Chelsea 3 Crystal Palace 0
Saturday 14th August 2021 15:00
The Others: Arsenal, as usual, lowering the bar to the point where it is impossible for everyone else to humiliate themselves. White didn’t look like he was worth £50, let alone fifty million. Also, not nearly ugly and b*stard-like enough to strike the fear of God into attackers. In my mind, centre backs should look like they’ve repeatedly taken a boot to the face in pursuit of a clean sheet. Like Harry Maguire. Back line was a complete shambles, mid-table mediocrity beckons unless they’re going to do some serious business in what’s left of the window. Only had to look at the look of sheer dismay on Tierney’s face last night to know what the top end of their squad is thinking about their prospects.
You’d think that Ole has to deliver at least top four and some kind of cup this season. He’s had long enough to bed in and he’s been backed up by signings. Gary Neville is desperate for them to sign Kane. I’m also desperate to meet a rich, handsome man who wants to marry me and buy me crusty war books whilst acknowledging that he’s only ranked third in bed space allocation behind me and Bertie. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Leeds are Leeds. Don’t think they’ll struggle but if they get anywhere near the European places it will be a really good season for them.
Leicester unsurprisingly beat Wolves. Wonder if they’ve done enough to keep up over the summer with the high spenders. Everton. Going to admit that with no stake in them, a part of me would like to see Benitez fail and the fall out from this controversial appointment just for the sheer entertainment value. But a solid start with a 3-1 victory over Southampton. Watford/Villa turned into a goalfest that came down in favour of the home side, and Norwich struggled against the Scouse. I’d have pegged Burnley and Brighton to be last up on Match of the Day, but it was an eventful day all round. Away win for Brighton and even this early in the season thats an important three away points. Newcastle host West Ham and City visit Sp*rs at the giant toilet bowl (google the aerial photos).
Us: Guessing there were a lot of tired legs after Wednesday. No Kante or, of course, Ziyech. Too soon for Lukaku too. Probably wandering about the Bridge trying to find an adult sized shirt instead of the one they gave him to wave about on signing. Will credit him with this tho: Apparently when asked at the airport if he had anything to declare he said: “Chelsea will win the Premier League.”
Them: Love the gamble taken on Viera, on youth and freshening things up. Honestly can’t even take a stab at where they’re going to finish up this season. S*it or bust for Palace. That gamble includes letting go of Cahill, booooo. And picking up both Guehi straight up and another of our youngsters on loan, so good luck to them.
Three minutes in and the ball just ran out for Timo as he chased it down. Start as you mean to go on. A banging ball in from Mount after Kovacic managed to stay upright, but Dave’s eventual shot was well high in the end. Pulisic somehow managed to get on a twisting header moments later, but the ball went straight into the hands of the keeper. Alonso and his annual George Michael "do" was already sublime, torturing the Palace defence, but there just seemed to be a big hole where a big centre forward should be, waiting to thump it in.
Palace were by no means awful at all, but were merely trying to keep a lid on us, which led to a foul on Mount on 13 and a free kick on the edge of the box. It was on target but punched away.
Standards are high already. 20 minutes in and Chalobah and Rudiger were getting a monumental telling off from Jorginho for not pressing up hard enough. Pretty sure one of them responded with: “nobody is taking you seriously with that hair.” The disparity between fans regarding his season last time out are hilarious. The Italians think he’s nailed on for the Balon d’Or. Large contingent of Chelsea fans respond with “What, that bloke I spent all last season screaming at?”
On the half hour Alonso broke the deadlock with a world class free kick. Up over the wall, down again and squeezed into the near corner. Keeper didn’t even move. Back we came at them again and yet another foul on the edge of the box on the half hour. Alonso fouled again a minute later. He was on fire and they just didn’t have a clue what to do with him. Or anyone else, because then Pulisic was hacked down. They needed a better game plan than this if they wanted back in this game. Palace fans moaning that they were hard done by was amusing when one of their own penalised defenders was pounding the pitch in frustration because he couldn’t do anything with the American.
37 minutes and Werner displayed a first touch that had all the grace of a Panzer tank being driven backwards by a very drunk German comrade. He was trying but, but thus far it wasn’t paying off.
But then if there’s one person you don’t leave hanging about the wing with all the space in the world and nobody paying the slightest bit of attention to him, it’s Mason Mount. And yet. He crossed it in, poor Werner tried, but couldn’t get there before the Keeper spilled it. Luckily for the score line, Pulisic was there waiting to pounce and make it 2-0. We’d dominated the first half, and they had no answer. Was going to need a pretty big turnaround or a f*ck up from us to change this. And that never happens… right?
Not a great deal of change in the opening moments of the second half. 53 minutes and their closest chance to get back on terms yet. Wasn’t quite doing and Rudi sorted it out like a beast then let out a massive roar that gave pretty much every bloke within fifteen yards a boner. If you were palace player it shrivelled up and fell off in terror.
57 minutes and Trevor Chalobah gets the ball miles out. Doesn’t look like passing, keeps going, nobody anywhere near him, so on he goes. Then he bangs it in from twenty yards out like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Highly emotinal moment for the youngster and everyone else piling in on top of him.
Didn’t think that Palace had been that awful but they’ve just got no answer to being outclassed all over the pitch. How can you criticise when you’ve literally walked this result? Bear in mind that some of these players have had no preseason whatsoever. Bear in mind that we all did this with minimal Havertz, and no Ziyech, Kante, Lukaku at all today. It frustrated me that Werner didn’t make more of his chances, but it’s one game. That we won by a landslide. Ask me again on him in a month. Alonso in particular was phenomenal, and Trevor didn’t look remotely out of place for a second.
As for Mendy, on 63 minutes he was actually required to make a save, albeit from a tame attempt. The away fans, the sight of which was bizarre after nearly two years, were being treated to “you’ve had your day out, now f*ck off home.” And every time Trevor got the ball, 90% of the ground yelled SHOOOOOOOOOOOOT.
Score line of death for Palace now. Two changes made absolutely no difference at all. For our part, Reece came on for Dave. This had been utterly drama free, proving that the first hour against Sp*rs in the friendly was not solely about how terrible they were. But we’d dialled it down a notch now and we’re sitting back, which considering half this team isn’t match fit/played two hours of football in the week, I can forgive at three up. It gave Palace a chance to thread some passes together and to their credit they kept at it, but never looked like making a serious dent in the result.
Ref/VARwatch: Didn’t notice either. Which is the way it should be.
Havertz came on with ten to go, to a massive reception, and was almost in straight away. Alonso off for Emerson. Lols. Has he earned himself a way back or was this his swan song? Joel Ward falling flat on his face 87 minutes and Zaha’s face summed up Palace’s afternoon, and by this point we were singing “you’re going down with the Arsenal.” The big challenge will be turning up at that dump in North London next week to face them and doing this again, strides forward please instead of two steps forward one step back in the league this season please. Back this result up and the strength of this squad on paper will begin to look real.
Chelsea 1 Villareal 1 (Chelsea win 6-5 on Penalties)
UEFA Super Cup, 11th August 2021 20:00
There’s a right circle jerk going on with strikers going backwards and forwards to Italy this week. Lukaku to Chelsea, Abraham to Roma and Dzeko to Inter. At least we’re apparently sensible enough to stick a buy back clause in this time. Across the market, Lukaku to Chelsea, Varane to United, City got their man in Grealish, Messi to PSG. Is anyone else pissing themselves that Arsenal are after Aaron Ramsdale? They’re window has thus far been the same flaccid (love that word) clusterf*ck it always is and promises hours of endless fun laughing at their mid-table misfortune. Spawn points out he is a bad relegation juju merchant. Went to Bournemouth, relegated. Joined Sheffield United, they went down. Watch this space…
All the lols came from Spain this week. In Madrid, Real find one more way to stick it to Gareth Bale and his sh*tty man-bun by giving him number 50 for his latest outing. I don’t know what the most beautiful moment of the whole Messi melodrama has been. Is it him sobbing like a little bitch-baby on his way out the door? Is it the wider connotations of the Farcelona implosion? I mean let’s face it, they are Spanish Scousers. The level of sanctimony, smug self-aggrandisement and all that “more than just a football club” sh*t is gagworthy. Or is it the fact that he offered to half his wages and couldn’t stay because Samuel Umtiti refused to take a pay cut. Or could it just be the total meltdown by their wanky fans trying to grass PSG for FFP out of nothing but a miserable desire to throw their toys out of their prams? Personally, I will take all of them and a large gin and tonic to enjoy watching them all suffer
Teams: Same line-up for us as started against Sp*rs so he’s gone with the fittest possible team. On the bench though, which was exciting, were all the players who were not national embarrassments over the summer are back. As far as they are concerned, there was a Sp*rs reject who would surely bottle it at some stage and a former Watford dude.
Rio Ferdinand led the “opening ceremony” out and for one awful moment we thought he was going to sing the national anthem. Thankfully we were spared. It was a fast paced start, slightly shambolic. Took us about five minutes to settle in then Alonso, with the most glorious George Michael summer tribute hair he’s yet managed, put it across the face of goal. Werner could have grabbed a surprise opener seconds later but a reflex stop saved the keeper’s blushes. CHO at wing back was looking up for it, but it was Kante who had the next go on eight minutes. Vindication here for Tuchel already, picking the same side that did so well in the opening hour against the Sp*ds.
Dopey corner given away on 10 minutes so first test for us at the back. Looked a bit hairy but Kante ran the ball down. The waxwork vampire was going ballistic in their technical area. Yet another chap who’s left Arsenal then actually won something. Lols. Most entertaining part of the night so far was watching the UEFA delegate have to keep going to get him when he went wandering up the pitch.
Pretty end to end now, but with no terrifying moments for either keeper. Referee doing a good job of letting the game flow despite some theatrical rolling about on the floor from the Spaniards.
Great ball in on 23 after a mass of build up play. Unfortunately it fell to Trevor, who was more concerned with keeping them out of the other net on his big night and fluffed it. We forgive him.
71% possession so far, so a good continuation of the last friendly. They were more match fit than us though, so we needed to make it count. Which we did three minutes later thanks to Ziyech once again. Great run from Havertz, pass was sublime and there he was waiting to pounce. Werner deserves credit for just leaving it the f*ck alone too.
They had a couple of half chances to level it straight away, but never could grasp one of them properly. Great save from Mendy on 32 before Zouma had a decent chance to double the lead. Take back everything nice I said about the referee after he penalised Kovacic for getting shoved on his arse.
Ziyech off on 40 minutes after buggering up his shoulder. Hard to see exactly what happened. Pulisic scrambled to replace him. The half closed out with Rudiger being shamelessly booked for hardly touching one of theirs, and Alberto Moreno rattling the woodwork. How humiliating would it have been if that sad little Scouse reject had put them back on level terms.
Side netting from Havertz after the break. They absolutely should have capitalised on complete f*ckwittery on our part on 50 mins and somehow Moreno (the other one) managed to fail one on one with Mendy who tipped it onto the post. Causing our own problems here, as opposed to them massively upping their game.
A mad long range shot from Rudiger is still travelling somewhere over Northern Ireland. Subs incoming. Someone needs to tell Jorginho it’s not 1996 and he’s not Robbie Fowler and that that hair was sh*t then. Captain Kante off for him; Werner replaced by Mason Mount and Andreas Christensen for Zouma, instead of Rudi on his yellow. So first minutes in the legs for that trio.
Balls. They’d been knocking on the door for a while, and you just knew eventually that they’d find a way through. Gave the ball away on the edge of the box, defence all over the place, nobody tracking Moreno into the book. Dumbarses.
Dave coming on for CHO now as we try to balance preparing for the weekend with a trophy. For one hilarious moment it looked like sub Pulisic was being subbed, but it turned out the 4th official was just illiterate. Great ball in from Alonso on 80 minutes but the keeper managed to get to it. Did clean out his own man though.
We thought Alonso had spared us extra time right at the last but it was only the side netting. Spawn and I are definitely not match fit yet.
And so it went on. On 99 minutes we thought Pulisic had it. He ended up in the back of the net. The ball did not. Grrr. Great run from Mason Mount though. Not a lot else to keep me awake. Villarreal look fitter, but neither side, frankly, looked like they have this extra half an hour in their legs. Mount put us out of our misery on 107 but a diving save from the keeper denied us. Much longer and everyone but Chalobah and Alonso are going to be dragging themselves around by their hands. Villareal were either just as knackered or playing for penalties. Three times I must have looked up and thought “who’s got a head bandage on?” Three times I realised it was just Jorginho’s hair. The shame. Him. Not me.
Well suddenly TT decided to throw us a bone to wake us up by bringing Kepa on randomly for the penalty shoot out. I mean what other possible explanation if not “sh*ts and giggles?” The fact that nobody looked remotely surprised indicates this was planned well in advance. Nobody knew why. Would have pissed myself laughing if Mendy had refused to go off.
Havertz fails after telegraphing his intentions to the keeper. How would Kepa respond? By going the wrong way.
Dave steps up - smashes it, then Kepa pulls a save out of the bag so it’s back to square one with
Alonso for number three. Almost fell on his arse, but sent the keeper the wrong way. Might we actually do this? Kepa booked for getting in the way, then sent in the wrong direction again. 2-2 it is.
Up comes Mason Mount: roles it in nonchalantly. Over to super sub again who very, very nearly saved it. 3-3.
Spawn started having flashbacks to the Euros when Jorginho stepped up. Annoying little skip and taps it down the middle. Filth.
So it's all over to one bloke in yellow who looked like he was crapping himself but nonetheless sent Kepa the wrong way and banged it in the corner.
Up comes Pulisic. No run up, no question. Will the former Sp*rs man bottle it? No. Evidently it’s not terminal and one can be rehabilitated.
Rudiger it is. Straight run, straight in the middle of the net. Keep it simple if you’re a centre back. Albiol up… it’s on target but KEPA WINS THE SUPER CUP FOR CHELSEA. Smiles for the first time in living memory. See you later, I’m off to see the flabbergasted meltdown on social media.
Debrief moment so far. Rio before the shootout: “I’d have said Chelsea but now Mendy’s gone off I’ve got to go Villareal.” Doh.
Well. This feels odd.
Chelsea 2 Rottenham 2
Wednesday 4th August 2021, 19:45
Transfer News: Lukaku has apparently asked Inter to accept the offer. There appear to be back up options, but honestly, the initial bid of £85m plus Alonso was overly generous. There is a surcharge on this for our own idiocy. Never let it be said that we are not humble enough to willingly walk around for the duration of this contract with egg on our faces. Grealish to have a medical at City, with Danny Ings set to go in at Villa. Sp*rs still clinging to Harry Kane by their fingernails. With the result that he’s just refusing to leave Florida. Apparently he’s not even had a conversation with Nuno. Although this could just be because the telephone is beyond him.
Tonight’s Game: Its been so long it took me 45 minutes of tantrums and swearing to get into my Weebly account. I’m about as ready for this as the stadium is with the Matthew Harding in bits and people running from stand to stand claiming any empty seat they could find. It’s been that long since we were there, that not only had the wifi forgotten me, but when it asked why I was at the Bridge “to see a match” was not even an option. I also recognise nobody. I don’t know whether or not this is because of time elapsed or because half our fans are still hiding behind lockdown beards.
Pretty decent line up minus the players who went all the way in the Euros. Lovely to see Trevor on the line up. If not only for the novelty value of him being the only person named Trevor in Britain since 1969. They were facing mid-table opposition from the yuck side of the river for the second time in a week. The meme fun a few weeks ago was about whether the entire population would be offered a Covid jab or the Sp*rs job first. Poor Nuno, who evidently drew the short straw, brought an acceptable side but a few of them looked like they’d been hitting the burgers over the summer. I mean Dire was heaving like a beached whale midway through the first half.
I out did him and brought wonderful Americans for their first experience of football in England. My explanation of Sp*rs: They’re horrible and nobody likes them. They are the Clemson of the Premier League. They were muchly impressed by our consistency and diversity in smack-talking the opposition. This began with many choruses of “Harry Kane, he knows that you’re sh*t”. Followed by “Dele is a wanker.” This, I informed them was factually correct in ever way.
Massive reception for Havertz was completely unsurprising. So was the fact that you could kit yourself out with a different outfit for a week in the club shop with the commentary for his goal scrawled on it. But after we basically hammered them for the opening spell it was Ziyech who gleefully opening the scoring after a quarter of an hour. Kante was his usually awesome self winning the ball back, and Werner did a great job of drawing off the defender. The rest of their mob backed off like he was wielding a positive PCR test, so that the Moroccan could smash it home into the corner with pretty much no interference at all.
Dominant is an understatement. Hakim could have had another straight away. It was like watching that man mountain Caeleb Dressel bloke in a swim off against Sam Allardyce. Fans amused themselves no end with “is that all you take away” sung at their three substitutes warming up. We were ole-ing on 24 minutes. Americans loving the simplicity and clarity of “you’re f*cking sh*t.” I didn’t even recognise Dele Alli. He looks half a stone overweight and was totally trashed after 25 minutes. He looked like Boris Johnson after a rampant shagfest with his missus. (Incidentally his hyper fertility and just the thought of anyone letting him wave it near them makes me gag. God help the domestic staff at Downing Street hearing those sound effects).
Maybe he should stick to his amateur porn. Alli, not Johnson. Nobody needs to see that sex face. Maybe Dele just couldn’t manoeuvre in a kit three sizes too big for him. Or maybe it’s that he was weighed down by his MN8 mid-90s tribute hair. (Youtube. “I’ve got a little something for you”. Now.) OR maybe he’s caught sight in the mirror of the fact that he now possesses the worst tattoo sleeve in the history of football and was just ashamed.
Mind you neither self of Spawn appear to be match fit either. Both had to have a sit down on half an hour. I’d had one rum and coke and half an unwanted Aperol spritz and appeared to be completely wankered. Favourite song tonight: “Oh Tommy Tuchel you are the love of my life, Oh Tommy Tuchel, I’d let you shag my wife, Oh Tommy Tuchel, I hate PSG too.
1-0 it was at the break. Should have been more, but they were not even in contention. They look to be significantly behind us in terms of match fitness. The superlative Captain Kante departed, along with Hudson-Odoi to give Pulisic and Bakayoko a run out. Hapless spud twats squandered a chance as soon as we began again after the break. Trevor had to bail us out at the back, and a beast like tackle by Zouma was needed, but they still hadn’t equalised. Kovacic bossed the pitch from the middle, and they were still second best, even with the odd bit of misplaced optimism.
Then Ziyech slapped them in the face with a second. Big grin on his face. Annoyingly they then scored. Sheer luck was the only way they were getting off the mark. Gits. We could have nailed it on 61 with a load of pinball in the box, another miss on 65. Dammit. By this point Tommy had made another seven changes and the contest as an indicator of what is to come this season was over in favour of having a look at people and driving up fitness levels. Which is why they then scored what was a ludicrous goal from our perspective.
I know we’ve all been denied the match-going experience for a while, but the levels of anger were quite amusing. One guy stormed out at this point. Let’s be clear: we were watching Chelsea’s answer to the Raggy Dolls. Eleven players who have never played together as a team in their lives and never will again. Who last season were playing variously for Granada, Porto’s B team, Genoa, Sheffield United, Anderlecht and FULHAM. Let’s get a grip people. Personally devastated not to see the lesser spotted Danny Drinkwater. Presumably two games in a week after getting paid to do nothing for so long would have ended him. That or his liver has given out. I literally never thought I’d see some of these players again. I thought we’d sold Bakayoko. Likewise Zappacosta. Kennedy must be the inspiration for that new M. Night Shyamalan film because he looks middle aged. Matt Miazga. Wow.
Off the line by Ampadu on 77. Pulisic blazed one over the bar and Carolyn says “I apologise for my country”. Spawn and I appeared to be bereft of an attention span by this point. Were games always this long? First silverware of the season? Is this thing even over? That’s assuming this warrants a trophy and not just a bumper bag of skittles. Roll on Palace.
Photo from Chelsea’s glorious and shiny official website.
Brighton 1 Chelsea 3
Monday 14th September 2020 20:15
Well: I’m going to just be honest from the off. I have never been so out of touch or less psyched for the start of a football season. It just doesn’t feel real. How this Nation’s League wank is still going ahead if beyond me. But we’re better off than some. I have one Leeds friend. We’re going to refer to him as Mucky Leeds Bastid this season, and though his whining is limited, he pointed out that they have waited 16 years for this. And they can’t even enjoy it. Still. First world problems and all that. I'm going to force myself to give it a go.
In the News: Kante to go? Jorginho to go? Both of those rumours can f*ck off. What would be the point in strengthening the rest of the squad to then go and weaken one of the other areas? After years of telling everyone he can’t wait to not be a footballer anymore, Danny Rose is now mopey that Sp*rs have ditched him. Hazard is porky again. I have zero sympathy for Real if they spent hundreds of millions on him and didn’t realise the need to padlock his fridge when he’s out of their sight. Higuain is apparently about to become the highest paid player in the MLS. Miami have seen him play football, right?
And a word on Wurzel Kloppage, who fielded a team worth £356m against Dirty Leeds. Having said that the Red Scouse wouldn’t behave like Chelsea. He’s not wrong. Abramovich gave the NHS a hotel and 200,000 meals during this f*cking nightmare. Scouse tried to get the Government to pay their staff. Be proud you ludicrous and dishevelled scarecrow. Be proud.
The Others: Two penalties, including one at the death to nail home a result they couldn’t achieve on their own. Colour me surprised. But then nothing says “Happy Birthday Alex” like Chequebook Pulis leading Sp*rs to ignominious defeat. The Goons think they are sudden world beaters because they turned over “checks notes” f*cking Fulham. Palace beat Southampton, Moyes is my dead cert to be sacked first, if not CP, Sheffield United tanked at home and City were too diseased to take on United.
Them: Still think Lamptey called it a day too soon at Chelsea, but good luck to him. Lallana racking up south coast teams on a par with Harry Redknapp trying not to move too far from his bungalow. Like them, but not sure that they’re not going to be fighting a battle akin to 300 knackered Spartans at the gates of Thermopylae to stay up this season.
Us: Timo Werner seems to have it all. G-Nev says it’s too good to be true - goals, cheap, young. Boom. Havertz started too - all £75m of him. At 21. No pressure then. Thrilled to see RLC back on the pitch where he belongs, but really, what can you take from a team selection right now? After a disjointed, frankly f*cking weird pre-season.
Not remotely bitter that it’s been nearly 30 degrees and we would have had the best day ever down at Brighton. Much. Still, I guess we look for the positives in a world gone batsh*t crazy. At least the drinks breaks are gone. And the subs are back to normal. And our away kit doesn’t quite so much resemble a five year-old-boy’s pyjamas from 40 miles away.
One single clean sheet away from home last season. Everyone is going to try and do Kepa with a long range shot, on account of him going to ground slower than Titanic trying to take a sharp corner. And everyone is going to think they will stand a chance with a set play. If we could just not concede 50+ goals this season in the league I will be happy.
It was a pretty even first five minutes - actually a quarter of an hour elapsed before we really burst into action. Still, nobody had fashioned a shot. This is a polite way of saying that at this point, my millennial attention span had started to wander.
This was shortly followed by a slightly hair raising moment at the back. Oh dear. But on the other hand we were starting to pick up some possession. Seeing as we are not Arsenal, it was not that exciting. Brighton by no means looked like pushovers, so the Seagulls will not be impressed with Matt Ryan, for a really stupid take down of Werner in the box. To be fair the error of giving the ball away was redolent on the part of Alzate of Mikel after twelve pints on his worst day, but not even VAR could take that penalty away from us.
Rules now state that goalkeeper has to have at least one foot on the line. About time. Right about now was pissed off that Jorginho was 18/1 to score first and when sexpest suggested this as a bet I laughed. I laughed harder when I remembered that Ginger Pete talked him into putting the money on Mount instead.
Home side will be fuming. In West London, not a f*ck was given. 22 minutes gone, 0-1. Brighton nearly cancelled out the lead three minutes later, but Maupay couldn’t get on the end of a fantastic cross properly and Kepa claimed it, tho not wholly without a bit of desperation. We conceded more goals from corners bar everyone except Norwich last season. When you see him waving a fist at thin air it’s not surprising, but I’m not going to get on his back until there’s a reason. Or at least until I finish this next birthday gin.
Almost an equaliser on 34, but he saved it well. He managed to get down despite the weight of his apparently massive knob, which I sh*t you not was deemed newsworthy by the Press Plebs this week. Jesus wept. You’d think with all their furlough time they might have invested some of it in taking a long, hard look at themselves, but nope.
Why did Brighton suddenly look like bloody Real Madrid? There was a mild panic attack before we got away from them again. A break on 41 was all down to the pass from RLC at the end, because Werner was in. Unfortunately it was not to be. Despite creating basically nothing we were ahead at half time. So you can’t ask for much more than that. Surely going to have to do better after the break. [Insert joke abut Graham Potter needing to wizard-magic up some kind of miracle here]
Brighton still had their tails up at the beginning of the second half. Ball in the nuts for Zouma at the hands (or feet) of Lamptey, who looks so young his can’t have dropped yet. Am sure The Sun have got that lined up as news for next week. Another corner for Kepa to deal with. Zouma managed to head it clear whilst still clutching his junk with an unenviable expression of discomfort on his face.
Ten minutes into the half we were still faffing and they looked much the better side. So it wasn’t surprising when they equalised. Postmortem on that one showed another long range shot go sailing past Kepa. His arm was there, but the ball went underneath it. Give Trossard credit where it’s due though. Just as it was at the other end about a minute later. Reece James take a bow. How convinced would he have been that was going in when he smacked it?! Scorcher to remember as his first league goal. Kepa owes him a drink.
We looked awake now. Barkley came on for RLC and was immediately spritely. You’d think he has to seize every chance he gets this season. Now Sexpest got the opportunity to laugh at me, because I looked at Zouma to score anytime and he convinced me I was an idiot. The big man stuck his leg out, ball deflected past Matt Ryan. 1-3. Daylight. But was it enough?
Of course it wasn’t. Did you see us defend last season? Daylight for us now does not occur until we are four goals ahead. Ref/VARWatch: Craig Poor-son. Great. Although miraculously, the game was devoid of any of his usual incompetence. Still, they must be loving this, without a fan in the ground.
Apparently Lallana had gone off at some point, but nobody noticed. To be fair Brighton had a reasonable go at a comeback, but it just opened the game right up. Sh*t or bust for Potter with multiple subs on 78 minutes. One more goal would have taken us top, which means nothing, but would have been a finger in the eye for L’Arse and their nonsensical gloating. Sub for us too, with Hudson-Odoi replacing Havertz, who had had a steady if not-particularly-inspiring debut. Then Dave for Jorginho to see us over the line. We hoped. Not a lot to report, aside from a long range effort from Barkley, as the seconds ticked down.
So: Not bad for four days prep. Apparently when we win the first game on a Monday night, we win the league. So that’s that then. (Eye roll) A sound start, it will do. There are so many of the usual stupid early interruptions ahead that it will be hard to build any momentum for a while, but we could have done no more. It turns out that Bertie, my Feline Overlord is not as good match-going company as Uncle Albert or Sexpest, because if I try and celebrate a goal he bolts under the sofa like I’ve tried to kill him. This one is for Chelsea Steve, who has been told that he won’t see the end of this season. Savour every bizarre moment of this campaign, keep fighting, we want you to see the bridge again. We’re here for you buddy.
*Picture comes from the official Chelsea website
Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
Tuesday 21st January 2020 20:15
Mid-table opposition for us tonight. From my sick bed this one. I was actually forbidden from going by a doctor after some spluttering gitbag on an Eva Air 777 gifted me a respiratory virus. So BT Sport it is. The only satisfied party is Bertie my Feline Overlord, because we now basically live on his schedule of sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, eat a bit, sleep. If all of this suffering doesn’t make me thinner I will be devastated.
The Others: Not a lot else going on tonight, other than Everton initially proving that it isn’t f*cking difficult to beat Newcastle and then going to sleep and City making a meal out of yet another game.
Us: James injured, Emerson starts, Kovacic comes in over Mount who drops to the bench.
Them: Bellerin back after shirking most of the season. At some point he’s reflected on awful choices in life and cut his hair. BT resorted to showing Arsenal goals from ten years ago because there is nothing newer to excite their fans. Van Persie is a useless pundit. Predicts a 3-5 win for Arsenal. Says we’ve become likeable since Frank took over. Same will never be true of him. Stat wankery has also hit new levels. Using a vaguely mentioned collection of data, they have now claimed to pinpoint every time a team SHOULD have scored. Yes, apparently now they will tell you what your “expected goals” tally is measured against what you’ve actually scored. We should have scored 23 goals this season. And we’ve drop nine. Which is more than any other side. So in the figment of some sad b*stard’s completely f*cked up imagination, we suck. Right.
Here’s one for them to cling to. In the opening two minutes they had 96% possession. If they were Sp*rs they would have a DVD made. Half run from the Goons early, but then we broke free and it took Luiz and a block for them to get away with just a corner. Sham clearance from Kepa will have got a fair few people moaning. A Kovacic shot was blocked on six, at the expense of any future children Mustafi might have wanted. Build up play for that was excellent.
Torreira made a complete arse of himself rolling about on the floor as we waited to take a corner. Apparently a glancing blow from Dave’s arm is akin to being hit in the face by a wrecking ball judging by the hysterics that followed. Next corner saw the ball bounce off of Christensen, who just about headed it but it wasnt under control and went nowhere near the goal. Hold the press, Ozil was running. David Luiz looks bizarre in a red shirt. Sort of like if you put Jeremy Corbyn in a tux. Point blank range for Tammy on 14. Cross from CHO, strong header across from Rudi and surely it had to go in. But no, he couldn’t quite get hold of it. At this point we were building momentum and they hadn’t fashioned any kind of effort on goal. Not that that means anything with us. 16 minutes and CHO spotted Leno off his line. Think he was going to cross, but he hit a swinging shot that glanced off the bar. We’d had eight corners in little over 20 minutes, so you can’t say the attacking intent wasn’t there. Needed more to show for it though.
Tammy was away on 25, past Leno and running on an empty net when Luiz clattered in from behind. Mustafi’s fault, what a clown. Watching him defend must feel like Melania Trump every time her husband picks up a microphone. But a humiliating return to Stamford Bridge for Sideshow, who saw red for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. He didn’t go at it like a maniac, but he still couldn’t temper his tackle so as to stay on the pitch. Jorginho stepped up: hop, skip and a jump and slides it into the right hand corner of the net. Boom. 1-0 up against ten men.
Just taking the piss out of them at this point. Shot from CHO with the outside of his right foot required a flying save by Leno on 31. One way traffic, literally nothing going right for L’Arse. Loving Kovacic tonight. Dancing about all over the place. They actually got in our box on 37, but still couldn’t get a shot off. Arteta still hadn’t made a change, though Rob Holding was bobbing about on the sideline. They had, however started stringing more than one pass together at a time. Even when we broke we looked either too scared or too lazy to press as the clock ticked down. Can we not be complacent please. The first half petered out with them crying about a hand ball. Three Gooners giving it 1-0 and you still don’t sing. That there is called irony. If it’s possible, they look even worse than Sp*rs did in the giant toilet bowl a few weeks ago. Three word team talk required by Frank at the break. “Kill, boys. Kill.”
Still no changes by Arteta as the second spell began. When they got the ball they were having a go, and who can blame them, they had nothing to lose at this point. They’ve got no dignity left. By 50 minutes they had resorted to playing football with their hands, though more through ineptitude than crafty intent. We needed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck again, as it was starting to look more like they still had a full complement on the pitch. Languid, was the only way to describe us. Unwilling to risk letting them in and so hanging back.
Guendouzi came on for Ozil, who despite accelerating above a walking pace once in the first half, had looked pointless again. Despite our unwillingness to finish them off, Arsenal had not had a single attempt on goal, on or off target in an hour of play. So you knew what was coming on 64 minutes. The usually infallible twins fell over, leaving Martinelli with a clear run on goal. Nothing Kepa could have done about that but Jesus f*cking wept, how did they end up two on one? Half an hour for us to get our sh*t together. A long range punt from Rudi went straight into Leno’s arms. Barkley getting ready, on at the expense of Kovacic. Three of them down at once with non-existent injuries. In case you were in any doubt as to what their game plan was going to be going forward. Mason Mount also getting ready to come on for Kante.
73 minutes and they were feigning cramp. At this point I was, Lord knows why, reasonably confident. Bellerin was hanging out of his arse, Torreira looked broken. Header by Tammy caught easily on 76, Lacazette robbed Barkley on the edge of the box but luckily they squandered the benefit. Willian off for Batman. Going two up front. They finally brought on Holding for Pepe, who was chased off the pitch for being a time-wasting git by the referee. Ref/VARwatch: Atwell in charge, didn’t do anything to piss me off. Which I think might be a first. No intervention at all from the Virtual A*sehole Referee, which was glorious.
A floating ball in was delivered onto the head of Barkley, but saved again. Corner followed corner. Batshuayi with a chance. Offside. My diatribe aimed at his silly ponytail and their subsequent time-wasting caused a coughing fit. DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!!!!!!!! Tammy limping trying to get onside, Michy offside again, but Dave was a mile on, surged out of the crowd and poked the ball with his right foot. GET IN! 2-1 less than five minutes to go. Tammy on the ground, we’re too idiotic to put it out, Arsenal reaping the benefits, me howling at the TV, Bertie howling for food. Chaos. And then what happens? F*cking Bellerin, who cant put one foot in front of the other he’s so wasted goes and scores with his right foot? I don’t think I’ve seen Arsenal with this much backbone since before I took my GCSEs. Tammy devastated because he couldn’t do any better, Rudi screaming with rage. We are absolute morons.
It had effectively been ten against ten since Tammy buggered his foot. The Batman had the chance to be the hero as the minutes ran away from us, but couldn’t turn it it. Four minutes added on. I’d won a £40 bet but at this rate I’d have to spend all that on getting sh*tfaced. If only we’d put this much effort into attacking for the previous ninety minutes. I. Hate. Short. Corners.
So: I’m torn. I’ve not lost sight of the fact that for Frank to be in this position come the end of the season would be an incredible achievement. I will take it. But not without swearing tonight. A lot. I’m pretty sure that Frank is going to swear more. Because we’re getting sucked into a scrap to stay there. Yet again our management of the game from a commanding position was questionable. Could have been eight points clear of United tonight. Half that now. Lead squandered twice. How we are still even in fourth when we’re this erratic is baffling. Arsenal had bigger stones than us tonight. Just let that sink in for a moment. Arsenal.
Photo comes from Chelsea's official website
Newcastle United 1 Chelsea 0
Saturday 18th January 2020 17:30
The Others: Can’t trust City to get anything done. Gits. Stern finger wag due to Gary Cahill. Pray for Leicester and an absolute miracle. Failing that I will be patenting my own brand of extra durable ear plugs. I’m in talks with Chelsea to have a pair included with every ticket for the Scouse away fixture in the spring.* But as per every other week we can laugh at L’Arse to make ourselves feel better. Because no matter what happens to us, life is sh*tter for them. And as with most other weeks we can laugh at Chequebook Pulis and the Sp*ds. Twats.
*This is a big fat lie.
Them: Some injury returnees. Including their captain. Fingers crossed they’d all be knackered after an hour. Joelinton hadn’t scored in about five years in the league. So you knew what to expect. Two matches in four days for them. Bruce couldn’t have done that when he was a player. It’d wipe him out now. Unsurprisingly Andy Carroll was not fit. Other than for the knackers yard.
Us: Kante back in the starting line up at the expense of Ross. Hooray for the twins, unfortunate for the latter who played well against Burnley. Sadly that meant his nominated, last-ditch Fancast replacement Smutbuddy Glover stayed at home with the dogs too. Sad for the dogs, I mean.
I hate this fixture, though we’ve beaten them the last three times we’ve faced them. Too many occasions it has f*cked us over. I boycott it every year because of the sh*t seats they give away fans. I’m not spending 24 hours on a game when you shiver your bits off half a mile up and the players look the size of mosquitos from where you are. Newcastle can poke it. Especially when some of Thailand’s finest mosquitos have been feasting on my ankles and one of my boobs for the last week. I’ve had enough. I’d rather do Veganuary. Which can f*ck right off. Two chains claiming if the sear a watermelon, (yuck) then if you shut your eyes and switch your brain off it a) tastes like a steak or b) is tuna. Well which one is it? Tell you what. It’s neither. BECAUSE IT IS A WATERMELON. And worse, it’s a rank, hot watermelon. Idiots.
Anyway. Not even the locals had their moobs out when this kicked off, it was that cold. Average possession for Newcastle is the lowest in league this season. Just about 30%. Bruce starting with a 9-1 formation. Which is why he’s had more jobs in the last five years than I’ve had boyfriends. Ever. I wonder what their plan was.
A mistake by Rudiger let them in early on, but the header in the box to set up an attempt on goal was woeful. Only the second time Rudi and Christensen have played together at the back this season, but it would turn out just fine for 93 minutes. Willems was broken inside ten minutes. Only slightly exceeded the length of time he faced us for Frankfurt last season. Innocuous coming together with CHO. All momentum lost by the time we restarted. A good break on 13 ended up running out of play, which was disappointing. Moments later Mount squeezed it across the face of goal but there was nobody there. Another break on 15 came to nothing, and another bar-code was lying on the floor. Caught by Mount, but again, pretty tame stuff. What did I say about Joelinton? Headed one off the bar on 20. Scuffed away in the end by Reece James. Soon enough they were coming at us again. We’d stalled after five minutes of disruption and they’d manage to take advantage of it. There was a good ball into the box by James on 24, but again, there was no-one there to meet it.
We’d got a grip back on the game now, though on 28 it required a sneaky pull back from Rudi to prevent them making a break. No shots on target as yet. It was our turn to hit the woodwork on 32 but Tammy was offside. Kante was on the end of another brilliant James ball on 33, but the keeper took care of it well. First shot on target from either side. Yet another good ball in from James on 39, everything that was good had him involved. We were having a prolonged attacking spell as the half closed out, capped off by a foul on Jorginho that gave us a decent free kick on 42 just outside the area. Mount on the end of it, but it was deflected out for a corner as he tried to bend it round the wall. Five minutes added on. Corner won by Dave on 45, sadly sailed right into the Keeper’s arms. Pinball in the box finally put out by them on 47. Dammit. A quick break from them came to nothing when the referee declared the ball was rolling. Shame. Chorus of “You Don’t Know What You’re Doing” from them. 0-0 at the break. Not horrible but not great either.
The ball was shanked wide by Willian on 52. We outnumbered them at the time going back and should have done better. Rumoured that he had a niggle at half time, so we’ll put it down to that rather than him being a f*ckwit. Another stinging shot by Dave, again from range on 54 but it went straight at the keeper before half a chance for Voldemort went begging.
A wall of barcodes. Did I mention I hate this fixture? It was getting frustrating now trying to break this down, and Frank’s answer was to send Barkley on for Mason Mount. He played damn well, but we were plodding towards Frank’s first 0-0 in charge of the Blues. Best chance yet for Abraham on 71, but the angle was wrong. His feet got muddled and it ended up missing an open path to goal and going wide instead. When have you ever seen a referee ordering a player the other side of the line when he needs treatment so that he can press the game on? Which brings me to Ref/VARwatch: Chris Kavanagh. Douchebag. Buy a bigger shirt. The smuggling peanut pot belly look is off-putting. VAR twat was Kevin Friend. Blissfully anonymous. Anthony Taylor waving the scoreboard. If he looks like getting into his shorts at any point, someone brick him. So we had to do a swift swap and hoik James off. Dave doing his nut at Kavanagh who suddenly wants to apply Queensberry rules to an openly flouted bit of anti-sportsmanship that occurs atelier ground in the country, every week. Emerson on.
Fifteen minutes to go and Emerson still sorting his socks out. A sloppy corner was somehow kept alive, but despite pressing on it came to nothing. Pretty relentless from us as we approached 80 minutes, but barely any of it in the box. When it was, Abraham’s hooked effort was cleared from in front of the line. Off he went for Michy. Sigh. It might make me mean, but I’m never inspired when he gets bowled in as the answer to a situation like this. A CHO cross on 81 just missed Michy’s head. Shame. Tammy being a few inches taller might have got on the end of it. Another effort straight afterwards rebounded out and was absolutely thumped by Emerson, but it deflected wide. B*llocks. Emerson booked for diving. Harsh. Wasn’t a free kick though. They over played their hand on 85 and ended up squandering the chance to have a go, and back up the other end it went. Cross from Barkley could have fallen to someone, but didn’t.
Joelinton smashed it wide on 87. Well wide. And yet probably their best effort in the second half thus far. They’d been flaccid and uncreative. So you knew what was coming. Four minutes added on and we looked bereft now, out of ideas. Nothing had worked. Could Frank bring himself on? Then. Jammy, JAMMY f*ckers. From a shocking corner somehow they’ve put it in. So much a smash and grab it should carry a custodial sentence. Straight out of the playbook of Freddy the Frog.
So: On a day full of draws we fell short of even that. But not really any worse off when you consider Sp*d and City results. I was going to say Arsenal too, but then I looked and saw how far down the league they are and just laughed. Reece James was exceptional, Barkley impressed and brought a new dimension when he came on. I’m really bored of the Kepa bashing. If I was a woke I’d claim it was racist and cry on twitter about it to all my fellow overly PC loser friends. But there’s more chance of me becoming a Sp*rs fan. I’m still confident about Tuesday. They can’t play like the Toon did today, because they have Luiz et al at the back. So it will be much easier to break them down. I’m going to find some gin and to try and buy back the love of my feline overlord, who can smell elephant on my dirty washing and knows I cheated on him.
“F**k VAR.” Again.
Watford 1 Chelsea 2
Saturday 2nd November 2019 17:30
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 2: Don’t know if it was a police decision because last time they had the whole Shed they bought flares, or whether we just couldn’t tolerate anymore whiny Southerners pretending to be Mancs, but the stand was half empty. It was a steady start. CHO almost played in Michy after after three minutes, and Kovacic had flown out of the blocks, as the visitors were subjected to a barrage of “live round the corner.” United were flailing somewhat. After ten minutes McTominay had been booked after clattering into Kovacic like a drunken cart horse. That’s what happens when you train with Phil Jones. It’s catching.
A truly awful corner from them on 12 made our usual disasters look competent, but somehow they got on the end of a shot which went thankfully wide. Their sum achievement so far was somehow mustering 29% possession, and yet we hadn’t fashioned any meaningful effort on goal with all of the work we’d put in. McTominay couldn’t take what he was dishing out. Michy booked for a foul that saw him rolling about on the floor like he’d had a limb severed. A relentless ditty from them about how happy Solskjaer makes them. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Then the game was turned completely arse about face when Alonso tried to make up for losing the ball and gave away a silly penalty. Rashford converted having done nothing else so far. Typically. 100% against the run of play, but that’s what you get when you don’t make the most of being on top. We hadn’t yet managed a shot on target. We just needed to show our teeth. Playing the ball about prettily is nice, but sometimes you need to read a game right and just get stuck in to make it work. We were too nice. The telling point was that Slabhead hadn’t just stashed Michy in his pocket, he’d packaged him up and mailed him back to Belgium. There has to be something severely off with The Beard that you don’t stick him in this game if you are resting Abraham, because he would not have given Manchester’s answer to Wreck it Ralph a moment of peace at the back.
The highlight of the night sitting in the posh seats with JK? Other than the gin and pick n mix? The moment CHO came flying over the advertising boards beneath us. One elderly fan was so incensed (beclad in blue and white afro wig and multiple scarfs) that she gave Williams sh*t, decided that wasn’t sufficient and then powered up her mobility scooter, drove up to the boards as far it would go (slightly ramming them) and proceeded to give it to him louder. She’s a legend. I met her at Leicester last season, she’s been going to games for half a century and when they tried to park her with the home fans she hammered them with swear words that I’ve never even heard of!
Anyway, the second half was better. Zouma was leaping at high balls into the box like a trout on speed, we looked much better going forward. Gilmour, who was excellent, absolutely deserving the standing ovation he got when he was subbed, broke again and when he got a follow up shot off it drew emphatic shouts of handball, which of course got ignored. A misguided shot by Pulisic on 52 should have been laid off to a teammate on either side, another ball went across the face of goal a minute later. Different side to the first half, and yet not scoring. Rashford’s MO, I’ve noticed, is to climb all over people he can’t keep up with. Another handball shout from a Reece James ball went ignored. The crowd sang for Abraham - and with good reason, for Michy had not been good enough thus far. Tammy and Mason Mount were getting ready. You watch, said JK, now he’ll score a wonderful goal. And in that moment he did. And in the next instant I asked JK for the winning lottery numbers. 1-1.
United clearly second best, then halfway through the second half, Pedro gave away what I thought at the time was a necessary free kick outside the box. Rashford decided to pick that moment to score a world class goal. Apparently it was because of the ball. Either way, he had done literally nothing but score two goals, if that makes any sense. Tosser. As could have been anticipated, they then wasted time like they were Burnley. For our part, we never really grabbed hold of this game. We were down to Kovacic and Zouma taking shots at twenty yards with three minutes left. Frustration mounted. Ref Paul Tierney disappointing, to an extent, less so that the lino on the East Stand side, though to be fair the guy looked like a Ken doll after a plastic lobotomy who’d been thumped in the face with a mallet and left with a permanently baffled expression on his face. I we had done our job properly, United wouldn’t have got a result. We did not.
In the News: Pulisic was so ecstatic after Burnley that he almost forgot to take home the match ball. Spy nearly had heart failure because everyone labelled him Chelsea’s youngest ever to score three in a game. Jimmy Greaves was 17. Frank is understandably a little peeved at the notion that he has had no choice but to play our academy boys. He points out that at every turn they have EARNED the right to play for Chelsea, and that despite the transfer ban, he could still field a full team without any of them if he had to. Apparently he turned down offers for Zouma in the summer. Good show, because since that horror show at Old Trafford he has hardly looked back. Xhaka-gate has been highly entertaining, his having been thick enough to tell his own fans to f*ck off. Apparently the club are going to offer him counselling. Though I fear nothing can work through the life disappointment of ending up in North London. Apparently he’s grief stricken. Probably about that last point. And apparently Bill Kenwright offered £1m of his own money to help stop Bury going under. What a nice chap.
The Others: Total clownery in the land of Scouse midweek. The Goons managed to lead 12 times and still get knocked out by the jammy red turds. And today? Jammy, feckworthy, lucky red b*stards, who have spent the last month robbing points they didn’t really earn. Still, we can always laugh at United. Who lost to the mighty Bournemouth, and L’Arse, who drew at home to Wolves. West Ham inexplicably capitulated at home to the Geordies, who scored two goals in a game for the first time under Steve Bruce, who admitted that he realised his team were rubbish whilst sitting on the toilet. Let’s face it though, under Steve Bruce is a suffocating place to be for anyone. Another impeccable performance from Sheffield United, another home win for Brighton, and City managed to get their sh*t together in the end. So Operation ABL still intact.
Them: Heard two of their fans in the cafe beforehand. “We’ve been punching above our weight for years now, this is our level.” Seemed like an apt appraisal based on my not really paying attention to them but looking at the league table.
Us: Kepa returned, as did Dave, Alonso taken out prior to Ajax on Tuesday and Emerson back in. Jorginho and Kovacic in front of them, Mount, Little Willy and Abraham and Pulisic leading the charge. Gilmour earned a place on the bench with his display on Wednesday.
We were going for a fifth away win against a side who haven’t won any game yet this season. I was Sexpest’s babysitter today, which meant I got to threaten to let his chair roll downhill every time he was inappropriate (every time he opened his mouth) and that I got to blog side by side with Chris Evans (special alias) who came to Watford dressed up as ginger Delboy. Dumbo (special alias again) had seen that Anthony Taylor was in charge with Mike Dean in the VAR f*ckwit bunker in Middlesex and predicted nothing but doom. I scoffed at this, till about the 80th minute.
The away support was in fine voice, but it took four minutes and a goal from Tammy to get us singing about Chelsea instead of all the people we apparently don’t like. I’m not preachy, or PC bonkers, but there is nothing funny, in any context, about calling someone a sex offender, no matter how much you dislike or disagree with them. What a ball from Jorginho. Chris Evans and I spontaneously developed the girliest celebration possible, which involves jumping up and down and squealing whilst holding hands. His wife was disturbed. Watford could barely get a foot on the ball at that point, unless it was in the desperate attempt of hacking it away. Gray jumped so early at one point, he’d come down and left a dent in the pitch before the ball even arrived. Nothing was going right for them. Watford ran about like headless chickens, and yet we weren’t exactly making anything more happen in the box. which meant it was not over yet.
On 17 minutes an effort was blocked, before a minute later a Pulisic attempt was predictably saved by Ben Foster, who seems to play out of his skin every time we meet him. At this point it looked like those blokes in the cafe were right. A brilliant turn from Pulisic on 23, off he went, though our final effort bobbled painfully across the face of goal. At this point the wasp, or whatever their mascot is, was losing the will to live. He’d had a brief spell banging on a drum, but was now alternating between sitting on it with as much of a hangdog expression as is possible for an inanimate costume head, lying on the floor like the act of watching Watford hurt, or chatting to a bald bloke in the crowd. And yet soon he was back up on his drum, for we were still not being clinical enough, and they began to come into it more. Their first corner on 38 ended with a shot that went slightly wide, before a block by Zouma in 49 slightly made up for the short sleeves and gloves combo. We nearly managed to double our lead on 42, when a Mason Mount shot was shoved up onto the bar by Foster. Git. The “Oh goodie,” said Chris and I, a set piece aimed at us to finish the half. And yet we survived to go into the break ahead.
Home side's staff couldn’t have been nicer to Sexpest in his chair today, nor the Chelsea fans, who were hampered by a total lack of room for the disabled fans to move or get to a toilet at half time. On a side note, Sexpest trued to get me to hold his little willy, at which point I shoved his chair through the cubicle door and shut it behind him. How did their setup ever get signed off? The whole thing is dependant on two Stannah stairlifts that make Kolo Toure look like a whippet and roughly ten wheelchairs would be stranded on the upper levels with no other way out if there was an emergency.
They looked far better at the restart, though Ben Foster is so predisposed to time wasting that he doesn’t seem to realise that it doesn’t do any good when you are losing. It was soon even more for nothing though, because on 54, Pulisic arrived perfectly to pick up on Tammy Abraham’s ball into the six yard box. Little Willy and Kovacic also instrumental. 1-2. The American took us close again on 57, but the ball deflected harmlessly across the face of goal. Chris and I had decided that we wished we could be linos. Because it is slightly tempting to yearn for a job where you can turn up and literally do f*ck all and get paid for it. It’s either that or we are running for parliament.
Watford hadn’t rolled over and died, but they were back in the same depressed state as the opening spell of the first half now. On 61 minutes, I sh*t you not, Kovacic, who had his name sung for lengthy spells today (It’s not mind-blowing, it’s the old Matic song) actually got a f*cking shot on target. Which is rarer that rocking horse sh*t. Also a mass of singing for Vialli, both of which are far more worthy than singing about Sp*rs or journalists. The Croatian, of whom a picture has emerged that apparently shows him as a child being snubbed by Slippy G, was at it again as the clock ticked over to 64, with a driving ball along the floor that was nearly picked out on the line. Close again on 68, but only a corner after Abraham’s shot was blocked by Mariappa.
Mount was next on 72. At this point I made a note of my surprise that referee Anthony Taylor - usually a thunderc**t of the highest order when it comes to Chelsea, had done nothing to displease me so far. But his time was coming. 75 minutes and Chris Evans says to me: “another goal and a clean sheet will do nicely.” But this is us. Five minutes later along came VAR.
We had had a penalty shout ignored, presumably because it did not constitute a CLEAR AND OBVIOUS error. So tell, me in the name of all that is holy WHAT WAS CLEAR AND OBVIOUS about the nonsensical twattery that, after stalling the game way beyond their timeframes given out at Stockley Park, in which we all sat there baffled in the ground, that resulted in a f*cking penalty for Watford? What about the one for us that didn’t get checked? Utter balls. In the words of El Salvador (special alias) “The only thing more despicable than VAR will be when Deschamps plays Kante against Moldova.” Once again no check by the referee on the screen available? It took them longer than their own parameters for making a decision to even alert the fans in the ground as to what was going on. “F*ck VAR” sang the away end, as on the pitch we tried to do our best Ben Foster impressions and wind the clock down.
CHO on with seven and a half minutes to go, then Tammy off on 87 for the Batman. Watford have a sign next to their clock that says: “The original family club,” as if a family never went to a football match until 1881. By the time we were notified of five added minutes, I had reverted to my standard position re Anthony Taylor: wanting to beat his shiny head with aplastic club like it was a piñata. Who knows what would come out. Certainly not any sense. Michy on the break on 89 minutes, but his run could not match the skill of his turn. Back we came again, but the cross too strong. Suddenly Watford looked like Real Madrid coming forward. Clawing our way over the line didn’t begin to describe it. We were Sam Allardyce dragging himself across the desert on his hands in pursuit of a mirage of a pork pie. Ben Foster, of all people, nearly nicked them a point. He was extremely gracious about the outstanding save from Kepa that denied him a first ever goal, which made me feel slightly bad about always giving him so much sh*t for habitual his time-wasting. But only slightly. As we left, one of the Watford stewards joined in singing Super Frank, which was fun.
So: The utter lunacy of VAR remains. In no way, shape, or form are the league abiding by their own ever fluid, ever changeable parameters when it comes to implementing it. It is so subjective in every individual game as to make it laughable as a tool for improving their percentages across the league, which they have admitted is their lofty ambition. Listen to Frank. He sat in on a meeting himself this week which has once again borne this out. Happily, however, despite their f*ckwittery, (which MoTD will just gloss over) pending the Leicester result (Palace away tomorrow) we sit third, and are now only two points shy of St Pep and his fantasy football squad. Eight wins out of nine, top end of the league just behind a side worth half a billion, 23 goals thus far in the league and Tammy equal top scorer. Not bad for a club who couldn’t sign anyone in the summer, eh? With a manager half the country thought would fall on his a*se? Kovacic majestic, again, some outstanding moments from the likes of Jorginho, Mount, Abraham and Dave at his tenacious best. Kepa the star at the end. Sexpest told us at his birthday party last night that one of the Krays once caught him nicking off them. He got away with a finger wag. Cookie Monster and I have just done a covert run to Chelsea Village Stores when her husband wasn’t looking so we are equipped for the last bit of the journey home with cans of gin and tonic and we’ll be home in time for MoTD. That planning took twelve seconds, so lord knows why the league can’t function sensibly with VAR when they had a year to get ready.
The annual collection for the domestic violence shelter that I run at Chelsea is now up and running. Each year we play Santa to the children living in the refuge with their mums, without a home to call their own over the festive period. This year in addition we have managed to provide winter wardrobes, fund a summer event at the home, send them out at Easter for a day, assist with things like food delivery and a sensory garden and even taken one family to Disneyland Paris. We’re also looking at educational courses for some of the mums to get back on their feet with work. You can use any of the donation details from last year. Paypal address is email@example.com or you can contact me on Twitter/Facebook for bank details. Alternatively, in the run up to Christmas there will be elves on hand at games home and away to take donations if you contact in advance. I’ve also got some things to auction, namely a signed pair of Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s boots, a signed Carabao Cup final shirt, and a signed training shirt from the winning Europa League run last season. All of these have been kindly donated and we have offers to frame them up nicely from fellow Blues. Watch out for an alert when I put them onto eBay in the next couple of weeks.
Sacre Blue! I Hate Zonal Marking
Lille 1 Chelsea 2
Wednesday 2nd October 20:00
To be honest, I’ve been so wrapped up in laughing hysterically at any Sp*rs meme I could lay my mitts on, it’s a miracle I even remembered that we were playing this game.
In The News: Ross has to be escorted to a cashpoint to pay for a cab, by a copper. And somewhere in all of this a portion of chips was involved. Frank only concerned for the Cabbie having to clean the grease off the back seat. Gooners set to loan out Ozil, willing to pay towards his wages despite not benefitting from anything he does. No change there then. Eriksen’s bird got knobbed by Vertonghen, or nearly got knobbed. Kane tried to punch the latter, now nobody is talking to anyone else in the Sp*d dressing room. The internet says so and the internet never lies. Bernardo Silva charged with being “racially insensitive.” To WHO? Certainly not the “victim,” who wasn’t remotely offended. And what a borefest the big “MNF” fixture was. Rashford has now scored one goal in 16 matches, to add to Ole’s many woes.
The Others: Pahahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah. Paahahahahahahahahaha ahahahahahahahahhaaahhhahahahahahaha. Wait a minute. Pahahahahahahahahahahahah. Favourite quip? “Have Munich declared yet?” Harry F*cking Kane said that beating Southampton was a MASSIVE STATEMENT from them. Not as MASSIVE as tanking seven goals to Bayern. Pahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha. More importantly how does Aurier escape being sent off by on site officials AND VAR when trying to kill David Alaba? That challenge was disgusting. Yet again the Scouse clawing their way over the line and not convincing anybody. Also, City made a waffly big deal out of Zagreb, no win for Real either. Zidane left Bale out. Basking in the fact that Courtois was subbed off at halftime. The fans are laying in to Eden. The longer his misery lasts, the more my addled brain thinks that he might realise he’s made a massive mistake and come home.
Us: Kepa - A defence of Dave, Tomori and Zouma with James and Alonso as wingbacks. Kante returned from a twingey hamstring to partner Jorginho, Willian made his 300th appearance and we were finished off with Mount and Tammy Abraham. The Beard back from illness on the bench, alongside Batman, Pedro Pony and CHO which all bode well for a positive attempt to get three points out of this and atone for squandering points against Valencia.
Dominant, possession wise at the start, but Lille by no means there to make up the numbers. In the meantime Ajax had gone ahead of Valencia in the other group fixture, which was a big plus for us. Early effort for Mount was controlled well by the youngster but struck terribly. On 21 minutes Lille were convinced that Tammy was offside, but he was miles on. Rubbish marking from the hoe side, cross in, Tammy turned and fired right into the corner like it was the easiest thing in the world. A 22nd birthday present to himself and an early lead. Alonso ran face first into a defender in the penalty area three minutes later, but shouts for a spot kick were dubious. Their best effort yet came on the half hour when they broke at speed. Excellent save from Kepa and put out by Reece James for the corner. Still they came at us, Stupid zonal marking. Stupid free header. Stupid equaliser. Another set piece for the home side, but a long way out and Kepa claimed with ease. Osimhen trying to pick a fight with Dave. Who wants to fight DAVE?! Back down the other end and a clumsy foul on Mason Mount gave us a free kick just outside the area. Much chatting between Willian and Alonso ended with the Spaniard lifting it up fine, but failing to bring it down again. Willian reckons he should have taken it. There’s a surprise. Out of nowhere on the stroke of halftime Jorginho came up with a whipped shot that was only kept out by the post, and so we went in level at the break.
Plenty of firepower on the bench if need be. Must make dominance pay. Must be clinical. Must not concede stupid set play goals. Apparently we haven’t won in France for 15 years. That’s an embarrassment for Englishmen. Banging save from Kepa on 51, shabby defending again. Liked this referee. Not interested in whining sh*thousery of any kind. Zouma was looking very adept at the back, James was more settled. Nothing really doing going forward though, we’d gone off the boil. Same can’t be said of their fans who were doing an impressive rendition of the bouncy. Their manager looked like a sleazy(er) French version of Paul Hollywood. Frank needed to change things up now. We hadn’t really got going in the second half. I’d have brought on Pedro Pony for Willian, who was by now rolling round on the floor. Everyone carried on playing on around him and he soon got up. Instead we got CHO for Reece James, who had acquitted himself well overall on his Champions League debut. We went to a back four, with Alonso falling back and CHO slotting in in front of him. Lille went backwards on our formation change, but we had to make it count. Tammy almost did on 70, but it was swept clear and off they ran on the counter. Lucky for us the shot soared miles over. Brilliant move from us led all the way down to Mount dragging a shot just wide on 72. Corner. Not only cleared the first man, but everyone else too. Then a goal from nowhere. CHO shrugs off a defender on the wing, lifts it over the box and Willian somehow smashes the ball into the ground so that it rebounds up into the net. Great subs by Frank and great response from the players. Now don’t f*ck it up. Does make me laugh to suddenly hear pundits and commentators lauding our loan army and the experience the likes of Mount and Tomori have gained from spells away. Having laughed at the numbers we were sending out the last few years. Pedro Pony ready to come on as Osimhen did his best to win a penalty. Kepa stood up brilliantly. Willian was, by now, looking broken. Lille failing to put the ball out. We’d done it for them twice. Mount not looking too spritely either. Kovacic replaced him on 86. He was all over the ball straight away. A bit hairy as we went into four minutes of injury time. Kepa got away with a nightmare in trying to punt it out to Tomori, but somehow we survived.
So: When asked to assess the season so far, Frank said prior to tonight that he wishes we could have had a few more points in the league, and that we hadn’t stuffed up against Valencia. It was essential to get off the mark in what looks like being a very tight group, and we’ve done it. Yet again though, we’ve conceded a rubbish goal on a set piece. Listening to Joe Cole, the club have no intention of abandoning zonal marking, but the tweaking continues apparently. Tweak more, boys, tweak more. Tweet of the Week so far? Well, it’s a Facebook status: “Really? No Pulisic? Blatant favouritism to his old pal CHO. He is a new manager with little experience and is a big obstacle to PuliGOAT development to next big football youngster like Mpabbe or Joe Felix.” It might be scarcely visible amidst a clusterf*ck of awful grammar, but it is nonsense nonetheless. So far you lot have been rubbish at pointing these out. Send them to @CFCgwlb.
As an aside, one of our number has been critically ill in intensive care for a number of days now, so all good wishes going to them for a speedy recovery and a return to the Bridge soon.
A Week in the Life of Chelsea
Chelsea 2 Brighton 0
Saturday 28th September 2019 15:00
Behold. The largest blog ever.
Chelsea 1 Filthy Red Scouse 2:
Rarely are you this proud of your boys when they don’t win.
The return of the Kante twins! Huzzah! Mason Mount also fit to start. Emerson also made his comeback in the starting lineup after a spell out. The game started at a frenetic pace amidst a righteous and everlastingly entertaining chorus of Steve Gerard (Gerard) slipping on his f*cking arse. They were rampantly trying to get an early goal as we moved on to In your Liverpool Slums. There was a lot of puzzlement as to why Michael Oliver was wearing the same outfit as their time-wasting schmuck of a goalkeeper, before the first real forward movement from us saw Little Willy comfortably manoeuvred off the ball. “Got to scream for a penalty though? Haven’t you?” Said Tyler (Sitcom alias) next to me. Alonso already warming up. Sigh. Was Emerson ever really fit to play? Was it worth the risk? Best chance for either side came to us on the ten minute mark, but fell short. Abraham, however: anyone worried about how he’d shape up to Dick Van Dyke, he was most certainly willing to give it a go. Then a stupid, stupid foul from Christensen gifted them a dangerous free kick. Admittedly we were at the other end of the ground, but it looked far too close to be that scary. Lucky c*nts scored anyway. Another set piece, another zonal marking fiasco, another goal conceded. Alonso was on. First thing he did was put a convincing ball into the box along the floor, but they punted it out. W*nkers. we were leaving so many back on corners etc., that Tammy was alone in the six yard box with the scum, but what we weren’t doing was rolling over and playing dead. Which was something.
Two filthy fouls from Wijnaldum already. No punishment. Fearless tackle from Mason Mount blew away all semblance of nerves he might have had over that ankle. On 23 minutes we were in, and Mount was desperately screaming for Tammy to square it to him, as were 38 thousand odd Chelsea fans. We’ll forgive him; because the run he made was outstanding. Their fans kept nicking the ball. Shock. Then came an equaliser and yet another VAR clusterf*ck. How f*cking far back do you want to go?! I’ll tell you how far, however far they fancy. Because it is completely subjective and therefore a waste of time and f*cking money. If anyone deserved a moment like that it was our leader Dave, who has looked bedraggled of late. But it was ripped away. VAR ruins yet another game for the people that fork out a fortune to be there. It was pointed out to me that it was no fun 4,846 miles away either. “I just startled my dogs, my wife, and my unborn child celebrating a goal disallowed for an offside seven plays before the goal was scored.”
Nobody entertained the psychological impact of this sh*t, did they? Never more evident than at Leicester the day before when the home side came back to nick the game from Sp*rs. Jumping stadium, Pundits banging on out. But what about when it’s the other way around? Immediately afterwards they were offside. VAR didn’t care. They get a free kick. Then they’re two up, every semblance of atmosphere was sucked out of the stadium, which now sounded flatter than Cheryl Cole trying to string a ditty together without 100k worth of autotune. Another set piece. Another shambles at the back. My interest in what I’m watching was wiped out flat. 1-1 to 0-2 in the space of a couple of minutes. Rewind in football is arse. The score in no way reflected the game, but it was the score, nonetheless, and the crowd was sincerely f*cked off. Short of Michael Owen cracking jokes over the tannoy, nothing else exists that would suck the atmosphere out of a stadium as quickly as quickly as this sh*t. By the time we got to the break, we’d lost Christensen too, so any chance to effectively change the course of the game using our substitutes had been halted in its tracks. We almost scrambled it over the line in injury time, but still no goal. Not that I would have got up and celebrated. VAR has rendered that redundant.
Their first act of the second half? Handling the ball. None of the 26 officials present or in Middlesex cared. Yes, I was still sulking. Lino must have the eyesight of a geriatric mole with cataracts. He f*cked us again straight after. Lovely chap. We subsequently cheered like we’d scored when he got a decision right. Their time-wasting was so bad that Henderson was called over and told to get them all to cut it out. Which ironically succeeded in wasting more time. To Oliver’s credit though, a minute late he booked Alexander Arnold for attempting to spend four hours taking a throw in.
We made it twenty minutes without conceding again. In fact, we had clearly not given up, building momentum, despite continued slow-walking and their fans stealing another ball. On 68 another effort skimmed across the face of the goal, a shot curling just wide. Then the twins scored. Find something wrong with that. I f*cking dare you. Milner on for them. The Scouse equivalent of bringing on Mikel. Which pretty much summed them up for the remainder of the game. They’d never remotely been two goals better than us at any point, and now we battered them, whilst doing a pretty good job of shielding ourselves against the occasional counter attack. Shot into Adrian’s hands on 73, the Batman came on for Tammy whilst Wijnaldum finally got booked for an outrageous professional foul. Henderson and his plasticine face were rightly booed off, as they resorted to just hacking us down in an attempt to stay ahead.
87 minutes we played a cross into the box just too high for Michy, he had a free header but it was wide. Dave, Mount and Kovacic combined and at this point the Vermin would have been doing really well to leave the Bridge with three points. But it was not to be. Players and management team gave it absolutely everything. The players sank to their knees on the final whistle. Everyone hanging out of their arse. Not a man out there that could have given it more by the time those gits crawled over the line having been dealt a reality check about running away with the title and all in blue deserved to be applauded off the pitch.
So: VAR is a c***. Especially if you are Chelsea, it seems, as it has not benefitted us once. the opposite, in fact. All you’ve done is taken the subjectivity of officiating a game of football off the pitch and put it in an office miles and miles away where nobody can see what happens and the paying, match-going fan gets utterly shafted. Human error, I could stomach, but looking for perfection when it’s an impossibility has destroyed the Premier League. Actually, it’s worse than that. They aren’t even TRYING to achieve perfection with all of this f*cking offside toenail nonsense. Do you know what they told us the grand aim of VAR at Stockley Park? “To Improve their margins.” This is what they have ruined football for. To slightly reduce the number of errors in the game. At a cost of millions and crapping on thousands of fans across the country. Give them a round of applause. And before any whiny red tossers call me bitter about the result, I’ve been a vehement opponent of this sh*t all along. The head of PR for the Premier League and a top person from PGMOL had three hours and multiple slideshows as well as an interactive session IN THE VAR ROOM to change my mind. They failed.
Nothing I’ve seen so far this season has done anything to change my opinion that zonal marking is douchey and the refuge of fools. Frank NEVER played in a successful team that did it so WHY?! It is the only issue I currently have with what he and his team are doing at the club. As the great Brian Clough once said, he’d never seen empty space score a goal. However, that is the second time already this season that we’ve played the team that didn’t finish runners up in the final of the Champions League (I can’t actually say it) and the second time we’ve run them down to the wire. They were positively desperate as that game wore on, and so that bodes well for the future. On our day, we can push anyone. Now we’re looking to build consistency and integrate all these players coming back from injury.
Also, say hello to the new JT. Fikayo Tomori was a f*cking revelation and for me, an obvious choice to partner Rudi when he’s fit again. It was also the best outing yet this term for Kurt. While we may have been guilty of a collective groan when Alonso replaced Emerson, through fear of what we were losing defensively, we never would have attacked with such vigour without him. He was excellent going forward. And let’s all raise a glass to Mo Salad (autospell) who maintained his 100% record of not being able to play football at Stamford Bridge. Klippity Klopp is still fishing round in Kante and Tomori’s pockets to find him. Little birdie tells me too, that a number of Scouse gits were ejected from the Shed Lower on suspicion of homophobia for using the rent-boy chant. Excellent.
Chelsea 7 Grimsby Town 1:
Us: What a team. Teenagers Reece James, Marc Guehi and Billy Gilmour (who looked younger than the kids he was high-fiving on the way into the ground) got their full debuts. A welcome return for CHO, then we got Big Willy, Zouma and Alonso; Pedro Pony wore the armband, and there were chances to impress for the Batman, Barkley and Pusilic.
Hats off to Grimsby fans, a huge contingent of them, not only for making the effort, but for keeping it simple with their songs. Plan A appears to be to insert the word fish into any standard refrain. If this is not possible, Plan B is sticking it on the end. For example:
Everywhere we go
Everywhere we go
Everywhere we go
Everywhere we go
Everywhere we go
A day out in the East Middle for me having been booted out The Shed. An evening with the indomitable JK of Fancast fame. Arrived in my posh seat just on time to see Barkley poke one home. Shocking of the keeper to let that past and less than four minutes gone. We could have had a second on six but it was mere seconds before Pedro and James walked round them and set us off on an attack that saw Michy pocket one too. James into the box, Pulisic leaves it for the Batman, who hammered it in. You’re not singing any more. Harsh. Ross with something to prove after penalty gate, and he almost had a second after eight minutes.
Were we winning? Check. Was it likely that Grimsby would make a comeback? Not really. They weren’t biting. So we commenced mocking Sp*rs, who had crashed out to Colchester the night before. Sing when We’re Fishing from the visiting fans. A powering run from the Batman on 18 was only stopped with a handball. Alonso took the free kick, in complete defiance of JK who insisted he wouldn’t, and over it went. We were the note fairies, side by side on our phones getting ready to report on what was turning out to be a thoroughly enjoyable night out. Not only on account of the hospitality sweets, but because we were seeing “the youth” take the stage at the Bridge. Then Grimsby got a cracking goal. Hurrah for the whole Shed End. Slight nerves at this point. We didn’t want to end up all Sp*rsy. They were very fired up now. Their assistant was trying to fight the fourth official at every decision. Indeed, their keeper was so fired up he forgot how to put his gloves on. A smart chip from Alonso on 25 was just too long for Pulisic, who had started well, and three minutes later Michy leapt up but was too slow to get on the end of a header. Probably hampered by downforce generated by that silly ponytail. Acts like a spoiler. Pulisic made another deft run on the half hour, crowned it with a winning cross, but it was headed clear. A fair amount of Grimsby slow-walking going on, not to waste the game, I don’t think, but they were blowing hard already and looking for breathers. Their manager was just as out of breath as his players. Made Wayne Rooney look sportsmanlike with the amount of whining he did. He was that kid in the playground that mouthed off then cried as soon as someone touched him. Also, there’s no point turning up in a suit somewhere if you’re going to continually spit your drink all over the floor and shove your hand into the arse of your pants to adjust your crack. We were beginning to reel them back in now. Stonewall penalty on 41, very silly defending to drag Kurt to the floor, though given the fact that he is the size of a bison, distinctly impressive. Ross Barkley less emphatic about taking this one, and Pedro Pony slotted it in for 3-1 before we ended the half.
A smattering of chances at the beginning of the second half. CHO was giving himself an unnecessarily hard time. Granted, it must be hard to watch this revolution occurring and feel like you have been missing out, but give yourself a break, kid. You’re on the way back from a nasty injury, and you’re not there yet. Eventually it was Zouma who grabbed the fish by the horns and put a fourth in. Another James cross, and the Frenchman sticks a long leg out to poke it into the net. Save forced by Hudson-Odoi on 62, Grimsby looking exhausted now. More kids coming on: Tino Anjorin, English, 17 and Ian Maatsen, Dutch, also 17, on for Pedro Pony and Alonso. Where was the armband going to go? Barkley, but he handled it like a stick of dynamite and chucked it on to Kurt. I don’t think he’ll claim anything every again. Anjorin slotted right in, but Maatsen was something else. He zipped about like Sonic the Hedgehog, looking like Ashley Cole reborn so far as his pace was concerned. He set us off on a spectacular run, but Pulisic’s finish was just wide. Then he was off again, faster than Sam Allardyce when he got the memo about Wilkinson’s two for one pick n mix offer this weekend. Meanwhile, CHO was driving himself slowly mad. On 80 minutes he was lying on the pitch in despair after the keeper blocked yet another one from him. But it was Reece James who banged in the next goal. It fell to him on the edge of the box, he thinks, why not? Hits it and in it goes to the lower right hand corner. Quite obviously meant the world to him. Thus putting, perhaps, the first nail in the coffin of our beloved Dave’s Chelsea career. Expectations were stupidly high on his return from injury for this game, and he met every single one of them. Repeatedly. CHO was a good enough sport to go and congratulate him, before yet again he had an effort saved as he tried to stick it under the keeper on 83 minutes. Michy bagged a brace thanks Pulisic. The American had put in a stellar performance. Are you T*ttenham in disguise? We sang. CHO still wasn’t giving up. In he ran again. He went one way, no path through, he went the other, then he changed his mind again and smacked it at the keeper’s nearside. In it flew on 89 minutes, he finally had his reward for a solid comeback and we had seven.
So: Barely a first team starter in sight, and yet a demolition job. United next. Imagine my surprise that we get the w*nk draw. A chance, at least, to avenge that painful opener in August. Back then they thought we were going to win the league and the nappy sh*t was hitting the fan. What a difference a few weeks makes. And what a future some of these kids have at Chelsea if they continue to impress like this. Even if the opposition was off the pace, you can’t fault the attitude on any of them. Everyone wants to take his chance under Frank. He didn’t get on the scoresheet, and I haven’t yet mentioned him, but Billy GIlmour was stunning. A thoroughly enjoyable exercise for those who made the journey up to the Bridge.
And so on to today…
In the News: Just about every country in the world wants Tomori to play for them. All we’ve heard about since Wednesday is how the Red Scouse’s kids powered past MK Dons during the week. Not one of the Daily Fail’s headlines about our game mentions that it was our academy that smashed Grimsby. Chelsea Twitter stupidity of the week? #JusticeforPulisic. This might be more incomprehensible than the removal of beef flavoured Wotsits. He’s settling in. He is doing fine. Every time something is asked of him, he steps up. Yes, he cost a lot of money. Yes, he’s our replacement for Eden. But do you remember the grown up, sensible conversation we had when he arrived? He is a baby. He has to settle in to a new club where the people coming up from the academy do not. WE’RE NOT EXPECTING HIM TO BE EDEN HAZARD NOW. He has a DECADE on the likes of Willian and Pedro Pony, so what do you think Frank is working towards? He is going to do great things at Chelsea. There’s no reason to soil ourselves because he hasn’t done them in six weeks. Lampard does not need to be sacked on account of imaginary bigotry or favouritism towards English players. Speaking of nonsense like this. Bernardo Silva has not said anything racist. Investigated for racial stereotyping? What? I’ve heard of everything now. Can we not actually deal with proper racism instead of fabricating it where it doesn’t exist? Have you seen any single photo of him and Mendy? They look like a loved up couple. They are quite clearly very fond of each other. Is Mendy offended? No. Is their boss offended? No. Are their black team mates offended? No. Come to think of it, as an ethnic minority and recurring victim of racism myself, am I offended? No. Why is it the prerogative of strangers to get wound up about what they or any other mates say to each other? If you don’t like it, don’t follow them. If I started wailing every time I saw something I found moronic and offensive on social media I would collapse in a fit of exhaustion inside an hour. And that would just be reading Katie f*cking Hopkins’s timeline. And so I ignore the hag. The Twilight Saga offends me because it’s a crime against the English language. So I don’t read it. If you don’t like Silva’s sense of humour, move on. Because the person he is joking with obviously does. I call Mowgli a c*** on average 200 times a week. Sometimes in front of other people. If he laughs his head of am I concerned about a few people I’ve never met interpreting that as my being discriminatory against vaginas? No. A large contingent of society needs to get over themselves and worry about actual problems humanity has like genuine hatred, wars, global warming and plastic pollution and world hunger and Nicola Sturgeon and other sh*t that deserves their wrath.
Having tanked against Olympiakos, and Leicester, and the mighty Colchester, Sp*rs are in crisis. Klinsmann ready to come in, apparently, or Allegri. Ozil apparently needs rest. After playing, at the time Emery made this stupid statement, a massive 71 minutes of football so far this season. Solskjaer’s appointment was a flawed act of desperation, claims one Press Pleb. No sh*t. Does he also know that the sky is blue and that Gary Lineker has slightly large ears? The Norwegian says he isn’t after yes men. Says he expects Carrick & Co to tell him if he thinks he gets it wrong. Hope Carrick gets paid overtime. I wonder if he has got to work with the fact that Ole thinks the answer to his problems is to try and pack Eric Dire and Moura from Sp*rs. Away from the Premier League: Leeds were given FIFA’s fair play award, after being busted for “Spygate.” Rio Ferdinand says Hazard didn’t look happy during Real’s PSG defeat. How many times did you look happy when you were losing, pillock? The Chairman of the Italian Olympic Committee says that diving is more of a problem than racism in football there. Which tells you exactly WHY racism is so rampant in Serie A. And if you want to be entertained, get online and watch Egyptian team Enppi Club’s goalkeeper, Mahmoud Gad, make possibly the most ridiculous save in history against Pyramids. Shame he shipped four other goals in that one.
The Others: Standard City result against Everton. How, in the name of ALL THAT IS HOLY did the Vermin manage to get anything at Sheffield today? Barely a shot on target when they scored. The newcomers have really surprised me so far this season. By no means are the here to make up the numbers. As for Sp*rs managing to claw their way past Southampton, every dog has its day. Still made me sick in my mouth. Leicester still to play Newcastle and and United and Arsenal to scrap out the Premier League Laughing Stock Derby.
Us: Almost a total change of lineup after the midweek cup tie. Kepa, Dave, Christensen, Mount, Jorginho, Willian, Tammy all back. Barkley retained his place after Grimsby, CHO continues building up his return on the bench, joined by James and Guehi, who had earned that after Wednesday. Rudi’s groin is still giving him jip, Giroud is either sh*tting through the eye of a needle, puking his guts up, or a combination of the two, Emerson is slated to be back after the next pointless international break and Ruben has resumed jogging.
We really needed to secure a win at home today, and we started well, if not explosively. Willian was first at it with a long range swing after a minute and a half, but his effort was blocked immediately. They were already time-wasting determinedly after eleven minutes, which didn’t stop Christensen attempting to back heel it into the net, or Tammy heading the ball at the post shortly afterwards. For all of our efforts though, which included more long range chances that were punted at the keeper, we hadn’t created any heart-pounding moments, and we weren’t battering them. They seemed intent on keeping the box full and the defending precise, and it was working. Pedro Pony jumped onto a loose ball to hammer yet another chance at the keeper on 18, right before Mount almost put us in again. We were getting there. Meanwhile Marriner was doing his usual: keeping his cards in his pockets until he could justify waving them at Chelsea players. Douche. We were guilty of wayward balls, which began to grate; especially from Willian And Barkley. After half an hour, the game had completely lost its way. They still hadn’t achieved anything, but now we were pottering along pretty aimlessly too. A Dave shot took a dodgy deflection just wide on 34, and there was more effective blocking for them from the corner. Our moment should have come a minute later. One of Alonso’s floating ships into the box, Ross should have put his foot through the volley, but he tried to control it better and sort of took it off his shin at a funny height. It went right at the keeper. The corner that followed was atrocious, and Willian got a mouthful from someone in the Shed Lower, decided to go back and argue with them. Theres a surprise. The chances kept on coming. Pedro Pony straight at the keeper one on one, again, on 38. On 40 Alonso came sliding into the box. His shot was aimed in our direction, and it started on target, before we watched it gradually arc away from the goal. B*llocks. If only he had a right foot.
And so there was much more work to do after half time. A floaty effort from Willian ended up in the keepers hands on 47. He had kept his team in it so far. Then Marriner pointed to the spot after an obvious foul on Mason Mount in the box. Which means he just about levelled himself back to neutral from twat territory earlier on. Never will you see a more concrete penalty call, and yet now we had to run the VAR f*ckwit gauntlet. I’m not giving them the credit for then calling a penalty a penalty when the referee (surprisingly, in Marriner’s case) had done his job and given it anyway. Ross went nowhere near it, Jorginho put it on the spot, did a little skip and thumped it to the left of the goalkeeper. His name rang out around the bridge, deservedly so. First home goal for him in the league “About bloody time, you slacker,” joked Alf Garnett. We could have had another soon afterwards, and the game was instantly more lively, with Brighton coming out now, abandoning playing at the speed of Lukaku with his legs tied together.
A tired looking Pedro Pony went off for Hudson Odoi, which was a popular choice with the fans. Then off went Ross for Kovacic again. Sarri sitting somewhere in Italy waving a fag at the screen going THAT WAS MY IDEA! Straight away CHO was combining with Mount to set us rushing forward. 71 minutes sparked two chances that were their only opportunity to get anything from this game. First shot deflected and bobbled just wide for a corner. Then zonal marking almost gained them an equaliser, but luckily the bar got in the way. To their credit, they might still not have fashioned an attempt on target, but they were having a bloody good go. Willian secured the points for us on 75 with his first goal in 17 league matches. Ran in, hogged the shot, hit it well and a deflection carried it through and into the back of the net. As someone who had a bet on 3-0, I wanted more. Another diving save on 77 from an Abraham run that he then managed to get on the end of himself. On 81 Tammy set CHO up, but the pesky goalkeeper got in the way again. The timing on his runs is repeatedly excellent. They finally registered an attempt on target in injury time: We’ve had a shot, they sang. At no point were they awful, but they never really competed in this one.
So: Yet another banging performance from Mount. We’re sitting right outside the top four; having had a sh*tter run of fixtures and injuries than most. We’ve also got a positive goal difference for the first time this season. This was our most measured performance so far across ninety minutes, and we controlled the game for almost the entirety of the match to comfortably earn our first home win in the league under Frank. We also kept a clean sheet. Things to improve? Must continue to shut other teams out. This had been our worst run, as far as those are concerned, at the beginning of a season, in three decades. Brighton nearly undid us again on another set piece, and we must improve this. Also, we generated nearly a dozen shots on target, and scored twice. Admittedly they packed the box out, but we have to be more clinical. Three more points against Southampton next week and I’ll feel like we are starting to build some momentum in the league, but first, we need to get off the mark in Europe. Here endeth the marathon blog. I’m going for a nap.
Chelsea 0 Valencia 1
Tuesday 17th September 2019 20:00
Just remember that, if this is how we are to go out of Europe. First home defeat in continental competition in three years, though, look at who we have been playing.
In the News: It’s only been 24 hours since the last blog... so cut me some slack. Firstly, and most importantly, we can forgive the club their every indiscretion in allowing themselves to be commercially violated by the People’s Republic of Nike, for not only do they wear a thousand yard stare as a result of their silliness, but the megastore now stocks F*CKING CHELSEA UNICORNS!! Shevchenko’s twelve year old is training with our academy. Presumably he’s going to play for free until he is 57 so we can recoup what we spent on his dad. City only have one fit centre back. When they’ve bought everyone. Shame. Speaking of Centre backs, when Chequebook Pulis was quizzed to name three English defenders he has managed, he could cite only Gary Cahill and John Terry. Sad for Ashley Cole, but quite why anyone is alarmed that he forgot Smalling and Jones, I can’t imagine. I’ve not seen either of them defend in years. Now, while I think Lukaku is a douche of epic (chubster) proportions, apparently Cagliari have escaped punishment for fans doing monkey impressions at him. How? And an Italian pundit is in trouble for saying you could only stop him with 10 bananas. Apparently, he argues, his partner is black and he has two little black granddaughters. So that makes it OK. I propose stripping him naked, dangling him upside down and flogging his knackers with a cat-o-nine-tails coated in acid. My grandad had balls, and my Feline Overlord used to, so that makes it OK. I’m not the only one struggling for news today. The Daily Fail has put up a whole article about the fact that Kepa is about to wear his fifth coloured kit in seven games. Thanks for that.
Us: Same line up as Saturday except for Rudi. Poor sod.
Them: In utter turmoil apparently. One win in seven league games. Sackings. But this club know what they are doing in Europe. No big names. Half a dozen who didn’t really make the grade in the Premier League and fancied a year round holiday destination instead of North London, or Manchester. Hardly surprising.
Tammy Abraham is quite the new fan favourite, as was evident from massive amount of singing his name. Where’s my Champions League flag? Asked the wit behind us. I’ve only got twelve at home.
Brexit, init. His mate replied. Could have had a goal on three minutes. Corner was headed convincingly by Alonso but ended up being an easy claim for keeper. Mount brought down in a nasty sh*tbag challenge. What the f*ck was VAR doing to miss that? All us in terms of attacking intent, though it was not exactly Napoleon being chased out of Russia. Kovacic did a Mikel on 13, as in run over the halfway line, made it to the edge of the box, then it dawned on him how far forward he was and he sh*t his pants and forgot what he was supposed to be doing. Mount already fouled again. This time he was leaving the pitch, which was sh*t. Very neat passing from us, but yet to do anything in exciting in the box after 20 minutes. Nothing at all from them at the other end, but they looked far from incompetent.
Willian was off and running on 21, but nobody kept pace with him. In the end Alonso worked it out for a corner. It had all got a bit stop start since the loss of Mount, not really flowing. Our best chance yet came on 26 with a header across the box from Tammy, but it went wide. Bit of a shambles at the back on the half hour, but thankfully their final shot is sitting on top of Fulham Town Hall. They’d come into it a bit more now, but then we had a solo effort from Willian, who unfortunately dragged his shot wide. Tomori took half their team on to run it into the box shortly afterwards, but the rebound volley from Dave is somewhere in West Brompton Cemetery. Brilliant work from Willian on 39, and he was understandably pissed off that Dave didn’t keep running. Poor bloke already shagged our with all the forward bursts he’d been doing on the right. More great stuff from Willian as we approached halftime, but he was under too much pressure when it came to the shot and the ball didn’t quite drop for him. At the other end there was a slightly hair-raising moment from Kurt after a loose ball was picked up by them in a dangerous spot. The Valencia man must have felt like he’d hit by a coked up water buffalo, but the referee judged the challenge as fair. A rare display of common sense from the man in neon yellow. Tammy and Jorge almost combined in the six yard box straight afterwards. Was going to be a shame if we couldn’t make all of this count before half time, but they continued to be very solid in the box. Best chance so far came in injury time from Willian, who had been his usual spritely European self, but 0-0 it was at the break.
Pressing straight away at the restart, which is new. Most games this season we’ve looked like Diane Abbott attempting to do a Rubik’s cube out of the blocks after halftime. But though we did not implode, with an hour gone, we were lacking any kind of potency. Not for a want of effort on anyone’s part, but it just hadn’t clicked for us. We came close with a corner on 63, the follow up, not so much. We needed some inspiration. The Beard. Or Pulisic. Why has Frank suddenly gone off him? Side netting on 67, close again on 69. Getting painful now, but The Beard was imminent. Zouma off. Well that ought to shake things up a bit, ballsy from Frank. But this time it backfired. As their goal sailed in, all of our defenders seemed frozen to the spot. We didn’t give up. First shot on target in what seemed like forever from the Beard on 78. In the meantime Valencia had resorted to rolling round on the floor like a load of displaced cod.
Barkley for Kovacic. Again, lol. Buy Frank an oversized tracksuit top and a packet of Marlboros. His hands are pretty much tied in midfield at the moment, to be fair. Turning out to be a frustrating night. We broke. Guedes had transcended now, to a cod being tasered in the middle of it, in an attempt to cheat us. Not that any of the officials gave a sh*t. Meanwhile where the real footballers were actually doing some work, but our final ball went across the face of the goal. Then they hand-balled it in the box. Now, we all know that it only has to graze your f*cking fingernail in Europe so I was ready to throw down if we were denied. We all got excited and everyone chanted V-A-R. Oh dear God, modern football has infected us all. Not that it mattered when they finally did get to the bottom of it. Off the bar.
Just think of that Barcelona game if there’d been VAR, said Alf Garnett. We’d still have been there at midnight. I answered. Come to think of it we would have still been sat there after the final was supposed to have kicked off. A reaction save from their keeper denied us, and Tammy came close in injury time, but it was not to be.
So: Not our night. Not for want of trying. Really we were a bit unlucky. Squandered the few good chances we did have, and missed a penalty, but everyone worked damned hard and silver lining: we lost by less of a margin than the Scouse. Watch how the results get spun against each other tomorrow. Composed at the back for almost the whole match, especially on counter attacks when all five were spiffy at getting back in line. Pedro Pony categorically not ready to play for over an hour, took one for the team there after Mount went off. Speaking of, Mason’s ankle needs looking at before they know if he’s capable of playing Sunday. But it isn’t all about us. Valencia defended well throughout and their keeper had a blinding night. B*stard. We lost to them in September 2011 too, and that didn’t turn out to be too bad that season. Huge amount of injuries to boot, at the moment. Options for turning around frustrating games like this around will get infinitely better.
Penaltygate the chosen topic on the way home. Tammy, Pedro Pony, Willian and “Jorge” all looked to talk Barkley out of it. Dave may have had a finger pointed at some stage too. He was adamant he was having it from the other side of the pitch. You’d have more chance stopping a joyous gang bang at Scouse Sports if those turds win the league this season. Even if he got those bum cheeks out and used them to open bottles of tonic for us in the bar before Sunday’s
game I don’t think we’ll forget that for a while. Never mind those, his nuts are looking pretty small tonight after that miss. He must be as welcome as a fart in a lift in that dressing room right now, despite Frank trying to cover for him in his post match interview. But more importantly - why was Jorge walking round with his shirts hoiked up like a go-go dancer towards the end? My money is on chafage, but I’m open to other suggestions.
I don’t know about tweets this week - but this is wisdom off the Tube: We should play the youth the next two games, f*ck off out of the Champions League and go into the UEFA cup. F*ck the league off and just concentrate on the UEFA cup, get back in the Champions League next season and win it. (Then I zoned out for a bit before this next gem) Frank’s gonna be our if a job in two weeks. If we get done by the scousers Mourinho will be back and the youth won’t get a chance and (then I just switched off, but I’m assuming the world ends at that point. I resisted the urge to suggest he learn the names of the various competitions before imparting his sh*t opinions)
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