In the first of a series (I’d say weekly, but the likelihood of that happening is slimmer than Mike Ashley’s chances of enjoying a quiet pint on Tyneside), the Chelsea Blog has decided that watching Thursday night reruns of ‘Nevermind the Buzzcocks’ on Dave isn’t a productive way to spend its time. Why not take a look at the week just gone and muse upon its finer (and poorer) points, we thought? So, following our tried and tested good / bad format, it has been…
A good week for:
Scoring goals. Seven of them, to be precise. For a team supposedly bereft of striking talent, we seem to be doing just fine at finding the old onion bag. Popeye Doyle wants more though – the sight of a Chelsea coach urging the team on from the touchline at 3-0 up is a pretty joyous sight to behold.
Ray “Butch” Wilkins. Returning for a second spell as assistant to the man in charge, his first game back will be against the team he left Chelsea for almost thirty years ago. As the “English link” in the coaching staff, he needs to act the part in amongst the South American fire and passion that we see in the technical area these days. Butch as a kind of a latter-day David Niven would do the trick; a spot of Saville Row tailored Worsted, silk cravat and cigarette holder, a quiet word on etiquette when Luis Felipe gets a bit overheated, that kind of thing. Of course, he’d have to grow a moustache which would surely win favour with his boss.
John Mikel Obi. Often (incorrectly) categorised by the pundits as the man simply taking up the Makelele role in the Chelsea side, the surging run and clever ball to Lampard for Malouda’s goal against Bordeaux showed that he is far from being just a midfield destroyer. As previously noted on here, our three most fluent performances this season have come with him on the pitch – I’m not often given to making predictions, but I think that the young Nigerian will have a huge impact on our season and the Premier League.
John Terry. The FA’s decision to rescind the ridiculous red card awarded by Mark Halsey last weekend at Eastlands means that he will face United on Sunday; to suggest that the England captain is likely to be fired up for the game is an understatement on a par with suggesting that Lehman Brothers are a bit short of cash at present.
Frank Lampard. Starting to run games like he did back in our title winning seasons; doesn’t pick and choose which fixtures he turns up for which will surely impress Don Fabio. Scores a few, too. That new contract could look like a very shrewd piece of business come next May.
A bad week for:
Mark Halsey. Enjoy Chester versus Shrewsbury, won’t you?
Sir Alex. In the last seven days, he’s been beaten by Rafa, come up goalless against Villarreal, seen Vidic and Carrick crocked and raged indignantly at the authorities for rescinding JT’s red card. He is right, of course – we do live in a world where different sets of rules apply, dependent upon who you are. As a learned friend of mine remarked, just see how you get on when a constable pulls you over for speeding and you opt for the “But I’m touching cloth here, officer – absolutely gasping for a dump…” defence that worked so well for the Red nosed one some years ago. Sets things up nicely for a lively encounter on Sunday.
The conspiracy theorists. For those that believe Roman’s people pitch up at the FA with a suitcase full of cash every time there is a Chelsea related kerfuffle, the news that the authorities had dared to correctly apply the rules of the game raised the hackles of the ill-informed and the mentally unstable. Some of the comments flying around the blogosphere truly defied belief, but my personal favourite (other than the more fanciful “David Icke was right, they’re all lizards, you know…” type offerings) was as follows:
“He took Jo down with a blatant rugby tackle!” Yes, a statement that confirms you know even less about rugby than you do football. Now bugger off and sit on your grassy knoll with all the other mad buggers, if there is any space left.
Monsieur Blanc et Bordeaux. Beaucoup de merde, Rodders.
Spurs. But they beat Wisla Krakow, you know…
Man of the week:
Ray Wilkins. Welcome back, Butch.
Manchester United at the Bridge on Sunday. Seems a bit early in the season to get excited about one of the biggest games in the Premier League calendar, but this could be critical in the grand scheme of things. The fact that we might be nine points ahead of last season’s title winners by the time Songs of Praise starts on Sunday evening would be cause for a hallelujah or three; there are also one or two other scores to settle too. The Chelsea Blog preview of the game will be in this Sunday’s edition of The Observer, if you can be bothered to stagger down to the newsagents. Come on you Blues…