An A to Z of Chelsea's Pre-season
A - is for Arsenal. Our first outing. The pundits didn’t appear to have picked up a newspaper this side of May. Hazard had a niggle (bit dismissive for a broken ankle) Zouma should go on loan (already has, bellend) and allegedly, if your name is Tony Cascarino, the only difference between Arsenal and Chelsea last season was “consistency.” (Facepalm)
It was a slow start, until Willian and Michy tore them a new one and gave us a comfortable lead in quick succession. In the words of one Twitter wit, “not one player on that pitch looks like they’ve spent two months eating pies and shagging the club doctor.” This match was memorable for the magnitude of the Goon capitulation. During fourteen decades in charge, Frenchman Wenger has instilled into his troops an efficiency when surrendering, if nothing else. Ospina's attempt to decapitate Pesto (autospell hasn't had any useful updates over the summer) also sticks out in my mind. I don't think he remotely meant it, he is just crippled by having the IQ of a jet-lagged wet lettuce that's got off the plane in China, been brutally shaken and immediately sent out to keep goal. None of the new signings took part aside from Caballero. Michy was immense (all hail the King of Twitter) Boga too, and the North Londoners shuffled off back to their team hotel deservedly chastened. The game was also memorable for the fact that it was the only time I’ve ever seen Gooners still in their seats at the final whistle. Speaking of. Let’s all spare a moment to mock their latest banner, which reads "Boom Xhaka Laca." I'll pause here so you can p*ss yourself laughing... The Goons will forever be the Premier League equivalent of your embarrassing uncle, the one who still acts like it's 1995 because that's when he still had hopes and dreams and hadn't failed at life. The one that gets reluctantly invited to family weddings where you have to watch him cracking on to the Bridesmaids half his age and doing Carlton-from-the-Fresh-Prince dance moves to Run DMC.
B - is for Bayern. Our second match. They had to play well after being embarrassed in their previous outing but still, the disparity was hilarious. Boga had earned his start, and he came in to replace Pesto, who was having his face rebuilt somewhere in West London. Poor Christensen got a start, and no chance of making anything of it because we were so collectively awful. Courtois had a day to forget, Moses was shocking in the first half but atoned in the second. Mostly. Most of my wrath was reserved for George Michael (I refuse to call Marcus Alonso anything else until he gets rid of his 1984 Whamhair) He scored in first half injury time, but that was the minimum requirement after he had spent most of the game running round like he had concussion. Had he not made up for forgetting to defend and pressing so high that Bayern basically had the whole left side of the pitch to themselves, Conte would have been filling up everyone’s sweaty socks with pennies (or the Singapore equivalent) in the dressing room and letting his teammates take it in turns to knock him senseless after the game. I pointed out that they made the last eight of the Champions League last season, and that we weren’t in it, but it was still tough to watch. Boga came close, so did Cahill’s beard, but we still went in 3-1 down. Riveting it was not, after the break. Had Ham-ez Rodriguez had a better sense of direction than a a blindfolded kitten that has just come out of the tumble dryer, we might have conceded another five. But happily he was exactly that inept. At one point he fell over and landed upside down. It said it all that he couldn't figure out how to get up. Morata came on on the hour, but judging him would not have been fair as he was clearly a couple of weeks behind fitness wise. Nonetheless the commentary team slated him for not scoring with his first touch. We got better as the game went on, and Michy put one in from six yards out, but we’d left it too late and they ran the clock down. 3-2.
C - is for Chequebook Pulis, (I'm retiring the HWWNBN nickname this season in favour of this, because it's hilarious) who is already proving hilariously entertaining. He is also turning into a scowlier version of 'Arry Redknapp in that he is hell bent on raiding his previous club for personnel. Mark my words if the trend continues he will put in an offer for Nico Krancjar, Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch by the time transfer deadline day comes round. But the best laugh so far was when, after shelling out enough money to buy a Caribbean Island on Pogba and Lukaku, he said that he wasn’t going to pay over the odds for players. Then he went and gave as nigh on 50m for Matic. What a tool.
D - is for Desperation. The emails have already started arriving from Club Wembley for the September international break, offering me a ticket to see England in return for a packet of skittles. Two days before kick off they will be offering us money to go. I try and make my responses progressively more insulting/disgusting to see if there is a point at which they will give up. This time I replied that I would rather lick Sam Allardyce’s scrotum. I’ll let you know how it pans out.
E - is for End. As in "of the line". Costa. Here is what I know, because it came out of Conte's mouth. He had asked to leave three times. They way the manager tells it the club, the player and his agent all knew that the FA Cup Final would be his last game in a Chelsea shirt. I sincerely hoped that Conte hadn’t sent “the text” but he did. I’d love to know what it said. I will miss Costa, but for all the good things, he was ready to cut and run to play football with a load of goat herders and leave us to burn, so I am not going to cry that his time with us has come to an end. Kenedy might well have become the second Brazilian to yap his way out of a Blue shirt. I said at the time, he was an idiot, and he deserved to be sent home but I did have to laugh at some of the translations coming out of the Chinese newspapers. Apparently Chelsea showed a "lack of contrition" and were labelled as “disrespectful." I’ve got three words for you. Diego. Costa. And January.
I have to admire that Conte believes in unmitigated control of the dressing room. You have to agree, looking at some of our managers that have shuffled off pretty quickly when they didn't have it over the last decade. "If you lose control, anything can happen,” says Antonio. “Prepare to die... if you are lucky three months. Your end is decided."I love that this makes Premier League management sound like an episode of Game of Thrones.
Incidentally, who would be who?
Antonio: F*ck the wheel that is the Premier League. He didn't wait to roll around to the top and try to stay there, he just smashed the wheel. He's the mental bird with the dragons.
Pep: Dripping in money - House Lannister for sure. Specifically Joffrey. Pouty and whiny and a lot less substance than the realm of football would have hoped. And watching his demise is addictive viewing you'll want to rewind over and over again because he's such a smug w*nker.
Klopp: Is Ramsay Bolton. A nonsense pretender to the Premier League Throne. Sneaky, grubby and with dubious grip on reality and vastly overinflated opinion of his own stinky northern army. Would probably look better if his face was chewed off by dogs and everyone would secretly quite enjoying watching it happen.
Pochettino: - That lesbian Greyjoy bird. All gob, we're coming for you, blah blah, aren’t we hard. In reality there are such a weak showing that no body considers you contenders. In fact until you pop up on peoples TV screens they've forgotten you exist. If he's the bird, I am pretty sure makes Alli the snivelling little sidekick that got his knob cut off.
Chequebook Pulis is Walder Frey. Clearly a tit short of an udder, sits in a throne/press room, getting progressively more dishevelled, probably soiling himself and gibbering an unconscious stream of bonkers nonsense in which he perceives himself as the King of the world. And lots of people want to spike him in the gullet with a sword.
I want to be Arya Stark. I can think of so many people I'd like to gut/decapitate in the world of football, but unfortunately I haven't yet figured out how to go around doing it wearing Danny Rose's face. Two birds, one stone and all that.
F - is for Fraud - As in St. Pep. Failed to win anything in his first season, despite spending a shedload of money. So has spent a sh*tload more. For the cash he has spent on players since arriving in England, NASA could launch a shuttle into space. The sum is the equivalent to the cost of every single supply teacher used in the UK for a year. You could buy an Airbus A380. I don’t scorn the amount of money on principle - I scorn the idea that if he wins ANYTHING this season people will be fawning over him like he is amazing. Because if you gave my MUM that much she could win the double, and she can barely tell the difference between Ibrahimovic and Ashley Cole.
G - is for Genius. Possibly. We’ve made £100m in less than three years from selling players who had less than ten league starts for us, apparently. Now, if the players we have let go this time, i.e. Chalobah and Ake have buy back clauses in their deals, Chelsea could have pulled a fast one. Neither have gone to rivals, they’ve gone to mid-table clubs, which suggests their current level. Chalobah was on the last year of his deal, so we could have ended up in a situation where he had no ties left to us. “If” they make it, and we have first dibs/intimations from the players that they’d return in the event of doing really well and wanting to move on from their clubs, it’s a less time/financially consuming system than the loanee one we currently employ and enables them to develop without severing all links with Chelsea. If, however, there are no buy back clauses and we’ve just waved them off, ARRAAARGH!
H - is for Hysteria. More commonly known as nappy-sh*tting and bed-wetting. God we’re good at this as a collection of fans. The end is not nigh after three friendly games. The transfer window is not yet closed. See below for an insight into how the brain of a nappy sh*tter functions during preseason:
I - is for Inter. Our final preseason game. Conte went with what will probably be our starting eleven at Wembley this Sunday pending the availability of Pesto. It was a solid test of where we are at. First half was nothing impressive. George Michael had guilty feet. Again. As they had literally no rhythm. Michy huffed and puffed but his luck wasn’t in, but the difference in him is astounding since West Brom. I would no longer be found at the back of the stand curled into the foetal position and rocking back and forth if he was our only available striker. Good for him. Moses was better than he had been, which wasn’t much, but at least calmed me down. Yet we were 2-0 down. The second half was end to end, we saw Rudiger for the first time. Beast. Musonda got a run out too and was full of beans. We also saw quite possibly the most hilarious own goal ever, which gave us a final score of 2-1. Kondigbia had to shower with our lot after the game to avoid being towel whipped by the entire Inter squad. The nappy sh*tters went into full meltdown, but let’s get one thing straight. At one point we had 17 players on the pitch and I’m not convinced that the referee would have noticed if they had all stayed there. The officials were absolutely atrocious. He gave an offside against us at one point. From a throw in. He awarded them a penalty for nothing. He disallowed out equaliser for no apparent reason. They are just the three stinkers I can recall. Also, it was a tough game, tougher than some of our league games are going to be. I’ve been reading some Italian write ups which attempted to explain that Conte doesn’t give a damn about results in preseason. He spends the days literally running his players ragged to get their condition levels up. That’s two sessions a day, and includes sessions on the morning of those evening games. Juve fans have claimed that the team was then in such good shape when the season began that they exploded out of the blocks. By comparison, Inter were resting in between matches. So we had two teams at completely different levels officiated by imbeciles who didn’t know the rules of football. Windeth in your necks, nappy sh*tting faithful.
J - is for JT - How weird is it seeing him in anybody else’s shirt? As of a few days ago Villa had not conceded a single goal in preseason. Well done Cap’n. Also, how hilarious are the massive hypocrites amongst their faithful? All those years listening to them boo him, abuse him. And now the bellends have run out of ‘R”s in their club shop because they have had to print his name on the back of so many shirts. Tw*ts.
K - is for Klippity Klopp. And his delusional band of f*ckwits bleating about how this is their year. Again. So let’s assess this. They have bought/inherited two of our rejects. Salah and Solanke. Forwards. They have scored some goals in preseason. Yawn. They didn’t have a problem scoring goals last year. Their defence, however, was hilarious. And what have they done in this area? They bought some bloke I’ve never heard of. From a club that just got relegated. Andy Robertson has gone from Hull City to the Champions League. I await the annual implosion with glee.
L - is for Loftus Cheek. I think I waffled on last season about whether he should stay or go somewhere strong, not relegation fodder, and just get a sh*tload of games in. So hurrah. This trip to Croydon might do him a lot of good, even if he does get mugged on his way to work every morning.
M - is for Morata. Our shiniest signing thus far this summer. He looks suitably excited to be here, which is a good start. Plus he is pretty enough to ensure that I’ll be sitting in a puddle of my own drool this season. Apologies in advance to those in the Shed Lower beneath who might get wet.
N - is for Numbers, or lack of them. So far we have 17 players in our squad. Sandro appeared to be almost a done deal, but I’m guessing that the whole thing went away because Juve didn’t have a replacement lined up and wouldn’t let him go. Which is annoying. We were talking to a striker very recently, as well as seriously enquiring about another midfielder, but if we don’t address the lack of personnel sharpish there is no chance that we will be attacking on four fronts. We’ll have to sack the League Cup off for starters and make it solely about the kids. In fairness to the nappy sh*tters, I too find it a bit baffling that people seem to have poured out of the club liberally and that we are now light on players. Why aren’t we putting ourselves first? Like Juve have? I will keep fingers crossed regarding a Plan B where this all suddenly works itself out by the end of August.
O - is for Oxymoron. The Press Plebs came up with a blinding effort the other day. “Sam Allardyce thinks that Loftus Cheek could have been another Delli Alli if he had left Chelsea five years ago” or something like that. Let’s just go back a bit. “Sam Allardyce thinks.” Exactly. The best response came from the Blues in Miami. “Sam Allardyce could have been the next Alex Ferguson if he had won more matches starting twenty years ago.” Also, if you are giving webspace to opinions coming out of that pie-stuffing face you have stopped to new levels of depravity.
P - is for Press Plebs. Obviously they have been at it all summer, but this was my favourite: “Conte signs a new £9m a year deal but there is no extension.” When have you ever seen a headline as stupid as that? He didn't want an extension. What he did want was to be be paid more than 25% of the likes of Pep, and Chequebook Pulis which, given what he did to them last season with the resources he had is completely understandable and completely fair. This kind of payrise deal happens all the time in football, you morons. Further down, they enlightened us that our manager was "now committed" because his family coming over to join him. This was the plan from when he joined us. They just wanted his daughter to learn English in Italy before coming over. The over-stretching to try and find something negative about Chelsea is so desperate it’s embarrassing, but it at leaves give me round the clock ammunition.
Q - is for Questionable Mental Capacity. Obviously Chequebook Pulis is a given, as is Wenger beating away at the same drum for fifteen years now with the same result. But Joe Hart eclipsed them all this month with the hilarious bullsh*it that came out of his mouth after he signed for West Ham. (The Head and Shoulders ads should have told you that he’d do pretty much anything for money) He said that, barring a direct rival, so let’s assume Palace or Millwall, because they hate them particularly, everyone loves West Ham. He’ll make his competitive debut for them in about a week. If they let him out of his straightjacket in time.
R - is for Rudi. In true English fashion our new man has already got a nickname. He didn’t get long against Inter, but I liked what I saw. I noticed that he’s a good replacement from Branna attacking in the box, and that he’s pretty monstrous running at an opponent innocently skipping along with the ball. He’s also pretty damned articulate. I read an interview where he talked about his problems with racism in the Italian League. Articulate, reasoned. Suggest chopping off Kenedy’s hands (he doesn’t need them anyway) and giving his phone to Rudiger.
S - is for Selective Memory Loss - In true Lukaku fashion, he pulled out of the Everton training ground to sign for Chelsea, but his first touch took him to Manchester by accident. (Badoom-tish) Either way, he appears to have forgotten that Chequebook Pulis sacked him off with all the grace of someone flushing a goldfish down the toilet. As far as we're concerned, he’s either lazy or he lacks awareness, and he’s cost far too much money when you don’t know which. Especially when if you haven’t got the latter in your mid-Twenties, you ain’t ever getting it. Bullet, dodged. Then there is Matic. I’ve got no beef with him, but his running back to CP made me chuckle. As for his new (old) boss, Matic was one of the players that went completely AWOL in the run-up to CP’s second departure from Chelsea. Possibly one of the worst culprits. Now he’s lauding him as a genius. Lets chuck in Walker too - who has p*ssed off to sit on the bench at City. He says Sp*rs lacked edge to win things. He does realise that he was front and centre whenever they’ve bottled anything in the last few years. Right?
T - is for Twenty-First Century Football - I’ll condense this rant as much as possible but in short - it’s our new club shop, which is an unmitigated disaster. The People’s Republic of Nike have showered us with money, but they have taken their pound of flesh. The place has been gutted and turned into a Nike store with a Chelsea theme. Style over substance personified, it has had every last bit of club personality and any vestige of soul sucked out of it, not to mention anything without a tick on it, and the capability of a large part of the fan base to shop in there more than once a season. There is even a Nike Commandant (who admittedly is very nice) who now oversees all Chelsea personnel to make sure that they don’t deviate from party lines. This is also the money-grabbing preseason tours. I like the idea of fans around the world getting to see the team, that is awesome, but it isn’t done for that at all. It’s the cash. You can’t tell me the setup/scheduling/conditions this month were planned with the wellbeing of the squad in mind. It’s £198m for a twat like Neymar who can’t even do his hair properly, who can afford to try and hand over a cheque for his buyout clause like he’s paying for petrol. It’s also the disparity between the modern player and the fans. Barkles (special alias) told me this month that as a season ticket holder of twenty years, he’s never felt less of an emotional attachment to the team. He’s not wrong. And it’s just f*cking sad that that is the way it has become, and that this bottom line obsessed, corporate, dispassionate shell is what a club the size of ours has to become. Thank God for the fans, eh, who still remember what it is all about.
U - is for Unbelievable. Yes, we’re back to Neymar again. £200m. Jesus wept. Although, the absolute hilarity of someone ditching the love-in that is Barca made me laugh my head off. Because basically they think they hover somewhere between Jesus Christ and Mother Theresa where their sh*t doesn’t stink.
V - is for Venereal Disease, which I wish sincerely on all at Sky Sports News, the Daily Fail and any Scouse player appearing in sad advertisements for male grooming products.
W - is for WTF? I'm talking about the hilarious nonsense that's been coming out of Pochettino’s mouth all summer. Sp*rs with their “watch us rise” tagline, despite not a single penny spent. They have a "different philosophy,” says Mauricio Greyjoy. The rest of was will stick with "trying to win things.” He’s clearly been snorting whatever concoction Joe Hart has been at all summer.
X - after a drunken night in Colliers Wood - is for Xylophone. One that has Neymar's stupid face on it, so you can beat it repeatedly. This was an achievement for self, Granville (Sitcom alias) and Jurgen Klopp’s long lost twin, considering the amount of gin/ale that had been consumed.
Y - is for Youth. As usual, a mass exodus of loanees has begun from Cobham. As has the accompanying mockery and snooty judgement from all quarters. So all hail Andreas Christensen for shooting them down in flames and setting the record straight. He wasn’t isolated, Chelsea didn’t wash their hands of him. The likes of Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira have worked damned hard with the loanees.
Z - is for Zouma. This loan is the best thing for him. He needs games, and it comes in line with a six year deal, which gives him hope. If I'm honest though, I wonder if we stay with three at the back if he is going to be a victim of our system like JT was.
Shamless book plug here: