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AVB is the Reason We Won the Champions League

The Flying Saucer

On this blog there have been detractors of the Champions League competition but personally I’ve never been as affected and distracted by supporting Chelsea as I have since Wednesday 18th April 2012, Barcelona at home, right through to today. I’ve watched re-runs of the final endless times to the point that there must now be a groove cut into the relevant sectors of the hard disk in my Sky+ box. Even today the penalty shoot-out brings out the goose bumps as I panic that Drogba should take a longer run up and he might miss. And on YouTube I’ve seen countless videos from fans in the stadium, bars and, in the case of Omid Djalili, dressing room where for just a few seconds all Chelsea fans shared the same emotions of fear, uncertainty and doubt shortly followed by elation.

2011/12 may go down as the most memorable season in my lifetime and, now that the dust is settling, I’m trying to interpret our season of two halves and what caused the dramatic turnaround. My startling conclusion is that Andre Villas-Boas deserves the credit for us winning the Champions League.

In the latter half of season 2010/11 our old guard quartet were beginning to feel their age as our trophyless season petered out to the ultimate dismissal of Carlo. There were factions and cliques, the French foreign legion, the Brazilians, the kids, Torres and the Mourinho old guard. We weren’t a team.

Clearly it was time for a metamorphosis from the old spine to a new team of young, exciting players in the mould of Barcelona and so the term ‘transition’ entered our everyday vocabulary.

Herald the arrival of Andre Villas-Boas, one of a new breed of educated, articulate and professionally trained managers who developed their skills and strategies by osmosis, working shoulder to shoulder with footballing heavyweights, unlike the old school managers that had earned their stripes by playing the game.

Our gladiators were fed a diet of either sitting on the sidelines or being asked to play in a different style, pressing high up the pitch in the Iberian tiki-taka style of short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession.

Sometimes it worked and we played exciting stuff, such as Manchester United away, but our new style left massive openings at the back that resulted in the opposition driving their coach and horses straight through us so we conceded more than we scored.

AVB was not able to get the existing squad to adapt to his new style. Either they weren’t listening or simply not capable. AVB scanned every page of his coaching manuals to find possible solutions for motivating the squad. He implemented a carrot and stick approach; the carrot being the promise of providing an emotional stimulus and the stick the banishing of rebels from the first team car park.

Ronald Reagan once remarked during a discussion with Mikhail Gorbachev, “How easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet outside in the universe. We’d forget all the little local differences that we have between our countries …”

There have been many instances when deadly adversaries, at one another’s throats for generations, put their differences aside to confront a still more urgent threat: the Greek city states against the Persians; the Russians and the Polovtsys against the Mongols and the Americans and the Soviets against the Nazis.

And so it was with our factions. Gladiators such as Lampard, Terry and Drogba could see their reputations and legacy being destroyed by the AVB regime as the media and Chelsea fans all wrote them off as has-beens. Time to put personal differences to one side. AVB had tried desperately to unite the team by getting them to believe in a common ideal but it’s generally accepted that group unity is forged stronger by shared negative attitudes. A common enemy!

So our Champions League triumph has nothing to do with the heavens, being written in the stars, destiny nor a blue angel sitting on the crossbar. Our triumph is due to Andre, who so desperately wanted to build team spirit and unwittingly succeeded by causing such anger and frustration that our players united to play with an unprecedented determination and spirit that overcame age, injury, suspension, tika-taka and finally the Germans.

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  • Patuyishipping2004@yahoo.com

    I like it when people that know football truth like you write. You have said it all. And the talk on giving RMD the glory should stop.I hope Chelsea fans are reading this. This man RDM should not be given the Chelsea coaching job.

  • TylerDurden

    Like your post but it’s doing RDM a whole lot of injustice. I think he put the belief into the players that they can go and beat anyone on their day. Shared hatred of AVB would’ve only gotten us so far but it’s RDM that pushed them to take the extra step and win it!

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

    Spooky stuff this.

    Doing a laptop update and reading this while watching one of those docudramas on the D-day landings, very appropriate.

    The adverts have just included a new one with DHL and Manu – obviously part of some sponsorship deal. There was no specific mention of it, but, by highlighting their connection with the red mancs, one must assume that DHL have now added 2nd Class Post to their portfolio.

  • Lukas_maximus2010

    Okay what a load of you know what. We was 3-1 down in the champions league. Di Matteo joins and we won the 2nd leg 4-1 to go 5-4 up and onto the next stage. Villas boas struggled with a good set up to beat QPR we lost 1-0. RDM was 6-1. Boas wasn’t showing the team and Torres the affection that we needed. We would score a goal and Boas’ face wouldn’t even move! So don’t bother writing about that guy. N Power teams would turn him down.

    • Leon

      Agreed. I think RDM should be credited but not AVB. In fact, he is the man who lead this team to eliminate Barcelona. As we know, Chelsea vs Barcelona,the strongest club in the world and Chelsea won. It obviously RDM, not AVB.

  • Ososdeoro

    It’s a perfectly valid theory. At my alma mater we’d had quite the mediocre baseball program for years (intercollegiate sports programs can range from 15-27 individual sports teams per campus, btw, but all are considered minor and money losers other than American football and men’s basketball – still, baseball’s final tournament still makes it onto ESPN at the end of the year). Then near the start of the 2011 season the university’s athletic director announced that 5 programs would be cut due to fiscal issues, including said baseball team. Naturally there was a hue and a cry, as the team rallied from a so-so season to end up ranked sixth in the nation, and many influential alumni rallied around to donate money to the team and to vilify the chancellor and athletic director. Enough money was raised to save the team, and the AD relented and said that the team could continue on. Enter the 2012 season, where the team, with basically the same personnel, could not even make the playoffs.

    Most coaches are good motivators (AVB possibly an exception), so all else being equal it often takes a special shared experience, whether negative or positive, to get a set of average players to perform well above their normal level.

    That could well be the case with AVB and RDM. But of course the theory is not universally true. Clearly the hesitancy by the team in naming RDM is based on this fear. On the other hand, RDM seems will grilled in tactics, is apparently a very good communicator, and has done well as a manager in the past under ordinary circumstances. Not sure why he can’t be given a year, especially if Pep is waiting in the wings.

  • limetreebower

    Ermmm … is that lump I’m seeing in Mark’s cheek his tongue, or is that only me?

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

      LTB. 

      Would you care to re-phrase that last comment?

  • TrueBlue007

    Personally I think there is only one man that can bring back “fortress bridge” and strike fear into opposing teams. 

    That man is the Jose Mourinho. I would swap Hazard, Torres, Ramires and Terry to bring him back to the Bridge. We are apparently gonna spend 38 mill on Hulk, with that money we could buy out Jose’s contract at Real. 

    The worst thing that could happen is Jose going to one of the Manchester Teams. 

    Seriously … why mess about? Roman … please bring back Jose, give him whatever he wants and just sit back and let him dominate the EPL and Champs League. RDM, Redknapp, Hughes, Moyes … none of these guys are in his league. As for Pep, well I think he is just going to be AVB all over again. The EPL and our team are not tika taka friendly … unless you have 11 gifted players like Xavi, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi, etc. 

    Barca has no plan B, hence why our defensive formation got the best of them. Playing the likes of Wigan, Blackburn etc means we need to play long balls and direct approaches while also being able to change strategy when playing liverpool or Arsenal. 

    Bring Back the Special One … the best signing we can make!!  

  • TrueBlue007

    And what about a thread talking about possible formations and player line ups for next season? 

    It is getting a bit mouth watering after all … 

  • Blue_MikeL
  • NorthernVA

    Vote for the Drog 2012. Ability…yep…character…in abundance.

    http://goldenfoot.com/ 

  • Fat Nakago

    Mark….your clarity has never been more translucent.

    This entire season has been all part of The AVB Project all along. Albeit AVB’s Plan B, if you will.

    Since the direct, surgical approach wasn’t in the cards, hatred was the best available tactic. AVB’s cunning plan worked to perfection.

    Unify the team again him. CHECK!

    Drive team to the brink of elimination at Napoli putting immense pressure on the Old Guard to claw themselves out of the vale of shame. CHECK!

    Get fired….but not before giving RDM secret instructions to implement the rest of his plan. CHECK!

    Pout and cry as though being fired hurt his feelings, to disguise the fact that this was all part of the plan. CHECK!

    Following AVB’s secret instructions to the letter, RDM guides our Blues to FA Cup and Champions League titles. CHECK!!

    Fulfilling Roman’s desire for Champions League hardware while saving the face of the Old Guard so that they can now be comfortably shuffled off with their legacy intact. CHECK!!

    Fernando Torres took a BIG one for the team and now will be the cornerstone of the REAL AVB Project. CHECK!!

    Eden Hazard signed. CHECK!!

    Hulk signed. CHECK!!

    The AVB Project finally falling into place.  CHECK!!

    Guess who will be the new coach at Chelsea next season? CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK!!

    Rack me, I’m out.

  • NorthernVA

    AVB got bitch smacked by Alex McLeish. The only thing I can thank him for is my ulcer during December and January. 

    Hopefully we all learned a lesson from the AVB project. To hell with Europa League. See attached screen saver.

  • mark_25

    Post Munich the number of posts completed has been in decline so to keep this blog project moving forward it was important for me to find the necessary emotional stimulus to illicit some response.  There’s been a mixed bag of comments but hats off to WorkingClassPost (how working class is it to be updating your laptop?) who is a man after my own heart conjuring up a knob joke at every opportunity.

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

      Yep, guess we both like to slip one in when the occasion arises (the working class bit is not paying someone else to do the upgrade for me).

      Also, I’m surprised to discover that it wasn’t my old Chelsea scarf that won the CL. 

      Started wearing it when we had that cold snap around the first Barca game, and decided to wear it everyday thereafter, just in case, but it seems that there were other factors in the eventual capture of old Big Ears.

  • John D

    Mark is worried about Drogs missing his penalty when watching replays of the shoot-out, but I get the shivers about the Bayern player in the 88th minute desperately racing to put the ball out for a throw-in rather than concede a corner. In a parallel universe, he makes it…

    We could play the 3-game sequence of the semis and final 100 more times, and not win the Champions League in any of them. Woodwork, penalty saves, crap finishing (by our opponents), injury-time goals, 10 v 11, etc etc. I’m still floating on air because we’re Kings of Europe (please note royal reference here, although I’m a republican).

    As for AVB, I thought he was bold early in the season and there were some great performances (and how could you legislate for the Torres miss at Old Trafford or JTs slip v Arsenal?), but when AVB couldn’t explain how we were outplayed and outfought by Everton and WBA then that was that. And, no, we wouldn’t  be Champions of Europe now if he was still our manager.

    I said on an earlier (pre-CL and FA Cup wins) post that we should do a ‘Dave Webb’ to RDM – say Thank You for lifting out of a desperately bad situation but Goodbye. I now think he deserves at least another year as manager (I’d hesitate to give him longer, due to the cost of paying off his contract when he’s sacked. Have we finished paying off Avram Grant’s 5 year contract yet? The one he signed 6 months before he was sacked??).

    By the way, we’ve got a tradition to maintain of sacking our FA Cup winning managers the season after they won it (apart from Dave Sexton). This is true if you count Carlo being sacked an hour after the end-of-season game at Everton in this. And Guus couldn’t hang around long enough to get the sack.

  • Blueboydave

    Let’s face reality, we are the team that sacks managers, though I don’t think we’ve caught up with QPR yet in  numbers, clearly ours were superior in quality.

    I like the idea of Derren Brown suddenly popping up with a sealed, date-stamped envelope with AVB at his side to prove it was his Plan B all along, as he signs a new 5-year contract to return.

    He’d still get sacked again when we lose 2 games in a row of course ;-)

  • Armchair fan

    Personally I think the real reason we won the Champions League was that Butterfly flapping its wings!

  • Cunningplan

    Saw that there was a new posting, and having read it and all the following comments.
    I think it’s disingenuous for anyone to try and explain our win down to tactics, managers, players luck etc etc… when it was clearly down to me, and my exhaustive “B” omen research which clearly was correct and worked.
    I feel so annoyed about it, that I’ve written a strongly worded letter to Messrs Gourlay/Buck to ask if I could also don a Chelsea kit and have numerous pictures of me lifting old big ears!

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    Everyone knows it was the Podding Shed wot won it.  And Didier.

  • limetreebower

    Also, my lucky T-shirt (which won the ’05 and 06′ league titles for us, and a couple of the FA Cups, can’t now remember which ones, there have been so many.)

    T-shirt has now finally been retired, incidentally. I think its work is done.

  • Blue_MikeL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18344557
    Clarke has left Liverpool. I personally would be happy to see him coming back to Chelsea.  

    • GrocerJack

      I think WBA is the most likely option for Steve Clarke. 

      • mark_25

         He’ll fail.  He’s a Number 2.

        • Blueboydave

          Who is No. 1? [barked in uncanny Patrick McGoohan impression].

          According to the Daily Wail those “unspecified sources” at Stamford Bridge say it could still be RDM after Roman gives up on his Guardiola obsession.

          But when he loses 2 games in a row …

          As for Battersea Power Station, how many years before this Malaysian buyer joins  the long list of failed projects for the site?

      • Blue_MikeL

        Probably yes, it is time for him to become number 1

  • mark_25

    Battersea Power Station sale: Malaysian company beats Chelsea bid

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18352786

    Back to Earls Court then …

    • Blue_MikeL

      really shame :-( I already built it in my mind and prepared to watch the games. 

      • Radicalevan

        I had as well. In my mind, it was the most iconic/best stadium in England and certainly on par with Allianz/Bilbao. 

        It would not surprise me, however, if interest was renewed in 18-24 months time due the Malaysian group stagnating on construction.

        • Blue_MikeL

          In two years time we could have been near the end of the process :-( 

  • NorthernVA

    Chelsea’s victory over Bayern from the perspective of who I initially thought were Leeds supporters but the comment section pinned them down as Spurs. Most of the videos we have watched have primarily analysed the thrill of victory aspect of the penalties however this one gives us a bit more insight into the agony of defeat. The chap at 2:47 and the fella speaking off camera at roughly 3:03 bring me great joy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZjHDZYh6Lg&feature=related 

  • Petew

    There’s actually a certain amount of truth in this, joking or otherwise. If we’d had a decent manager in August-March, we’d probably be in the top three of the league, fighting the Manchester clubs for the title. If that was the case, we’d never have won the CL because our squad simply wouldn’t have been up to it – we weren’t strong enough to compete for both competitions. So, yes, AVB was partly responsible by leaving us – for the first time in a long time – with only a single pot to piss in. And we pissed in it BRILLIANTLY.

    • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

      It’s sort of Rafa / Liverpool syndrome; they did so well in the CL as they had precisely squat all else to concentrate on after February.

      • Blue_MikeL

        we still had FA Cup in addition to CL

  • limetreebower

    Nice to see Big Pete having a good relaxing holiday. Enjoy your downtime big fella, you’ve earned it.

  • Biggs
  • mark_25

    I shouldn’t care less but watching Torres for Spain is making me cringe. Better up the offer for Hulk and if we can’t get him go for Grant Holt.

  • http://twitter.com/Benjami7 Benjami

    Shocker by Torres today ;/

    Can’t see Hulk being that good as a CF or worth the money being talked about. Much rather see us go for Modric, or even go in for RVP, offer him Drogba’s wages and the change of actually winning something.

    • Ryan

      RVP was worse for Holland against Denmark than Torres was today. Thought ‘Nando was alright. Nothing like as bad as some cunty pundits want to make out. If he’d started Spain would’ve won the game. Balotelli fucked a huge chance. Nothing. Torres came off the bench and looked dangerous. We’re treated to another tirade of bashing by that silly, fat fucker from the One Show.

      I’m not convinced he’s what we really need next season and I’d swap the bugger for Falcao in a heartbeat. But that doesn’t mean he had a nightmare tonight. Was he going to come off the bench and score a hat-trick in 20 minutes? Not likely. Is he any worse than say Gomez? Not particularly. If he starts the next game with David Silva in behind, chances are he’ll do alright and Spain’ll probably look a hell of a lot better than they did in today’s 4-6-0 formation.

      Liked Maggio at RWB for Italy. Good alternative to Branners if we could get him. But really want to see us get Modric for £35million next season. I can live with Torres next year, it’ll give Studge a chance through the middle as well, which is obviously what he wants/needs.

      • NorthernVA

        Agreed with you on Maggio. We were aided in overturning that Napoli tie after Maggio had first half collision with Drogba in which he understandably came out the worse for wear. The few times I have seen him play I always come away impressed. 

        Not sure if Torres would have started the Italians would have won. Doesn’t give the Italians enough credit. I never thought I would find myself rooting for an Italian team. However, the presence of Fabregas gave me no choice. Probably not a footballer on the planet I detest more.

        • mark_25

          Seconded.  I can’t stand Fabregas so supported Italy.  Had mixed feelings when Torres came on because I want to see him perform well.

          Shame about the Irish boys who looked a bit out of their depth.  It’s down to us (English boys) now, provided we can tame Malouda.

  • http://twitter.com/Benjami7 Benjami

    I am worried about Torres for next season. If Hazard plays the season of his life Torres will still be a liability in the side, people can talk all they want about assists etc but Torres lack of control and his first touch these days is laughable.

    When he tries to go past a man he just loses control and is tackled, great Fernando you are chasing back, but why did you lose it in the first place?

    Some of his passing in today’s game was uck ;/

    We can spend all the money in the world on Modric/Hazard but we lack a centre forward now that Drogba/Anelka have gone.

    (Come on how many of you would swap an Anelka in his prime for Torres right now? I know that comparison doesn’t work but try to think objectively about it, Torres is pants at the moment!)

    I don’t see Studge becoming the CF we want him to become, he isn’t a good enough goalscorer to play upfront and he isn’t a good enough crosser of the ball to be a winger. Jack of all trades (well cutting inside and shooting on his left foot :P) master of none. He should pick a role and specialize now, even if that involves leaving the club.

    Lets just play Islam Feruz up front instead and see what happens :/ Save money and hes better than Torres

    • Ryan

      As I say if I were Emenalo I’d be thinking of a diplomatic way to tell Roman to offer Torres to Atletico in a player plus cash deal for Radamel Falcao. I’d then have a go at gazumping Arsenal’s (reported) bid for Olivier Giroud (£15million could do it) as a back up. Montpellier have said they’d be interested in taking Lukaku on loan so that’d be win win.

      Anyway I’m no great admirer of Torres, my point was that Spain looked 100% better after he came on and if his chip goes in you have a completely different set of headlines. I just think that comments like “let’s not talk about Torres again now until he misses another hatful of chances” just shows how much Adrian Durham (and the like) dislikes Chelsea and wasn’t exactly a fair summation of his 18 minute performance last night.

      Similar thing occurred when we bought Cahill. When Utd, Spurs and Arsenal were in for him he was a bargain, an outstanding English talent, proven at international level. As soon as he got to Chelsea apparently he “wasn’t world-class and hadn’t proven himself in the CL” (Robbie Savage- if I remember correctly). I’ve got absolutely zero respect for Savage/Durham/Hansen/Lineker etc. etc. Fernando Torres has his World Cup winners medal, his European Champions medal and his CL winners medal. Lineker has his crisp adverts and Savage has his ballroom dancing.

      I’m not sure why so many are willing to get rid of Studge so quickly. Apparently the winners of last years PL would be happy to have him. Has anyone seen him play as an out and out striker recently? Is there some underlying reason that we aren’t prepared to give him a chance? He’s 22 years old, he’s English, he could have a great future, he scored more prolifically in the first half of the season than either Torres or Drogba despite playing out of position and we can’t wait to sell him? What message does that send to, say, Romelu Lukaku? Go out on loan-score loads of goals, come back-get in the first team, score more goals-get sold for no apparent reason without ever playing in your actual position.

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

        Agree about Torres. 
        Before he came on Spain hardly created any good chances and only scored when Italy lost concentration straight after their goal. Then within a few minutes of FT’s arrival they have two crackers and if he’d converted either, the media would be going shit-faced in the other direction.

        One thing caught my attention, was when he looked up after missing those chances. 

        The commentator implied it was a desperate look to the heavens, but I thought he was looking at one of those big screens they have inside the ground (they did have one?). Was he looking for a replay trying to see where he went wrong, perhaps? Shows both mental anguish, but also his presence of mind.

        He seems quicker and sharper with every game, but that mental block or hesitation or whatever gets to him, will take some conquering. Hope he sorts it out.

        As for Danny, at this level he needs to do more than ‘just’ score goals. It’s bad enough missing his own chances, which all strikers do, but when he’s costing us opportunities by not passing, he’s a liability in tight games, but when we’re dominating teams who park up in defence, then his selfish, must get on the score sheet approach could be just what we need, but that’s a selection issue.

        And Flabbyarse is one horrible prat.

        Also surprised at the anti-Italy sentiments.

        They played superbly and if they hadn’t concede so quickly after theirs, they would probably have gone on to a deserved win, but the commentary was bizarre. I can’t remember all the derogatory quips, but stuff like this was a one off and they still won’t be able to compete with ‘the big boys’. 

        What were they on about? Italy have won four World Cups, the last was only six years ago. Although their club/country form hasn’t sparkled of late, would you expect to hear Brazil or Argentina spoken of as no hoper’s and second rate? And why all the luveydutch, luveygerman talk, have they been so much better recently?

        At least we’re now being spared the usual golden age of Portuguese Football claptrap, although, they may still be worth a cheeky tenner at 28/1.

        • Ryan

          Yeah. One of the primary functions of international football being to display the utter ignorance of our pundits. Far too much time to fill and too little of anything sensible to say.

          I didn’t think the Torres one-on-one was a particularly great chance. The through ball needed a bit more weight on it to help him get away from the defenders. Also Buffon is quality, read it early and had the presence of mind to realise that Torres had to try to go to that side because of the covering players. Did well to stay on his feet too.

          As you say Italy were thoroughly good value for their draw and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go deep into the tournament. It’s in their DNA to over-perform at major tournaments. Same as Germany.

  • Musumba

    Ei Torres! am seriously banking on you to score 20+. 

  • mark_25

    How much would it cost to get Schevchenko?

    • Ryan

      I thought he was only out on loan anyway? No?

    • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

      I automatically assumed we were still paying his wages.  Great goals, fair play to the man – good way to start your final tournament in front of your own fans.

  • limetreebower

    Big Pete still chilling out in holiday mode I see. He’ll be nice and refreshed for the new season.

  • Blue_MikeL

    Congratulations my fellow Chelsea supporters with the new (old) manager Roberto Di Matteo, who signed two years contract.  

    http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2810782,00.html 

  • bluebayou

    Very happy that Robbie has been appointed. He has a big job to do. The “transition”, “rebuild”, call it what you like, is still in its infancy.

    There are new players to integrate, the old stagers, who wouldn’t be human if they didn’t mentally ease off after getting the big daddy of ‘em all, need to be encouraged up that hill again and all this while trying to get into the top four as a minimum. And he himself is still learning the management game.

    Interesting times ahead. There will be an enormous fund of goodwill to trade on and I just hope that we can be patient and supportive through the rocky patches, which are inevitable.

    There is a part of me that remembers how quickly Carlo’s double was forgotten when the injuries piled up and the results went South. And who amongst us doesn’t dread the late autumnal leak from “sources” within the club that there are “doubts” or “issues”.

    Not to mention the usual suspects in the fifth estate who will dust down their Pep and Jose stories long before the season starts. There isn’t a central London estate agent that isn’t aware what fun can be had by casually mentioning that a high profile manager is looking at property in London.

    Thankfully none of that will be a surprise to RDM and I’m sure he knows what shark infested waters he is swimming in. He’s had a great start and I’m hoping he can build on it.

    Oh and they’d better be keeping “steady” Eddie on board too.

    • NorthernVA

      Once more I stand in applause. I’ve learned to wait until the true social conscious of the blog speaks. I can;t agree more with your sentiments. 

      I can’t help but feel that all the karmic forces that were against us with the tactless sacking of Carlo may now be on our side  Robbie’s hiring. The board have given meaning to the term meritocracy. 

      Please give him time and all of our support. He has the unenviable task of being the first Chelsea manager to be asked to win the era of “Post Drog.” Best of luck to RDM, Eddie, and Steve Holland! Please Fernando, Please!!! 

  • NorthernVA

    Robbie’s hiring should also be brilliant news for all Chelsea youth. The fact that he placed faith in Ryan Bertrand in potentially the biggest game of the history of Chelsea Football Club speaks volumes.

  • Biggs

    so, the “defensive” chelsea had a 4th goal scored and 4th shots on target average in the CL last year.
    http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/statistics/round=2000263/clubs/type=goalsscored/index.html
    the journos are a bunch of asses.

  • mark_25

    Well I’m delighted Robbie has the job since he’s one of us and has surely set the record for over achievement during a probationary period.

    Clearly our new fulltime manager has a lot to live up to compared to the previous interim manager.  Normally these are two different individuals but Robbie is one and the same and he has set our expectations high.  I’m still having flashbacks to Munich and it’s going to take a lot to surpass that day, Barcelona away and thrashing Spurs at Wembley.

    After losing to Napoli away 1-3 we were in retreat.  Robbie took charge and successfully rescued us from the beaches intact, treated our wounds, rebuilt morale and organised the troops into a fighting unit enabling us to invade Europe and ultimately lay siege on Munich.  Winston Churchill was a great leader in the heat of the battle but not so great in the longer term planning for rebuilding afterwards.  I genuinely hope that Robbie works out but just like all before him he’ll be getting stick from Roman and the fans if he doesn’t quickly build on the last 4 months.

    On another note watching the Germans beat Holland last night it struck me that Bayern Munich and Germany are one and the same based on the number of common players.  This makes our Champions League win all the more impressive since we effectively defeated a major national team.  If Germany go on to win the Euros, and because we beat Germany, this will truly cement our position as the Euro Champions.

    And finally does anyone still regret Robben is no longer with us?  Bit of a one trick pony, cutting inside and flashing the ball over the bar.  As Mark Lawrenson  of the Beeb pointed out Together Everyone Achieves More and Robben isn’t a team player.

    • NorthernVA

      Robben makes Daniel Sturridge look like the bastard love child of John Stockton and Mother Teresa.

  • Blueboydave

    Definitely congrats to RDM for getting what passes for the “permanent” job with us.

    Did anyone else have a sinking feeling last night when perusing the list of football headlines and reached the ‘Arry Leaves Spuds” one first and feared for just a moment Roman had done something very silly indeed….

  • Blue_MikeL

    Uncle Harry has been sacked by Spurs and now they will be looking for another manager. Is there anybody else, apart from me, who thinks that it might be AVB?

    • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

      Be amusing if it was, but I think his reputation is probably a bit too tainted in England right now. Wasn’t there some talk of him going to a Brazilian club recently?

      Imagine Spurs will want someone with Premiership experience as they really need to build on this season.

      • Blue_MikeL

        AVB’s reputation is can be interpreted in many ways. Some might say that reputation of Lampard and Ko is tainted and AVB was the only one who tried to change things in Chelsea since TSO. (I would like to underline “Some” in my sentence before I am onslaught here) 

        However, the other most obvious candidate is Fabio Capello. The bloke is familiar with PL players and he stated many times that he wants to train a team in PL.  

  • limetreebower

    Delighted to see Robbie appointed as manager. Let’s all hope that he lasts long enough to get replaced by whoever Roman really wants (Guardiola, presumably) rather than having to suffer the embarrassment of being fired.

    I’d love to think it’s good news for the youth players but alas I’m sure it isn’t. Expectations will be for immediate results, of course, and with Roman obviously ready to throw money at the club again there’s no doubt that any weak-looking areas will be addressed with a 30m pound signing rather than, say, Josh McEachran. Or, indeed, Kevin de Teenager.

    Robbie’s set his own bar alarmingly high and it’s hard to believe he won’t fall short. I doubt he’ll get his second year. I’d be absolutely thrilled to be proved wrong, of course, but I suspect next season will be a year of trying to squeeze results out of a Lampard-Terry-shaped stone and failing.

    On the other hand he’ll have masive goodwill from the crowd whatever he decides to do, which will help.

  • Blue_MikeL

    If Robbie stays for two years it means Chelsea wins trophies, hence there is no point to substitute him.   

  • mark_25

    Have you noticed how all the crowd shots at Euro 12 are of very attractive young women smiling and blowing kisses at you?

    Obviously the tv company is under strict instructions from UEFA to portray the tournament in a certain light.  Meanwhile outside the stadium the Russian mob is marching down the street waving inflammatory banners knocking six bells out of any unfortunate Poles nearby, but we’ll at least we’ll all have the correct UEFA prescribed memories.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Racist chants by Croatian supporters 80k fine. Commercial stunt by Bendtner 100k fine plus one-match ban. So much for Uefa respect campaign!

  • Blue_MikeL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18517019

    Goodbye Didier, thanks for everything you have done for us in your eight years!
    Three PL Titles,
    Four FA Cups
    Two League Cups
    Champions League title
    Wish you all the best and thanks for everything!

    • mark_25

      Yes Didier leaves us with his head held high.  So often players leave after a poor period of form/behaviour but my lasting memories of Didier will only be goods ones.  Goal against Spurs at Wembley, performances home and away against Barcelona and of course the golden minute as he strode up to take his penalty, adjusted his shirt and socks, we all stopped breathing and finally “Come on Didier …”

      • Blue_MikeL

        If there is a player who will be applauded every time he appears at SB it is Didier.  

  • Blue_MikeL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/18530467
    One hell of a school it is :-) 

    • mark_25

       Can’t see a problem.  Didn’t affect JT’s behaviour as a lad.

      • Blue_MikeL

        did he go to that school?

  • mark_25

    Interesting pics of the Battersea ground http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2819314,00.html

    They place the pitch on the side of the power station, not inside it.  Maybe there isn’t enough space inside although I had no problem in my mock-ups.

    • Blue_MikeL

      They still have believe that place can be won and it is not over yet. Great then, it should be really iconic place.

  • bluebayou

    Prepare ye for the Ashley hate….

    • mark_25

      I think the hate should be directed at Ashley.

      But not our Ashley and instead the Younger Ashley who was shit throughout the whole tournament.

      As for our Ashley’s penalty it was a replica of the CL Final spot kick so maybe he can only strike it one way, in which case he can never take a penalty again.

      Overall our Chelsea boys tried their best to carry England but the deficiencies of Captain Fantastic (there’s only one England captain), Ashley Young, Scott Parker and fat arse Rooney, who was unable to weave any magic, was too great a burden.

      • bluebayou

        Hodgson’s dilemma with Rooney was whether to play him, patently unfit though he was, or leave him out. If he left him out he’d have been crucified if they didn’t win. But Rooney’s distribution was poor, reminded me of Man U against Athletic Bilbao. He was pivotal in linking the play but his touch was off and he gave the ball away in those situations all the time.

        There’s an argument that England looked better without Rooney. (Welbeck for one, looked better when Rooney didn’t play) In one way it forces the other players to take responsibility.

        Rooney on his game is great, but he is one of England’s few outstanding players and when he underperforms it really affects the team.

        Young operates well in space, which he gets in the EPL, particularly now he plays for United, but against cagey defenders, in tight spaces, not so good it would seem.

        • GrocerJack

          Was in flight during the game and landed just in time to see people on iPads in baggage reclaim watching and sighing. However, my comment and what I picked up from 5 Live was how poor Rooney was again. He played well back in the 2004 tournament as I recall but since then he’s stunk England out. South Africa we were told he wasn’t fit. So why play him then? And now the rumourmill is he wasn’t ‘match-fit’, which is bollocks isn’t it. After all he was on a 2 game suspension and not recovering from injury. His performances in South Africa were dire, and he made sod all difference vs Ukraine apart from a tap in header goal. I just don’t think he’s interested in England, or perhaps he just isn’t that good a player and shines in the PL because of a lack of top class there? Either way, I hope Hodgson doesn’t repeat the SGE/FC ethos of doing this from loyalty rather than actual form.

          • bluebayou

            Blimey Glover the lengths you go to to avoid watching penalties. I think chartering an aircraft is above and beyond the call of duty. All to no avail though.

          • GrocerJack

            Not deliberate this time though! So convinced were we that England would finish second it never occurred we’d be travelling while the game was on. We fully expected to be watching England versus Spain on Saturday whilst in Spain. England couldn’t even get that right :( – however we did get updates from the pilot during the flight so when we landed we did know it was extra time. 

            Next golf holiday is planned provisionally around Brazil 2014, which makes the kick off times interesting. 

          • bluebayou

            On this occasion, I’ll allow it.

  • Petew

    ‘There’s an argument that England looked better without Rooney. (Welbeck for one, looked better when Rooney didn’t play) In one way it forces the other players to take responsibility.’

    Thought precisely the same. The problem with only having one good player is that you look for them all the time. The difference between the spirit v France and Sweden and in the two games Rooney played was clear. It didn’t seem to effect the back four, where they all did a brilliant job of bailing each other out after a mistake was made (Terry’s great block after Cole and Lescott were caught flat, Johnson covering after Terry was caught out by a ball over the top). Fans love to blame players for these sort of errors, but i liked the way the defenders just did their best to sort it out rather than standing around moaning.

  • Blue_MikeL

    There is probably only one good thing about it: Lamps and Cahill weren’t there. 

  • Blue_MikeL

    so much for Spanish “attractive” football………………………… 

    • mark_25

       I agree, they’re the enemy of football.

      • Blue_MikeL

        I am just curious what all those wankers who are preaching this “million passes shit” saying right now. Again and again I just can repeat what TSO said  “All those who criticized Chelsea yesterday (Barca game) know nothing about football.” 

        • mark_25

          Although we need to be careful because Spain may go on and win it.

          I never thought the day would come when I’d be supporting the Germans.

          • Blue_MikeL

            I have the same dilemma between Spain and Germany. All I can do is just repeat after Shakespeare “Plague on both of your houses”.  

          • Blue_MikeL

            No need to support Germany anymore, Mark. 

  • Petew

    Spain are Barca without Messi – banal, cautious and pathologically obsessed with possession. The dullest team to have dominated international football in my lifetime and truly awful if this is the future of football – ten technically gifted athletes in search of a superstar. At least Chelsea’s defensive play has an element of danger, of drama. This training ground stuff Spain serves up is the pits. 

  • NorthernVA

    Italy have restored my faith in the beautiful game. I never thought those words would purse my lips but this is a different world from the one I’ve grown up in. For the love of God, an Englishman got an Italian unjustly booked and suspended in the last round. These are the times we live in.  
    Sid Lowe and his followers would lead you to believe that playing with two strikers and scoring goals is cowardly whilst playing with none and passing the ball back and forth among a band Olympic female gymnast is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Ignore them. That is the devil’s talk.I pray this brave gladiators once and fore all rescue the world from the sleep inducing, soul destroying, tiki-taka. Sleep well knowing there are mass pockets of resistance that support your mission. Balotelli, De Rossi, Chiellini, Pirlo, and Buffon go forth like your brothers in arms Drogba, Mikel, Terry, Lampard, and Cech and claim your rightful legacy as defenders of the beautiful game.

  • NorthernVA

    Neurer’s dreams will forever be haunted by the sight of men of West African descent adorned in blue shirts. The Kardashian sister’s dream are German nightmares.

  • Blue_MikeL

    Yes, we are witnessing strange days

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NSz-9qqgKE 

  • NorthernVA

    Today is the last day the Bosingwa, Drogba, and Kalou are Chelsea players. It got me thinking. If you add Anelka that is three strikers out and none in at the moment.  Is Roman planning on implementing the tiki-taka at Cobham? If Torres’s form doesn’t improve next season it could be our only recourse.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Well, let’s hope they have a plan. 

  • NorthernVA

    Forza Italia! If need be don’t hesitate to rely on one of the character traits that once turned many off to some of the great teams in your illustrious past…cynicism. 

    The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Do whatever it takes to complete the task up to and including conning the ref, crowding the ref, boldface lying, diving, pulling jerseys, and impugning the chastity of those your opponents hold most dear. Summon up the spirit of Claudio Gentile. “Diego, Football is not for ballerinas.”

    Sorry Juan and Fernando but today my allegiance is with Italy. Can’t stand the thought of that smug, snide, cheat, gutless, capitulator Fabregas lifting a trophy. That and your current brand of football is an insult to the viewing public.

    • Radicalevan

      Well. Thought Spain played a much more direct game today. It helped that Italy went after the game, but Spain was much less boring than usual.

      • NorthernVA

        Yep they were more direct than at any other point in the tournament. I feel as though VDB snookered us. After spending the last few weeks trying to lull everyone into a false perception of his teams vulnerabilities he finally let the dogs of the leash yesterday. 

        The fullbacks were pushed forward which was a major difference to their previous games. What a run by Alba’s extraordinary run second goal reminded me of Ramires’s run at Camp Nou. Spain were brilliant the movement of Fabregas, Iniesta, and Silva was sublime.

        For Spain the end justified the means. Just like the case of CFC. It has been nice riling up some of those self-righteous hypocrites with attacks on their “football identity.” Barcelona “purist/converts” hate being smeared with the slurs they heap upon supporters others clubs who have the audacity to neuter their vaunted attack.

  • Abhishek Srinivasan

    I think we have read this before but still worth a few minutes on the the day the Drog leaves us
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/international/2318500/Didier-Drogba-brings-peace-to-the-Ivory-Coast.html 

  • NorthernVA

    So Italy has the lions share of possession in the first half and actually completed more passes than Spain but yet found themselves down to 2-0 at the half. That was a victory for football.

  • mark_25

    Spain were crap untill the arrival of Torres and Mata

  • Petew

    Good to see Spain actually throwing off their caution and trying to score goals, and they were very good for the most part last night, but despite what the fanboys are saying (‘bet you won’t call Spain boring now’ etc), Spain were horrible to watch until last night. This obsession with possession has to be nipped in the bud, but I really fear that Roman is going to fall for it. Spain would have been a lot more interesting with Mata on from the start, as he is far more adventurous than Fabregas.

    Also, dare anybody say that while Spain were good, they weren’t THAT good. Italy had the better chances in the first hour and were unlucky not to score. Then they had to play with ten men for half an hour. Spain were better, but I didn’t see the first half as a ‘masterclass’, I saw it as fairly even, with Italy unlucky to go in 2-0 down. Because Spain were actually trying to attack, they were leaving more gaps and this made for a far better game than those awful dirges against France and Portugal (which apparently now never happened).

    Still roll on Brazil 2014…
     

    • bluebayou

      That sums it up nicely.

      It was a decent game first half, but once the Italians were down to 10 men it was over. I though the Italians did better with their 3 at the back in the first game, but you’re right they created chances in a first half that actually saw them with more possession (probably a result of Spain going one up and then using the counter attack).

      The BBC commentray was nauseating and never pretended to be trying to analayse the game or even report vaguely truthfully. So, while I’ve no problem with Spain winning it and they were the best team in it, the fact that they only got past Portugal on penalties was lost on the Beeb. And the Portugal game was a demonstration of what happens when two teams successfully playing a very similar high pressing, possession game meet. The attraction of last night and the first Italy Spain game was the difference in styles.

      Spain v Portugal was a bit like those England v Eire games back in the era when the Irish were managed by Jack Charlton and they both reverted to a long ball game. The only difference being that back then the ball was in the air and bypassed midfield 90% of the time as against being on the ground and never leaving mid-field 90% of the time.

      • Petew

        yes, nice analogy… imagine Barca v Spain? Would it be the dullest game ever played, or something genuinely breathtaking? I think the chances are it would be the former. 

        The half-time round-up was ridiculous last night, as ever – for instance in World Cups where they still review Brazil as if it was the team from 1970 rather than the monochrome modern version - they were talking about what they thought they saw rather than what was actually happening. 1-1 at half time would not have been unfair at all, 2-0 was harsh. 

    • Radicalevan

      We need to be careful with the good but not that good, better chances arguments. Bayern comes to mind, specifically Gomez…

      Would anyone mind if Chelsea play like final-Spain?

      • Petew

        Bayern were and are better than us, I have no arguments with that. We did our job very well, but had a boatload of luck. Italy had zero luck. 

        this is the issue with tactics, they improve your percentages but you still need fortune/mental strength if you are playing a better side. 

  • Blue_MikeL

    Yet, again I have seen some very important things which made me proud supporter of my beloved Chelsea. 
    10 men against Spanish team with 2:0 down… does it remind you something? we could do it and as it seems not many, if no one else, can. 
    Showing great football under circumstances and scoring goals, when chance presented, disciplinary defense and physical and mental strength. 
    By the way Mr. Pirlo, when next time you compare English team with Chelsea, think about it twice.     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18602624 
    Not many teams can play like Chelsea and as it appears your team can’t do it for sure. 
    So the next time, when another idiot decide to criticize Chelsea for not attractive style we can only repeat words of TSO “They know nothing”

  • mark_25

    The Chelsea site has bid farewell to Kalou and Boswinga.

    Let’s be honest the majority of us (not PeteW) have spent more time screaming in frustration at this pair than screaming with joy and adulation.  But during the final run in last season, especially the Champions League, both of these players have done something rather special for our club so it’s really pleasing that their Chelsea careers end on a positive note. 

    I’ll remember Kalou for giving 100% in every game for the last 3 months and injecting fight and commitment where the troubled Sturridge wasn’t offering any such qualities.

    And Boswinga I’ll remember for Barcelona with us reduced to 10 men and 2-0 down he showed utmost courage to fight them in the penalty area, fight them in the midfield, fight them in the fields and in the streets and never surrender.

  • http://twitter.com/viksohonie Vikram Sohonie

    http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1838279.html

    UEFA are officially taking the piss.  23-man squad of the tournament and no Torres up front, the golden boot winner.  Every other player who scored 3 goals, however, is on there.  They have a sense of (sickening) humor, I’ll give them that. 

  • Ososdeoro

    Bingo, Blue_Mikel. Some time right after Barca game #2 I saw highlights from a league game Barca won 6-0 or something. I told my Barca friend, “see what happens when you don’t play like Chelsea did against Barca?” He said that very few teams can actually play like Chelsea does or have the skill to do so, so it wouldn’t work for middling Spanish teams to try that. Of course, he’s a defender, so appreciated watching Chelsea in the final three Europa games despite the poor result for his team.

    • Ososdeoro

      EUROPEAN, by God………Europe is for Tottenham.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Yes my friend!!! This is exactly what I am trying to say.    
      It really pisses me off when all those absent minded people talking about Chelsea in using this condescending tone: “Well Chelsea playing this type of football and this is why they win”. 
      Hence, the question why don’t you play this style? Why don’t you explain your players how to play this style, if it is so easy to win playing it? 
      Pirlo’s comment really pissed me off, another idiot is Arsene Wenger, of course.  

  • mark_25

    Spurs appoint AVB.

    It’s either a stroke of genius or an act of sheer lunacy.

    • Blue_MikeL

      The next season will tell… It is going to be really interesting season, really. 

    • Radicalevan

      I have this great fear that tottenham will listen to/accept AVB and become very very dangerous over the next 2-3 years.

      Of course, the Belgians could come good and make this a very fun time for everyone (not including Arsenal).

      • mark_25

        I have the same fear.  Yet this fear is counteracted by the hope that AVB will a complete disaster and Daniel Levy will have to escape to South America to have an identity change.

        • NorthernVA

          Watch Drogba’s header again. All fear will dissipate once more. 

          Guys we can’t be sure of what he will achieve over the next 2-3 years. AVB may very well take some points off of us during his tenure but worse things have happened. [AVB's CFC 1- McLeish's AVFC 3].  

          However, he can never take the unbridled joy from 5/19/2012 nor can he take away that club’s cozy spot next season on Thursday night, Channel 5. Therefore if AVB happens to lift the Europa League trophy with that club no Chelsea fan should begrudge him.

          Roman made the right call in the end. Not just because we went on to win every trophy within our immediate grasp. 

          But because AVB’s sacking can only be classified as a mercy sacking. Dr. Jack Kevorkian would have signed off on it. His sacking was the most humane sacking I’ve witnessed at CFC regardless of the nonsense that came out of Richard Bevan’s mouth.

          • Dylbo Baggins

            I actually wish AVB all the best and while there are several factors that need to share the blame, I think the biggest blame needs to be put on the shoulders of those who employed him.

            If the dressing room was as big a factor as it is claimed, then there are few in the sport that would be able to implement what AVB was given the task of doing. The only manager I can think of who would have been able to get away with dropping Lampard etc (rightly or wrongly) would be Fergie and he’s been going at it for bloody ages. 

            If the CFC powers that be were realistic about where the club was at and what the dressing room was like, then they should not have employed a 34 year old who has only had a couple of decent seasons. Either way, I believe CFC, as much as I love them, were utterly negligent. The whole thing smells of a kid getting employee of the month flipping burgers at McDonalds and then being thrust into a Michelin starred restaurant to cook for the elite.  

            It may hurt us in 2/3 years but I wish AVB all the best and am glad he is getting another shot.

            Anyway, just my 2 bobs worth.

  • mark_25

    Even their slugs are better than ours!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18672728

    • NorthernVA

      Lol! You still got Andy Murray.

    • Blue_MikeL

      Damn, but who has brought them in here? 

  • Blue_MikeL

    Are they taking a piss? 

    Fifa world rankings – top 20
    1. Spain 2. Germany 3. Uruguay 4. England 5. Portugal 6. Italy 7. Argentina 8. Netherlands 9. Croatia 10. Denmark 11. Brazil 12. Greece 13. Russia 14. France 15. Chile 16. Ivory Coast 17. Sweden 18. Czech Republic 19. Mexico 20. Japan

    • mark_25

      To be golf’s number 1 you don’t need to win anything.

      • Blue_MikeL

        Well it tells us that people playing golf applying the same principle here. Probably they measure the number of kilometers and shots players are running and making during the game. Otherwise, I don’t see how those rankings may be achieved :-) 
        (apart from Spanish slugs, of course)

  • SweetDairyAir

    So we officially lost the bid for Battersea today. I am holding out some faint hope that the Malaysian group either fail with their project like many others in the past, or work with us so we can build our stadium, funding the thousands of homes they want to build (but I hope suddenly cannot afford to construct), thus needing our help and finance to get their project finished. Oh whatever, in reality I guess we have to look for another (less iconic) site now. 

  • Blue_MikeL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18740583 Wayne Bridge on his way down. At least there will be no more questions of shaking not shaking 

    • mark_25

       Apart from the fact we’re playing Brighton in a friendly on 4th August ….

      • Blue_MikeL

        Damn I didn’t see it coming. Hopefully it will not be televised.  

        • mark_25

           I’m going.  I’ll make sure I get a photo of JT shaking Wayne.  I’m sure it’s on Chelsea TV.

          • Blue_MikeL

            Yeeppp, it will be for sure on Chelsea TV, but at least not on national so there will be no hype about it. The game of 4 of August with Brighton I don’t see it on Chelsea website in fixtures list. 
            P.S. Kalou signed for Lille. I am kind of happy to see him leaving England and not playing for Gooners.

  • E Is Mcsquare

    From countless outstanding videos on our win, this one is probably the best - 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-0_B_N0Rmw

  • Ryan

    I’d be interested to know who everyone here thinks is our top transfer priority for next season. Considering the ever reliable media have given us more “news” today regarding Chelsea interest in Azpilicuetta (RB), Modric (CM) and Lewandowski (CF). Maicon and Victor Moses have been forgotten about temporarily (in terms of the press) along with the ongoing Hulk saga (the 15% of him owned by a third party being the deal-breaker if most sources are to be believed).

    I’d say Modric is our top priority and if we are allowing RM to have first bid before coming in with something higher/player&cash I’d be pretty happy with that. I know RM have huge funds but I would question how much they really need Modric (Khedira, Alonso and Sahin sounds pretty strong to me) and therefore how much they’ll be prepared to (over?)pay.

    I know RB is more of a priority in terms of numbers in the squad currently but picking up a Debuchy/Azpilicuetta/Maicon or whoever for around £10million should be less problematic than getting a Modric/Hulk type transfer nailed down.

    I only see Lewandowski or a similar out and out striker being brought in if Sturridge were to go. I wouldn’t see that sort of transfer cooling our interest in a Hulk/Jovetic/Moses kind of player (inverted RW/backup striker).

    Anyway. Just my thoughts on things. Finally, isn’t it strange how many transfer rumours come out on a Sunday? Nothing to do with linking certain clubs to certain players to sell newspapers and generate hits regardless of the facts I’m sure.

  • Blue_MikeL

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18760180
    I seriously don’t understand what is this all about! 
    “Anton Ferdinand has told a court he would have been “very hurt” if he had heard John Terry racially abuse him.” 

    It means he didn’t hear the abuse. Blimey, so who did, hear it? Is there any witness to it, what the heck is going on? We have an abused who didn’t hear abuse, we have an abuser who says he didn’t abuse anyone. What is this witch hunting? 

  • limetreebower

    My understanding is that the complaint was originally made by “a member of the public” — i.e. someone in the crowd heard what JT said, though Ferdinand himself didn’t.

    JT isn’t denying that racially offensive words were spoken — i.e. no one is arguing that the punter who made the complaint was making it up. What JT is saying is that he used the language in an oblique context: “It’s not like I called you a XXX XXX XXX”. The fan, of course, just heard the “XXX XXX XXX” bit.

    I can’t see how they can prove guilt in those circumstances, so I don’t think JT will be convicted of anything. But it doesn’t look good. Being reduced to the taking-it-out-of-context defence is pretty embarrassing. And his reliability on these matters is hardly helped by what we saw in the second leg of the Barca semi. “I was sort of lifting up my knee to defend myself, honest guv …”

    Home-grown player, club legend, captain of the CL-winning team and by all accounts much less of a dickhead than his public persona would suggest … but to be honest I’ll be rather happy to see Crazy David and Branners take over in central defence when the time comes.

    • Ryan

      I think the complaint was made by someone lip-reading from the television coverage. Not someone in the crowd.

      Yeah it’s tough to prove in what context someone says something when you’re lip reading. For example if I’m in the car and someone cuts me up and it appears to a third party looking in that I use (just for example, no indication of my personal prejudice) the N-word, I could quite easily claim that I was simply singing along to a rap song (or any old shit) and regardless of how shitty and unlikely that defence might be it’d make it difficult to prove my guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If I’d audibly screamed the same insult with the window down and a couple of witnesses saw and heard the entire incident then it’d be open and shut. The whole case will rest on how likely/convincing JT’s explanation is. If it can be given even the slightest credence it could be hard to prove his guilt.

      I think Cahill is JT’s natural replacement alongside DL but Iva’s ability to play two positions brilliantly is invaluable. I still remember the Jose theory about having two world-class players for every position, the main problem with this is keeping them all happy. If you have players who are able to start in one position while backing-up in another that is invaluable.

      • mark_25

        Although If I’d audibly screamed the same insult with the window down and a couple of witnesses saw and heard the entire incident then it’d be open and shut.

        Is the window open or shut?  You said the window was down.

        You’re defence is so contradictory I’m going to find you guilty.

        • Ryan

          Will you take a cheque? Am I £2500 worth of guilty? Or £1500? Or only £500?

  • mark_25

    The bit I never understand is how long these cases last, this one is scheduled for 5 days.

    Surely if you got everyone in an office you could get to the bottom of this within the hour.  I mean I know the legal fraternity have to earn fees to be able to buy their season tickets (sorry Der_kaiser) and all that but how many times do you need a repitition of “you f*****ing ***** c**t” to reach a verdict, you bunch of f****ing legal t***pots?

    • Agh57

      As someone who used to do a bit of criminal stuff many moons ago, I sort of get your point regarding the length of time this is taking. If this was said by someone else in a town centre on a Saturday night it probably wouldn’t last 2 days.

      I guess it depends on the amount of witnesses being called. This should probably become apparent over the next few days.

      I’ve been involved in the preparation of many trials over the years and it’s diffcult to tell how it’ll pan out whilst you’re hearing all of the evidence. At the moment, we are only getting selected “highlights” from the media which may or may not be in context of the overall evidence.

      For Nick’s sake we should perhaps be mindful of posting anything which could hypothetically  prejuduce the trial. (I assume the District Judge is an avid reader of this Blog)

  • Blueboydave

    Reading the Beeb link below, surely Ferdinand’s credibility as a witness must be destroyed by his claim to be “a winner”?

    No euphemisms about “extreme sexual swearwords” or orgies of asterisks in The Grauniad reports of the case which spells them all out in full, I see, unlike even the Daily Torygraph which I recall always used to be fond of the gory details in its court reports.

    • Agh57

      The lady reporter on Radio Five Live tonight almost failed to get any of her words out such was her fear of saying the actual words that were said in court.

      Can anyone highlight the difference between a sexual swear word and and serious sexual swear word? I’m struggling but that may be an age thing.

  • Cunningplan

    Well I’m back and fit from my footballing sabbatical, (who won the Euros?) and I’m raring to go for the new  season. I’ve been in training by abusing my keyboard, (learning to type quicker Mark) and be more confrontational to all you c***s on the blog.
    Off to the US shortly to visit Mrs CP’s family so hopefully will catch some of our friendlies on one of the sports channels.

    • Blueboydave

      If I follow what passes for Ferdinand’s argument, it is not the use of the “extreme sexual swearword” you quote in your entry that he found offensive, but the attachment of a descriptive colour to it that bothered him – or would have done if he’d actually heard the words, which he admits he didn’t.

      So if you want to be really confrontational you’ll have to start bandying words like “wh*te” [ or "pi*k"?] about I guess.

      Are we sure this isn’t a Monty Python sketch being recycled to fill some of that gaping white space in newspapers/ websites?

      Difficult to see anyone involved, or football in general, coming out of the whole debacle with a better reputation.

      However, you might think that a sport that appoints a well-known, long-term shagger of his sister-in-law [ I don't think we even need to add allegedly, but just in case] as captain of the Team GB 2012 football side with almost no objections anywhere hasn’t much reputation left to lose.

      • Cunningplan

        I think you’ve summed up the whole sorry saga quite well. I’m all ready bored with the reporting of it, and it’s only day two.
        Shouldn’t the media be getting back to bashing the bankers, or are they all too busy bashing-the-bishop?

    • John D

      England beat Germany on penalties in the Euro final.

      We won the semi with 10 men for most of the game also, v. Spain.

      • Cunningplan

         Excellent! :-) looks like Woy read the Chelsea coaching manuals and duly applied the tactics.

  • bluebayou

    It’s probably generational, perhaps cultural, maybe class based, possibly education related, almost certainly gender related but my view of the swearing hierarchy is as follows:

    Bloody, bugger, sod, twat etc.  now generally conversational and with everyday comedic value

    Shit  – almost genreally conversational, again with comedic value

    Fuck - now conversational for the lower orders but maintains an element of shock value amongst the well bred and truly educated. Shock and dramatic value as opposed to strictly comedic. Allowed where “serious artistic intent” is involved.

    The C word - a no no in all situations but understandable where outright shock is the aim, or in D H Lawrence and other works where “literature/high art” would wash as a defence. Is getting more and more acceptable but I have to say I still find it’s use makes me vaguely uneasy. This includes my own occasional indulgence.

    I inadvertantly tend to measure people by their use of the word along with their drug abuse, casual violence, sexual pecadillo’s, indulgence in alcohol and unacceptable right wing views.

    Being of Irish stock, I of course use shite and feck, which under the Papal Bull of 1911 titled (in Latin)Swearius Extraodinarious Hibernium, allowed Irish people and their descendants to use such words without them being considered swear words or counting as a venial sin.

    Sadly the C word was not included and we will all burn in hell for using it.

    • mark_25

      You judge people by their use of the C word?  I can see holes and even a large crack in your arguments.

  • mark_25

    But seriously if their are any more C jokes we’ll be getting the fuzz involved.

    • bluebayou

      It’s a contagion

  • Blue_MikeL

    Here is our manual already published 

  • Guest

    So this Terry trial: Terry claims that he repeated the words he thought AF said and was hurt by the notion of being accused of racism. His claim is supported by his actions later ie. told Ashley of the perceived allegation, who then told AF not to speak to Terry that way, and sought to clarify the situation after the game. The prosecution claims that Terry snapped and let his ‘true colours’ show but provided little evidence of this. So either Terry lies or doesn’t. Also if Terry is charged with racially aggravated public order offense for bringing somebody’s colour into an insult, shouldn’t AF then be charged with public order offense because he called Terry a cunt by his own admission. 

    (using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour causing fear of or provoking violence – section 4 of the Act; using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour intending to and causing harassment, alarm or distress – section 4A of the Act; using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress – section 5 of the Act;) 

    • mark_25

       This hole trial smells fishy if you ask me

      • Blue_MikeL

        As I said before it is libel and witch hunt and nothing else! 

  • Cunningplan

    I notice the BBC are headlining part of the prosecution summing up on their website as opposed to the defence.
    I appreciate that they have covered both in the reporting, but surely in the interest of balance, the headline should be neutral. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18803427

    • Blueboydave

      An example of lazy online reporting where they update the content of the story as the day progresses, but leave the headline with the early stuff.

      Just did a quick skim through The Street of Shame’s finest and see the Grauniad and Independent are equally guilty of sticking with the old headline, while most of the tabloids update to reflect the case now being adjourned till Friday afternoon. 

      Strangely The Sun, Express and Daily Star seem to have lost interest with the story buried quite deep online and the last two not having updated since Wednesday’s proceedings yet.

      I love this Quiz in the Mirror – Quotes from Terry Trial or Guy Ritchie movie:

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/john-terry-racism-trial-can-1139690

      It’s really hard to tell with lots of them!

  • NorthernVA

    Didier Zokora and the ref have the best stance on how to properly tackle the issue of kicking racism out of football. Don’t f***k around with an Ivorian.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK4e3qi1X3Y&feature=player_embedded 

     

  • Ryan

    PSG have gone mental and dropped a fortune on Ibrahimovich & Thiago Silva. Which’ll be interesting for their FFP compliance but hardly makes much sense to me. We Ain’t Got No History are reporting that the cost of this transfer (inc. wages) will be €170million. That’s a lot of money to spend and I don’t really see Ibrahimovich “the enigma” and a centre-half (albeit a bloody good one) transforming them into a genuinely great side.

    • NorthernVA

      They also bought Lavezzi earlier this summer. That “enigma” Ibra while he may not be as big of time player as Drogba (who is honestly) is still a proven match winner (8 consecutive league titles). With Silva, Pastore, Alex, and Motta I think Carlo has the makings a team that should walk to domestic honors and will be a threat in Europe.

      On a side note do you think Platini will be beating the drum of the virtues of FFP being that this new round of big spending is emanating from France? I somehow doubt it.

      • Ryan

        Oh sure they’ll be good, no doubt. But the sort of money they’ve spent on players that will have virtually no sell on value means that they’ll have to go out and do it all again shortly and I’m just not sure that most of the players they have overpaid for are truly world class. They may have been at some stage but are they now and will they be in two years with another two or three years still to run on a contract that is so extremely lucrative that they won’t want to leave and nobody will want to buy them (see also Wayne Bridge- highest paid reserve player in britain and Adebayor who was being paid by City to score twenty goals for Spurs last year!).

        As for Platini, he’s an out and out cunt and we’ll all be laughing when PSG turn Ligue 1 into the SPL and drive it’s TV appeal down even further, can’t wait until he has to throw them out of the Champions league because their income revenue is virtually non-existent.

        • NorthernVA

          You forgot to add Roque Santa Cruz to the current conundrum City face. Efforts to wind-down AIG yielded better results than City’s attempt to extricate themselves from some of these contracts. 

          Agree 100% on Platini. When you are able to make a corrupt luddite like Blatter look like an agent of change and progress you should feel nothing an extremely deep sense of shame. 

  • NorthernVA

    Damn you Mark. I tried to be somewhat magnanimous with regards to AVB and then he goes does this. He had to say the “p” word.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jul/11/andre-villas-boas-roman-abramovich-chelsea 

  • NorthernVA

    The Drog has landed in Shanghai. He really is a global icon. I’m gonna miss him terribly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FodzRi19Qd4&feature=player_embedded 

  • Blue_MikeL

    According to BBC Chelsea Football club belong to African football.  Therefore, even discussion about racial abuse is impossible here!