Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Chelsea – Foyled!

The preamble

Wow! Just wow! How to follow a Manchester Derby like that?

Well with a quick lie down, a stiff drink and some highly inappropriate oohing and aahing at the screen as they replay Silva’s pass for City’s sixth. If it wasn’t for Barcelona and their ludicrous abundance of talent, Silva would be rivalling Messi and Ronaldo for World Player of the Year. And yes, I know I’m meant to be previewing the massive West London Derby but when you witness a result and more significantly a performance like that, we have to discuss what a seismic day this could be for the Premiership.

To call City unstoppable would be laughably premature but much like the early days of Jose’s reign, there is a clear, ominous momentum being built up by Mancini. The times of merely dismissing an impressive start from the Blue Half of Manchester as an anomaly or an aberration which will inevitably peter out are over. With the hugely talented and varied squad they’ve built up they were always going to be contenders this year but the way they have started the season hinted at what was to come today. Swatting away the dross in this league is one thing but demolishing Spurs and scoring five away from home is quite another.

Yes, I know United going down to 10 men was crucial and that City’s form in the Champions League has been anything but impressive but you simply cannot ignore what a statement scoring six goals at Old Trafford makes. It still hasn’t really sunk in properly but United were humiliated and conceded six goals today. Six bloody goals! Yes that’s six. Sky Sports even went to the trouble of writing out the word as well as putting the number down, in case anyone failed to grasp what had happened today.

Plenty of very good sides have had United down to 10 men and failed to capitalise like City did today, with the 6-1 result not even flattering City in my eyes if you look at the chances they missed. The constant rotation, appreciation of space and controlled, counter attacking football they played really was beautiful at times and I have to admit that by the end, I was cheering them on. As a neutral, seeing David Silva put in one of the greatest individual Premiership performances I’ve ever seen just made me smile and after he flicked the ball up on the halfway line and volleyed it through to Dzeko for City’s sixth, I just started laughing like a giddy schoolboy. It was a joy to watch and a wonderful way to get ready for our Derby.

After I had calmed down from that bonkers game, it suddenly dawned on me that this was our big moment to reclaim the ground lost with defeat at Old Trafford. Whilst I was certainly not part of the “it’s only QPR so I expect a romp” brigade, I was expecting a rather comfortable afternoon against a poor side who after they’d run around a bit and got the Derby Day excitement out of their legs would surely wilt. It wasn’t arrogance or overconfidence but instead an expectation that with the way we have been playing lately, we would simply overwhelm them with our movement and passing. However, I then remembered this was Chelsea we were talking about and things are never quite that simple…

The teams

Cech, Bosingwa, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Mikel, Meireles, Lampard, Sturridge, Drogba, Mata.

Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Romeu, Malouda, McEachran, Kalou, Anelka.

So no real surprises for most watching the game as Didier replaced the suspended Fernando and Meireles came in for the injured Ramires whose energy would have been ideal today.

Personally, I was a tad surprised we didn’t go for Nico. Didier has had a poor (being kind) start to the season and the fact that he’s only scored three goals since Fernando arrived says a lot for me. His time at the club is certainly drawing to a close.

Oh and isn’t it nice to see Josh back on the bench. With all of our new signings we do have a rather large squad but this kid certainly has the talent to merit a place in the 18.

The referee

Chris Foy.

Thought I’d give him his own special section. Pay attention kids because for those of you who didn’t see the game, this guy was pretty influential today.

The match

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble…

Apologies. I just couldn’t resist. Today was feisty to say the least. Passionate for long spells, appallingly aggressive in others and downright dirty for the rest of it. If you – like Jamie and Gary – thought this was “the best the Premier League has to offer” then I don’t want really want to talk to you or be anywhere near you. For the rest of you who saw this game I’m sure you’ll agree it was a maddening, exciting and crazy game which made you proud to support Chelsea yet despair that we have to put up with such displays of baffling, refereeing incompetence.

The match started out rather sloppily. Martin Tyler told us that the Chelsea squad had been glued to the Utd-City game in the build-up and in the opening stages, we didn’t exactly look all that focused. QPR were buzzing about and harrying in their typical, ‘up and at ‘em’ style but with the class we had on show, we really should have just knuckled down and played around them. Instead we looked shocked and almost offended that these minnows from down the road had had the temerity to barge us about and get in our faces. “We’re the artistes from West London don’t you know and we deserve a bit of time and space thank you very much,” was the impression I got from a few of the guys in the early stages and ultimately our sloppiness and timidity was punished.

Yet another long punt into our box was allowed to bounce by David Luiz towards the waddling Helguson who was struggling to reach it before the ball ran out of play. However, David then inexplicably decided to run into him and barge him over. It was a nailed on penalty and another ridiculous notch on Luiz’s ever increasing belt of moronic defensive mistakes. The penalty floated in and we were 1-0 down and chasing the game.

At this point you expected the fight back to begin. AVB has developed a passionate, entirely committed and hugely impressive team ethic this season but for the rest of this half, that team spirit was severely lacking. Whether it was dawdling to reach second balls or getting brushed aside by QPR’s aggressive tactics or just forgetting the passing, moving and high tempo football which has brought us so many goals recently, we didn’t look like the side which had brushed aside the likes of Everton and Bolton. Frankly, we looked like the shambles of Carlo’s last few days in charge.

Now, I hate to pick on one man – actually who am I kidding, I love it – but when reflecting on that first half I was trying to work out why we were playing so poorly. QPR’s pressing game was an awkward distraction but something was clearly missing from our attacking play. Then it struck me, Didier was having one of his sulks. He was at his arrogant worst when he decided to blaze the ball out for a throw despite having four players in support but even before that moment he seemed to be lost in our fluid, rotating side. His touch was off, his pace was non-existent and his attitude stunk. He seemed intent on doing things on his own and after nearly half an hour of his diva act, I was royally pissed off. I forgive arrogance if you’re having a barnstorming game and have the ability to back it up. But when you’re a target man getting dominated by Anton Ferdinand and having passes embarrassingly bounce away off your shins, understanding from the fans is a little less easy to come by.

So at this point things weren’t going well. Chris Foy then decided to get involved to liven things up a bit for some peculiar reason. A couple of baffling decisions for nothing fouls by Mikel and Ash went against us, then he decided to ignore a five minute spell of constant hacking on Sturridge from Clint Hill before his big moment came. Our high line was caught out with another long punt, this time to Shaun Wright-Phillips. He was in a race with Bosingwa and it was clear that both were pulling away at each other’s shirt. After a coming together on the edge of our box, the ball broke loose to SWP and he had a one-on-one shooting opportunity with Petr. However, he stopped and turned to see Foy rushing towards the box with a red card in his hand, which he promptly flashed in Jose’s face like a headmaster, revelling in getting his little black, punishment book out. Bosingwa, JT, Ivanovic and the Chelsea fans went ballistic. JT’s frankly weak defence that he was there on the cover should be dismissed and instead the issuing of the foul should be questioned. Both were pulling each other’s shirts and it merely looked like a slip from SWP as he approached the box. The fact that he got straight back up and collected the ball in preparation for a shot was telling for me. Anyway, there would be no changing of Foy’s pea-sized, petty mind and we were down to 10.

Unfortunately Sturridge was then understandably sacrificed for Ivanovic and for the rest of the half we looked to scramble home to the dressing rooms without conceding again. However Didier then decided to awake from his slumber, which ended in predictably disastrous fashion. From yet another woeful first touch, he went chasing the ball and instead of letting Taarabt dribble down a cul-de-sac covered by Ash and JT, he lunged in, catching Taarabt’s shins with two feet. It was a terrible challenge which even Lamps winced at in the background. What made it worse though was the disgusting arrogance Didier showed as he walked off. With Mikel calmly telling Didier what he thought of his irresponsible behaviour, Didier decided to put his finger to his lips, patronisingly telling Mikel to shut up. It was a moronic, indefensible challenge which deserves to see him fined. He’ll be excluded after his ban – as is AVB’s wont when he likes to punish stupidity on the pitch (see what happened to Kalou after Valencia) – but this looks increasingly like the winding down of Didier’s career at Chelsea. More on that later.

So we were down to nine men, panicking and desperately hoping this wouldn’t get any more embarrassing. Mata was then sacrificed for Nico with the clock winding down on the half and as the whistle went, those of a Chelsea persuasion looked to be shocked and rather lost. This was AVB’s Chelsea. Chaos like this isn’t meant to happen.

The players were out early for the second half and we were all wondering how we’d stay competitive in this game let alone get back into it. Some may underestimate how tricky it is to play with nine as you have to somehow solve the impossible equation of balancing keeping a back four in place, a target man to provide an outlet, a midfield to press the opposition and – if you have any fingers left whilst counting up your players – trying to provide some width. AVB clearly disagreed with Ray and Martin’s suggestion to shut up shop and hope to sneak something at the end and told the guys to just go for it. And frankly, we were bloody brilliant this half.

Whether it was Lamps constantly raiding forward (didn’t someone say he was finished, out of energy, over the hill…), Meireles displaying all the class in the world with some stunning footwork all over the pitch, Mikel performing like a number 10, defensive midfielder, right-back and centre-back throughout the half, Ivanovic and Cole playing as wingers yet still covering back when QPR broke or JT putting in a stunning Beckenbauer impression, we were controlling this game and displaying so much heart, fighting spirit and passion that the fact that we never quite got the goals we deserved hardly mattered. It had that feel of us fighting back at the Emirates with only 10 men when we gave up our title in 2006/7 season and by the end of the half, the smiles had returned.

We burst out the traps with Meireles curling over a beautiful cross for Lamps whose goal bound header was deflected wide. We were pressing all over the pitch yet still miraculously had spare men, waiting to accept the ball. Both Branners and Ash were storming forward to provide crosses to set up both Lamps and Meireles for long range opportunities. Luiz then nicked the ball and set up another counter attack which eventually ended with Barton crowding out Lamps on the edge of the box. We were dominating the game and playing some lovely stuff which was extraordinary to see due to the lack of numbers on our side.

So how did AVB do it? Well with a beautiful tactical display. I know some don’t really appreciate the tactical side of the game (“good players should always be able to find a way to play well together” is the bullshit I get tired of hearing) but the way he set us up in this half was something beyond virtually any other coach in Europe. With the ball, we kept two at the back (one of which being Mikel) and allowed Ash to play as a left wing back, pushed Branners even further forward to be a right winger and with Lamps, Meireles and Nico playing keep ball in neat triangles in the middle, we engineered space for the spare man to be JT or Luiz to storm forward. It was beautifully fluid, total football at times and despite the inherent high risky nature of chasing a game with only nine men, we put in some magnificent stuff. The days of Chelsea not having a plan B are well and truly bloody over.

It had now been five minutes since Chris Foy had been in the game so he decided to get involved again by booking Mikel for a trip, Lamps for complaining that Derry had clattered into his knee with a terribly late challenge, Ivanovic for a block, then waving away clear shirt pulls on Lamps and Luiz in the box before he laughably decided to confront JT and book him for rightfully complaining at that elephant Kenny for diving and rolling all over the place when JT ran near him. I tried to stay as impartial as possible when judging his refereeing performance but by the end I had just given up. It was one of the worst displays since Ovrebo’s nightmarish showing.

By the end of the game we had carved out a few great opportunities for Nico, who missed a simple header from Ivanovic’s stunning cross and then Luiz whose overhead kick was deflected agonisingly over the bar by Lamps of all people. It was clear we had run out of steam by the end of the game but when the final whistle came I didn’t feel all that disappointed or frustrated. Yes I was annoyed that we’d let City go six points clear and massively pissed off at Chris Foy but the way we fought back into this game with only nine men made me smile and feel enormous pride for the guys. This was the angry, passionate, ‘us against the world’ Chelsea we thought we’d lost under Carlo and personally that second half was one of the best I’ve seen in a long while. We may be a long way behind but if we play like that for the rest of this season, we’ll be in with a shout for both of the big two titles.

The good

  • Passion – The heart and fighting spirit we showed to dominate a game with only nine men was a herculean effort. An incredible second half display.
  • AVB – A second half tactical masterclass. He may have screwed up by picking the woeful Didier but the way he balanced a two man disadvantage to still see us dominating the game and creating chances was joyous. I have complete faith in AVB and haven’t felt this way since a certain other young, Portuguese star waltzed in to manage us. The way he calmly destroyed Chris Foy in the post match interviews was also a joy to watch: “Not a bad day for us, a bad day for the referee. We controlled the game with nine men for 45 mins, but every decision went against us. I don’t have a problem with discipline, I have a problem with this referee applying discipline.” When speaking to Chris Foy post-match: “I was very aggressive to him.” Did he have a problem with that? “I don’t care.” I’m in love with this man.
  • JT – Utterly magnificent captain’s performance. Drove us forward all game and deserved to drag us back level at the very least.
  • Lamps – Where does he get that energy? He may not have the pace or quick feet of old but his class and stamina were magnificent. Talk of a new contract to see him retire at the club in 2015 is completely deserved.
  • Ivanovic – A revelation as a right winger. Blessing in disguise to have him as our only fit right-back against Arsenal. Despite his good form, I’m still not a Bosingwa fan so it’s nice to see Branners back in the side. Helped keep Luiz in check too.
  • Second half Luiz – A wonderfully bonkers second half performance as he strode forward with all the elegance and grace of Pique or Lucio in his pomp.

The bad

  • First half Luiz – Let’s all have a chuckle at loveable Luiz. Isn’t it hilarious how he bumbles about conceding fouls, picking up yellows and moronically giving away penalties? Erm, no it’s not. We get that he’s impetuous and naive but he really should have learnt by now. Last chance before you’re benched.
  • Chris Foy – A disgrace.
  • Didier – It’s his last season at Chelsea. This is not a knee-jerk reaction to one sending off or a single poor performance but a reflection of what has been a woeful 2011 for him. His pace has gone, his poor touch and technique have got worse and he just looks completely lost in this new Chelsea built around high tempo, fluid rotation. Worse than that though is his arrogance. He is struggling to accept that he’s not first choice these days and his ridiculously childish reaction to Mikel when he was sent off just pissed me off. It was Didier at his worst.
  • Lack of clean sheet – I know AVB is trying to keep everyone calm by dismissing it but it’s a serious worry now.
  • QPR – A terrible team, with a dick for a manger and some of the worst fans in the country. Picking up the ball, throwing it two yards away then screaming abuse at a Chelsea player isn’t big or clever. Just makes you out to be a moron and a disgrace of parent as your child sits there, watching their father spit and swear at another grown man for playing football. Embarrassing.

The player ratings

The ratings are back! Stuff the lot of you who don’t like them.

  • Cech – 8/10 – A brilliant sweeper keeper performance. Unlucky with the penalty too.
  • Bosingwa – 5/10 – Still a defensive liability as SWP sped past him on a few occasions. Unfortunate to be red carded.
  • Luiz – 6/10 – Magnificent in the second half as he stormed forward but his first half naivety is hard to forgive. A silly silly boy.
  • JT – 9/10 – Fighting spirit, passion, anger, aggression… it was all there. Almost the perfect captain’s performance.
  • Cole – 9/10 – Gets a bonus point for a beautiful two-footed lunge on Barton after the final whistle. A hugely committed, box to box showing. Nearly back to his best.
  • Mikel – 8/10 – A few dodgy moments early on when they all looked to be half asleep but when we were down to nine, he puffed out his chest and decided to dominate the game. Brilliant.
  • Meireles – 8/10 – Pure class.
  • Lamps – 8/10 – A vintage Lamps performance which deserved a goal. Don’t write him off just yet.
  • Sturridge – 6/10 – Almost kicked out of the game early on with some disgusting challenges. Unlucky to be sacrificed.
  • Mata – 5/10 – Looked shocked at some of the tactics QPR employed. His quietest game yet.
  • Didier – 0/10 –Indefensible, moronic, woeful… you name it, we saw it today. I hated his performance and can’t wait for Fernando to return. The beginning of the end.
  • Ivanovic (sub) – 8/10 – A revelation in a new attacking role.
  • Anelka (sub) – 7/10 – A classy showing ruined with a poor header.
  • Malouda (sub) – 6/10 – A bit quiet in his new centre-back/defensive midfielder role.
  • AVB – 9/10 – Loses a point for the Didier decision but the second half tactical masterclass and passion he showed when defending our players and attacking Chris Foy was brilliant to watch. The days of everyone loving this new, friendly Chelsea are over and I for one am delighted that they are. We are now led by one of the world’s most tactically astute, intelligent and passionate managers who is rapidly transforming the philosophy of the side. Remember the days when some wanted to give Carlo another year?

Man of the Match

I’ll give it to JT. Magnificent.

The conclusion

So how do you sum up a crazy day like that? Well, I’ll keep it succinct. City are a machine who’ll take some stopping, United aren’t quite as good as people think and we’re still a work in progress. When we’re at our best we can beat anybody but if our attitude is lacking – as it was in the first half – then this new side can look a tad lost. It’s also clear that we’re missing the movement and class of Fernando when you compare him to the shambles Didier put in. But the biggest thing to take away from today is that in AVB we have found a real star. He has an answer for anything it seems and I have no doubt in my mind that with time, he’ll bring success to this club. And at risk of opening a can of worms, I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll be the one to help design and lead us out at our new stadium…

And on that note, I must bid you goodnight.

The press reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “A furious occasion has drained composure from Chelsea’s pursuit at the top. Andre Villas-Boas’s side lost their discipline as well as a west London derby here and an opportunity to hoist themselves into second place and nearer Manchester City was passed up, not that those who waved the visitors on their way could care less.”

The Independent, Glenn Moore: “Reduced to nine men before half-time, and trailing to a 10th-minute penalty, Chelsea did everything but salvage a point in a wild second half in this west London derby. Nor did the final whistle halt their defiance. Having seen his team rack up seven yellow cards in addition to the reds received by Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba, André Villas-Boas confronted referee Chris Foy in the tunnel and, by his own description “aggressively” told the official what was wrong with his display.”

The Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Wilson: “The great irony was that, once reduced to nine men for 50 minutes of the match, Chelsea performed admirably and had at least one plausible second-half penalty appeal waved away. Yet a final charge sheet of seven yellow and two red cards told an accurate story of self-defeating unruliness. A Football Association fine of awaits for the accumulation of more than five bookings in this match. Villas-Boas may also face individual action for claiming that Foy “lost it” and openly admitting that he behaved aggressively towards the referee.”

The Official Chelsea FC Website: “It was a rare afternoon to forget in west London as two red cards and a penalty cost us in our first league visit to Loftus Road since 1996. In a gripping encounter that also saw nine yellow cards, it was the home side who came out victorious after being awarded a dubious first-half penalty, with David Luiz adjudged to have bundled Heidar Helguson to the floor after just nine minutes. Although Petr Cech got a hand to the spot kick he could not prevent it going in. With more than 80 minutes left to play there was no cause for panic though, only for Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba both to receive red cards in the closing stages of the first half, leaving us with a huge uphill task.”

The goal

10′ Helguson (pen) 1-0

There are 129 comments

Add yours
  1. Leigh Qpr28

    sorry mate but the penalty was a penalty,bosingwa pulled SWP’s shirt, Drogba’s challenge on taarabt was horrific & John Terry appeared to racially abuse Anton, That said Chelsea just lost it today, The card count say’s so. Don’t blame the ref when your’e players played the way they did today. Living in london i have more chelsea fans as friends & family & i always support english clubs in the champions league (including chelsea) but for you to give ashley cole an extra point for a two footed lunge on barton after the final whistle is a bit sad.

    • Anonymous

      The penalty wasn’t given for Bosingwa’s alleged shirt pull. How the fuck can that be a red card when SWP wasn’t actually running to the goal? And the card count was wrong, when QPR players kicked and pulled at ours. Foy was the ultimate homer today. Good luck for the rest of the season because you’ll need it and when you come to Stamford Bridge I suspect an arse kicking will be the most likely result for you. 

    • Cunningplan

      I wonder how Warnock would have reacted had it been QPR on the recieving end of those decisions, the man would have had a stroke on the touchline. Foy was shit, and to say inconsistent would be an understatement, and three of the yellow cards were just laughable (Terry Lampard and Ivanovic) so don’t go coming up with crap look at the “card count”

      You failed to have one corner in the 95 mins of the game, less attempts on goal, and there was virtually equal possession with 11v9. Out of the newly promoted teams you’re by far the worst, and hopefully you’ll be heading back to the level of football that suits you.

  2. Ososdeoro

    The problem with the referee was the complete lack of ability to call similar transgressions both ways. Luiz had the arms of defenders around his waist in the box….twice! 

    Notes on the notes:
    It appeared to me that Luiz was often late to the ball in the first half and just decided to go ahead with his tackles anyway. Not good. Seemed a little slow in the first half. His dive in the box, which I read as a sarcastic dig at Foye, probably deserved a yellow.

    What’s different this week is that Ramires is missing. I’m confused as to why folks would blame Mikel, very odd.

    Didier hasn’t scored much, but he’s been involved in some of the team’s goals lately. His challenge was horrible and the red card was fully deserved. But I do think he’s trying. As for the Mikel incident, I’m thinking Didier already knew what he did was stupid and didn’t care to be reminded of it all over again. Not a great reaction, but understandable. 

    Does anyone believe that if Suarez hadn’t been accused last week of racial abuse by Evra, that Vivian Leigh would have even imagined the crap he just made up about JT?

    Oh….and Nic. Was it really that easy of a header? I’ve never played the game beyond some college intramurals (which did not involve heading the ball). Heading the ball doesn’t seem very easy given the different spins and angles that the ball comes in on. Could Anelka really have easily have gone right or left instead of right at Kenny if he had had more of a presence of mind than people are accusing him of having? Just curious.

  3. The SRG

    Habs is correct in everything he said.  Drogba was poor, he looks out of his depth and slow to adapt to what AVB is trying to implement in this squad.  Foy was shit, a friend who is a die hard Arse fan said it was the worst most one sided ref he had ever seen.  But the fact that we came out in that second half with two less players and showed our heart and ability was wonderful to see. 

    It was sad to see us lose two points, but the spirit and drive we showed in the second half was inspiring.  Frank was going box to box for the entire half, Nico should have scored but you can’t bemoan his miss.  It was a loss that is easy to swallow.

    After the whistle at the end of the second half, it was hard watching the QPR fans jump around like they just dominated our obviously superior 9 man squad, but it made up for it to take pride in a Chelsea team that fought back through more adversity than I can remember since the Barca game a couple years ago.  AVB is exactly what this squad needed and even if we don’t win a few trophies this year, you have to see his vision and ability to manage a side of big names and adapt to the situation at hand.

  4. Garyhooper

    Typical Chelsea fans perspective. The ‘long ball’ through to swp was a lovely weighted through ball from tarrabt and it was clear that swp was pulled back.

    Yes I concede that you played well in the 2nd half but the ref didn’t have a bad game and to say that rangers fans are the worst in the courangers just sour grapes.

  5. JC

    Typical biased trash. Nothing balanced about that. Over-doing the ‘punting up the pitch’ angle because you got harried when on the ball.   SWP was clean through, from a beautifully weighted pass by Taaraabt when he had his shirt pulled causing him to go to ground.  No way Terry was getting across, and it clearly denied SWP a goal scoring opportunity. Rules state thats a red card, plain and simple.

    As for Clint Hill repeatedly hacking at Bossingwa, dude you need to replace those blue tinted spectacles with a real pair. Since when is getting right up on an opponent and not giving him space ‘hacking away’ at someone?

    If there was a team guilty of hacking at players it was the undisciplined mob in blue. The card count doesn’t lie.

    No team has a god given right to win a match. And for Chelsea players to feel like all they had to do was turn up, and for QPR to lay down and take is, is arrogance of the highest sort that deserved to get punished. That discipline fell apart so easily with a little bit of harrying, is testament to that.

    Granted Lampard should have had a penalty, but given that every chelsea player had bene diving around like it was a swimming pool out there, you only have yourselves to blame for the referee go give any benefit of doubt to QPR.

    Chelsea were by far the better side out there, however they deservedly lost because, of their arrogant, childish petulance.

    • Marco

      Opposition fans who want to engage in debate are always welcome on here but starting off with ”typical biased trash” is just boorish and it doesn’t create the impression that anything you have to say is going to be impartial.

      As it happens you do have a couple of good points to make. Just drop the abuse, there’s a good chap.

    • Anonymous

      QPR is a shite team even when they play 11 against 9. The only way to win for you is to play 12 against 9. This time you had it so take your three points and shove up your somewhere.

  6. Anonymous

    Even though I don’t agree with all your sentiments it was a great report Habs and credit for summoning the energy to write it after that display. If I’d been asked to write the report I would only have got as far as writing “shit” to the power of 9.

    You were left feeling pride after our second half display but I felt anger and frustration.  Here was our chance to leapfrog United, who only a few weeks back were being lauded as one of the most brilliant and exciting teams of Fergie’s reign. And we blew it.

    Don’t take it out on the ref.  The SWP sending off was a close call but it could have gone either way.  Boswinga did pull him down.  The fact that SWP tried to get up is a credit to SWP, not proof that it wasn’t a foul.  Have we sunk so low that if a player doesn’t stay down faking a mortal wound it can’t be a foul.  As for Drogba it was a definite sending off.  Tackles like that haven’t been allowed since the 1970 FA Cup Final replay.

    Our first half display was pathetic.  If we can’t stand up to a bit of intimidation from a pub team we aren’t going to be champions. The team needed to ‘man up’.

    And whilst you heap praise on Luiz for his second half attacking salvos this can’t excuse his first half display.  I love his attacking flair and if we got caught short at the back because of one his forward bursts I could live with that; it would be worth it for the excitement.  What I can’t forgive are his petulant fouls that don’t gain us an advantage and end up costing us penalties or cards.  Making a lunging tackle and tacking one for the team is fine.  Had Ashley got sent off away to United for his crunch on Hernandez you’d have to say fair enough, he was doing everything in his power to stop a goal and took one for the team.  Luiz on the other hand turned a position of minimal danger into a penalty and then looks around with that innocent look of a schoolboy proclaiming ‘it wasn’t me’.  Hopefully JT and Branners will take Luiz behind the bike sheds in Cobham and wipe that childish look off his face.

    As for AVB, like you I’m a fan and optimistic for our future under his stewardship.  However half time turnarounds are great but I’d be more impressed if he’d picked the right team and sent them out with the correct mental attitude for the start of the game.

  7. Anonymous

    “If there was a team guilty of hacking it was the undisciplined mob in blue”

    So QPR then? ‘Cos we sure as shit weren’t wearing blue. If you opened your eyes to see that, maybe you’d understand whats being said about Foy.

    It’s too early in the season for it to be Drogs ending, but post-suspension he really needs to improve. Looked way off the pace yesterday.

    Just a hugely frustrating day. We never take advantage of Utd slipping up. What can you do? Just ignore it and move on. Just a shame next Saturday is a big game. Alex with JT, Branners at RB please. Play the kids midweek.

  8. PeteW

    I think in the first half we were just taken aback by what an important game it is for QPR. It really is one of the biggest games in their short league history and they’ve been getting very very excited about it all week, whereas for us it’s just another game. Perhaps we should have taken them more seriously and not just treated them like a Lidl version of Fulham.

    The ref clearly felt the pressure, but he was certainly consistent in the way he gave everything he could to the home team. We should be used to that now, though, but at least AVB spoke out.The second half – completely dominated the game with nine men, outstanding, but too little too late. Like the United defeat, we can take an awful lot of positives out of this, but I’d rather have taken three points – especially as all of our rivals will go to QPR and batter ’em to fuck. 

    Never mind, at least it wasn’t Spurs or somebody that matters.

  9. Marco

    Poor discipline was the main reason we lost yesterday. And it’s something AVB needs to work on urgently, especially with Luiz, who was still barging into players after he had received his yellow card. And he had no business barging into Helguson in our penalty area with eight minutes on the clock. Think it’s time AVB left him on the bench until he has had learnt how to calm down.

    Foy is an overweight buffoon who needs to go back to refereeing in the Championship (or maybe he got confused when he noticed that QPR are a Championship side in disguise?). The most baffling decision, for me, was his deciding not to send off Derry for a tackle from behind on Lamps which was clearly intended to maim him? And then he books Lamps for complaining?  And how was Derry’s thuggery not worse than Drogba’s?

    Thought the 9-man ‘total football’ display in the second half was simply awesome. Arguably our best performance of the season so far.

    • Cunningplan

      You say poor discipline Marco, which to a degree is correct. But going back to the stats the foul count was 17 a piece, and from that we get 7 yellows and two reds, to their 2 yellows. Foy certainly had a huge influence on the outcome of the game.

      I’m also going to put my self in the firing line here by defending Drogba to a certain degree. Yes his tackle was stupid and deserved a red, and his attitude stunk. But I think part of the reason for that tackle, was the fact he was getting no protection from Foy, he was constantly kicked when he had the ball, and was taken out on a few occasions when he didn’t have it. I’m not saying that excuses his stupidity, but goes part of the way to explain his reaction.

      • Marco

        Difficult to argue with the stats you and the Kaiser have supplied.

        If we’d had a ref slightly less of a goon than Foy I estimate we’d have had at least one penalty and they’d have had Derry sent off.

        Which get’s us to a possible 1-1 result against relegation fodder. Not exactly the stuff champions are made of.

  10. Der_Kaiser

    Fouls committed (i.e. the ones Foy actually blew the whistle for)

    QPR – 18 
    Chelsea – 19 

    Cards (Yellow) 

    QPR – 2 
    Chelsea – 7 

    Cards (Red) 

    QPR – 0 
    Chelsea – 2 
    No particular complaints about the red cards or the penalty, but the consistency was woeful; stats don’t tell the whole story but what is pasted above is illuminating enough, surely?  Foy was a shit-scared homer and had no business to be in charge of a game like that.

    Didier and Tevez need to go and form their own football team so they can be the centre of attention – clear that neither can deal with not being top dog.  Anelka may be classy but the goals aren’t there any more and he just isn’t convincing me that taking the money in January isn’t the best option right now.  

    The need to find positives about Luiz is a perfect example why players shouldn’t be judged on their initial showing, whether it be good, bad or indifferent.  The odd impressive goal and the barnstorming runs are all very well, but we’re beyond the excuses stage now.  The guy can’t perform the most basic tasks that his role requires – positional sense and the ability to tackle.  He is a fecking liability and makes Frank Sinclair look like Baresi.  Either shape up very quickly, or ship out.  His ideal position for me?  Spain.

    Otherwise, very proud of the second half performance, but to extend the point Pete makes above, we’ll get nowhere if we’re continually ‘very proud’ of the team but they’re not picking up 3 points in games we’ve mostly dominated.  Liking AVB a lot, but history suggests he’ll get little sympathy from the powers that be if results aren’t delivered.

    Big week coming up for us – Everton, CPO vote and then Arsenal.

    • Anonymous

      Agree with that.

      It’s a shame about Drogba.  He’s had some great moments for us.  He’s also had a few crap moments so it’s going to be difficult to remember him with only warm and cuddly feelings.

  11. Anonymous

    Following the advice of our own BB, I am just breathing deeply and letting it all wash over me.

    Did remind me of the days of yore  “when we were shit” toiling in the lower depths, but could get it up to give Liverpool or United an embarrassing afternoon by getting in their face at The Bridge, because they underestimated us and it meant so much more to us on the day.

    The comforting thought is that it will be the highlight of QPR’s season and only the truly dire state of some of the other relegation fodder may save them from going straight back down.

    I’m not one for conspiracy theories and pass on purely for information that Robert Elms on his radio show earlier in the week pointed out that though he knew his team were likely to get a pasting, he couldn’t resist the odds of 7-1 available v a QPR win.

    It would be highly scurrilous to suggest that those legendary, dodgy Far Eastern punters might have reached a similar conclusion and took appropriate action.

    Oh, and I think it is now official that David Luiz is Doug Rougvie reborn with some talent 😉

  12. Anonymous

    The most bi-polar out of all, as we called him here, Didier Drogba just proved it one more time. Apart from it nothing to say really, it all has been said above. Poor referring yet again; two goals from offside positions against Man USA, singling us out against QPR, who are clear shite simply because they can’t score even when they are 11 against 9.  I don’t know why it is so, I don’t really understand why there are so many bad big decisions against Chelsea. However, every time we loose a game it is somehow connected to referring.  One more thing – Shaun Wright Phillips is a little git, how could we pay £24mill for this junk.  

  13. Anonymous

    Ohhh and one more thing totally agree with Habs opinion on AVB! Real strategist, he has got tactical answers, he knows football, he knows what he is doing!!! 

  14. jose_fan

     A little push by Helguson on DL at the edge of the area provoked a pointless retaliation and Helguson was ready to dive in. Good play by her. Yes her. Not so clever by Luiz. QPR clearly were the better prepared team and their strong pressing game was aided by referees leniency towards their challenges. That said, we really should have adapted our game accordingly faster. Excellent and committed performance in the 2nd half though, something quite unseen under CA.

  15. Cunningplan

    To lighten the mood somewhat, I was listening to 5 Live a little earlier, and they had Noel Gallagher on.
    They asked him how City managed to win so convincingly, and he came out with the gem.. it was because Fergie rested Howard Webb.

  16. ChelseaAfrica

    David Luiz: A Liability. May be the reason he was released from his former club.
    Drogba: I was thinking he should be the next to be substituted before his red. And his shut up action to Mikel is very s….d. Am I permitted to express it as it is in my mind? I also believe that his form affected our first half performance. If he is not going in January it should leave at the end of the season and be used as we use Ferreira now (once in ten matches even as a sub) because I can’t foresee any brilliant performance from him again.
    QPR: Is there no standard for pitch by the FA? I have not seen it in English football that club officials will have to create space before a corner kick is taken. Also the way their fans throw the ball when we take our throw-in should not be encouraged. I think this worth a ban for them if we file a petition.
    Refree: Don’t know what to say. Does anybody here know him as Anti Chelsea?
    CFC: Except the two players mentioned above I think we did well.

  17. Ososdeoro

    “I didn’t know what I was doing. We got home and [dad] said, ‘You can’t do any worse than that, can you?'”
    Looks like he took dad up on the challenge.

  18. bluebayou

    Irksome. That’s the word that best sums it up.
    From the verb to irk – “To be irritating, wearisome, or vexing to.”
    I was irked
    You (sing.) were irked 
    We were irked 
    You (plu) were irked.
    He on the other hand was irksome –  (“Causing annoyance, weariness, or vexation”)
    They were most definitely irksome.
    There is a river in North Manchester called the River Irk. It would appears to have burst its banks and was in full flow through West London yesterday covering everything in a slimy irkiness.
    In fact I’m still irked.
    Welcome back Habs.  Good report plenty to chew on.

    One half of me of agrees with most of what you said.
    But on the other hand, despite the quality of football played with 9 men  and with the exception perhaps of the Bosingwa sending off, we pretty much brought it all on ourselves. And no amount of ref baiting will cure that.
    If we don’t concede the early penalty, QPR could still be playing now and never score. Granted a good few of the yellows were nonsense but the experienced heads should not be getting into a war with the ref. We’ve been through this too often. If the ref is shit we still have enough in the locker to beat a team like QPR. JT should focus the team on winning. I know it’s frustrating but you gain nothing. Lampard was right not to let Derry away with the two footed challenge in the 2nd half and that booking’s forgivable. But they get too distracted. I know people thought Carlo was too laid back but AVB put a marker down early in the season over refereeing and I thought then that he’s going to get in a battle he won’t win. We were successful under JM despite the paranoia not because of it.
    I thought our attitude was too ugly yesterday. And yet I also admired the way we came out 2nd half and ran the game. I’m split in two. A river runs through me.
    It’s the River Irk.

    And finally Carpentry Corner

    How to nail someones arse to a bench…….Take one David Luiz, one hammer and one nail

    Repeat for Didier Drogba.

    And enough already with the two footed tackle by our forwards…and that includes you Mr Torres.

  19. Cunningplan

    I certainly agree with the sentiments on the officiating BB, it is a battle players are not likely to win, and the baiting will serve no purpose.

    But it’s back to that old chestnut of consistency, why did Foy not penalise the holding and pushing  in the
    QPR area?
    Why were some of the harmless looking tackles/fouls deemed to be yellow cards for us, and not for them?
    If a referee is going to be fussy in interpreting incidents for one team, then he must be equally fussy for the other.
    That didn’t happen yesterday, and that’s where it’s wrong

    • bluebayou

      I don’t disagree. I’ve vented at refs with the best of them but it keeps on happening. Sometimes we are right to be really really aggrieved. But yesterday I think we let it get away from us.

      And I’m not suggesting we go all Bertie Wooster and “play up play up and play the game”, but there are enough experienced heads who have been on the wrong end of the sort of performance Foy gave to understand the need to channel the aggression. Admittedly this is difficult when an everyday foul becomes a booking but they have to deal with it.

      Just because Swansea and Norwich have decided that playing football is what it’s about doesn’t mean that other “lesser” teams wont pick up on how easy it is to get at Chelsea with a few nasty challenges. Once the ref doesn’t respond they know they’re in clover. Yes we need to respond but have to be selective and hard headed about when and where we put in our own reminders.

      I think that while on one hand JT can be inspirational, he can get diverted by poor refeering decisions too easily and that seems to infect the mood of others. Chasing a sad sack like Foy around the pitch only convinces him of his righteousness. Some refs seem happy to even things up if they feel they’ve been a bit hasty. There was never a chance of that yesterday and he made that very clear very early on.

      They just have to be more intelligent about this. Leave the abuse and the swearing to us. We’re the professionals.

      That said it was just one of those days. Best forgotten and on to the next one.

  20. Anonymous

    Thanks for all the kind messages. It’s nice to be back.

    Writing a report minutes after the match ended was never the wisest idea when I look back on it now as some of the impartiality was lost.

    Having time to reflect I think it was a combination of throwing away the chance to go in to second (typical Chels), a piss poor first half and a lack of refereeing consistency which got to me.

    Oh well, onwards and upwards to Everton. Expect the kids (Josh, Oriol, Bertrand), reserves (Paulo, Kalou, Malouda) and Didier to play in a rather quiet and drab game as all eyes turn to the Arsenal match. With RVP in deadly form and us having come up short (or to put it another way, failed) in our two big tests of the season so far, I’m getting nervy already. It’s a must win game and with Arsenal in rather handy form, it’s going to be a massive test.

    • WorkingClassPost

      Those quick reports are often best, they rekindle some of the emotions, like feeling so positive at our 9 man performance.

      Just took the time to watch MOTD2 and offer a bit of calm reflection, but those shitty commentators just reminded me of the injustice – their laughing, joking, joy at our plight was one thing, but to not even attempt to question such shiteness from Foy was simply bad journalism – how much do they get paid?

      It wasn’t his dishing out to us, but his refusal to deal with them, that made things so one-sidedly shite. Just like with Ovrebo, once some teams know that they won’t get punished, they just keep doing bad things. From one view, the foul on Luiz looked odd, as if he somehow sprung into the air, but from t’other angle, he was clearly hoisted skywards by whatever shite ranger it was wot dun it.

      I don’t quite go with conspiracy theory, it’s more likely a combination of the media letting refs know that they’ll get away with it when they screw up against Chelsea, and the self-loving, officious arrogance of people like Foy of the Rangers (thanks for the link BBD).

      Returning to the lessons learned theme [AVB is still a new boy, let’s not forget].

      We’ve had these crap performances before when playing a match after a competitor, particularly manu. Sitting and watching our rivals play, when we should be getting focused, is NOT good preparation for a game, any game.

      Also, AVB hasn’t had our advantage of watching the team play over many games/seasons, so he cannot be expected to know as much about some of our players, in some situations, as we do, and I’d suggest that 90% of our supporters could tell him that DD will let you know, within 5 minutes of starting, whether he will bother to play or not, and yesterday was definitely a not. If he’d pulled DD instead of Danny, then we’d probably be recalling a comfortable 10v11 win.

      Congrats to AVB and the team on that second half, though, and another big positive is that we’ve yet again dodged the ‘title contenders’ millstone.

      • Anonymous

        AVB used to work for Chelsea, as TSO opposition scout,  and he knows exactly with what kind of goods he is dealing. 

        • WorkingClassPost

          I know his history, and he’s been working, quite successfully, elsewhere for some time now so I doubt that he’s endured/enjoyed DDs antics to the same extent that we have, since JM departed.

          • Anonymous

            Enjoyed most probably not, but he is aware of it for sure. From other side Didier will be sidelined for three games and it means that there will be no selection troubles with Torres and Drogba.

  21. Anonymous

    Didn’t watch the game or see any kind of highlights, and on that basis I’d say Habs has nothing to apologise for: excellent report, very atmospheric, gave me a great sense of the game. Thanks Habs.

    Good to see a few Hoopsters coming by the blog too. A shame they couldn’t rise above the predictable “it were a stonewall pen” stuff.  Having lived in Hammersmith for many of my formative years I have a sneaking fondness for QPR and hope they stay up, but from everything I read it sounds as if they have very little to crow about: we clearly beat ourselves and (to no one’s surprise surely) were capable of a level of football they won’t get anywhere near this season.

  22. Cunningplan

    It appears that some peeps are getting a bit nervous about Arsenal on Saturday.
    Their form may have improved as of late, but that seems to be down to one player, Mr. Van Persie, keep him reasonably quiet and we should be picking up 3 points.

  23. Anonymous

    There’s CP and the death-knell ahead of Saturday.

    I’m bricking it, it has to be said. Psychologically, we’re all over the place. JT is going to have this racism thing hanging over him for another 24 hours at least.

    I want to believe Arsenal offer little threat, but this is Chelsea we’re talking about. Any things possible…,.

  24. NorthernVA

    The Drogba v. Mikel incident hardly registers as a Bowyer v. Dyer moment now does it? If it does than what the old timers tell me is true, “Your generation is soft.”

    It appears that an entire group of lip and minder readers has gone completely unnoticed by the collegiate statisticians. What I find rather “disgusting” is people drawing conclusions on fellow human beings completely bereft of the true facts. 

    Whether it be a serious allegation of racism or an extremely benign incident like a possible spat between teammates. Since you have no what was said it is nothing more than smearing said individual with your own predetermined judgments.

    Also I have no idea how a Drogba & Tevez comparison is justified other than the fact they won the last two golden boots. Tevez never got off the bench while DD has scored more goals than any other Chelsea player coming off it. A real mercenary we have on our hands. 

    In any event he did let us all down on Sunday with the red card. No one however covered themselves in glory in that first half. AVB made the right call at the time with taking out Danny as opposed to DD. Just my personal opinion, if you are a man down leave on the experienced striker who actually has the ability to cross and play a pass with either foot. Not a slight just an observation.

    I have to respectfully disagree with the fact that complaining about refs doesn’t work. It’s hard to believe that SAF, “KK,” JM, all the major papers in Spain which act as nothing more than tentacles of Barca and Real do it if it paid no dividends. While it may carry risk it could bear a substantial and timely return. The broadcast of the game here in the States even made a point early on in the game of highlighting two prior run-ins with Foy and Warnock. These referees aren’t sequestered from reading the reviews of their performances.

    I tip my hat to you Neil, you rat-faced skeevy, soon to be relegated knob.

  25. Machchan

    ‘When you give the wrong decision – it’s devastating. It’s like a player missing from two yards. You feel terrible,’ said Chris Foy.Poor Chris must be feeling rather devastated right now, not so much for the overly tough decisions against Chelsea but for not measuring QPR’s misdemeanours by the same yardstick.

  26. Anonymous

    I see the JT race row is a continuing saga.

    I have personal experience of being involved in a race row many years ago.  The bastard next to me knocked my egg clean out of my spoon and it just escalated from there.

    • Nick

      It looks to me like he called Ferdinand a “blind cunt” – http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/oct/24/john-terry-anton-ferdinand-chelsea-qpr – but the statement JT released on Sunday evening seems to contradict this. He probably should have kept schtum.

  27. Der_Kaiser

    There was a piece of Youtube footage which made it pretty clear what JT said, but it disappeared pretty quickly.  All rests on what Ferdinand says and whether it confirms the context JT put it in, I suppose.  Does seem to have been the usual depressing willingness to nail JT to the wall before all the evidence is out there.

    “Constable Savage, do you think that wearing a Chelsea shirt in a built-up area in the hours of daylight was a valid reason for arresting Mr. Terry?” 

    “Well, I surmised that given his track record, sir, he must have been guilty of something…”

  28. PeteW

    None of the footage I’ve seen is conclusive in the slightest, but the statement was garbled at best. I sincerely hope it’s all a load of nothing and some of the commentary in the media has been disgraceful, but if the FA find him guilty, he should be sacked by the club. Cannot possibly conceive him playing again for England, either. It’s unforgiveable. But I can’t believe he would be that stupid and nasty. 

  29. Anonymous

    It all comes across as horribly contrived to me.

    Surely if the statement JT released on Sunday / yesterday about speaking with Ferdinand after the game was a lie, Ferdinand / QPR would have denied it? There’s nothing to gain from waiting to see what’s happening in that instance.

    Now it just seems like they are hoping he’ll get in trouble from the FA investigating the public complaint as they don’t have evidence that says otherwise.

    Wankers. Unles they prove it.

  30. PeteW

    With that statement, QPR are acting like a little club relishing their moment in the spotlight and the chance to make Chelsea stew. Think the FA will put this to bed. 

  31. Cunningplan

    So this is the statement from QPR…
    “Queens Park Rangers does not condone racism in any way, shape or form. As a
    Club, we will provide our players with our unequivocal support when alleged
    incidents like this occur. We are keen to draw a line under this alleged
    incident and focus on our forthcoming fixtures.”

    But according to reports the FA are going to investigate because of a complaint from QPR. My understanding of that statement is that the matter is closed as far as they’re concerned, or have I missunderstood it?

    • Anonymous

      Glad it’s not just me who was thoroughly confused by the statement still showing on the QPR club website, which singularly fails to say it has lodged a complaint with the FA, who are though “expected now to undertake enquiries into the alleged incident”, even though, as you quote, the club is keen to draw a line under the incident. Seems remarkably close to – move along now, nothing to see here?

      Meanwhile, back at Shooting Yourself in The Foot Corner, I didn’t think the club/ official website could possibly top last week’s “It’s What Matthew Harding Would Have Wanted” effort at alienating uncertain CPO shareholders.

      But then the latest Chelsea TV interview with Ron Gourlay appeared as a video late yesterday afternoon – and offers a quite stunning combination of smugness and patronising attitudes. If you’ve missed it so far  watch and weep here [ it’s only 3-4 minutes] :


      I’m still thinking perhaps it’s the “before” part of one of those “Before and After” media training videos which was released by mistake 😉

      • Cunningplan

        I’m glad it’s not just me then, that’s going senile.
        I’m with JD  with regard JT, there always appears to be an agenda with him from the media.
        I can see, and hear the crowd gathering with their pitchforks and flaming torches.

        • Anonymous

          Well, good than, because I am really frustrated by this ambiguous situation. Really weird situation. 

      • Der_Kaiser

        Interesting pronunciation of ‘Roman’.  Reminded me of that little girl who used to follow Roland around in Grange Hill. 

        “Ro-land… Ro-man…”

        Tomorrow’s vote is going to be very interesting, and I wouldn’t mind betting it’ll be fairly close too.  No idea who’s going to come out on top.  There has been some good debate, but far too much ya-boo name calling over what is a pretty important issue for the club.  The loudest voices are usually the most extreme and it seems no different in this case.

        The Say No folk have been very committed, but some of their scaremongering and overall slightly amatuerish feel has probably played into the club’s hands to an extent.  The club themselves have veered from quite slick to cringeworthy and down-right patronising.

        Can both sides lose?  That would be most satisfactory.

  32. Anonymous

    The police have also received a complaint from a fan.  Based on the fans performance during the game I don’t see how the police will be able to take any of those scumbags too seriously.

  33. Desmond

    Patrick Barclay, chief sports prick in The Times, has never had a good thing to say about Chelsea. In last Monday’s podcast he annoyed the crap out of me by saying that Foy had a great game and that Chelsea were dirty. He then went on to say that he would bet his life that John Terry never said anything of the sort. Works for me.

  34. bluebayou

    My sister is a Solicitor with a major city council and deals with Planning. My wife is in Housing Development for a Housing Asscociation. Speaking to them (difficult to get their interest as they’re Liverpool and Spurs fans) they felt that plenty of major land deals get put together and go a long way down the road even with the presence of so called ransom strips in the middle of them, Everyone accepts the deal will be done it’ s just a question of how much it will cost to buy out these interested parties. In our case it’s not about money but what guarantees the club will make for the future. So I’m not convinced that this hurry is necessary.

    I would think there is a majority among the fans who accept a move may have to be made. It’s all about how and where and when. I think they’re wrong to try and portray this as a “trust us” issue when they cannot guarantee the future, no-one can.

    I would have thought some sort of legally binding undertaking to transfer the freehold arrangement to a new ground, provided that move is reasonable given the available options would go a long way to satisfying many. Because once they’ve moved why would they need control of the complete freehold? And while fans would be trusting the current set up to get it right (a leap of faith for me in the current climate), the time beyond RA would have a level of security to it.

    Those who dont want to move on any terms will not be catered for but that’s a whole different downside to the current situation.

  35. bluebayou

    Mind you the Office for National Statistics is predicting that the population will rise by another 7 million by 2027. Provided we get a reasonable share of that growth through being Top 4 will a 60,000 seater be enough?

    And with birth rate and life expectancy rising the OAP section combined with the youth section need to form about 80% of the new Stadium. ‘Cause the bit in between is small because most of those born in the 80’s and 90’s all supported the Mancs, Liverpool and the Arse (with a few honorouble exceptions)


    • Anonymous

      So Gourlay’s stated desire to increase the size of the family and concessions area is actually sound demographic business sense as well as an attempt at heartstring tugging?

      Agree entirely with your previous comment too. As a non-legal area,  ex-local government worker this “we couldn’t begin negotiations without securing the freehold unencumbered first” argument has always sounded like total bollocks to me.

      • Anonymous

        Did your ex local government’s selling of assets they didn’t own add or decrease our national debt? 🙂

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps you’re getting confused with central government which has often worked the wheeze of selling the public assets they already own.

          All the local authorities I worked for were well aware they were entirely incapable of keeping accurate records of the assets they owned, so concentrated on flogging off the easy but boring, unnecessary stuff like swimming pools, libraries and children’s homes 😉

          @PeteW – I see SayNoCPO are claiming 2,000 new shares have been sold in the period since the vote was announced. How cynical do you feel about who those buyers might be?

  36. Anonymous

    On the CPO front, I agree both sides appear to have employed Simon Greenberg clones to handle the PR, hence the inevitable disasters there. I do disagree with the apparent ‘common’ knowledge thread that we aren’t big enough to fill a 60k plus seater. We have a huge catchment area of a densely populated area of SW London, plus large swathes of the south east I suspect as well. The argument that there are empty seats at certain games are more down to each of the below or a combination of the below

    a.) scheduling
    b.) ticket pricing
    c.) comparative competition importance (CL league games against likes of Genk etc being a case in point)
    d.) bureaucracy of getting tickets (really shit ticket phone line, online delays, poor publicity, no on-day sales)

    I don’t see it as club support demographic at all. Are people saying we genuinely have less support ready to attend than Liverpool, Spurs, or Newcastle…teams with bold plans for increased capacity or new stadia. Sorry I don’t buy that, we have equal global reach and cosmopolitan support to most in the EPL. To quote a rather well know film

    ‘Build it and they will come’

    • Der_Kaiser

      Quite – we sell out 70% of our games at the Bridge; plenty of those we could probably have shifted another 15,000 tickets for with ease.  There is no way in a million years there would even be half a conversation about expanding the capacity / moving without several highly tuned bean counters having done some fairly serious sums on the matter.  Just because we don’t quite manage to shift all tickets for the rest of the games is no reason not to consider moving lodgings.

  37. PeteW

    Agreed, think we would fill 55,000 to 60,000 most games quite easily and if it’s empty for others so what? that’s what football used to be like for everybody.

    Can’t help but feel the club will struggle to get the 75 per cent they need. Wonder where they go from there? there was a piece in the Guardian suggesting they would still move, but without the support of the CPO… not sure what that means in reality.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Good question – presume the club must have a strategy for dealing with a ‘no’ result; not sure the Say No folks have, though.  Be interesting to see what happens – if the club do start talking about concessions, I imagine it won’t be too difficult to splinter the ‘no’ vote into factions with the odd carrot dangled in the right place.  Think the club know that there is a large ‘no, but I could be persuaded’ contingent.  Interesting to see what happens if the club said, “OK, £500 per share then…”

      Have a feeling the yes vote will edge it, purely because there have clearly been some fairly judicious share purchases recently (and probably before the announcement too).  The 2,000 sold since could well be plenty of ‘no’ campaigners, of course.

      Not sure how mobilised the no vote is – lots of noise on social media, but I don’t know if that’s representative.

      • bluebayou

        Not having done much scanning in the cloud lately would you say there are significant numbers who want more cash for their shares as opposed to wanting to use their situation to excercise some control over the fate of the ground?

        If I remember rightly I’m sure on reading the original offer document recently it did stress the non-profit making element of being a shareholder. Then I suppose it’s what you consider to be non-profit making and obtaining fair value at todays prices.

        There’s also the question of how many shareholders are now plucking the lyre, stoking the eternal sulpherous fires or just plain oblivious ’cause they’ve moved on. And what lengths did the CPO go to to maintain the register.

        • Der_Kaiser

          I don’t think anyone is openly saying more cash is the answer, but I’m just working on gut human instinct – I suspect that it might sway a few people.  Just a theory, of course – based upon sheer long in the tooth cynicism.  I doubt the club will openly go down that route, though.

          But I do think that the Say No movement is a bit of a shaky coalition – seem to be a lot of reasonable folk who would agree to the proposal and ultimately a move if more transparency on the club’s plans is forthcoming.  There is a vocal minority who seem to want to hold some sway over things; everything from the same kind of deal at any new ground to protect the future of the club (not unreasonable) to a veto over proposed locations, stadium designs etc.  Certainly a number of people not really following the spirit of the original scheme as I understand it.

          Did see an interesting question raised on one blog – what about the other xx thousand fans who aren’t CPO’s; don’t they have a right to a say in the future of the club?  Evidently not, but I do agree with the point that there are any number of us who shell out a fair chunk of our hard-earned lettuce every season – is that not as worthy of a say in things as a CPO who rarely attends games any more?

          Whatever the result tomorrow, I do fear that things are likely to get fractious between certain sections of the fanbase, which is a real shame considering we are all blue brethren at the end of the day (to finish on a footballing cliche for the sheer hell of it).

    • Anonymous

      Change of the name, this is what it means in reality and CPO will stay fully proud of themselves, but without CFC, bunch of retards.   

  38. bluebayou

    Those who vote yes get to be on a Roll of Honour or Wall of Honour.

    For those who vote NO perhaps we could take it in turns to walk up and down with two blank pieces of plywood slung front and back to represent the nameless that history will forget.

    The Sandwich Board of Shame

  39. Anonymous

    What in the name of all that’s holy is Anelka doing taking a spot-kick? No-one is surprised he missed. He must have missed his last 3 or 4.

    Utterly bizarre.

  40. bluebayou

    Anelka misses a pen

    Kalou scores a fortunate goal

    Turnball sent off – obligatory red card for Chelsea

    Lukaku off, Cech on saves the penalty

    It’s all Everton, more Cech saves, it’s a question of time

    After Genk I said we should look out for icebergs

    Josh off, Mikel on

    I don’t think it will end there

  41. bluebayou

    Everton have subbed on another very unfamiliar name.

    10 minutes to go.

    How late for the equaliser?

    It’s the League Cup we must play extra time.

  42. bluebayou

    Saha – obligatory goal whipped in cross – same old same old

    7 minutes to go

    Maybe it wont be extra time

  43. bluebayou

    They’ve just been raining in crosses as Everton always do.

    Why don’t we press the ball to stop this?

    Saha shoots just wide

    2 and a half minutes

  44. bluebayou

    This is all via the Radio London commentary

    As Ron Greenwood used to say football is all about pictures in yer head

    It’s the pattern that these cup campaigns seem to follow in recent years that fascinate me

    • bluebayou

      It’s like Groundhog day for him poor Josh. Hadn’t heard much mention of him other than earning the pen though

  45. bluebayou

    Perhaps the club is preparing for a No vote. If we can’t increase the crowd, can’t increase revenue, then cut costs. But instead of a full squad of poor players they’re looking at running wiyh a team of 9 quality players so therefore a smaller squad. We’re watching the feasibility study.

    Game on

  46. bluebayou

    With Sturridge and Anelka we have got 2 strikers on

    Romeu, Mikel and Malouda

    Ivan, Alex Luiz and Bertrand

  47. bluebayou

    Great run from Bertrand, pulls back, Anelka volleys, hits Baines, hits inside of post, into goalies arms

  48. bluebayou

    All Chelsea. Ivan drills one –  touched over the bar

    Corner – comes to nothing

    Still all Chelsea

    6 minutes

  49. bluebayou


    Turns in a saved Malouda shot

  50. bluebayou

    It’s over……………….

    And breathe And relax

    Throw another chair leg on the fire mother, I need a cuppa

  51. Nick

    Are you drunk, BB? It was my intention to ignore all text commentary on the BBC website and Twitter and to watch the “highlights” on TV later… but what with my iPhone “dinging” every 5.6 seconds I have found it difficult to ignore what’s going on! 🙂

    Mark’s at the game. Now there’s dedication for you – travelling to Liverpool on a Wednesday night to watch the reserves play. Doubt he’ll be back before Saturday.

    Anyway – if anyone has any ideas for a featured image for the round-up post of match reports, leave a comment. I’m off to drink more wine…

    • bluebayou

      Sorry to spoil it. I was just listening on line because being Hackney, a million pirate stations make for poor reception around the BBC London 94.9 slot. It was a way of dealing with the nerves.

      Well done to Mark. I look forward to his report.

      I believe Rothko did a lot with Red.

  52. Cunningplan

    Our boys certainly have the Dunkirk spirit.
    Perhaps if we ask the FA if we can start with 10 men from now on, with the proviso it would negate any other sendings off in the 90 mins.

Comments are closed.