Copenhagen 0-2 Chelsea – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report, Player Ratings

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Lost amid the tub-thumping rallying cry delivered by John Terry on the eve of this contest had been Carlo Ancelotti’s reminder that Chelsea had “not died”. This first-leg saunter in Denmark was nothing more than confirmation that the Champions League may yet breathe new life into the club’s season. The Londoners have their respite.”

Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “Chelsea emerged from the Big Chill at Ice Station Parken, guided to within touching distance of the quarter-finals of the Champions League by the outstanding Nicolas Anelka. Crisis?”

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “Carlo Ancelotti left the pitch with a fist raised in salute to the Chelsea fans who sung his name in the away end of the Parken Stadium and when he looks back on last night, the Italian will reflect it has been a while since that has happened. It has been a while since his Chelsea team have been quite so good as they were last night.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “Nicolas Anelka netted twice in Copenhagen as the Blues secured a comfortable lead to take into the second leg of the first knock-out round in Europe. Fernando Torres looked sharp inside a freezing Parken Stadium and the Blues dominated the Danish side from start to finish, with Anelka scoring in both halves.”

The goals

17′ Anelka 0-1
54′ Anelka 0-2

The preamble

“This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end

Lost in a Roman… wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah”

(The Doors  – The End)

Well that kind of sums everything up at the moment so I bid you adieu and will now return to my bed for a cry as I reflect further on this car crash of a season…

…still crying here…

…hey, none of that sniggering in the back, I can still see you…

…Ok I’m back and in the words of JT, “it’s time to fucking man up!” Well I think that’s what he said as that was the message being portrayed on the news yesterday and well, it kind of fits this introduction so I’m happy to use it.

And man up I have. Well sort of, but I’ve had enough of the pathetic sniping at Roman from some sections of the press (the bullshit I’ve read this week about Roman wanting to meddle in the team with “his signings” or that he’s fallen out of love with the club or that he hasn’t shown Carlo enough patience or that he even wants to become the de facto coach of the side, really has been exasperating) and beyond that, enough of the pathetic, white flag raising, Bosingwa-patented, “I don’t give a shit” attitude of some of our players and staff. JT’s rallying cry was a start as when you’re facing a crisis – and after four months of frankly embarrassing results this is most definitely a crisis – what the fans expect is some fight, some commitment and some fucking passion. The results and sad crumbling of this Jose constructed empire have depressed us all but what has angered me the most is the pitiful acceptance that everything is lost.

As well it being the time to “man up” though, I feel it’s also time that we all grew up and discussed the issues at hand in a more mature and intelligent manner. I know that we have some followers in the crowd who are of, well, how do I put this, a more experienced, calm and learned persuasion (phew, I got away with that didn’t I? It’s not as if I called you all old… damn) and the arguments made on the blog this week were rational, well laid out and extremely logical as you all called for calm in the face of yet another reactionary and hyperbolic media campaign to almost force Carlo to resign or preferably, Roman to sack him. However, this maturity seems to have deserted some parts of the media, the Chelsea support and crucially the playing squad.

Honestly though, and it pains me to admit this, when I had just finished watching that debacle against Everton and proceeded to read the endless column inches of mocking, self-congratulatory, “I told you so” themed match reports out of morbid curiosity, I too was in the mood for blood. I didn’t care that we had actually created a fair few chances in the match or that the lottery of a penalty shoot-out had tossed us out of the Cup and was instead on the lookout for a scapegoat. Torres had already been proclaimed as a flop after 130 whole minutes of action but he was cup-tied so I couldn’t really blame him! The media therefore focused their crosshairs, inevitably, on Carlo. “He’s lost the dressing room!” “He can’t handle the Chelsea egos!” “Carlo’s on the brink!” And honestly, a small part of me, whilst in my weekly venting phase thought: “Good, enough is enough and it’s time for a change.” Looking back now, that stance seems so pathetic that all I can do is laugh but in a strange way that reaction seemed natural and somehow justified. At the time and interestingly, again last night in the build up to the match, I hate to admit it, but a part of me wanted him out. I sat there, listening to Jose talk in his intense and brooding way about the Real-Barca rivalry and his continued love at Chelsea and well, I began to long for him.

I didn’t care that wanting Jose to return was driven more by the heart than the head because as a fan I was allowed to have these moments of weakness, right? But how do you explain the incredibly reactionary and hyperbolic tone of the media? If we looked at the problems facing the club at the moment in a rational manner then it’s true that Carlo does deserve a fair share of criticism. His substitutions have at best been conservative and at worst been counter-productive. He clearly places too much importance on massaging the players’ egos and currently looks rather impotent in his inability to motivate the side. But many have failed to recognise that Carlo has made huge strides in recent weeks to change. We asked him to drop Didier and he has. We asked him to change the formation and he has, three times. We asked him to show more passion and he has, especially as he told every waiting journalists that “Chelsea aren’t dead yet!” So why haven’t these changes been acknowledged? It really shouldn’t surprise me that many in the media have decided to focus on the negatives in this troubled period but a more balanced and mature debate regarding our present predicament would have been greatly appreciated from fans of all persuasion and not just us Chelsea nuts.

It’s time then for a lot of us to grow up then. The fans should be able to move on from the extreme highs or lows of a Chelsea result but equally the media should know that the overly simplistic bullshit they spout every week of Chelsea “being in CRISIS” or on the other hand seeing the return of “the real Chelsea” on the back of one result just isn’t acceptable anymore. Everyone is waiting for more mature and insightful analysis of the situation we’re in at the moment and sadly, until that moment comes we’ll still be living in the bipolar, irrational and at times crazy world of Chelsea extremism we know, love and hate in equal measure.

So folks, knowing that rational thought and reasoned and balanced analysis are probably a couple of decades away, what kind of night was this going to be? It seemed strange to say but a Champions League tie against the 150-1 outsiders had turned into our make or break game of the season. It was so sad to see many talk of “coming home with an away goal, even in a defeat” as being a good result because it not only confirmed the depressing fall of this once great side but it was also a further example of the rather pathetic, defeatist attitude that had overtaken this club in recent weeks. A scoring defeat against frankly awful opposition would be unacceptable in my mind and I for one was hoping for one last hurrah from the old guard to show that Chelsea were indeed still alive.

Either that or some passes to a blue (black) shirt.

The team

Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Torres.

Subs: Turnbull, Drogba, Mikel, Zhirkov, Ferreira, Kalou, McEachran.

So Carlo had the balls to drop Didier and switch to a flat 4-4-2. What more could you fucking ask for? Well a start for Josh would have been nice but baby steps will do for now.

The match

It turned out to be highly entertaining and encouraging for those of a Chelsea persuasion. It was an extremely impressive, professional and at times attractive away performance as we dominated the ball for what seemed like 80 of the 95 minutes of play, created chances at will and showed signs of the real Chelsea returning. We’re not only still alive as Carlo told us but in my mind the real Chelsea were back! Ok, scrap that, but a couple more months with performances like these could see us somehow stumble on to a trip to Wembley come May.

Damn, the hope really does kill you doesn’t it?

But strangely the entertainment began even before kick-off. As Ray, in his now customary punditry position was spouting some banal bullshit about a lack of confidence and “Chelsea wanting a good result tonight here, Jeff” (when do we ever not want that?) he suddenly noticed that Didier hadn’t turned up for the warm up. Getting dropped is meant to provoke a positive reaction in a player, with Carlo hoping that Didier would fight back, wanting to show everyone that he still deserves a place in this side (he doesn’t but hey, we’ll come to that later). Instead he went off for a sulk and confirmed to me that his disgusting attitude and shit performances are no longer wanted at this football club.

Personally though, as soon as we kicked off, you could sense that something was different about us. I’m not sure if it was the shape, having more natural width plus a partner for Torres certainly proved to be a revelation, or if it was the high tempo we were playing at, but it looked like, as Alan Smith on commentary put it “that Chelsea mean business tonight.”

Torres and Nico were developing a promising partnership as they looked to feed each other at every opportunity in the early stages. Frank, the guy who can only play in a 4-3-3 according to some, was revelling in his central midfield role and Malouda was giving one of his most encouraging performances for months. It even included sustained periods of sprinting, tracking back and some impressive passing! Yep, something really was different.

Fernando was making a number of great runs as he pulled to the inside left channel, first crossing well for a Lampard volley, then taking on and beating the last man Tal Ben Haim style to earn the defender a yellow card and finally dropping deep to turn, beat his man and flight a delightful ball to Nico whose volley was deflected over. It was a very promising start from the £50m man and not even a wasteful touch in front of goal could dampen my joy at seeing Fernando getting close to his best again. The goals will come but in terms of his all round game, he started brilliantly.

At this stage Copenhagen hadn’t managed to get into our half let alone launch a meaningful attack and our dominance was rewarded with a stunning goal from Nico. Picking up on a delightfully weighted through ball from Jesper Gronkjaer, he raced forward, dropped a shoulder and fired home into the bottom corner. There was hardly a celebration from our players or Carlo as they all knew that this was just the start of any potential Chelsea comeback after four months of dire performances but hey, what a way to begin.

Usually going 1-0 up causes us to sit deep, get sloppy and then inevitably concede. But there was none of that in this first half. First Fernando skinned his marker with some fancy footwork before seeing his chipped finish get well saved and then some beautiful build up play between Ash, the increasingly impressive Malouda and Lamps resulted in a stunning reverse through ball from Frank into the path of Torres. His first touch on a bafflingly awful pitch was a little off and the toe poked finish was tame in the end. But everything apart from the finish was back in his game and to see him power past defenders with bursts of pace and even track back to attempt to win back the ball for the team was hugely encouraging. It confirmed to me at least that this is most certainly Didier’s final season with us.

So, we were doing well. The football was high paced and pleasing on the eye. The back five were putting in exemplary and solid performances and even Essien had found his passing boots as he minimised the sloppy passes to about one in five! But that wasn’t to say that everything was going perfectly. Complacency did creep into some of the players causing Carlo to scream at them to keep running and going forward when they had so much time and space on the ball (that kind of sums Chelsea up doesn’t it? Time, space and freedom to go and score goals but we’d rather lounge around in our own half). It got so bad that when Bosingwa did his usual trick of seeing 40 yards of free grass to run into, he slowed to a walk then actually stopped before doing… well, absolutely fuck all as he just stood there, admiring the view. It forced Frank to actually scream abuse at him to continue to fucking play and was a disappointing part of the half.

As well as that the 4-4-2 system was also troubling me. We looked great going forward as Malouda provided the width, Fernando and Nico roamed all over the place in free roles and Lamps got forward at every opportunity, allowing Ramires and Essien to sit back. However, I’ve always hated this shape as in the words of Jose “people can always play between the lines.” There were too many straight lines on the pitch when defending, despite the fluid attacking play of our front four, and Copenhagen regularly found space in their number 10 position. The fact that they didn’t know how to pass or shoot meant that we did get away with it but if we gave Messi that time and space, we’d be fucked. But the half ended with yet more waves of Chelsea pressure as Nico and Fernando continued to drive forward and the beaming smile and silly little fist pump I gave to myself confirmed that we’d been great thus far.

The second half started predictably. Copenhagen ran around like lunatics after a half time hairdryer from their crazy manager and we simply sat back, confidently repelling each of their pathetic attacks. Copenhagen’s approach play was pretty pitiful and after a few embarrassing long shots, we decided to wake from our slumber and score a stunner of a second goal. JT, Ash, Malouda and Essien all played some lovely one and two touch keep ball before some pace was injected into the attack. A clever ball around the corner was fired to Frank who immediately chipped a reverse pass to Nico in the inside right channel and despite going away from goal he expertly half volleyed the ball into the bottom corner. It was a beautiful goal full of fluid movement, incisive passing and with an expert finish to round it off. That was the match and tie over and now the only three remaining points of order were Fernando’s search for a goal, the continued gelling in a 4-4-2 and Didier’s introduction!

Strangely we then decided to go for the third goal. I say strangely because when have you ever seen Chelsea go for the jugular in recent weeks? Some nice interplay between Frank and Essien fed Fernando on the run about 25 yards from goal with two defenders to beat. He decided against the first time blast at goal and slowed the pace before a step over, shimmy and lovely, left footed, curling shot was brilliantly saved low down by Johan Wiland. He was getting closer and when Frank again played him in (a brilliant partnership is already developing there), this time in the inside left channel, Fernando decided to shrug off the defender – despite the clear shirt pull – burst into the box and from a narrow angle his toe poke was cleared off the line. I had seen enough by now to know that the real Fernando was very nearly back. The pace, power and class were all there and if he’s saving up his goal for Utd, then who am I to complain?

We then decided to fall asleep in classic Chelsea style just to make sure those of us watching at home were still paying attention. First the passing and tempo disappeared from our game as Malouda, Bosingwa and Branners all decided to compete for the prize of the worst passer over five yards award. Then our 4-4-2 was found out as Copenhagen pressed us higher up the park. When Lamps or Essien were isolated near the touchlines and JT and Branners were both marked, without an easy out ball, both of our midfielders were forced into suicidal square balls which were regularly cut out. Inevitably Copenhagen messed up those counter-attacking chances but again, if it was Barca, just think of the horrific scenes that would follow!

And finally we came to the biggest event of the night: Didier’s entrance. We know he loves to play the pantomime villain but after he came on for the superb Anelka, all he did was anger me, causing me to shout abuse at the screen thanks to his disgusting, lazy and careless performance. I was interested to see how he would react to getting dropped and his earlier sulk so I watched him carefully as soon as he came on. To say I was impressed would be, well, a fucking lie.

His first four touches were all abysmal as easy passes to his chest or feet flew off towards an opponent. His fifth touch was a header to no-one. His sixth touch was a three yard square pass to Essien. His seventh was a nice chest control, followed by another abysmal pass. Then his ninth was a 45 yard shot, at an angle into the back boards. It was a pathetic, arrogant, diva-like performance and to see all the players turn away from him in disgust when he decided to shoot on that final occasion said it all really. This is the end for him and even if you leave aside his antics, his all-round team play was shocking. The reason why Nico and Fernando worked so well was because they both moved, rotated and played between the lines. One would drop off and then feed the other, who would be on the shoulder of the last defender. Didier however thought it was a better idea to walk around like some dinosaur. Didierplodacus would have been an apt name as he plodded around, not doing anything. These last few months of the season look like being a sad end to a great Chelsea career. He is a legend but now he just looks pathetic.

And that was about that. Kalou and Zhirkov got about 90 seconds between them as subs and Carlo and his silly hat trudged off the pitch knowing that the old dog isn’t quite dead yet.

The good

  • Attitude – More than anything in recent weeks, the players’ attitude has been the reason why we’ve dropped like a stone down the table. Being together for so long inevitably means that things become stale and that some players lose motivation and I don’t know if it was Roman’s meeting at Cobham, the shift to a 4-4-2 or some Carlo hairdryers but the tempo, commitment and passion were all back.
  • Football – Fluent, mobile, full of rotation, movement, slick passing and dangerous attacking play. With more luck and training, the goals will come.
  • Carlo – Finally, he’s decided to do it his way. If he’s going to go down and get the sack soon, he might as well go down fighting. Choosing 4-4-2 against weak opposition was inspired as it gave us the width as well as the two strikers we’ve been crying out for, especially as 4-3-3 is now dead in terms of effectiveness for us. But dropping Didier was the biggest plus. Didier’s usually gone off in a sulk when dropped – and he didn’t disappoint last night – but the performances of our front two completely vindicated your decision. I suspect that Didier’s late introduction may also have been designed to show some Chelsea fans the stark difference between a player hungry and willing to give his all for Chelsea and a 33 year-old diva who is tarnishing a legendary Chelsea career.
  • Nico and Fernando – Full of selfless running, rotation and deadly finishing, this partnership looks like a gem.
  • Cech – An exhibition in how to claim crosses.
  • Spurs – They never let you down do they?

The bad

  • Bosingwa – There’s a reason you haven’t got a new contract mate and your lazy attitude not only pissed off Carlo and Lamps on the pitch but also the fans at home. Embarrassing at times, which ruined a promising defensive performance.
  • No Josh – Carlo’s comments that he just needs time and probably another pre-season before he can challenge for more starts are probably wise but sometimes you just feel that even if he isn’t getting starts, some 15 or 20 minute substitute appearances would be more helpful than falling asleep next to Emenalo.
  • Didier – A sad end as I’ve said. His attitude, technique, team play, movement, passing and shooting were all verging on the embarrassing. I just hope he realises that this is not the way to bow out of Chelsea.

Player ratings

  • Cech – 9/10 – Exemplary
  • Bosingwa – 5/10 – Lazy
  • Branners – 6/10 – Sloppy
  • JT – 8/10 – Rock solid (moronic yellow card apart)
  • Ash – 7/10 – Improving
  • Ramires – 7/10 – Crucial (a guaranteed starter now whose energy and power now run this side at times)
  • Essien – 7/10 – Impressive
  • Lampard – 8/10 –  Classy
  • Malouda – 7/10 – Encouraging
  • Nico – 9.5/10 – Superb
  • Torres – 9/10 – So nearly back to his best. The fans already love him though judging by the constant singing of his name
  • Didier (sub) – 0/10 – An embarrassment
  • Zhirkov (sub) – 5/10 – Two touches
  • Kalou (sub) – 5/10 – One touch
  • Carlo – 10/10 – Masterminded a near perfect away performance. New formation, new team selection and new attitude. You’re determined to go out on a high Carlo and I love you for it.

Man of the Match

It has to be Nico. Utterly sublime. Fernando ran him close though.

The conclusion

So how about that then?

There were moments in the past week when I really thought that we were on the verge of imploding but Carlo’s words that “we’re not dead yet” were certainly proved right last night. The football was great, the passing was great but crucially the attitude was great. The players really wanted to put on a show and perhaps the pressure of these next few “Champions League or bust” months is about to bring about the best in them.

Carlo also told us that this could still be Chelsea’s best ever season and that his Champions League win in 2007 should tell everyone that he does know what he’s doing. But he ended that season 36 points, nope that is not a typo, 36 points behind Inter in the league and the strategy to go for broke in one knockout competition is at best risky and at worst suicidal. Ghost goals, dodgy referees, red cards or Jose could all still ruin it for us but this performance has made me strangely excited to find out how this ride will end. I asked at the start if it’s time to have a more mature and considered reaction to Chelsea performances but after seeing a win and such an encouraging one at that, forget that because as Carlo said “we’re still alive” and Chelsea are well and truly back!

Erm, I may be setting myself up for a fall soon…

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There are 123 comments

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  1. Nick Benfield

    Apologies for the delay in posting Habs’ splendid report – I got stuck into the vino after the match last night.

    Great stuff, Habs. Pretty much agree with all of it, even the Didier stuff. I think we’re seeing the death rattle of a fine if somewhat tainted Chelsea career. He needs to man the fuck up!

    We also saw that Nico is a striker. Yes, he can play out wide in a front three and in a deeper lying advanced midfield role, but when he does he tends to slow play to a crawl – he’s great at controlling balls to feet, keeping possession, but most of the time he will then pass the ball backward or sideways by which time the opposition have got back. No, he’s a striker and still a world class one at that. Play him up front and he’ll get you goals. A front two of Torres and Anelka. Nice.

    Right, coffee.

  2. Anonymous

    Good win , no doubt, but I am afraid to develop expectations based on this performance. In the next round it most probably will be more serious team and they then we shall see. On the other front there are good news regarding the Spuds loss to Blackpool!

  3. Anonymous

    Great reports Habs – how do you manage to write so much stuff?

    To be fair to Didier his English isn’t great and he misunderstood JT as “You need to fuck up, man”

  4. John

    Great and very thorough report thanks, but I think it’s a bit harsh on Drogba. Today’s Grauniad says he was absent from the warm up because of aches and pains (admittedly this could be bollocks – I mean untrue, not that this is where the pain was) but nevertheless it’s a touch ungrateful to slag him like this and it might be early to write him off. He’s had games and spells throughout his time here when I agree his attitude and performances have been sulky and unacceptable and last night could be another example, but he’s generally been fantastic for us and could be still. Drogba could just as easily play in a front 2 with Torres or Anelka if that’s the way we want to go, and he might have a part to play at least for the rest of this season.

  5. Austin Solari

    Due to not being brave enough to ask wifey if I could ‘have’ the telly last night, I decided to listen to R5Live and save my request for next Tuesday. I saw the commentators included alan Green and thought ‘Oh God’.
    To my eternal surprise, Graham Taylor and Mr Green were most complimentary about us last night. I have now come to the conclusion that AG is a Torres fan and not a Scumpool fan and he was very suppportive about Nando.
    Listening t othem we seem to play excellently for a change but one did disturb me …………. I was watching Sky Sports News this morning purely to enjoy watching Blackpool scoring three goals totally against the run of play (LOLOL) and I noticed in our match stats the pass completion percentages ……….. FC Copenhagen 81% ….. CFC 62%!!!! To be sure, that is fukking disgraceful. Not much more than half our passes went to feet. As Habers says … if that had been Barca, we may have had big problems last night.

  6. bluebayou

    Good summary and entertaining to boot Habs. Agree with you that we looked too easy to pass through due to the midfield set up. I don’t think Essien plays too well in that central defensive role whatever the formation. Thought he looked leggy last night second half.

    Difficult to know with Drogba. It’s easy to attribute motives and emotions to his actions that may be wide of the mark. In the past we’ve credited him with hissy fits and given up on him only for him to come back firing on all cylinders. We’ll see.

    While the opposition weren’t the problem we expected and some of our play was patchy, a win helps get us back on track. Onwards and Upwards.

  7. bluebayou

    Mmmmmm Shouldn’t JM be making statements dedicating his efforts to his employers at Madrid and refuse to undermine a fellow manager while he is the incumbent?

    Then again did he really say any of that? Or if he did are those quotes 18 months old?

    In honour of our recent win let’s all gather round and sing a few rousing choruses

    (mind you they wouldn’t be so wonderful if they mugged us for the tie down at the Bridge)

  8. bluebayou

    Oh and Carlo may well want to move to A S Roma (there have always been the rumours that he only wanted 2 years here) but I would guess the Montella appointment springs from the fact that the club is up for sale and rumours abound as to who will buy it, including someone who was part of the group that bought Liverpool. So no major appointment would be made committing big money until that’s sorted out.

  9. Der_Kaiser

    Decent performance; holes there to be picked, but job done for the time being and a boost for the collective confidence, no doubt.

    Good to play Anelka up front away from home; he’s excellent against teams defending a fairly high line – obviously had less success as they dropped deeper and deeper, but the damage was done by then.

    Tart he may be, but I feel a bit sorry for the Drog; must be immensely frustrating to be where he is now – certainly don’t think he should be written off just yet as he could play a part next season if need be. Whether his ego could accept a bench role is another matter, of course.

    Week off might be good for those ageing legs in the squad too. Spurs screwing up into the bargain was very helpful. What a difference a day makes, eh?

  10. Anonymous

    Think you were a tad harsh on The Drog, Habs, but understand your frustration with him entirely. Just a bit soon to be writing him off completely.

    After all the pre-match hype about what a great record Copenhagen have at home in Europe – undefeated against Barca, Man U etc, etc. I was just relieved to see a very ordinary looking side, with a ready -made excuse of their long winter break admittedly, which we dominated with a great deal of ease.

    One foot in the next round, although we did almost throw away a 2-goal first leg lead at The Bridge against the Scousers in 2009, so lots of scope still for doom and gloom, Fiftee!

  11. Ringo

    But to be fair ,they’re probably one of the poorest teams to appear in the last sixteen.
    And as for Copenhagen…

    Do seem to remember a piss-poor Liverpool team going all the way though. Not that I can see that happening for us.

    And what’s with all the joy and happiness about Tottenham losing a game. Is that what we’ve sunk to?

    • Anonymous

      We always like to savour The Spuds taking a pratfall, even though it’s usually just for the sheer joy of it [ I believe the Germans have a word for it] rather than about CL places.

  12. Anonymous

    Schadenfreude always tastes nice, but sweeter when it’s Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.

    I was locked away in a club in darkest Eastleigh wth no mobile phone in a radio station sponsored Quiz final. We came 9th from 45, just 6 points off 3rd place and cash (schoolboy errors on the Dead or Alive round et al) , but a full 20 points behind the winners. They did look very swotty.

    So, thanks to Habs for his in depth report helping me to frame the match details, and good to hear Nando and Anelka linlked well. Anelka is finding his way into his new multi-facted role, but I’m with Nick….the man scores goals and always has done. Yes he’s wasteful in front of goal but rather that than another Pizzaro who never got near the goal.

    Shame about Drogba, but he does seem more sulk-prone than the infamous Le Sulk. I would hate his career at Chelsea to end in acrimonious or ignominious circumstances.

    Surely we can’t fuck up a 2 goal load agsimnst this. I’ll be praying Milan turn Spuds over as I know who I’d rather face at the moment.

    • Anonymous

      Should we expect a list of increasingly unlikely “what I did to avoid watching Chelsea live” activities from you, or are you going to man up, to quote JT, and be back in your usual seat for man U next Tuesday 😉

      • Anonymous

        This was purely a one-off, my viewing scuppered by poor scheduling.

        Unless of course we turn pro.

        We’re called F-Troop by the way, by virtue of one of the team being a bona fide, card carrying former member of said organisation. Meaning none of the rest of us had the balls to challenge his name siggestion.

          • bluebayou

            Eastleigh is an urban area,part of the Southampton conurbation, on a river, with a railway station, close to a small airport. There is a large container docks area further down river. So Millwall really. Just a bit closer to cows and sheep ‘n stuff

          • John

            Thanks BB – good knowledge, and helpful. Perhaps the F Troop member went there with the dock work when it left Millwall, though of course the club (just off Old Kent Road – the New Den is not far from the old one’s location) is not that close to the Millwall dock from which I assume it took its name and in my experience not many of the hard men there were dockers.

          • bluebayou

            I was trying, not too well obviously, to compare Tilbury with Southampton docks, to emphasise as you rightly point out that the association between modern Millwall and the docks is somewhat distant.

          • Anonymous

            Nah, its a simple love story.

            A run of the mill classic from the mould of Mills and Boon – there you are with your mates, lagered up, you spot your prey and as one group you descend, kicking, punching, lashing, running, charging and laughing at the craic. Adrenalin runs high. All for one and all that.

            Then later in the pub when you’re ‘re nursing the wounds that are your badges of honour, retelling jolly boys tales of flying boots and fists, and consuming yet more lager, you see her from the corner of your eye. The magic sparkles, the knees go weak, your eyes meet, she smiles, one of your mates spots this and dares you to go over and ‘smash it’ (copyright R Keys Esq) . Suddenly after the introduction you realise she’s special, you apologise to your mates, you whisk her away, you’re chalk and cheese, she’s quiet , studious, spiritual, intelligent and innocent. You are the product of nature, the offspring of a docking family and nurture, bought up in the environs of said dockers. Educated (very loosely) in delightful places like New Cross, baptised by calloused knuckles, disciplined by boots and sticks. Your uniform is tassled loafers, towelling socks, two tone trousers, Fred Perry polo shirts. A night out adds a two-tone suit jacket to the look.

            Before you know it, the football, the fighting , your mates, the beer all seem unimportant, and in the blink of an eye, 25 years goes by you and your eldest daughters are at University, your youngest son is starting college. Your shovel like hands which have held them gently as babies, and held your wife’s hand as if it were a freshly picked summer rose are now employed mending Housing Association tenants homes.

            The only clue to your violent rough past flares up when the odd misguided ill informed hoodie decides you’re fair game as you drive the estates. And you pin them to the wall in front of their mates, reducing them to begging, tears of fear and humiliation streaming from them, as you snarl into their ears asking if they really think they can take you on after all you’ve seen and done. Inviting their cowering mates to try their hand as well.

            You’re 55 years old, and slower but it’s still all there.

            And you never tell her what you’ve done, past or present. She’s still innocent to your past, or so you think. She knows but never mentions, after all its who you are now that counts. She has redeemed you, and you know it. You are soul mates. You are the paradigm of the phrase ‘opposites attract’.

            And you do quizzes with 2 golf playing, Volvo driving Chelsea fans, a football agnostic and a Rugby fan.

            C’est la vie.

            In the words of the immortal Roger Waters.

            ‘And then one day you find,
            Ten years have got behind you you
            No-one told you when to run
            You missed the starting gun’

            Oi, Cartland, thats a romance story!

          • bluebayou

            Babs probably thought “loafers” were people of the lower orders who had a predisposition to being workshy.

            A touching story rather well told there, old bean.

            Handy sort of bloke to have around in a quiz when it all gets a bit ugly.

  13. Ringo

    Can’t say I feel the same way I used to about them,or West Ham.
    Guess I’ve been gone too long.

    Though strangely ,I have discovered I now have a big “hatred” for all things arsenal. Which I never really had before.

  14. NYC BLUE

    Great report. Just a quick comment from a long time reader and first time commenter…

    I thought 7/10 was generous for Essien. I think the injuries have take their toll on him, he just isn’t the same player he once was. The passing out of the back was poor (Luiz’s enterprise out of the back was better as a center back) and whereas his drive in the middle third used to aggressive, he looks scared to push the ball when he has space. Ramires looks much better, and for a smaller guy he won’t be pushed around and is hard on the tackle when he needs to be.

  15. Jon

    I think 4-4-2 really suited us, we had width and not sure if the formation caused it, but played at a much higher tempo. I agree the opposition was poor but they have not lost at home in the CL before, even drew 1-1 with the gods of football, Barca.

    A step the in right direction, an injection of confidence into the squad and spurs dropping points. Couldn’t ask for anything more? well maybe Torres scoring! … but that will come.

    We have a week to rest up for the ManU game, I think hoping for a win is unrealistic, but a draw would be great. Claw away at some points against spurs. As long as we qualify for the CL next season, I will know see this season as successful.

  16. Ososdeoro

    I think in the first Anelka goal he must have been channeling Jonathan Tehoue from last weekend: same angle, same distance, same shot, same goalkeeping performance. Though, the Copenhagen defenders were doing a slightly better job on Anelka than the Arsenal defenders were on the Leyton Oriental.

    I think as fans we need to remain middlin’. Somewhat encouraged by the improved attitude, but hopeful that the team can get a little tighter passing and finishing (I actually thought the passing part wasn’t bad against Everton).

    That we recorded a shutout with Branners at Centerback and Bosingwa on the outside is….lucky maybe? I have a feeling Luiz’ absence in this competition may end up hurting us. I still prefer to see Mr. F in there for Bosingwa, because he can center the ball. But on defense Paulo is a little slow and small for top-level UEFA competition. Is Alex back soon?

    And speaking of the wounded, we saw a shot of Yossi and FT in the stands during the last FA Cup match of the year. Did anyone see Benayoun in person there? Were there crutches?

    • Ososdeoro

      Oh, and for our next trip to the bottom of the roller coaster track I nominate Mumford & Sons

      Tremble for yourself, my man,
      You know that you have seen this all before
      Tremble Little Lion Man,
      You’ll never settle any of your scores
      Your grace is wasted in your face,
      Your boldness stands alone among the wreck
      Now learn from your mother or else spend your days Biting your own neck

  17. Anonymous

    I might start to believe after the next game and not after FC Copenhagen game. The next game is the ultimate test.

  18. Cunningplan

    I laughed when you said F Troop Tony, because in my naivety I immediately thought of the US TV series which I enjoyed watching growing up.
    I would assume Millwall supporters got their name from said series?

  19. PeteW

    Doesn’t Millwall still have an annual Dockers Day game? Not sure what happens, but I like the connection with the past, like our Pensioners, Arsenal moving ground every half century in search of new fans and Spurs being wankers.

    Decent performance against shitty-as-you-like opposition. Thought DD was very poor and really tend to agree with the consensus that the time may come for him to move on – and I HATE agreeing with the consensus. I’ve always been a massive Drogba fan, even when everybody was slagging him off in his first season I thought he was going to be brilliant, so sad to see him like this. But we’ll always have Fucking Disgrace-gate; nobody can take that away from us. (Interesting to note that UEFA deemed Drogba swearing at a camera to be as bad as Gattuso headbutting Joe Jordan. Anti-Chelsea, or pro-Milan? UC whatever the reason.)

    Would like to find a way to keep Nic and Torres together for United, but concerned about the space in midfield. United will come for a draw, score on break (do they ever play any other way against us), and probably double up on the fullbacks. It won’t be pretty. Wonder what they’ll kick this time? Last few seasons it’s been: us, each other, a steward and a groundsman, and we’ve also had Rio storm off after shouting the ref (unpunished naturally) and Fletcher attempt to ref the game himself. Horribly unpleasant games.

    I’m going of course. Will my 100% run continue?

    • Cunningplan

      I mentioned the Uefa ban for Gattuso on the previous blog, as a matter of fact Drogs got a 6 match ban with two suspended, so in effect his offence was deemed worse, as you say UC.

    • bluebayou

      It was a sad day when Pickfords didn’t come up with enough money to sponsor Arsenal’s new stadium.

      You’ve neatly summed up how I expect Fergus to approach Tuesday. Mind you, with Park and Anderson out injured, his favoured dogs of war midfield where these 2 are coupled with Fletcher will have to be rejigged.

      Watching some of last night’s game and bearing in mind quite a few United performances this season, are they not becoming a team of grinders particularly in the bigger games, with the exception of Nani? Perhaps they’re getting ready for JM to take over from Fergie 😉

  20. PeteW

    Bizzare, isn’t it? As I said at the time, Ballack should have landed one on the ref. He’d have got just as much stick in the press and probably not much more of a ban.

    • Der_Kaiser

      We’re generally far too civilised in Europe on the business of giving referees and officials the slaps that they often richly deserve. Some of the Youtube footage of barmy South American types hunting the chap with the whistle en masse puts our lightweight efforts to shame.

      If the best we can offer is Di Canio and Alcock, which was actually magnificent comedy taken far too seriously by the moralising hacks, then it’s a pretty poor show all round. Would have been much better if Ballack had produced a pair of black leather gloves from his shorts and slapped said official around the chops a couple of times.

  21. PeteW

    I distinctly remember that when we were deemed to be boring all and sundry into submission under Mourinho, United fans would tell me that they would NEVER put up with that sort of football because it WASN’T THE UNITED WAY. It isn’t just about winning, they said. (One tried to punch me after the 2007 FA Cup final because I smirked when he described as us the New Leeds, failing to notice that it was Ferguson who had played Alan Smith in midfield.)

    Given that United have been playing largely turgid football for at least three years now, I wonder what they are all doing?

    Also, while we are on the subject of United supporters and selective memory, has anybody noticed that their utter revulsion at the Glazer regime can be directly plotted against their league position? You don’t hear a squeak from them about it when they are 1st. Very peculiar.

  22. Cunningplan

    And wouldn’t this guy make an ideal referee

    Besides,as the USA missed out to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, I wouldn’t be surprised once the new stadia start going up, that American intelligence will find that these buildings are housing WMD’s.

    Of course the ensuing carpet bombing, and invasion will ensure that the US will then step in to save the tournament by hosting it, you heard it here first people. 😉

  23. Cunningplan

    But surely having an undercover thug on your team can be an advantage. If he’s used correctly, he can intimidate the quiz master for all the answers, because winning is everything, right?

    • Der_Kaiser

      Quite right. Knowing the name of Dante’s guide through heaven in ‘The Divine Comedy’ and the atomic weight of nitrogen is simply no substitute for being able to hold the quizmaster’s head down the bog and threatening to feed him the little blue chemical block until he agrees that you’ve won.

  24. bluebayou

    Talking of winning stuff, there’s a panic on down at the Emirates. No-one knows where the key for the trophy cabinet is. It’s never been opened since they built the stadium. They switched the lighting on in there to reveal a 4 inch layer of dust (that’s 10cm for our younger readership) and need to get it cleaned just in case Birminghamm have an off day.

  25. Ososdeoro

    A member of my alma mater’s basketball team was interviewed, and this was one of the results:

    “Aside from you, who is the best athlete in your family? ”

    “I have two cousins in Kenya who play soccer. They’re probably going to go to Europe for soccer. They just called me a couple days ago and said they are trying out in Madrid and Manchester City. It’s not like the Manchester United team, it’s like the second division.”

    Hehe. In fairness he might mean FC United.

  26. bluebayou

    In on of those strange coincidences I happened across this old game from 1966. Bearing in mind the quote at the top of the site from Mr Tambling, here he is in action along with a young Osgood.

    It’s a gem of a commentary, some good football and some curious incidents as well.

    Scroll down a bit when you get to the site and Enjoy…..

  27. bluebayou

    Thanks Nick, I was too idle to go and dig it out of youtube on it’s own.

    I suppose I also felt I should leave it where I found it as it were. Is there a handbook on interweb manners for these situations?

    Apologies to any readers who’s right of centre sensibilities (I assume David Mellor is a regular on here) were in any way offended by trawling around through a”liberal” blog.

  28. bluebayou

    It being the annoying corporate reporting season (or talking sh*te if you prefer), complete with appalling jargon, it’s worth remembering this Citeh v Chelsea game was played back in the days when the term “Chelsea look very good going forward” would have referred to our attacking verve whereas now it is corporate-speak for “I don’t know how to form future tenses but the future is rosy.”

    Ah well, back to my Latin primer.

  29. OlaR9

    I think the report is a little bit harsh on Drogba. his consistency and workrate may have decreased a little but his performances have been ok this season. I don’t care how old he is I would definitely have in the squad for another season or 2 if I were the Chelsea manager.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Would be nice if we were given some credit for reviving the Carling Cup. Jose took it seriously when Arsene and Fergie were treating it with contempt – good springboard for winning things, which is what concerns me about Arsenal winning on Sunday.

    • Anonymous

      I love it.

      Coyle working his Wilshere magic on Studge is perfect for us. Studge getting a 6 month pre-season basically as he plays games, scores goals and gets ready to join Fernando up front in August.

      Definitely looks like it’s bye bye Didier and hello Studge. I can’t wait.

  30. Anonymous

    So, just the 15 point gap then. Easy.

    15 points behind. Really puts our season into perspective. How on Earth did it ever get that bad?

  31. Anonymous

    I really can’t wait for the season to end. It’s horrendous being out of the title race already. So painful. Yes, we have to take the rough with the smooth and should feel grateful for the good times blah blah blah.

    But we shouldn’t have to. We’ve been let down by the players, and the club. They owe us. Fuck Tuesday, the leagues done (and I’d rather United win it than any if the others) so give us the CL. That’s all we have left.

    I guess at least were not being strung along in a title race to the last day and then coming up short. That would probably hurt more. We’ve been abject for so long, at least we’re accepting it. But is it the Chelsea of now? Are we officially broken and on the way down and out?

    I’m guessing Torres will fire another blank and be derided further in the press come Wednesday….

  32. Anonymous

    Pathetic from the NOTW and Mirror tonight:


    Oh my god you think, what’s happened?

    Well, Ash brought in his new toy gun, which happened to be an air rifle, showed it off to a 21 year old intern (yep, 21 makes you a teenager these days) and it accidentally went off despite Ash not knowing it was loaded. He did NOT go to hospital as some have made out and was wrapped up at Cobham.

    So Ash was a bit of an idiot but the NOTW’s desperate hope that this would destabilize the club like JT-gate has failed pathetically. It’s disgusting and embarrassing journalism!

    • Der_Kaiser

      I think we’ve done a good enough job of trashing our own season without the help of the Screws.

      I suspect that it has much to do with Ashley’s behaviour towards national treasure wor Cheryl and the fact he can be a monumental dick, as proven in this instance. Waving an airgun around that you ‘don’t know’ is loaded, let alone pointing it at someone 5 feet away and pulling the trigger doesn’t make you a bit of an idiot, it makes you a thick, brainless cunt of the first water.

      • Anonymous

        Hahaha…I was trying to stick up for Ash as I feel he gets some unfair stick sometimes for leaving Queen Cheryl but you’re probably right.

        I think it was just the hype given to the story and the fact that the NOTW were desperately hoping for another JT-esque bombshell to upset the club that pissed me off. The whole country yawned, moved on and started laughing at Szezcesnnynyy or however you spell that idiot’s name.

  33. Anonymous

    It’s not all that long ago that we played the ‘Poo on the last day of the season to see which of the two teams would finish fourth, and we were pretty happy to be in that position.

    It would be lovely to have the persistent year-on-year reliable basic excellence of the “big clubs” — except that I’m not sure even they have it. Only the loathsome Mancs have never really dropped below the status of serious challengers (in the lifespan of the Premiership at least). The other consistent team is the Arse but their consistency hasn’t done much for them recently. And until we stop changing managers and throwing money at ageing superstars every couple of years, I doubt we’re ever going to get the steadiness that enables Ferg and Wenger to sustain their teams at serious-challenger-or-thereabouts level year after year.

    Is there anyone else who’d rather the Arse were champions? Setting aside my incurable irrational revulsion at ManU and everything associated with them, and overlooking the air of smugness and absurd self-importance that attaches itself to the Arse, I have to confess that there’s something mildly admirable about the way the Arse lot have stuck with their group of players and their club “style” in the genuine belief that they’ll eventually mature into winners. I thought they were seriously impressive against Barca. They’d learned their lessons from watching us nearly get past them: hanging on and taking one’s chances, rather than trying to be all noble and exhilarating. (I think Barca will win the tie anyway, but still.)

    The outpouring of self-righteousness and fawning slobbering abasement in the media will be almost unbearable if the Arse do end up champions — everyone will conveniently forget that they’ve been not much less crap than everyone else this year, which is why that seriously unimpressive ManU side is still ahead of them — but I’d still rather they had their turn than the the alternative.

    • Jon

      Personally I prefer Utd to the Arse winning it – not for grand reason’s about style or such like, but simply because if a london club wins the EPL, it should chelsea.

    • Austin Solari

      The only problem I have with that, LTB, is that that fukking pain in the ass, Whinger, will turn around and say “I told you so”

  34. Cunningplan

    I think I would prefer Utd win than Arse, it’s the lesser of two evils for me. And of course the plus side of that is, it’s title number 19 for them which will have Poo fans totally pissed off, that has to be worth it on it’s own.

  35. Anonymous

    What a horrendous incorrect offside decision. ‘Keeper would have had to be sent off, Arsenal down to 10 and facing a penalty. But the officials cocked it up.

    They’re nailed on to win now.

  36. Anonymous

    Just finished to watch sequel of an old and loved by me film “White man can’t jump”. In the new film action takes place on the Wembley stadium it’s called “Arsen’s anal can’t win the trophy” .

  37. Anonymous


    Thoroughly deserved by the Brum. Should have had an early pen and man advantage, hit the post as well. Tremendous it all went wrong so late on….

  38. Der_Kaiser

    Always said it, but I agree with the consensus of sheep that believe Arsenal are the most entertaining team in the country. We just have differing reasons for thinking it…


  39. Anonymous

    I’m not sure which is actually funnier — Arse arseing up again or the fact that Cashley has now managed to shoot someone (presumably he was aiming for his own foot, a la Plaxico Burress, but missed).

    The footage of the Arseistas in the stands as the final minutes ticked away was worth the year’s licence fee.

    Sparky’s version of the post-match handshake was also highly entertaining. All in all a splendid sporting day.

  40. Anonymous

    I’m now watching highlights of the Carling Cup final for the second time already, having watched the whole game at the in-laws.

    It’s like theres some comedic element that makes me crave more and more repeats…

    Szceszney. Koscielny. Yup, there it is. Again. In all it’s glory. Not going to tire of this one boys. Is there a Sky Sports News +1 so I can see it again?

    Undoubtedly we’ll get caned on Tuesday, but this almost feels like a victory to me. I mean, Arsene’s boys only had to turn up to win it, didn’t they? Fabregas was there to lift the trophy and everything. Only he ended up looking like ex-Spurs defender Steven Carr with his shaven head. Oh…..

    Stick. Your. Arrogance. Up. Your. Arse. Cunts.

  41. FanSinceTheSixties

    Stop press…

    Brums beat bums!

    And the best team won, not that the Arsepress want to admit it.

    Even the beeb gave MOTM to Foster as if he saved Brum, he did have a good game, but so did all the other Blues and Martens showed just what a forward substitute is supposed to do (in case any of ours needed reminding).

    It’s the old What game did they watch syndrome.

    And just to round off their special weekend, but again, there’re not in our league: £2.5m… peanuts – but if their previous profits were down to sales of flats and players, doesn’t the term ‘selling the family silver’ come to mind?

    Going back to more important things, DD can’t have been too surprised at not starting in Copenhagen after playing the whole Everton game and Carlo obviously had a plan which he stuck to.

  42. Anonymous

    Jack Cork appears to have scored the winner for Burnley this weekend.

    I’ve got my ticket for the Yoof on Wednesday night. No doubt I’ll need cheering up after tomorrow. (Although the heartless siren hope is murmuring about how the core of our team might be playing itself into a bit of form …)

  43. Ososdeoro

    Of course the best team won it, sixties, they have a goalie and defenders!

    Had my Chelsea shirt on yesterday in anticipation of Tuesday (not part of the company dress code so won’t have it tomorrow). Dude in Arse shirt asked me for directions to a nearby bar in San Fran. I gave him the correct directions (sorry!) with a big smirk. But he said thanks and skulked off before it could be rubbed in, dammit!

  44. Ososdeoro

    Ooh, I wish I would have been quicker and asked him if he preferred direction to the bridge. My shirt had to be instantly recognizable as he was clearly a Brit.

  45. Der_Kaiser

    Is it really 5 years since Ossie departed? Blimey.

    Remember the Spurs game that came soon after; very late Gallas winner and probably the most unfeasibly mental goal celebration I’ve ever seen at the Bridge. Cracking day.

  46. bluebayou

    I tend to agree with the consensus that you have to be some kind of “dumb ass” to shoot somebody accidentally with a gun. I can see, given the deep unpopularity of the man that there is bound to be a media-led witch-hunt.

    But it was in February and we’ve been down this road before.

    So, we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that Ashley, though stupid is unlikely to organise an ill thought out military adventure that will cost hundreds and thousands of lives like the other stupid……….

    A couple of other observations.

    If the incident was that serious why didn’t Chelsea report it? A serious failure on their part if it was warranted, if it wasn’t why did a week elapse before the NOTW revealed the incident and the police then start playing catch-up?

    Back in the early eighties I was walking down a street in Isleworth in the company of a couple of friends. A young man and his girlfriend walked past us on the pavement. There was a sharp retort and he clutched his buttock. He’d been shot by someone with an air rifle aimed from a house on the opposite side of the street.

    He wheeled around to confront us. We pleaded our innocence and showed him that we had no weapon that could have caused his pain.

    I think he was now in a situation where he risked losing face in front of his beloved. I had decided that the path of pure science was the best one to take and started to explain how trajectories, angles, velocity etc. made it impossible for the shot to have come from our level and directly behind him.

    He thought I was taking the piss.

    There had been a fashion in the seventies for carrying steel combs with the teeth sharpened. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw him produce such a tool and felt metal against my throat. Believing in the power of quality physics and sweet reason I continued with what was possibly a Nobel Prize winning lecture.

    I think he started to lose the will to live and gave up threatening us.

    When he was out of earshot, my compadres politely asked why I continued talking nonsense to a bloke who was holding a knife to my throat.

    At this point I experienced what can only be described as severe wobbly leg.

    Air guns, all guns, are a bastard menace.

    • Der_Kaiser

      All a bit odd, it has to be said. We can ponder the rights and wrongs of a media furore over something like this (the overreaction is inevitable, given the individual involved), but if we did try and brush it aside then it’s a bit daft given that the tabs were always likely to be all over it like a cheap suit. Enjoy watching Ash as a player enormously, but I’d cross the road to avoid him – the man’s a car crash.

  47. PeteW

    Once more I see a story splashed all over the tabloids and broadsheets, on every radio station, all over the news,. listen to the banal babble of the public and commentariat and struggle to give even half of a fuck.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, but if it takes up space a few of them would otherwise use to recycle the Metro’s latest “Kaka for Chelsea/Citeh” made-up bollocks it’s almost worth letting them drone on and on.

      Shame it’s overshadowing the sad news about Rooney’s blameless affliction of uncontrollable elbow jerks when running past opponents.

  48. bluebayou

    What a day for Torres to get on the score sheet wearing the Number 9 graced by Osgood. A hat trick would be nice.

    • Der_Kaiser

      It’s Josh’s 18th birthday too. Good for him to toast victory with his first legal half a lager top.

      @Nick – thanks for that; a very enjoyable afternoon…!

  49. bluebayou

    Indeed talking of significant days, it would make his Welsh relations very happy (if he has any) as it’s St Davids Day.

    A Happy St David’s day to any Welsh Chelsea followers.

    And here is a list of recent Welsh Chelsea Players

    And in one of those neat circular kind of coincidence things:

    Wasn’t Raquel Welch often seen down the Kings Road with Ossie and the boys?

  50. Anonymous

    Jesus, am I getting tired of this Ashley Cole business.Yes he was a prat, but to try and show this as evidence that the club is out of control is ridiculous. On average, footballers tend to be not that bright and on that basis are going to p*ss around at the training ground in a way which would not be accepted in a normal working environment.

    Didn’t Wimbledon used to get held up as a great example of team spirit because of all the things that went on at their training ground? I don’t recall them being accused as a club out of control every time someones suit was cut up/clothes set on fire.

    He’s a dim footballer that’s been a bit stupid. There is no evidence for anything other than this!

  51. John

    I understand Ashley has been told to get forward tonight and shoot at every opportunity. Which way is the cloakroom?

  52. Ososdeoro

    “I’ve been dodging that air rifle all day” – Michelle Lissel, Fox Soccer Report co-host and Chelsea fan.

  53. Anonymous

    My sources tell me that despite the intern being the one shot at, Drogs was the first to hit the deck, clutching his face and knee. Ahem.

    Pessimism Fiftee says a heavy defeat tonight.

    Optimism Fiftee says a marginal defeat.

    Can see nowt for us this evening. Utd have no need to do anything other than avoid defeat. We’re incapable of breaking down lesser teams, no way we’ll create loads of chances against them. We’ll get stung on the break one or many times.

  54. Ososdeoro

    All within the first 36 minutes:
    1. A little mutual minor holding of arms on a corner kick causes a foul to be called on Chelsea just as Terry (?) gets one in (the TV is grainy and far away at lunch time)

    2. Ramires, with the ball, outruns a ManU midfielder who comes back from way behind to trip him up. Textbook yellow card, but since they let Chelsea play the advantage, they never got around to the booking.

    3. Ramires is then yellow carded for a no contact, one foot on the ground tackle.

    4. Terry beats a ManU player to a throw-in, but is inexplicably called for the foul.

    5. (Ramires or Essien shoves Rooney, no call, but whatever, if that’s our “make-up call” big whoop).

    6. 30 seconds before he scores, Rooney flops in the box without any contact from any Chelsea player, no call.

    7. Ferdinand pulls Ivanovic down at the left corner, then complains that no call was made on Branners for a full-on minute. No yellow card for complaining to the ref (I’ve seen it given for a lot less than that).

  55. Jon

    game not over … but no matte how it ends, the way we played 2nd half was amazing … are we back to our old never say die attitude?

  56. Jon

    admittedly i watched this on a stream and was banging my GF who just arrived (haven’t seen her in 2 months) so missed most of the 1st half. She passed out at half time and I continued my post coital glow while watching an orgasmic performance.

    Don’t know which I preferred, the sex or the game!! Thank god she won’t read this!

    Anyway – Essien: Awesome – back to his best? Fuck that – the whole team was awesome. I am so proud to see we still have it in us to play like champions, so so so proud of the boys.

    A big plus was also seeing that twat rooney get some of his own medicine and get belted by Luiz a few times. Lets see what fergie has to say about that!

    Long live romans blue Army!!

  57. Anonymous

    After very abysmal first half we went to commanding second half. For Man of The Match is Luiz!!! What a player!!! Luiz and Eamires are Chelsea’s future!!!!

  58. Anonymous

    “David Luiz – The Assassin!” (Jamie Redknapp)

    Absolutely loved that line as it kind of summed up the night. The match or should I say second half was pretty crazy. Full of pace, power, passion and some fucking hilarious assaults at the back from Luiz who is already a Chelsea legend. The real Chelsea aren’t quite back yet but we’re getting there.

    It’s just great to see that as Carlo keeps saying “we’re not quite dead yet!”

  59. Anonymous

    Not sure we played that well, to be honest — Mancs were much sharper with the ball and had more movement — but who cares. If the penalty was as ridiculously dodgy as it looked from where I sit in the ground, so much the better. And Vidic sent off too for losing his rag as we faffed around in the corner. Heaven.

    Luiz is going to turn out to be our best signing since Frank, at this rate. Hope he’s ok (looked like something abdominal?)

    Enjoy your evenings everyone.

    • Austin Solari

      I watched the first half but listened to the second half and the general concensus on the radio was that Luiz was subbed to save him being sent off.

  60. Gleb

    Whoever said Zhirkov’s useless should reconsider… Even if the penalty was dodgy, don’t forget about the crazy long shot.

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