Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United – Euphoria and Despair

In a week overshadowed by events off the pitch it was something of a relief to get back to the primary focus of the Premier League (it’s still football but you could forgiven for forgetting). Or rather I thought it would be a relief. I also thought prior to kick off that a draw would be a good result. By the end I was wishing the undersoil heating had packed up or the United team coach had forgotten to pick up Howard Webb, who excelled in the free role once again.

Unbeaten in 10 years against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge one would’ve been forgiven a little misplaced optimism ahead of yesterday’s fixture. One would have been even more readily forgiven for assuming things were going rather well when David Luiz headed past De Gea via Ferdinand’s shoulder. 3-0. It doesn’t get any better, does it?

Well it certainly didn’t. Credit to United. There aren’t many teams that you feel could come back from 3-0 down away from home. Then again there aren’t many teams that have Rooney and Welbeck constantly in the referee’s ear. I presume Wazza was only recommending his preferred hair transplant clinic to Mr. Webb. There aren’t too many teams that are awarded two penalties in the space of 10 minutes away from home either though. It wasn’t too difficult to imagine that Webb would bend to their will one way or another eventually but we didn’t help ourselves.

The game

Chelsea set up as a 4-2-3-1.

Gary Cahill made his debut on the right of centre while David Luiz moved to his preferred side (JT’s position). Both performed reasonably well. David Luiz has started to look like the defender we all hoped he would become. Cahill looked steady enough, apart from almost getting himself sent off, considering the circumstances of his debut. Then they lost Hernandez for the third goal. Ivanovic started at right-back and was his usual, dependable self. The penalty given against him was harsh. Bosingwa got the nod at left-back and confirmed that Bertrand is Cole’s back-up in name only, as most of us probably suspected. He managed to pull off his favourite party-piece by performing considerably better in someone else’s position than he ever looks likely to in his own. Still he managed to nearly concede a penalty in the first-half. He could be a valuable squad member going forward. Presuming he isn’t actually given enough starts to display his usual defensive inadequacy. Ferreira with a uni-brow, if you will. Hard to criticize AVB’s selection here. We looked much as you would expect.

Michael Essien was handed his first start for what feels like about 10 years alongside Meireles in the double-pivot. Essien looked good. Good passing, good positioning, some decent interceptions. Didn’t dominate the midfield like he used to but this is a different formation and he is a different player after three serious knee injuries. Meireles was OK. Not Modric, certainly not Xavi or Iniesta. More like Carrick. Nothing special. Overall the double-pivot looked so-so. Much like many of AVB’s tactical ideals it requires the correct players to make it work. Or rather it has varying degrees of success depending on the quality/suitability of the personnel asked to implement it (see also “the high-line” defensive system). United rather dominated at times, in particular as we dropped deeper and deeper after the two penalties.

Juan Mata, Malouda and Sturridge formed the flexible attack/midfield three. Malouda failed to distinguish himself and bore the brunt of the fans’ frustration as the game slipped from our grasp. Mata supplied a magical finish to light up Stamford Bridge just after half-time. Sturridge’s pace worried Evra, even if his end product was a little lacking. Again passable and not entirely unexpected. Needlessly gave away a soft penalty by defending like a striker. Better to see Mata operating more centrally. If he improves from first to second season as David Silva has then we have a great player. Denied the opportunity to win it for us at the death by a truly world-class save from the much maligned De Gea.

It seems that there is nothing left to say about Torres. So I’ll keep it brief. He did brilliantly to consistently win the ball as it was hoofed up to him regularly. Looked good with the ball at his feet. Held the play up well and brought others into the attack. Great cross for Mata. Understandably frustrated in the first-half as we seemed unable to get him away quickly in behind. He also appeared to have the striker’s equivalent of dartitis when he seemed to have a great chance to shoot but elected to take another two or three touches. Not sure it signifies a lack of confidence. Perhaps trying too hard? Waiting for the perfect chance rather than just playing on instinct? Yet again much as we might have suspected.

It was that sort of afternoon. We may have hoped for better but we didn’t really get it. The performance wasn’t much of a step forward from what we have seen already this season. Personally I prefer the 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3 but neither are much use if you’re lacking the players to make it work. The fact we were 3-0 up at one stage probably didn’t reflect the true nature of the game up to that point. Still the manner in which we allowed the lead to slip was excruciating.

AVB maybe ought to have hooked Malouda instead of Studge. I can understand the reasoning that Sturridge is a striker and Malouda is (supposedly) a midfielder even if I don’t necessarily agree. 3-3 was bad enough but 3-4 would have been sickening.

What did we learn? Nothing we didn’t already know I suspect. We’re a few players short, in terms of transfers. We still don’t look like a “team”. AVB is still adapting to the Premier League. We were always going to struggle without Terry, Cole, Lampard, Ramires and Drogba. While Cech had a good game in goal he certainly didn’t exert the same influence as captain as a Terry, Lampard or Drogba when things started to go against us. We could’ve benefitted hugely from some experienced leadership when we conceded the first penalty to settle the team down. Tough to blame him for that though. He is a goalkeeper and he is probably vice-vice-vice captain in reality. And it showed.

The brief summary

The first half an hour was unspectacular. United just edged it in terms of pressure and possession without really testing Cech. Then Sturridge walked around Evra. His attempted cross found De Gea’s foot but he could only poke the ball against Evans’s arm and back into his own net. 1-0. United were all over us until the break without really creating a clear cut chance. Half-time. Twenty seconds into the second half Torres crosses for Mata to score one of the best volleys of the season (see also Van Persie’s effort as the ball dropped over his shoulder). 2-0. Minutes later David Luiz heads home from a free-kick. 3-0. Hernandez came on. Howard Webb then gifted United two penalties. One soft but needless conceded by Sturridge. 3-1. The other “won” by Welbeck. 3-2. Webb made some very poor decisions over the course of the game. The second penalty being the worst. Most frustrating as until the two penalties United didn’t look like creating anything too dangerous. At 3-2 the momentum had shifted decisively. We were on the back foot and it was only a matter of time until they equalised. Hernandez headed home Giggs’s cross unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box. 3-3. Both teams had chances in the last ten minutes. Mata’s free-kick and Cahill’s drive at the death might have won it for us another day but it wasn’t to be.

The best moment

Torres’s cross and Mata’s volley.

The funniest moment

“Who’s the wanker in the wig?”

The worst moment

The feeling of utter deflation when penalty number two was awarded and scored. The atmosphere was sucked out of the ground. It is a strange feeling losing a big lead but maybe the worst part is feeling it coming and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

We’re still unbeaten in 2012. We are now only a single point ahead of Newcastle. We face Everton at Goodison Park next before Bolton, West Brom and Stoke. So, four winnable games before we take on City and Spurs back to back then?


After a “challenging” afternoon at Stamford Bridge writing this has been quite cathartic. I would like to thank Nick and all of the regulars for making this site what it is and also for asking me to write this match report. Much appreciated lads. Hope I’ve managed to uphold your usual high standards.

The press reports

The Independent, Sam Wallace: “A draw at home to Manchester United given his team’s recent run of results would not have been a bad outcome for Andre Villas-Boas, all things considered. A draw at home to United having led the game by three goals, well, that is a different proposition altogether.”

The Guardian, Daniel Taylor: “It was a wild and eccentric game in which questionable refereeing and erratic defending both played their part, Juan Mata scored one of the outstanding goals of the season and, in the end, both teams could reflect they had enough chances to win. Ferguson seemed perplexed that United lost their momentum at 3-3, with seven minutes of normal time still to play and four minutes of stoppages, whereas Chelsea can reflect on two brilliant saves from David de Gea to prevent Mata then Gary Cahill from one providing one final, dramatic twist.”

The Daily Telegraph, Henry Winter: “When Chelsea were three goals clear, there was a temptation to feel that this was a turning-point, a watershed at the Bridge, the signature performance for Andre Villas-Boas. Chelsea were playing with more youth, largely free of the old guard. No John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard or Didier Drogba? No problem? By full-time, they realised how much they missed the injured Terry in particular.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “Despite a three-goal lead Chelsea could not hang on to three points as Manchester United fought back to earn a draw at Stamford Bridge.”

The goals

36′ Evans (og) 1-0
46′ Mata 2-0
50′ David Luiz 3-0
58′ Rooney (pen) 3-1
69′ Rooney (pen) 3-2
84′ Hernandez 3-3

There are 123 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Ryan, really good review, thank you very much for your balanced writing!  However, one point is debatable. You are saying that older players could have helped us to stabilize the game. You are certainly right in saying so, but AVB knew that there are no veterans on the pitch, so he had to do it himself. He, unfortunately, didn’t. 

    On the other front Fabio has got balls to stay against hypocrisy and idiocy!

    • Ryan

      Yeah AVB is still lacking experience himself. Would’ve been great to have a Terry/Drogba/Mikel/Cole player to counter Rooney, Welbeck and Evra’s attempts to railroad Howard ‘extremely questionable decision’ Webb. The penalties changed the momentum and it’s hard to swing it back. I just felt Terry might have used his match craft to break the game up and slow things down after the first penalty. Similarly Drogba’s ability to hold the ball up and frustrate opposition by winning cheap free kicks would’ve been invaluable at 3-2 with 10 minutes to go. But as BB says as good as could have been expected considering the absentees.

      Mata could be a future captain. He displayed good leadership qualities all afternoon. He is also clearly an exceptionally well balanced and intelligent young man. Mature beyond his years. Not forgetting that he is pure quality on the field.

      Thanks for your comments lads. Far too kind.

  2. bluebayou

    Cap doffed, Ryan. Cahill like in debut terms. Great work and a lot of well argued points. Very difficult to know what to say about a game that was such a roller coaster.

    Good point about needing the players to fill the roles, but given the number of injuries and suspensions and bearing in mind the team looked a bit cobbled together, they made a decent fist of it. Mata is certainly better used in a central role and the key for the future is trying to get a balanced midfield that plays to that strength.

    The key moment for me with Torres was not the failure to take the shot in the second half but during the first half when he got the ball about 10 yards outside the box slightly to the left. United’s midfield seemd to part as they tried to pick up the runners and he could have driven straight at the edge of the box and the last defender. He hesitated took a couple of paces and the gap closed. Why? I suppose only he knows.

    But you just can’t give up a 3 goal lead. Then again if the ref is going to panick every time someone hits the deck, perhaps there’s little to be done. The early signs were good when he resisted the shouts in the first 15 minutes (Jamie Redknap showed a better grasp of physics than Neville G, when he pointed out that while Bosingwa may have been guilty of a tug on Young’s shirt, that would have caused him to fall back not forward) but as the game wore on they were in his face at every stoppage  The booking for Torres when Evans obstructed and jammed his back into him suggested that Webb was weakening. Then the incident before Ivanovic was booked where he cleanly took the ball and the United player went over his tackling leg only to be penalised, was even more convincing evidence that the constant sledging was working.

    Then once he’d done the damage he seemed to swing back the other way when Luiz went over theatrically to get the free kick from which Mata nearly scored. Imagine the reaction if you will has the ball gone in? Lordy.

  3. Donkeys Ears

    From a United perspective, it was an odd game (as it must have been for you guys). I thought we looked more composed and more organised but this control didn’t lead to a ton of obvious chances. We created a series of small openings but lacked the intensity or skill to make them count. The goal came as a shock (not Evra’s defending though) and then you obviously had a perfect five minutes after the break. What surprised me was the lack of control you then exhibited in midfield. We obviously had to chase the game and had a pretty old midfield playing but even then we looked fitter and sharper.

    In terms of the penalty decisions and non-decisions: the incident with Young was technically a penalty, it was stupid from Bosingwa but given the context I was not surprised we didn’t get it. The tackle from Cahill however was an obvious foul and whilst possibly (on closer inspection) not a penalty and not a red card, it was awful refereeing and what the linesman was doing I don’t know. The first one we were given was obviously a penalty and Sturridge was just naive there but I agree the second one was not and looked soft even when watching in real time and at the stadium.

    Oddly I thought Torres had a good game (overall) once he got booked. The incident seemed to rile him up and from then on he was a constant menance and really worked on Evans’ vulnerabilities. Yes he should have pulled the trigger with that chance at 3-2 but overall I thought he was effective. Not 50m effective but better than in a lot of games I’ve seen him in.

    I think Ivanovic looked good when playing a pretty useless and unfit Young but looked much more uncomfortale once Giggs shifted wide.

    Overall though, I am surprised at the degree to which people are not blaming AVB. You have to look at his substitutions and inability to change things when the momentum shifted surely? Everyone knew what United would do so I was surprised you didn’t react more quickly and more effectively.


    • Ryan

      Good balanced view. I think most of us here are accepting of the fact that AVB is not SAF. He was only turning ten when Fergie took over at United. We’re fed up of sacking someone at the first sign of trouble and would probably prefer to persist and see if he can grow into a world-class manager. As for substitutions he didn’t have too many options considering quite a lot of the players on the field would normally be on the bench and quite a few of those who would normally be on the field were in the stands. So difficult to be too harsh there. You’ve been spoiled with Fergie as we were with Jose. Finding the right manager and then managing expectations at this level isn’t easy. It certainly isn’t helped by changing the manager a couple of times a year. You might even find out one day if Fergie ever packs it in!

  4. Anonymous

    Great review Ryan.  The graph is excellent although at first view I thought it was a schematic for breast implants that had gone a bit wonky.

  5. Anonymous

    Excellent first report, Ryan, on a truly fluctuating afternoon.

    What just about made it all bearable for me was listening to watsisname and Alan Smith commentating for Sky crashing through the gears as they struggled to cope with reacting to their own reverse emotions to the diagram above.

    You have to admire Lord Ferg’s gall in still complaining about the linesman and the decisions he didn’t give in their favour in the first half after that soft 2nd penalty.

    • Cunningplan

      But Fergie’s doing what all good managers do in that situation, he’s taking the heat of his MOTM, Webb.

      Yes very good balanced review Ryan, enjoyable read, but I expect you to be more biased in future 😉

  6. Anonymous

    Well done Ryan. love the use of the ‘change curve’ diagram.

    I actually think it’s unfair to put this to AVB learning the premier league. The team that conceded the 2 penalties was the same team that had been winning 3-0. The first penalty was soft but Evra is an experienced player and knew what he was doing. The second was nothing short of criminal and for me a sign that the endless badgering of Webb by Rooney et al had finally paid off. Remember when we were held up as all that was bad about football when we did that? looking at today’s papers and barely a mention. When Utd surround the ref, it’s desire, hunger and passion, when we do it it’s anti-football, intimidation and harassment. I also thought AVB did the right thing in bringing on Romeu allowing Essien to resort to his natural attacking midfielder role….lest we forget it was Jose who reformed him to a defensive holding player. Essien should then have been all over Scholes but drifted to the wings a bit, allowing Scholes to have a a big enough area of the midfield to build a small housing development. Essien might be forgiven to readjusting to his old marauding attacking instincts after years of reining them in. 

    The 3rd goal was as a result of Malouda repeating an offence he was guilty of constantly yesterday, losing the ball and not tracking back. Utterly indefensible his performances of late. For him to whinge to the press about his Euro chances being undermined by lack of games is laughable. he shouldn’t be going to the Euro’s because he’s frankly useless. His best route to Europe is to get someone to write him a song for Eurovison.

    As for Cahill, I thought he did more captain duties than Cech and was constantly marshalling the back 4 which to be honest did little wrong. Rather than stick blame on the excellent Luiz and Cahill for the goal, why not credit Hernandes for being a very clever striker who lost his men.

    Not every goal is an instant consequence of poor defending, although in this case the one mistake Ivan made in a world class performance from him was to not close Giggs down for the cross in to Hernandez.

    Meireles seems to have stagnated and the Carrick comparison is fair and about right. 

    Other positives for me were Bosingwa at left back, who played better there than Ashley Cole has for 4 months, Cech who’s saves were also top drawer (and they needed to be). Mata is a fricking genius and the closest we’ve come to another Zola, in fact looking at him I think that’s the next step. He’s a wizard and his free kick yesterday was better than anything we’ve seen for a long time from Drogba or Lamps, one of whom hits row Z and the other who hits the wall. 

    Watching Studge piss Evra off was a joy but in the end Evra did get his own back big time. I would have left him on and got Malouda off. Someone pointed out to me that when Studge goes off that’s when we seem to leak a goal. It struck me yesterday that Josh McEachran would have been a better choice than Malouda for thet midfield role as he can actually thread a pass. If Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is good enough then so is Josh. I also think Kakuta would have created more in that role, but no-one seems willing to give that boy a chance. 

    And of course Torres. Yes I think the dartitis analogy is right. In golf it’s called the yips, and once you have it it’s very hard to break, but in both those sports you have time to deploy the actions you’ve been taught to overcome it. Football is very different as the decision is much more instant. He needs help for sure, because everything else was good. 

    I genuinely think this was more positive than negative. Overall we were far better than against QPR, Norwich and Swansea although as the game went on the ponderous build up returned, often when Malouda got the ball,stopped and passed back much like our beloved Ray used to do. It comes to something when I am forced to say keep Kalou but ffs let Malouda go. One thing I’ve never accused Kalou of is not caring or not trying. yes, i’ve questioned his ability and intelligence but at least he tries. Malouda looks like the exact opposite. We did show passion and spirit, but also fragility when United came back at us – that’s something we need to build. Confidence and assurance once we get a lead that we can hold it or extend it. The stats show we had 19 shots, 10 on target, whereas United had 15 with 10 on target. 51% possession to us, 49% to them. As the score indicates, a very even game overall.

    As I walked from the ground to the car, my mood went from downbeat to positive as I accepted a better result than I had anticipated on the way in (I expected a panning). yes, we chucked away a decent lead, but for me we showed the gap between us and the Champions is not that great and that for a transition team, missing all of Drogba, Lampard , Terry and Cole for the first time in years, alongside a very youthful (Paolo aside) bench we’re not in that bad a shape. 

    • Anonymous

      Completely agree with everything regarding Maulouda. However, it just stresses my point that AVB didn’t make the right subs and with his tactics brought us to position where we conceded two penalties and a goal. 

  7. Ryan

    Just quickly. All credit must go to Nick for finding the brilliant featured image graph to match the title. Top man.

    Yeah maybe it’s tough on AVB. There is little can be done about the penalties and absentees by anyone. So you’re right to say it wasn’t AVB’s fault. I do still think that he is finding his way though. His ideology may be fully formed but he has accepted that he still needs to tweak it a little to suit the English game.

  8. Der_Kaiser

    A fine debut indeed, Ryan – good work.

    Despite feeling somewhat robbed at the end, I enjoyed that.

    Lack of leadership is a problem; we’ve been spoilt for on pitch leaders in recent years – JT, Frank, Drogba, Ballack to name just a few, so replacing that many strong personalities was always going to be tough. Cahill showed some good signs – lots of barking at the back line which is impressive for your first game. Bosingwa deserves some credit – actually looked better at LB than Cole has for a while.

    Main concern is concentration, especially late on – Ivan and Romeu looked to have collectively switched off for the equaliser. The former was superb, but always seems to have an error lurking in every game. Midfield missed Ramires; Meireles is so-so and Essien was breathing through his khyber after 70 minutes but the options were limited. Malouda – well, enough said.

    Second goal was an absolute masterpiece and showed what Sturridge lacks so badly – the ability to deliver a decent final ball.  Torres – yes, covered every blade of grass, great cross etc. But Drogba will be back soon, and he’s found his scoring boots in Africa…

    At least we don’t hear any more old toot from Fergie about never getting decisions at the Bridge. Not generally given to moaning about refs as they have a pretty thankless job with every amateur pundit slating them with the benefit of hindsight and 145 replays, but that second penalty remains one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen. Just awful. And the continual hassling of Webb by Giggs, Rooney and Evra has gone beyond a joke now – someone really should be having a word about it.

    Overall, couldn’t help thinking that it was two teams who aren’t quite the forces they once were; just that one had (a manager with) a little bit more nous and experience than the other.

    • Cunningplan

      I certainly think we missed Ramires yesterday, the latter stages of the game would have been ideal for him, and we would have caused Utd far more problems.
      I honestly think Utd are no better than last year, perhaps even worse, yet that old fox Fergie has them digging in for the final stretch.

      It’s going to be interesting to see who they get to replace him, because he’s one hell of an act to follow, and we know there’s only one man with the ego to do it.

  9. bluebayou

    I believe that when Fergie retires he’s had offers to take his magic show on the after dinner circuit.

    It’s a double act with Uri Geller.

    Uri will of course be bending spoons, Fergie? He’ll be bending ears.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you.

    • Cunningplan

      And here’s me thinking Fergie would be vying with Prof Brian Cox for top spot on the science circuit, explaining how time stops at Old Trafford.
      Lets be honest Fergie has mastered the art of time manipulation for the last 25 years, and to think of all those great names that have failed to come up with any working, or practical theory on how to do it.

  10. NorthernVA

    Ryan great job on the report. If the FA had any integrity they should refund the money they nicked off Ryan Babel.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, rather gone up in my estimation for not complying with the current groupthink culture enveloping all aspects of UK society. I see the Big Brother committee within football are wheeling out the big guns to castigate Fabio for speaking his individual as yet not converted to Stepford Coach mind. 

      Gordon Taylor? Good fucking grief. 

  11. Nick

    Be sure to check out the first episode of The Podding Shed, Chelsea FC Blog’s new podcast, with Jonathan, Tony, BB and Mark here:

  12. Anonymous

    The Podding Shed – marvellous stuff!!!!!! 

    Bringing the blog into the 21st century and the best place for reasoned if not informed opinion. 

  13. PeteW

    I take that as a point won. United will be praised for the comeback, but should be pilloried for fact they conceded three goals and needed two penalties and compliant ref to get anything from a team as weakened as we were, and also in such ponderous form. 

    Good to see as scoring goals for a change, though can’t help but see Drogba banging them in for Ivory Coast and wishing he was here.

    AVB made a poor substitution, but credit where it’s due, he somehow got us a point from a game in which, on paper, we should have been beaten comfortably. A poor result for United, all told. 

    • Donkeys Ears


      You are right that United should be criticised for not seizing the opportunity against an out of form and weakened team. But, just to add some context, it would be wrong to forget United had significant injuries issues too. No Vidic, Smalling, Nani, Lindegaard, Cleverley, Jones or Anderson. Plus people like Giggs and Scholes have had to play a lot of football recently whilst Rooney and Young were still carrying injuries.

      This was the first game in a long time where I felt United dominated the midfield for large stretches. I’m used to watching Chelsea strangle us in midfield and make possession seem a priceless and rare commodity. I assume Essien needs longer to get fit but that control and professionalism I associate with the Roman era of Chelsea seemed oddly lacking. Just my observation.

      I have to say I was relieved not to be facing Ramires who might have caused us all kinds of trouble with his running from deep.

      I don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat re the referee. But whilst the second penalty was an awful decision, it was nowhere near as bad as some of you are making out.

      • Cunningplan

        I think the reason why some of us are making a fuss over the second penalty, was because it was the game changer. You hadn’t really looked like scoring in open play up until the penalties, on saying that we didn’t either, but still managed to find ourselves three up. But when Rooney scored, it give you the momentum and confidence to go looking for a third, and to be honest I was expecting it.

        The only plus side for me was, it came near the end, which didn’t allow you the time to look for the winner. Perhaps looking at the stats which were fairly equal, and the edge you had in midfield, then a draw was a fair result, but the same could be said for the first game at OT when perhaps a draw would have also been fairer.

  14. Anonymous

    Anyone else think Cech’s kicking was really poor.

    Kicking short when inappropriate and putting defenders under real pressure.

    Otherwise kicking long and either miskicking it so badly it barely reached the Bonetti benchmark, or else kicking towards the touchline with heavy slice so short-arse Mata had no chance of keeping it in play.

  15. Anonymous

    Just listened to the Podcast. Excellent stuff. Could only be improved by perhaps the inclusion of a recipe or two and perhaps the weather forecast.

    • Cunningplan

      Yes sounds like a plan, and perhaps with the podcast evolving over time, JD could take more of a Paxman like role, by being blunt and rude on the odd occassion. This could be easily done by inviting guest bloggers like Moffat to their shed, I’m sure it would provide endless entertainment.

      • Anonymous

         I was wondering if they might gradually evolve into the Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington roles in their very popular podcasts?

        Seriously, a good experiment chaps with an interesting mix of topics.

        Don’t think you’ll hold the attention of the MTV generation for 65 minutes, though 😉

        • Anonymous

          Glad you liked it, we’re aware of the length and our original aim was circa 40 minutes, however we did have a whole raft of topics to cover off. In all honesty this was a dummy run and not originally intended for broadcast, but we enjoyed it so much we harangued Nick into putting it out early with minimal testing. The day before it was released we did a smaller one with 2 of us after some software issues which I likened to a pre-launch O-Ring check but even with this some technical wizardry was required by The Dear Leader Nick.  It’s also now on iTunes for download as well I gather (well it worked on my phone). 

          We’re hoping for feedback and subject suggestions as we’re aware that not all weeks are as dramatic as last week and like this blog there are times when the drama is so sparse that comments etc are not overly forthcoming. Bearing in mind that only Der Kaiser and myself have met in person before it was a bit odd as neither of us had met Mark (err Mark25) or Donal (the good Doctor Blue Bayou) before. It’s worth mentioning that it was an audio Skype call only so this made us cagier about interrupting etc as there was literally no body language to read from. Hence the need for the Dimpleby-esque chairmanship of the Good Lord Kaiser himself. As it progresses and familiarity grows I’m sure there’ll be added banter and winding up, plus the inclusion of other guests (be ready!) but we did feel that anything getting above 6 might turn into an unwleldy row. 

          So, watch this space (or listen) and help us progress it with you feedback (that’s for every reader!)

    • bluebayou

      Glad you enjoyed it. It was good fun to do. Many moons ago after the Hull game and following Mark’s report I did the player ratings as the Shipping Forecast. In case you missed it it went like this:

      Chelsea XI
      Peter Chech – Humber 6 to 7 moderate occasionally poor
      Boswinga – North Utsire 7 to 7.5 moderate rising to good
      Ashley Cole – South Utsire 7 to 7.5 moderate becoming good
      Terry – Viking – 7.5 veering to 8 good
      Carvalho – Dogger – 7.5 veering to 8 good not expected Sunderland Saturday
      Mikel – Forties – 8 good and rising
      Lampard – Fastnet – 7.5 to 8 good and rising
      Deco –Biscay – 7 moderate backing to poor
      Joe Cole – Lundy – 7 to 7.5 moderate, deepening not expected Sunderland Saturday
      Malouda – Faeroes – 6 to 7.5 moderate veering to poor, rising to good
      Anelka – Sole – 7.5 moderate, occasionally good
      Belletti – Hebridies – 7 moderate
      Kalou – Fair Isle – 7 moderate backing to 6 becoming poor
      Ivanovic – Portland – 7 Moderate
      LFS – Cromarty – 7.5 Moderate rising to good
      Biggest regret of the evening – the absence of Ballack means no mention of German Bight
      Hull’s reward for an honest evening’s toil – Rockall
      And finally the forecast for the sea area Emirates…….
      Attacking 1 rising to 4, defending moderate veering to poor, severe whinging 8 occasionally 9, moderate chuckling occasionally gales of laughter backing to feelings of shame later.
      That is the end of the shipping forecast. – I thank you.

      Perhaps it’s time to revive it.

  16. Judgejudass

     I still have no faith in AVB and i will gladly watch those supporting him eat their very words  once the project has failed he is not Chelsea fc manager material and investing in him is a throwback to a bygone era,i still think he lacks the cutting edge,people should also understand and know there is a school of thought that that  emphasizes nothing is as permanent as change itself.If he too cant influence decisions to go his way then i think he is not of the special ones genotype

  17. PeteW

    Both Young (1st half) and Walbeck (2nd half) should have been booked for diving and if either had been a player with a reputation – Nani or Torres – they probably would have done. 
    The second was a diabolical decision in the context of the match and if it had been given against United, Webb would never referee a United game again.

  18. Guest

    Just listened the podcast, good stuff. Motivated me to take a little look at the Terry’s charges, and I’m honestly confused. I’m not British and I just assumed that there has to be some legal merit to this case, but I couldn’t find any. 

    Terry is charged with a racially aggravated public order offence. According to internets it consists of two elements: the actual offence and a racial component. The offence itself is either distressing someone with abusive, insulting or threatening language and/or behaviour, or making someone believe that immediate violence will be used against him or another by the offender or someone else. The racial aspect means that the offence must be motivated by hostility towards members of certain racial or religious group (in this case towards those of a dark-skinned phenotype) or that hostility (towards the said group) is demonstrated before, during or after the offence.

    Demonstrating that Terry was motivated by hostility towards the dark-skinned in general rather than the one individual is impossible. And considering the context, it’s also highly debatable whether the alleged use of the word ‘black’ constitutes as hostile behavior towards the dark-skinned. I didn’t see any indication that Terry was about to become violent or that he was encouraging violence, and because football fields and stadiums are places where abusive, insulting and threatening language and behavior is considered a norm rather than the exception, I can’t see any point in court case. What am I missing?

    • Ryan

      Not a lot actually. The key part being “distressing SOMEONE with abusive, insulting or threatening language”. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the person that the language was (allegedly) aimed at. The complainant’s identity is not known to us as yet. Apparently no-one on the pitch heard the insult. It’s not the use of the word “black” that is problematic, as such, but the (all important) context. Using the words “fucking” and “cunt” give context and meaning and convey an insult. As it is John Terry denies using those words in the suggested context and claims he will be proven innocent and clear his name.

  19. Ryan

    One of the things that frustrated me most about the second penalty which I didn’t mention in the report (didn’t want to whinge too much!) is that quite often you will see referees look and think much harder about penalties when they feel that a team is desperate to get back into a game and maybe don’t look like scoring any other way. Chris Foy’s decisions at Loftus Rd were a little like this when we had a couple of decent appeals (certainly no worse than the one he gave to QPR, which was a poor decision anyway as Helguson pushes Luiz in the chest and isn’t penalized seconds before Luiz nudges Helguson in the back) turned down in the second half. One rather felt that he took a cynical view of the infringements and probably saw them as desperate attempts to “win” something. I also thought that he seemed determined not to give us anything that day lest he be accused of trying to level his earlier decisions up a bit. Webb perhaps was the opposite. It looked as though it never once entered his mind that Utd were doing anything and everything they could (rightly so) to get back in the game and that Welbeck might be trying to “buy” a cheap one for his side. It didn’t occur to him that the Utd players probably felt they were owed one from the first half either. As such he had no hesitation in giving them. Unlike what looked like a decent tackle by Mata near the half-way line which he had a good look at, allowed Chelsea to play a couple of passes then pulled the game back to give a free kick to Utd. I’m not saying that referee’s should allow the circumstances of the game to cloud their judgement but often circumstance does inform borderline decisions.

    I officially have no faith in the appeal system either. Leaving aside Webb. I thought the Huth decision at the weekend was appalling. He is going for a 50/50 ball. He realizes he isn’t getting there and tucks his feet under himself. He gets a boot on the knee. He gets up. No fuss. The other lad is rolling around for no reason that I can see. Huth is sent off. Ok. Most people think that was the wrong decision but are willing to accept that these incidents happen in the blink of eye and referee’s will make mistakes. Why then are decisions like this not being overturned? I suspect it’s because they don’t want to discourage referee’s from clamping down on late, dangerous tackles where the tackler is out of control. Upholding crap decisions is not the way to do this though.

    The red-card that I do remember being rescinded this year was a joke. Rodwell against Liverpool. I thought it was a disgrace that Everton even had to appeal. That decision should’ve been overturned immediately by the FA. And the referee ought to have apologized publicly to Rodwell, his team-mates, Everton and the people who paid to watch a game that was ruined by an extremely poor decision. If that’s how bad a sending off has to be to lodge a successful appeal then the whole process is a total waste of time. You can’t really rescind a red-card. Once the player is sent off your chance of winning the game often goes with them.

    Losing is losing but losing to bad decisions hurts that much more.

  20. Guest

    But surely circumstantial evidence (ie.captaining multinational football team successfully, no prior accusations of racism) combined with the context of particularly heated local derby are enough to acquit Terry of the racism component of the charge. And common sense dictates that distress caused by insults yelled at football stadiums during matches, isn’t really a reason to go to trial. So why is Terry charged?

    • Ryan

      The circumstantial evidence you’re referring to wouldn’t hold. I can’t racially abuse somebody and claim that it’s legally impossible for me to be found guilty of said offence because I can prove I’ve worked successfully with all races, have ethnic minority friends or whatever. Being in the heated atmosphere of a football stadium will also not excuse (alleged) racism. Several football supporters have been arrested and bailed awaiting trial for racially abusing players recently. They may argue that they were caught up in the atmosphere of the stadium but it just isn’t a plausible defence. It would be like saying “Yeah, but I was angry” or “I just got caught up in the moment”.

      If I were Terry and I were innocent ( as he claims) I would be happy to go to court to prove it.

    • Fat Nakago

      Terry is being charged, and tried and condemned in the court of Public Opinion and Joseph Barton, for the crime of simply being John Terry.

      As an American, I find this whole bewildering and confounding to the extreme. I’ve written about it on my blog and have discussed it with a few black athletes here in the States who to a man said if that shit happened on the field of play, it would have been dealt with right them and there, it would have GO time…fists would have flown. And then the League, be it the NCAA or the NBA or the NFL, would sort out the fines and suspensions.

      Since it wan’t heard by anyone on the pitch, how could someone in the stands have heard it? It all seems very disingenuous to me. After all, all team sports are contentious & violent to varying degrees so anyone viewing these sports should not be too dismayed by what goes on and what might said ion the heat of the battle. I smell a rat here. And it IS a pity that the trial has been placed on the docket later rather than sooner. But it should never have made it there to begin with.

      Enough of that for now. Let justice and Joey Barton sort it all out.

      @ Ryan:  On your chart, I would have replaced, hope, relief and optimism with, annoyed, furious, and pig-biting mad!

      As for me, I am still PIG-BITING MAD over Sunday’s match. We should never have let them back in the game, and never let those two penalties get to us like the did. We need to be stronger, mentally, than that. Someone should have told them to stay on their feet. Hmmmmm….

      Plus, most the above:

      More pace and creativity from the wings, which means we need to get some lads who actually HAVE those attributes.

      Less selfishness from Sturrrrrrrrrdge.

      Malouda must shown the door ASAP.

      Was that really Bosingwa out there masquerading as Ashley Cole??  My word!!

      There. I’m only slightly less pig-biting mad now. In fact, I’m merely annoyed. Bring on Landon Donovan!!

  21. Gleb

    I still think the world has gone way too crazy over this “racism” thing and is thereby actually aggravating the problem by constantly attaching the label to all kinds of “incidents” that have little to do with it. It’s a nervous atmosphere when it shouldn’t be. Some are also going over the top trying to clear the names of their ancestors (slavery, that is). The funny thing is, slavery itself isn’t at all racially motivated. No one cared what race their slave belong to. It just so happened. Everyone thinks of Africa. No one remembers that in ancient times most of the slaves were white.

    In such cases I always refer to children because they are – largely – unspoilt. It so happened in my life that I had to start school abroad, in an international school. There were 53 pupils in my class. Literally, from all over the world. All races, all creeds, all the necessary attributes (clothing etc.). I was a wee lad, only 3 months had passed since I left my home country, so it’s not like I got used to racial diversity. Yet in my 3 years at that school, never once has anything even remotely connected to races/religion crossed my mind when I met/played with/talked with/ate with people from pretty much every country in the world. And I didn’t see it in anyone either. I know we were just kids, but isn’t that proof that racism is actually TAUGHT to us by everyone teaching us not to be racist? Everyone is trying so hard. It’s the same with antisemitism.

    Now, I’m not denying there’s a problem. And I’m not saying racism shouldn’t be eradicated. But not this way.

    If you wanna fight racism, if you advocate that all races are equal, then never mention racism at all. If one person abuses the other, it’s a SOCIAL crime. A personal crime. Involving PEOPLE. Who are, you say, equal. Then why is there “racially-motivated” crime and all the other crime? That’s a bit hypocritical. If Terry said something bad and abusive to Anton, by all means prosecute him, but as a human being who abused a fellow human being. Not as the big bad white man who abused a small and helpless black lad, cause that’s, in the end, what it looks like. I, for instance, don’t care who abuses me: a fellow Caucasian or an Asian person. I get angry regardless.

    People call each other all kinds of stuff. Fat, ugly, stupid. None of it merits its own “….-motivated” provision in the penal code. Only “black” does. I don’t agree with that. Because it’s the same. It’s in our nature. If you see a fat guy, you think “that’s a fat guy!”, if you see a black guy you think “that’s a black guy!”, if you see an ugly chick you… run away 🙂 You get the point. All of the above is bad. But no one is worse than the other.

    P.S. And why can I not think of a single case in the history of the world when it was the black person being accused of racism towards a white person? Why is always and exclusively “white vs. (insert here)”.

  22. Guest

    But isn’t Terry innocent until proven guilty, I mean he doesn’t have prove that he is not a racist, it’s the court’s job to prove that he is (or that the insult he allegedly shouted was MOTIVATED by hostility towards the dark skinned in general), and I’m of an opinion that it can’t be done. And unless the usage of certain words in an insult is automatically (disregarding context) considered to DEMONSTRATE hostility towards members of a racial or religious groups, there is no case against Terry.

    But if it indeed is a practice in the UK to arrest and charge supporters essentially for what I consider poor manners and bad language, I guess Terry could be convicted, and there is a basis for the trial. Personally I reckon that the racial abuse in the football stadiums has little or none to do with actual racism and all to do with manners and fandom.

    Is racism really a problem in the UK? And if it is, is this arresting football fans good way of fighting it, or is it just for showing off?

  23. Ryan

    You both have some very logical views regarding racism but race and racism is still an emotive subject here. There is a great deal of guilt and shame regarding our quite recent history of racism. I don’t mean isolated incidents of name calling either I mean widespread, institutional racism that has only started to be addressed in the last generation or so. In other words it’s not that long ago that black footballers had bananas thrown at them on the pitch and were subjected to crowds making monkey noises when they got the ball. Sometimes their own supporters. Some here might remember our own Paul Canoville (google him if you don’t). Maybe it looks a little crazy from the outside but institutions just cannot allow themselves to be seen to be lax where racism is concerned anymore. I suspect that has a lot to do with our past.

    Black on white racism is not really such an issue because it has historically been the white race that has held power. It wasn’t necessarily considered racial abuse when Roy Keane called Mick McCarthy “a fucking English cunt”. Strictly speaking it was. It just doesn’t have the same emotional impact. Racism towards minorities is always seen differently.

    I’m playing devil’s advocate here a little as I do agree with some of your points but racism is a difficult and complex subject which often doesn’t bare comparison with other seemingly similar issues.

  24. Guest

    Thank you for your answers Ryan, I’m actually a lot less confused about the hysteria surrounding this farce (poor thinking on my part as I didn’t consider history nearby). I still don’t think that there are legal grounds for the charges, but it seems that this isn’t just legal issue, it’s also political and emotional..

  25. Anonymous

    Two great from posts from Fat Nakago and Gleb.

    Couldn’t agree more Fat Nakago, sort it out on the field.

    Re Gleb’s point about only ‘black’ crime meriting it’s special crime class, this isn’t true.  There are two types of crime that have raised alert levels, black and gay, so if one player accused another of being a ‘gay c*nt’ there would be the same hysteria.

    This makes it even more remarkable that Justin Fashanu got to the top of professional football at all, considering that back then no action would have been taken against racial or homophobic abuse.  Personally I don’t remember Justin as black or gay but the player who scored the amazing goal for Norwich against Liverpool which was included as part of the Match of the Day opening sequence.

    • Anonymous

      Rather splendid programme last week covering the Justin Fashanu situation on BBC3 (yes that’s BBC3) called Britains Gay Footballers. It’s still on iPlayer and was hosted by Amal Fashanu, the daughter of John and niece of Justin. It was astonishing how taboo even discussing the subject is with footballers with most apparently fearing they’d be labelled gay just by discussing it. And there was a revelationary and moving moment when Amal herself watched a documentary on her Uncle which she’d been stopped from watching a sa child (to…ahem…’protect’ her). Finding out your Dad, the brother of your dead Uncle, was as homophobic and intolerant as everyone else back then, who then disowned and rejected his brother, refusing to help him when he was at his most desperate was tough watching. Even when she confronted John with this new knowledge she had of him, he smarmed, squirmed, prevaricated and wriggled out of it. This just conformed my own perception of John Fashanu as a hypocritical, arrogant, manipulative and insincere man. 

      She interviewed John McGovern (part of Cloughs coaching team when Justin was at Forest) who was in denial that such a thing could even be thought of (a footballer being openly gay), and he seemed to reflect Clough’s own rather stereotypical ‘poof’ response, but there was hope. Max Clifford stated he knew of at least 6 PL players who’s gayness was a closed secret within the game, but what came over most was the FA and the community (fans aside) view of gay players. The cultuire of our FA, and many coaches and officials is about as far form the supportive ‘who gives a fuck’ attitude shown at all levels of the RFU (Gareth Thomas gave a great interview alongside Josh Lewsey and another top player who basically said there was banter but general acceptance and that in essence no-one actually cared about Thomas coming out). 

      Of all the interviews she did get, one of the most surprising were from the Millwall senior players who were happy to talk about the subject and how they’d react and how they thought fans might react. The Brighton fans she spoke to were also supportive o0f the idea. Yes she deliberately chose Brighton because of the homophobic chants they receive, although what they played back from the Leeds fans was more funny than vicious…..we can see you holding hands, does your boyfriend know you’re here and similar….to which the Brighton fans responded with ‘You’re too ugly to be gay’. As with everything of course there are extremes and I’ve no doubt those chants were at the milder end of the spectrum. But as the interviewed fans stated if a player came out and he was one of theirs, then when the fans from the opposition chanted and abused him, they would in return happily respond in defence with chants of their own…….especially if said player scored a goal. 

      Finally, she got one interview with one high profile Premiership star. Joey Barton. He gets a lot of stick but I rather like him a as player and a man. Yes, he can be misguided but he doesn’t fit any form of groupthink homogenised media trained monkey culture. He was very willing to talk about the issue, as he stated his Uncle is gay and he knew from being quite young the stigma that had attached to it, and the way he was abused. 

      It was fascinating stuff, not perfect and at times a little bland b ut if you get the chance to watch it then it’s an hour well spent. 

    • Anonymous

      Yes, probably because ‘Arry is warm and cuddly and like everyone’s favourite uncle i guess.

      Plus Lord Triesman/Treason had to put a word in for the FA to keep their management options open.  And let’s not forget the Kennel Club who are keen to protect the rights of dogs to hold offshore bank accounts.

      As for JT everyone, apart from most of us, hates him so he’s got no chance.

  26. Ryan

    Anyone have an opinion on how KdB or even Willian would compare to Sunderland’s James McClean? He’s had a big impact for them and looks a good winger. He is a few years older than KdB but only a year younger than Willian. You’d have to think that if he continues to improve Sunderland might struggle to keep him. Good opportunity to see him tonight against Boro.

  27. Anonymous

    Is Fabio coming to Chelsea?  Is that why Roman was down at Cobham?

    Fabio’s made a smart move.  He’s got paid for most of his contract and ducked out before the end when we will suffer our ritual humiliation!

  28. Ryan

    Capello resigns! Didn’t really see that coming to be honest. Fair play to him for sticking to his principles.

  29. Cunningplan

    We all know that a drama before a major tournament is now the norm, the FA are as big a joke, as Fifa and Uefa.

    On the plus side this is going to give ‘Arry the ability to open up even more bank accounts with all that dosh he’ll get from being manager, with added bonus of unsettling Spurs.

  30. bluebayou

    This has been doing the rounds in the twitterverse. Worth a read.

    With Capello resigning over JT’s captaincy, am I right in thinking that one of the themes of the last World Cup was the Terry “coup” as it was presented to us. I seem to remember it was reported as Terry making a bid to control team matters because of what he perceived as player dissatisfaction with the management regime. (There was the sub-text that at Chelsea the senior players were used to running the shop etc. etc.)

    As the story was told, the solid support he believed he had didn’t come through and he was left looking foolish and divisive, with other senior players somewhat critical of his behaviour.

    As I say that is my recollection of how it was reported at the time. And I believe some of those faultlines are still in the dressing room now

    Yet this is the man who Capello re-appointed and ultimately resigned because he disagreed with the FA over their treatment of him.

    Looking back you find yourself continually wondering whether you are ever getting facts rather than an agenda.

    Tonight on 5 Live, they reported that it seemed to be the younger players who were tweeting disappointment over Capello leaving. Dean Ashton was interviewed and opined that it was probably perceived by younger players or players who were not first choice, that if they demonstrated form they would be given a chance. He also confirmed at least twice, because the interviewer didn’t accept it first time he said it, that as a player it wouldn’t have bothered him if the next coach was foreign as long as he felt he would get treated fairly. And his tone implied that he didn’t see himself as different to plenty of other players.

    Five minutes later Neil Warnock was on banging the drum about giving it to an Englishman, and particularly Harry. He went on to say that it was good for young players that Capello had gone because he wouldn’t have given the youngsters a chance. Now he was talking to the same man who had just interviewed Ashton. Did he challenge Warnock’s reading of what Capello was doing with young players? Did he put it to Warnock that it didn’t seem important to some players that the manager was English? Did he shite.

    In the words of Mr Watts P. of this parish” England is for knobbers”. Or at least the reporting of its affairs.

    • Dylbo Baggins

      Thanks for posting the link. 

      It’s these sort of stories that make me love the club. Would like to think that Hutchinson got the same sort of love and encouragement.


  31. Cunningplan

    It’s becoming quite a concern with all the coverage JT gets, and will now get even more with Capello going, is he going to get a fair trial?
    Having read quite a few comments from various sites, he’s certainly not liked, (but we know that anyway) and they think he’s guilty purely based on the video evidence.

    Sometimes I wonder should jurors have an IQ test before selection, because if what I’ve been reading is a fair representation of people who might be up for selection, then boy is he in trouble.

      • Cunningplan

        I know the inital hearing was at a magistrates, but thought as he pleaded not guilty, it was going to a Crown Court.
        I’m obviously talking bollocks as per usual, but just as well it is in front of magistrates, and not jurors.

  32. PeteW

    The Terry ‘mutiny’ is a fascinating story. The initial reports on TV and radio had it down as a great thing – Terry gives it straight, big shake-up planned, England camp will benefit. The story is that Gerrard then realised his authority had been undermined and briefed feverishly against Terry. That was the view picked up and expressed by the print media, and therefore became the established ‘facts’ of what took place. Terry was charged with disrupting the camp and left with egg on his face and everybody went on about he was trying to get back at the manager after losing his captaincy.

    Capello, interestingly, has spoken a number of times about what took place and gives a very different reading, which is usually ignored by the press. He was clearly more impressed by Terry’s attitude than he was by Gerrard, and if you look at what he’s said it seems to be one of the reasons he reappointed Terry. He recognised the value of what Terry was trying to do and possibly realised that only Terry had the balls, thick hide, gumption, oblivious arrogance, to see it through. 

    • Der_Kaiser

      Aside of anything else, if the hacks put 2 & 2 together and looked at Terry’s role at Chelsea in recent years (not the overblown ‘head of a senior clique running the club’ nonsense), they’d see that he has played a key role in keeping a squad together during some very difficult times when it could have easily fractured with potentially disastrous consequences.

      But it’s easier to parrot the usual than look a little closer and tell the truth.

      It won’t happen, but I’d laugh my kidneys out if ‘Arry said I’ll take the job on the condition that I have JT as my captain…

      • PeteW

        The press totally buy the myth that Terry has consistently undermined Chelsea managers, despite the complete lack of evidence – indeed, the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It’s believed solidly by nearly all of them, simply because it has been repeated so many times, and therefore established as fact. In the media, repetition of something makes it true, especially as they all want it to be true because they hate Terry so much. If you tried to argue the opposite with them, they would look at you as if you were a talking cow – it’s simply beyond their comprehension. Terry as the great destabilising force is as much fact as the idea that United always play amazing football or the earth goes round the Sun.

        Sadly, too many Chelsea fans think it is true as well.

    • bluebayou

      Possibly more good old fashioned xenophobia?

      Thanks for the review of the “Mutiny” I’d forgotten how much of a “good” thing it was to start with.

    • Anonymous

       No.  I think it’s an act of love and encouragement and a determination from Roman to make this ‘project’ succeed.

    • Cunningplan

      Or perhaps as he’s no longer appearing in court, he needs to fill his day in other ways.
      On a side issue, with ‘Arry appearing to be ordained as the next knobber for England, would Jose go to Spurs? perish the thought!

  33. PeteW

    I would have thought/hoped Capello’s sudden appearance on the job market will be keeping both Roman and AVB awake at night. Should have got him when Jose walked out the window. 

  34. Musumba anthony

    At this juncture i would do anything to see AVB out,our  greatest undoing is he having that power to select the team and make substitutions .
     Get Guus hiddink ,Rijkaard,Henk Ten Cate,Brendan Rodgers “Wilkins” or Capello for AVB`S exit. AVB will never win anything during his entire stay in Chelsea Fc,the only legacy he will leave is a Subaru,like Torres its quite evident money was wasted on AVB`s hiring and the sooner we realize and stop giving him more time, the better.School boy errors at best seem to be the order of the day,He chased our best finisher(Anelka) without a replacement and I  think he is the source of all this self inflicted problems.

       We should  get fast thinking intelligent forwards like Ben Arfa,Affelay, Pukki, Anselmo Ramon and Leandro Damaio(very good player).  and get rid of  these slow thinking ineffectual footballers with extremely poor ball passing abilities and are error prone, like  Romelu Lukaku ,Malouda,Bosingwa, Ferreira,Mikel(slow),Drogba(poor passing) and  Torres(epitome of hopelessness) of whom David Luiz has made several frantic exorcism efforts to cast out that “demon”,  but it has failed miserably  to make him score .
    I still think we have the best defenders and defensive midfielders in the world but our manager is still very lame.

    • Anonymous

      The best thing of course would be not to answer you. You should be treated by a doctor as anybody else with an acute brain inflammation like you have.     

  35. bluebayou

    Did someone call a Doctor? Sadly the permanent vegetative state is not my speciality. But try steaming gently for
    3 minutes and lightly season.

  36. Ryan

    “TSO bought his entire squad” you are taking the piss aren’t you? He bought Kezman, Tal Ben Haim, Del Horno, Boulahrouz, Pizarro, Jarosik, Tiago, SWP. Any more? If only we’d held onto that lot we wouldn’t be in the dire situation we currently find ourselves in eh? I’m not slagging Jose off but it’s easy to forget that not everything he touched turned to gold. It’s also important to realise that he did not control all aspects of the club’s transfer policy. Cech was already on his way to SB before Mourinho was appointed and he never wanted Sheva but got him anyway. If you want to slate AVB, fine. It does help if you’re able to pass yourself off as being reasonably sensible though otherwise it’s a bit of a waste of time no? I mean no one is going to think that you know what is best for CFC based on some absurd statements.

    I would add that if you’re just looking for a reaction then fine. You’re a sad cunt but if it makes you happy.

    CP- I also have a terrible fear of Jose becoming manager of any other English club. I’d be reasonably confident that JM will not take over at Spurs or Arsenal though. They’d never pay the money he’d want and they are unable/unwilling to fund the transfers/wages he would expect.

  37. WorkingClassPost


    Splendid first report and you’ve already got more stuff happening on your watch than most get in half a season.

    Seems a long way back now, but it was interesting how many spotted the manu lobbyists getting to Webb which squares with my view that their two pens were exactly like many of the ones the Winker ‘won’ back in the day.

    It follows that this is part of the game that they ‘work on’ in training, including the constant disorientating verbal assault on whichever ref happens to be on duty (who knows only too well what the Slur will be mouthing after the game).

    Also felt that the first half possible pens left it nailed on that the second half would see things evened up. That said, I too would’ve settled for a draw at the start, and with fourth place our realistic target, I was happy to see the blue mancs get a boost.

    Talking of travesties, ‘arry gets off [good job btw] but he was caught bang to rights which should count for something if you’re a legal bod.  Good news for JT though, if his trial is in front of a jury – make em laugh and show that you’re a nice guy, and they won’t want to destroy your life.

    Capello does the unthinkable: gets out of town and gives England a real chance of finally winning something, or failing with a really good excuse. Ace.
    Always liked the crazy guy and only saw him make one big mistake: thinking Cafu was past it, and letting him go to Milan where he continued to play for another five years or so.

    And that Miracle Grow that Roony used, did some of it spill onto his ears? They seem to have grown in size too (a bit like Mark’s floppy).

  38. Austin Solari

    Just listened to the Podcast!  Excellent piece and congrats to the four of you. You not only write intelligently, you sound inteligent LOL

  39. Anonymous

    Bizarre team selection today, Cahill on the bench and Bosingwa back in the side. Odd. Very odd.

    No McEachran again for Swansea. Seems he’s upped sticks to sit on the bench for someone else. Why oh why do that to him? Pointless.

    Oh, and it’s morally bankrupt of me to say this, but good for us that Utd on course for 3 points. Leaves Liverpool the same distance back.

  40. SweetDairyAir

    Bosingwa hasn’t looked that bad so far to be fair to him. Ashley Cole on the other hand has become a shadow of his former self. What has happened to him?! Essien seems to be the only player in our midfield who can pass, and the team overall can’t create any meaningful chances. Gah

  41. The Blues

    Again we concede a poor goal in the first half that allows the other team to sit back against us 🙁

    It does feel we are being unlucky this season, but can’t blame bad luck this much, something is wrong.

    Torres is poor, he needs to score goals not provide an assist every few games.

    Now finally I admit we are fighting for 4th and not 3rd. We need a Spurs win later to stay in 4th place.


  42. Anonymous

    Once again, I await post-match news of how well the opposition played; how hard-done by we were by decisions and how the whole world conspires against us. How AVB is not afraid of the sack despite his utterly dismal record as Chelsea manager.

    How there is some scientifically-proven formula for why he hasn’t picked Cahill today. Because, you know, with him playing so well last week and no JT this week, we’ll slap him back on the bench again. It’s fucking mystifying.

    Roman was at training 4 days last week, asking questions. If drawing with Man Utd was cause for concern, who knows how he’ll react to today. 4 days at training? He’ll be sleeping in your bed every night AVB.

  43. SweetDairyAir

     I lay a lot of the blame at the players’ feet. What is the manager to do if the players can’t even string two passes together? He may be able to motivate them better, but if professionals low on confidence can’t even pass to each other, then screw them.

    Maybe losing a three goal lead punctured what little confidence they did have, and now we get this. But I still expect them to be able to keep the ball longer than 10 seconds.

    • Anonymous

      But why change the back 4 from last week? One mistake apart, they were steady. Cahill must be fucking fuming.

      Players are to blame as much as AVB. He’s fucking miles out of his depth.

      Roman won’t put up with it. Simple.

      • SweetDairyAir

         Well even if you kept the back 4 (which I don’t really care either way as I felt our defence did ok today), it still wouldn’t have solved our lack of any ability to pass or create anything resembling a goal scoring opportunity.

        I agree with what ‘The Blues’ said just above you. I hope AVB stays, we scrape 4th and he gets to offload the deadwood and enact his long term plan. I also fear Roman may just bight the bullet and fire him, and it’s the cost of hiring him that’s keeping him in it so far (and seeing that the chopping and changing hasn’t really gotten us anywhere in the past)

  44. The Blues

    Very poor game. I really want AVB to stay but I think his position is becoming rapidly untenable, the only thing holding him in in his job is the cost we spent to hire him, the cost to sign a new manager and the mercy of RA to try and support a young long term manager.

    vs the fear of us not finishing 4th 🙁

    He has made 3 great signings, but Meireles whilst great value for money and a good sub, should not be starting.However we are playing the same we did last season, just passing the ball from side to side. None of our players move fast enough or try to beat a man.He should have started Cole Luiz Cahill Ivan as our defence.Also taking Mata off was insane, I can understand the Essien substitution.If RA could sack TSO he can sack AVB, I wonder if a call will go into Fabio tonight to see if he is interested? I hope AVB stays, we finish 4th, and he finally sells the clutter that has built up over the last few years. 3 year plan, but stay in the top 4 AVB!

  45. Guest

    Manager creates the tactics, and he bowed to public (and dressing room) pressure after the loss to Arsenal. Since then we’ve stopped active pressing, defended a tad deeper and become shite again. 

    There was a distinct lack of effort, cohesion and passing ability on display today, and it’s down to the manager to correct these. He ought to drop players based on performance: Cole, Bosingwa, Meireles, Malouda, Torres and Sturridge have all been poor recently. Sturridge clearly wants to outplay Torres numerically and plays more for himself than the team. Torres can’t hold up the ball, and takes too many touches. Malouda slows the game down. Meireles can’t pass anymore and fouls after loosing the ball. Bosingwa is heavy legged and can’t cross, and Cole just seems tired.

    I still hope that the players take the axe this time. 

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