Chelsea 7-0 Ipswich Town – Newspaper Reports, Goals Video, Carlo’s Reaction

Newspaper reports

The Guardian, Dominic Fifield: “Chelsea have their light relief. Some two months of mounting frustration were taken out on Ipswich to offer the defending Premier League champions and FA Cup holders a reminder that their scintillating early‑season form can still be replicated. There was no manic celebration from Carlo Ancelotti on the sidelines but a playful wave to those in the Matthew Harding stand chanting his name. It was not one of farewell.”

Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Wilson: “The depth of Chelsea’s squad had always reduced the possibility for significant rotation today but, in Josh McEachran and Daniel Sturridge, there is also hope that an ageing squad can be partially renewed. Sturridge’s two excellent finishes were what most caught the eye but the selfless industry of McEachran was arguably more impressive. At Just 17, McEachran was superb breaking up the play and recycling possession in John Obi-Mikel’s usual holding role in front of the defence.”

Official Chelsea FC Website: “A commanding performance took Chelsea into the fourth round of the FA Cup and is certain to boost the side’s morale. It was a dominating performance from the Chelsea side, which included several young stars, and kick-started the FA Cup campaign which takes us to Goodison Park for a clash against Everton in the next round.”

The goals

ITV highlights (thanks Gleb).

Carlo’s reaction

“We needed to have this kind of performance and Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard returned to scoring but we mustn’t be excited because we have to give the same performance next week against Blackburn.

“This victory will improve our confidence and we can prepare well for the game but we will have to wait to say that everything is okay. There are some things we can do better but it was important to play good football today.

“There was a difference between the first 30 minutes of this game and the other 60.

“The first minutes there was a little bit of worry, less confidence in our play, but once we scored the first goal everything was okay.

“The first 30 minutes Ipswich played a good game and they defended well. They had two good opportunities to score but after our first goal it was more easy for us to play our football, have counter attacks and score more goals.”

There are 64 comments

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  1. Anonymous

    Great result, nice to see the kids Josh, studge, PvA and Kakuta put in some good displays.

    ITV are cunts. Utter Cunts.

    The first defence from the current holders gets 4 minutes on a late night highlights programme after the first 35 minutes are dedicated to Manchester United and Manchester City games. 4 minutes of footage showing goals only and shot with the local wedding photographers video phone, that is fucking outrageous.

    Just goes to show how much the FA cares about any sort of quality control. I hope ChelseaTV Online have it tomorrow. As much as I detest Murdoch and his clan In rather wish they did buy ShiteTV and then shut the fucking lot down. That or put Peter Ridsdale in as CEO.

  2. Ringo

    Frank fuck for that.

    Didn’t see it though .first game not shown here since this weekend last year.I ate it when that appens.

    Wonder if Berbatov will do a Walcott?

  3. Anonymous

    I can assure those who didn’t get to see it that we were very good. Relief tempered by the fact that Ipswich were horrible, as bad as I’ve seen anyone at the Bridge. Unmarked Chelsea players in their box every minute or two.

    Funny atmosphere at the game. Not at all anxious or doom-laden, just very … quiet. The away lot weren’t much good either.

    It feels like we’re all waiting to see the new Chelsea, but we know it’ll be another year or so.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right, the mostly non-regular fans are usually more exuberant at FA Cup games. Around me they were all too busy holding up their mobile phone cameras to make much noise [perhaps they were ITV special correspondents, TG?].

      It was good to see us playing with some pace and decent one-touch passing again if only against truly abject opposition who capitulated miserably as soon as the first goal went in. While it’s tempting to say Josh should play every game I’m happy if Carlo errs on the side of caution with such a young and physically fragile player. We don’t want him rendered injury-prone and burnt-out before his mid-20s [Michael Owen, anyone?].

      Meanwhile, over in the transfer-rumour wildlife sanctuary I note another sighting of the Lesser-Spotted-Pato-for-Chelsea today. This perky little animal seems to have largely ousted the hardy perennial Entirely-Spotless-Jesus-Loves-Me-Kaka-for-Chelsea this winter. However, I do feel these creatures have been severely over-hunted in recent years and must surely be bound for extinction soon. Please!

      • Der_Kaiser

        The Pato / Kaka stuff did make me smile. The hacks just change a few key phrases from the piece they filed in the last transfer window and bingo, today’s outlandish rumour is sorted.

        Brings back many happy memories of being linked to Roberto Carlos every summer / January for about 8 years on the back of the odd throwaway quote from player / whoever was in charge here at the time – be nice to revive that one, just for old time’s sake.

  4. Anonymous

    I know I’ve argued against overloading young Josh too early and that he needs careful nurturing but, if I can do an about face, next we I’d stick with him and play Essien at right-back.

  5. Anonymous

    GrocerJack, agreed about ITV. Shocking scenes.

    Hope Josh did ok. Carlo saying he won’t play too much but plays 90 Thursday then Sunday is a bit strange. As long as the club send him to Disney World in June for a break and to meet Mickey and Donald, he’ll be fine.

    Great finish from Kalou. One of his best this season. Nothing like stealing a goal from a team-mate. Classy.

  6. Der_Kaiser

    From the ridiculous to the sublime, as it were. Good boost for morale, albeit against a pretty poor side but a win is a win these days. Tricky 4th round tie, though – we’ll need to improve again if we’re going to get anything up on Merseyside.

    Question is, how will Carlo react to the improved performance with some much-needed zip added by the youngsters; will the unfit and out of form remain benched? Anyone’s guess really. Just need to string a few results together now, by whatever means.

    Not in defence of ITV, but Man U v Liverpool was always the tie of the round and had we posted a similar result as City, we’d have probably received far more coverage. Sticking several past a poor managerless Championship side isn’t really top billing stuff, even given our recent form and status as holders. Said channel is still shite, though – the fawning over Kenny v Sir Alex was all a bit OTT for my liking.

    Just seen on the BBC site that Steve Clarke has joined Liverpool as first team coach; another successful double agent mission, we hope…

    • Cunningplan

      Don’t quite know how I feel about SC going to Poo. I think KD is being quite astute considering he’s been out of management for quite a while, possibly tapping into Clarke’s knowledge of all things Mourinho.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t quite know how I feel about SC going to Poo. I know the Scots have a poor diet but even they have to go eventually.

        Anyhow SC can’t ever return to us now he’s been contaminated.

          • Anonymous

            Even I couldn’t defend the diet of the country that gave the world haggis, porridge, deep-fried Mars bars and unbelievable cholesterol levels 😉

  7. FanSinceTheSixties

    Another one here who had to rely on that crappy ‘highlights’ show – UC indeed.

    I’m also probably not the only one who’s been struggling to find the right way to describe the effect that playing with a sprinkling of youth in the side has, and Frank has come to the rescue when he talks about it being a fresh performance.

    That freshness is certainly what we’ve missed and it was great to get a glimpse of what we can do.

    Sounds like PvA had a good game and hope that he’s available again soon.

    There’s talk of RA having a meeting with Carlo and perhaps he’s brought his cheque book, but Pato seems to be very risky with lots of injuries last year.

    Anyway, that really was just what we needed, so let’s see where we go from here.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Don’t follow Serie A as much these days, but by all accounts Pato is hitting the old onion bag regularly this season.

      We’ll bid 30 million, only to be gazumped by a 60 million offer from City at about 3 minutes to midnight on January 31…

  8. Ososdeoro

    Micah Richards and Steven Pienaar the latest. The former is probably just using us as leverage against Mancini and the latter we are apparently battling Tottenham for.

  9. Anonymous

    Stevie C is accumulating quite the CV. Though I assume they hired him because he ought to be able to understand Dalgleish.

    But then José also started as a translator, didn’t he.

    • Der_Kaiser

      One wonders whether taking instruction from two chaps with fairly impenetrable Scots accents will serve to alienate Fernando further.

      I suppose Jamie and Stevie can always translate… *cough*

  10. bluebayou

    Post Christmas Shopping News

    This is what happens at the end of the story of Rip Van Winkel – “Twenty years later, he wakes as an aged man and wanders back to his village, where he is astonished by the changes that have taken place”

    Kenny is returning after 20 years and oh my the changes………

    Then I read this:

    “Kenny Dalglish is lining up a move for Utrecht striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel as his first signings as Liverpool manager.” (the Metro – Monday)

    No you couldn’t make it up.

    He might be just what they need to wake from their title slumbers after 20 years………… ??????

  11. bluebayou

    May I just say well done to Messrs Dyer, Glover, Habs and Mark for their fine contributions over the festive period. Pity the boys couldn’t match it on the pitch.

    I particularly enjoyed the Panto and was somewhat flattered to be included.

    However this joy soon turned to horror as I awoke the following day and looking in the mirror saw I was morphing into Christopher Biggins.

    I have been away for corrective surgery.

    It’s too early to tell. They don’t take the bandages off until next week.

    If all goes well I’ll look like a character from Hollyoaks.

    It means I can get work on Strictly and the like and not be over dependent on Panto.

  12. Anonymous

    This is interesting:,,10268~2263599,00.html

    Interesting more as an index to the average mental health of our fellow fans than anything else. Some of it seems obviously fantastical (Schweini?) but on the whole it seems remarkably sensible. It certainly suggests that the fans aren’t freaking out.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Sensible-ish, but a tad short-sighted; Cahill? Reasonable mid table / top 6 team player at best – English, mid-season (supposedly) necessity signing, therefore presumably ridiculous money and ultimately no better than what we have. Doesn’t exactly give Bruma – potentially a far better player, we’re told – a great vote of confidence either.

      This season’s Scott Parker style acquisition – hope we avoid. If we’re doing stop gap signings, Pienar, whilst hardly world beating, would cover for Benayoun and offer some competition and a bit of experience and zip further up the pitch on the cheap.

      Nice to see the old Aguero chestnut in there, though. How long before he joins City’s stockpile of expensive (moody) forwards?

  13. Anonymous

    Pienaar to Spurs then. That rules him out. Agree with JD about Cahill – decent Prem defender but we need to give Bruma more time to prove himself. Him in the middle alongside JT with Branko to his right would be ideal.

    Pato or Aguero for me. Another face to keep the forwards on their toes. Though hopefully Studge’s mini revival of form will see him playing more.

    The clear winner in the list of who we sign is ‘No one’. Won’t be any business at the Bridge.

    I do hope ‘Arry pulls off the Beckham deal though. We need all the help we can get for a 4th place finish. A win Saturday is am absolute must.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Be interesting to see how these ‘financial fair play’ rules stand up once UEFA introduce them; any number of UEFA’s darlings (hello, Barcelona and Real) aren’t quite as fiscally spotless as Platini would like.

      UEFA rules aside, the more we cut costs and the less we spend on players and wages, and with Roman converting his debt into equity and so on, I do wonder if our esteemed benefactor is either looking to make us more attractive to other investors or indeed find a way out altogether.

      • Cunningplan

        Well on current standings surely Citeh shouldn’t be allowed into the CL if they finish top four. As far as Real Madrid go, well haven’t they bent the financial rules for years Government bailouts etc. The advantage the top two in La Liga have, is their own negotiating rights to TV, if I’m not mistaken, puts the rest of the league at a slight disadvantage financially.

  14. FanSinceTheSixties

    Another Plattini balls up.

    If a club’s already in debt and then they were denied CL access after they qualify then where would UEFA stand legally?

    The club would fall even further into debt having been refused revenue that they had legitimately qualified for, and the lawyers would be the only winners.

    Something needs to be done, but I’m not sure that’s it.

    Wouldn’t some sort of cap/check on new registrations be simpler. Same with wages, if there’s a limit on what percentage of income can be spent then it’s up to the club to decide who gets what.

    And if we can do it for football clubs, then why not for the banks, too?

    • Der_Kaiser

      No doubt that there is plenty of scope for Captain Cockup, a good friend of UEFA, to bring chaos to the whole thing – like you say, the lawyers will have a field day.

      Don’t know a huge amount about salary caps – not particularly in favour of the idea anyway – but they seem to work in US sport, although I don’t doubt there are pitfalls. Wasn’t / isn’t there some similar scheme in one of the rugby codes? Seem to remember a mate saying that various sponsors were paying sums to the top players to get around it. Think there was also a lot of talk about a big chunk of Shearer’s Newcastle salary (as a player) being paid by Scottish & Newcastle?

      Where hard cash is concerned, someone usually finds a loophole…

      • FanSinceTheSixties

        Good point, and where foreign owners are concerned, there must be even more scope for giving incentives to players.

        But I was thinking more of setting the overall percentage of revenue for wages, rather than limits on individuals, so the more that’s spent on big names, the less there is for the rest.

        It might not work but it might allow smaller, more prudent, clubs to compete for players that big clubs keep on their books as back ups.

        • Der_Kaiser

          I think that’s how it works in American football – maximum wage limit is a percentage of turnover.

          I can’t help thinking that this whole thing just helps the old guard though; it smacks of UEFA looking at what happened with us and City and slamming the door on it. Fair enough, to an extent, but it does rather leave the rest in the cold – might be over-simplifying matters, but presumably it is going to make it more difficult for x or y billionaire benefactor pitching up at Wolves, pumping some cash in and turning them into contenders for silverware? Again, fine if we’re being puritanical and Arsenal-esque about it, but I it seems unfair to deny another club the kind of ride we’ve had under Roman just because Platini and his chums don’t like it (unless it’s Spurs, obviously).

  15. bluebayou

    If I understand it right, salary caps, drafting and the like are used in US Sport to try and inject “parity” between franchises as much as to control spending and costs. Does it work? I don’t claim to know enough about it. Certain teams do well most of the time, others are perennial losers just like sport anywhere. But empires do come and go depending on how they manage and trade salaries, draft picks etc. Trying to follow the system in Hockey requires a Ph D from what I can see. Though once you have a handle on it, it seems to make some sense.

    But there is no promotion or relegation and that is a major, major point of difference. If you are in in the major league, that’s where you stay. So in theory say 30 hockey teams are sharing the pie and the regulations are in place with a view to “evening” up opportunity over time. Whether it works or is the right way is another debate.

    So you have teams “tanking” in a season to ensure better positioning for the draft and teams going to the limit on salary cap, winning big and then having to break the team up almost immediately (Chicago Blackhawks last year’s Stanley Cup winners).

    But the main point is you can’t look at US Sports and cite the financial limitations without taking into account these other factors.

    You don’t have promotion and relegation. The franchise system tries to gives teams some exclusivity of “market”, particularly where they are expansion teams, from which to draw fans and therefore income (including TV) without direct competition from others.

    There is a central control of the introduction of young talent through a drafting system.

    US professional sport is structured in a particular way. It has advantages and disadvantages.

    What after all is our major league. Is it the Premier, La Liga, Serie A etc. One major league per nation or maybe include the 2nd division as well. Or is it the Champions League?

    Which one are you going to close off. Where are you going to choke off the major financial penalty of relegation.

    Wherever you do it, it has to come, otherwise you are always giving “minor league” teams hope of getting to the big show and therefore there will always be reckless spending in some form.

    When they apportioned CL places by TV market they started a process of creating the opposite of parity by which the likes of Holland particularly have suffered.

    Imposing financial constraints and disciplines without some of the other important facets will not even the European game up. It will fossilise it.

    Just introducing rules governing percentage of turnover limits for player costs only increases the power of the large turnover teams.

    Once again we see European sport looking at the US Sports model as some kind of template for success without seeming to understand that factors such as a single sovereignty, a single market mean it is vastly different to European or indeed world football. The vast majority of players are from the US in their sports, with the exception of hockey where over 50% are Canadians but they operate a common system.

    That ‘ aint so where UEFA’s remit runs.

    How are you going to give the selected major leagues equal access to the incoming talent? (Of course it is for teams to trade their draft picks etc.and some succeed and others make a bollox of it over time).

    One system works because it is a closed market. European football isn’t.

    I just don’t see how it can work. I’m not against trying to get financial sense into the game. But you either be brutal and set the big boys up in a big league and shut the trap door both nationally and for the CL or face the fact that there will always be people willing to blow the bank to get to the high table and stay there. ‘

    Cause it’s no just about winning but trying to stay in the big league. Indeed the some of the biggest problems have so far been caused by relegation.

    You can’t say it’s unfair for a club to have a huge financial advantage and then set up a system that preserves the advantage one set of clubs have at a particular point in time.

  16. Anonymous

    I’m hopeless with anything economic (although no, I don’t think I want to invest in your Peruvian silver mine, thank you very much, nor am I eager to give your Nigerian friend with the 30 million quid my bank details), but my understanding is that the main thrust of UEFA’s policy is not so much to create a more level playing field — which is probably impossible, for the reasons the good doctor outlines above — but to save the clubs (and by extension European football generally) from the temptations of the current system, simply by forcing them not to go broke.

    Until the revolution finally comes there appears to be no way to even out financial inequality. (Apart from taxing the rich, an idea that is now apparently considered subversive here as well as in the US.) So, some clubs will continue to be richer than others. Nothing Platini can really do about that. But what he can do is try and stop individual clubs losing vast sums of money, to the point where they can easily cease to exist. I don’t think UEFA’s ambition extends any further than that, in the end.

    Spain’s a weird league now. At least in Scotland there are *four* games a year that decide the title.

  17. PeteW

    Have long though the best and simplest way of reforming the finances of European football wouldn’t be to dick around with wage caps and profit-expenditure rules and all that bollocks.

    It’s to completely restructure the Champions League which is the direct cause of just about everything that is unpleasant about the game. Making those CL places so rewarding at the expense of just about everything else in domestic and european football is putrid. It’s destroyed competition, it’s made finishing fourth feel like some sort achievement and it’s practically destroyed the game outside of Germany, England, Spain and Italy.

    If Platini had any balls/honesty/pride/intelligence and wasn’t just a hypocritical little shit looking after the interests of the Establishment, he’d slash back the CL to a more manageable size (two entries per nation), and make the Europa League something more than a Noddy Cup.

    I feel this quite strongly.

  18. Gleb

    Just want to add that whichever way you look at it (and it is a very controversial issue), you can’t deny there’s at least some sense in that. A good example is Russia: two Premier League clubs at this very moment are desperately fighting to stay in the league… which is already over, and they have avoided relegation. There’s fighting because they’re broke. Last year one Moscow club was terminated. This year two clubs might get terminated. Our entire system is very bent in general, fair enough, but it’s exactly what Platini (or that other UEFA bloke) was saying. Mid-table and bottom-table clubs spend spend spend to avoid relegation and bam! – huge debt at the end of the season and eventual termination. And we have even less financial responsibility structure in football than many other leagues. However, I must add that in Russia club financing has always been a bit fucked up because the vast majority of clubs were (and many still are) supported by the government (both federal and regional; for example, the Chechen club – Terek – which many see as a political scheme to, you know, “stabilize” the situation and make them insurgents happy and them kids choose a football instead of a gun, so they have shitloads of cash and never lose at home). Very few clubs are true, proper business enterprises (the richest club, our very own Shity, is owned by Gazprom – unlimited budget; CSKA is allegedly Roman’s lesser-known toy; Spartak is owned by Lukoil (5th or 6th oil company in the world), but our president is a greedy bastard so it doesn’t really bear any fruit). So the club management has always been a bit negligent towards solvency since the government would always bail the club out should something bad happen. Unfortunately, that is no more the case, it seems. As much as I hate Platini, I can’t but agree with the general idea of making football clubs more responsible financially. It might help my country, as well, cause only the fear of UEFA’s/FIFA’s wrath can make the system a bit less bent.

  19. Anonymous

    Was going to post in more detail but others have beaten me to it.

    I agree with KJ II. It’s basically there to protect the elite. In a couple of years time if say Randy Lerner decides to throw a bit of money at his Villa team to push for one of the Champions League places he won’t be able to. How and why is this fair? As long as you comply with Company law then surely this should be enough.

    Isn’t it a conditon of being an FA affiliated club that you cannot sue your association (or their affiliated associations eg. UEFA/FIFA) or they can kick you out the league/ban you from tournements? There is the odd exception, but the only case you can bring a claim is the Court Of Sporting Arbitration. Can you think of any football association/FIFA/UEFA etc. being sued by a club or an association?

  20. Anonymous

    “In a couple of years time if say Randy Lerner decides to throw a bit of money at his Villa team to push for one of the Champions League places he won’t be able to. How and why is this fair?”

    — presumably the idea is that if he went and spent 50 million of his own money on players and signed them to contracts worth 100,000 a week and then went broke, Villa might cease to exist, or have to sell all their assets and be relegated two divisions, or whatever.

    But if he invests in the Villa academy and the scouting network and gets lucky with a couple of world-class youngsters, his team will get better, their profile will rise, they might enter European competition, generate more income, be able to afford better players, and so on.

    I’d say those two scenarios are about equally (un)likely. It doesn’t make sense to me to dismiss the second as fantasy while saying that the first is, well, just the risk you have to take and probably won’t happen anyway.

    Suppose Putin turned on Abramovich tomorrow, got him back to Russia and made like Khodorkovsky on him. How rapidly would we implode?

    At the moment most ambitious clubs are working on the principle that the aim is to find something that looks like a tap of endless money, and hope that they get to stick their bucket under it, and then hope that it doesn’t turn off after a few weeks/months/years (or not work at all, like the Notts County absurdity last season).

    I’m afraid I’m with UEFA on this one, like Gleb. I think that’s a self-evidently stupid way to approach the future. If the new proposals mean that the big clubs stay big and the small clubs stay small, that won’t really be so different from how it was when I was a kid. And this season seems to be demonstrating that a group of honest home-grown cloggers with a sense of belonging to their club (Blackpool) can at least threaten to compete with squads assembled by throwing vast sums of cash around.

    • Austin Solari

      If Ian Holloway doesn’t get MotY this season after the way he has got that team of “honest home grown cloggers” playing, it will be a travesty.

  21. Der_Kaiser

    I may of course be taking the standard ‘it’s UEFA’s idea, therefore it has to be bad / have a hidden agenda’ position incorrectly in this instance, but it generally stems from the belief that it is little business of anyone else as to how an individual or a company spends its money, however big a mess they get themselves into.

    UEFA’s ball and their competitions, I suppose, but it just smacks of seeing us and City pitch up in recent years and throwing some legislation around to stop it happening again. If a club drops down the leagues or goes to the wall as a result of poor investment, decisions or mismanagement, I’m afraid that’s life – if the wish is to see clubs run as businesses, then you have to accept that some will rise and some will fall, as hard as it is. Artificially trying to change that to suit a particular agenda under the guise of ‘fair play’ and a ‘level playing field’ is vaguely ridiculous, especially if you draw an (imperfect) comparison with other walks of life. I’ve spent 15 years in industry I’m currently in; 10 years ago the major player was flying high, had the Midas touch and made a fortune – they got too big too quickly, made some poor decisions and to cut a long story short, they’re currently the subject of a fire sale and leveraged to the tune of 400 million quid. Sad, but as I said, that’s life.

    Agree with Pete – the CL is at the root of it; 10-15 years ago you had teams from eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Portugal and so on in the latter stages; now you can almost predict the last 8 the moment the draw is made. UEFA and FIFA have been more than happy for huge amounts of money to flow into the game (and out of it) for years now; I have the sincere but probably misplaced hope that these rules are challenged, and along with the ‘we might have the World Cup in the winter’ nonsense from FIFA, causes them maximum grief and serves to put in place a better structure for governance in football than the one we have now. It is increasingly apparent that a select group of old (and increasingly corrupt) men are manipulating the game for their own entertainment and advancement whilst trying their best to keep the rest of the establishment happy and making a royal fucking mess of it whilst doing so.

    (And clubs should follow the Arsenal model, according to UEFA? What, having a network of scouts who pinch talent developed by other sides around Europe with little or no compensation for the club in question. Hmmm.)

  22. Der_Kaiser

    And on a lighter note; whilst it is only a rumour from the BBC’s rumour and gossip pages… well, chuckle amongst yourselves at the thought…

    Liverpool are in talks with Roma coach Claudio Ranieri and could offer the 59-year-old the managerial post at Anfield in the summer.

    • Cunningplan

      Oh lets hope so.

      I did venture onto the Pool blogs last night, and although they’re reasonably happy with KD, there was some concern at the team he put out last night. One poster was basically saying, had it been Woy who picked the team he would have been crucified by the majority of bloggers.
      And the best one was, that It was SC fault that KD put Glen Johnson at left back, but they have caught on now that he can’t defend no matter where he is along the back four, and we were right to offload him.

      I wonder how long before they’ll be saying that about Joe Cole

      • Der_Kaiser

        KD was a shrewd move by the new owners; buys them far more time with the fans than anyone else (i.e. Woy) would get due to all the emotional attachments to the past that KD brings with him. Doubt very much whether he’ll take them down, but it’s going to be interesting – he’s not exactly inheriting a world-beating team this time around and a decade or so out of management is a long time given the way the game has changed. If Torres and Gerrard don’t start firing soon, they’re in for a tricky couple of months.

        Do wonder whether Joe will get as much grace in respect of his many shortcomings up there as he did down here – I very much doubt it, somehow.

  23. Anonymous

    Despite all your salient, well thought out and down-right sensible points about club finances, I’m going to ignore them and point out that kid from Southampton has said he wants to join us. Young, speedy, homegrown. What’s not to love?

    • Anonymous

      Has he? Let’s do it! Especially since he’s a target for both Arse and Poo. In fact, let’s do it *because* he’s a target for Arse and Poo.

      Reminds me of those two poor lads we poached from Leeds (Woods and, um, Taiwo?). I don’t think either of them turned out to be that good, but it was still worth it just to annoy Leeds.

  24. John

    I’m with JD and Pete W. Hate the CL (though of course would love to win it), EUFA and what they’ve done to football. We should remember that it’s been the Premiership and EUFA who’ve turned the sport into one where money talks so loud; as soon as clubs like us have got lucky and been able to exploit it they don’t like the way it threatens the established order. The poxy competition was re-developed from a knock out for champions to a league, with more places for Spain, Italy etc so that the rich and powerful could stay rich and powerful. With these rules the old guard, who have the biggest support and income streams, will stay rich and powerful and it will be more difficult to compete with them. And it’s a safe bet that the old establishment like Barcelona, Real, Milan, Man U will be able to find a way round the new rules if they want to.

  25. Anonymous

    Thoughts on the Pienaar non-deal then?

    I’ll admit any reports need to be taken with a dose of salt, but if we failed to negotiate personal terms it seems we’re sticking to our guns, which is good news on this occassion. Great player that he is, it’s not the be all and end all that we sign him. Carlo’s insistence it’s a CB we’re after remains in place.

    No DD tomorrow? Bold move from Carlo, but the right one IMO. I’d go Bruma in the middle and Branko at RB but imagine that’s unlikely.

    • Anonymous

      Extremely pleased that we missed out on Pienaar. He’s a pretty average player who despite being a bit tricky and scoring the odd goal is simply another J. Cole/Yossi type and that is not what we need. The creative hub of the team in future years will be based around Josh and a slow, jack of all trades, master of none type player is not what we need. This January transfer window should be about buying a world class centre-back, a new right-back (Paulo and Bosingwa must go by July) and an attacker with pace. If Roman was feeling very generous then a winger and world class replacement for Didier and Anelka would come in very handy as it’s becoming clearer as every game passes, that the unstoppable Didier of last season is never coming back. Blame it on age, malaria, laziness, whatever you want, but we have finally reached the point where Jose’s 4-3-3 – built around Didier – has come to an end.

  26. Anonymous

    Yeah Carlo, I really believe you were considering dropping Drogs and Essien. Empty threats to kick those players up the arse for a reaction. Sounds like it’s had no impact. What has Josh got to do for a start in the league, ditto Studge’s

  27. Anonymous

    Phew. We got there in the end.

    The football was pretty impressive today but the finishing certainly was not. Malouda and Didier looked so far off the pace and even though we were 2-0 up by then, the passing and tempo certainly improved after Josh came on. What do we want tomorrow then? Come on you Spurs? Nah. Draw would do nicely thank you.

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