It’s been a long summer without club football since that memorable night in Munich. Yes, yes, I know we’ve played three league games already but that feels more like being served an amuse-bouche only to be told that the chef’s just popping out for three weeks holiday before he can prepare your starter.
There have been sporting activities attempting to fill the summer interregnum and I decided in advance to be a good Brit and support all our boys and girls, regardless of their country of origin and well before Sean Connery pissed on my parade by declaring that Andy Murray is Scottish not British.
For some time I’ve imagined there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, because countries are a historical legacy where geographical location was the only logical way to group people since they needed to be within easy travelling distance to communicate with each other. But with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones, social networking and affordable high speed travel it’s as easy to communicate with someone on the other side of the world as it is your next door neighbour. Despite the current problems with the euro we’re still proceeding at pace towards currency convergence, common taxes, single spoken language, global brands and world-wide laws leading me to the conclusion that soon, even if not in my lifetime, countries will be redundant.
Accordingly to ensure I got the maximum enjoyment out of the sporting summer I waved goodbye to my British and English citizenship and declared myself to be the first resident of Ish, a superset region for all countries with ‘ish. You won’t believe how liberating it feels to no longer be constrained by arbitrary longitudes and latitudes. Whilst all around me suffered the expected English penalty blow-out in the Euros I was able to revel in the third consecutive Spanish success. At the Olympics and Paralympics I was guaranteed to have someone to cheer in every event, now including Sweden and Denmark, and the summer was rounded off nicely by the Northern Irish Rory McIlroy and Scottish Andy Murray. And to cap it all I’ve offered thanks to the god of linguistics who ensured that I’ve been spared by one character from the ignominy of supporting the Welsh.
To shake or not to shake. A question that can be used in a wide variety of circumstances. Cooking, milkshakes, Kenco coffee beans, ‘n vac, noisy children, post urination and of course handshakes, an act commonly performed upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, or completing an agreement, its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality. Handshakes possibly originated as a gesture showing that the hand holds no weapon.
Anyhow Anton bypassed JT and Ashley and no doubt his brother Rio wished he’d used the bypass after he was caught speeding three times in five weeks on the same road and was banned last week for six months. Both brothers seem to lack respect for the law and presumably both missed quite a few days of school.
The first half
No room for Mata which didn’t surprise me because last year I think he found this match a little too brutish. The ref, in his reddish shirt, got his yellow card out for us and seemed a bit biased, almost as if he felt he needed to counterbalance Anton’s failed prosecution. At the other end we had two reasonable claims for a penalty, with JT being dragged to the ground at a corner and the distinguished Hazard clearly tripped as he ran at speed into the box.
We had the best possession and created two good chances, one for the impoverished Torres and the other for the impish Hazard.
However we struggled to create a really clear-cut chance and it was difficult to see how we could create an opening against the amazing defensive qualities of Bosingwa and SWP.
QPR were forced to make two substitutions first half. We showed all the class against our poor neighbours but not enough in the final third.
The second half
Moses made his debut as a sub for Bertrand but despite having 30 minutes to show something he was unable to perform any miracles.
We seemed to lack a midfield and no one seemed capable of changing the game. Ramires looked a little lost on the wing and Lampard and Mikel were unable to provide a cleverish defence splitting pass.
Mikel made a catastrophic back pass but fortunately QPR lacked the polish to establish a lead. On the break the stylish Hazard produced a great run, laying the ball off for Torres who made a feeblish attempt to finish.
Sturridge came on for Torres after 80 minutes which seemed a bit harsh because surely Torres needs longer to get into the game than that.
Cech continued to kick long for the imaginary Drogba.
We managed to conjure up one more chance with a decent cross from Moses but unfortunately Hazard blasted over from eight yards.
The player ratings
Ish ratings allow for a margin of +/- 3.
- Cech – 7ish
- Ivanovic – 7ish
- Cole – 7ish
- David Luiz – 7ish
- Terry – 7ish
- Bertrand – 7ish
- Ramires – 6ish
- Lampard – 7ish
- Mikel – 7ish
- Hazard – 7ish
- Torres – 6ish
- Moses (sub) – 6ish
- Sturridge (sub) – 7ish
Well it was better than last year where we imploded after going down to nine men and to be honest I’m grateful for a point against a team that views their duel with us as their biggest game since appearing in the FA Cup Final in 1982.
Last week we bought a new bread knife for the kitchen, an expensive Japanese Global knife from John Lewis, with serrated teeth. Prior to that the bread was being torn and shredded rather than cut but this new knife is a revelation, slicing through the loaf as if it were the butter. Chelsea have paid top dollar for their cutting edge but it’s nowhere near as effective, today verging on toothless.
It’s been a while since I’ve published such gibberish yet you’d be churlish to relinquish what can be accomplished by adopting the Ish philosophy.
The press reports
The Observer, David Hytner: “The one apiece was not bad for either side, even if the two dropped represented Chelsea’s first blemish of the Premier League season. Both teams departed with regrets, with QPR’s centring upon the two clear chances that they spurned in the second half. Park Ji-sung fluffed a gloriously free header while Bobby Zamora seized upon a loose Mikel John Obi back-pass to round Petr Cech only not to shoot. He finally unloaded after checking inside but the opportunity had passed. Chelsea were the better team in the first half and they might have snatched victory in the closing moments only for Eden Hazard to blaze over the crossbar from the substitute Victor Moses’s low cross. Roberto Di Matteo lamented his side’s lack of cutting edge for the first time this season. All of the passion, all of the huff and puff, came to nothing.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Gerry Cox: “A large banner laid out in front of the Loftus Road tunnel as the players emerged before kick-off read, “Get on with the Game”, but the racism row that has rumbled on since last October’s corresponding fixture refuses to go away. The players did get on with a game – not the best this ground has seen – but only after the brouhaha over the handshakes continued. As expected, Anton Ferdinand refused to shake hands with John Terry and Ashley Cole, as did Ji Sung Park, QPR’s captain.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “The Blues were held for the first time in this league campaign in what, despite no goals, was not a dull derby encounter. It was on the whole an even contest. Queens Park Rangers can point to more genuine chances, especially after the break, but Chelsea spurned the best of all when Hazard fired over near the end, and it is very hard to explain why we weren’t awarded a penalty when the same Chelsea player was clearly fouled in the first half. The bright, attacking link-ups that have been evident on occasions this campaign were few and far between in this game. Victor Moses came on for his debut in the second half and with Daniel Sturridge introduced late on as well, we opened the visitors up more, but Rangers too could have won it near the end.”