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Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City – Three Hamptons and a Blog

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It is perhaps only the TEFL teachers and students of language amongst us who could glean any scintilla of satisfaction from Sunday’s events.

I have little experience of teaching English as a foreign language. One college summer holiday teaching Spanish youths, having unwittingly stumbled into the employ of Opus Dei, (oh strange days indeed), followed by being on the cusp of heading to Turin as a TEFL teacher a few years later.

But I know enough about the difficulty of trying to explain how the same word can be to made to impart different meanings both subtle and vastly different and all so dependant on context and usage, which gets even more complex when you introduce the everyday argot of the street or slang, as it were.

And so it is here that we need to take cognisance of our foreign readership and those not familiar with London and the Home Counties and provide a spot of language guidance. Let us hop on a train out of Waterloo and head off South West into Surrey; we are bound for Hampton.

There are three stations to choose from: Hampton, Hampton Wick and one where you alight for a visit to the famous palace named after Henry VIII’s unfortunate experience with a hurriedly fitted metal codpiece, Hampton Court.

Oh yes, ye students of rhyming slang will see where this is heading. Rather than dwelling on our team’s depressing exit from yet another of the hundred or so trophies they were attempting to win this year, I have resorted to an extended knob joke.

For it was that rare moment, 81 minutes into the game where all planets, stars and other heavenly bodies following their diurnal courses fell into a stunning alignment. At that precise instant we witnessed:

  • A man reacting to someone getting on his hampton by making a two-footed lunge at that individual’s nether regions (the lunger).
  • A man lying on the ground with his nether regions unguarded, the lungee, who must have been fearing for the safety of his hampton.
  • Both lunger and lungee watched by a man whose reaction confirmed our belief that he is a complete hampton.

(For those not familiar with this usage, Hampton is of course not just a sleepy suburb but can variously mean, wick as in one’s nerves, dick as in male genitalia and prick as in an idiot. The rest I’m sure you can work out for yourself.)

The only solace I can take from the defeat is that we had to play the first and second placed teams in the league. That was always going to be a big ask. Strangely you almost feel we generally have a better chance against United given our recent record against City. But it would be wrong to condemn this team as bottlers or lacking big game players based on this season’s struggles. I’ve seen enough to believe they can be winners in future seasons. Patience is required. A winning team doesn’t emerge ready made from a crate. Remember the lost cup final and semi final Champions Leagues exit under Ranieri. I think sometimes you have to get close before you’re ready to really get the job done. We are seeing the rebuilding of a side and painful as it may be there comes a point where the changes of personnel will take place. If not now then in the next season or so.

It wasn’t the best performance, they started too slowly and conceded two poor goals. But the fight back was exciting, I just wish they hadn’t left themselves so much to do.

As Nick said in a comment under the previous post, the reaction in social media can sometimes give a very negative impression. And I have to say so did the radio, even our own Pat Nevin. Having been unable to see the game in real time, I was surprised at how much football we played in the first half. Yes we didn’t create the chances, but after the first twenty minutes we were always in the game. In the second half it would have been easy to cave in after the second, but they didn’t and an equaliser looked on the cards.

Yes there are issues around the team and management but there’s still more than pride to play for.

Hard pressed but never crushed.

We march on to Basel.

Press Reports

The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “There was a point in this semi-final when it had looked as though Chelsea were simply going to be overwhelmed. They can reflect on a spirited effort during the final exchanges but it is no good playing well for only the last third of a match and hoping to get away with it. Roberto Mancini’s team won not just because they had more verve in attack but also because they were far less erratic and, from here, it is difficult to envisage them not returning the trophy to Manchester.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “The enduring importance of the FA Cup was demonstrated powerfully in the way Manchester City gave everything to reach the May 11 final against Wigan Athletic, and in the determined manner Chelsea fought but ultimately failed to hold on to the trophy. This was a classic FA Cup tie, brimming with cut and thrust and considerable controversy, all played out to a backdrop of sustained noise from 85,621 supporters. The passion that both sides poured into this semi-final may also have been explained by the Premier League trophy heading inexorably to Old Trafford.”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “Overrun in the first half it took far too long for Chelsea to spark. They eventually scored within seconds of Torres coming on as substitute when he and Demba Ba chased a long ball from Luiz and the Senegalese striker improvised brilliantly to volley past Costel Pantilimon. After that, inspired largely by Eden Hazard, they might have scored the equaliser as City fell back into their own half and invited the pressure.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “A spirited second-half fight back could not prevent us being eliminated from the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. It brings to an end our run of 29 games unbeaten in open play in this competition, on a day when the side’s recent punishing schedule eventually caught up with us, with our opponents starting the stronger and forcing their way into a two-goal lead.”

Goals

35′ Nasri 0-1
47′ Aguero 0-2
66′ Ba 1-2
101 Great Goals highlights

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  • Blueboydave

    Ah, the troubles we innocents from the Frozen North have with your tricky Cockney rhyming slang.

    I remember being deeply puzzled as a plooky youth by an interview Peter Sellers did with Parkinson, when he was literally helpless with laughter telling a tale of meeting someone called Hugh Jampton, which he thought was the funniest thing in the world, though I couldn’t work it out for months in that pre-internet age.

    Meanwhile, back at the FA Cup I had an even deeper sense of foreboding than before last season’s semi-final, this time with more reason and chose to watch on TV rather than make the pilgrimage to our second home.

    I thought we teetered on the brink of being swamped in the first half hour and only really made a game of it when we changed to 2 strikers.

    Good to see ITV keep to their usual arsehole standards of punditry as Townshend [?] watched the replay of Kompany almost ripping Torres’ shirt from his back while declaring he wasn’t impeding his movement sufficiently to merit a penalty.

    Looking for positives:
    1) At least Luiz left it to his mate Nando to exact some revenge for the 2-footed lunge by Aguero, rather than pick up a 10th yellow card that would have meant a 2-match ban.

    2) Our failure to reach the FA Cup final means we won’t be faced by the suggested way of securing Sky’s Judgement Day nonsense that I read in one paper at the weekend, viz. playing 3 league games in 5 days v Man U [Sunday], Spuds [Tuesday] and Villa [Thursday] as ideal preparation for the Final v Wigan on the Saturday.

  • GrocerJack

    Despite my rant on the previous article, which was more of an invective filled catharsis against the Thatcherisation of football I think the point about ‘work in progress’ is absolutely correct. One has to adopt the karmic calm of Grasshopper at times, and perhaps this is one of them.

  • Day Tripper

    it was a lot to ask from a team that had played in Moscow only 3 days before. Even for those who didn’t feature in that game, so much travelling takes it out of you. I think that’s the reason they were slow out of the traps. And there were some very weary performances: Azpilicueta; Mikel and several others. And young Bertrand should learn how to cross the ball. He’s got such pace but without that basic skill his forays down the left won’t often come to much. I think that, player for player, City are still the best team in the Premiership, so to my mind, we put in a very creditable performance, and towards the end, they were hanging on. And then there was the foul on Torres…..

  • http://twitter.com/ianforsyth54 Ian

    Yet another wise and witty summary. Foy really was awful and we should’ve had the pen but they were better than us for most of the game. Don’t disagree with the general transition point, though the way the club is managed and the habitual pessimism born of 50+ years’ support make me much less relaxed about where we’re heading. And I agree the starting 11 is probably our best team, but for this game we should’ve had one or both of Terry and Lampard because a big semi at Wembley quirks a bit of leadership.

    We have some terrific players who have quite a few years left, but I’m not sure where the next core, the next leadership is coming from. In the game on Sunday our display and City’s reminded me of (i) 98-2002ish, when we were never quite good or strong enough to beat the Arsenal of Vieira/Adams or the Man Utd of Bruce/Keane when it mattered or (ii) 2005-10ish, when we were usually too strong and powerful for Arsenal’s tippy tappy. My worry is that we transition to a Barcelona-lite or an Arsenal, without the power, spirit and fight that’s needed for a truly excellent, all round team.

  • http://twitter.com/ianforsyth54 Ian

    “Quirks” = “required” in iPad-auto-correction-of-slight-typo mode.

  • Blue_MikeL
  • bluebayou

    Well a 3-0 win in a local derby is not to be sneezed at.

    JT looked a tad more interested than he did in Moscow, with a lot less pointing and a lot more defending.

    They still don’t appear to get enough shots on goal for the possession they have in the final third. Particularly in the second half, there were numerous occasions where the break was on but the wrong ball or a mis-placed pass meant the opportunity was missed.

    You can’t depend on superb goals live Sideshow Bob’s to break a game open every time.

    Still, I enjoyed the performance and hopefully it will provide a bit of confidence for the trip to Anfield on Sunday.

  • limetreebower

    Excellent result. We usually seem to draw with Fulham, don’t we? — so this is a timely boost. I still suspect we need Spuds & Arse to throw away a few more points before we can be confident of finishing ahead of at least one of them, but this helps.

    Is anyone else completely unsuprised by the emerging Pellegrini stories? I suppose he’s probably about the biggest name plausibly available, and therefore would be the one Abramovich automatically turns to; and so he’ll be expected to be “successful”, and will be gone by, what, mid-December? — or whenever our annual slump strikes next season.

    I’m altogether happier with the Schürrle rumours.

    But then that seems to be the pattern nowadays. Intelligent investment in the future when it comes to the playing staff, same old short-termist nonsense with the choice of manager.