanding until dragged down one day by the weight of hairspray, he just faceplants the floor and can no longer pick his head up?
The Others: In the early Saturday kick off, Burnley (who are on television more often than a f*cking Kardashian at the moment) face City. At three Hull won’t fancy theirs much after West Brom handed Burnley a drubbing last week. Leicester will hope to transfer some of this European form into Premier League points at home to Boro, while the Scouse, who seem to have an easy fixture every week, are at home to Sunderland. Palace travel to Swansea. There’s a triple header on Sunday - don’t think I’ll be bouncing out of bed for the 12:00 kick off which sees Watford host Stoke. The Goons kick off against Bournemouth at 14:15, by which time I might have surfaced. Hopefully West Ham will choose this weekend not to lose for the first time since, well, since they beat us, when they travel up to see HWWNBN. And at the same time (16:30) Southampton will prove a challenge for an Everton side that have frankly been flaccid (another great word) for the last few weeks.
Our Game: So fresh from yet more well-deserved heartache, they haven’t got a left back. Victor Moses is currently doing the running man in his living room at the thought of that. They haven’t got one of their centre backs, either, but the other (who also happens to be one of the most vicious, cheating turds in the game) apparently might fill that void on the left with his cartoon face and his late kicks and constant whinging. Other than that, apparently they are without Lamela too. I know, I wouldn’t have noticed either if I hadn’t been told.
Contewatch: (each week I assess our manager based on the Jose Scale - the more dishevelled and tramp-like a manager becomes, the closer they are to a complete meltdown and a multi-million pount payout) Unsurprisingly, given that we are ahead of everyone at the moment, Antonio is cruising at Defcon 1. (This is normal, it goes up to 5 when the Russians are coming) JT has pulled something, which probably explains footage of him squeezing his thighs up and down on Instagram, but Willian could return. Other than that we are fine and dandy.
Prepare yourself for many, many choruses of “2-0 and you fucked it up,” and "We Cost You The League," because, let’s face it, that was the stand out highlight of last season. Apparently they have got one win in their last nine (a jammy one against West Ham, at that) but they haven’t actually lost either. It is, however, more than a quarter of a century since they last got one over on us at the Bridge. I am glad that this is the second fixture after an international break, and not the first. Hopefully with another week to settle back in, while they were busy imploding (again) on the continent gives us the edge. I'm going to go with 2-0, but I wouldn't be hugely surprised if they break our non-conceding run up, probably with something outrageous like a dubious penalty.
When people start clapping on the 63rd minute, join in. It’s for Robert Huxley, MHL season ticket holder who was one of seven people killed in the Croydon tram crash a short while ago. #RIPBlueBob
Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 1
Sunday 20th November, 16:00
That it was only 0-1 was almost as surprising as the fact that I got away with inadvertently being a sex pest all day without being arrested.
Well that was a thrilling International Break. First of all there was the shock that Pepe Reina still exists, not so shocking was the fact that he is still sh*t. I've just about finished laughing at the Spain result. That’s what you get when you bring on Jagielka when he couldn’t out run a milk float stuck in reverse. Either that or the chump chose the worst possible moment to pretend to be an f*cking mannequin. Twice.
The Others: Most results went our way this weekend, starting with the draw at Old Trafford. My brother and I were torn between watching HWWNBN suffer and L'arse dropping points and eventually settled on the former as a preference. It was a borefest, but The No Longer Special One is fully on his way to Defcon 5 and it's not even Christmas. Excellent. He made some statement about how he doesn't get any respect when he won the league eighteen months ago, not eight years. Might have something to do with his immense meltdown last season, and the fact that wild-eyed, rambling and unkempt, he appears to be one denied penalty shout or sh*t result away from going full native, smearing himself in faeces and running off to live naked in a cave in the Lake District, scalping Chris Smalling or some other scapegoat on his way out. Wayne Rooney has been moaning too. He was said to have commented that he is disgusted with the media, who have been disgraceful in their treatment of him and shown him no respect. Firstly, there are too many big words in that statement for Rooney to have made it, and secondly, f*ck off pisshead.
City didn't have it all their own way, but came through against Palace, and Harry F*cking Kane had the audacity to ruin my Saturday evening by helping the Sp*ds to come and take West Ham from behind. (Titter) The Scousers, whose superpowers, it seems, are diminished when their crappy man buns get wet, failed to score at St Mary's though and came away with a draw. Not since the heinous days of those bright white Wembley suits has a team looked quite so ridiculous.
Elsewhere, Sunderland won 3-0 (no, I'm not pissed) at the expense of Hull and unlucky Swansea eventually got only a draw against Everton who were flat, again. Leicester lost away from home, again, and Stoke were turned over by Bournemouth which leaves the Swans, the Black Cats and Hull City propping up the table and the current champions just 2 points above the drop zone. Boro, West Ham and Palace are all in the sh*t too, and if they don't turn some half decent football into points soon their Christmas periods are shaping up to be as depressing as the idea of sitting through a festive episode (well, any episode) of Eastenders.
Our Game: So everything was aligned for us to retake top spot if we could get past a tricky Boro side who have already proved this season that they can more than competently frustrate teams at the upper end of the table. Conte went once again with the same eleven, because if it ain't broke, why would he risk effin' it up? I'd never been to Middlesbrough before.
First impression: F*ck this is grim
Second impression: F*ck this is cold
Third impression: They've got a drum. Oh yay.
Boro came out fast and pressed with a lot of energy, determined not to concede early or get caught on the back foot. We settled down somewhat after ten mins but our passing was sloppy and wayward. Fabio I get. I understand why he's ended up at Boro, But Valdez? I was speechless and have come to the conclusion that he is a) suffering from amnesia having been bonked on the head and has forgotten who he is b) they're paying him an eight figure salary a week or c) Boro are holding his wife and kids hostage in exchange for his goalkeeping services.
By the 25th minute we had turned it up a notch, which led to a good break and an off target attempt by Alonso. Then we were denied by Valdez just before we reached the half hour mark. This was Victor Meldrew's reaction (sitcom aliases now, we're running out of Muppets)
Me: "Outstanding save"
Victor: "Yeah I'll give him that. C**t."
Shortly afterwards Pesto (I yield, autospell, I yield) fired another attempt into the hands of The Boro keeper. They had a good opportunity of their own in the 35th minute too, but Ramirez's header was about as convincing as Barbara Windsor doing Shakespeare. We kept pushing, and in the 41st minute Diego Costa took advantage of some pretty hapless defending to tap the ball over the line as it dropped into the box.
There was much amusement at halftime over incessant ads for Mercedes-Benz Teeside, which we imagined to consist of a weed-covered concourse showcasing the burnt out hulk of a 300 se cabriolet without any tyres.
There was a renewed impetus about our play as soon as the second half began and within a minute we had fired one over the bar. I don't think either set of fans would have given Jon Moss much of a rating today. His performance was his usual bonkers (and breathless) mix of silly interference and failing to punish the infractions that really mattered. In the first half he was so erratic that I can only assume he traded his cards for a spliff before kick off. Conveniently he found them again to book Dave on 50 minutes for possible the most innocuous foul of the match. Someone also needs to tell him that there's no advantage to be played when it's 7 against 2. I'm sure Boro fans have got their own list of transgressions. To his credit though, even Moss could f*ck up giving Luiz a yellow for an appalling challenge, even if it did take him twenty minutes to get around to it.
Boro tanked a prime opportunity to equalise in the 54th minute when Ramirez faced an empty goal and somehow managed to put it way over the bar. By this point Diego, who don't forget was sitting on four yellows with Sp*rs next week, was getting muchly tired of being fouled and I feared for his temper. I was half contemplating a pitch invasion to go and do the chin scratch I use on my cat when he trips out at the sound of the lawnmower. Negredo is another one that must be wondering what he's done wrong in life to end up at Middlesbrough. Probably explains why he moans more than my mum if I try and have an adult conversation with her when Poldark is on.
There then followed half an hour of Chuckle Brothers style carnage where we created chance after chance and could not put the ball in the back of the net for love nor money. Almost immediately after his shocking tackle, Luiz showed the opposite side of his game and wound all the way up the pitch to play Pesto in. The resulting shot smashed down off the crossbar. Two minutes later Moses missed a sitter. There was a certain amount of jamminess (if this is not a word it should be) about some of their clearances, but we were not taking our chances and even if we should have been three or four up, the fact is that we weren't, and Boro made changes with a genuine hope of getting something out of the game. As if Stewart Downing was not a big enough embarrassment to the football world, his introduction saw him reborn as "Stewie," which gave us all a good laugh. As the home side built momentum we were still plentifully hacking it over and wide when we got forward on the counter, and giving the ball away in potentially dangerous areas. Our play certainly didn't flow like it had been doing before the latest heinous and soul-destroying international break. By the 76th minute we were all panicking about getting stung. Courtois made just about his first saves since September as we approached the final minutes of the game, and in truth our attacking was halfhearted at best by then and our subs reflected the idea of hanging on to what we had. I suppose it's understandable when you've only had everyone back a couple of days and your got some jet lagged legs, you just want to get through it somehow without dropping points so you can get back to work next week, but that doesn't make it any easier on the fans' blood pressure.
Four minutes of injury time felt like an eternity, but we saw it out. And so it ended, finally. Boro probably feel hard done by. They were a feisty lot on and off the pitch. Delusional too. (We were only there to see the Boro, apparently) I can't believe for all the crap they came out with about us being rentboys that it collectively took the Chelsea support till ten minutes from the end to remember (and then exploit the idea with mockery) that Adam Johnson is indeed, one of their own.
We've all talked loads about our attackers of late. It was a difficult day, and Cahill was a bit immense at the back. Had it not been for some of his timely interventions on two or three occasions we could have been in trouble. 8/10. Dave continues to grow into his new centre back role in style too. Luiz had one of his more scatterbrained outings, great mixed with terrifying, but I give him 5/10 purely because I'm disappointed that he has had a haircut. I was loving his burgeoning Brian May tribute. I was also getting into the hilarious habit of screeching "Just let your soul-glo" every time I saw his frizzy mop.
I've never appreciated a police escort out of a place so much in my life. If a penchant for running water and indoor toilets makes me a soft southern b*stard, then sign me up. Have me a t shirt printed.
So. Six wins out of six now with not a single goal conceded. Bodes well when Thibaut will have that dribbling, monosyllabic slight on evolution running at him next weekend. A hard fought and satisfying win. <Insert patronising platitude about having to grind out results like this to win titles here>
So - rather than subject myself to either England matches, or Twilight films, I blogged US Election Night for football loving laymen. (And laywomen) Note: As the clock ticked on the gin consumption increased and the line between notes on Plumer’s plan for Menin Ridge that I was supposed to be making started blurring with the election coverage and got a little bit trippy. Like Dumbo with all the dancing neon elephants.
I should add. I don’t like either of them. Both, in my humble opinion are a step backwards for mankind. Hilary, however, has at least some professional credentials, whilst I find The Donald to be a truly repulsive human being, as well as being unqualified. For me, she would be a backwards step, he could be a Luis Suarez dive back into the dark ages.
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED:
How this shit works:
When you get more votes in a state, you take ALL of the electoral votes for that state.
The first person to get to 270 of these electoral votes gets to live in the White House. So it’s like the golden goal scenario.
States have varying numbers of votes depending on how many people live there. Vermont has 3, I think New York has like, 29.
*Disclaimer - Everything I know about US electoral politics came from watching Jimmy Smits’s campaign in Season 7 of the West Wing. So I could be talking out of my arse.
A breakdown of the candidates:
Hilary Clinton is a democrat. A massively unpopular one. She was the one who was married to Bill Clinton, who banged his intern and then blamed it on spinach. She was blue when they started colouring in the map. She sent a shit load of emails from a dodgy address when she was the US equivalent of Foreign Secretary. The FBI haven’t followed it up - they basically said she was stupid, but not a crook. Lots of Americans don’t buy this. Also, a lot of Americans already hated her, and/or her husband for various reasons such as laws he passed and them being viewed as politically elitist. She is at least qualified, having been in politics for three decades. She’s basically Alex Ferguson. Holds herself a cut above and the rules don’t seem to apply.
Donald Trump is a chauvinist, racist, religious bigot. Bits he won on the map were coloured red (booo) Money in Presidential races means rich moron candidates can get further than those who don’t have it. But it isn’t just money. He has appealed to a lot of Americans having a rough time economically or those who have issues about immigration, how they are going to pay for essentials like healthcare. Unfortunately, some of the rhetoric he has used to convince people mirrors Hitler in the 1930s and includes saying ridiculous, non-implementable (if it isn’t a word, it is now) things like “I’m going to build a massive wall so Mexicans can’t get in, and Mexico are going to pay for it.” He is NOT a traditional Republican. In fact, he has no political experience that would make him fit to be the most powerful politician in the world. Therefore a lot of traditional Republicans are pretty much devastated that this idiot is associated with their party. They are not necessarily voting for him as they automatically would normally, as they don’t think he is representative of their party. He is Mourinho. You either want to leap on him and have his babies or headbutt him. Repeatedly.
There are alternatives, but basically like they are like our Green Party. They turn up and campaign and everyone says, aw, isn’t that nice, but practically nobody votes for them. Or if they do, it is because they hate the others. Either way, they have no chance of winning. They’re like Ronald Koeman. Inoffensive, but a bit beige.
So basically, a lot of Americans feel like they have to choose between a she-devil and a wanker. The pair should be grateful they ran against each other. Because otherwise they would have got nowhere near this far. I’ve chatted to a few Americans in the last few weeks, including a Democrat who voted as he always does even though he can’t stand Hilary, and a fierce Republican who doesn’t like Trump but would chew off his own arm before he voted in any way that would power her to the White House. It boils down to whether or not we will see a first female president, or an inflammatory orange madman as the next leader of the free world. Strap in. This could be a terrifying ride.
All times are GMT. Because that is where I live. And my maths is too shit to turn it into anything else.
11:45 BBC tells us increasing number of people hate politicians. This is not a surprise. Social Media + no place to hid in this Big Brother dystopia we have created for ourselves = the sad realisation that most people are wankers. (Just ask Prince Harry, poor lamb) Can you imagine sots like Winston Churchill or womanisers like Asquith remaining in office in the 21st Century? Doesn’t mean that they weren’t good at their jobs though…
11:55 Trump projected to take KENTUCKY and INDIANA - no surprise. Hilary has VERMONT. Which means we are on a collision course with Armageddon in terms of electoral votes. But its early days. No reason to start excavating the Anderson shelter in the back garden yet. Electoral vote-wise, he is still on the back foot. It’s basically like when Arsenal go top and you think “meh, they won’t be there at the end”.
00:00 Quite a lot of gin has gone down now. George Dubbya did not vote for Trump. Here beginneth the Republican party distancing itself from The Donald in preparation for his defeat, it seems. It is about as rare as rocking horse shit for a former Republican President NOT to vote for the Republican candidate. It is basically about as unbelievable as Leicester winning the league.
00:15 America is changing. Historically, you could call a state based on which areas were blue collar workers, which were high in terms of minority population etc. across the country. However, some areas are now little more than 50% white and 50% ethnic minorities. Demographics are changing and this means that the way states are voting is changing. This makes a difference tonight when you consider that Trump has called Mexicans rapists (don’t ask) as well as the wall-building comments. Reports are saying its bumped a HUGE number of Hispanic voters to get to the poles to vote against him. He also got busted going on about grabbing women by the p****y and talking about being able to shag whoever he wants. Safe to say that a lot of women were not endeared by this. His team will be worried about this. He will be too busy applying spray tan and talking nonsense to notice much.
01:00 TWENTY states are closing their polls. The huge one in this batch is Florida, which you can’t predict. This means it is one of the swing states. NEW JERSEY is projected blue. WEST VIRGINIA and MISSISSIPPI are projected for Trump. (Projected means that basically, if the result they are saying does not happen it will be more shocking than the Mikel getting nominated for a Balon D’or) Still very early, now, if you’re of the reluctant Hilary camp, you are basically at the point when Chelsea are 2-0 up and we think “I want another two before I am even remotely convinced that we are going to win this.”
01:27 There is a bonkers man who seems to think Jesus and God have raised Trump up for the office because he supports abortion. This is a massive issue in US politics. Republicans are conservative and more likely to be against, Democrats more likely to be for a woman’s right to choose/planned parenthood etc. He is trying to claim that Jay-Z is a bigger misogynist than Trump and that the latter just has a potty mouth. BBC pundits shaking heads in disbelief. Cleveland correspondents looks horrified. He is punted off air swiftly. He had no comment on Trump’s comments about women or muslims. That comes under the mere potty mouth category, whereas hugging Jay-Z is evil personified. A twat, maybe, but Satan? Probably not.
01:42 Things are closing up. Hilary took RHODE ISLAND, MARYLAND, DELAWARE, D.C., The Donald has OKLAHOMA and ALABAMA. It’s neck and neck. It’s like that unnerving point when last season we realised that Sp*rs were actually serious title contenders.
01:48 Nigel Farage is on. Jesus. He actually just uttered the words “Jaw jaw, is better that war war.” I still want to punch him regardless of the sentiment. He seems to be angling for a job as a US Ambassador in Brussels. He is Ian Holloway. Total bollocks comes out of his mouth, but you aren’t actually concerned he can do much damage.
02:00 14 more states closing. Trump has basically taken the whole of the middle of the country. He is ahead, but a lot of those states don’t have a lot of electoral votes. For instance, WYOMING has 3. Even so, he has TEXAS, which has 38, so he is is 123 to 97. It is (worryingly) a lot closer than people expected. Think, watching Torres run towards the Barcelona goal. So much time to ponder disaster, whilst you plead “please don’t eff this up America.”
02:30 Tumbleweed at Hilary HQ - lots of swing states look like they might be heading the way of The Donald… but none have been declared. Atmosphere rather like the United team bus pulling out of Stamford Bridge a couple of weeks ago.
02:40 I’m rather loving the poor manic Republican woman on the end of the panel who is a champ. She ends every sentence with HE’S NOT A REAL REPUBLICAN and much handwringing.
03:00 Safe to say the Democrats are crapping themselves a bit. Listening to a political commentator, they seem to think that working class white people are turning out to vote for Trump in spades. They feel like the political system has failed them, they are hard up and want change and the orange nutter appeals to them. They keep using the phrase “ex-urban” too to describe areas. To us in Britain, you haven’t got mad. This is not a real word. This is just people who live in the countryside.
03:20 The polls are so wrong, by the looks of it, that they think people have lied about voting for Trump in exit polls. So they don’t want to admit they have voted for him… but they have. Which means this whole panel of experts is basically out of a job.
OHIO KNOWS - They have been predicting the winning candidate since flares were fashionable and it was okay to pat women on the arse. (The Donald didn’t get the memo on that one) Also, no Republican has ever won without taking Ohio. Trump has just smashed it. We’re doomed.
03:30 Clinton takes VIRGINIA, by a MUCH smaller margin than anyone expected. She’s also now taken COLORADO - which means I’ve decided against doing shots of Jack Daniels, for now, at least. It’s 131 to 168 at the moment. Don’t forget it’s the first to 270.
03:50 There’s another religious representative on - his take is that he had to look at both candidates and that Trump came closer to what the word of God tells him is right. He mentioned abortion again. Personally, I am no pro or anti abortion, but I have a hard time accepting that the notion of a total stranger’s right to choose is something that disgusts other people so much as to make them vote against you if you are not willing to condemn them for the choice that they make. The guy next to him was a republican who voted for Clinton because he said when he looked at the ticked he couldn’t vote for Trump. He said if he wins, he couldn’t sleep at night knowing he had any hand in it.
04:00 People are drifting away from the large hall that was supposed to host the Hilary victory party. Those that are left just a bit of a cheer because she has taken CALIFORNIA and its massive 55 electoral votes. This was wholly expected and she’s now in the lead 190 to 172, but she’s getting screwed by votes coming out of the midwest. There are 14 states to call and just about enough of them look to be heading his way.
04:25 It looks increasingly like Trump is going to take it. Interestingly states that Clinton didn’t spend much time at all in, the likes of Michigan and Wisconsin, might going to help swing it for her opponent.
04:37 It is looking really bleak for Clinton. Trump takes FLORIDA. They’re interviewing some pretty devastated first/second generation American immigrants in Philadelphia who are pretty scared about what this means for them. One of them looks like she is going to sob live on camera. They believe the leader of their adopted country now is a man that hates them. His rhetoric including anti-immigrant slurs and comments that advocated stopping Muslims from entering the US. Hilary HQ is basically awash with tears. They look like the Kop end after Gerrard slipped and watched Demba Ba go flying by.
04:44 Mexican currency is taking a nosedive. Some of the things he has promised threaten to severely dent their economy - to the tune of billions, though I’m not sure how much of these things he could implement. And there is this bloody wall. That he is adamant he is going to put up. And that he adamant the Mexicans will pay for. (Incidentally, they’ve said not a chance)
05:00 Trump HQ gets ready to party. Someone at the front of the crowd has a “Bikers Love Trump” poster. There is actually a chance now that Clinton will get more votes from the population but not enough electoral ones to become President.
My take? What this tells you that middle America is so pissed off with what the establishment hasn’t done for them that they were willing to vote for a nutjob. Women DID vote for Trump, and so did ethnic minorities. This also tells you that there are going to be hundreds of Republicans who sacked him off kissing arse with immediate effect. Starting with the BBC’s manic Republican woman.
This is going to send shockwaves around the world. Right about the time you read this the financial markets are going to bombing. This is as unexpected as Robinho - was that his name? Clinton’s camp had their party poppers ready, she had a squad number, they were printing up their shirts. Right now Obama (Democrat) has a 54% approval rating, the highest since Ronald Regan, and yet they are projecting that the party will now be in a minority everywhere in government. They will be kicking themselves that they have failed to beat possibly the most beatable candidate that the Republicans have ever put up. This guy is a businessman, who has never held political office. He has pissed off huge numbers of Americans, most of who have not voted for him. He’s also wound up huge numbers of people around the world. He has incited racial tensions, he’s made appalling comments about ethnicities, women, religions, he makes reality TV shows, for goodness sake. When people attended his rallies some of them ended up punching each other in the face. This man is not qualified in the slightest for the terrifying job he now has. We all just have to trust that he will be surrounded by smarter people throughout that will keep him on short leash and save us all from ending up in a world that resembles LA after Skynet have finished with it in The Terminator. Silver lining, Hilary Clinton isn't President.
Chelsea 5 (yes, five) Everton 0
Saturday 5th November 2016 17:30
According to the BBC, Everton fans have been complaining about never being first on Match of the Day. I don’t think the advent of this tonight would have made them feel any better.
The others: Sunderland’s away contingent left their hometown at five am, and were rewarded by their team finally giving them a win which brought them back into touch with the rest of the league. Then Burnley raised the roof at home with a last, last, last minute winner against Palace that took them into the top half of the table for tonight at least. Most of our closest rivals play tomorrow, but City did take on Boro at home after the dizzying heights of Guardiola dismantling the club he helped build. And everybody lauding it like it was the most surprising thing ever that he knew how to beat them. He would surely have expected a win at home today, despite their exertions. (Insert patronising comment about how it takes battling for results like this out to be champions) But they did not. And not only did they not put it to bed, but Boro clung on and in injury time a pinpoint accurate cross and a powerful header got them a point. And well deserved it was. (Insert patronising “I told you so” comment about Pep not being able to walk to a league title in England here) More embarrassing than the failure to win, surely, is the fact that Aguero STILL DOESN’T SPEAK ENGLISH well enough to conduct a post match interview. Having lived here for FIVE YEARS. I know footballers aren’t renowned for being brain boxes, but that is taking the piss. How does he go through a McDonalds drive thru? Or pay his bills? Parents’ evening must be hilarious. But wait. Apparently Andy Carroll is contemplating a move to China. If I was his agent I would be severely concerned about what this club want him FOR. Because he’s never fit to play football. My money is on drug mule. Here you go Andy… Just put this in your gob and hand us your poo at the other end…” It will trump (don’t even get me started) all of the Aguero considerations regarding language barriers when Carroll falls for this or accidentally sells a kidney on the black market whilst trying to order a takeaway.
Our game: So unsurprisingly Antonio (we’re all on first name terms now) stuck with his favoured first eleven. Thanks to City’s failure to win, it meant that if we did, we’d go top for now at least. There was our annual pause for remembrance to take care of first though, which no doubt some uneducated moron without access to Wikipedia at FIFA has marked down as a political statement to rival a rally at Nuremberg or Martin Luther King’s march on Washington. (I too have a dream, that one day football’s governing body will not be run by f*cktards)
It was a slightly slower start than we have become used to and we didn’t get the early goal, so it was interesting to watch as we settled into the game. But settle we did. The first goal came in the nineteenth minute after the ball was dug out of midfield by Matic, ultimately for Hazard who squeezed the ball into the far corner at a seemingly impossible narrow angle. The second came a little over a minute later, when Hazard and Pesto (I yield, auto-spell, you are clearly right and I am wrong) combined to get it in the box. The ball just flew behind Costa, but Alonso was on hand to put it between the Everton keeper’s legs for his first Chelsea goal. There could have been more. The ball was narrowly headed over and Moses basically destroyed the woodwork like last season’s chubby, alien clone version of Costa going at a doner kebab, by which time Everton were already waiting to make a change to their formation. Oviedo went off for Mirallas and it made absolutely no difference whatsoever.
Whether by nature or by the way they were deployed, there was little speed in their team. Which one is Bolasi and which one is Lukaku? Asked one of us up high. My answer? (pointing) Lukaku is that one. You can tell because he is the one that is always doing f*ck all. Jagielka had done OK in winding up Diego, as you’d expect from an old pro with plenty of experience. But after he got booked on the half hour he stood no chance of marshalling a rampant (great word) Costa whilst on a yellow. Diego had haplessly squandered three prime chances before he finally scored. Their placement was terrible. There were nine, yes NINE Everton players (including the keeper) goal side of him when he was able to smash the third in as if none of them were there. Diego nearly had another thanks to Pesto’s brilliant work in midfield, and so Everton were probably glad that it was no more than 3-0 at the break.
Everton came out somewhat reinvigorated, to an extent, like they were going to have a go in the second half but they were soon back at square one. A stunning back heel from Pesto went to Hazard who took it past two defenders and banged it in the near corner with his left foot to make it 4-0. Then the onslaught began again. Less than ten minutes later Costa wrestled the ball from midfield and nutmegged Jagielka on his way towards goal. Hazard’s initial shot came back out, but Pesto was there to tap in. There were FIVE Everton players against the three of them, and they didn’t get near them. There was a bit of pride in Everton’s attempts to try and at least bag one. But with Luiz at his irritating, pugnacious (another great word) best, Lukaku could get nowhere.
Alf Garnett (we're on sitcom names now) turned to me and said:
That Yakubu is shit.
The following conversation ensued:
To be fair to you, he's that sh*t he might as well be Yakubu
With ten minutes to go Everton had finally given up the ghost and just wanted it to be over. JT returned to league football with five minutes left and everyone’s immediate reaction near me was: please don't let us concede now. The red tops would have held a rapturous wake for his career, Sky Sports HQ would have suffered a critical toilet paper shortage. But all was well. More than. Gonzo, of all people, was still there at the final whistle, dancing away. I feel the need to mention because this has never, ever, ever happened before.
A bit of Songwatch. Chelsea's answer to So Solid Crew at the back of the Shed Upper had mixed fortunes today. Finally, joyously, it looks like that terrible Conte song to the tune of “Ain’t Nobody” that they have been flogging might be dead and gone, replaced by a simple “Antonio” to the same tune as “We’re Top of the League” that was being still being sung all the way down the Fulham Road long after the game finished. Fair play to them, but you have to think that any new song, no matter how amusing, that requires drunk men to sing Azpilicueta’s name several times is a non-starter. “Batshuayi aha aha I like it, aha aha” however, was inspired.
So: A truly awful day at the office for Everton. At times any one of our players was walking past three or four of theirs. They reminded me of us last season. Void of ideas and about three yards off the pace of the game. Luiz vs. Lukaku was almost sad if you were not of a Chelsea persuasion. He didn't touch the ball once in our penalty area. It was like watching a Rottweiler violate a chihuahua. And I have only just realised that Ross Barklay played.
They gave Hazard man of the match, and he was awesome, but everyone deserved accolades today. The score makes this look easy, but this game was about Chelsea players working damn hard. When we had the ball, when we didn't, when we were attacking, setting up to defend a set play or when someone was making it possible for a teammate to be able to put it in the back of the net. We were as dogged at 5-0 as we were at kick off. And this is one of many reasons why the goals are flowing. It is heartening when you consider how outnumbered we were in the box for at least two of our goals, because last year we found ourselves plugging away against these numbers and getting absolutely nowhere.
Our formation changed after that nightmare day out in north London. (I know, that doesn't distinguish it from any other trip north of the river but I'm talking about when we lost at the Emirates) We've had just 8 shots on target taken against us since Arsenal - that's five games. And actually five of those came from United. We've conceded 0. At the other end we have fashioned 37 shots on target And scored 16. All of this makes us top of the league, for a few hours at least. Today was the first time I began to think that we genuinely proved ourselves as potentially capable of being in on the title race. That said, we have started well by taking apart Hull and Leicester, we’ve built on that by beating good sides in Southampton and Everton (and by bludgeoning HWWNBN) but now we have to pull this off against our main competitors. The chance for that comes in three weeks in time after the trip to Boro. Word on the street is 3-0 at home against Leicester, 4-0 against United and now 5-0 against Everton, means 6-0 against Sp*rs is a given. Suggest prompt laying down of crack pipes and funny fags across West London. I’d settle for winning by one own goal that shaves in off of Vertonghen’s nutsack.