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Leeds United 1-5 Chelsea – We All Hate Leeds

Peter Osgood, FA Cup 1970

Prologue

I hate Leeds.

I’ve hated Leeds since around 1970. I hated everything they stood for. I hated Don Revie and his pompous attitude to football and others in the game. I hated Billy Bremner, an archetypal ginger Scotsman with a flash temper and the ability to needle those sat at God’s right hand. I hated the all white faux Real Madrid kit. I hated Gary Sprake, the worst keeper in the world until Alan Rough donned the navy-blue of Scotland. I hated every one of that loathsome Revie-revering cheating team. Madeley, Jones, Sprake (Harvey), Lorimer, Giles, Hunter, Clarke, Cooper, Gray and the giraffe-necked Mr. Hyde to Bobby Charlton’s Dr. Jekyll, Jack ‘Call me Jackie’ Charlton. I hated their pristine blazers with their proud badge, their nicely trimmed hair, their razor-sharp ironed trousers, their shiny shoes, their northern grit, their hard tackling and their underhand tactics. I hated that ignorant kids at my London school associated the name ‘Leeds’ with ‘leaders’ and laughed at me because of my new found allegiance to this glamorous club called Chelsea, not 20 miles as the crow flies from where I lived. Such ignorance is the way of the young geographically unaware man-cub you know. Today it is called glory hunting.

I hated the way they looked so professional against our tousle-haired, Carnaby Street dressed, hard drinking, faux loutish, Raquel Welch carousing lotharios. Our band of unfancied underdogs. I hated that we were the underdogs because of Revie’s unswerving ability to motivate his team to be winners by hook or by crook. I hated that they’d finished one place above us in the league in my formative football supporting year.

I hated them so much I vowed never to visit their terraced house infested, coal smoke riddled, whippet-laden city whilst I drew breath from my lungs.

To this day I have never been to Leeds. I’m sure it’s quite a nice place, full of charming Yorkshire folk drinking Tetley’s tea during the day and Tetley’s beer at night saying things like ‘eeh bah gum, lad’ and ‘ah’ll go t’foot of stairs’ to keep the tourists happy. But the truth is I’d feel like a little lost lamb wandering around a slaughterhouse.

To this day I still see Leeds as the biggest grudge match we have. It’s our derby, and we should be proud that unlike any other team, we have a derby match with a team in a different county, with fans living in a different age. Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like a match against Dirty Leeds. There is nothing they could possibly do to make me hate them more… or so I thought… then they employed Colin Wanker (anag). Dirty despicable Leeds have once again found a manager they deserve.

For that is their name. Whisper it, shout it, think it, but whichever way you say the words Dirty Leeds, do it with utter contempt, because you can be sure they are thinking the exact same about us.

Game On – Tranche One

Listen to this week’s fine episode of the Podding Shed and you’ll find Mark and myself opining on how fatigued we’re getting with the anti-Rafa abuse, how tiresome it’s becoming, and how it’s obvious the players seem to like him. Which at the end of the proverbial day is all that counts really. And we also seemed to agree on how rather tired we are of the 16th minute Robbie Di Matteo tribute. Are we meant to do this ad infinitum? Until RDM shuffles off this mortal coil? One thing seems certain, Rafa Benitez is happy to experiment and to rotate rather than drive players into the ground whilst simultaneously hacking off others. And yes, even if he is misguided he is seemingly getting more from the consistently hapless/hopeless Torres. He picked a very strong team seemingly intent on ensuring no Corinthians type foul ups would be repeated. Dave Azpiliwhatisname got another start. The mythical creature Marin also got a start. Bertrand got another chance to showing his growing confidence and stature as well. Crazy David returned to centre-back and… well… just go and look the team sheet up. It was strong. Bloody strong. We meant business.

Elland Road looks rather dated these days, and one end appeared to be completely closed. I have no idea why, but I do know we were restricted to 2,000 fans by the completely untarnished West Yorkshire Police. Maybe they know the reciprocal levels of hatred between the fans might boil over on even the coldest and wettest of nights. The ‘Leeds’ song played beforehand also struck me. A sort of jaunty marching 1950s style thing. Give me Liquidator any day. Or Blue Is The Colour. Anyway, Ken Bates sat in the Emperor’s Chair resplendent in his trademark fur coat. At first glance one might have thought Santa was in residence. Except Santa isn’t a cold-hearted, exploitative, politically incorrect, bullying, embarrassing curmudgeon. As far as I know.

Tactics? As usual, 11 lined up versus 11. Simple.

Despite alleged hostility between Colin Wanker and Rafa, they shook hands with smiles. Dirty Leeds were bright from the start, buoyed by the atmosphere and the home crowd. Despite the numerical advantage the Leeds fans had, what came through loud and clear on TV was our stirring away support singing humorous ditties about Jimmy Saville, Gary Glitter and even Josef Fritzl I’m told. Uncle Ken must have had a warm glow inside him on hearing them. But the game soon fell into the expected pattern of Chelsea possession and after six minutes young Moses gave the Leeds keeper Ashdown his first test, which he passed admirably. On eight minutes Bertrand played a poor back pass but Crazy David was on point to save any early goal-shipping disasters. In fact it looked like Crazy David had been watching videos of games against Leeds because his confidence also took the bearing of someone not preparing to accept any nonsense.

After 14 minutes Lampard indicated much the same with a splendid tackle on Diouf, which could have damaged him. Let’s be fair, we’d all rather like to do the same to Diouf. Provided we had proof his saliva had been drained before the game. On 21 minutes I saw a first… Cech taking a throw-in to keep the game’s momentum going. In 42 years of following football I’ve never seen a keeper take a throw. Which is odd. The half seemed destined to carry on in the same vein with us dominating, even Moses had the obligatory penalty shout refused by the ref, a good decision when the replays were seen. And most of all despite all our pretty play, our possession football, our slick passing on a very wet surface, the anonymity of Torres stood out. Described earlier in this piece as hapless/hopeless I think the next adjective to add would be abject. And then wouldn’t you bloody ‘Adam and Eve’ it on 37 minutes, the imperious Crazy David plays a poor chip upfield, loses possession and with a lightning break Becchio scores for Leeds. Chelsea fans, neutrals and possibly even the odd Leeds fan must have wondered where the hell that came from.

Disaster?

Well, hardly as the half carried on from there with us playing the same way but seemingly unable to get the breakthrough despite some fine efforts from Lampard. One thing was notable again and that was the lack of Torres, a striker with a pathological inability to follow in on shots, lest they rebound to his feet and he screws up from there. Half time arrived and the Sky Sports team and neutrals everywhere, including the Chelsea anti-Rafa brigade had their sharpening steels at the ready.

Game On – Tranche Two

One minute and 25 seconds into the second half and a lovely move is finished off with Mata striking a decent but unspectacular shot from outside the box (can we do this more please?). The excellent Ashdown dropped his first ricket here and allowed the ball to slip under a weak hand. We were level, sighs of relief echoed in the Glover household. Well, a sigh of relief as I was the only one watching. We then endured a period of uppity Leeds fightback with them gaining several corners from which depending on your viewpoint we either defended efficiently, or we scrambled the ball from luckily. You pays your money…

On 58 minutes, the phoenix almost stirred from the ashes when Torres got onto a decent cross and headed goal-bound. Sadly for him the goalkeeper was almost directly in its path. Unlucky maybe, but one can’t help but think Drogba would have headed that so hard the keeper might have tried to get out of the way of the ball. But fear not, as we started to calmly get a grip back on the game with some utterly delightful football we gained a corner on 64 minutes and from that in came Branners to thump home a header and give us a richly deserved lead. Now I’m never comfortable with a one goal lead, especially against such hated rivals as Leeds. I needn’t have worried because within two minutes, Moses had run at the Leeds defence and crashed home a stunning strike to put us 3-1 up and maybe put the game beyond them.

[*How Refereeing Works* - An interlude. Michael Brown, Dirty Leeds embodied in one vile individual, spent the game tripping, hacking and diving, each time just getting a ticking off from referee Andre Marriner. Bertrand makes one poor tackle caused by a slippery wet pitch and gets a yellow card. Yes, surely the shadow of Clattenburg has truly been banished. In a pig's eye.]

Crazy David is one of my favourite players. After he lost the ball which allowed Leeds to break and score, with three other players out of position as well and then not marking Leeds players I got a tad annoyed with some of the Complete Fuckwittery (CF – copyright TG Enterprises, and a real competitor to Utter Cuntery – UC) being tweeted. Yes, he made an error but is he the first Chelsea player to give away possession stupidly? I actually thought that was our Unique Selling Point (USP) as so many of our players do it. But then on 80 minutes, Hazard (on for the decent Marin) received what can only be described as a heavenly ball from Crazy David to ram home number four. If this ball were metal it would have been platinum embedded with diamonds, running through a stream of molten Belgian dark chocolate infused with 20 year old single malt whisky. If it was the last ball you saw played, then you’d have picked up your heavenly harp and played a samba serenade on your fluffy blue cloud (Chelsea fans won’t have white clouds in heaven… they’re for Real Madrid – Dirty Leeds won’t have to worry as they’re going straight to hell). Dirty Leeds were now Dirty Broken Leeds. Colin Wanker cried tears of despair only for the Yorkshire rain to wash them away with all his stains of shame. The game was so far from Dirty Leeds, and we owned it so much that even the £50m misfit managed to get a tap-in because the excellent Hazard unselfishly laid him a tap-in.

Dirty Broken Leeds 1 – Chelsea 5. Lovely. Just lovely.

No ratings today because it’s late, I’m tired. Later today is Christmas lunch and secret Santa time at work. No doubt my secret Santa will have bought me something to do with Spurs. Not ho ho ho. More ha-fucking–ha.

Man of the Match. The TV gave it to Mata who was very good, but then all apart from Torres were. But I’m giving the blog award to Crazy David who despite one error utterly bossed Dirty Leeds in every sense.

Epilogue

After the disappointment of losing in such an apathetic and frankly inane manner to Corinthians, watching our fourth trophy attempt slip through our fingers like buttered eel this was a welcome return to… if not form at least some of the promise from earlier this season. We may have had residual jet lag, but such is the gulf between the upper echelons of the Premiership and the Championship, we still looked far fitter and faster than the plucky but ultimately doomed Dirty Leeds players. Whisper it quietly, but I’m rather warming to Rafa Benitez and his constant warm smile, as false bravado as it might be. The man is happy to be back. The players seem to like him. Last night he did everything right… and yet… not a mention on twitter, not an acknowledgement. Would it be similar silence had we lost? My my my, what a bitter, petty-minded bunch our fans can be.

A semi-final versus Swansea then with the first leg at home. Tough but not insurmountable. A Wembley final would be nice. A trophy even nicer, even if not the most prestigious. It’d be one more than Arsenal will get again, and as a yardstick of success in a year of transition, that warms the very cockles of my old ticker.

We move on to a packed few weeks of fixtures, starting Sunday with those annual Christmas spoilers Aston Villa, who might just be finding their feet under Paul Lambert, a man so dour and serious he makes Sir Alex Ferguson look like Ken Dodd on nitrous oxide. We’ve had some thrillers versus Villa at this time of the year. A 4-4 and 3-3 in recent times. I’m punting on a 5-4 win to us this time after three stoppage time penalties given to them. I mean in a season of strangeness in a club steeped in strangeness and charm, why would that not be a decent bet?

I doubt I’ll be writing another report before Christmas, so to all you loyal (and disloyal) readers of this fine blog, and our fine piece of Public Service Broadcasting, the Podding Shed whereby we impart words of wisdom of Chelsea, underwear, financial advice, original humour, classical music, planes, trains, Waitrose delivery options and so much more, may I wish you all…

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, A JOYOUS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR, SHITLOADS OF PRESENTS, TOP BOOZE AND A STACK OF PREMIER LEAGUE POINTS!

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!

Press Reports

The Guardian, Paul Wilson: “The weather did its best on a filthy night in Leeds but West Yorkshire could not quite manage to rain on a second London parade in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup. Following Arsenal’s ignominious exit at the hands of League Two Bradford City last week, another big upset was on the cards when Luciano Becchio gave Leeds United a half-time lead against the champions of Europe, but Chelsea stayed calm to win with five coolly taken second-half goals from five different players.”

The Daily Telegraph, John Percy: “Perhaps the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet is not in danger of gathering cobwebs after all, as Chelsea overcame jetlag and the prospect of further turbulence against one of their oldest and most bitter rivals. Neil Warnock may never get the chance to exact revenge on his nemesis Rafael Benitez again after a typically absorbing cup tie in one of English football’s most famous theatres, with five goals in the second half easing the pressure on Chelsea’s unpopular manager.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “There was rain and cold and Michael Brown trying to wind up any Chelsea player he could. There was a hostile crowd and a first-half Leeds goal and the whiff of a cup shock. And then last night cold reality came crashing in on Neil Warnock’s side goal by goal.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Five second-half goals made it a night to remember as we booked our place in the last four of the Capital One Cup, despite trailing at half-time. Championship Leeds, who we had not faced in nine years, took the lead through a first-half Luciano Becchio strike, but Chelsea hit back within a minute of the restart when Juan Mata curled home, and we went in front shortly after the hour thanks to a Branislav Ivanovic header. A minute later and Victor Moses looked to have made the game safe with a low drive, and further goals from substitute Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres put the gloss on a memorable night for Chelsea supporters.”

Goals

37′ Becchio 1-0
47′ Mata 1-1
64′ Ivanovic 1-2
66′ Moses 1-3
81′ Hazard 1-4
83′ Torres 1-5
Goal GIFS and longer highlights

Links

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  • leedsandproud

    i like the fact u southern puffs hate us cos i detest your poxy club too ;) to be fair we didnt realy expect to win and the score line flatterd you a bit . as for your fans , couldnt hear them tbh ….and your slagging off of leeds as dirty is a bit one sided imo ……chopper harris took eddie gray out at old trafford in the cup reply and u took bremner out also …..you wer as dirty as leeds …but u got all the luck ….any way good luck in the champions league ;)

    • GrocerJack

      Brilliant, first troll snared and landed.

    • Johnjessop2

      TBH you are obviously selectively deaf, suggest a
      quick visit to your nearest ENT specialist as this particular malady is not
      currently known to medical science. Arsene Wenger has a similar problem but his
      affects his vision.

  • PeteW

    Good performance given the conditions and jet leg, although the atmosphere wasn’t what I expected. 
    I thought it would be intimidating, but on the box all you could hear was Chelsea fans – very poor show from Leeds for their biggest game of the season.

    Luiz deserved brickbats for that crap charge and pissy pass that gave them possession. The Leeds move was well executed but Luiz is too sloppy, and isn’t half as good a footballer as he thinks he is (nice ball for the fourth, but it was also an obvious one). Just stick to defending mate.

    If Mata ever gets injured we are fucked.

    Torres was hopeless. The move before Ivan scored from the corner was illustrative, a lovely ball in by, I think, Hazard, and Torres clearly makes no attempt to get ahead of his man into the area at the near post. he’s just static. I really feel for our creative players having to play with that lump, and it can’t be good for the dressing room having such a shit but untouchable No 9.

    otherwise, all good. Moses has a great attitude, Marin wasn’t phased, oscar slowly improved and Lampard showed a bit of leadership. 

    Big game on Sunday, Villa slowly improving. Benitez has to get a run going if we’re to stay comfortably in the top four (how the hell are Spurs level with us, they keep losing?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nico.loco.31 Nico Loco

    Its so stupid to say “I Hate” to football or another stupid things which not importent in life…

    • GrocerJack

      Blimey, the Dalai Lama reads us

  • mark_25

    Excellent stuff Tony. So full of hate for Leeds though; you’ve got to let it go mate. I travelled up surrounded by six youthful Leeds fans who have been indoctrinated with our rivalry by their dads’. I then travelled to and from the ground via the shuttle bus where I was pressed up very close and personal to dripping wet Yorkshire men. To be honest, by the end of the evening, I was starting to feel sorry for them all. They seem reconciled to their fate, full of despair for Ken and, post match, realistic about the gulf in class. They, like me, couldn’t understand why Leeds didn’t start at 100mph and get physical and in our face. That’s the minimum I would have expected from Warnock.

    Impressed all round last night aside from Torres, who not only can’t finish but also can’t perform the other essential tasks of a centre forward. Moses was particularly good as was Oscar who wasn’t intimidated by burly Yorkshiremen on a cold wet night in Leeds.

    This cup may be beneath Arsenal but I’ll be happy with it this season, especially as we’ll have Falcao available for the next round.

    Now on the train travelling fast out of Yorkshire.

    • PeteW

      Credit Lampard for giving them a few early kicks and taking his booking, and basically laying down a marker that we weren’t going to be easily intimidated. 

  • Cunningplan

    And the day just gets better.. Utd v R Madrid and Arse v Brian Munich with a bit of luck Fergie and Wenger will only last two more games in the competition.

    • PeteW

      Who wants to play them anyway? Can’t wait till our game against Elastik Papperknickers or whoever we get.

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    Very enjoyable TG.

    All good really, bar the inevitable gripes re the number 9.  Benitez is doing OK; no real risks taken, bit more disciplined all over the pitch with the players obviously responding to him – not the biggest test last night but a potentially tricky game which we handled rather well in the end.

    Two games away from Wembley – Rafa was always a bit of a dab hand at the two-legged home / away tie and he knows he’s in with a decent chance of collecting a pot, so while I doubt the games against Swansea will be pretty (we’ve not done too well down there) we have a very good chance of going through.

  • Blueboydave

    Another good piece of passionately felt writing, TG.

    Like you, the 1970 FA Cup final was a key moment in cementing my life-long attachment to Chelsea, even though my plooky youth was being spent in the Truly Frozen North way beyond Yorkshire – and hating Leeds was an integral part of that process.

    But here’s the odd thing. As I sat last night watching some of the old clips Sky churned out in their pre-game segment of the licensed assault that passed for football back then I found myself thinking what a different world it was then, how much we’ve moved on and how irrelevant Leeds have been to us for a very long time now.

    And I had to admit to myself that really I don’t hate them with anything like the fervour I used to, because they don’t really matter anymore. 

    Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd half demolition job we inflicted on them, but that was as much in anticipation of Colin Wanker [ the most perfect anagram ever, surely?] having to eat shit in his post-match interview.

    By the way, I still hate Rafa though ;-)

    PeteW – I was surprised to note that, although we are seeded in Europa League draw coming up, the “Elastik Papperknickers” could turn out to be Athletico Madrid, Napoli, Inter Milan, Bayer Leverkusen or Dynamo Kiev. 

  • JimmyLUFC

    This article is relatively funny and well written. Fair play to you. I have no affection for Chelski at all (my dads fault). You are ‘southern pricks’ from down there. I’m Leeds and enjoyed last nights game in the most part but come on, we knew the second your international, ridiculously talented, expensively-assembled team was announced it wasn’t going to be our night. Leeds cannot compete with the different gulfs in class bar hoping for a sending off early doors or everyone in white plays out of their skin for 90 minutes..it was never meant to be…

    Anyway, enjoy the run, you might even win it but bear in mind, had it not been for his billions saving you from the brink, you would perhaps understand and consider what ‘Dirty’ Leeds have been through for the last 10 years. You weren’t that far away from financial implosion yourselves….You have bought everything you have but when he gets bored and fucks off, you will drop like a stone and then you will see the support, patience and love your fans have for the club

    Get over your paltry ‘I hate Leeds’ rant – who gives a shit…

    MOT 

    • Cunningplan

      You’re reply was sensible and quite funny right up until you said….. “You have bought everything you have but when he gets bored and fucks off, you will drop like a stone and then you will see the support,
      patience and love your fans have for the club”

      That’s what we’ve been hearing ad nauseam  since RA arrived, change the fucking record. He hasn’t got bored yet because he’s a fan, an irritating fan at times with his hiring and firing, but still a fan with loads of money.
      And for your information a lot of the bloggers/fans on this site remember and supported the club through the crap 80’s so I would guess most of us in high numbers will around should we ever return to those glory days.

      By the way you’re more than welcome to Ken Bates.

    • GrocerJack

      Not in any defence but the article was written for Chelsea fans and had a deliberate tilt at baiting Leeds fans to troll me/us.  I enjoyed the game because it was a proper English mid-winter game, shit weather, passionate fans etc. Most of us ‘veteran’ fans are more than aware of how close it all came to collapse under Uncle Ken ( a man i truly detest). I met a Leeds fan on holiday by the pool (he spotted my tattoo on my back) and we chatted cordially for an hour or so about respective fortunes and we parted on great terms both eulogising our utter contempt for Bates and hoping the rivalry would be re-ignited sooner rather than later. .

      You’re arguably our bitterest rivals, which makes you unique like us. Our games versus you probably feature more highly than local derbies against the Sheffields (I may be wrong, but the mutual dislike is reciprocated in lots of veteran fans, who spread this down generations).

      On the Roman front…….people have been telling us since day 1 we’d be in trouble WHEN he left and yet he remains in charge some 9 years after taking over. In fact…I could be wrong but he’s going to last longer with us than Uncle Ken is with you. At least your takeover frees you up from any power influence of Uncle Ken, Surely a reason to celebrate Christmas even more?

      Joyeux Noelle!    

      • JimmyLUFC

        Ha, I agree with all of the above and yes, for me, you are our bitterest rivals – even more so than them over the Pennines… 

        I can’t say I like or respect your club because I don’t – I am sure you think the same of Leeds –  what you stand for and represent is the way football is now – a business and a ruthless one at that with the deepest pockets buying the best and fuck all the rest – but you are not the only one yet I find it hard to grimace at Citeh in quite the same way…

        I do doubt the comment made by Cunnilingusplan about RA being a fan – and you know this because? Oh, he told you? After he bought you? or did his gasoline smuggling upbringing in Ukhta come with a  subscription to CFC TV? Jog on mate 

        He is a fan because he has to be a fan. I would be a fan of a 1 billion pound investment too but don’t be fooled into thinking he cares anymore about the soil and bolts of Stamford Bridge than he does about the very reason he bought you in the first place…which I doubt was based on a long love-in with the Chelsea masses…

        As for Ken, yeah thanks for that, the narcissistic prick is the sole reason a lot of Leeds fans refuse to line his pockets with attendance at ER – his past with you merely deepens the resentment – hopefully, his time is drawing to a close and we will be back where we belong with stable ownership and a strong, good team.

        Enjoy the SFW – We all sincerely he will get the job full time as he secures his first minor trophy….

        On behalf of Liverpool, they wish to send their regards for taking Torres. :)

        • Cunningplan

          Fuck off you flat capped whippet loving retard.

          • JimmyLUFC

            Ha ha ha ha ha ha – I see that as one all on the troll stakes…..

            Your mum is just putting her clothes on but she says have you done your homework?

          • Cunningplan

             Yawn!

      • mark_25

        I still think you were a bit rash to have “We all fucking hate Leeds” tattooed on your back but it was decent of the Leeds fan to overlook this.

    • PeteW

      Not sure if Chelsea’s financial reckoning would ever have been quite as bad as the one Leeds suffered. We had strong assets, owned the ground, had paid off most of our transfers and qualified for the Champions League so could probably have dealt with the debt through astute sales and increased income. Mid-table maybe, but not relegation and implosion. 

      The other key difference, of course, is that we hadn’t squandered all our cash on terrible players at vastly inflated cost who failed to net the club a single trophy, so at least we got some tangible reward out of our spending spree. 

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

    It’s well worth trawling the web to look for articles on Ridsdale’s time in charge of Leeds and the eventual downfall – some truly staggering stories.

    Pete’s right – not at all true that we were headed the same way, as tricky a position as we might have found ourselves in before Roman pitched up.  Batesy was any number of things, but he was pretty canny with his (and other people’s) cash.  Ridsdale and his fellow directors didn’t have the first clue – mortgaged everything that they could up to the hilt against the dream of endless Champions League football and blew it on some relatively average players, staggering wages, flash cars, private jets and goldfish.  

    • mark_25

      Ridsdale’s getting really tired of you carping on about his goldfish

      • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

        You’re absolutely right.  There’s just no plaice for it.

        • Blueboydave

          Oh have pity chaps, it’s Xmas – not all the fish puns, please!

          • http://www.chelseafcblog.com Der_Kaiser

            Sorry if I was trout of order.  I suppose it is the season of good brill to all men.

            (That’s enough fish puns – Ed.)

        • mark_25

          Happy to see you step down from your perch

  • Cunningplan

    ” (That’s enough fish puns – Ed.)”

    Can you speak up I’m a little hard of herring.

    Just realised that we shouldn’t be replying to strange men from Yorkshire called Jimmy, well that’s what my mummy has told me anyway.

  • http://www.chelseafcblog.com/ Nick

    Stupid boy(s).

  • Ryan

    Great article Tony. Love the rivalry with Leeds, nothing like mickey-mouse Fulham & QPR. Proper hatred. Have had some Leeds mates and met plenty of Leeds fans and like the mutual respect/hatred. Spice of life. Loved Leeds supporters last night singing “Cheryl Cole is having a party, She’s having a threesome with Diouf & Varney!” when Ash came on. Also enjoyed “He’s one of your own, he’s one of your own, Jimmy Savile, he’s one of your own”

    Happy Xmas one & all. Hoping for points galore and a striker shaped gift under our collective tree. New contract for Ashley & Lamps and errr peace and goodwill to all men.

  • Ryan

    P.S I’ve haddock up to here with these fish jokes.

  • GrocerJack

    Cod Almighty, these fish jokes are a load of Pollocks

  • Dylbo Baggins

    Speaking of strikers- Salmon Kalou is available from Lille

    • GrocerJack

      Must have gone down a bomb there then…

  • Vik Sohonie

    Thoroughly entertaining piece, TG.  It wouldn’t have been as fun if we didn’t go 1-0 down. Prague away can never be a bad thing either. 

  • Cunningplan

    Forget football tribalism and the nonsense we spout, and perhaps this is not the place to bring it up but this has really wound me up.  Just listening to the NRA today on their defence of the recent shooting, it was like watching a Monty Python sketch, but without the laughter.

    Seriously….. the answer to the shootings is to arm more people with guns, can anyone make this crap this up!

  • SherbetDip

    Not so long ago you were a supporter of Torres and thought he had possibilities in an Anelka type role … why the sudden change?  Perhaps it’s a relief to embrace the hatred and mockery being expressed by the majority, aka ‘5-1 and even Torres scored’.

  • Day Tripper

    I love that photo. I was sitting pretty much in line with Osgood as he headed in the goal. Charlie Cooke’s cross seemed to hang in the air forever. That may have been the greatest moment of ecstasy I have ever experienced. On the subject of Torres, can’t some form of necromantic sorcery be performed such that he becomes possessed by the spirit of Osgood? We wouldn’t need to buy anyone then

  • Day Tripper

    And btw, the troll at the top is correct: Chopper Harris did take out Eddie Gray in the replay. But it was another era, the era of ‘he who lives by the sword…’

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  • Vik Sohonie

    Holy hell that was brilliant. Credit to the players… and Benitez.

  • Vik Sohonie

    Clearly everyone’s happy with Sturridge leaving 

  • Trueblue

    Great performance today. 

    I have to say though I am very sad to see Danny leaving us, never given a solid run playing in his favored position. I think he has the quality to be a great CF and has a real direct approach which gives us a good counter balance to Torres. 

    So with him going, I assume we must have lined up a replacement. Falcao, Cavani? I hope Roman gives us a super Xmas present under the tree this year!  

  • Blue_MikeL

    First time in the history seven players from one team have scored in one match, at least in the history of English football.  Piazon had a good game, of actually 20 mins. Twice involved in the goal scoring and winning penalty, not a bad result for 18 years old debut in EPL. 
    Sturridge can go wherever he wants to and God bless him. I wish him all the best in his way and that is pretty much all I can say about him.     

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