Chelsea 1 West Ham 1
Sunday 8th April 2018 16:30
I should be in Krakow right now. Where it is 24 degrees. Thanks for nothing SleazyJet . You orange b*stards. Also. A cluster of the Chelsea Chicago massive are in town. Jägerbombs were had on Friday. After having to spend the whole of yesterday typing about George VI and the Battle of Jutland whilst suppressing the urge to vomit on my keyboard, I remember why I don't touch the stuff.
For Ray Wilkins. Wherever you've gone, I hope that the sun is shining. I hope that you can feel the outpouring of love and affection for you from throughout the footballing world, because the truth is that nobody tells you what you mean to them until you are gone. And that's a shame. Because you mean so much to those you have left behind. Even my one Gooner friend shed a tear for you this week. And he has no soul. I hope that where you are, the clock has been turned back thirty years; that there are endless green football pitches and that you are running free at the height of your powers, with your luscious hair streaming behind you and the roar of the Stamford Bridge faithful in your ears. I hope that you have found cherished loved ones and lost friends to reunite with, that you have found peace from all your earthly worries, and a prime spot now and always from which you can support the Blues with us from above. A football club is just a club without devoted hearts like yours. People like you make us a family. You are our past, you are our present, and we will make damn sure you are our future too. You will not be forgotten. KTBFFH
In the News: To be honest I didn't want to look at a paper after Sunday, and I put myself under a total media blackout after Wednesday night lest I choke to death on my own gin-flavoured vomit reading the outpourings of those scambling, saucy weasels with a plentiful lack of wit in the press. (I'm going with Shakespearean insults today, just because I feel like it) For those still smarting from last week, just remember the bigger picture. In the time it's taken them to win at Stamford Bridge, buy a half and half scarf for £20 to commemorate it (suckers) and start editing the DVD of it, we have won the Champions League, the Europa League, the European Cup Winners Cup, five league titles, six FA Cups, and four league cups. And all of their team was born. Yes, verily they may enjoy their five seconds of glory, they will still be starveling elf-skins stinking of bull's pizzle at the end of them.
But just for you, I've had a quick shifty at what the Red Swarm have been up to. Huzzah! Real are hesitant about signing Eden. All those letters I'm sending them pretending I'm with the Russian mafia must be working. A Spanish newspaper has also likened Pip Squeakiola to Joseph Goebbels. Both poisonous, bunch-backed toads, undoubtedly. Wouldn't be overly concerned if anyone punched either in the face repeatedly but it's a probably a bit hysterical likening the Catalan ribbony thing to Nazism. Pogba was allegedly offered to City in January. Probably just to sit on one of their many empty seats and make the place look full. Having said that, if you said to your average United fan "you're going to spend a fortune on a pigeon liver’d, three inch-fool who spends more time dicking about with his hair than he ever does doing anything useful on a football pitch BUT he will deny City the title for a few days and ruin their party," they'd probably take the deal. If we bring Batshuayi back he needs to either have his fingers removed or just be gagged from speaking to the press or having any contact with social media. I had to google what "Futsal" is. Answer? "A waste of f*cking time."
The Others: Back down to earth with a bump for Klippity Klop and his band of barbermongering, cream-faced loons. Shame. Hilarity occurred in Manchester. City have shipped six goals in four days. And if three were scored by a combination of Smalling and Pogba you need to take a serious f*cking look at yourselves. I needed 4.5 goals to complete my winning accumulator so I couldn't have given a rat's a*se who scored them. Nothing that happened is likely to help us make the top four. Because we suck at winning.
Us: Christensen didn't train this week so we get Cahill - well at least all of the nappy sh*tters will have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong, I said.
Them: I honestly couldn't pick most of their whoreson mountain goats out of a line up if you gave me a lifetime supply of Boe Violet Gin.
We started off with a tribute to Butch. The applause went on so long it confused the f*ck out of the players. Wet Spam have literally no class, but nigh on every single one of their fans applauded with us. Thank you.
But you have to start as you mean to go on with this lot. Namely with
You're Not West Ham Anymore.
Our first half-chance came at range from Willian on two minutes but it was blocked easily. Eden almost sneaked it in the far corner a minute later but no joy. At the other end nothing from them. They might have got out of their own half once in the first five minutes. They were time-wasting already. Whichever moron ever thought this bog-eyed, fustilarian dullard could have managed Manchester United belongs in a padded f*cking cell. A boil, a plague sore, an embossed canker on the posterior of the Premier League. The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.
We would have to be base villains on a monumental scale not to beat these foul, ass-headed lumps of deformity. And yet after a quarter of an hour we still weren't ahead. Please let this not be like threading the eye of a needle getting into the box for 90 minutes with all these fat b*stards in the way.
But then things improved. On 21 a corner from Willian didn't quite come in at the right height. Morata was a mile offside when scored on 23, or so it looked up in the Shed, but at least they were properly running at them now. He'd already annoyed myself and Alf Garnett (sitcom alias) by chatting happily with the defender marking him. I'd have given this game to Giroud, because he stands up better against pestilent, meathead defenders and at least if he got caught offside he'd still be fighting, and like a rabid Scotsman and trying to knee them in the coinpurse. These, for me, are the games we bought him for. There are times when I remember Costa running at keepers on the slimmest of opportunities with a look of beast-like lunacy and I miss it. Thin Costa. Not fat moany Costa. Because our selective memories have largely forgotten the latter.
Good move on 28, involving Morata, but the ball ended up skimming agonisingly across the face of goal and Willian was just too far away to poke it into an empty net. Shooooooooot we all yelled at him on the half hour and from twenty yards Little Willy did, but it was just wide. This might well have been the longest half hour of my life. Since last Sunday. We were in on 35 minutes only for their blasphemous knave of a Goalkeeper, who hadn't moved faster than a f*cking sloth dragging itself along the ground with two bleeding paws all afternoon, got his foot on it at the last.
It was ok though. Because moments later we finally scored. Alonso was basically playing up front with Morata, they were so sh*t going forward. But chances were few. So the Shed entertained itself with
If you wear a yellow jacket you're a ****
To one of our number that was presumably innocently going down into the stand for a p*ss or a pint. Mind you, with Singha, what's the difference? I think he saw the funny side.
A minute after the break we could have doubled our lead when Willian and Hazard emerged from some tippy tappy stuff in the box and the former stabbed the ball painfully close past the far post. We looked even more at it. They looked even more sh*t. Cahill. Yes CAHILL set us off in another run on 49, there were was a brief interlude when Moses lost the ball and had to win it back again, then the final effort went into the hands of the reborn whippet in their goal. Then yet again with the ball across the face of it, and who ran into it finally? Moses. The ball went over the roof and caused a half an hour delay on the District Line when it landed on the tracks. Apparently. They had been awful, but we were still only one goal ahead and right now I don't trust us as I could throw Charlie Adam in my netballing heyday. Thou art as fat as butter. A header from Morata went over the bar on 54. On 58 we saw a great ball in by Willian, Morata smacked it home. Again. And apparently he was offside. Again. To give him his credit, he had got more physical as the game went on. So he was running at about 60% of how mean and nasty I personally would like to see him on a football pitch.
They started the ball rolling with the substitutions. Patrice f*cking Evra. Has his pet lion cub not eaten him yet? 66: Oh Eden! Should have passed to Willy in the box! A couple of minutes later Moses almost scored a blinder from out on the right but it was just wide. Are you seeing a recurring theme here? 70 minutes and dare I say the wind had gone out of our sails slightly. This is why we have substitutions in football. Nobody has told Antonio Conte. In his world you wait until it's redundant. It's like realising you've got a load of shrapnel in your pocket ten minutes from closing in a bar and buying a random round of shots that nobody really wants that have no purpose other than to spend money for the sake of it.
Their goal was Gary Cahill's fault. I will let you have this one. Be gracious and espouse your torrent of effluence upwind from me, because I have too much respect for him to flog it to death. 16 attempts. One goal. That's the bigger problem for me. On 76 minutes Pesto (f*ck thee, autospell) and Giroud were ready to come on, the time wasting was criminal and West Ham looked like Brazil in 1970. A save by Thibaut on 77 kept us in it. No. You haven't read that wrong. Commence meltdown. On 78 there was another reaction save from the sloth from Giroud (He reverted back to negative warp speed after they equalised) When Marc Noble is robbing the ball off you, you know you're in the shit.
Refwatch: Raining. A death in the Chelsea Family. Not going to make top four. All the prozac in the world wouldn't fix our miserable manager and we get given Kevin Not My Friend. The inexplicable stupidity (His wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard) started with the mindless awarding of non-existent free kicks after twenty minutes. Blanking Moses being kicked to the floor, incapable of noticing obscene manhandling in the box, blind to time-wasting, or players faking injury rolling back onto the pitch to kill the game. Methink’st thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee. Once again, he's an incompetent who should rightly be working in Chicken Cottage. But not on food service though. Mopping floors. But we were worse than he was in the last 20 minutes today.
On 85 Cahill was beaten but Kante bailed him out. Another break for us, another shot straight at the keeper. Aaaaaaargh! Antonio has got his f*cking hands in his pockets again. He's being outwitted by David Moyes, who couldn't outwit my kitten, and he's got his hands in his pockets. 87 minutes saw another f*cking flying save from the sloth then more lying on the floor from them before we could take the corner. There better be a minimum of five minutes added on to this.
And there were. Another corner, another one of them lying on the floor. Not My Friend oblivious to cheating. But once again when we finally got to take it it was no not good. Cahill's header was on target but the sloth claimed it with ease. Etc. Etc. F*ck this.
I’ve just realised that the sloth/whippet was Joe Hart. Ha. I forgot he even existed.
So: Still not clinical enough, but West Ham are so sh*t it shouldn't have mattered. But we are our own worst enemy. We are not worthy of the Europa League at this point. Someone is going to have to explain the me why I hear so many people digging Hazard out as the main perpetrator on the pitch, because I just don't see it. He has a tendency to disappear late on if we're collectively sh*t, but don’t they all? He's not got one foot out of the door whoring himself out to Real Madrid. He's got a dream to play in Spain before he dies and the press won't leave it alone.
For me the manager is rubbing off on the players, who are not blameless by any means but sh*t rolls downhill and it's what you get for wanting to be the man in charge. Ugly, cold hearted responsibility. We are not the sum of our individual parts, and it can't be that every single player is suddenly dogsh*t. Most of them won the league last season, though a lot of them could do with a course in football b*stardry under the tutelage of Roy Keane this summer. Cahill and Azpilicueta were screaming at each other today. And not over the Pikey goal. These are two of the nicest, most professional men in football. Probably too nice. And then Thibaut gets involved. He never speaks to anyone. And there they are yelling at each other. This is what we have become.
This is a multifaceted clusterf*ck of a season. It is not all "The Board's" fault. My God, yes, the people up top have to take some of the responsibility. But. BUT. For some, "The Board" has become this bogeyman-like spectre that takes the flak for everything now that Emanalo has gone. Does our board need revamping? Yes. Does it need a proper football man in it? Absolutely. Didn’t Hiddink want in? Recruit someone of that stature and put a Lampard or a Ballack underneath him to learn the ropes and build for the future. But is "The Board" this rampant multi-headed beast cut from Greek mythology that independently runs amok without the knowledge of Roman Abramovich? Don't you think if you put nigh on a billion pounds into a project you'd make damn sure you know everything that's going on? Abramovich is "The Board."
I've said enough times that a lot of the club's hard work in the summer transfer window went unrewarded. This was hard work, something like £200m worth including January, that they still did in the face of a league-winning manager who suddenly started dropping bombshells about the prospect of moving on. They were willing to stick with this guy, they were, though perhaps wary of spending a fortune on a volatile personality who might do a runner. We wanted to stick with him too. The only person that wasn't happy with the prospect of a long term role at Chelsea was the manager himself, in a scenario that has played itself out remarkably like it did at his last club. Nobody has ever wanted Antonio Conte to leave Chelsea, except Antonio Conte. Nobody has put this pressure on Antonio, except Antonio. And the Red Swarm have jumped on it like the rabid dogs that they are and he's got nobody to blame but himself for the constant references to his future. I’m not angry. I’m disappointed. What a crying f*cking shame that he’s turned out to be a bit of a bunny boiler. There is no point in sacking him now. It would be akin to waiting till a manager had definitely got your team relegated and then getting rid of him with half a dozen games to go. You sack managers mid-season because your preempting a disaster and you believe a new man can come in and turn it around. That ship has sailed. Into a force ten gale. And sunk. I never advocated sacking Antonio Conte. I still don't. I think we are long past the point when they should have pulled the trigger if they were going to do it. And I don't want us to pay him off.
You can approach a job you hate one of two ways. You can turn into a batsh*t crazy nightmare for everyone else to be around and become a burden to the organisation, or you can at least hold your head up and earn your money till you find a way out. I’d expect the latter for circa £8m a year, but I think it's pretty clear which option Conte has been running with for the past few weeks. It's not all his fault, but the longer it goes on, in the harshest possible terms he's becoming like a cancer in the club. Because there is no way that this does not effect your staff. The players haven't lost the ability to kick a football. They're going ahead in these games. Madrid in the group stages, anyone? What has been lacking all season is a clinical ability to finish a game. And now as a group they fold in the face of adversity, like jellyfish. They don't rally, there's no strength. We are lacking a dominant personality. We were spoiled to have leaders like JT Lamps, Cech, Ivanovic and Ballack all in the same side. Conte was full of that passion last season. If he's not this season it's a conscious choice, unless he’s had a lobotomy. If all you hear is your boss telling everybody his men you aren't up to it, or he doesn't have enough money spent on him to win, or that he is doing the absolute best he can every time we fall flat on our faces then I'm sorry, but that gets inside your head. Because if anyone should be stupidly optimistic, at least in the press, then it is the manager. Tell people your employees aren't good enough, enough times, and they will start to believe it themselves. The problem today wasn't ultimately that Gary Cahill made a mistake, it was that we squander the majority of our chances in every single game we play and that we are more fickle than something really fickle that I’m just too bored now to think of. I’m sorry Antonio, once again I thank you for last season, you are a nice man, but “thine forward voice, now, is to speak well of thine friend; thine backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract.”
The club played "Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright" at the final whistle. Everyone's sense of humour is officially worn through for now. Went down like Dele f*cking Alli in football boots made of cement. Don't do it again.
This season has become like the third Lord of the Rings film. The battle ended and you lost interest and then every time it faded out and you thought you could leave the f*cking cinema it faded up again so someone could start yapping or singing Elven folk songs. In the words of The Prince of the El Salvador Chelsea contingent: "Exactly like that. But getting kicked in the balls with each fade." Just put us out of our misery. Please.
Chelsea: Sigh. Sp*rs: W*nkers.
Sunday 1st April 2018 16:00
The last two words my mum said to me before I left her flat this morning. I'm so glad I've got 3000 calories of chocolate eggs at home to stuff in my face.
I saw a West Ham fan on Twitter saying he'd rather slide downhill on a razor blade using his bollocks as breaks. Most Blues would join him.
In the News: Firstly. Iceland f*cking rocks. I'm going to start a travel blog and backdate it to cover the American road trip, Jordan, New York and Egypt too as soon as this bloody book is handed in.
The last two weeks have been a dirge of boredom and international sh*te. Apparently Vardy didn't touch the ball against Holland. I'm pretty sure that was the night we were out stood underneath epic Northern Lights so I gave even less of a sh*t than usual. So what have the Red Swarm been filling their pages up with? There's been a lot of crying Australians who've been caught playing with their balls for a start. There was the good. My personal favourite was the story that Ibrahimovic took out an ad in an LA paper saying "Dear Los Angeles, you're welcome." Could well be the biggest ego to set foot in the city, and that's saying something. The Bad: The Fail had time to run an entire article about Bellerin's fashion sense. He's a maverick apparently. If by maverick you mean "tasteless bellend" who goes out in his poo coloured silk pyjamas and a pair of slippers. Then there was the awful: an entire page about a miracle goldfish bowl that tipped over and landed upside down without spilling the water. Maltesers are going to be made flat. I'm f*cking outraged. Someone needs to start a petition to the Government. 100,000 signatures and it has to be discussed in the House of Commons. Oh, and Messi stayed in a premier inn and ate fish and eggs. I feel fulfilled knowing that. And finally the ridiculous: Floyd Mayweather considering buying Newcastle and convincing his "mate" Ronaldo to sign for them. That could only come from a man who has spent a lifetime getting smacked upside his head.
Consider this lull in football news the calm before the storm, because next week all we are going to get is a sh*t avalanche; a rousing chorus in A minor from Chequebook Pulis entitled "woe is me they've got home advantage." It's going to be louder than the last night at the Proms. He's apparently spent most of the break picking on Luke Shaw. I think it's Martin Samuel saying there is room for niceness in professional sport. This might be true, but it's probably a tad insensible to completely break a player so that he ends up crying every time someone kicks a football at him. Meanwhile United are considering handing out song sheets at the Theatre of Plastic Dreams to get something out of the crowd. The FA are ripping everyone off. That's not news. I'm pretty sure the most expensive ticket for the final in 2012 was £90. This year it will be £140 - that's an almost 60% hike which has no correlation on any wage increases for your average football fan.
Mertesacker is being accused of disrespecting L'Arse because he says he'd rather sit in the stands than play for them. You could argue it would be more insulting if he insisted on playing. Every press pleb's favourite scumbags are planning a "hostile reception" for City in the Champions League. Classy. The Three Wise Men are at it again. A cup could kick start a golden era for Sp*rs according to Redknapp. Podgettino on the other hand says winning the FA Cup doesn't make them good. Klippity Klopp is saying that a lack of winter break shortens your lifespan. Drama queen. And poor Butch Wilkins. No 61 year old should be clinging to life on a machine. God Speed.
The Others: The Red Scouse AKA the Patron Saints of Lucky B*stards steal it from Palace at the last. Extra security at West Ham for the Southampton game cost the tax payer £60,000. That was all I had time for while trying to finish this war book.
Us: No Thibaut for us, Big Willy deputises. Pretty much the team I think we all would have wanted other than that. (Personally after Barcelona I don't so much mind another week off for Courtois. We girls know how to hold a grudge.) Nowhere for any of them to hide today.
Them: A mixture of cheats and tedious f*ckbags. Minus some bloke who leaves a snail trail of saliva behind him wherever he goes and talks like he's got a dildo in his mouth. I believe I hate Vertonghen just about more than any of them. Usually by the end of 90 minutes of his gurning plastic Ken doll face I want to see how many obscenities I can carve permanently into it with a toothpick doused in Dettol.
If we don't win this, it is most probably Thursday night football tedium for us next season. If we draw this, we might still be stuck in the Europa league. And the knock on from that would be struggling to sign top bracket players this summer. Unless they are really dumb or unless we are really good bullsh*tters
It took 49 seconds for the Diving Little Sh*tbag to start moaning. It was a really scrappy start but you know Hazard and Willian are up for it when their tackles are flying in in the middle of the field. An early injury break gave us b opportunity for "Stand up if you hate T*ttenham" and "Champions of Europe, you'll never sing that". Our first real run in goal came on 9 minutes but there were no real attempts at either end in the first ten.
It's so quiet. They sang. I'm not talking that sh*t from a club that plays crowd noise over the loudspeaker at Wembley. On 15 Hazard did well to get it to a charging Alonso, but the final shot wasn't there. An outstanding break on 17 led to a prolonged attack on their goal. Alonso had it in the back of the net but Lloris knew he was offside and didn't even try to keep it out. Either that or he was having one of his narcoleptic fits that cause Sp*rs to beat themselves and give us much entertainment
Refwatch: Why?! Why!!! Marriner for a game this big. And I'm sure that's Dobby running the line again. We've just suffered him. So face-palming is allowed, as is flooring Chelsea players. Free kicks will be given liberally if you are wearing white. But if you are in Blue you get one foul in every three given. Welcome to the world of Andre f*cking Marriner, who can't referee a game of football without picking a favourite. Where we see footballers I think through his eyes he's just seeing all the dancing, psychedelic, acid-trip elephants from Dumbo.
We were the better side after 25 minutes. But we were not putting enough pressure on Lloris - who has several f*ckwit moments in every game and targeting Ben Davies could only lead to good things as there's a workable channel down the right.
Eden suckered Dire (intentional misspelling) into fouling him on 26 minutes to gain a promising free kick. To be fair to Hazard, it's not our fault that Dire has got the IQ of a potato. A great run a minute later from Moses, but he decided to take the shot himself and though Lloris (who looks like a sad French street mime who's run out of makeup) spilled it nobody could take advantage.
Then a great breakout from Rudiger and a perfect ball in from Moses for Morata. 1-0
We deserved that.
There was a little spell of intent from them as we approached 40 minutes. Please don't f*cking concede Chelsea. They've had more possession and done nothing with it. They've not even had a shot on target
Alonso very nearly got a second from a wide angle on 41. Marriner looked like he was about to keel over and Dobby doesn't know what constitutes a throw in, but we were doing ok. A complete f*ck up by them on 42 left Alonso running in unmolested on goal, but not from a good angle. Out it came and Kante hit an absolute pile-driver. It was blocked, but it nearly accomplished the next best thing by almost knocking one of them out. Then it was our turn to balls it up. Moses gave the ball away and who else does it fall to on the edge of the box but Erickson and his want-away hairline.
All that hard work and back to the drawing board. We nearly cancelled it out when Hazard laid the ball off to Alonso but his shot was always rising. Half time. That is the only real attempt they've had and it took one that good to get a goal. That they didn't deserve. Wankers.
Straight after the break there was a great ball by Hazard cross pitch to Moses who made a pigs ear of trying to have a shot. Dave ran it back in but no cigar. Still we pressed but Morata was flagged for offside. And that is where our afternoon peaked.
Doing anything about persistent fouling is not in Marriner's admittedly limited repertoire either, but we were more more incompetent than him today. All we needed to do was carry on as we were, because they looked like getting very little for most of the first half.
But the game opened up more and more. There was almost another fuck up from Moses on 52 but we managed to scramble it away. Still we weren't out of it. On 56 Morata went sideways across the face of goal but forgot to turn left. The end result was easily caught by Lloris. Two minutes later a high ball in from Cesc was almost spot on but nobody got their head on it in the box
Then it was back down our end for a fingertip save from Big Willy and our afternoon went to sh*t. Shocking defending by us for their second, followed by The DLS acting like a real f*cking grown up baiting the home fans. But then it's not like you expect anything better from the overindulged little cretin anyway. He can watch a recording of this game over and over again this summer when he doesn't get picked for the World Cup.
Willian had a long range shot on 62 but it was well wide. And in all honesty we looked very fragile. As proven ten seconds after I typed that when a bout of silly buggers and jazz hands in the box resulted in a truly pathetic tap in for the Diving Little Sh*tbag. Another day, another inexplicable collapse. At home.
We flailed about for a bit like a half squashed wasp that won't die. A wide shot from Cesc, a mis-hit from Alonso. Then one blocked from Morata. Little conviction in any of it. Harry F*cking Kane on at the 72 minute mark. Followed by two of every animal looking for the ark.
Giroud given a whole ten minutes. Then Emerson for Alonso. Inspired substitutions. Thank you, very much for last season, Antonio, and f*ck you, for shafting us on your way out. Because this has become a habit now, this disinterest if your initial plan isn't working, and is an insult.
F*ck finishing this. Instead I'm going to list my ten favourite gins in descending order before I go home and drink them all.
10 Bloom - Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of botanicals - its a standard tasting gin, but very subtle. Good for a gin newcomer. Don't make make the schoolgirl error everyone I know has and assume that it's weak because it tastes light. You end up pouring triples. And sh*tfaced. Most major supermarkets in the UK are carrying this now.
9 Gunpowder Irish Gin - So named presumably because it comes close to blowing your head off. A good, powerful tasting gin. Not to mention that it comes in a nifty little blue bottle that can be turned into an ornament or a one stem flower vase when you're done. Asda have this.
8 Curio Gin - A really interesting, savoury tasting gin. It's key botanical is samphire and it's really good with a plain tonic so you don't cover the flavour. Available online.
7 Rhubarb & Ginger Gins - There are a couple for this. It's a really good flavour combination. I like Whitney Neill's version because I've got a sweet tooth. They have it in both full sized and mini £3 bottles in Sainsbury's if you want to test it first. Alternatively, most supermarkets now carry Edinburgh's version, which is also great but has a sharper, more natural flavour.
6 Unicorn Tears - Who doesn't want a gin with f*cking unicorns in the title. Not to mention it has glitter in it too. They do a black version which tastes exactly the same. It's novelty but it's a good standard gin too.
5 Sir Robin of Locksley Gin - Another good quality standard Gin but on my list because I am a massive child. In the words of the late, great Alan Rickman, "I'm going to cut your heart out with a spoon!" Robin of Locksley was the title given to Brian Blessed/Kevin Costner in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, one of the most enjoyable films ever. Who cares if Kevin locked the director out of the editing suite and it was nothing like it was supposed to be. Who cares if he just spoke with an American accent. I met Brian Blessed last year and he told me he was supposed to be Little John but that he was filming something else and had to settle for the cameo. That. Would. Have. Been. Awesome. The gin is available online. And in a pretty gift set as well that I would accept if anyone wanted to buy it for me.
4 Zymurgorium Turkish Delight Gin - I really hate some flavoured gins because they don't remotely taste of what they are supposed to. Like chocolate gin which just tastes rank. This Turkish Delight one might come out of Manchester but it's class. It genuinely tastes of proper, old fashioned Turkish Delight. Available online.
3 Silent Pool Gin - This is everywhere now. Huzzah. It's made in Surrey, at the beauty spot where they found Agatha Christie's car when she disappeared that time. It's got no fancy theme but has a really good, smooth flavour. It tastes great with Fever Tree Lemon Tonic, or just bitter lemon if you can't find that. Seems to come and go from some supermarkets but Waitrose always have it. As do Duty Free at Gatwick and Heathrow.
2 Tanquary Rangpur - Its an Indian themed version of a classic which is heavily flavoured with lime. If you have it with Fever Tree's elderflower tonic and a sh*tload of ice on a hot day, it is just about the most refreshing thing you will ever drink in your life. Morrisons and Waitrose have it, not Sainsbury's.
1 Boe Violet Gin - My absolute favourite at the moment. It's sweet, but awesome. And less of a ball ache than making Aviation cocktails. Pair it with ordinary/slimline tonic because you don't want to mess with the flavours at all. Available online.
And Avoid: Edinburgh's Plum and Vanilla. It tastes like vinegar. I don't like Ophir, which is an Indian themed one, because for me the cloves are overwhelming. And Williams. It has a staggering 40 odd botanicals and a Union Jack bow tie on the bottle but one of the ingredients is beer hops, so it tastes yeasty and sh*t.
So: Of course there will be another DVD, which if your Sp*rs is about as close as you ever get to a trophy. These tossers haven't cost us a spot at Europe's top table next season, losing to the likes of Palace, Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham has. I'm going to save my publisher a heart attack and go home to write about the carnage of the Great War. A less depressing subject than this.
*Picture of yet another foul on Hazard comes from Chelsea's official website. It's the least the club owes me after that.
Leicester City 1 Chelsea 2 (Finally)
FA Cup Quarter Final
Sunday 18th March 2018 16:30
In the News: UEFA are morons. This is arguably not news. They've charged Besiktas with insufficient organisation because a ginger cat ran on the pitch during the Bayern game. My kitten Bertie gets everywhere. He defies physics, so how do UEFA propose that Besiktas entirely cat proof their stadium? A 12ft concrete wall with electric barbed wire? Presumably they should have foreseen this invasion and taken these steps and this is why they have been fined? Or they should have at the very least employed a cat catcher to prowl the premises with a pack of f*cking dreamies? Lofty sanctions indeed must be in store then for Farcalona, the biggest frauds in football, for arming their stewards with batons, letting them beat people with said batons, charging crowds, knocking down and trampling women and children, setting dogs on female fans, and building a death trap of a bridge to get supporters in and out of the ground. To name a few of their transgressions from Wednesday night before you even take into account that half their team are scumbags. More than a football club my a*se. "Worse than anything I ever saw at PSG" is the verdict of eyewitnesses that I trust who were in the middle of this unacceptable carnage this week.
I've got to go back to Chequebook Pulis. I live for press conferences when he's like this. Twelve minutes of madness. Described by one of the Red Swarm as: "Self-pitying claptrap that exposed his delusions in all their towering majesty." Fair. I was just going to go with "Tosser." Since then he's declared that Matic is suddenly God, because in his crazy world he's got to big up one of his big money signings. The psychology of his mind games is so transparent it's actually sad. Pogba is sh*t, and Sanchez, before yesterday, had already given the ball away about 500 times since he signed for them, more than 30 of them against Newport County. So not even CP is mad enough to give those two bellends and their atrocious hair dos any credit. Instead he's invented a run of form in his head for Nemanja. "See, guys, I'm not a transfer market failure." As you were, you lunatic. Also, he's given up on personal grooming which is always a sure sign that Chequebook Pulis is on one of his downward spirals. He's starting to resemble Doc Brown, and heaven knows he looked pretty bonkers when he was fleeing around the Twin Pines Mall car park in a boiler suit trying to escape Libyans who wanted their plutonium back.
Sticking with nonsense coming out of managers. Conte takes another dig about the transfer window. Get over yourself already. We like you. The players like you. Nobody wants you sacked. I just want you to act like the top end manager you're supposed to be. I am sick to the back teeth now of the constant negativity. Didn't get the players he wanted, doesn't rate the FA Cup, doesn't know if we can finish top four. No amount of moaning is going to reverse the transfer window. We all know you weren't happy with it. We're not stupid, we can see you've got a point. But. It is the job of the man in charge of the dugout to get his players going. Even if you don't believe it yourself you've got to tout positivity, not pave the way for non-culpability every week in the event of a defeat. If you don't act like you're convinced none of them will be. I'm afraid after he said that he'd effectively taken 1-0 at City instead of trying to get back into it and losing by more because he didn't want the players to get upset, he's got some way to go before he gets back into my good books. Blue Squirrel ran into him before the Palace game and he looked like he'd slept under a bridge.
And Mark Hughes has promised to get to the bottom of what the problem is with all of Southampton's players. I'm more interested in getting to the bottom of how that jackass has managed to get another job in football when is clearly a terrible manager.
The Others: United are through, not very convincingly, as are Spu*rs who have played basically nobody and Southampton have put Wigan out. Jesus wept, they're calling it a statement of intent from Hughes. It's not like they've just sunk Real Madrid. Just our game then to settle semi-final line up.
Them: I was largely too cold to care. Wes Morgan, God help our forwards if they couldn't outrun that donkey. That diving rat Vardy and a few others. I could see a peroxide abomination on the pitch so Mahrez must have been out there.
Us: Very few days off. Good. If I've got to stand out in this cold so should everybody else. Bakayoko is back. Took adequate precautions against inevitable nappy sh*t tsunami the second he misplaced a pass.
They still insist on showing the highlights of every match in the title winning season while plagiarising the theme music from the Da Vinci Code. It's getting tedious now. Fifteen years on.
A sea of blue and white bin-liners tied to flag poles before kick-off in the home end, large away showing for the cup tie that had both teams poised as little as 90 minutes away from Wembley. Typically intricate diamond and triangle pattern on the pitch that they love obsessing over at the King Power. If you look really closely it's a map for the thick likes of Vardy to show him the way to the goal.
I don't recall us touching the ball in the first minute. But Morata hadn't fallen over either. I applaud Eden, Dave, Christensen and Alonso for not wearing gloves. Cesc too when he came on. Real men. For that flurry of possession though, all Leicester got was one sh*t shot off before we started to participate.
A great ball from Alonso set Eden off on our first run, and by the end of a pacy first ten minutes we'd had the better of it, but not fashioned any real chances. A lucky deflection almost cost us at the back, but it was well blocked by Christensen and from the subsequent corner the Leicester header was over.
You should know that I can't fit all of Craig Pawson's refereeing transgressions into a couple of lines, so I'm just going to have to keep referring back to the Frank Spencer of the referring world. From now on, "doing a Pawson" is where a referee stands dumbly in the middle of the pitch not knowing what is going on before quite obviously guessing which way to call a decision. And gets it wrong. He is especially bad at masking this, and he started by giving random corners to the home side when they'd knocked the ball out themselves. Not satisfied with this level of ineptitude, he awarded them a free kick for accidentally getting sat on when the Leicester player was already on the floor nowhere near the ball. And by watching three players foul Moses at once and waving play on. I should add that his f*ckwittery didn't change the result today, but I'd be remiss if I didn't take the chronic p*ss out of him for stealing a living for my own enjoyment.
Morata, who was much better today made a promising run into the box but it was successfully blocked. Probably by Wes Morgan's hapless fat a*se. The home side managed a long range shot that looked half threatening but it was saved by Big Willy. There wasn't exactly a whole lot going on the way if goal scoring opportunities, but my feet were going numb, and I was suppressing the urge to throttle anti-Morata nappy sh*tters nearby by counting down the 17 minutes until I could eat my Cadbury's Picnic. As much of the play was hashed out in the middle of the field, we had probably too long a conversation about how Zappacosta looks like a cross between Dick Dastardly and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Don't get me wrong, this was not a boring game. But alas I am a millennial with a crippled attention span. It was competitive, though not exciting at this stage and there was lots to be positive about. Christensen had played really well, As had Kante, who basically ran around doing a share of everyone else's work as well as his own as usual. And here's a stat for you: Morata fell over I think six times, four were definitely fouls, one more might have been. The fact that only two were given is down to Craig Pawson being a bellend. This is a ratio I can live with. We genuinely looked like a football team attempting to create something, and not, as the case was at City, like eleven baffled blokes who only met each other five minutes before kick off. So although it was still goalless as we approached half time, this was not depressing. Just colder than watching Leo DiCaprio freezing in the water while Kate Winslet hogged the whole bit of driftwood to herself.
We survived Big Willy's daily brain fart on 36 minutes. It was a doozie, him bombing out towards the touch line and trusting Bakayoko to get it clear while he ran back to his goal. I'm not digging him out today. Just like Morata reminds us all of Drogba early on, Bakayoko is to me what Ramires was in his first season. Some players take longer than others. He's a good player. According to Blue Squirrel Conte battled strong opposition at the club to get him during the process of sealing the deal last summer. Write this term off, get him through a proper preseason, uninjured, and trust that he will get better as Rami did. God knows he came good in the end, and he was excruciating to watch at first. If not then we can make him Roman's official food taster and I'll say no more about it.
Anyway, on the pitch it looked like being level at the break until a perfect pass from Little Willy found Morata, who slotted it past Mr Potato Head (Schmeichel) There was a split second when the Spaniard was running on goal and we were behind and directly in line with him and I thought he was going to smack it over the bar, but he placed it like the pro we know he is, but haven't seen for a while. We were in front at half time. He'd not been amazing, but today's overall display and a goal was a significant step back in the right direction.
Bakayoko had picked up a booking in the first half, because Pawson is an inconsistent f*ckwit, and he was replaced be Cesc before play restarted. Straight away Willian managed to wriggle forward and pass the ball across the box, but nobody was there to get on the end of it. Shame. Morata followed this up with another strong run, but we failed to double our lead.
This is why Craig Pawson sucks as an official. Willian hacked down. Doesn't give foul. Looks like he considered it at length. Not a head injury. Stops play anyway. It either is a foul, or it's not and you play on. You don't faff around in between the two decisions because you feel bad. This is why he's a complete disaster in charge of VAR and should never be allowed such technology again. He's confused enough with the job he's got now, never mind adding to it. Frankly I'd be amazed if it transpires that he laces his own boots up.
Leicester were by no means out of it, and the tie wasn't over yet. The game got feisty quickly, which is what happens when you've got a lunatic in charge. Leicester were bombing forward in search of an equaliser. A relatively comfortable save from Big Willy on 55 minutes and then we almost hit the jackpot twice in one hit, Morata narrowly missed smashing it in and getting Mr Potato Head, nasty sh*t that is, in the chops at the same time. Leicester made their first change just after the hour mark, and it paid off, just about, on 76 minutes. Three times the ball was blocked, and saved once, and still Big Willy nearly kept it out. It would be that little cheating rat Vardy there to steal a goal. This is entirely Gary's fault. Not Cahill. Gary in front of us. Fifteen seconds before it happened he said: "You just know they're going to get an equaliser and then we'll have to stand here in this freezing cold for another half an hour." Damn you Gary. Damn you. We had the ball hit the woodwork five minutes later, thanks to Morata again, but he was judged offside by Dobby the House Elf, who seems to been moonlighting as a bad official who has about as much grip on the offside rule generally as my mum.
We now had a proper cup tie, open play with both sides looking for a winner for the last ten minutes. Pawson almost managed to orchestrate a punch up. He also did nothing when Maguire attempt to sever one of our players' legs, then redeemed himself when he bizarrely plucked some common sense from the ether to bring a free kick back, and then he booked Moses for a minor transgression. Sigh. Morata nearly saved us from extra time, but Mr Potato Head saved it and after a stellar amount of time-wasting a paltry three minutes were added on before we were forced into extra time.
Half an hour more in -7. No more chocolate for sustenance.
Couldn't bend knees now. Did our best to get rid of nearby nappy sh*tters.
"Well that's it then, replay!" They said.
We all nodded non committal way and prayed for 30 minutes of football without Morata getting mugged off in our ears.
It nearly worked. And I apologise to the guy that took the flak when they figured it out and came back and we all abandoned him to his fate.
Little Willy soon made way for Pesto. (I'm too cold to battle autospell) Pretty much the whole first half of extra time consisted of trying to resume circulation in our legs and me trying to take notes with frozen fingers. Starting to get jealous of DiCaprio's body temperature at the end of the film now. Cahill for Christensen and pampers throughout the stand started filling. You knew that whatever happened, it was going to be Gary's fault.
Arsenalification was resumed (Passing ball around edge of box and not doing anything with it) until out of nowhere the smallest bloke on the pitch scored with a header.
They must have thought we were morons when Kante put another high ball in towards a player who only comes up to Morata's armpit. But Pesto out-foxed (get it?) Albrighton, who had survived what he made out to be brush with death when he ran the clock down earlier, Chilwell (I know, who?) and Mr Potato Head. Have that. Suckers.
We got Giroud, wearing f*cking leggings, for Morata to see the game out and we clung on despite some Keystone Cops defending (thanks Gary) and Leicester throwing the kitchen sink at us as extra time ran out. Ironic when they booed about the lack of injury time (didn't care previously when they were wasting it) and the referee (who was generally awful but somehow managed not to impact what was always the right result).
So: The cold weather has produced a massive spot on my forehead. I'm going to name it Jose, because like him it's full of sh*t. But my knees bend again. Gary & Co have missed their train. Puel reckons they deserved a different result. I reckon he's an idiot, and that he looks like a dodgy second hand car dealer. Leicester were by no means awful, they put up a good fight, and we never looked like running away with it, but the one goal they did score was luckily bundled over and other than that they looked pretty toothless. Vardy wasn't even ever really in a position to do his usual run and dive scam on the ref. He makes Alvaro look like a tower of strength when he leaves a leg dangly and flings himself giant chin-first to the ground.
A semi-final awaits us against Southampton. So you'd have to say a fair chance for some of our players to get to another final and atone for not turning up to the last one. Also, Sp*rs fans are moaning that the draw was a fix. Good. It makes me happy when they're unhappy. But nobody that has the Diving Little Sh*tbag on their team is allowed to make judgments re cheating about anything. Ever.
International Break Time! Which means I'd rather pluck out my eyelashes one by one than watch the football on offer. I'm going to fulfil my nine year old self's Free Willy inspired dream of going Orca watching. Later, peasants.
*Picture of Pesto getting the better of Mr Potato Head comes from Chelsea's Official Website
UEFAlona 3 (4) Chelsea 0 (1)
Champions League Round of 16
Wednesday 14th March 2018 19:45
In the News: Eden Hazard criticised for criticising Conte’s tactics after City. This includes not very subtle hints about the consequences from Conte himself. Everyone else had a go, and they didn’t have to fanny about up front alone, blindly waiting for a miracle to happen at City so I don’t see why Eden should be denied an opinion. Meanwhile our manager is apparently contemplating a move to Paris, to manage a club with limitless resources in one of the most non-competitive leagues on the continent. Would be a sadly easy way out for a manager who’d be selling himself way short.
If you weren’t convinced that Oscar was a gibbering lunatic before he emigrated to China, here’s proof. It seems that two million odd a year in the real world of football just didn’t cut it: “I don’t care if I go to the World Cup or no, I’m only criticised for coming to China. I personally think of my family and my future. I don’t want to get poor when I am old and live on memories that I played at the World Cup.” Dick. Could just be front though, you couldn’t blame him for not wanting any part of it after last time, when Germany did to him what The Mountain did to Oberyn Martel in the semi-final and he ended up sobbing like a baby with more snot and dribble coming out of his face than Harry f*cking Kane.
There must be want of real news for the Red Swarm to report if they are this obsessed by Carragher and Spitgate. You have to have been dragged up by wolves for that to go through your mind as a possible response to any kind of adversity. Then again the dad surely should have been watching the road with his kid in the car instead of screaming out of the window. What I found funniest was Gary Lineker attempting to mock the twat. If you’ve ever shat your pants in front of a worldwide audience you should probably just abstain from comment about such indiscretions. Not to mention the crisp adverts are pretty shameful too.
The Goons have broken Mertesacker, who says he’s finished in football and quitting. Bellerin leaving Arsenal this summer too apparently. Who cares, I know. Arsenal willing to accept £50 million. I’m glad to hear that Chelsea aren’t letting such nonsensical opportunities pass them by either. Apparently we’ve told Dortmund we’ll want just the £53m for Michy. I’m willing to accept £25 million for the empty hula hoop bag with a snotty tissue stuffed inside sitting next to me as I type this. Call my agent.
Is there anything more amusing than the sight of West Ham players wrestling their own fans to the ground? I think not. That minority of real scum that lurk in the Hammers’ wake will always make them one of the most repulsive clubs in the country. I recently found out that my mum’s cousin’s son is a West Ham fan. Not a match-goer, but still. I’ve never felt such shame. Apparently the security people at the Olympic Stadium, who had proved to be about as inspiring in that role as Steve Bruce fronting for WeightWatchers, won’t be sacked because they signed a 30 year deal. Brilliant management. And I’m sure the baying mob will be placated by all the pictures in today’s press of the team lounging about on the beach in Miami.
Granville and Fake Klopp have come up with an imaginative way for Bakayoko to earn his money while he isn’t fit to start. With this spate of dodgy Russian deaths they’d use him as an official food taster for Roman. Granville isn’t sure: “He’d probably f*ck that up. He’d end up slipping and accidentally spitting it into Roman’s mouth or forgetting which plate was his.” Oh and there’s some saga about whether England will go to the World Cup. Which is about as boring as watching England at the World Cup.
The Others: Sp*rs did a Sp*rs and gave us all a good laugh from a commanding position against Juve last week, making them the first English club to exit the Champions League this season. The opposition even came out and said they’d been convinced that this would be the case. Which made it even more hilarious.
Anthony Martial is on crack. I can say this with authority because he has claimed that Pogba is the best midfielder in the world and that he will win the Ballon d’Or in the next five years. B*llocks. I do, however, hear that after his performance last night Sevilla have put him on the list for a medal should they win the Champions League after what he contributed to their effort at Old Trafford. Speaking of money wasted by United - that bloke that manages them insists Sanchez is worth the £600k a week “he just came at the worst moment of the season” For that money, he should have arrived riding on the back of an enchanted unicorn and farting rainbows. They were as pathetic as we were at City, and Chequebook Pulis continued his descent into rambling imbecile that appeared to have stalled for a while by trying to play down their exit from Europe by reminding the fans they had been knocked out before. By him. That will go down well.
While nobody was expecting us to win tonight, if it was to happen it wouldn’t have been from being in a position nailed on to make the quarter finals and it wouldn’t have been by jobbers that everyone expected us to tank. This made me feel slightly better. So how was it going to go down? Had we faced City or the Scouse's’ opposition I believe we would have gone through, but thems the breaks in this competition. And instead we’d ended up facing a team that gets every possible advantage handed to them by the people running it and we’d squandered a good shout of going into this second leg in front.
Them: A veritable parade of c*ntery and cheating sh*thousery: the tax-dodging ferret, Biscuits, Donkey Chops. I wasn’t sure my blood pressure would survive watching the latter two, especially when you chuck Jordi f*cking Alba and his random falling on the floor clutching his little rat-face into the mix too.
Us: A striker. Verily we were spoilt this evening. Whilst the false nine might have worked in the home leg when we never really looked like going behind, Farca were going to go all out to win tonight, and would likely score, and as we proved at City, when we go behind with this formation, we are about as wet as a fourteen year-old girl schoolgirl who has had a run in with Jamie Carragher. If Conte had a more defensive option he thought was more viable at this level I believe he would have used it instead of Fabregas, but the fact is they all needed to be excellent and they all needed to be incredibly focused. It was one single lapse in concentration that cost us a lead at the end of the first leg. And we could not afford to do the same again:
Them booing the Champions League anthem was novel. Considering UEFA are their best friends. They immediately began knobbing about in their own half. 6000 passes in the first two minutes - none of which were aimed at trying to penetrate our defence. Yawn. 48 seconds in and Suarez to start backing into people. Tosser. Then after two minutes they'd scored. Joy. First time they'd been in the box. Shabby error from Courtois on goal coming out that far, but somewhat lucky on the TDF's part.
Advantage of not going to Spain - not being ripped off to sit in the worst seats in football. Disadvantage - having to listen to the tax-dodging ferret w*nkfest on the TV coverage.
Saving ourselves for Leicester, said Granville
We needed to be even more perfect now. Our first real attempt came in the shape of a free kick from Willy three minutes later that started oddly creeping towards goal. Nothing doing though, nor from the subsequent corner. Their goal didn't really change anything. Still in a position where if we scored one goal we go through. She said hopefully. We didn't panic and soon started picking up possession. With confidence too. 8 minutes and Hazard and Willian were starting to open them up. And they'd given the all away a fair few times already. Eden had started well, once again forcing the ball back from Farca and Willian managed to trouble the home keeper just a little with a long range shot on the ground. Possession was nearly level at this stage, which nobody was expecting.
Then back into another boring spell of tippy tappy middle of the pitch sh*t we went. Until: lucky f*cking c*nts. Azpilicueta pretty much managed to diddle the TDF but the ball went back bouncing back onto his foot and they were away. Silly concession from Fabregas, exactly the kind of mistake we all knew we couldn't make on a night like this.
Two silly errors, resulting in two shots, and two goals from them. Moses had space, their long passing wasn't great, Hazard and Willian looked fired up, but all our work had been for nothing. This is exactly what is has been largely missing from our game this season. The ability to be clinical, it was exactly what cost us going into this game with a lead in the tie too. We needed one before half time otherwise it looked bleak. Bertie the Kitten looked as depressed as I did. Advantage of not going - unlimited supply of Christmas present gin at home.
Disadvantage - distractions. Started to think about doing some George V typing, played with cat. Cat had resorted to licking his own privates every time they mention the tax-dodging ferret. I started looking longingly at the Texas road trip guide book on the shelf.
33 minutes and Mungo Pique had almost scored. That would have been really sticking the knife in. Chances of us scoring before half time looked slim to none with ten minutes left till the break. But obviously as soon as I typed that: fabulous run by Willy, Alonso shot saved, Giroud follow up blocked. Then Cesc gets away with being offside but Kante takes the shot from him. Come on Chelsea.
The diving had commenced, the whining from the crowd trying to get people booked l. So far the Slovenian referee was restraining himself from being a bellend. It hadn't turned into a rout, but it was slowly turning into a cringeworthy display of b*stardry in terms of the home team throwing themselves on the floor every time someone brushed up against them. Then having the cheek to moan when we got given anything. Entitled twats. 44 minutes and Giroud earned a dangerous free kick in the edge of the box. A little bit it magic now would have set up and it looked like it might have been on the way in. Up it went, down it came, keeper beaten but it hit the post. B*llocks.
I didn't feel as bad as I did when we were down in 2012, and I wasn't giving up on us yet. In 135 minutes of this tie now, they have by no means played us off the park. After 3/4 of it we were just about still in it. Maybe. Not a lot for Conte to do at half time except gee them up. We've not been bad by any means, but this was going to take a big turnaround to score two and not concede again.
As you were at kick off in the second half. It was a bright start from us and a pretty lacklustre one from them, to the extent that Willy found himself unmarked on the edge of the box. Within two minutes though Courtois had made another daft error. We escaped, and back up the other end Alonso was in, surely he had to get a shot off, but f*cking Dembele came out and got there first. If we could get an early goal in this half, I believed they'd be shaken, but it was a sadly familiar sight. Lots to be pleased with, no sting in the tail. We were the better side, but it counted for nothing yet. Please don't let this be another instance of us squandering our chances and fading away. An overhead kick from Alonso when he didn't quite connect with the ball properly. Nice little moment when Christensen dumped Suarez on his cheating a*se. Great run from Willy, but why he ignored Alonso streaking down the left and tried to thread an impossible ball through to Giroud I couldn't tell you. We just couldn't seem to finish off an attack. Impotent desperation. This must be what Henry VIII must have felt like every time one of his wives peed on a stick.
Biscuits was limping. What a shame. Maybe he tripped over his own front teeth. Farca were well and truly lurking in their own half now. We were playing better than we had in the first leg, far less deep, but still hadn't made it count when the tax-dodging, rancid little f*cking ferret stuck another one in. Another through the legs for Courtois. It'd be harsh to hold one person responsible for the result, and it wouldn't have made any difference had we managed to finish things off at the other end, but he really did have a sh*tter tonight overall.
Morata was getting ready to come on, as was Zappacosta, but it was out of reach now. Giroud was punching the subs bench, and he was right to. Massively frustrating. We didn't deserve the scoreline but what does that matter when they have capitalised on the few mistakes we have made. Over two legs that had been the difference, not the m assive Gulf in class we had been fearing. I had a bag of kettle chips in the cupboard and I was considering shoving them all in my face at once.
Damage was done. The wind went from our sails, but we were going to have to stop them passing the ball round in circles for the last half an hour if we wanted to get at least a goal tonight. Rudiger hit the woodwork with a powerful header, but it was all to no avail. Three like for like subs was never going to inspire a comeback.
So: The result we expected, but we achieved getting knocked out with far less of a bitch-slapping than a lot of people anticipated. We showed up, so there’s that. Same outcome though. It was always going to be a tall order. The chips didn’t fall our way, and we were made to pay for errors. We looked young and naive, snapping at their heels but not quite getting it right, and they looked like cunning, wily b*stards who knew how to shake out the result.
A Look Back at Palace: So now obviously it’s all about making sure we make it back to Europe’s top table next season. It was an amusing weekend. “Kenedy stars…” This is as far as I got through this headline before I fell down in shock. “Kane crocked…” This time I fell down laughing. I was about to get up, but I stayed down there in hysterics when I heard that the Goons were blaming Mother’s Day for all of the empty seats at the Emirates on Sunday. United did beat the Red Scouse, which made me happy, not least because they whiny gits ran out of available fingers to count all the supposed injustices that they faced from the officials. Shame. And it meant it we won at home, we could begin to close the gap on 4th place.
Zappacosta and Cahill rotated in and after the shocker at City, the boss decided to start with Giroud up front. Hallelujah. Kante was also back after a worrying collapse kept him out of the disaster up north.
From the off we actually looked like a football team, which was a vast improvement on six days before. Giroud got his head on the ball in the box, thought it wasn’t at a height or a velocity for him to do anything with, after four minutes. It took us more than 80 to achieve that at the Etihad. Willian had a spring in his step again, and Hazard actually looked like Hazard. With a formation that didn’t hang him out to dry he had more impact in seven minutes than he had had all afternoon against Pip Squeakiola and his band of mercenaries. We’d even managed to force a save in the first ten minutes sort of. Dare I say we were had built a bit of momentum. After 22 minutes a long range shot from Willian comfortably cleared the bar, but two minutes later he decided to go it alone and slipped it past the keeper. Thank f*ck for that. Just after the half an hour mark some shambolic defending from Palace culminated in a tragic own goal for Kelly, and our lead had doubled. How sh*t must you be we're winning at home. The home crowd was singing “you’re going down with the Pikeys,” and in the meantime it was a little bit sexual watching Giroud challenge for fifty-fifty balls in the air. Because that it something we’ve been starved of of late either because there has been nobody up front or because it’s been dumped on poor Eden, who is fractionally taller than me. In truth we toyed with Palace for the rest of the half. They looked very poor, and we looked much better than last week, though not good enough to beat Farcalona away. Especially not in the second half, in which Palace did well to attend to some of the issues that they’d had before the break. One of our ex-players had the cheek to worry us just a tad at the end, but the game was blissfully uneventful in terms of some of the incompetence we have shown this season in squandering points. We are four off of the Champions League places, with a break now to take on Leicester away in the FA Cup, our last chance of winning a trophy this season. Easy. She says with a straight face.
Manchester City 1 Chelsea 0
Sunday 4th March 2018 16:00
In the News: I had a list of the usual mockery to put here, but it dosen’t seem fitting to put it after this: Last night Davide Astori, Fiorentina’s captain, checked into the team hotel ready for today’s game. He didn’t wake up this morning. He was 31, and had a wife and two year old daughter, and if that doesn’t pale into insignificance all of the usual dross and filler that appears in the football press, nothing will.
The Others: More easy fixtures for the Red Scouse and for Sp*rs. But we'll always have Arsenal, who are there to remind us that no matter what happens, and ignoring the fact we can't beat them, we have never quite hit rock bottom.
Our Game: A false nine. Oh goody. And no Kante.
Have I got to do this, really?
I was resigned pretty much as soon as I saw the team. We would have had to be impeccable today. And I doubted whether this would be the case, because Drinkwater and Cesc together wouldn't have worked against Barcelona and I doubted it would work now. (Though I thought Drinkwater did well today, and not only because I have TDD tinted glasses) Therefore this was my plan of action:
1 Don't concede in the first twenty minutes.
2 Actually f*ck that. Try not to concede in the first half.
3 If still remotely in game on hour mark take revolutionary step of bringing on a striker.
4 Try to score/not to lose.
Please note that this essentially appeared to be Conte's game plan too. And he earns £8m a year. Except he waited until almost 80 minutes to evoke steps three and four.
So there I was. Lost in a sea of half and half scarves, being subjected to a ten minute long montage of bull about the greatness of "Citeh" that to cap it all, I think was narrated by Liam F*cking Gallagher, who should have had his vocal chords cut in about 1980 to spare us all from two decades of that whiny nasal twang of his. Not to mention his attitude. Then they were parading the league cup about like it was the Hope Diamond. There was even some mad bint in front of us that thought she was a Kardashian. As in massive fur coat and enormous sun glasses. In March. When it was getting dark. And raining. In sub zero temperatures. All of this was overseen by a steward who couldn't have looked less snappily turned out for work with his tramp beard and rats nest ponytail if he has spent last night sleeping in a dumpster. Oh and food and drink is banned from the stadium. As are cameras, phone chargers, e-fags and well, anything that might threaten to make your afternoon remotely comfortable or enjoyable. Welcome to Manchester.
The First Half:
24 seconds in and we'd had 100% possession. Then it started to go to sh*t and we barely touched the ball for more than half an hour. It was like watching them conduct a training exercise in keeping possession. After six minutes we retained the ball for four consecutive seconds. Eight minutes in and we almost made it out of our own half, but Willian was fouled and the referee ignored it.
BUT this is pretty much what you expect from Pip Squeakiola isn't it? And it's not as if they had our goal under siege. A weak effort by Silva was easily pounced on by Courtois, Sane ran past seven players but somehow managed to not get a shot off. Our team might have all been as much spectators as we were, but they were still in one piece and all those of us secretly dreading an Arsenal-like score of humiliation were starting to breathe a little easier.
Twenty minutes down and they hadn't had a shot on target. We had made half a run towards their goal to chants of "we're in your half" but poor, poor Eden. He was lonelier up front than Gary Lineker at a meeting of his own fan club. One of the best players in the world and it was a waste of time him being on the pitch. I could have stood up there and saved him the trouble of getting out of bed this morning.
Zinchenko was extremely fortunate to get away with a yellow card after a shocking, awful challenge on Moses, shortly before the referee was conned again by a dive and awarded City a free kick. A long ball found Sane unmarked on the back post. Thank god for Dave, eh? And for quick reactions from Courtois.
Impeccable we were not. In fact we were making this look more difficult than greasing Charlie Adam in butter and trying to push him up the side of a steep hill into the face of a force ten gale. Half an hour in we finally made a strong break - Willian is body checked. Nothing. City players falls over immediately afterwards. Free kick given. Sigh. Refwatch: Michael Oliver was nicer to them than he was to us but he's the least of my worries after watching that.
As the last ten minutes of the half approached, we'd come into it a bit more. In fact on 42 minutes we won our first corner. All of their possession had reaped no reward, in fact had not come particularly close to doing so. We were basically only still in the game because of some fantastic work at the back shutting them down from Dave, but none the less we had managed to keep them out, which was a good enough start for me. Provided that we found a way to make more progress into their half after the break: which would undoubtedly require the introduction of a target man, or target beard, up front.
At half time I ate a Cadbury's Picnic that I had smuggled into the ground in my bra. It tasted all the better because it was contraband. They had the cheek to send round a stat that claimed that Zinchenko managed 81 passes in the first half, which was the same as nine of our outfield players combined. A fine feat indeed when you consider that the little turd should have been sent off for trying to kill Victor Moses.
I am going to put proportionately the same amount of effort into the rest of the match as I believe Antonio Conte did today:
The Second Half:
So: Result we all expected, by a less depressing margin than you might have imagined. But it didn't make it any less tragic to watch. Antonio has defended his tactics. The only problem being, of course, that once we conceded his tactics became ever more irrelevant and he stood there and watched this happen largely with his hands in his pockets for more than half an hour before he did anything about it.
Let's get one thing straight. City were neat, tidy and disciplined and are in good form with some great talent. They are going to win the league because they are nigh on the most criminally expensive team ever put together. But they fashioned 900 million odd passes and had three quarters of the possession to create precisely three shots on target. Courtois was hardly troubled. The gulf in quality is not as large as we made it look today. I think that some players underperformed. Pesto was scrappy, Alonso's fine touch largely deserted him and Willian came crashing back down to earth like a fiery ball of space junk. These things happen. But there were other players out there today, like Hazard, like Fabregas, who were completely hamstrung by the sh*t instructions that they were forced to continue to adhere to when it was clear to the entire stadium that they were going to have no effect. They were basically asked to stand up against a brick wall and head butt it. We did not fashion a single shot on target. If we are going to play without a striker, the plan cannot be to continually hoof it up the field and slide balls through as if there is a six foot beautiful lump, bearded or not, waiting up there to jump/run onto it. Giroud was the first player to win a header in the box. After 81 minutes.
If there was ever a coherent plot, Conte lost it after we went behind. I don't know about anyone else, but I'd rather we'd gone 3-0 down and swinging than flap over the line to a 1-0 defeat like Shamu on dry land, with heatstroke, and a raging hangover. Shamu is dead. (Damn Seaworld) And yet we were roughly on a par with Shamu when it came to having the slightest comprehension as to what it was we were trying to achieve in the second half today. The lack of adaptability on display from us today was stunning, and for me the manager has to take a massive portion of the blame. (Not Morata, someone actually tried to pin it on him as we made our way out, after his 360 second cameo)
If Wenger hadn't lost 8-1 on aggregate this week in his three games and gone into a glorious, effluent meltdown, Conte would be getting more crap with both barrels from everyone in the world of football. I don't know about you, but "at least we're still not as bad as Arsenal" is not a benchmark I want to live by.
A sad seven days. We need points now, starting with Palace. And I want gin. I deserve it after that.
*Picture of dishevelled Conte comes from Chelsea's official site.
In Conjunction with the Chelsea Fancast
Join Alex Churchill author of “Over Land and Sea: Chelsea FC in the Great War.”
Alex has also worked on centenary books: Somme: 141 Days, 141 Lives and Passchendaele: 103 Days in Hell. Alex has appeared in numerous television documentaries about the war and has given talks, or is booked to speak for a number of organisations including: the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, BBC History Magazine, the Chalke Valley History Festival and the Western Front Association.
Departing London with a stop en route to the coast on the afternoon/evening of Friday 24th May 2019 and returning on Monday 27th May 2019
*Two nights on the Somme and one night at Ypres
*An overview of the war 1914-1915
*A trip through the battlefields of 1916-1918 looking at the general progression of the war on the Somme, at Arras and at Ypres; stopping to look at sites specific to football and the war, and focusing on the inidivudal stories of Chelsea players and fans in each locality.
*Stops at key sites including the Thiepval Memorial and Tyne Cot Cemetery
*Time in Ypres to explore the town and witness the Last Post.
*Q & A Sessions (inevitably in a bar)
*There will also be scope to include any relevant stops for family members or points of interest of those on the tour if they can be worked into the itinerary.
To register your initial interest and join the mailing list please submit the following details:
Manchester United 2 Chelsea 1
Sunday 25th February 2018 14:05
In the News: My blood pressure had just about returned to normal levels by the weekend after watching replays of Suarez tripping himself up and screaming for a penalty. We need retrospective bans for the likes of him and Sp*rs's diving little sh*tbag to eradicate this nonsense out of their tiny brains. Otherwise it will never stop. All hail Leo DiCaprio for tweeting that he was going to break down his Oscar into 11 pieces and dish it out the the Uefalona players on Tuesday. FIFA should be sh*tting their pants after a riot officer was killed after the Spartak Moscow game. This World Cup is going to be a barrel of laughs. Speaking of unacceptable behaviour in football, Evra was subjected to calls of “lying b*stard” by the Red Scouse. Because of course Suarez has turned out to be completely misunderstood, hasn’t he? Whoever is in charge of quality control at the Daily Fail needs to be sacked. This week there was a webpage dedicated to a man who photographed a Gregg’s steak bake and claimed it looked like Henry VIII’s shoe in the standard Holbein portrait. Is that them ticking off culture? And there was a massive banner headline about some bloke called Gareth Ball scoring for Real Madrid. Jesus wept. And I’m officially bored of the saga of Pip Squeakiola and his yellow ribbon. Couldn’t give a f*ck. Rather see him punished for awful behaviour at Wigan.
The Others: Leave it to the Goons, as always, to make us feel better about ourselves. Booed off after losing to Ostersunds, Roy Keane has declared that Wilshere is the most overrated player on the planet. Um, no. He’d have to be rated in the first place for that to happen. And that’s only the case with a few deluded Goons who have been put through the wringer so much by Whinger that they don’t even know what day it is anymore. Then came the cup final. I can’t believe they deprived us so willingly of a shot at the trophy only to put in such a pathetic display at Wembley. Mini Goons wept in the crowd. Piers Morgan went into a full on, beautiful nappy sh*tting meltdown online. So they get to be the-club-that’s-in-crisis this week. Yay.
Spurs robbed of a penalty after ten minutes - good start. Then another on 30 minutes when Kane was judged to be offside. The referee giveth, and then he taketh away. Joyous. Even more joyous - they couldn’t hit a barn door in the second half. The Diving little shitbag in diving shock as he attempts to win a penalty. Doesn't work so he audaciously tries it again two minutes later after he’d already kicked the ball out of play. Lucky f*ckers won it by a single goal in the end. Keeper had saved far worse than that.
United had won just one of the previous 14 meetings of us. But which Chelsea was this going to be? I never know anymore. More of Tuesday night please.
Them: Still an utterly unterrifying United line up compared to yesteryear - the fact that we were willing to sell them three players should tell you everything. I question the wisdom of putting all your eggs in a diving Chilean basket. Ashley Young? How old is he now? I'd have it was more likely you'd spot a dodo wearing a United shirt these days than that diving prick.
Us: The Farca result and the presence of a striker quelled the nappy sh*tting - but should we really have chosen today to put Morata back in the starting lineup?
First there was a handshake. All of the Red Swarm sitting there, pencils poised, with a boner about a potential snub/bitchfight went limp. Quick goal please, obliterate his game plan. And Lord knows we tried. Amidst rampant singing of Antonio’s name, we started with intent and notched up 85% possession in the first five minutes. After just three minutes a volley by Alonso was smacked into the crossbar by Morata, then hit just over by Hazard on the follow up. At the end of the first ten minutes we'd almost scored twice and they hadn't fashioned a shot. And Pogba had shown the limit of his worth by throwing himself on the floor. Moses was dancing around him at times like he was nailed to the floor. Moses, who we once loaned to West Ham. Past Pogba. Who cost how much? The overrated fool spends more on his hair every week than the spend on gin in a year. Hazard took time out to mock him, which makes me feel better about not having got close enough to do it myself yet.
Stat-wise we were running riot, but had fashioned nothing else dangerous as of yet. Conte and CP were even having a laugh and a joke on the touchline. Flaccid journos everywhere. We carried on pressing. Moses made a good run but got tangled up in the box. On 25 minutes they finally sparked into life a bit. Then it was like someone had suddenly let a crowd in when Sanchez hit an effort about as powerful as my kitten having a fart that comprised their first shot of the game on 27. Little Willy had been potent thus far. If you're United, you deserve to be lined up and pimp slapped by Chequebook Pulis for our goal. It began with Pogba lying on the floor with one boot on moaning. Willian breaks and feeds it to Eden. Willy is then allowed to keep going the length of the pitch completely unnoticed by the entire United team. Once within range of goal he had the sense not to pass to Morata and to smash it himself. 0-1.
I curse every one of you that started singing “Jose, what’s the score?” Because then we shot ourselves in the foot, as it turned out, because straight afterwards five of them let Hazard run across the face of goal with nobody approaching him. We didn’t score. Seconds later a curling shot from Alonso bent wide. On 37 Matic was left looking like a chump. Break on. Morata loses ball. Recurring theme. So at that point we could have been comfortably ahead all things considered.
Then on 38 Lukaku finally scored a goal against some actual opposition. Scrappy defending, not enough closing down but they had done nothing to warrant being on terms in this game. We used to have a fat kid at school who moved like a sleep deprived hippo and goal hung too. Pretty sure he's not earning a seven figure salary now.
Still we had chances as we approached half time. Hazard made a great run into the box. He was surrounded and all he could do was drop it back for Alonso who hit it wide. I was already wound up by Morata. He began the game showing no signs of this ambiguous back injury, but by getting pushed around a fair bit. This was forgivable, but then he went on to spend much of the opening 45 sitting on the floor moaning about being fouled, and I think it was injury time before I actually concurred with him on one. For me today having Morata up front was no better than us playing with a false nine. He’s coming back from injury but he really needs to buck his ideas up. Man. The. F*ck. Up. And look for some decent form to end the season now. Injuries I can take, a dip in form even, it happens to everyone, but it's so frustrating to see someone of his ability pussying out time after time instead of taking the game on. This might make me sound like a b*tch, and it may just be my general bad mood, but I don't have it in to me to put blind faith in another striker with emotional baggage who can’t get his act together. I stuck blindly behind Torres from the first to the last, that was fine, but now I’m not interested in anyone who can’t come in and just do their job and earn the astronomical salary they have been given. Oh but if we would send every player to “Azpilicueta School” and hypnotise/electric shock everyone into behaving exactly like him.
So instead of being comfortable and forcing them to change everything, we were back at square one. Willian burst forth almost straightaway after the break, but the forward momentum petered out with Morata. I make no further comment. Hazard also made a valiant effort to get us in on goal, but it was a pretty level start to the second half, play ebbing back and forth. We’d had more than double their attempts on goal but since Willian put us ahead none of them had really troubled De Gea much. The sun was in his eyes though, which left me hoping that fate/mother nature would teach him a lesson for that little pony tail. As CP made his first change just after the hour mark, the sum total of their attempts for the last ten minutes had been a lame shot dragged way wide from Sanchez, who was basically anonymous for 90% of the play.
The game was opening up. I wanted Giroud. Perhaps a straight change up top, or Cesc on for Drinkwater? You'd be loathed to take Willian or Hazard when they look capable of stinging them on the break. And yet off went Eden. I cannot comprehend this unless there was something Conte knew about his ability to continue that we didn’t.
F*cking Lingard. Another lapse at the back, more punishment. It’s this weeks theme. And we haven't really looked like scoring at all really since half time. Willian did have a fair go at levelling it straight away but it would have entailed beating the ponytail on his near post which was a little too much to ask. We couldn’t even capitalise on a stupid mistake by Lindelhof. Giroud. Amen. In exchange for Moses who had faded away completely in the second half. Such a difference in attitude between Olivier and Alvaro. And in body language. So now we had two up front and plenty of time left to try and salvage a point out of a game that we had looked thoroughly capable of winning at some stage. We also brought on Fabregas for Drinkwater - probably ten mins too late if you were going to try and win it. Not convinced by the timing of the manager’s subs or the removal of Hazard today.
Shit or bust then. And we did equalise, and Morata did step up. Which brings me to Refwatch: Atkinson missed a blatant foul on Hazard in our own half but his transgressions were insignificant and few and far between, and had no wider impact on the game. The others are so bad I’ve started to like him. He was let down by a clanger from his moron Lino for the big call. His only possibly defence might be that he was as startled as the rest of us that the Morata had made it onto the ball first, and without falling over.
United had given up playing football. Bailly on for a forward. Running the clock down, Matic pretending to have cramp, Pogba inexplicably running round staring at his own gloved hand like he's never seen it before. Frustrating.
So: Robbed. F*cking robbed. Though we are Chelsea so there's a fair dose of "we could have wrapped it up by half time if we would have taken our chances." Rooney sitting with a blanket on his legs. In front of his kid as well. Not that he was ever setting an example to begin with I suppose. I can't actually find that much to get really angry about. Other than recommending that they bring Stevie Wonder in to do a job share with the Lino. At least he could provide some acapella support for the halftime Birthday crap. A couple of weeks ago we were getting destroyed by Bournemouth. In the last few days it's only the odd unfortunate lapse in concentration that's cost us results against Diverlona and at the Theatre of Plastic Dreams. We're not lacking in the ability to win against our main rivals, just in a bit of luck, savvy and the ability to close a game out at the moment. Yesterday was apparently the first time we've gone ahead in a league game this season and not won. Out of 16? This game is not the one that is going to cost us the top four. It will be squandering points by not beating the likes of Bournemouth, Watford. We've now got a blissful whole week to prepare for City, which is a novelty. For me, we needed four points out of these two Manc fixtures, so we've got to go for a win. At the very least we need a better approach than the Goons, which was to turn up and roll over like a stoned golden retriever and wait for our bellies to be tickled.
*Dissapointed Thibaut photo comes from Chelsea's official site
Chelsea 1 UEFAlona 1
Last 16 UEFA Champions League
Tuesday 20th February 2018 19:45
Chelsea 3 West Brom 0: I've relied on the sage wisdom of Uncle Albert to update me on the two fixtures while I was away. For this one I was sitting in the lounge bar listening to a playlist of 90s Egyptian epicness, gleaning match facts from the club's official Twatter. I hate nappy sh*tting, but this was just as bad. State sponsored propaganda in which nobody in blue put a foot wrong. Suspect their coverage of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 would have read: "Thou has witnessed a few Ottomans outside the window. But we looked like holding them off for five minutes around lunchtime." Anyway, a nervous start and we finally put the previous week or so behind us. Albert put it down to the might of Eden Hazard and was pleasantly surprised by Zappacosta's input. He was also glad that Giroud's performance might put the wind up Morata and give us a bit of competition in the squad.
Chelsea 4 Hull City 0: We were up at 2:30 GMT to make the drive to Abu Simbel on this day from Aswan, so by ten o'clock odd at night when this kicked off I was basically a gibbering, Egyptian gin-soaked wreck. Thankfully, Willian set us off on right path after less than two minutes which meant my powers of concentration weren't taxed too much. Easy opposition, says Albert. Then he adds the old platitude about how you can only play what's put in front of you. He was massively impressed with Emerson and says he didn't play a bad ball all night. This, tho, he says was “The Willy Show” and that came through even through Chelsea Stasi channels on Twatter in Aswan. Giroud and Drinkwater also apparently impressive.
In the News: I got through ten days in Egypt, surprisingly, with only one row about Mohammed Salah. A guy in a fake Roma shirt started off trying to sell me ten book marks for 100 quid (Egyptian), followed on by telling us he had been a die hard Red Scouse fan for about six months and ended by chasing us round the stepped pyramid at Saqqara hollering at us in clipped English that Chelsea were Muslim hating racists. I said it had more to do with the fact that when he played for us he was young and sh*t but at that point we got bored and departed in the direction of gin. I also met a kid called Yussef on Kitchener Island in Aswan wearing a Farca shirt and insisting Chelsea were not going to get beaten tonight. I’m going back there to get lottery numbers off of him. Aside from that there are a lot of baffled Egyptians being bludgeoned with Jordan Henderson advertising for a bank on the motorways wondering what is wrong with his face.
Lots of stating the obvious by the Red Swarm so far this week. We'd have to be near our best, they take nothing for granted when it's us. I did an online poll that revealed opinion about the result to be thus before kick off:
Turn the f*ckers over: 55%
We're f*cked: 25%
Overbo says we shouldn't remember him for that one night in 2009. Well, when the next biggest day of your career was a Norwegian league game with 11,000 fans and you quit the day after that car crash in 2009 you've not got a lot else to scream about.
The Others: "FA won't take cup semi final away from Wembley if R***enham make last four despite concern from other clubs over home advantage." They'll have to beat Rochdale first.
I do love it when Pip Squeakiola comes crashing back down to earth and lands on his shiny bald head. I like Wigan. When you go to visit they are very friendly place, kind of old fashioned (I went in 2010ish with an iPhone and the Steward thought I was a witch) They even give you your own bar to drink in under the stand and coverage of whatever is on before kick off. It has a real social club feel. They have to fight for attention against all the egg chasing nonsense yet there are a good few thousand of them there every week no matter how bad it gets. That and they have got this awesome Amazonian woman fan with a mad birds nest of ginger hair that looks like a tall version of Gwildor from Masters of the Universe who is always up for some banter. Delph's tackle was moronic. As for pulling out a yellow and then changing it for a red. He hadn't shown the yellow and it's his prerogative. Perhaps the Lino added his two pence worth in his ear, or perhaps Delph said something that required further punishment. I guess because like all other referees, Anthony Taylor is a mute we'll just have to guess.
You get a real sense of what a f*cking "gentleman" Guardiola is when he gets turned over. Tunnel scrapping, launching himself like a maddened Dervish screaming abuse at the referee in the tunnel (Even I've managed to refrain from doing that to Anthony Taylor) and comments like "Congratulations to Wigan, they had one shot on target." Bellend. Let me explain it for you: First of all they had two shots on target. One of them went in the back of the net. Your spoiled brats had five and missed them all. So you lost. Howard (sitcom alias) summed it up: "Petulant little c*nt who cant win anything without a pre-assembled world class squad or half a billion quid."
I said I'd be happy if we got to twenty minutes without conceding. Howard's final thought re the game: "If its 0-7 but Messi doesn't score I'm taking it as a win"
Us: Cahill left out of the back three, much to the joy of the extreme fecal faction. Though Blue Hulk almost turned a table for eight that weighs half a ton over in The Elk when he saw that we were playing a false nine. Lots of moaning, with shoulder shrugs in the pub. Looked like he wanted to catch them on the break to me, not sure it was going to work.
Them: It was mostly them in the opening seconds, which you'd expect; until Dave knocked it out from under the tax-dodging little ferret (Messi) and Willian was away. The first shot fell to Hazard who hit it high from range. Dare I say they'd given it away scrappily a few times already. 7 minutes gone and we'd slightly edged it. Moses had even won a header. The first corner went our way too. Rudi got on the end of it but he couldn't line it up properly. Great run by Hazard on 12 minutes but his cross couldn't find a blue in the crowded six yard box.
They had had most of the ball, but much of the play they'd had had been dicking around in the middle looking for a decent ball forward, until they headed it wide of the goal somewhat weakly on 15 minutes. Possession was continually edging up on their side but that is exactly what we expected and barely any of it was threatening. Surprisingly lacklustre Uefalona contingent in the shed too. Far less of their smug yapping than usual.
We had survived twenty minutes. Which for me is a completely unsubstantiated but oddly reassuring measure of not getting tanked. My one grumble so far was that with most of the team at my height, as soon as anyone launched the ball upwards we lost it, which was predictable. The odd ball was floating in to nobody in lieu of a striker too, which was annoying. But we weren't losing so I could live with it. It might just be because I hate their f*cking guts, but I don't remember them having come close at that point. 27 minutes and the diving began from the visitors. Umtiti lying on the floor holding his f*cking face. Still, we expected that as well. Willian survived one foul from Iniesta that wasn't given only to be brought down by Rakitic and his atrocious hair in a prime spot for an Alonso special. It was on target - I think the first of the game - but the keeper went the right way and it floated into his hands. But we carried on trying to get forward whenever we could nick possession. On 32 Hazard was away - the final effort fell to Willian after he found himself four on one and passed it and Little Willy cracked the post. Best effort yet at either end. A few minutes later we saw a near perfect ball from Cesc just miss the end of Eden's toe in the box too. Given the right pass, Eeyore Pique was there for the taking. Willian hit the post again before the ball came into Hazard on the volley, but his shot was over. That's it Chels. Grind these f*ckers down. We ended the half the better side. As per usual they don't like it up 'em, but we needed to remain disciplined at the back.
Talking points at half time.
1 We are more than in this.
2 Suarez has managed to go 45 minutes without trying to eat anyone.
They'd had 70% odd possession in the first half and that didn't look like changing after the break. The tax dodging ferret tried to run into the box straight away, but was mown down by Christensen. Then Iniesta got a lucky bounce twenty yards out, but he hit it like a dickhead and it went soaring over the bar. Our first break showed that they were still putting that much into attacking that if we could get away fast enough their half was wide open. On 49 we were pulled down in the box but the referee wasn't having it. He waited five seconds then gave them a free kick instead. And so beginneth sh*thousery from the officials. Refwatch: Apparently the same bloke that sent JT off at the Nou Camp in 2012. Typical fussy European ref, blows for everything, but not excessively in either direction in the first half. He began the second by giving fouls against us for nothing so he must have had a coded whatsapp message from UEFA at half time. That and a dick pic from Rakitic in order to give him license to carry on fouling us at will and getting away with it when he was already on a yellow. I'd say he got one from Biscuits too to atone for all the moaning he does without sanction but nobody is going to get off on a jpeg of a stump. It seemed to us that there was a whole lot of one sided bastardry emerging from the tit in the middle, but we are understandably paranoid about such sh*t when playing this lot. Thankfully no major decisions succumbed to his f*ckwittery.
Thibaut had had to palm one sideways on 53 but it was always a narrow effort and that had been as scary as it got. But we just couldn't quite get it right on the break. All we'd had had to show for the second half was a tame effort by Cesc. However, when that went out for a corner, step up Willy, who deserved to score more than anyone on the pitch, to leather it in. Mayhem. Take that you smug w*nkers. Take that UEFA. Take that ref. Now carry on doing exactly what you've been doing for the last hour boys. They were really coming at us now. Iniesta diving like a c*nt, Suarez getting mouthy (insert joke here), tax dodging ferret sulking. Typical Uefalona ploy. If you can't beat them, cheat.
Willian was at it again on 68. There was a fantastic moment when Kante went steaming past the ferret and he started jogging after him with a baffled expression on his face at the concept of having to do some defensive work. On 72 minutes Fabregas went down like he still played for them and still couldn't get anything out of the ref, who was flapping about like a blind, demented canary. All went to sh*t when Suarez dived for a penalty. I don't think there is a viler c*nt in world football. He ran his oversized mouth enough to get booked four times for dissent never mind the simulation he got away with. Just because you can't make out what he's saying through those teeth doesn't mean it isn't a yellow card. The goal was so avoidable. So frustrating that we'd stayed so disciplined and done so well at the back and we paid for our one lapse by conceding an away goal. It only took him nine years. Git.
That took the wind out of our sails.
Morata on for Pesto, who ran his legs off tonight, with about ten minutes to go. Then Fabregas for Danny Drinkwater. Yellow C*nt then books Morata for dissent. I have no words, either for how Alvaro’s managed to do it again or for how his was bookworthy when others yapped and squawked in his face all night long. 88 minutes and Alba and Suarez were rolling about like they'd been shot. I couldn't have picked two more likely candidates for that. Yes, truly this bunch of whiny, cheating little skulduggerous cretins are the paragons of the football world. A mere three minutes added on. Insert your own explanation here.
So: We're still in the tie, which is more than most people, including possibly me, thought possible before kick off. The frustrating is, though, that when you’ve cracked the woodwork twice it feels like you’ve missed a trick when you don’t win. Worries about the formation and the team selection proved to be unfounded. In fact, but for one silly lapse the plan worked. We got given next to nothing tonight, and it will only be worse at theirs. I fancy us to score, but I don’t know if I fancy us not to concede. Still, it’s not like we can dwell on it with back to back fixtures in Manchester now in front of us.
*Picture of Willian scoring whilst the tax-dodging little ferret watches on gormlessly from afar comes from the official Chelsea website.
Watford 4 Chelsea 1
Monday 5th February 2018 20:00
All those vacating the away end tonight might want to mind out not to get run over by the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
In the News: Before I say anything: I don’t perceive our board to be infallible. I’m not saying that they have not failed to keep promises that were made to the manager, or that behind closed doors they have supported him to the best of their ability. Because I don’t know enough to form an opinion. All I know is that our current manager does not believe this to be the case. I also don’t believe that as a supporter I have the right to know the intimate detail of what goes on in the board room. I do believe that when I arrive at a ground that the manager should be as invested in victory as I am. I do not believe this to be the case right now.
So. I like Antonio Conte. I’ve met him more than once, and not only do I like him as a manager, but he’s a nice bloke too. I have never wanted him to leave us. I’ve never advocated his getting fired. But he’s making it very difficult. Another day, another dollar, another cringeworthy flow of quotes that make you want to duck tape his mouth shut. Conte wants a public display of support from the club. I’d say there is probably no more public display of support than selling one of your best players (even if he is a lunatic) because your manager demanded that he wanted him gone. If Chelsea respond to this plea, they look idiotic because they are indulging the idea of having this conversation in public. And if they don't respond they look like a*seholes and Conte looks idiotic. Who wins? You also can’t put your employers in this position when the faith and the respect is not reciprocated. You can’t make statements about how we should have signed three players and not eight, when you are the one that has been complaining since last summer that you don’t have enough personnel. In that respect the board gave you what you asked for. He's had nigh on a quarter of a billion spent on him since last season. Only two other clubs have bettered this. One is basically funded by a state and the other has spent in a reckless fashion that is going to bugger their whole wage structure. Have the board bought Conte exactly what he wanted? Not entirely. Perceptions about whether this is the cut and thrust of the transfer market or anyone's fault are beyond our knowledge. But since last May he has left the club hanging about his intentions, so if there is a knock on effect from that, such as the board protecting what they perceive to be the wider interests of the club’s future, and not just his immediate demands when he has insinuated before that he would walk then he cannot b*tch about it. Even if you sand the veneer of hysterical bullsh*t generated by the Red Swarm off, there is still enough left to grind my gears. “My intention is to honour my contract.” Nothing he says or does right now substantiates this. Because so much of this has been orchestrated by Antonio himself now, that I know I’m not the only one with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes with the horrible suggestion that a professional that you like and admire might consider getting fired as their best option financially. It doesn’t help that it has happened to us before.
Anyway enough of this sh*t for now. Naturally Michy scored twice on his German debut. This will send the nappy sh*tters into overdrive, and the less dramatic will just roll their eyes and swear they saw it coming. He says he loves Dortmund because they play in black and yellow, and this is perfect because he loves Batman and Spongebob. This is exactly the same philosophy as that my friend's son Henry lives by. He turned two just after Christmas. BT are set to ditch Premier League coverage because they are shedding viewers quicker than we are shedding points. Not surprising when you compose a line up of Monotone Gerrard, Savage’s Hair and Michael Owen, who every time he opens his mouth sounds like someone has shoved 50p in a slot to crank him up to bore us all with tales of his glory days. All three of them. Before he turned 20. Carragher has called Van Dijk fat. Klippity Klopp has called Carragher fat. Good for a quick giggle, but hilariously these are the £75m man's stats:
9 goals conceded
0 clean sheets
1 penalty conceded
£75m. And supposed to win them the league.
The Others: Burnley did a number on City, United won and Sp*rs were lucky on two counts yesterday. Firstly because their equaliser was offside and secondly because Klippity couldn't set his chumps out to defend a lead in injury time if the Liverpool hierarchy promised him a lifetime’s supply of toothpaste.
Us: No Alonso - so Zappacosta comes in on the left. Fabregas not entirely fit, Bakayoko starts alongside Kante. Still no Christensen - Rudiger is left out, somewhat inexplicably for me after Bournemouth, yes Bournemouth came right out and said they targeted Cahill to dismantle us at the weekend. Gary kept his spot, and Luiz came into the middle of the back line with Dave on his other side. Willian returns, too early for me, watching him struggle tonight, and completed a front line of three small players with Pesto (autospell can have this victory, I no longer care) and Hazard. All in all, not what I would have chosen, but I’m not in charge.
Everyone was singing the manager’s name at kick off. There was no explosive start, but given the drubbing we suffered at the weekend that was fine with me. All I wanted was a nice steady game that showed some drive, and an ability to retain the ball after that fiasco would have been nice.
Nope. Not happening. It was a mere four minutes before we got punished for the first time for giving the ball away sloppily. Then we did it again and were lucky when the ball hit the side netting. It had been a bright start by Watford, but we weren’t doing ourselves any favours. After nine minutes Dave let Deeney run off him. This is Deeney, yes he who is about as dynamic as a carthorse with arthritis somehow finding a criminal amount of space in our box. Good job he’s a donkey, because he couldn’t even fashion a shot out of it. Shortly afterwards, in what would turn out to be one of our rare forays forward, a Moses cross deflected to Willian. So many places to put it, but he fluffed his lines and hit it over the bar. Then it was Watford’s turn to miss a glaring opportunity. Cahill kept us in it by throwing himself in the path of a home effort; before we got the ball straight up the other end. But Moses fell over his own feet in the box. Little did we know that this would almost be the highlight of the evening. When we did get the ball up towards their box, there was nobody in it to assault the goal. No Morata, no Alonso steaming in from further out with Lampardesque determination. Why no Giroud? I was annoyed by this already. I don't care if he doesn't speak fluent Conte after three days. It doesn't require a PhD in common sense to just sling him on and hoof it up to him. Three forwards. Willian clearly not 100%. Pesto hasn’t been at more than 65% of his best form for weeks now, which basically left Hazard up against their meathead back line on his own. He’s amazing. He’s not God.
Then the night really started going down the sh*tter. The second yellow for Bakayoko was very harsh, but it summed up a thoroughly inglorious half an hour in which everything he tried turn to sh*t. In hindsight you can say that Conte could have picked Drinkwater, but you don’t select your side assuming that Bakayoko is going to let you down to the extent that he did in his short spell tonight. That one wasn’t on Conte. I had Uncle Albert next to me and he was nappy sh*tting to the extent that a triple layer of Huggies wouldn't have stemmed the flow of effluence pooling at his feet. He says Bakayoko is the worst player he's ever seen at Chelsea. Ridiculous drama queen that he is. Barkles (special alias) put it more succinctly in a swift text: “When Andy Hinchcliffe is mugging you off in commentary you know you are sh*t.”
What is on Conte is the decision he made to take off Willian (fair enough) and put a not-really-fit Fabregas on with an hour of play left. No. Just no. Watford claimed the first accurate shot of the game on 34 minutes, but it was claimed with relative ease by Courtois. But it was like we were dragging ourselves towards half time with our hands. At this point I was insistent that Conte had to pull Pesto for Giroud at half time. More than ever with ten men we needed a focal point to hit it up to if we were to get anything out of this game. Leave him and Hazard up front and just concentrate on not conceding. As soon as I wrote that Mike Dean gave them a penalty. It was a joke. Delafool went down like his leg had been snapped. Courtois didn't get the ball but he didn't get him either. But then what more do you expect from a little ratfaced jobber who failed to come through the ranks at Uefalona? It was going to be one of those nights. Wasn’t it? Pesto had one chance in injury time and like Willian's earlier it soared over the bar. Here's a depressing statement: Even with eleven men, we had not collectively shown half of Watford's desire to win this game. If Conte was to send the same players out for the second half he’d be stealing a living tonight.
And the same ten it was. My blood pressure was rising. On 49 they broke through but thankfully the ball ran to Thibaut. A minute later we saw a promising run by Zappacosta, who crossed it well into the box. That’s where the problem was. The only person anywhere near it was Moses. But he was always two feet behind the defender and when he rose to try and hit it, he head-butted the Watford player instead. You have to give him credit for at least being in the box, because nobody else but Pesto was. More concerning than anything else on the pitch: Antonio was a picture of disinterest in the dugout.
With half an hour to go Conte finally prepared to make the change that he should have made at half time. Pesto limped off, another potential injury on a mounting list and we were treated to the surreal sight of Giroud jogging on wearing blue. Too late for me if you intended to try and win this game but, God love him, our debutant did try. Harsh, said Uncle Albert - sent on with little chance of success and expected to work a miracle. It’s OK, I reassured him. He’s used to it, he’s been at Arsenal.
We looked better immediately, because there was actually a plan and a large beard to aim for, but we had other issues; namely the fact that poor Cesc’s legs had gone. I made the observation that for such a massive c*nt Sebastian Prodl is an even bigger f*cking cry baby. I can’t remember why. It was getting panicked now, the play going back and forth with far less control. I could count the amount of times we had touched the ball in their half on one hand. Never mind a shot on target. No chance. We finally got our first on 80 minutes, but Cesc had watched everyone else put it in row z and just placed it too precisely and along the ground. Not enough to test the keeper.
Don’t ask me where our goal came from. Eden bails us out again. A point would have been over-rewarding us for our contribution to the game tonight, but he at least deserved something for all of the effort he had put in. Refwatch: Mike Dean. Sending off was harsh, penalty shout was a joke. Possibly the only person who tanked as much as Bakayoko or the manager tonight. He gifted them a total of three goals tonight, by ignoring blatant fouls in the run up to two more. This may have been the case, and he may look like Dobby the House Elf after a week long bender, but even if he hadn’t put in a sh*thouse performance we still wouldn’t have outscored Watford tonight. We looked better in the dying moments than we had all night, but it was out of sight. Giroud was unlucky not to get a goal on his debut, but we were only ever in it for a total of about five minutes.
So: We got what we deserved. Which was f*ck all. They got more than they deserved because Mike Dean is an inconsistent f*ckwit that can't decide what a foul is. Two winnable fixtures, 0 points and six goals conceded. And a manager that, as much as pains me to say it, looks like he wants to get dropkicked out the door. Uncle Albert was incandescent with rage that Rudiger wasn’t brought on at 1-1 to hold the line, but that was the least of our worries. Hazard, Dave and Giroud have a right to feel aggrieved. In fact if I am Hazard I take my boot off int he dressing room and throw it at Conte’s face. Cesc took one for the team when he wasn’t in the physical condition to contribute what he was asked to. There are a number of players nowhere near their best; namely Pesto, Kante, Cahill. I don’t believe that this is divorced from Conte’s current attitude. No manager on the planet in any industry would walk into work twice a week and talk about how s*t their lot was, how hard done by they were and then expect to get maximum productivity out of those in their charge by chucking in the odd half-arsed remark about wanting to stay on. If they expected that to be the case they would be morons. He looked like a broken man, but so much of it is self-inflicted I can’t feel sorry for him. How does undermining the club at every opportunity improve anything? Surely this situation is now irretrievable. He just doesn’t have the demeanour, and doesn’t make the decisions in selection or as play unfolds of late that portray a man who particularly gives a sh*t. We may only be one point ahead of Sp*rs, but we are also only six behind United in second, and we've still got to play them. The fat lady isn’t singing yet, but I don't have any confidence right now in Conte's desire to make a resurgence happen. To me the only reason I can fathom that you would continue to continue in this miserable, sulky vein is to get shown the door. That makes me angry, because the connotations for us go beyond the summer. Whether we play in the Champions League next season for one, whether we keep Eden Hazard. But then is he even going to make it past the West Brom game now? Bogey club for manager sackings, init? Fifteen days until Uefalona. Does the club stick or twist? I’m not advocating he go, but I can’t see the turnaround in his attitude happening either. So I shrug, and bugger off to see the pyramids.
All of this (except the pyramids) is depressing, so I leave you with this feisty text from Mowgli:
“So down to 10 men, 4 - 1 down, a commentator that keeps calling Kante - Conte.
Having to listen to Carragher and Rooney.
I've just ripped the tv off the wall, took it upstairs, opened my bedroom window and launched it!
I've always wanted to throw a tv out the window like a rock star!”
Further investigation revealed that this is what he wished had happened. His arms were too weedy to get the 20 inch flatscreen off the kitchen wall, and had he chucked it, it would only have been a ten foot drop to the ground outside anyway. The thing would probably ave just bounced.
Chelsea - Couldn't have scored in a brothel.
AFC Bournemouth - Looked like Barcelona.
Wednesday 31st January 2018 19:45
Well as the crowd poured out, I laughed my head off the last twenty minutes of that game. To celebrate the biggest pile of w*nk I've seen from a Chelsea side since the Emirates in September 2016, I'm going to write our match up in the style of a first class, grade A nappy sh*tter. But first...
In the News: The BBC are in the doghouse this week - not only because they've made a habit out of exploiting me, stealing my work and passing it off as their own, with less shame than Wilshere collecting a pay check every week, f*ck, less shame than GALLAS; but because of the sheer c*ntishness with which they shoved a microphone in Conte's face and said: "You won't catch City and you'll probably lose to Barcelona." We'll all just go home then shall we, you Goon loving swine? And you can fill your air time with another soap opera set in the wrong end of London that consists of chavs going in and out of rooms shouting at each other. Still, it's great that they get paid for that. And that Gary f*cking Lineker gets a seven figure salary out of the tax payer every year, even if I got precisely nothing.
I feel better now.
The BBC programme that we don't name, on account of them being the second most skulduggerous of all their incarnations, did the draw for the FA Cup Fifth Round and threw up another round of uninspiring fixtures. We've got a home tie against Hull, for which mercifully I will be somewhere along the Nile looking at something more exciting. City go to Wigan, Sp*rs fans face the prospect of getting kicked into next season at Millwall, which should draw some viewers hoping to see them get stamped on, and the Red Scouse will be watching all of the above on television. Happy days.
Thank F*ck It's Deadline Day: The Red Swarm can stop making sh*t up about transfers and go back to making sh*t up about everything else instead as of tomorrow.
As far as we are concerned:
Dzeko wouldn't back down on personal terms that were a little silly so he stays in Rome. We bent some of the way, but he didn't. There were a flurry of sh*t rumours about Llorente after this. But nope. That wasn't going to happen. He made his bed in the summer and now he can lie in it, and watch his hopes of winning things disappear down the toilet like everyone else who signs for Sp*rs.
Finally the transfer circle jerk (ok, a triangle jerk) is complete on deadline day. Aubameyang has made the inexplicable choice to go and play for Whinger. Still, his lack of taste in everything from hairdos to sports cars is enough of an impediment in life, so let's not judge him on a lack of ambition too harshly. Michy moves round to Dortmund to try and clock up enough minutes to make it to some international tournament I don't give a sh*t about this summer, because I'll be hiking in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and the Grand Canyon. If I wasn't I'd be gauging my eyes out with a spoon before I put that on. It means we're still on two strikers, a benevolent move on our part that is in his better interests as opposed to ours. And to complete the triangle jerk, we get Olivier Giroud. This is my stance: At least he jumps for headers. Please God let it be in his contract that he has to shave, because then I wouldn't have to feel dirty perving at him like I did when he played for L'Arse before he grew that monstrosity on his face. He will do for me. Good option for route one. If nothing else is working, punt it up to the beard. My God we could have done with that tonight instead of flogging a horse so dead it had already been through a mincer and turned into dog food, which had then been eaten by a pitbull and shat out. Twice.
Our cunning plan of buying players that are broken and nobody else wants at the time also continues. Palmieri done, another left sided player for £17.5m. Pocket change if he turns out to be good. But Barkley is no longer broken, so we can forget about all that bizarre nonsense when he ran away halfway through the medical he was never going to pass in the summer.
In September there was much discussion about how we didn't lack shiny awesome purchases, we needed players to build a squad, because we lacked numbers. I say this because we've just bought some squad players to boost our numbers and at the same time we’ve sent three senior players out on loan - as in Kenedy, Musonda and Batshuayi. Because that’s how we roll. We weren't going to buy any of the shiny ones when there is a manager as volatile as a grenade with the pin pulled out at the helm threatening to leave every five minutes. Summer is when that kind of big business will happen. In theory.
Pretty much everything was done early in the day which meant that the media morons just had to start making stuff up to fill the gap till 11pm. Half an hour before kick off we and the Red Scouse were supposedly arguing over Isco. Real Madrid look almost as hilarious as us with the players they've got, why would they give any of them away and be worse off?
So with a lack of last minute action let’s ponder Pip Squeakiola. The douchiest douche this side of Douchville:
Monday, moans about not having as much money as everyone else despite spending more than any other team by a massive margin. To the tune of nearly half a billion pounds.
Wednesday morning, reported they're going to break their transfer record and rinse another £60m on Laporte, who doesn't even play for his country.
At £282 million City's defence budget has now exceeded that of 52 countries.
If anyone could have found Mahrez and got him to sign for them they would have been on their way to £600m since the arrival of Baldy McDoucheface.
This coming from the man who reportedly said (the internet says it, and the internet never lies) in 2009:
"Modern football sometimes makes me sad. Nowadays there can be more focus on big name signings rather than promoting youth, and that makes me sad. I have grown up with the Barcelona method (let's not get into the £150m for Coutinho) and I hope to stay true to for the whole of my career. Why buy a striker for £50m when there is one waiting in the youth team?"
Smug, self-satisfied, spoiled, sanctimonious, superior f*cking hypocrite DOUCHE. You can argue stats at me till you run out of oxygen and drop dead at my feet like Charlie Adam trying to keep up with a game of football. Until this man wins something without infinite money at his disposal he ain't nothing but one of the pack who is acting like a douchey slaphead fraud. If he'd have won the league with Mangala in the centre of his back line instead of selling him then I might have developed one small iota of respect for him. But do you know why I have to laugh? Because he and his prima donnas are still the least douchelike of all evils if we can't win it.
Meanwhile Özil is like a bog-eyed Malouda, turning up a few weeks before his contract runs out and acting like he's been earning a new one all along. There was something endearing about Malouda dancing to his song with sheer joy though. Not so with this bellend. Still, he had to sign with Wenger, nobody was going to put him on the same wages he's been getting for his part time contract at Arsenal.
Best parting shot of the window? I like Giroud more already after he took a dig about how many trophies we've won of late compared to Arsenal, but I've got to give it to Mykhitaryan on leaving Chequebook Pulis:
"I'm looking forward to playing offensive football."
It's a good job, because the Goons can literally only defend when they are playing us. In the words of Knobhead, my one Arsenal friend: Well chuffed with Aubameyang… he might just score enough to cover those the defence give away! That’s Wenger's usual game plan! Said I. To which Knobhead replied: Don’t be fooled, he has NO PLAN!
The Others: So yes, Arsenal. The gift that keeps on giving. "There is no rational explanation" for how bad they were according to Whinger, but give him a break, because rationality has never been one of his strengths. And if we were terrible tonight we didn't quite implode to the level of United. A large part of tonight's entertainment for me, apart from Mowgli’s cleptomania, was text updates on this from my brother. I wish I'd been watching this instead. Sp*rs were ahead after ten seconds, which blew Chequebook Pulis's game plan to sh*t because they couldn't sit back and do nothing. Then Phil "Sloth from the Goonies" Jones scored such a world class OG that Paddy Power paid out on him as second goal scorer. Pogba got hooked, so did "Messi" Lingard. Then apparently CP threw Jazz Hands Fellaini on, only to drag him off again after four minutes. Still, at least that would have made Matic feel better about his twenty minute humiliation in similar circumstances. And somewhere in front of a TV Joe Cole fist-pumped too.
Right. Here I go. I'm strapped into my Pampers and ready to go with my alter ego - Peaky the Nappy Sh*tter...
Us: I took one look at the team sheet and knew tonight was going to be a*se. And I knew it was going to be Gary Cahill's fault. I can't believe Giroud isn't playing. What a lazy b*stard. And his beard is better than mine. Prick. Thibaut was in goal. I can believe he hasn’t signed his new contract. The board are sh*t. Bakayoko, brilliant. Now we’ll definitely lose. Alonso too - all he does is score free kicks, but what do you expect when he used to play for Sunderland? And Bolton. And Barkley? I can’t believe we’ve even bothered. Firstly, he’s a Scouser, and secondly, why would we want Everton’s rejects? No wonder we’re sh*t. If we don’t win a f*cking trophy this season I’m going to pimp slap Bruce Buck with my flat cap.
Them: How have they got half our players? Did I mention the board is sh*t? I can’t believe we let Nathan Ake leave. He’s going to be a world-beater and we just let him go like he’s a human being with his own free will. We’re pussies. We need to man up in the transfer market.
Straight away it was all Bournemouth. We should be p*ssing all over this lot. The fact that we weren’t three up in the first ten minutes, someone needs sacking. At least Hazard looked like he was up for it. Shame he’s going to leave us in the Summer for Madrid, along with Thibaut, because we can’t get anything done. Zappacosta came streaking in for a shot after Eden and Pesto (autospell, nearly as useless as Michy) did some tippy tappy sh*t in the box. Missed it though. There’s a surprise. As usual it was all down to Hazard, because everyone else is a jobber. I should have bought my boots with me tonight, I could have helped him out more than any of the dross out there. On 13 minutes he made one of his runs into the box and cut it back. Brilliant. Only get this, Pesto finally does some running and he runs too fast. Ball goes behind him. There’s some irony for you. I can’t remember the last time he did anything useful. We look like the f*cking away side. This was toss. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Christensen went down injured. Why couldn’t it be Cahill? The only decent player we’ve got and he’s crocked. Rudiger came on to replace him. Joy, another sh*t signing from the board. I don’t understand why Roman doesn’t get rid of them all. We looked a bit better round about half an hour. As in we looked a bit more like Leicester instead of f*cking Stoke. Best chance of the game so far and it falls to Cahill. F*ck my life. Of course he misses it, over the bar, what’s he ever done for us? Alonso finally pulled his finger out just after that and put it high into the box for Hazard, who missed the header. It’s like his head is already in Madrid. If that’s the case he should just f*ck off there. Even Torres would have scored that. Barkley had a shot moments later but he never really got to line it up and it deflected off a defender and into Begovic's arms. That was £15m well spent. On 38 minutes Alonso had a decent opening for a header, but he’s been sh*t ever since he grew his highlights out and so it went wide. Barkley is going to be blinding, on 40 minutes he slipped the ball through into one of the small people, probably Pesto, because Hazard has been sh*t for weeks. Lino called it offside - it was never offside. Blind. On 44 minutes SB (special alias) turned to me and said: “There you go, Rudiger completed a six yard pass. Write that in your thing. Init.”
I don’t know what happened at half time. Either everybody had a spliff in the dressing room or they’ve all decided that they can’t be a*sed with Conte and his moaning anymore, or the board, or the sh*t they see coming in the door and they just rolled over. We almost scored on 49, then some bloke called Callum Wilson who I’ve never heard of went up the other end and scored. THIS IS BOURNEMOUTH. WHAT ARE WE DOING? Hazard almost equalised straight away, thank God for him, maybe we’d get back in this. Hallelujah, Barkley’s going off for Fabregas. But by 57 minutes we’d turned into those bellends that cheer every time they win a f*cking corner. We are actually Arsenal. I might as well have brought a picnic basket full of crayfish and rocket paninis and my nan’s knitting to sit through this sh*t.
0-2 Who is Junior Stanislas? Stupid name. I didn’t see it, because I was too busy complaining about the ref, but it was blatantly Cahill’s fault. Then they got another one. It was basically going nowhere and then bounced in off Ake’s nut sack. 0-3 down at home to f*cking BOURNEMOUTH. I said we shouldn’t have sold him. Alonso hit one just wide on 69. He can’t hit a cow’s a*se with a banjo. We deserve some kind of trophy for making this lot look like Barcelona, it’ll be the only trophy we win this year. Finally, it looked like there was some urgency about the team, but typically they’d left it to the last minute. They’re just taking the p*ss out of us now, singing “you dirty northern b*stards” at us because Fabregas has tried to break someone’s legs. I wish he’d signed for Arsenal again. He’s been sh*t for us. Eight of us defending the box, three of them attacking and they still almost scored a fourth. Now they’re singing “Nathan Ake, he left cos you're shit.” Aren’t we just. City are laughing at us. Everyone is laughing at us. Team was sh*t, Conte is sh*t, the board are even sh*tter, Watford is going to be sh*t and you're all sh*t n'all. F*ck it. I'm going home.
So: Nappy sh*tting aside, that was like a really awful first date that's so bad that you have to go to the loo and call a mate to laugh about what a dick the guy is. It was like another generic sh*t Liam Neeson vengeful action thriller that you only sit through because you can laugh at bad it was. If Conte comes out and says he just focuses on the players and the next game after that I will laugh my head off. Because if more than five minutes thought went into that I will eat Mowgli's cap. The first half wasn’t great, but it wasn’t shocking. What happened in the second half, God only knows. The whole Chelsea side appeared to leave the building at half time. You knew the sh*t was hitting the fan when Barkley got yanked for Cesc on 50 odd minutes. Conte never makes early subs. Barkley had had a shocker to be fair - as in he played for Everton, who wear blue, and now he plays for us, and we wear blue; but he couldn’t find anything but a red shirt. Still, it’s his first start, he’ll get into the swing of things and he was far from the only culprit. And the lack of any established striker was glaring. Over and over again the ball was played into the box and there was nobody in there. Basically, it was a 45 minute shambles on our part. We had some reasonable attempts at goal tonight, and didn’t take any of them. Bournemouth, on the other hand, defended well, pressed us all night long and enjoyed good fortune too. I ask you this. Is it remotely possible that the angst between the board and the manager, which results in the manager constantly implying he doesn’t have a proper squad, is NOT going to eventually start to show on the pitch? If your manager is clearly miserable with what he’s got, are they going to believe in themselves? This is an interesting concept - and far less terrifying than this: If we don’t fix this in the next 20 days is it possible that we are going to get out the other side of two games against Uefalona, one against United and one against City without conceding twenty odd goals? I’ll finish on the one high note in this clusterf*ck before your heads explode. Hudson-Odoi take a bow. This game looked like the video to Thriller - a horror show. But he was Michael Jackson.
*Picture of Kante and some bloke reenacting the last scene from Dirty Dancing comes from Chelsea's official site.