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Tottenham Hotspur 1-5 Chelsea – Tainted Love

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

I will start by saying that my views are invariably coloured by having grown up in Tottenham and being related to a number of Spurs fans as well as counting some among my closest friends. These days I rarely take the deep joy that is afforded most Chelsea fans when we discomfit them. Like an Aintree vet, destroying Spurs is something I see as necessary but unpalatable, so this report may be too restrained for some tastes. (And it’s interesting to note how the term “destroy”, which was once the standard way of referring to putting down injured race horses seems to be disappearing from the racing lexicon. Not good for the marketing I presume.)

Then again maybe what it really boils down to is the fact that when we were beating Spurs regularly they had the excuse of being no good. Now when they are doing well, we don’t seem to be able to get by them without some sort of controversy, which heavily impinges on the amount of smug, self-righteousness that one can exude in victory. To win when we are favourites lacks lustre, to lose when favourites adds extra layers of humiliation, so what I really wanted is a straight forward win while we are on some sort of parity and particularly at Wembley where we have never beaten them.

However my view of this game is very much affected by what I heard on the radio in the lead up to kick-off. I don’t usually feel so strongly but last night was different. I wasn’t in the ground because I don’t happen to agree with the semis being at Wembley, and so the raw excitement and emotion that is generated by being at the event is not there to ameliorate my feelings of disgust at some of what went on yesterday evening.

I will now raise the screens, load the shotgun, glance briefly at the quivering carcass of a once fine beast that was the anticipated semi-final clash and proceed.

The “fans”

You can’t choose your family and you can’t choose your fellow supporters either. Over the years there have been plenty of times when the individual actions of fellow fans have left me wondering exactly what is it that I’ve attached myself to. But every club has its “singular” troop, I suppose, and I am not responsible for the behaviour of others and don’t feel I condone it just because I go to watch football.

But as I’m writing the report for yesterday’s semi-final, I do find myself questioning just how I share any common ground with the kind of gobshites who felt it was a proper form of self-expression to jeer such that the referee had to blow an end to the minute’s silence after what felt like thirty seconds.

I am particularly exercised about this because what I heard on the radio was not the odd distant shout or heckle that you sometimes get with these silences, but a determined and concerted booing by a sizeable group of people. If your perception is different then you may find what I have to say a tad overstated. But I think there was some quite disgraceful behaviour by Chelsea fans and it needs calling out and not excusing.

I really don’t care how much drink you have taken or what your personal “issues” may be. If your moral compass has become so disorientated that you think a reasonable or appropriate response to the ham-fisted way that the FA and ITV have handled the setting of what should be a show-piece game, is to abuse the request to pause and remember some ordinary individuals who died for no other reason than they chose to watch a football match at a time when the police and the authorities took a view that somehow followers of the national game deserved to be treated with a level of contempt and reckless neglect that made crowd death at some point inevitable, then you have lost sight of the horizon on which sits any semblance of civilised behaviour. And here I’m assuming you engaged in such risible actions out of a sense of grievance rather than unadulterated vacuity.

Worse still, you are encouraging the ordinary, decent Chelsea fan, to be treated as some form of moral pariah.

You think I’m overreacting? The club had a statement out within minutes of the game finishing. They obviously appreciate the damage that’s been done.

We wanted special consideration from the FA with regard to fixture congestion. Oh boy, you’ve really helped that particular cause.

And please don’t give me that we’re Chelsea, so fuck all the rest, we’re happy when we’re hated, juvenile, testosterone fuelled cobblers either. Take a step out of your blinkered, narrow, hate addled mind and take a view of what constitutes your responsibilities within a civilized society.

I don’t expect a football crowd to be like a WI day out. This is not a prudish recoiling from bad language or boisterous behaviour. If you had something to say, if you didn’t agree with there being a minute’s silence then choose a forum where you can stand up and be counted. Have a demonstration outside the ground or outside the FA, so that you as an individual can be seen make a statement.

But this was about hiding in a crowd.

There is a proper debate to be had over the growth and focus of memorializing in our society (cf the commercialization of the Titanic versus completely forgotten Spirit of Free Enterprise). Yes these days there are times when watching football, I have no idea what the black armband or the minute’s applause/silence is about. There is nothing worrying about having concerns that football matches are being used to make political statements disguised as displays of national grief. But given the nature of this singular occasion such a straight out display of such mindless, boorishness contributes nothing.

Proper rebellion requires confronting the source of the problem and not thoughtlessly insulting the dead and their relatives. Most right-thinking people will see this as the usual “Chelsea” minority that somehow keeps hanging around the club like a bad smell and hopefully not characterize everyone according to the behaviour of this unsavoury element. I’m sure a Venn diagram of casual racism, anti-Semitism, abusive behaviour towards unaccompanied women, bar staff (particularly female), anyone engaged in public services around football, and the general threatening of violence would all overlap in the person of those individuals who made themselves heard.

Perhaps I’m guilty of being over-sensitive. However while I, like the next man, can be bemused by what goes on with Liverpool FC and their indulgence by the great and the good, and can see an argument for this whole Sunday evening nonsense having been avoided with better foresight and planning, I don’t think you can in any way excuse or diminish the display of insulting and uncaring selfishness that we heard yesterday evening.

And I make no apology for declaiming at length. Plenty of you may be able to comfortably deal with these events, you may feel that it was expected and, quite rightly, that there was nothing that you could have done to stop it. You don’t know these people personally and have no conduit through which to make your feelings known. However I was appalled by the scale of what occurred. A minority it may be but it was significant enough to be a concern, in my view. And as I write for this blog, I wouldn’t feel right unless I said something.

I’m not advocating the return to some half-remembered golden age, I’m not demanding we should all have to dress in a sports jacket and tie for the gents and a below the knee skirt for the ladies in order to be admitted to the ground, I’m just wondering why it is so hard for certain people to exhibit the most basic humanity towards other members of society. Are these people really that brutalized?

Make no mistake. Next time you are herded around, have cameras thrust in your face, are scared shitless by frenzied police dogs, it’s the behaviour of these boyos more than anything else that gives the police and the “system” the confidence to treat you, a law abiding citizen, like a potentially violent criminal and deny you your right to go peacefully and unmolested about your business, which is the rather quaint theory upon which our society supposedly operates.

Mass football supporting grew out of the working classes. But ordinary working people have a common decency and basic shared values that preclude the kind of behaviour that went on last night. Working people are being priced out of the game and there are those only too keen to portray loutish and uncivilized acts as the province of the less well off parts of society. They can’t wait to rid the game of what they see as the “troublesome” element that stand in the way of their product being more “family friendly” and are happy to conflate behaviour with income group and try to change the “target audience” through ever increasing prices.

So thanks for that lads. You’ve been a great help to the rest of us.

The game

As for the game, a 5-1 beating of Spurs should be an occasion for great joy. But while my feelings were coloured by the pre-game events I’m sure for many this was an opportunity to bask in a very warm glow.

Yet somehow we are dogged once again, not only by the morally attenuated, but by major refereeing controversy.

Now I’m guessing, having not sampled the available media widely, that these are fairly sure to be the main talking points:

Chelsea goal number two – Did the ball cross the line? I was watching ITV and their angles were poor but it looked like it never crossed the line. Yet while they were eager to wade in about goal-line technology, how come they, with all their resources, haven’t managed to rig up cameras that look along and above the goal-line from both sides?

There is a photo doing the Twitter rounds purporting to show that the ball did cross the line, looking from an angle I didn’t see on the box, but until we get some sort of proper provenance on the source, I wouldn’t hang my hat on it.

Tottenham goal (in the singular) – Should Cech have been red carded? Well no. The referee played a split second advantage and while Adebayor himself was denied a goal scoring opportunity Bale was on hand to score. Therefore Spurs were not denied a goal scoring opportunity and in the spirit and letter of the law, Cech stays on. Talk along the lines of Bale letting the ball run out so that Cech goes and they get a penalty is surely arrant nonsense since that would be Spurs electing not to take a goal scoring opportunity, not a goal scoring opportunity denied. So all they could get would be a penalty surely?

Now we’re getting to the barrel scraping:

Cahill – Was it a handball? Do me a favour. It hit the point of his shoulder.

Mikel – Should be a red card for a kick out at Parker? This is probably lost in the general seething but on another day it might have been the case. There was no need for retaliation. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FA try and get at him. Then again it was nothing really.

What did JT say to Adebayor?

One small matter that I bet will get no coverage happened at about 90 minutes and thirty seconds (check your recording if you made one).

Adebayor has just been booked for a foul on Cahill and is walking away. JT walks up behind him and says something. Judging by Adebayor’s reaction it’s nothing controversial. He then says “Adee…” and proceeds quite obviously to advise him that he has extraneous snot on his nose. Adebayor then wipes his nostrils with his shirt and wanders on.

Is this an attempt at image rehabilitation? Right in the middle of a blood and thunder cup semi-final, is Terry sufficiently aware of his need to appear caring to other ethnicities, what with an upcoming court case and the related furore? Or is he just a man sufficiently decent to be moved by the knowledge that as a vanquished opponent takes a booking and will therefore be in the eye of the lens, his dignity should not further suffer through the presence of unsightly snot around the gills. Oh JT, he is ever the enigma.

Football time is linear

So it all turns on that goal then really. We are denied the true spoils of victory, because already the “meeja” are preaching that whatever the record books say we didn’t earn a true win.

Well, having been on the receiving end of plenty (hello Tom I’m looking at you), I’m not feeling guilty. It’s not as though the team set out to cheat, despite one Simon Burnton of the Guardian choosing to put it thus:

“Nobody got a better view of that incident than Mata himself, and he wheeled away to celebrate immediately. Worth having a go, as it transpired, but that’s cheating just as much as any amount of Ashley Young dives.” (Polite request – please don’t use Chelsea players as a crutch to prop up your frankly laughable efforts to excuse United’s blatant cheating.)

No doubt we’ll hear of more apologies to the losing manager from Mike Riley, but there’s a chasm between what Mata did and the antics of Young. But this is the tenor of how the game will be viewed, I’m sure.

Indeed his colleague Dominic Fifield is so overcome he uses the term “mess of a performance” in consecutive paragraphs to describe Chelsea’s first half, only interpolating the word “personal” on one occasion so as to avoid pure repetition.

Now, what has to be borne in mind is that whatever happened after that goal was awarded can only be judged within the limits of the subsequent events that are related in a linear fashion. You cannot posit that the game would have been 1-1 had Chelsea not been credited with the second, since the pattern of the game changes at 2-0. Not just in the way Tottenham played but also Chelsea. Thus without the second goal, it doesn’t strictly follow that Tottenham equalize, since Chelsea would not be raiding forward in numbers as they did with the benefit of a two goal cushion.

It was regrettable, and I have some sympathy for Spurs fans who must wonder what it is with this ball over the goal-line business with us of late. However it was not the knock-out blow it is painted.

And for the “these things even themselves out” school of thought there is the Champions League “ghost” goal and perhaps more significantly Malouda’s disallowed goal against Everton to add to their body of evidence in support of this theory. Though how two goal incidents against Liverpool clubs then impact on with two Spurs, (let’s not forget the Gomez ball on the line fiasco) I have no idea.

What does irk me is the effort to ascribe the Spurs goal to some sort of lucky break for us. They scored for fuck’s sake. If they’d got a second one, well who knows? Do you really want a penalty and a team down to 10 men instead of the goal? Where’s all the “well the referee destroyed the spectacle” baloney now? If the ref blows as Bale is about to convert, Cech walks and they then miss the penalty, what then? What further sanction would be demanded? The referee got it right. End of.

And as if this all wasn’t enough, it looks like David Luiz might be done for at least a couple of games. And that is a major, major blow, just as the fixtures pile up and we face the sort of teams where he might prove a real asset.

So awash in a sea of troubles, we are left clinging to the passing, broken spar of “hollow” victory and the nagging thought that with the “goal”, a first half clearance off the line and Van Der Vaart hitting the post, we may have used up a lot of luck in one game.

So let’s end positively.

Chelsea scored four very good goals.

RDM selected the right team and they responded.

The team performed well on the whole. By no means outstanding, with some of the defending in the first half a little shaky, I thought. There was still a worrying tendency to not track the runner assiduously, to be caught on the wrong side of the player receiving the ball. Indeed the Spurs goal could be laid at Sideshow’s door as he was caught by Adebayor’s quick turn. However given the hamstring problem I can’t be sure how it would have worked out had he remained alongside the Spurs striker.

Chelsea started as the more composed team but were certainly starting to come under pressure as the first half came to a close. They probably hadn’t earned the lead they took in at half time, but it was a beautiful strike by Drogba.

They certainly passed the ball and kept possession very well during phases of the second half and cleverly exploited the space in midfield once Defoe replaced van De Vaart. Jim Beglin had anticipated the problems reverting to 4-4-2 might give Spurs and he was proved right. He remains one of the few, perhaps the only voice worth listening to on ITV.

Man of the Match was Drogba, although Mikel was again solid and more forward looking with his passing. Mata grew into the game when the space opened up and Kalou posed a threat with several really well chosen passes around the box. But DD got at them, got the game breaking goal and unsettled their defence so as to allow his team-mates some time and room to work in.

I think we should spare a thought for Carlo Cudicini. I would rather we had put five past Friedel than a popular ex-Chelsea player. And while I know many have little time for Gallas, again I personally would rather it had not been him.

All in all, for me it was a rather strange evening all round, so many conflicting and contradictory emotions. I long for the simpler life but then maybe there’s no pleasing me…

The press reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “This ended up feeling like a thrashing, the massed ranks of Chelsea support crowing in giddy celebration as bitter rivals were teased open and torn apart. Yet, while Roberto Di Matteo’s side can now thrill at the prospect of a fourth FA Cup final in six years against Liverpool next month, Tottenham Hotspur’s departure from this competition came with a snarl.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “This was more than a game. So much more. This was madness, injustice and beauty all rolled into one compelling evening’s entertainment, a demolition derby dressed up in FA Cup semi-final refinery that will reverberate loud and long.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “It was a frantic, fiery, no-holds-barred kind of FA Cup semi-final between two clubs that cannot stand the idea of one another and two teams whose form has soared and dipped this season. Such a pity it will be remembered for a stupid refereeing mistake that should could so easily have been avoided.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Even the most optimistic of Chelsea fans would have been hard pushed to envisage this outcome but we win in style to send us to our fourth FA Cup Final out of six since the new Wembley opened.”

The goals

43′ Drogba 0-1
49′ Mata 0-2
56′ Bale 1-2
77′ Ramires 1-3
81′ Lampard 1-4
90+4′ Malouda 1-5

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  • Blue_MikeL

    Press is going ape on the goal which wasn’t scored. Somehow it has slipped out of their minds that we have won 5:1 and not 2:1. 
    However, who gives a toss. It was a great win and Mata was very instrumental in this game.  

  • Cunningplan

    Can certainly agree with you on the minority of so called Chelsea supporters and their loutish behaviour during the silence BB. But I also feel these so called outpourings of grief are becoming all to commonplace in the sporting arena, and perhaps the FA need a rethink on how respect is displayed, if it needs to be displayed at all.
    I think it was JD who mentioned that a minutes silence was going to end badly with the alcohol fuelled fans, but yes I do agree it was no excuse really, and it was a shame it happened to be our lot that have tarred all other Chelsea fans with the same brush.

    As far as the game goes, we deserved the win, and even if the second non goal made a difference or not, like you I have no guilt at all, we’ve been on the end of some poor decisions quite a bit this season.
    Perhaps Spurs want the rules changed with regard their goal, in that the goal should stand, and they also get a penalty as an extra, including Cech being sent off!

  • mark_25

    Interesting report.

    It’s a pity your afternoon was tainted by the behaviour of our fans and that you feel it was a hollow victory.

    Our fans chanting ‘murderers’ during the minutes silence was despicable.  As an obedient and law abiding citizen, who always observes silences, finds the end of a queue no matter how long and, if a piece of litter falls out my pocket and gets caught in the wind, chase it for hundreds of yards down the High Street, I can’t imagine myself chanting this phrase or drinking so much that I’d do it involuntarily.

    However I’m am getting worn out by the institutionalised mourning that we now have to adhere to which I think started with the death of Diana.  For the families of Liverpool who lost love ones I’m sure a day doesn’t go by when they remember.  However personally I don’t understand the significance of a 23rd anniversary and why two sets of fans with nothing to do with the event or Liverpool should observe a minutes silence. 

    Yes the fans who chanted are mindless scum.  But what about the cretins at the FA, who delayed the kick off till 6pm for commercial reasons which allowed the mindless scum to drink all day, including two hours in the ground pre kick off at £4.70 a pint, who then naively expect fans with a loathing for Liverpool and Spurs to standing quietly for 60 seconds.  How I long for the day when people with common sense will run the world.

    As for the game I didn’t find the victory hollow at all.  In fact I found it most fulfilling and rewarding.  I was sitting near the half way line so was near the divide between us and the Spurs fans who made the most ugly and abusive gestures towards us right from the off as we sang along to Blue Day by Suggs.  On 94 minutes I looked to my right to sneer at them but they’d all gone leaving a red sea of empty seats.

    During the first half, despite their two close shaves, we’d rediscovered our passing and looked miles better than them clearly showing our pedigree for Wembley and big occasions.  Second half we got the rub of the green, as is our right as a big club, and went on to demolish them.  Spurs were so rubbish even Malouda scored.  I now question if we want to waste any money on Modric because we want  winners in our team.

    I don’t feel tainted.  The club apologised immediately.  The world’s still waiting for King Kenny to apologise for Saurez. The mindless scum may support the same club but they’re nothing to do with me.

    I don’t feel hollow.  Spurs got to 2-1 and had a bit of momentum and then got soundly thrashed by a better team with better players. (Gareth Bale take note).

    • bluebayou

      If I’ve given the impression I think it was a hollow victory then I should have been clearer. I was trying to point up the way in which the reporting of the game encourages people to see it as less than a proper win. That’s why I dwelt on the sort of spurious arguements that are put forward to support that view.

      My mixed feelings, aside from the minute’s silence business, come from a frustration that circumstances conspired to give my Spurs supporting connections ammunition to talk down what in the end was a convincing win. And yeah I perhaps don’t feel as strongly about Spurs as some do.

      But you also point up why being there is always much better than the TV. You are pitched into the event. I stood at White Hart Lane this season 4 feet from a smoking flare looking at all the contorted faces turned in my direction and it was much easier to forget my finer feelings for friends and family, than it was while listening to Tyldsley, Chiles and Co. bleating on while sitting with the kids.

      So if I’ve given people to understand that I wasn’t proud of the team and the way they played, then put it down to my distraction with the other events. I do think Spurs had a decent 15 minutes before we scored the first, so I think the first half was pretty even. But certainly in the second half we took over particularly helped by ‘Arry changing the shape when VDV went off.

      And I agree, as I said in the post, that the organisation of the event left a hostage to fortune.

      And now they’re going to have a 5.15pm kick off for the final.

  • bluebayou

    Reposted from previous thread:”This appears to be the origin of that close up. Is this really an official FA image? (It says it is from Getty Images) Well they’re now carrying it on the Beeb website while still claiming Atkinson made a mistake.”http://www.101greatgoals.com/b…http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/Perhaps we could keep tabs on where else in official media this strats to appear. It’s still not decisive but given it was the sort of view Atkinson got then all this cack about his judgement needs retracting. But of course it wont.

  • Ryan

    Great report and thoroughly agree about the shameful behaviour of a few morons before the kick-off. Although I’ve been told that the booing was a response to the jeers and shouts coming from the Chelsea end. Whatever. It was unacceptable and made us look cuntish.

    I thought Tottenham were nothing special yesterday. Ghost goal or not. They lacked belief. Parker looked most dangerous raiding forward from midfield and apart from that their best player was Adebayor, who isn’t their player anyway.

    Most of the problems that were identified during the Fulham game were dealt with. We looked much sharper, movement was better and we gave the ball away less. Pretty happy with all of the players performances. Thought Kalou suffered from all the same problems as usual. Giving the ball away and overdoing things several times in the first-half. His tracking back and defensive play was impressive however and I suspect that it’s this willingness to work back that is making him a regular selection under RDM. Suspect Sturridge isn’t getting as many starts for the same reason. AVB identified Mata and Studges defensive inadequacies as the reason for some of our poor defensive showings but failed to deal with that problem. RDM has been more pragmatic and solved (to some extent) the problem by deploying Kalou and Rami. So fair play to him. It’s not ideal but it’s better and his options are limited as we don’t own a genuine winger.

    Not crowing too much about crushing Spurs 5-1 but glad to help them continue their dismal run and still hoping they’ll bottle the race for fourth. Even if Newcastle beat us to the CL spot.

    Regarding JT. His behaviour during Scott Parkers attempted attack on Mikel showed his true nature. He was instrumental in calming SP down. He did this not to protect Mikel but to stop Parker getting himself sent-off (observe the way he wraps his arms around Parker to stop him raising his hands). A genuine act of good sportsmanship considering the ramifications for Spurs if Parker had got himself a straight red.

    Finally. Disgraceful the way some elements of the media are deriding Mata as a cheat for celebrating his goal. The photo I’ve seen from Mata/the referees position clearly shows why they may have thought the ball did cross the line. So it was a completely understandable reaction from Mata.

    All in all. Very happy this morning and looking forward to another special European night at SB on Wednesday even if I’m not expecting miracles against Barca.

  • Chris

    Mark summarizes my feelings exactly: “I don’t feel hollow. Spurs got to 2-1 and had a bit of momentum and then got soundly thrashed by a better team with better players. (Gareth Bale take note).” Spurs had some chances, but we looked the better team both halves. We controlled the tempo, absorbed pressure, and had plenty of chances of our own before the goal bonanza of the last 15 minutes. The attempt by what appears to be the entire media establishment to make this appear “hollow” or “tainted” just pisses me off. There is no plausible scenario in which we were not the better team. It requires a long string of counter-factuals to construct a story in which Spurs should have won. I suppose it is good to be reminded of the general anti-Chelsea bias once in a while.

    • Blue_MikeL

      It is as simple as follows: “If my grandmother had dick it would have been a grandfather”.  If goal was not allowed it was still would have been 1:0 to Chelsea and they still had to score. It was not an equalizer changing the game like it was in England vs. Germany. 

  • Blueboydave

    Sorry your day was spoiled by the nutters at the beginning and another disputed goal controversy, BB, though ITV’s unusually swift delicacy in cutting the sound from Wembley made it hard for me to tell how bad it was.

    Have to say I’m with Mark on both the need to rein back the “institutionalised mourning” at football games and that we were so clearly superior throughout the second half that I don’t feel at all embarrassed in celebrating a fine win.

    Not sure what was my most gobsmacking moment though:

    1) Lamps’ free-kick goal – that looked like nearly 40 yards to me.

    2) Malouda actually scoring only his 2nd goal of the season [his last one was back in August v West Brom if you'd forgotten like me].

    3) Clive Tyldesley actually saying something interesting in commentary, when he pointed out how few winners’ medals the entire Spuds side had in comparison to Chelsea – and that most of those were the ex-Chelsea players’ ones earned when they were with us.

  • GrocerJack

    On the booing and catcalls during the silence.

    A heartfelt and strong report. I think it did shame us by association and undermines all the good work by the club and fans to show we’re just like other teams really. As I stated in The Podding Shed, I am one of those neither in favour of Wembley for semi-finals, a fan of anything Spurs related and certainly I’ve pubicly stated my views on the continuing mawkish memorialising of the 96 who died at Hillsborough. When the Manchester United team were killed in Munich, the nation mourned, but football was far less tribalistic in this days. However, Manchester United seem to manage a moving tribute without asking the rest of the world to share their grief and this is my view on the 96. I have often questioned why Liverpool seem far more silent when broached upon the Heysel 39, as if that somehow matters less. Lest we forget that despite everything Liverpool and its fans cost English football far more than 5 years of exile. We lost our credibility as a nation and will forever as Englishmen always be tainted with that hooligan culture and persona. No doubt for the Hillsborough victims every day is punishing enough without their loved ones, but perhaps just now it would be right for the grief to be kept a little more localised.

    These may be unpalatable views to some, but they’re honestly held. I’m rather tiring of the cultural and societal presures telling me what to think, what to feel and how I should express those throughts and feelings.

    In my view, all of the unseemly brouhaha we’re seeing now could have been avoided if the FA had just decided that this match was not appropriate for any sort of memorial, or maybe had sought alternatives such as centre-pitch floral tribute removed before the game. The kick off time, the ability to drink through the day, and the notorious rivalry between the fans was always spelling out the potential for the idiots to show such disrespect.

    I have no issue with being part of a hated football team, after all I’m quite grown up about it and used to it after the Mourinho years. But lets be hated because we’re winners. Because others are jealous. Because others made poor choices about their teams. But not because we’re a bunch of disrespectful, mealy mouthed, yobbish mugs.

  • buddha9

    Whether or not you agree about the boo-ing lets get something straight — there is no legal or statutory requirement for silence simply because the FA asks for it —
     its not written on the ticket and there istill is free speech in the UK so people can do what they like —

    these middle class moral agendas which the media arbitrary decide everyone has to agree with, get on my wick — i totally agree with alan davis on this one — LFC basically told the FA they wouldn’t play on sunday — what would happen if everyone said that? Who gave LFC the control over scheduling adn deciding what is morally what is right and wrong? Lots of people die and have died at football matches, its just nonsense —

    should they have boo-ed? Prob not but thats their perogative and if you don’t like it thats too f***king bad.

    As for the game it was great — contrary to what a lot of fans think i believe Chelsea been playing very controlled football for a while now under RDM — the media keep saying we were outplayed in the first half against Benfica, Napoli and spurs yet in all these games we were leading 1-0 at the break  — just shows they don’t grasp the style we’re playing —

    lovely to see a harmonious team where the older players who have carried the club for years are respected and allowed to give their all — but also we are building a new team, its right there before your eyes  — Luiz and rammy a couple of great players, big game players too — AVB talked inccessently about building a new team — in fact  it was there in front of his eyes and RDM has certainly done the simple things and created a new team which is looking better with every game.

    • mark_25

      there is no legal or statutory requirement for silence simply because the FA asks for it

      Fear not, it won’t be long until it is printed on your ticket, soon followed by CCTV in your living room to check your observance should you choose to watch at home.

      • buddha9

        spot on mark, it won’t be that long either.

    • bluebayou

      I agree there is no legal requirement to stay silent and nor should there be. I haven’t argued anywhere that the law should be involved in this at all. There are enough infringements on our rights as citizens (or are we subjects?) as it is. If people don’t have the decency to act in a civilized manner out of respect for the feelings of others, so be it.

      And yes it is too fucking bad and up with it I shall very much have to put. But I don’t feel like doing it quietly.

      I share your concerns about agendas and the growing appropriation of private grief for public purposes. I said as much in the piece.

      And if this is the start of a public protest against the sort of issues you have raised, then however ill-judged I shall follow it with interest. It will be enlightening to see how this protest is conducted the next time the FA decides that the deaths of a particular group of soldiers should be marked above others by a minute’s silence. The problem being that last time this happened at the Bridge some weeks back it all went wrong and people applauded. So they’ll need a strategy if that happens again. Large foam comedy hands perhaps.

      But I suspect that this was not some noble stand for the right to free speech. As is usual the majority will suffer greater intrusion and inconvenience as we have done in the past due to the inability of some people to excercise a little self control.

      If we can’t agree to a core set of social values by which to conduct ourselves then you open the door to ever greater state interference and regulation.

      I just happen to think it would be nice if the bar over which we are all prepared to battle increased regulation, repression, inconvenience and snooping should be set just a little higher. 

  • GrocerJack

    On the game……

    It could only have been bettered if all 5 goals had been flukes or controversial. The more unjust Spurs feel about it the better. Then they might just get close to knowing how it felt to be done by Liverpool on a ghost goal. Or to be Overebo’d out of a competition. We’ve had our share of the shit decisions, but as so Frank so eloquently stated…players don’t give goals refs do. On a scale of cheating I think Mata’s reaction, bearing in mind his viewpoint pales into insignificance when held up to the recent shenanigans of Ashley Young. In fact so much so that I’m happy to strike the ghost goal off and leave it at 4-1. There, how generous is that? And don’t give me any cobblers about ‘momentum’ being lost when we went 2-0 up. If anything the lacklustre Spurs took heart from the injustice and played better.

    And Harry? Really? You’d prefer 10 men and a penalty. What if you’d missed (Turnbull is a good stopper). Then what? What if we then did an Inter Milan and just sat back breaking the game up for the remainder knowing you couldn’t score? A spectacle for the fans? If that’s what you’d wanted then Gareth Chimphead Bale should have fluffed his chance.

    Overall that’s our best display this season in my view, easily outshining even the benfica away win. We look close to mour old Mournho-esque. We had pace (where did that come from…oh yeah trhe barnstorming Ramires, marvelllous Mata, rejuvenated Mikel Obi, Crazy David (wonderfully replaced by Cahill, a deeply impressive defender as good as JT was at his age) and yes, even Didier Drogba who rummaged through his wardrobe and finally found his old guise as a striking terrorist, putting fear and loathing into the hearts and minds of the opposition. Ramires goal was a delight that had it been Arsenal would have had press cocks twitiching the inside on their flies. Lampards, had it been Gerrard or Rooney would have been delivering copious amounts of pre-cum to the 4th estate genital area. And as for Drogba’s …..well had that been Van Persie, Cheating Pea or The Ventriloquist Dummy Suarez (seriously, look at his head, he’s made of wood) then the Kleenex Tummy Wipe van would have had to service the press box with copious emergency supplies.

    If we play like that in the RESCHEDULED UNTIL 17:15 FA CUP FINAL (WITH BUDWEISER)  then we’ll destroy Liverpool.

    And to Spurs. You really are a loathsome club, with loathsome fans (as many as us no doubt). You were spanked. Thrashed. Soundly beaten. Humiliated. Drubbed. Torn new arseholes (although you’ve so many our newly sculpted ones would be hard to see). Please stop bitching and jog on chaps.

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    A highly enjoyable afternoon – whilst there is much to debate, the simple but wonderful pleasure of pummelling Spurs into submission on national, prime time TV overrides all other considerations.  I’d like to thank the FA for their tinkering with the KO times, he said with tongue reasonably firmly in cheek.

    As to the proceedings / talking points; my four penneth from the top.

    Silence (interrupted). Didn’t think a silence was at all wise given the occasion / timing but if there is one, just observe it or stay on the concourse and don’t act like a mindless cunt.  Tribalism, rivalry and all other mitigation, excuse and conspiratorial raving counts for precisely jack shit – 96 people died at a football match, so show some damned respect.

    Mata’s goal.  It is neither his (nor JT’s) job to referee the game and point out that it might / might not have been a goal – we don’t like it when players wave imaginary cards, so let the ref make his decision, right or wrong and get on with it.  Goal line technology?  Meh – I’m a staunch advocate of it, and it will presumably happen some day, but while we don’t have it decisions like yesterday are part of the game, infuriating as it may be.  The greatest irony is the media shite storm whipped up desperately (started by ITV) ignores the fact that if the technology was there, 95% of the twats waving microphones and furiously filing copy and opinion would have jack shit to talk about.

    Performance.  Shabby first half improved greatly by one of Didier’s greatest ever strikes.  He deserves a statue at Wembley, preferably with the cowed, whimpering bodies of Senderos, Gallas and a few other hapless centre halves broken and twisted at his feet.  Legend.

    Mata ran the show.  Modric anonymous.  Parker myth – debunked.  Lots of graft, less craft and in true English fashion, didn’t have a clue how to handle the very large expanse of space that Mata roamed freely in.

    Frank’s goal – unstoppable, irrespective of ITV’s inane ramblings.  Mentions to Kalou, JT, Cahill, Mikel and Ramires.  Even Malouda managed to redeem his moment of crapness by scoring.

    And so to Wednesday…  I hope we haven’t used up our referee / decision based luck when we ultimately didn’t need it…

  • Marco_Chelsea

    I’m with those who wonder why the FA insists on having ceremonies for Hillsborough. If misfortunes like these are to be commemorated then why not have one for the Bradford Fire Disaster? Or Ibrox? Or Heysel? (bet you wouldn’t see many Liverpool fans keen on that one).  

    We should be used to the anti-Chelsea bias by now but it’s just laughable the way the media only want to report on Mata’s goal. They ignore the fact that we had 26 shots with 16 on target and scored 4 other excellent goals. Hard to choose between Lamps’ and Drogs’ for whose was the better strike but the quick passing that set up Ramires and Malouda was a joy to watch too.The fact was that Spurs were being shredded. Cudicini was their man of the match and without him it could have been seven. It was his last ditch save from Mata which conceded the corner, then he kept out JT’s header before Mata’s strike. Never understood why Carlo left us to become Friedel’s understudy. Thought his being fed up with that role was his reason for moving on?

    But Spurs were poor second half and I wish we could play Gallas and King every week. With those two in their back four Spurs will be lucky to get 5th place. Even ‘Arry concedes that defeat was down to their own mistakes, not the referee’s, but you won’t read much about that in the press.

  • petew

    Failure to manage a minute’s silence, no matter how pissed, is pathetic.

    But please can we have less of this ritualised folk grieving. There are LFC fans know who have nothing better to do than look out for players who weren’t wearing black armbands and then work themselves up into a state of righteous indignation about it. It’s got completely out of hand. There was a silence at Old Trafford for the Italian player that died. Why? It demeans the whole thing. Why bother about observing this silence when there will be another one along in a minute?

    Other points:
    Great performance.
    Amazing goals.
    Why on earth are we letting Drog go on a free and keeping Torres?
    Luiz is a bad miss for Barca.
    Mikel will be lucky not to get charged.
    Terry is our player of the year.
    Is that the first time Lampard has scored from a free kick?
    Was Modric playing?
    Bosingwa did a good job.
    How are we below Spurs in the league?
    Ramires is brilliant.
    Can Mata get any better?
    5-1!

    • mark_25

      Totally agree regarding the ritualised folk grieving.

      Mikel got booked so can he still be charged?  Anyhow it was nothing but a mild slap across the back of Parker’s legs and certainly no worse than I received from matron this morning.

      • Blue_MikeL

        He can’t be punished again it calls “double jeopardy” 

    • GrocerJack

      Drop the Torres baiting Pete, its tiring. He’s played well and made big contributions lately.  Drogba’s turned up a few times this season. Yes he was a monster yesterday but nhe’s been a fluncing ponce for large parts of the season. He’s a big time Billy. Good on the big days (Moscow aside) but anonymous and half hearted in other games. Shake his hand, let him go with thanks but perservering as you do is from sentiment not logic. As for your other points…..

      Great performance. Yes, marvellous, best this season
      Amazing goals.- yes, marvellous, best this season. Lit the place up
      Why on earth are we letting Drog go on a free and keeping Torres? As above :(
      Luiz is a bad miss for Barca. Yes, but Cahill is a good prospect and can tackle. He’ll only get better with us
      Mikel will be lucky not to get charged. Sadly yes, and he would be a huge miss with his superb turns of late
      Terry is our player of the year. No, Mata, Ramires and even ivan are in front there
      Is that the first time Lampard has scored from a free kick? For sucha long time, but its his best yet
      Was Modric playing? Yes, but didn’t want to upset his new team mates!
      Bosingwa did a good job. Yes but he’s lazy and still wont chase back
      How are we below Spurs in the league? Fuck knows
      Ramires is brilliant. My man of the match yesterday. he utterly terrorised Spurs.
      Can Mata get any better? Yes, in his second season much like Silva.
      5-1! Fan-bloody-tastic. Will live off that for a whiloe now. If we play like that versus Liverpool we’ll stuff them as well.

      • petew

        Not baiting, just genuinely think we are insane to let DD go for gratis leaving us to rely on Torres. Didier may only turn up on occasion, but he always does when in matters wheras Torres is yet to score a meaningful goal a big game against good opponents. That’s just a matter of fact, not opinion. Looking at DD yesterday, violating Gallas, it’s doubly daft.

        Torres may get better, but he’s no replacement for Drog, who any team in Europe would take for their squad.

        • bluebayou

          “…who any team in Europe would take for their squad.”

          I think that should read “in Europe and China” 

  • bluebayou

    My concern was that if Mikel was booked for engaging in “handbags” with Parker, can the kick on the legs be viewed as a separate incident which the referee may say he did not see and is therefore subject to further disciplinary action?.

    • Blue_MikeL

      I believe we would have had a statement from The FA already, if something like this was about to happen

      • bluebayou

        Well no news is good news then

  • buddha9

    Disagree with grocer jack re drogba but totally agree with him about Rammy — what a player what an engine — god saves us he’s chelsea player for life in my book — fabulous outlet when we’re defending and just goes all game — that last goal against benfica at home who was tearing up beside merieles, well its rammy, from brazil the total action man — awesome player 

  • limetreebower

    A wonderful piece of writing, Dr B, and one that deserves wider circulation. There are craploads of moral shabbiness surrounding the Hillsborough affair, on all sides, and few craploads bigger and shittier and stinkier than the ones which try and use the event as a staircase to some high ground from which the users can then absolve themselves and blame others: and in a few typically well-tuned paragraphs you’ve unpicked the whole ghastliness down to the bones.

    I can’t get excited about the “controversy” over the non-goal. Yes, we were lucky. Yes, we also won 5-1. 5-1!

    I’m more concerned about whether I want to go to the final. One suspects the atmosphere between us and the ‘Poo fans won’t be good. And if we finish outisde the top 4 (likely) it’ll feel a bit like a contest for the booby prize.

    On the other hand, it’s Wemberlee, and it would be rather startling to win something this season.

    Congratulations to the Yoof by the way. I’ll definitely get to the first leg of the final on Friday — looking forward to seeing some of those players in the flesh.

    • Blueboydave

      I suspect that if we lose that “contest for the booby prize” with the ‘Pool we may then earn that “trip round the arse-end of Europe” in mid-summer that JD was hoping to avoid earlier.

      The Scousers have already claimed a Europa League spot from winning the League Cup. 

      I had a quick look at the UEFA website on the tournament format. Before my eyes glazed over entirely I found a paragraph which says the domestic cup losers may qualify for the Europa League if the winners have qualified for CL from their league position. However, they will take the lowest ranked position for their country which gets that mid-summer start in endless qualifying rounds.

      I fear by analogy, we might also get that spot either this way or from finishing 6th in EPL.

      A good incentive if we need one to make sure we stuff the Scousers.

      Mind you if a few more teams become as dedicated as Wigan to keeping things interesting, who knows how the EPL final table may end up yet?

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

    Well, things are getting back to normal round these parts with a Monday night’s Pod (episode #9  – #10 when time permits).

    Hope you guys don’t all turn pro and demand some sort of registration rigmarole…

    The game was equally good.

    Don’t get all the fuss about the 2nd goal, it probably didn’t quite cross the line, but was pretty damned close, unlike the accuracy of all the stupid ITV commentators who couldn’t see what was fairly clear even before the still shots were released.

    Who gives a shit anyway? If it prepares us for Wednesday when we can expect the refereeing to be a bit less kind, then all to the good.

    Luiz still doubtful but sounds as though he shouldn’t be out for too long.

    Personally, I really don’t like these silence rituals which smack of Victorian values when the masses were treated like kids and instructed on how to behave in public.

    It’s interesting that other countries have got around the risk of real people doing real things, by loudly applauding for the minute, which is a smart way of lifting the moment and drowning out any non-participants. First saw this on Football Italia and it seemed a bit odd at first, but soon made lots of sense.
    I just don’t like that horrible, contrived silence which almost begs for someone to jump in and trash it, and it’s surprising that doesn’t happen more often.

    Back to the match. and we did look as though we’re preparing to have a really good crack at these next few games. Great to be scoring again, but equally good to be able to pass and hold onto the ball, for most of the 90.

    And would Cech have really got a straight red? Surely intent still counts for something, and he certainly went for the ball, so maybe pen and yellow.

    • Ryan

      If Cech had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity he’d have seen red. No doubt about it. Intended or not. A foul which denies a clear goalscoring opportunity will result in a straight red.

      • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

         
        So Gareth Bails us out!

        • Radicalevan

          Lovely.

          Perhaps everyone has read this already, but in case not:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/apr/16/ramires-chelsea-midfielder-energy

          I can’t help but think that players like Ramires and Luiz, who are positionally/tactically flexible, will be the absolute key to our team in coming years. 

          • petew

            A piece has been doing the rounds by a Chelsea blogger absolutely destroying our transfer policy, it’s got a load of praise but I think it has some key points very wrong. 

            For a start, it says there are no replacements for Lampard and Drogba – there are, they are Mata and Torres –  and it says there is no sensible policy surrounding our acquisitions. Again I think there are and have been saying for ages that the signings of Luiz, Ramires, Mata, Romeu and Torres let us play in a very different style to what went on before.

            Add to that Josh and De Bruyne and you can see a different sort of footballer – one much more confident on the ball, more mobile and more flexible – is being brought in.The key thing here, of course, is that much of this relies on Torres – which is why we probably need to dig deep and bring in a new striker this summer as our big signing, or start praying he finally comes good. 

          • Radicalevan

            I think I read that piece and I sort of hated it. If it ended with some sort of devil’s bargain with Chelsea management/Roman, I certainly did…

            To be fair, those acquisitions you mentioned are rather… recent, and Drogba, Lampard, etc. have been on the decline for a while. I think Fergie first mentioned our age as deciding factor three years ago? Yes, we have won things during that time, but it gives an interesting indication between when HE our players getting old vs. when OUR management started doing something about it.

            And you’re right; all of those players are different- they have technical ability. It’s a welcome change, something I think Emenalo had a great deal to do with, which speaks to Kaiser’s point.

            I singled out Luiz and Ramires for the simple reason that to my eye, at least, they were brought in with little fanfare and have turned into uniquely gifted players at their positions. Who brings the ball out of defence better than Luiz? Who impacts the whole right side of the field for 90 minutes more than Ramires? 

          • petew

            yes, think we’ve clearly left it a little late, making the last couple of seasons a little, er, edgy, but I think the problem has been recognised and attempts are being made to do something about it. 

            I think also Fergie was plain wrong. He said not that the players were too old, but they were too old to adapt, and Carlo’s first season shows how wrong he was – the changed between JM football and Hiddink/Carlo football took a lot of people by surprise. The problem, as has been stated many, many times, was us not building on that. But it’s true that they could only develop within a counter-attacking framework, and it takes new players to change style completely, presumably to a more possession-based game – this is why Mata will turn out to be the most important player we have bought for years. Interesting how comfortable Lampard has been so far in playing a deeper role to accommodate Mata, incidentally…

            The DoF role is vital at Chelsea. For me, I reserve judgement on Emenalo simply because I know nothing about him, but his signings are astute and suggest some broader policy is at hand. He needs a much higher public profile though. What does he do, what is he trying to achieve, where are we heading, what is the relationship between him and the coach and the board – these questions really need to be answered if the fans are to have faith in the DoF policy, which if successful makes the role of the coach much less important. If I was a PR man, I’d be suggesting he does a long, thoughtful exclusive interview in a big paper to get his views across. Unless he really is that bad, he can’t ever be seen in public..

          • bluebayou

            Do you think you could drag yourself away from writing about rather seedy and risque Victorian pornographers for long enough?

            It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

  • Ososdeoro

    Such a relief to get this blog again, as our filters have been blocking it for sex. Yes, it is true.

    Excellent write-up, excellent game…just the thing that was needed in advance of Wednesday. I’ll be taking the day off and enjoying the semis over lunch with an old college friend who is a Barca fan (not the plastic kind like me, he actually was an exchange student there and went to games in high school). All the pressure will be on Barca so for awhile at least my friend will have to be nervous and I will just enjoy.

    It is looking more and more likely that I will be able to attend my first Chelsea match on July 18 at Safeco Field in Seattle. Can we even imagine what the team will look like then? Will there still be the wholesale changes allegedly promised by Roman back when AVB was fired? Will Robbie still be manager? I’m very excited about the big changes we’ll see over the next few years, but on the other hand I’d even more strongly prefer my initial viewing experience to include the seniors on the team. I’m reminded of the first time I saw Fleetwood Mac, almost near the end…..while the reviewers and many fans were begging for something new, I actually wanted to see Stevie playing her concertina and twirling around in her shawl a few times. Fortunately I was treated to that!

    Anyway, looking very much forward thereto.

  • Harry

    Media
    spin and Chelsea bashing are as usual the flavor of day!? Referee, Mr. Atkinson on
    the day, got both decisions right. Atkinson made his decisions in a split
    second and the way he was positioned to see each incident. For those member of
    media that the penny is yet to drop, There is a photo clearly showing ball is
    about to cross over the line. Skeptics are saying the whole of ball should cross
    the line. What those skeptics conveniently forget is that the ball is still in motion
    and the ball barely a second later crosses over the line, “law of physics”.

    Check it
    out:http://p.twimg.com/AqjDlIJCAAA8UI8.jpg:large

    Check it
    out:http://p.twimg.com/AqjDlIJCAAA8UI8.jpg:large

  • Musumba

    First class ”cheating” principles should be applied during our match against Barcelona to ensure we finish them off in the first leg, its what we call home advantage.we all know what to expect after the first leg at nou camp,no ounce of fairness will be witnessed starting from the ref, plattini, the divers, dubious reds and penalties . The beautiful  game is today surrounded hypocrites and  i suggest Di matteo really “FIXES” this outcome beyond salvage.

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    As long as whoever ends up in the hot seat is given a bit of time to introduce the new breed (and there definitely is a transfer policy), we should be OK.  The continual slating that Emenalo gets is slightly bemusing – it’s quite evident from the number of changes to the manager we’ve had over the last few years that Roman doesn’t suffer fools gladly, so the guy must be doing something right to have hung around all this time.

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    The primary problem folk seem to have is that Emenalo is that he has only coached a women’s team before now.

    By that thinking, they’d have said “bugger off, shoe salesman – what do you know?” to Arrigo Sacchi.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Emenalo played college Soccer in the United States at Boston University from 1986 to 1989. From there, he played forMolenbeek in Belgium, Eintracht Trier in Germany and Notts County F.C in England before coming back to the US. Emenalo was part of the original allocated players for Major League Soccer and spent two seasons (1996-97) with the San Jose Clash. After that, he played with Lleida in Spain and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
      Emenalo won 14 caps for Nigeria and played in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, missing the first game through injury but then played against Argentina and Greece before Nigeria were knocked out byItaly.
      He joined Chelsea when former manager Avram Grant was in charge in 2007. After the departure of Ray Wilkins, Emenalo was promoted from his position as chief scout to assistant first team coach on 18 November 2010.[1] On 8 July 2011, Chelsea appointed Emenalo Technical Director.[2] His responsibilities include heading the scouting and academy programs.
      ====================================================================
      Look who hired him :)  

  • Moffat

    These are good times. :)

  • bluebayou

    Emenalo was in the Clash?

    That’s good enough for me.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Not only in Clash he was one of the Maccabees as well! The guy is the real rebel!

  • mark_25

    Such a relief to get this blog again.  My filters were blocking it for lack of sex but I’ve managed to bypass the protection.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Does it mean that you impregnated the blog? By bypassing protection.

  • Blueboydave

    I think PeteW hit the nail on the head about Emenalo [that is not another sexual reference, incidentally] : why does he maintain such a Roman-like silence if he is so brilliant?

    Surely he couldn’t be worse than listening to Buck and Gourlay utter their management-speak bollocks all the time.

    On the other hand, when he was shoe-horned onto the match-day bench to fill that embarrassing space left by Uncle Ray’s abrupt sacking I recall Carlo’s response in an early press conference afterwards. A man skilled at remaining poker-faced [apart from his eyebrow] struggled to prevent the contempt being apparent in his face and voice as he pointed out that Emenalo would not be involved in team matters as he had no coaching badges.

    JD, for every Arrigo Sacchi, surely there are a dozen plonkers with unlikely backgrounds looking to bullshit their way in pro football?

    Isn’t the rumour that Emenalo survives because he’s Roman’s “spy in the dressing room”, allegedly?

    • Radicalevan

      I’ve lived in America long enough not to care what school he went to, so to speak. I don’t care what he hasn’t done or said, I don’t care about his pedigree.

      Under his influence (DoF or otherwise), we’ve signed (in no particular order) Torres, Mata, Romeu, Luiz, Lukaku, De Bruyne, Courtois, etc. Bertrand has started making appearances in the first team. Lampard has even successfully started transitioning to a deep-lying playmaker type player, against his earlier wishes, I might add.

      I don’t care which of the above actually are in credit to Emenalo, I just care that, so far, they are moves in a good direction. 

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  • NorthernVA

    Just a couple of quick points. First off BB great report. Secondly, hats off to Robbie he is 90 minutes away from equaling the trophy haul of the man destined to become the next England manager. And lastly is there a more despicable cretin in world football than Dani Alves. He was able to once again work his magic with his most recent comments and completely validate my long standing disgust. I hope he is made to eat those words just like his potential teammate Gareth “a little too big for my britches” Bale.

  • http://primaryaccount.blogspot.com/ WorkingClassPost

    Got a fairly busy schedule today, which should keep me well occupied until this evening.

    And there’s simply no truth to the rumour that Barca are having their last training session at the local lido.

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