Posts Tagged ‘Stamford Bridge’

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It’s that time again folks! Yes, it’s approaching FA Cup semi-finals day, so we now have to rant on for a while about how unfair life is when you’re just a poor little northern team having to play one of those rich teams from that big place, in that big place, at their home big place!

The draw for the semi-finals of the FA Cup has been made and the two London clubs have been kept apart. No real surprise there! Do they have any other advantages over their opponents which would make them favourites to progress to the final? (more…)

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This is the latest incarnation in a fairly long history of the José Mourinho persecution complex. Nothing is his fault and the whole world is out to get him.

In truth this attitude helped to develop a siege mentality during his successful years at Chelsea and Real Madrid . He managed to convince his players that they were universally hated and nobody, except their own fans, wished them well.

It is not dissimilar to the way Sir Alex Ferguson used to motivate his teams. Proving to be the best was always, in his opinion, the only way to show those doubters and haters how wrong they were. (more…)

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In the 1960’s Chelsea, for some reason, were always better away from home than they were at home. Could it have had anything to do with the crowd being so far from the pitch, seemingly a current problem for West Ham United?

The days of Peter Osgood, Charlie Cooke, Peter Bonetti, Ron and Alan Harris et al produced far superior returns on the road than any other team. In fact, if Chelsea could have corrected their home form during this period they wouldn’t have had to wait quite as long as they did to win the title. (more…)

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All United have to do on Sunday is go to Stamford Bridge and win. The slightly easier task, on paper anyway, is that of Manchester City who face Southampton at The Etihad. Anything less than three points each for the two Manchester teams will be seen as an opportunity wasted.

Chelsea are certainly not the team they were under Mourinho and are eminently beatable. The problem for United, at present, is that they are also not the team that Chelsea were under Mourinho. Of the two, however, there is no reason why United should not win this one. (more…)

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Not to mention Everton, the dark horses, so I won’t. Mention them, that is.

After only six games of the new season the great British press, the fourth estate, the paragons of virtue, trust and truthfulness, have decided who is going to win the title, who is going to get relegated and which managers are going to be sacked before and after Christmas. (more…)

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What is it about Stamford Bridge and the Emirates? Are referees under instruction that Chelsea and Arsenal are not allowed to lose? Does the game have to go on until they win? It always appears to be so.

In the Sunday game between Arsenal and Leicester, Martin Atkinson had given Leicester a first half penalty for a foul on Jamie Vardy, obviously forgetting that the game was at Arsenal’s home ground and he had just committed a cardinal sin.

Fortunately for Arsenal, he was reminded at half-time, probably by Arsene Wenger, of his obligations to the home team. So, in the second half he set about, not only evening things up, but ensuring that they tilted in Arsenal’s favour.

Firstly he sent off Danny Simpson for a nothing challenge which he deemed as a second yellow card. This, in his eyes, would give Arsenal the advantage numerically and should ensure that they won the game. It did bring about an equaliser through Theo Walcott and, at this stage, a draw would have been a “fair”, if slightly tainted, result.

Martin Atkinson was having none of that though. Having found four minutes of additional time from somewhere only he knew, he actually played an additional five and a half minutes, allowing Arsenal to score the winner. Of course, as soon as Leicester kicked off from the goal, the whistle was blown for full-time. (more…)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal

(Louis adopts the pose which would immediately endear him to the majority of  Manchester United fans!)

He’s a card is old Louis! You have to admire him really. After all, once his fleeting visit to these shores is over, who will fill the void left by his departure? Is there any other self-confessed genius who could step into the role? Well actually, yes there is, there’s Jose Mourinho but that’s another story.

Fresh from snatching a draw from the jaws of victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Louis was immediately looking for scapegoats. Was it HIS team selection? Never! What about HIS tactics? No chance, perish the thought! How about players not following HIS instructions? Now, there’s a possibility. And, if the players don’t follow the manager’s instructions who’s fault is that? The players of course, according to King Louis. He is the manager, he can do no wrong, he can only do right!

Having taken off Marouane Fellaini, who had chugged his way through the game like a Belgian Thomas The Tank Engine and replacing him with Morgan Schneiderlin, the United players set about trying to defend their one goal lead. They did this by the further substitutions of Memphis Depay, on for Lingard and Ander herrera, who came on for Juan Mata.

The substitutions had a very negative effect in that United immediately started giving the ball back to Chelsea as soon as they won it. (more…)

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Many a time, when a manager is under pressure, one of the team’s star players will decide, unwisely, that he should speak up on behalf of the beleaguered boss.

Usually it is the captain who will step forward to the microphone and recent examples have included John Terry, during the last few games of Jose Mourinho’s reign at Chelsea and Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.

The reason it is not necessarily the brightest move to make is because it puts even more pressure on the manager.

The captains in question no doubt feel that they are doing the manager a service by voicing their opinion that the players “are the ones who go out onto the pitch”, and that “the manager can only pick the team, he can’t play the game”, but, in fact, the reverse is true.

Yes the manager picks the team so, it can be argued, he isn’t doing so very well if they keep losing! Also, the captain is indirectly admitting that the players aren’t performing for this manager. So surely it would be better to keep mum and get on with trying to help the manager with the performances ON the pitch rather than OFF it. (more…)

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Guus Hiddink will not be staying at Chelsea after this season. That is not good news for Chelsea fans.

Has he been brought in to save the club from relegation? Has he been brought in to try and win a trophy? What about sorting out the players who brought about the downfall of Jose Mourinho? He must know that there is more than one bad apple in this particular barrel.

The point now is, does he really care about that side of things? Providing he keeps Chelsea in the Premier League, maybe gets into the top six, has a decent run in the Champion’s League, (even he must know they are not good enough to win it, although, they weren’t good enough to win it the year that they won it, so you never know!), and also has a good shot at the FA Cup then Guus will probably feel as though he has earned his money.

Is it really his problem that the football club contains some players, certainly led by a Fletcher Christian-type character, who wanted Mourinho out of the way and are trying to become the tail that wags the dog? No, it isn’t. It would be much easier for Hiddink to serve his time, pick up his money and disappear into the Dutch reservoirs armed only with a fishing rod and some worms. (more…)

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Jose Mourinho didn’t need to win this game. He didn’t even need to draw this game. He can be eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage, knocked out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge by the Wheeltappers and Shunters social club second eleven, and be relegated to the Championship and it won’t bother him a jot. Why? Because he has what nobody else in Britain has had since Lord Ferg retired. He has job security!

He knows Roman Abramovich so well that he knows the innermost thoughts of the Chelsea owner without being told what they are.

Convinced as he is that he has a job for life that still didn’t stop him urging, cajoling and pushing his team hard for the victory which keeps him in the competition if not important in keeping him in a job.

Chelsea were not their last-season-excellent selves, they were just efficient and did a good job when that was what was required. A 2-0 win sees them stagger into the knockout stage where they will lose to either Benfica, PSG or Juventus. (more…)