The Bipolar Express: The Wall*

The Bipolar Express: The Wall* by Tony Glover
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So ya, thought ya, thought ya might like to go to the show? To feel the warm thrill of confusion, that space cadet glow. Tell me is something eluding you, sunshine? Is this not what you expected to see? If you wanna find out what’s behind these cold eyes, you’ll just have to claw your way through this disguise.

I recently had the privilege of seeing Roger Waters perform the Pink Floyd masterpiece The Wall at the O2 Arena. It’s an everyday tale of the devastating impacts of the loss of a father during WWII, of bullying teachers undermining your creativity, of overbearing and overcompensating motherly love and manipulative demanding wives. All of this whilst trying to become a success within a band tearing itself apart with petty differences but being forced by record companies into presenting a sane and unified face to the world.

What the fuck, I hear you say, has this to do with us? Well, during the course of his life the main character, Pink, builds his metaphorical mental walls which he hides behind and which protect him from these influences, but ultimately also form the reason for his demise as he becomes detached from the reality of the world he lives in, increasingly unable to cope with the isolation and self inflicted wounds.

In other words, he’s a basket case.

Now do you see?

Although it seems a recent phenomenon we have in fact been victims of this since we were formed. Throughout our long and proud history we’ve suffered the loss of father figures and never quite got to grips with mourning them before some replacement comes in. I remember losing Dave Sexton, the man who won us the cup and stuck the allegorical Chelsea syringe into my arm giving me my first fix of a drug I’ll never be free of. Others will look at Tommy Docherty the same way, some Ruud Gullitt, Luca Vialli or Claudio. For many it will of course be Jose Mourinho. Some oddballs may even feel the same about Avram Grant. In the modern day Chelsea of course it’s Jose who’ll haunt us like the lost father. He loved us the fans, he loved the club, he loved the players and for the most part we loved him back. But he went and I still think we’re struggling to deal with the legacy of that unswerving belief and unconquerable side. Ultimately we all have a father within Chelsea that’s gone and for whom we can never replace. Stepfathers come and go according to mothers’ whims and fancies (see Mother later), but none replace the original.

Daddy’s flown across the ocean. Leaving just a memory. A snapshot in the family album. Daddy what else did you leave for me? Daddy what d’ya leave behind for me? All in all it was all just bricks in the wall.

So, who are the teachers in all of this? Who is rapping our knuckles when we express a desire to be different? Who is bellowing in our ear when we attempt to break the mould and be creative? Who is stifling our growth and development into something unique in order to keep us within their paradigms of acceptability and what they consider to be normal? Sadly for me this is the murky figures that operate behind the scenes of our club. It is Gourlay and his motley crew of bean-counting dullards. People who desire success under their rules in order to drive profit and increase revenue irrespective of the cost to the fabric of the club and least of all with any notion of regard for the fans. It’s people like the vacuous Bruce Buck, wheeled out to be the smiling Yankee face of the business side of the club, but a man with no soul. If you clawed your way through his disguise and looked behind his eyes, you would see nothing, just a dark, empty cold void of evil. Subsequent coaches have also been part of this. They all know the ‘right’ way of playing. They are stubborn and see only their vision. Like the teachers at my school they come from very different backgrounds but were all trained in the mantra of “Teacher knows best”. I’m not saying Jose was different, he too was very paternal and unilateral in his views, but he was the original and for me, the best. Name me the ‘Chelsea’ style of playing? We hear it from Arsenal, Newcastle, West Ham, Manchester United, Liverpool, Spurs, Barcelona etc…. but no-one ever talks of the Chelsea style. Why? Because we’ve never been allowed to develop it by the teachers.

When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children in any way they could. By pouring their derision upon anything we did, exposing every weakness however carefully hidden by the kids.

But in the town, it was well known when they got home at night, their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives.

Aah, never mind though. We have Mother to look after us. Mother Roman in this case. When we need him he pulls us into his huge warm financial bosom and succours us. Ironically he does this when we don’t need it as well. Sometimes when we do need it we find him gallivanting with strangers at the Tea Dance leaving us on the sidelines having to make do with an awkward unwanted dance with a tall plain older girl who doesn’t want to be there either. But deep down he loves us and will never let us go. What can we do? He’s Mother, we need him and he needs us. A mutually dependent can’t live with each other, can’t live without each other and all other variants of relationship.

Hush now baby, baby, don’t you cry.
 Mother’s gonna make all your nightmares come true.
 Mother’s gonna put all her fears into you. 
Mother’s gonna keep you right here under her wing.
 She won’t let you fly, but she might let you sing.
 Mama will keep baby cosy and warm.
 Ooh baby ooh baby ooh baby. 
Of course Mama’s gonna help to build the wall.

And finally. Call the defendant’s wife!

C’mon you lot, put your knickers on, that’s us! Yes, us, the infatuated, spoilt fans. The ones who truly love the club. To the point of obsessiveness. It’s our club, not theirs! When in reality it has always been theirs. It’s always belonged to the teachers, to Mother, and all we’ve done as fans is stolen the club’s heart temporarily until normal service is resumed. But we spend our money and we debate endlessly what’s best for the club. We nag perpetually about what it should do, what it shouldn’t do, what it can or can’t do even though we know it’ll ignore us and do what it wants. We let it penetrate us even when we’re not in the mood. We do our wifely duty. We are eternally loyal and eternally manipulative and demanding. When we get what we want we demand more. We’re rarely happy and yet we can’t leave. We won’t leave. We took the vows and we belong to the club for life. We know it’s mad, clinically insane. Over the rainbow. Truly gone fishing. But we don’t care. For richer for poorer, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, until death us do part.

Together we are Chelsea.

All alone, or in twos, the ones who really love you
 walk up and down outside the wall.
 Some hand in hand and some gathered together in bands.
 The bleeding hearts and artists make their stand.

And when they’ve given you their all
 some stagger and fall, after all it’s not easy
 banging your heart against some mad bugger’s wall.

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!

*With apologies to Roger Waters for the shameless use of such truly wonderful and poetic lyrics




There are 106 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Very Freidistic article Tony, very Freidistic. 
    Although, I would put a club owner on the son’s position. Then Oedipus  complex works very well. The son (owner) wants to kill (sack) the father (manager) and sleep with the mother (supporters). 

  2. Anonymous

    http://www.chelseafc.com/page/LatestNews/0,,10268~2366531,00.html

    Legends? Bernard Lambourde a legend? Someone on the official site is perhaps batshit mental. Mind you, fits in well with pretty much everything CFC at the moment.

    Like The Grauniad reporting all the players we’re interested in signing, despite no manager. Are any decent players really likely to sign for a club with no manager in place? No. So we’ll be a while recruiting players.

  3. Anonymous

    It is Gourlay and his motley crew of bean-counting dullards. People who desire success under their rules in order to drive profit and increase revenue irrespective of the cost to the fabric of the club and least of all with any notion of regard for the fans.

    I’m not sure about this.

    I think the directors and managers are just Roman’s lackeys implementing his whims.

    I don’t have a problem with this.  I’ve worked for bosses where I didn’t agree with their strategy (or lack of) but it was quite exciting and I got well paid and a VERY generous car allowance as far back as 1997.

    It’s odd that many are criticising Roman because he’s not satisfied with a manager/coach that has a few imperfections.  Yet the same people aren’t satisfied with Roman because he’s not perfect.  I don’t follow Roman with blind faith but you have to take the rough with the smooth, the smooth being;

    1) He’s helped us win trophies
    2) He’s replaced the portakabins at Harlington with a world-class facility at Cobham
    3) He’s made the old boys part of the team again whereas Bates banned anyone and everyone
    4) He’s not in it for financial gain.  All the other foreign owners, aside from City, are in it for the money and are busy reversing in debt to eliminate their personal exposure.  Roman just wants to sit in his box and get excited by watching us come back from 0-3 down with 15 minutes to go and to win 4-3.  I’m with Roman and Paul Canoville on wanting this.

    • Anonymous

      Carlo, went behind the backs to meet with Roman and promised him something. He came to the club with these promises, he has been given objectives and he has failed. This is all what it is about, nothing else! Some myopic people are probably looking for Arse-Anal stability.  

      • Anonymous

        I have interviewed people for software developer position. Regularly one from 20-25 candidates is successful… However, I do not have experience with football managers.     

        • Der_Kaiser

          So, not relevant really…?  Out of interest, if you employed several software developers in a row that turned out to fall below the standards required – one or two disastrously so, what would happen to you?

          • Anonymous

            I have an exceptional team! You know why? Because I check 25 in order to find one. The point I tried to make is that we might go through many managers in order to find one. 

  4. Meetganesh

    One tabloid suggests that we are after pellegrini.. oh.. my I hope next its not allardyce..

  5. Anonymous

    I note from a tweet by Josh McEachran that Michael Woods is moving on. What with Tom Taiwo having already left the Bridge, there’s a spectacular waste of £5m down the shitter for precisely nothing.

    Leeds must be pissing themselves. I know I nearly am…..

  6. PeteW

    I posted this at the arse-end of the other blog, by which time everybody had moved on to here. So I’m repeating it now.

    *There is no obvious candidate to replace CA. All the names have fairly obvious flaws. So why spend £6m replacing one successful but flawed manager with another who has no prior knowledge of the club, rapport with the players, reasonable record of success etc. What, quite simply, is the point of that?*No manager has been allowed to invest in the team since Mourinho, and until this is rectified we are going to struggle. We missed the best chance we’ve had for years to do this last summer. What does this say about our long-term thinking?
    *There is no reason why somebody like Van Basten or Rijkaard may not turn out to be a perfectly good manager, but there is nothing about their record or reputation that suggests they would be a better bet than CA, or that they deserve the opportunity to work with our players at our club. 
    *Should we really be taking such risks at this stage in our development, with our key players getting older. 

    *I wonder how a manager is ever going to be allowed to make the tough decisions need to replenish the squad, given that they will almost certainly impact negatively on results. Our fans and our chairman don’t like that.
    *Ditto the use of young players. 
    *If a manager has flaws – and they all do –  surely the sensible approach is to support and protect them and try to work out solutions rather than undermine and then sack then? It’s idiocy of the highest order.
    *The above is the pattern that applies to EVERY manager we have had under Roman, so why on earth should we expect things to be different this time round?
    *Is there any chance people who ask us to take a risk on unknowables like Van Basten or Zola will support them if they go through a sticky patch (as they inevitably will), or can we expect more toys-out-pram whinging at the ignominy of finishing SECOND in the strongest league in the world. I’m really not sure I can take another season of people squealing about results while failing to acknowledge the serious issues about the club that need to be looked at and the numerous factors that are effecting performance of player and managers. The buck doesn’t stop at the manager.
    *I am starting to believe that Ancellotti, like Mourinho, was consistently undermined by other figures at the club who want to protect their position near the power and wealth of Roman Abramovich and there is no way we can proceed as a club until this is dealt with, or at least more widely acknowledged. All the problems faced by CA were imposed by other people, who took zero responsibility when it all went inevitably wrong.
    *How on earth can anybody believe there is any serious plan for a successor policy when every reasonable candidate (Clarke, Villas Boas, Rodgers) has been allowed to walk out the club and take on plum jobs elsewhere? That’s our legacy, right there. 
    *Is ‘blind faith’ in Roman Abramovich and his advisers to make the right decisions really something any of us can have after the events of the past season, starting with the sacking of Wilkins (without even looking at the Mourinho/Grant debacle)?

  7. Anonymous

    As usual, Pete, I think you’ve distilled the essence of the argument so well as to make the position unarguable.

    Re Roger Waters (Barnes resident, I gather, though I’ve never seen him around when I’ve meandered through) and the Wall: there was a nice review of his show in the Grauniad the other day by Alex Petridis, reminding us that the whole Wall concept came about after Waters recieved loads of unpleasant publicity because of spitting in a fan’s face. The album’s basically about all the things that conspired to turn Waters into the monster he momentarily became: his mother, his (ex) wife, his education, the UK legal system etc. As Petridis wryly pointed out, it’s notable that there’s no song in the Wall called “I’m Sorry I Spat In Your Face …”

    As far as the new manager goes, I’m with the esteemed Dr Bayou: I’d like someone I can feel some rapport with (Zola, Sparky, Rogers, Villas Boas: Chelsea people). Since they’ll only be with us for as long as they do better than winning the double every other year, best to not have to spend time cultivating a relationship.

    • Anonymous

      I wonder if he was an inspiration for El Hadj Djiouf then?…Waters that is not Villas Boas. 

      PS – the fan spitting story is much about urban myth, what he did do was throw a right wobbler at some fans who let off fireworks at a Floyd Animals gig. I think his comment was along the lines of…..

      “Oh for fucks sake…..for fucks sake…whats the fucking matter with you? We’re trying to play some fucking music up here so have some respect…etc etc” 

      That was the incident which allegedly inspired his idea to stick the band behind a wall again, the alleged quote afterwards being “we might as well sit behind a wall and play, that’d teach ’em” …..and eventually along came the actual wall which formed the centre piece of the iconic 1980 shows and this years repeats, as well as the one which outdid the lot at the Potzdammerplaz) – I think thats right but I’m sure our resident Germanophile , the Good Lord Kaiser can correct me. 

      Would you believe it, I’m getting rather bored with the replacement talk now.To quote another great rock lyric by which our club might take note “Nothing ever rocks and nothing ever rolls and nothings ever worth the cost”

      *Stop Press – my Pink Floyd book states the ‘spitting incident’ did occur, right after the tirade in Montreal. He spat into a group of fans who’d pissed him off with a flare or two! Fuck ’em, I say, they deserved it.

  8. PeteW

    There’s a really good piece on Roger Waters and the Wall in the current issue of Uncut (I think it’s the current one, maybe the one before) by a friend of mine who went out to Berlin and hung out with Floyd fans to find out why the keep coming back again and again to watch the show. Has some interesting stuff about what it means to be a fan, which seems particularly pertinent right now.

  9. WorkingClassPost

    Pink Floyd was Syd Barrett.

    Even with his weirdness, they had energy, drive and direction.

    If the band without Syd had the decency to call themselves just Floyd, or Pink or anything else, then I could maybe take them half as seriously as (some of them) take themselves.

    Anyway, Carlo crapped out, and much as we all want stability and continuity, continuous decline is not part of that equation.

    Who’s next?

    Dunno, but one thing that seems clear to me, is that the lone wolf style of ‘hands on’ coach just doesn’t work in today’s game.

    Big Phil tried it, and the team fell apart when Clarke left, and after Ray departed, Carlo was stranded.

    Our only successes have come when our manager had, and recognised, proper coaching support. 

    Jose started this way and it allowed Avram to keep things together despite himself (courtesy SC).

    Guus (Ray) and Carlo’s first year (Ray) also followed the model.

    The PL is a tough place to be, and the first team coach is now the twelfth man – it’s a full time job of itself, as is that of the first team manager, who needs to organize and manage the operational side of a multi million pound corporation.

    Many players make good coaches, but not so many coaches make good managers.

    On the subject of who we choose, I’m surprised at the lack of calls for Jose.

    I’ll confess to being less than enthusiastic for his return up till now, but seems he must be chastened and motivated by his lack of success this term, and given his outspoken desire to join us, I can’t see past a more humble JM with something to prove as being choice number one.

    Whether Roman can take the leap is another story, though.

    As we’ve often alluded to in the past, what CFC may really need are changes somewhere between the manager and the owner.

    • Anonymous

      Aaah, the Syd Barrett debate. I’m not going there, but he was an acid casualty whose resultant self inflicted severe mental issues meant he wasn’t tenable as a member of the band. To dismiss Waters, Mason and Wright is an insult to their creative input. It’s repeated with Richie Edwards/Manics and Peter Gabriel/Genesis – both bands that improved in my view once their alleged iconic lead figures were out of the argument. Actually….Ozzy/Sabbath rings true for me on that as well, their finest album being when Dio took the reins to sing on the triumphant Heaven and Hell long playing record. .  

      On the Chelsea front, maybe thats my stance….without Mourinho then the band Chelsea, for me, may never be quite as good. 

      Horse for courses, each to their own. 

      I hear betting has been suspended on HarryRedknapp by some bookies. I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere.

      Harry Redknapp? 

      Can someone just tighten the buckles on this nice new straitjacket for me?

      • WorkingClassPost

        Wasn’t trying to trash the sub-Syds, but they became so different to to the original band that keeping the name was probably wrong.

        Much better for something like Small Faces becoming just Faces or the retrospective way some people now talk about Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac.

  10. bluebayou

    Pete,

    You were right at the arse end of the last blog and nothing’s changed.

    Tony,

    An education. Despite it being of my time, I was never into the Floyd really, so its interesting to hear what some of it was all about. Enjoyed the clever tie in with our current situation. Helps to lift the gloom (that’s my gloom as we’re coming at this from different angles).

    With reference to the spitting incident, why does it not surprise me that it happened in Montreal?

    As someone who follows the Canadiens hockey team, I’m familiar with a certain excitability in your Montreal fan, shall we say. Extremely knowledgeable but volatile would sum it up. Riots are far from unknown going back a long ways.

    Here’s a view of them from a well known blog that is not overly disposed to the Canadiens

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/GQ-ranks-Montreal-Canadiens-fans-among-worst-in-?urn=nhl-wp643

    And I found this fan’s view of what went down at the “spitting”. Looks like music and hockey get the same treatment in Montreal.

    http://www.pinkfloydfan.net/t1413-spitting-accident-montreal-july-6th.html

    In other news……..

    It’s been done so many times but this “Hitler is told……” is well worth a watch. Made me laugh.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szgPIT_Rkb4

    The Managerial Situation

    As the position has changed from manager to coach and seems to be gradually becoming less and less powerful in the set up, why not start using the somewhat archaic term “Trainer”. It sums up the somewhat junior and singular sense of the position that we now have. Contractually the incumbent should be supplied with whatever hair management product he wants, Brylcream, hair oil, whatever, sufficient to maintain a good centre or side parting. A  properly knitted sweater and baggy tracksuit bottoms will complete the image (the pipe is optional)

    http://www.theretroknittingcompany.co.uk/images/20may10/weldons1198a.jpg

    and finally while on the subject of job descriptions and clothing

    Dr Bayou’s Career Service – (Jobs your teachers never told you about)

    Today when at Kings Cross Station in the course of my day job, I saw a roster posted up detailing the protective clothing to be allocated to particular operatives. There was one occupation that caught the eye:

    Nose End Cleaner

    Imagine declaring that at a cocktail party over the canapes and volovants

  11. Der_Kaiser

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/13553663.stm

    Quotes from Florentino Perez:

    “The experience of this just completed season demonstrated a need for more autonomy, including within the coaching unit,” said Perez.

    “Mourinho demanded an autonomy on the sporting side like that which works with English clubs. I think for the sake of the institution that this is a reorganisation that has to be done.

    “We signed the best coach in the world, so we want to be sure that even when he leaves one day and we sign another of the world’s best, the structure is there.”

    If a club as barking as Real Madrid can work it out, surely it can’t be that difficult to understand?

    • Anonymous

      Oh, just to hear him quote from ‘If’, and then to hear his dulcet tones say

      “Ladies and gentlemen, Chelsea will be playing 4, 4 fucking 2” 

  12. Cunningplan

    Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is demanding his new manager only signs philanderers.
    Chelsea came second this season after coming first last campaign.
    Monogamous ‘family man’ Butch Wilkins was initially blamed for this failure.
    But now the Russian has firmly pointed the finger at Carlos Ancelotti and Roman has wielded his big stick.
    Abramovich , who is affectionately known down the Bridge as The Village Idiot, wants a team that can score more regularly.
    Only John Terry and Ashley Cole look certain to hang on to their shirts.
    The Chelsea owner has told northern lotharios Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs to move down to London and star in his wet dream team.

    Roman is ditching Fernando Torres after finding out he was in a committed relationship with a nice religious Spanish girl.
    He wants a striker with lateral movement and silky ball skills who can hit the net regularly and has earmarked “a big African”.
    Hollywood actors Charlie Sheen and Russell Brand head Roman’s short list to be the next Chelsea boss.
    But Brand has ruled himself out saying he is “shagged out”
    Sheen is expected to take up the position for £1 million a game.
    He is in rehab at the moment but has told friends he will be fighting fit in a few months:

    “Chelsea is a glamour club and my girlfriend in the sitcom ‘Two And A Half Men’ is called Chelsea, so I am up for it”

    PS It is a cut and paste job, and not my own work. Is honesty the best policy?

  13. bluebayou

    I stumbled across a couple of interesting pieces, one of which reminded me that I have a CPO share somewhere but never get any correspondence relating to it. I must dig it out (from where?) and check that I’m still on the books.

    http://www.bluetinted.com/Site/Articles/Articles.aspx?articleid=62

    And while we’re perhaps tiring of the debate, this is worth a read I think.

    http://www.bluetinted.com/Site/Articles/Articles.aspx?articleid=67

    I am of course not promoting other blogs. There is only one repository of true wisdom……….

    I’m sure many of you will have read these already, but in case you haven’t I thought I’d link.

    • Anonymous

      I eventually found my CPO share certificate after my house move a few years ago in a brown envelope tucked between my O level and Open University certificates, along with one of Ken Bates’ classic end of season rants from May 1995 urging us all to buy shares – it begins:

       “With soccer’s silly season approaching, it is inevitable that the more sensational tabloids will write the usual mixture of truth and untruth, irrespective of how it could affect the club. The real position is we are at a crossroads of decision making ……” [we don’t get letters like that from the club anymore].

      So don’t give up on yours turning up somewhere.Can’t say I feel reassured by the comment in the article that all that stands between a swamping by “new recruits from Chukotka” is the integrity of the CPO Chairman disallowing them more than 100 votes. Should we expect a new FIFA-approved Chairman to be appointed quietly in the next year or two before we get too close to any crunch decisions on a move for the club?

      • bluebayou

        By “quietly” I assume you mean under the cover of a superinjunction

        Love the Bates quote. As Tony pointed out in one of his posts, Ken also relished a bit of creative chaos. The more things change the more they stay the same…

    • bluebayou

      I don’t understand physics but when I hear the term “free radical” I always picture something tearing around like the Gronk unpredictably firing off particles in all directions (I’m sure it’s nothing like that really).

      Wish him well. Unassuming sort of bloke he seemed. And after all he scored “that ” goal against Liverpool. And the rest, as they say, is history……..whoever they are…

  14. greenlightinoz

    Harry to take over as manager??????

    Josh about to be taken to Hamburg with Frank Arnesen?????

    Seriously…… Do we supprot a football club or a lunatic asylum?

    If either of those rumours happen it shows we have no fucking idea!

  15. DayTripper

    There was the time when we had the really exciting wing pair of Gronkjaer and Zenden, so that all the crosses from the left were blocked, and all those from the right flew into the stands. But yes, occasionally, through shear randomness I think, some good stuff came from these two

  16. PeteW

    No chance of Josh moving to Hamburg, absolute zero. Ignore ignore ignore. 

    Same with Harry, though part of me wishes it was true if only because some people need a sharp dose of reality about what bad management really looks like.

    • Der_Kaiser

      I believe that the authorities sometimes take a keen interest in sudden betting plunges on ‘Arry changing jobs.  There is form… 

      Can’t really see Josh upping sticks for Hamburg, given that he’s been here since he was about 8 and is on the verge of first team football.

    • Anonymous

      Is the recession over or something that enough punters have money to waste betting on ‘Arry to make him favourite with the bookies?

      Relieved to see his odds are starting to wane a bit this morning.

  17. PeteW

    I interviewed Florent Malouda yesterday.

    He was very nice, thoroughly decent chap. funny, polite and still so young. Listening to him talk reminded me that these are just guys doing a job at a very badly run business. I’ve been in that situation a few times. It’s hard to stay motivated when the people above you are playing politics and fucking around with the product because they don’t really understand how it works.

    We talked mainly about living in London, but at the end discussed the current situation at the club. I asked if he knew was coming in as manager. He laughed and said he’d find out at the same time I did, when he read it in the papers. I asked if he thought the club had somebody lined up already. he laughed again and said it didn’t work like that. He said he loved playing for Chelsea but the one thing he wanted was for a manager to stay more than two years.

    I said that as a fan I liked to believe there was some sort of long-term planning strategy in operation at the club. He laughed again and didn’t say anything.

  18. bluebayou

    Looking at the article posted by DayTripper it appears that the future of football comes down to whether you agree with Sepp that attitudes to animal husbandry and welfare are much poorer on islands than in Switzerland.  It’s not about corruption at all!

    “When a Swiss farmer’s neighbour has a cow while he has none, the less fortunate farmer will work twice as hard so that one day he can buy a cow as well,” he said.

    “When another farmer, elsewhere, on an island, say, has no cow but his neighbour does, that farmer will kill the neighbour’s cow out of sheer malice. I’d rather be a Swiss farmer, like it or not.”

    I’m going to an island tomorrow. The Isle of Wight. I shall be keeping a close eye on who has cows and who doesn’t and will be monitoring the mortality rates of cows and report back. I don’t want to have my holiday ruined by having to step over dead cows everywhere.

    It brings a whole new dimension to reflections on one’s team not being able to hit a cows arse with a banjo.

    Pete,

    I know I should wait and read the article but did you glean whether Florent felt his form had dipped this season and what was behind that? Was it all down to the politics?

    • bluebayou

      Based on who you were writing for and the subject matter I thought that might be the case. Just hoped you’d managed to throw in a sneaky one ;-).

  19. Cunningplan

    Well away from one asylum, and to another, that of Uefa and the Champions League final.
    I’m certainly looking forward to the live version of the latest internet craze of planking.

    For those of you not up to speed the definition is as follows…. Planking is the latest stupid internet craze, which involves a whole lot of stupid people lying face down in bizarre locations, then posting the pictures on the internet.

    We could well see Barca players surpass anything that’s been posted so far, and then they can rightly be called the greatest bunch of plankers of all time.

  20. Anonymous

    It’s just a shame tomorrow night can’t end without a winner.

    I want Barca to win, just so it stops the media orgasm that Utd would get.

    But having watched a fair bit of Barcelona this year, they amaze me as much as repulse me. Soggy Biscuits is perhaps my most hated player. Such a snide cheating shit.

    Can we pray the Wembley arch collapses?

    • John

      I’m also hoping Barcelona as the best of a very bad job. What I want is for them to win a shite match courtesy of much fucked up refereeing, so that United suffer as we have and so that (some hope) it tempers the media orgy that will follow. 

      Manager – interested in what others think of Capello as a possibility. I don’t think he’s done a great job with England but I think he might do us some good.

  21. Cunningplan

    I have to say I felt down by the lack of planking from Barca, but still Utd were giving a damn good thrashing, which they deserved.

  22. Ososdeoro

    Now it’s Guus on top, Harry 2nd. Interestingly, Pep is in third at around 7:1. Was he “seen” meeting someone whilst in the UK? Marco is now a weakening fourth.

    The match yesterday was far better than I thought it would be. I sort of found myself wanting ManU to pull the upset, but then was happy they didn’t.

  23. Anonymous

    Have to laugh at the Pep links. He’s been at Barca boy through to man and knows the club and culture inside out, a perfect example of succession planning.

    The idea he could ‘export’ that to us is laughable.

    • WorkingClassPost

      That’s a timely link, DT. Listening to it now, I almost stopped at the intro which quoted ‘some people have to die before they get taken seriously’, but in the interest of completeness I’m giving it a go.

      SAF is a natural at the TV massage. His post match interview seemed so gracious and sounded like they had never been spanked before. 
      He said that these Barcs were best euros he ever played against, but what about two years ago? And what about the most humiliating display a ‘top team’ has endured, when Zidane & Co. did a Galcatico on them?

      Back to Desert ID… gonna drop the link, too much talk and not enough disks.

  24. Henry

    Fatty Lampie is getting older(There is a God!) and that edges us closer to proper football.

  25. Anonymous

    mark_25,

    If you genuinely are researching hotels in The Fine City, let me know and I’ll provide some feedback. Norwich is great, I love livIng here.

  26. Gleb

    So Hiddink it is, then. Well, not the worst choice considering the carnival of idiots that the media thought would become Chelsea managers. Hope he does well as out permanent, “long-term” (hehe) manager, as opposed to his short stint, because when everyone involved knows beforehand that the man is here for only 5 or so months, it’s very different.

    I’m more interested in all the transfer speculation. Who do we get? 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Is it confirmed? I haven’t seen anything on Chelsea website or anywhere else, just rumours.

  27. Anonymous

    A really exciting – and I mean that – move for Mancienne.

    The Bundesliga has an openess about it, there really is excitement and uncertainty every season about who could be champions. Of all the ‘major’ leagues, definitely the one I’d love to watch live. Granted, not necessarily the greatest standard, but certainly the most equal across the division.

    • Anonymous

      The fact that Emenalo is not suitable for second manager position at Chelsea is nothing new. However, the fact that Roman appointed him personally (according to Emenalo) tells something about Roman… 🙁 

    • Ososdeoro

      Emenalo: well, to quote Shakespeare (and believe me I know very little thereof), “she speaks, yet she says nothing.”

      However, buck up! Emenalo is certain to be let go after this gaffe:

      Goal.com: Ancelotti has gone, what does the future hold for you at Chelsea?Emenalo: It is in the hands of God Almighty and Roman Abramovich, the owner of the club.Getting the order wrong will certainly be his demise. Or inserting the word “and.” Depending.

  28. Gleb

    Not confirmed, obviously, but given that Roman definitely wants him over everyone else AND that Hiddink himself has finally dropped more than a few hints in various interviews (which has never happened before, with his honorable reputation of seeing out contracts and all), I think it’s fairly certain, really. And again, not the worst choice by a mile, so we might just get someone who’s really the best of both worlds: will not overtly argue with Roman but will hold enough authority to put his stamp.

  29. Gleb

    P.S. And Guardiola, if he is ever to come, would be such an unimaginably epic fail! You read it here first 😉

  30. Anonymous

    This is almost confirmation of the Guus arrival http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3613447/Guus-Hiddink-Come-and-get-me-Chelsea.html

      • Anonymous

        Ouch!

        There again has he ever claimed to be anything other than an awfully nice chap with a real future ahead of him in schoolgirl-level football coaching when sanity is finally restored and he is dispatched back to the obscurity he so richly deserves? 

        Surely one of Guus’ first tasks if/when that contract offer finally reaches him 😉

        • Der_Kaiser

          Could be… or you can just picture the scene in a year’s time (if hell freezes over):

          “Pep, I’d like you to meet your new assistant, Michael…”

          (Mr. Guardiola smiles politely, but suddenly feels very homesick.)

    • Anonymous

      Wouldn’t be the worst choice. Ex-Chelsa, big pals with Zola (rumoured to be on coaching staff), maybe GH coming into the Arnesen role thereby getting his day to day involvement at club level without the stress (keeping his wife happy). 

      But who knows the devilish workings of Roman’s mind?

  31. Gleb

    Guus is a brave man, I’ll give him that! Walking out on them hot-blooded “honorable” Turks is, at the very least, a risky affair (and not because of tarnishing an untarnished reputation), and the Turkish mafia is quite strong in London, or so I heard. Though, I guess, having dealt with the worst of them all – us Russians – Hiddink is bulletproof (figuratively!) now. How he could escape unharmed after such a spectacular failure to qualify for SA against Slovakia is still a mystery. We poison people for much less than that.

    Ok, I’m sorry, I’ll stop now. Just some black humor to stir things up around here. Wasn’t being serious 🙂

  32. Anonymous

    Yup. No doubt we’ll get both Hiddink and Sparky over the next four or five years, along with one or two others.

  33. Gleb

    Belgium 1-1 Turkey. Where does that leave us? 0_o None of them “if-Turkey-lose-Hiddink-comes” journos ever said there could be a draw… 😉

    • Anonymous

      Morris has had a bad image over several legal and ethical issues. Chronologically, these include allegations that: he was one of a group of Chelsea players who drunkenly abused American tourists at Heathrow Airport within hours of the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon;[10] that he was involved in a drunken brawl (in 2002);[11] that he was involved in a sexual assault (in 2003),.[12][13] He was also arrested for drunk-driving on 1 November 2006, after driving the wrong waydown a one-way street. Morris, who had one previous conviction for drunk-driving, was disqualified from driving for four years, given 80 hours community service and a two-year suspended jail sentence

  34. Cunningplan

    Just thought I would relieve the boredom while we’re all waiting for the coronation of our next.. manager/coach/lackey/no hoper delete as appropriate.

    Anyway got this via e-mail from a friend this morning and it raised a chuckle.

    GOVERNMENT ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2011 EUROPE
    The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
    The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
    The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

    Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
    The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”
    Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
    The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
    Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is canceled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

  35. Anonymous

    How many more reserve / fringe players are we going to lose to Hamburg?

    Mancienne and Sala are done deals, Gokhan Tore will be done in the next few days.

    If they’re good enough players for Arnesen to want to take them to his new club, why the hell are we sanctioning their departure? Makes no sense to me.

    • Anonymous

      It could well be that there contracts have just expired, if so the players are free to choose to do what they want.

  36. Anonymous

    Ryan is making JT and Ashley look like role models.

    Also Ryan’s sister-in-law shows we’re not completely in the
    moral abyss because after she discovered Ryan was being unfaithful to here
    (with Imogen) she was so upset she had to ask Max Clifford to help publicise
    her plight.  I mean you can’t buy class
    like that.

    Now when’s Ryan going to have the bottle to shoot a fan with his air rifle?

    • Cunningplan

      I should imagine Jenson Button will want him stripped of the Sports Personality of the year award where he managed to con people  into voting for him two years ago.

  37. Anonymous

    The story of idiot who left Chelsea because of exuberant wages demands http://www.metro.co.uk/sport/football/865332-joe-cole-set-for-3million-liverpool-to-spurs-transfer

    • Anonymous

      It all depends how big is a compensation package we give him, when is going to get sacked. I believe it will be big enough to sponsor his year 🙂 

  38. Der_Kaiser

    Off radar for a few days…  Happy with Guus seeing as it’s pretty much a done deal bar the haggling over cash and so on.  Wonder how long he’ll get?


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