Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur – The Bipolar Express Match Report

Newspaper reports

The Observer, Dominic Fifield: “Even freakish good fortune is propelling Chelsea on to the leaders’ shoulders at present. Both their goals here were laced with controversy, the kind of rewards that would normally be flagged down by the officials and, if only grudgingly, later conceded as correct calls. Yet, when the holders needed them most, they reaped the benefits from critical oversights.”

Sunday Telegraph, Duncan White: “For once Sir Alex Ferguson’s timing was off. With only a few minutes left of this game he evidently decided he had seen enough and left his seat in the stand to beat the traffic. He would not have got far he got before he heard the roar from Stamford Bridge that told him the title race is not yet over. “He didn’t see the last goal so he probably thought it was a draw,” Carlo Ancelotti said. “We sent him a message to let him know we scored.””

Independent on Sunday, Steve Tongue: “Carlo Ancelotti employed the politics of compromise in picking both Fernando Torres and Drogba to start and although the latter was formidable, Torres again achieved far less and was withdrawn after an hour. There was little indication that having finally scored last Saturday after more than 12 hours in a Chelsea shirt it had made a new man of him. The one benefit of his arrival has been to inspire Drogba, whose shooting made Gomes a nervous wreck. “Didier played for the team,” his manager said, after admitting: “We were lucky. The decision [for the first goal] was wrong.””

Official Chelsea FC Website: “A late Salomon Kalou winner keeps the title race well and truly alive after Chelsea came from behind to beat Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. The Ivorian, relegated to the bench today but brought on with half an hour to go, slid home the winner two minutes from time to complete an excellent comeback against a resilient Spurs side who had led through Sandro’s long-ranger early on.”

The goals

19′ Sandro 0-1
45′ Lampard 1-1
89′ Kalou 2-1

A little preamble

Hello everyone, it’s been a while hasn’t it? News of my demise as a writer has been, of course, slightly exaggerated. I did tell the Dear Leader that because I’d been asked to contribute to the official club web site, and to that other august organ CFCNet that I would have to scale back some of my scrawlings at this, my spiritual writing home. But I had always intended to be available for some match reports and so my smile was Bonnie Langford* wide when the Dear Leader popped me an email asking if I’d cover our annual skirmish with the loathsome Spurs.

And so after the usual sumptuous cholesterol-fest in the café, it was off to The Anglesea Arms for a drink with some new found friends to discuss all things Chelsea and football in the warm spring sunshine surrounded by glorious houses dripping almost literally in money where the ‘voiture de rigeur’ will be German (Merc or BMW) or will have a leaping big cat insignia, and EVERY woman looks like Kate Middleton or her sister Pippa. And yes, I am sure I was having some Prince Harry like thoughts as they wiggled past us letches as we prepared for something even more orgasmic and erotic.

Beating the loathsome, vile upstarts from Spurs.

*An official calibrated smile measurement gauge

And so to the game…

There are a handful of Premier League games which always, without fail, get the juices flowing. Teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and the horrible Spurs will always give Stamford Bridge the crucial atmospheric start. It does die off occasionally but this is usually dependent on the fayre served up to us. Liverpool matches have been very dull of late and so halfway through those games the roars of the crowd have been replaced with a gentle snoring.

But not so with Spurs, and this Spurs side have been fashioned by England coach heir apparent Harry Redknapp into a stylish attacking side riddled with incumbent flaws in defence and especially in goal. But as we’ve all seen this season and last, this Redknapp team, on their day can give any team a game with a swashbuckling and often fearless mentality. So reading some of the Guardian/Observer fans’ comments demanding his removal just re-iterates the craziness and latent insanity that lurks in every football fan’s psyche.

The teams contained no great shocks, with Torres spearheading a front three with Drogba and Malouda and Mikel Obi/Obi Mikel (someone please decide!) having the coach’s faith re-affirmed with another start. A back four of Ivanovic, JT, Luiz and Cole now seems to be the first choice and Essien, despite a pretty disastrous form slump this season was also trusted in the middle.

For Spurs… well I don’t really take much notice of them so who knows what their best side is, and frankly who cares. Sandro? I’d never heard of him, but there was something that would change dramatically today. Van der Vaart (yes, a bargain without a doubt) and Pavlyuchenko were also in the starting line up. And of course, Heurelho Gomes, who can best be described as Spurs’ mercurial goalkeeper. And yes, he would once again live up to his reputation for wondrous shot stops delicately balanced with foul ups of the highest order.

The first 20 minutes were electric, with Chelsea absolutely storming out of the traps, a rare feature these days but one that usually pays off handsomely, and is therefore a mystery as to why we more often than not, adopt a rather somnambulistic attitude to the starts of games. Some of the pace and accuracy of the ball play was simply a joy to behold, and one could be forgiven for thinking that it would result in a trouncing for a bewildered looking Spurs. Torres and Drogba looked fine in their link play, and Torres was causing absolute panic in Spurs defence with his ghosting past players and his ability to pick out superb defence splitting passes. He’s so much more than a striker. And was it just me or did some of the Spurs players appear to be blowing a little hard after 20 minutes? We came close from Drogba’s stunning free kick, later revealed to have been diverted onto the bar by Gomes’ fingertips. Essien also saw a wonder save from Gomes and one couldn’t help feeling that this might be one of those days as he held onto shots from Malouda and Essien. But it all looked good.

Then of course, along came Colonel Fate to throw a spanner into the silky smooth mechanics of Chelsea. A loose ball fell to the hitherto unknown (in my mind) Sandro, who took a touch and then let fly a shot that at first looked to be in the side netting. Within micro-seconds there was the realization that this rocket like shot had nestled itself firmly in our net, with Cech unable to get near it. Say what you like, this was one hell of a strike and Spurs with their first shot on goal were in the lead. It also turned out to be their only shot on goal, but at that moment we weren’t to know that.

Like the stereotypical boxer who’s floored by his opponent’s haymaker sucker punch we were rocked on our feet. For the next 15 minutes all of the smooth and pacy movement of the ball and players disappeared you could only fear that a fragile confidence had been shattered. But, this game is so weird, so illogical at times that I’m sure you couldn’t invent it today. Spurs, you might have thought, had the chance to seize on our dazed and confused state, but instead they completely failed to capitalize on this. After 15 minutes of so staggering around the ring the composure finally came back and the belief and confidence started to show again. Chances came and were spurned but along came Lampard who obviously had the maxim ‘if you want to win the lottery then buy a ticket’ running through his mind. He let rip with a 25 yard strike and I’m sure he had gambled on either scoring direct or on the fact that Gomes would execute one of his trademark fumbles. And sure enough, he won the lottery as Gomes allowed the ball to squirm through his legs and his desperate lunge was too little too late. Or was it? Replays suggest the ball didn’t cross the line completely and I tend to agree. However, if Gomes knew that then one does have to ask why he clawed it back instead of just smothering the ball where it lay. A bit of confusion reigned from Spurs players’ protests, although how any of them could definitively tell was a mystery. I liked our players’ attitude. Celebrate, claim the goal and get on with it. Half time was upon us and the fact it was 1-1 with our own version of the phantom goal made for much mirth and merriment at the bar.

The second half started much as the first, with the loudest cheers being for Gomes as he walked towards the Matthew Harding stand. We continued to look bright, but we also had a touch of Arsenal-itis as we started to overplay in the and approaching the box. Two clear penalty shouts were ignored on Ivanovic and Ramires (on for Essien) as well as the most blatant on Malouda. At this point the conspiracy theorists like me were convinced that Andre Marriner would be trying to compensate for his error on our equalizer by giving us nothing for the remainder of the game. It certainly looked that way. As well as Ramires for Essien (who faded badly again) we saw Kalou on for Torres and Anelka on for Malouda. Just for once those like for likes felt really good. Anelka can hold the ball better than anybody and Kalou, despite not being a favourite does make a damn decent sub.

As we asserted more and more control, it was apparent that Spurs had run out of steam and ideas… a hangover from Europe may still be hanging over them. Despite bringing on Defoe, they really didn’t create a single chance of note for the entire half. Maybe it’s the realization that their season was over and 5th looks like their best bet, but I had expected more. Don’t get me wrong, they play the ball well but just lacked a cutting edge.

On 88 minutes Drogba bamboozled Spurs defence and the ball fell to Kalou to tap in the late winner. To say Kalou didn’t look happy was an understatement, but I’ll overlook that on the basis that the deterioration in the Ivory Coast has had some apparently deeply personal implications for him. A slightly jittery remaining six minutes were played out by us where we failed to keep the ball and run down the time calmly. But run it down we did. Three points in the bag, one dodgy goal and one perfectly legitimate goal (it wasn’t offside Kalou was level) and the pseudo-orgasmic relief for the crowd when the whistle went.

There is little as sweet in life as beating Spurs and this was very sweet indeed.

The good

  • Torres and Drogba – I seem to be in the minority here but I thought they played well together.
  • John Mikel Obi – world class and outstanding. Fabulous second game on the bounce for him.
  • Our back four – superb and rock solid.
  • Sandro’s strike – I had thought Cech could do better at first, but replays show this was an absolute belter.
  • “Double Double Double, John Terry has won the Double, and the shit from the Lane have won fuck all again, John Terry has won the Double!” – I’ll never tire of singing that!
  • The fantastic battle between Modric and Drogba which was compelling stuff. Drogba edged it.

The bad

  • Gareth Bale – Player of the Year? My arse. Also perfectly sized to fit in Ivan’s pocket for the whole game.
  • Aaron Lennon. Shaun Wright-Phillips without the speed or skill or intelligence.
  • Andre Marriner – cocked up on the equalizer and then over compensated by giving us nothing else.
  • Spurs fans. Yuck. Joyous to see their fat smug grins wiped from their faces and the realization of Europa League trips next year.

The ugly

  • Galen… sorry Gareth Bale. Monkey man.

Player ratings (aah… I feel the joy…)

  • Petr Cech – 7/10 – Couldn’t have done much with the goal but seriously had little else to do all game. Still too fond of the hoofed ball.
  • Ashley Cole – 8/10 – Boy does he work for the team. Never stopped running.
  • John Terry – 8/10 – Marvellous, Captain Bloody Marvellous. Rio eat your heart out.
  • Branislav Ivanovic – 8/10 – Completely snuffed out any threat from Bale. All round super stuff but has a tendency to pick up cards.
  • David Luiz – 8/10 – Sheer class – will be the world’s best no doubt.
  • Michael Essien – 6/10 – Improved but then faded. Injured or poor he needs to be rested for next season.
  • Frank Lampard – 7/10 – Not as good as last week but a vital cog all the same.
  • John Mikel Obi – 9.5/10 – Staggeringly brilliant and if he keeps this form going will be up their with the likes of Viera and Ballack at their peaks.
  • Florent Malouda – 7/10 – Frustrating and annoying but still a threat.
  • Didier Drogba – 8/10 – Marauding, incisive, generous, ours.
  • Fernando Torres – 8/10 – Silky skills, super passes, will be awesome and now has the crowd love.
  • Ramires, Anelka and Kalou (subs for Essien, Malouda and Torres respectively) – 8/10 – All fitted in neatly and played their part. Love Ramires, a real future star.

Man of the Match

One outstanding candidate here for the second week on the bounce. John Mikel Obi. World class son, world class.


Come on, who seriously thought back in January that we’d be clear 2nd with a very much outside chance of pegging back United?

I thought as much.

So, here we are. Form has returned. Luck has sided with us. Players are fit. Normal service is resumed. The way it stands I think United will see it out. Old Purplenose knows better than anyone how to shepherd out a season and despite our most fervent hopes I don’t see Arsenal beating United today. Arsenal are shot and despite not having anything left to pay for I just think United will know how to get the result today. A football fest of glorious passing and attacking is not my expectation. A 1-0 ground out by United seems more likely.

However, we have a platform to rebuild next year and my hope is that Carlo gets the chance for another year as long as he’s brave and doesn’t stick with the same squad. We need youth, we need flair and creativity. All of this can be added with a minimum of exits. We mustn’t repeat the errors of the last close season in letting players go and hoping the kids would step into the breach.

I for one am looking forward to a proper close season and a break after the extended campaign caused by the World Cup. I’m sure the players are as well. Let’s get 2nd at least and roll on next year.

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!

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There are 111 comments

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  1. Cunningplan

    Always a pleasure to read your reports Mr.G, glad to have you back on reporting duty, you must never forget your grass roots. 😉
    What I found surprising about the game was the build up and hype that a draw was no good to either team, and Spurs might just go for it.
    Well surprise surprise to coin a Cilla phrase, Rottenham came to clearly play for the draw, which was evident from ‘Arry’s reaction to Sandro scoring, telling him he shouldn’t have been in the Chelsea half. Certainly lady luck smiled on us, and I agree with regard Marriner trying to even things out with any penalty shouts we may, or may not have had.

    Quite frankly I don’t give a toss how we win our remaining games, and after all this was only Spurs who deserved nothing out of the game anyway.

    Lets hope the mad Frenchman can muster up a minor favour for us today, and nick three points.

    I’ll leave you with a funny royal joke I heard yesterday…

    Kate Middleton asked the Queen what the secret was to a long and happy life.
    She replied by saying, “don’t fuck me about, and always wear a seatbelt”

    Come visit me in The Tower guys!

  2. Der_Kaiser

    A fine read, chief.

    A bout of the lurgy kept me away from the Bridge yesterday, much to my annoyance as it looked a decent game. Thought Drogba and Torres did OK together, but playing them both just seems to get 50% out of both; personally I’d prefer one or the other, but as the old cliche goes it’s a nice problem for Carlo to have.

    Lucky calls on the goals but even the most blinkered of Spurs fans (OK, so that’s about 98.3% of them); did feel for Kalou as he’s clearly not happy. The situation in his homeland may be the reason, his continual relegation to the bench when clearly in better form than those apparently ahead of him looks closer to the mark for me. Be a great shame to lose him, but I fear we’re heading that way, unfortunately. After some stellar performances in an injury punctuated season, I hope that we can also hang on to Mikel (his 200th appearance yesterday, I think Motty muttered on MotD?) who has been subject to some similarly shoddy treatment.

    Overall, keeps things lively and interesting for a little longer. Like Tony, I can only see a cannily engineered United win this afternoon – if there’s a spare tenner in the Paddy Power account I might sling it on a Hernandez 1-0.

    A word on Spurs – most impressed with Sandro, and like Modric (after being somewhat indifferent initially) who reminds me a bit of Deco when he was in his prime; one of those ‘buzzing’ players that just makes a whole team move and play in an entirely different way. Bale – meh.

    On the ‘unlucky’ front, I’d go back to the many old luck related adages – primarily that you make your own. While the pundits on ESPN (watched legitimately of course *cough*) chuntered about the goal / goals that ‘could cost Spurs CL football next season!’, the narrative was already being struck. A look at the league table suggests that it was largely bollocks, another glance at the form table confirmed it. I like ‘Arry; good character, a decent manager and far cannier tactically than he’s given credit for but a look at the afore-mentioned form table does not make good reading for Jamie’s dad. Since beating AC Milan in early February, they have won precisely one game (3-2 over Stoke) in all competitions and taken a 5-0 aggregate tonking in Europe. While every team has their blip (and don’t we know it), that strikes me as pretty poor for a team with such lofty ambitions.

    I remember mumbling negatively about the very similar ‘Cult of Curbishley’ phenomenon when he was being critically lauded after his Charlton side overcame a half strength Chelsea in the Carling Cup on penalties at the Bridge some years ago. There was lots of cup final greatest ever win style celebrating, digs at the ‘big clubs’ and ‘we’re only little old Charlton…’ from Mr. Curbishley who – I can’t recall the exact stats – then proceeded to guide his team to maybe 6 defeats on the bounce and another lacklustre bottom half finish with more defeats that wins. Clubs with differing ambitions and resources, but whilst we already know that Curbishley is no serious top flight boss, surely the same is true of the rather better but still not quite top notch ‘Arry? (to be borne in mind by anyone mad enough to mention his name as a potential Carlo successor, please).

    With that in mind, I can only imagine that when ‘Arry does inevitably take the England job due to the chronic lack of anyone else daft enough to bother with world football’s biggest career millstone, we’ll get on a decent run, beat an injury-riddled Brazil 4-1 in a World Cup quarter and then die on our arses for 3 years until someone finally spots that the Emperor is actually stark bollock naked and writhing around on a bed of used notes.

    Come on Arsenal (we live in hope…)

  3. Jon

    Really hope we keep Kalou and Mikel … have posted about this before and can 100% understand why they want to leave.

    I would love to see us start with the following for the rest of the season:

    Ivan JT Luiz Cole
    Essien Mikel Lamps
    Yossi Drogs Kalou

    We could then bring on Torres for Drogs, Malouda for Yossi, Anelka for Kalou, Ramires for CM. Gives us options and not like for like subs.

    In terms of Transfers – surely Bosingwa is a certainty to leave. If we do get Van der Wiel, having Paulo for cover is not so bad. At LB, Cole for another season or 2 with either PVA or Bertrand groomed as his successor/ cover. We also have Rajkovic. With JT, Alex, Luiz and Ivan we are stong in the CB position.

    Is Josh going to be our lamps replacement? If so – then with mikel, ramires and Essien plus potentially Cork and Woods I think our midfield does not need strengthening.

    Clearly Drogs has played his way into everyone’s good book’s again so he must stay for at least another season. I’d like Malouda and Anelka to move on and make room for Kakuta and Sturridge respectively. I think time must also be called on Zhirkov. This would allow us to have to rotate Yossi, Kalou and Kakuta in the wide forward positions of a 4-3-3 with Drogs, Torres and Sturridge rotating for the CF position. I think Sturridge could also be played wide left.

    So … not major surgery required, maybe one more wide player like a Sanchez type could help. Players like Piazon are great young signings but I don’t think we need to splash 40m on Neymar etc. If we did, we would have to lose another CF (prob Sturridge) and change formation to a 4-4-2 most likely.

    We also have a few squad places left to fill – I think these should be filled with younger players as clearly even though we have a small squad, not all our players are getting enough games.

    As for the manager – we all have changed our minds about CA – but unless Boas or Mourinho are coming in then give CA one more season.

  4. Anonymous

    Good report Tony. I hadn’t realised you were now part of the inner circle. Could you, through your contacts, arrange a trial for me down at Cobham? I’m sure I’m still good for cameo appearances.

    We did our bit yesterday, now it’s down to Arsenal to win their semi-final and then it’s the final at Old Trafford next weekend. For the next 4 hours I’m going to become a Gooner. I’ve moved all the books around the house into the lounge to give it a libraryesque feel, asked the wife to pack up and hide any items of silverware, which would completely destroy the authenticity, and asked anyone I know who’s under 5 foot 7 inches to pop round to watch the match. Any other suggestions on how to be a Gooner very much welcomed.

    • Anonymous

      How about leaving the telly off throughout and then delivering the following match report in a cod-French accent: “I thought we were magnificent … my players were fantastic … clearly only one team wanted to play football … we have had a superb season … we play the right way and we will always play the right way.”

      Then once you’ve finished being a Gooner you can pop onto Ceefax and find out what the actual score was.

      Fine report Tony. Not much one can add about a warm but not too warm spring day and a last-minute goal to dispose of the Spuds.

      I thought Torres played well too, for about twenty minutes. You can see he’s not quite on the same page as everyone else yet. There was a very notable moment in the second half where he went right when someone (Cashley I think) expected him to go left. It’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll be a proper force next season.

      In general it was a wonderful game played at the typically English pace. For long sections Modric seemed to be playing against our midfield three more or less by himself. No wonder he ran out of steam. For the last fifteen minutes or so we found it incredibly easy to get the ball back. Obi was superb, yes — he’s playing like Essien did two years ago, except in a smoother and more thoughtful style — and Frank was more influential than he’s been for a bit too.

      Apart from the obvious Gomes issue (incidentally nice to see both Alex and Ramires being warmly sympathetic to Gomes as they were coming off after the half-time subs’ kickabout), Spuds’ problem appears to be their strikers. They looked reasonably effective in 60% of the pitch but nothing was happening at all once they got near our goal. Lennon and Bale looked more like headless chickens the further they got forward and Pavlyudefoe’s about as intimidating to defenders as Kezman was.

      And as for the controversy: both were marginal calls and we got lucky both times. It happens. (Just checked the Guardian and seen that the Mancs have just got away with handball — see? It happens.) The penalty looked less marginal to me and we didn’t get lucky there. I actually thought the ref did very well: he let a lot of stuff go that a lot of referees would have whistled for, but they were proper tackles not malicious hacks, and he was consistent that way for both teams. This is why leagues are better than cup competitions or playoffs. In the end the luck more or less evens out and the best team, by definition, wins. In the unlikely event that it’s us, we’ll damn sure have earned it.

      Going to be a lot harder to give Carlo the shove now (assuming we make a decent fist of the concluding three games). All along I’ve hoped he stays; this is definitely a moment for evolution rather than tearing everything up and starting again.

  5. Jon

    Really hope we keep Kalou and Mikel … have posted about this before and can 100% understand why they want to leave.

    I would love to see us start with the following for the rest of the season:

    Ivan JT Luiz Cole
    Essien Mikel Lamps
    Yossi Drogs Kalou

    We could then bring on Torres for Drogs, Malouda for Yossi, Anelka for Kalou, Ramires for CM. Gives us options and not like for like subs.

    In terms of Transfers – surely Bosingwa is a certainty to leave. If we do get Van der Wiel, having Paulo for cover is not so bad. At LB, Cole for another season or 2 with either PVA or Bertrand groomed as his successor/ cover. We also have Rajkovic. With JT, Alex, Luiz and Ivan we are stong in the CB position.

    Is Josh going to be our lamps replacement? If so – then with mikel, ramires and Essien plus potentially Cork and Woods I think our midfield does not need strengthening.

    Clearly Drogs has played his way into everyone’s good book’s again so he must stay for at least another season. I’d like Malouda and Anelka to move on and make room for Kakuta and Sturridge respectively. I think time must also be called on Zhirkov. This would allow us to have to rotate Yossi, Kalou and Kakuta in the wide forward positions of a 4-3-3 with Drogs, Torres and Sturridge rotating for the CF position. I think Sturridge could also be played wide left.

    So … not major surgery required, maybe one more wide player like a Sanchez type could help. Players like Piazon are great young signings but I don’t think we need to splash 40m on Neymar etc. If we did, we would have to lose another CF (prob Sturridge) and change formation to a 4-4-2 most likely.

    We also have a few squad places left to fill – I think these should be filled with younger players as clearly even though we have a small squad, not all our players are getting enough games.

    As for the manager – we all have changed our minds about CA – but unless Boas or Mourinho are coming in then give CA one more season.

  6. Anonymous

    An additional point edited out of the report surrounding dodgy goals etc

    August 21st 2010: Spurs 2 – Stoke 1. Jon Walters denied a clear goal by Chris Foy standing in line with the ball, despite the fact it had clearly crossed the line. Spurs win game which should have been a draw. So 2 points gained.

    April 30th 2011 – Chelsea 2 – Spurs 1 with a goal conceded by dodgy keeper that probably didn’t cross the line. Other goals aside a game destined for a point becomes a point lost for them and 3 gained for us.

    Spurs therefore still in credit on the dodgy goals front.

    What goes around , comes around etc……

  7. Der_Kaiser

    Just about to post that I’d stuck a tenner on United at half time which is almost guaranteed to fuck their chances given my record and lo, Arsenal score…

    • Anonymous

      … but we now have to withstand the worst possible torture, watching Arsenal defend for 30 minutes on our behalf

      • Der_Kaiser

        I already feel deeply unclean at having cheered their goal. What’s that Catholic order where they self-flagelate to keep themselves pure? I might have to join.

        • Cunningplan

          I think you’re beyond redemption JD for cheering, but I did as well, and I will have a long shower afterwards with lots of carbolic soap for a deep clean.

          • Der_Kaiser

            If I can have the worldwide pay per view rights we’ve got a deal.

            In keeping with bipolar tradition and my belief in karma, I now envisage a 1-0 loss next weekend with us having 2 perfectly good goals disallowed for supposed offside and the ball not crossing the line.

            Off to lie down for a bit.

          • Anonymous

            Come, come, chaps, this recurrent flagellation theme on here is getting worryingly obsessive 😉

            Hats off to a fine report from the prodigal son and still the only one I’ve read that doesn’t obsess on the two “lucky” decisions”, but points out how much of the rest of the game we dominated while Spurs did their proverbial “park the bus” routine, as someone once put it.

            Even today the Sky commentator is reinforcing the “lucky” Chelsea story line while commentating on the Gooners’ match – do you think we’ll get any decisions in our favour next week?

            I’m having this even worse nightmare that we scrape a win next week and then both the Mancs and us cock-up in our last 2 games, leaving The Professor’s boys to stumble over the line ahead of both of us – nurse the screens, quick!

  8. Anonymous

    Did anyone elseo notice the shite Shearer was coming out with on Match Of The Day about Drogba and Torres and Drogba being terrible and his body language being all wrong because he was asked to play out wide? Was he really watching the same game as the rest of us?

    • Cunningplan

      Yes I listened to the crap he was spouting, I’ve a good mind to ask for a refund on my TV licence money for the dumbing down, he’s nearly as bad as Andy Townsend.

    • Anonymous

      I think Shearer operates by imagining what the Sun would say about any given issue, and then saying it. I don’t think his brain can do things on its own.

      I still don’t think we’re going to be champions but I will personally present myself to Clive for some kind of custard-pie-in-face routine if that’s what’s required for me to be wrong.

      So … who would you rather face in the last two games: decent mid-table teams with nothing to play for, or bottom-dwelling dross who might be desperate for points?

      One thing’s for sure: a really pretty rubbish team is going end up with the league trophy.

      • Cunningplan

        Do I detect a glimmer of belief LTB, or is it bi-polar hope? 😉

        I’m not sure if FA cup yellows count, but I dare say we’ll find out soon enough.

  9. Cunningplan

    Well I did say a while back we weren’t out of this, and I’ll go as so far in saying if we win next week, we’ll retain the title.
    Ridicule me, banish me from the blog if you want, but it’s all to play for now.

  10. Benjami

    Great weekend 😀

    Personally I think Man Utd are more likely to beat us next weekend than us winning. However we are an old side and with a full week off to prepare it makes a massive difference!

    At least whatever the result Man Utd can’t win the title vs us next week at Old Trafford 🙂

  11. Anonymous

    Errr…of course theoretically it also brings Arsenal back into play for the title. A draw for us next week (not an unlikely result) and w in for Arsenal and its a 3-way on the last 2 games of the season and ours look the toughest.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Yeah, but in the same way that I’m in the running for a crack at Angelina Jolie if Brad Pitt and a lot of other unfeasibly rich, handsome and highly eligible chaps all die very suddenly… 😉

  12. Cunningplan

    I did think Utd looked tired today, the two games in a week are taking their toll. And did I see mentioned during the game, that was Rooney’s 5th booking so he’s suspended against us?

    • Biggs

      if FA cup cards count – today’s is his 5th yellow card – if guardian’s stats page is correct.

  13. Der_Kaiser

    Interesting on the United yellows if true.

    You can guarantee that Fergie will tell anyone with a microphone that we’ve been very fortunate with the decisions we’ve got of late; pressure on the ref will be huge next weekend.

  14. Ososdeoro

    Oh, and didn’t Messi’s second goal remind you of Ramires against Manchester United in extra time? Just thought I’d get that out there.

  15. Unseen

    I do believe Rooney will play next week. If i’m not mistaken, the rule on amount of yellow cards gets thrown out the windows after the 2nd week of April.

  16. Fuzzy Dunlop

    Rooney will play next week. Our best hope is Rooney & Vidic crash into each other on the way to training whilst Rooney is giving Hernandez a lift.

  17. Anonymous

    It’s the hope that kills.

    Mind you I think I read somewhere today that at one stage this winter we were 15 points behind the Mancs. In which case I’m already rather cheery about what’s happened.

    I suspect Shearer will say something along the lines of “One thing’s for sure … They’ll never give up … They don’t know when they’re beaten … It’s the mark of champions.” Zzzzzzz.

  18. bluebayou

    You couldn’t make it up (although I had to as being away in rural Suffolk I had only bits of radio to help).

    On Saturday as half time approached only Stan Collymore in the English speaking broadcast world was prepared to

    a) argue it was a goal
    b) if it wasn’t basically say who gave a toss as it was game on and this made the title race exciting

    Meanwhile in R5 Towers Robbie Savage (ex-denizen of the Mancs) was in partial meltdown as he and various others on the station came to the realisation that endlessly repeating the mantra that United were cruising to the title and Fergie was the master of the endgame just might not be enough. They were livid. The linesman was in the wrong position, he couldn’t give it they were screaming. At no point then or since have I heard anyone mention or write about Garcia’s goal when the linesman was unsighted. Or Malouda’s insurance goal at 2-1 in the Cup Final against Everton.

    Funny that when they’re all scrabbling around for precedents eh?

    Then on Sunday Fergie is caught in the classic pincer of claiming a last minute penalty but not quite having a view of the earlier infraction by Vidic. Cant and hypocrisy gave up and went home as they couldn’t compete with the gob from Govan.

    But poor old Fungus. You see, no-one gives a sh*t. Half the country’s still engaged in the afterburn of the Royal Wedding; in Rome they’ve just beatified the last Pope, which occupied a lot of left footers including the Opus Dei self-flagellaters (possibly joined by Der Kaiser) and then to top it all the Yanks went and popped Osama Bin Laden.

    Talk about burying bad news.

    Still I suppose it’ll all come right for him in the end. Just like dear old ‘enry (RIP) we’ve delivered a big one (helped massively it has to be said by the Gooners) just as the bell’s going, but in the other corner they’re already slitting the glove…….

    But just in case it doesn’t, in the quiet of a Hartlepool library, a little fella with a bubble perm has just nipped into the German section to look up a word he used to know when he played for Hamburg SV. It begins with Sch……

    More worryingly, in Oakland, California, Harold Camping has just crossed another day off his calendar. The one with the big circle round May 21st………..and this time he’s sure he’s right.

    Great stuff Tony. We’ll still have the end of term report I hope.

  19. Anonymous

    3-2-1 Norfolk’s back in the Premier League.

    Paul Lambert is a fucking genius and will one day do something much bigger than back-to-back prom

  20. Anonymous

    3-2-1 Norfolk’s back in the Premier League.

    Paul Lambert is a fucking genius and will one day do something much bigger than back-to-back promotions with Norwich. And that’s not to detract from what he has done with the backwater club from rural Hicksville.

    As a CFC fan first and foremost it’s brilliant for me that I have a slim chance at getting to see CFC (please Murdoch, make it a midweek game) but I genuinely believe they’ll do better than most give them credit for. Watch how Grant Holt becomes next seasons ‘Big Kev Davies’ and gets talked up as the next England bully.

    Sorry for the apparent double post. Too. Much. Drink.

    • Der_Kaiser

      Fiftee – also pleased to see the Canaries back up; done a few away trips with them over the years courtesy of a mate – good crowd, and Lambert certainly seems to have got them playing some decent football. Holt is certainly a handful and Jackson looks a smart little player. Obviously going to be tough for them, but with a few additions, you never know.

  21. Ososdeoro

    Oh my God, Blue, I didn’t even know who Camping is and it turns out he’s a Civil Engineer with a Cal degree. I’m so embarrassed. You have to worry when engineers go off script I guess.

    Look at the bright side, though. We can avoid that trip to Everton, which will be WAAAAY more worrying than this Saturday for me. I have no expectations about this one — and if it so happens that SAF thinks we’ve cheated our way into another win, I will thereafter have said expectations. And if we don’t win this weekend? Well, at least the Pool folk will be happy that ManU was never able to win that 19th.

    • Anonymous

      Predictions of the end of the world, straight out of Oaktown. I often forget that California, in its own way, is much nuttier than almost everywhere else.

  22. bluebayou

    It’s getting later every year, but by my calculations Saturday was that special day in the football calendar when Chelsea reach the point where they cannot mathematically finish below Tottenham Hotspur.

    It used to be mid november.

    Plus ca change, plume de ma tante or whatever it is the French say.

  23. PeteW

    Interesting to speculate whether Carlo’s softly-softly approach towards officials has actually done us more favours than Fergie’s whinge-and-lie attitude.

    Have we really had more 50/50 decision go our way in the last couple of season (it kind of feels that way), or is it just that Carlo never fusses over bad decisions so we simply don’t notice them? (I am sure there were a few penalties not given during November and December – and indeed on Saturday – that would have added up to a few useful points.)

    It’s a shame that Fergie is allowed to lead the media narrative in this way and before such an important game, but I can’t help feeling it is no longer as effective a way of cheating (which is basically what it amounts to) as it used to be: United still get plenty of dodgy decisions in their favour, but they also get more going against them then they used to. Perhaps Fergie is doing his team more harm than good as refs no longer take him as seriously as they used to?

    I guess we’ll see on Sunday. I still believe the FA should bring in a rule where NO manager is allowed to talk about referees before a game and this week is exactly the reason why. But while Fergie is ranting and raving and getting his players worked up, Carlo will be applying his usual admirably laidback and phlegmatic philosophy to proceedings. It may lead to periods of torpor, but it has massive benefits – the players do not look anxious or tense at all at the moment, they appear to be genuinely enjoying themselves, as well they should. Once again, the obituaries have been a little premature…

    • Der_Kaiser

      You could have a point. Not really had a chance to browse the papers over the weekend, but isn’t he on a suspended ban for bitching about officials anyway? Certainly felt like things weren’t going our way in the winter, but then again it always does when you’re on a bad run.

      Football 365 has one columnist (name escapes me) who has made a point of documenting the refereeing howlers United have benefited from this season, and whilst it’s obviously only a small part of the story, it makes for interesting reading. A couple of sendings off (Neville in particular for his trademark late career late lunges / grapples like the one on Joe Cole (?) up there last season) and questionable penalty decisions in their favour would turn their decidedly average away record into a very poor one, if nothing else.

      Howard Webb for Sunday, which is fairly predictable, I suppose.

      • Cunningplan

        Doesn’t Howard Webb like giving soft penalties in Utd’s favour? All we need now is Clattenberg as the fourth official, to turn a blind eye to any of Rooney’s sly thuggery, and the afternoon will be complete.

  24. bluebayou

    Next Sunday, the 8th of May will be the anniversary of the first ascent of Everest without supplemental oxygen by Messner and Habeler in 1978.

    I think I will almost certainly be feeling the similar sensations of breathlessness and fatigue……..

  25. Donkey's Ears

    Well I had hoped Sunday would come and go without the result really mattering.

    I would have taken this position obviously if it had been offered at the start of the season but momentum is momentum and there is a sense of frustration so far at opportunities missed.

    I really hope you don’t get rid of Ancelloti as he’s impossible to dislike.

    Too superstitious to post much else but let’s hope for a good game on Sunday. See you there.

  26. PeteW

    Few thoughts on Saturday.

    We played well in the main, but the Drogba-Torres combination just didn’t work after Spurs scored because Spurs defended deep and in numbers and there was no space for Torres to exploit. I also have a suspicion that he tends to disappear when things aren’t going his way, which isn’t something you really expect to see in this Chelsea team.

    Drogba was superb – Shearer on MOTD was talking an extraordinary amount of tosh even for him. At one point I was getting annoyed by DD’s reluctance to attack the box, but it soon became clear that this a deliberate thing and he was covering right midfield for the injured Essien as it changed as soon as Essien went off. Still think we would be mad to get rid of Drogba this summer.

    I would definitely start Drogba-Malouda-Kalou. Now is not the time to experiment and we can fuck around with the front three after Sunday if we get beat. Kalou is in good form and deserves to start; he should never have been dropped.

    Mikel was brilliant. Sadly, I was sitting next to an utter tool in North Stand who almost exploded when Mikel lost the ball for the first time – I think it was in about the 85th minute. ‘Fucking typical, you useless so-and-so,’ he shouted. I actually took him up on this by pointing out that MIkel was the best player on the pitch and he admitted that actually Mikel hadn’t been as bad as usual, and at least he was better than Ramires. #facepalm as I believe the young people say.

    Not sure about Luiz again, his positioning is suspect. Not sure if this was an agreed thing with him an Ivanovic swapping to cover Bale, but it led to some big gaps appearing. He also needs to close down strikers a LOT faster, especially if one of them is Rooney.

    Terry was great, but made a couple of rash tackles when he charged out of defence. None of that on Sunday please skipper.

    As for Spurs, Modric and Sandro were good but Bale is massively over-rated, what an average footballer he looked, just another SWP. If anybody offers £40m, they should take it and run.

    • bluebayou


      Interesting that people seem to feel Mikel has got some form back.

      Given that I thought we gave Rooney too much space to float in the CL games, do you think Mikel,assuming his form stays good, might be a better bet than having Essien holding? In all 3 games I thought United worked through the mid-field too easily at times. Perhaps Mikel with Ramires and Lampard?

  27. Ososdeoro

    Well Pete, it’s dodgy when speed is all one has, because when the injuries hit there are no other qualities.

    And dammit, Donkey, I hate it when opposing fans say they want my team to keep their manager or coach. It usually means they don’t feel threatened by him.

  28. Donkey's Ears

    Nothing to do with not feeling threatened. Would be rather odd if that were the case given his record. I just like his manner and approach to the game.

  29. Anonymous

    Five Chelsea youngsters in the provisional U21 squad for the summer (Bertrand, Mancienne, Cork, Josh and Studge). Could be a great end to a very productive season for Studge to go as our number 1 striker. Of the others, I can’t see Josh making the final squad, too soon for him. The other 3 are probably destined to start next season as players of other clubs. Would have liked Cork to have been given a chance.

    We’ll see what pre-season and the transfer window means for them all…

    • Anonymous

      Josh has already played a number of games for the U21s — proper competitive games. Usually as a substitute I think, but I’d still expect him to make the squad.

      I get the impression Mancienne hasn’t been outstanding at Wolves. Sounds like he’s done ok but perhaps found his level there. I’ve no idea about Bertrand but you’d think this summer will be make or break for him given how long he’s been on loan. Cork may get another year on loan but I suspect you’re right and he won’t make it in the end, just because of the fact that Essien and Obi and even Ramires are ahead of him in that position and all youngish. Shame as I suspect in due course he’ll be a full England international for a good long while.

      Pete — it seemed totally obvious to me that Drogs lined up on the right of a front 3 on Saturday (which would explain him not attacking the box). But am I wrong? The club website reported the formation as a 4-4-2. Certainly looked to me like he’d been asked to pretend he was Kalou, which made his general team performance all the more impressive. Obviously he went to the centre once Nando was take off.

  30. Nick

    I picked up a copy of Lynn Truss of Eats, Shoots & Leaves fame’s ‘Get Her Off the Pitch! How Sport Took Over My Life’ today. It’s brilliant and very, very funny. My thinking was that some humorous writing on sport would help take my mind off next weekend’s Big One – and then I read this:

    “I have certain cool feelings towards sport, of course. I have made up my mind about a few things. I feel, for example, from the fan’s point of view, that it wastes one’s life, colonises one’s brain and wrings the emotions, all in unhelpful ways. It encourages the appalling know-all that abides within us all. It is sometimes stultifyingly dull, although you’re not [as a journalist] encouraged to say so. … One night I paid £27 [this is the mid-nineties] to see Chelsea at West Ham and the only exciting bit was when I dropped my pencil. It isn’t remotely comfy, and the food is often dreadful – and as a chap famously said about the battle of Waterloo, ‘The noise, my dear! And the people!’ Even when it’s good, it’s agony. In fact, agony is very largely the point.”

    Agony is very largely the point. I’m not looking forward to Sunday.

    Anyway, I cannot recommend Get Her Off the Pitch! enough. Her account of watching England’s 4-1 thrashing of the Netherlands at Euro 96 from the Fuji airship floating over Wembley is some of the funniest football writing I’ve read. The last sentence had me laughing out loud.

    Oh, and she manages to sum up footballers perfectly in a few short sentences:

    “I’m always disappointed by that rush of Gazza’s to assume the dentist’s chair position [during the England versus Scotland game at Euro 96]. All that beauty and spontaneity followed by something so yobby. It perfectly encapsulated Gazza’s tragic misfortune: that the downside to having a foot like a brain is that you get a brain like a foot, to go with it.”

    • Anonymous

      Nick, I’m a bit concerned by the placement of some of your commas and the use of the dash.

      • Nick

        An early diet of Kerouac and more recently McCarthy has left me punctuationally challenged and confused and beyond the reach of Truss and her ilk although I am good at apostrophes.

    • Der_Kaiser

      The tangled web to end all tangled webs. Canny old bugger – just occasionally I think that Uncle Ken will pitch up here again one day, waving a piece of paper at Roman and shouting “Ha ha, fooled you – it’s still mine…!”

      Still miss his programme notes, though.

  31. Anonymous

    After the weekend’s results I’m thinking there may be a God. For further evidence that he’s (maybe she’s) working miracles, and isn’t completely spent after promoting Norwich, tonight I’ve prayed for;

    1) Key Utd players suffer minor injuries that keep them out of the remaining league games
    2) Schalke get it back to 2-2 so there’s extra time
    3) Utd win the penalty shoot out 198-196 and proceedings drag on till 3am

    I’m just looking for proof.

    • Anonymous

      Each to his own, but I’m increasingly buying into this karma thingy, despite the efforts of Hoddle some time ago.

      As I mentioned recently, Uncle Avram and Stephen Hunt looking nailed on for multiple relegations from EPL and now dirty Leeds just missing out on the play-offs barring massive win at QPR/ eye-watering points deduction by the suits for the latter.

      I see in the comments on the article link below to the financial shenanigans at Leeds that this could allegedly help them avoid further repayments to outstanding creditors at the point of their financial administration. Still worth it to see them left in the wilderness.

      • Der_Kaiser

        Know what you mean re Leeds, but at least it’s a proper rivalry we have with them. I’d still rather see the away end filled with their lot than 300 Wigan fans that clearly can’t be arsed and still do the ‘easy, easy…’ seal clapping every time they get a corner.

        Not that it doesn’t still raise a smirk to see them suffering, mind.

    • Anonymous

      Personally I’m hoping that with the tie more or less lost to Schalke already, some kind of unhinged Teutonic truculence will take over and result in an orgy of anklebreaking savagery.

      Do your Visigoth forbears proud, my German friends.

      • bluebayou

        I don’t think we should be calling down untold violence on their heads. That may disturb the delicate balance of the karma, upset the ying and the yang, rouse the nameless horned beast etc. etc. Better leave it all unsaid. Maintain a happy and carefree attitude and if asked just state that we wish for a fine sporting contest in the best traditions etc. etc.

        Personally I’m hoping for an early Schalke goal, which so discombobulates our northern brothers that they lose all shape and go down 3-0, their souls so utterly crushed, like a discarded peanut shell beneath the blundering, heavy footfall of an overwieght cinema usherette, that they can barely summon the will to take the pitch on Sunday.

  32. Cunningplan

    As it’s my 23rd birthday tomorrow 😉 my wife always insists I make a wish, any ideas guys?

      • Cunningplan

        I can’t even remember that far back!
        I would like to wish that Barca and Utd lose on the 28th, is that possible?

        • Anonymous

          It is possible.

          If both teams are a disgrace by diving and cheating, bringing the game into disrepute, there will be no winners.

          Personally I’m happy for Utd to win, provided they let us take the League.

          • Cunningplan

            Yes I’d also settle for that, the thought of them winning both again would be too much for most football fans, especially Scousers.

  33. Ososdeoro

    DO NOT under any circumstance wish for a victory this weekend. Wish for a league championship title instead. The former wish has a gigantic beelzebubby loophole.

    As to the minor knicks and bruises wished upon ManU, Darren Gibson picked up a nasty kick right to his gut. He stayed in but looked rather ill for a very long time. At any rate, we probably want him playing anyway compared to some of the others.

  34. Anonymous

    On the importance of managers:

    I watched United-Schalke the other day. Not too exciting, obviously. What I found interesting about the match is the way that it and the other semi-final highlighted the importance of managers in the game.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing that managers are the end-all-be-all in the game. I’m mostly making this point to shed light on our recent struggles and our coaching carousel. I remember during Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride that there was quite a bit of discussion here about what exactly the manager meant to a team, especially once comprised of great players.

    What struck me about United-Schalke was the contrast between it and Schalke-Inter. Against United, Schalke looked like exactly what they were, an overachieving mid-table Bundesliga side. Yet Schalke put Inter to the sword over two matches. That Inter team is largely composed of the same players as last year, and has been bobbing around the top three in Serie A all season. The team that swept all comers before it last year.

    Obviously the major change is the loss of Jose. Perhaps the players are a year older too, with little rest after the World Cup. But it seems to me that there is a lack of spirit, belief and purpose in that Inter team now. Meanwhile I look at Real and see a team that… looks like Jose Mourinho. I don’t think I need to get into the Quattro Classico here (I can’t imagine anyone on this blog is going to give Barca the benefit of the doubt), but to me Jose’s plan looked the same as last year. It worked with Inter, it didn’t with Real. So it goes.

    This post isn’t to poke fun at Ralf Rangnik. He seems like a good manager, and Schalke don’t have the players to be an elite side. Instead, it makes me amazed at how different teams can be under good and bad management. It also makes me sad, because I’m even more surprised now that the team didn’t collapse under Avram Grant. I think the team might have been at its most talented that year, and it is amazing to think how far it went without a hand on the rudder. You would think that had Avram learned anything at his time at Chelsea that he would be able to keep a team with players no worse than any other team not anchored to the bottom of the table.

    It also makes me wonder about the wisdom of hiring charismatic managers. Do their teams spend an extended period in the wilderness after they leave? Are they like that one crazy ex-girlfriend you had that makes everything seem a bit more bland after they are gone? Or are all successful managers a cult of personality, and Jose turned it into an art form?

  35. bluebayou

    Funny that. I was just thinking yesterday that as long as we didn’t get any “whatsit of the month awards” we might be in with a shout.

    It’s all a tawdry conspiracy!

    @Be Champions

    Leonardo comes out of it all rather badly doesn’t he? He’s got nice hair but I’m not sure what else.

  36. Anonymous

    Bollards. Just seen Man United’s Howard Webb is refereeing on Sunday.

    That’s us borked. Red card guaranteed.

  37. Cunningplan

    I think we all need to get into lucky underpants/socks etc mode for the weekend, even buying Shrek toys and sticking pins in it, might be helpful.

    Or perhaps we should all grow some balls and believe that the force is with us!

    • bluebayou


      As long as we have our health and those dear to us, nothing else matters.

      Winning a football match, winning the league is just ……well just a bonus really

      That’s the way I’m going to look at it.

      • Ososdeoro

        As long as we have our health and those dear to us, nothing else matters.”

        Well right, except that watching this team can kill you or make you violently ill sometimes.

  38. bluebayou

    Did I mention that the bonus is a massive, twattingly huge bonus like the sort of thing a banker gets. That dwarfs everything in the known universe.

    You know the bonus you get when the bank makes huge profits. Or huge debts. It doesn’t seem to matter

  39. Cunningplan

    We should treat Old Trafford like the “compound” in Abbottabad.

    A quick, clean, and clinical raid for all three points would be great.

    Forward he cried from the rear and…..

  40. Benjami

    Personally I don’t see us winning today, we just don’t have enough goals in us this season. We need to spend some money on a creating player who is in his earlier 20s or out and out winger.

    Aka Fabregas! I don’t see him moving to Barcelona as he would struggle to get into the team, long term replacement for Frank, perfect for Torres as he can supply him with the support he needs, wants to leave the bottlers, and proven in the Premier League (3rd in assist rates since the Premier League started, 0.55 after Becks and Henry).

    Great result at Stoke today, worst case scenario we lose today and at Everton, Arsenal win remaining games, all we need to do is beat Newcastle at home and claim 2nd on goal difference!

    Both teams are the teams I would have picked, our biggest advantage is Man Utd thinking a draw is enough and we nick one ;/

  41. Anonymous

    Wow. We’re obviously not bothered about challenging for the title. More than happy to accept the fate of second it seems.

    All over the shop. Not sure anyone has brought their first touch with them. Log way to go yet blah blah blah….,

  42. Benjami

    We are bothered we just look like a mess 😛

    2-0, Hernandez should have made it 3.

    Tactics all wrong, players panicking ;x We are losing in midfield big time here 😀

  43. Anonymous

    I actually LOL’d at Kalou’s pathetically weak foot dangling in the lead up to the second.

    We’re not even second best.

  44. Benjami

    Love how we are seeming to have more possession, more attempts on target, more attempts off target and yet are 2 goals down and they have had three great shots from Rooney and Park 😉

  45. Benjami

    Torres need Benayoun for it to work though?

    We don’t have a working plan B, Man Utd can just sit back with Hernandez on the last defender, Rooney sat behind him and everyone else defending.

    That stops our full backs overlapping and essentially kills us.

    We don’t have anyone clever enough to unlock a team straight through the middle, leaving us to long shots and luck 🙂

    I see Man Utd getting one more on the break here, so we need to score 3.

    They have had all the luck and with a bit of our own we could have got 1 back.

    Love seeing CA angry for once, but we are in disarray as a team, (see Luiz’s look at Terry after that pass :P), unfortunately I don’t think CA is the type of manager that can change this result.

  46. Cunningplan

    I see Rooney is getting some practice in for the Barca game when he dived early in the second half trying to get Brana’s a second yellow.

    As much as it pains me to say it, but come on Barca!

    Sore loser…. too f*****g right I am.

  47. Benjami

    Well a few months ago we faced not qualifying for the Champions League. Last 2 months we have been the best team in the Premiership and have practically secured second place. Ramires and Luiz (he is young and CA just needs to batter some defensive mentality into him) look like great buys and if we change our shape, next season Torres will show his quality. This was a transition season, and we have finished 2nd.

    Man Utd played well, especially in the last 10mins when they cut the game up and our response was repeatedly, Cech long ball to Drogba, flick on, Man Utd clear. Shame we kept doing it everytime even though it clearly wasn’t working. We needed to get the ball down and build up pressure!

    We now have a pre-season with nothing in the way to get all our players fully fit (Torres/Essien) and work on confidence and tactics.

    For me I would like us to line up like this for the remaining games: Cech, Luiz (Rb) Alex, Terry, Cole, Malouda (Lm), Lamps, Essien, Ramires (Rm), Drogba (In Hole), Torres slightly pushed forward.

    Personally I think this Man Utd side is the worst team to win the Premier League so far, which shows how poor we were this season and what a disaster those 3 months were. I will be supporting them vs Barcelona, and I hope the atmosphere at Wembley is electric, but I can only see one result 🙁

  48. Ososdeoro

    I wasn’t happy with the starting lineup. There is too much speed on ManU to keep Benayoun and Ramires off the field. Lampard despite the goal was a complete non-entity. Essien was mediocre……and so CA subs out Mikel? Mikel at least saved the game from getting worse. I would have given Luiz a chance to make up for his mistake and put him at right back at the half, with Alex going in for Ivanovic at CB (though Branners did play pretty well in the second half, he was sooo close to being expelled), not only because of the yellow but because Alex and Luiz are more likely to score, and from halftime in getting goals was the #1 priority. Torres was a waste, but he had to be tried. Drogba almost never had a first touch that didn’t bounce 10 yards away from him. His effort wasn’t too bad, though. Malouda was good when he wasn’t fantasizing about scoring from 25 yards (and except once when he passed up good Ramires run). Ramires showed he should have started, as he is the only one who can create a centering shot from the corner it seems. Terry is injured and contributed to ManU’s second goal. Kalou was as much a non-entity as he always has been against Fabio & co. Cole was okay but we needed the runs he was making in previous weeks. One time a pass went over the end line because the midfielder thought he was actually going to go. Cech was awfully good.

    And despite the fact that ManU showed they are by far the better team, Vidic should have been on a red card suspension.

  49. Anonymous

    Obviously David Luiz is now going to feature in endless

    Frame 1 “Are you a world class defender?”
    Frame 2 “Not me”


    Frame 1 “ Did you take my packet of L’Oréal Paris Elvive Anti-Frizz Shampoo?
    Frame 2 “Not me”


    Frame 1 “Can you go a whole game without making a cataclysmic error?”
    Frame 2 “Not me”

  50. Anonymous

    Bad day at the office which is worrying when they’ve had a week to prepare. Ash was the turd on the lawn, absolutely owned and spooked by Valencia today. Essien stayed on and Mikel went off? Bad from Carlo there. Ivan should have gone and was lucky to stay on. Alex was fucking marvellous but I would have subbed Ivan and let Luix go to right back.

    Beaten, fair and square, by a better team over the season and today. No complaints. Josh can start the dead rubbers, shame Studge can’t come back.

    Big summer at SW6………

    • Cunningplan

      I agree with Brana’s being subbed and Luiz taking up the right back position. I honestly thought that a second yellow was coming, but Rooney should have been fucking booked for his blatant attempt to get him that yellow.

  51. John

    too much pressure perhaps for us to handle? Have to say manu play very well. Right tactics and quick touches. I felt that Drogs and Kalou tried to much on the ball and kept losing it.

    Looking forward to a big spending spree in the summer and a clear out of some the old guard. We need a creative CM and a RB. Anything else will be gravey!

  52. Anonymous

    So it’s bye bye Carlo (Roman was there so after that first half it looks nailed on).

    The first half was frustrating and worrying as it looked like some just cracked when put under pressure. Just like the CL games against Utd, we fell apart, went into a panic then just ran out of ideas.

    Congrats to Utd for somehow stumbling over the line with this dismal side but we needed this season to wake us up. Creativity and pace are missing from this side and it’s time for a change.

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