In this blog’s glorious path to the reach the dizzying heights of BBC Sport and Sky Sports News, I have come up with an idea. Every weekend I find myself generating opinions on so many different football topics that it’s impossible to put them all into individual blog articles. Also, who in their right mind is going to read (or write) a whole piece about half and half scarves, a fight or Gary Neville? In terms of ‘blog marketing’ a whole feature about Manchester’s favourite right-back is a certain audience deterrent.
So, instead, I will be writing all of these little quirks into one, weekly review of all of the football action in the last 7 days. These ramblings may include topics from tactics to transfers to miscellaneous football things that have prompted an opinion to boil in my mind. As opposed to the more serious ‘technical’ football pieces, this will just be my raw, uncut thoughts about the game. Basically, I’m fed up of seeing people like Robbie Savage* get regular column inches in national media and think that I can do a better job (and without a ghost writer…).
Will Spurs Ever Let Go?
So let’s get started with the main talking point of the week, the title race. As a Chelsea fan, I’m disappointed that this supposed ‘wrapped-up title’ has not reached our door yet. Fair play to Spurs, they’re really grinding out the results that they need and the pressure on us is well and truly on.Yes, we beat them in the cup – 4-2 in case you didn’t see – but there’s a new found grit in this Spurs squad and game-by-game they’re shaking off their soft-touch tag; I do really wish they’d just piss of and let us win it though.
In terms of Chelsea, we’re on a bucking bronco at the moment. One minute we look like we’re cruising to the title, the next we’re Steven Gerrard-ing it all and the Demba Ba shaped Tottenham look set to ruin us. Southampton dominated us in the first half on Tuesday, and had our defence in bits on multiple occasions. The eventual 4-1 scoreline was a very flattering result, but it was just about deserved. Also, thank god Diego Costa stopped playing like a drunk donkey and actually scored, TWICE.
We go to Everton on Sunday, which is just great. I look forward to seeing them play a blinder and condemning us to yet another poor result at Goodison Park. Romelu Lukaku will score and everyone will go on about how we sold him and that he’s ‘come back to haunt us‘. The bogey team of all bogey teams. Get the Beechams out now…
I Have to Support Arsenal
Without our inevitable demise to Everton, Sunday is already set to be an incredibly frustrating day, as I have to support Arsenal in the North London derby. I’ve been laughing at Arsenal Fan TV all year, and now I have to put myself in their shoes. Karma’s a bitch.
As a neutral it’s going to a cracker; if there’s any team that wants to stop Spurs’ title charge it’s Arsenal. However if Spurs’ win – which is likely against this bunch of wet flannels – they will confirm finishing above Arsenal for the first time since football was played with a rock in a sock. It’s a feisty one and I look forward to kicking an Aaron Ramsey sized hole in my wall.
Gary ‘The Neutral Mancunian’ Neville
I wonder who Sky will put on their commentary team for the match. Would it be an Arsenal legend such as Theirry Henry or Alan Smith? Or a Spurs allegiant such as Jamie Redknapp? I ask the question because they decided to assign Gary Neville as co-commentator for the Manchester derby tonight. Gary. Neville. The man who so openly despises Manchester City that he once claimed he had more respect for Liverpool than he does for the Citizens. And he really hates Liverpool.
He’s a solid professional within the media, but I guess it’s just knowing that if United score then he’s grabbing Martin Tyler’s leg, buzzing his nut off, that annoys me. If I was a City fan I’d be fuming. Why do you pay so much for Sky to switch it on and hear your most hated enemy commentate for 90 minutes on a game with your biggest rival? Yes, ‘Gary Neville does the big games’ but there’s plenty of other competent commentators that could’ve filled in on this one.
Half-and-half Scarf Farce
The game itself was so awful that me and my mate started talking about half-and-half scarves. The pre-match shots showed fans wearing the garment, decorated with Guardiola blue on one side and Mourinho red on the other. For a game of such magnitude and historical significance, I think they are disgusting. Why are you supporting your team in their battle for local bragging rights with their manager’s face and colours draped over your shoulder?
If they’re spotted at White Hart Lane on Sunday then they should get a bigger ban than Joey Barton. He’s probably already got a fiver on a half- and-half scarf being spotted before half-time…
The only bonus of them is that they’re quite a cool momentum to have in a few decades time. Showing your grandkids a scarf with two of the best ever managers on it and saying ‘I saw them face-off’ is quite a nice hypothetical scenario. Imagine if there was a scarf with Johan Cruyff and Alfredo Di Stefano on, it would be a hipster’s dream. Shoreditch bars would be full of them. So the verdict is buy them off eBay basically, or anywhere where you don’t have to show your face.
Felipe Melo Fights Whole Team
The final quirk of the week before we conclude comes from my temporary abode of South America. Last night, Brazilian champions Palmeiras travelled to Uruguay to face Peñarol in a Copa Libertadores group game. Now these occasions these are always extra spicy, but my god this one really kicked off.
Palmeiras won 3-2, after an epic comeback, which really pissed off the home players and support. In the closing minutes, everything got messy as the whole Peñarol team went after Felipe Melo (lovely chap) after an incident. Melo swung 4/5 haymakers at one of Peñarol’s players and was pursued by a gang of his teammates, one of which took out the corner flag and starting swiping that around.
Melo was escorted back into the changing rooms by the whole security team, as Peñarol players still tried to get at him – and he tried to get back – and apparently Palmeiras’ players were stuck in there for a couple of hours as local supporters tried to break their way in. Fortunately I’ve not seen as much carnage as that yet on my visits to football stadiums, but I’m not counting my chickens just yet…
If you want to see what happened WATCH THIS LINK
Pat on the Back of the Week
- First Pat on the Back goes to my local team, Hitchin Town FC who got through to the Southern Premier League play-off after an epic penalty shoot-out win in Wales against Merthyr Town FC after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes. The side head to Leamington to face the mighty Leamington F.C. on bank holiday Monday, with a place in the Vanarama National League South at stake. Come on the Canaries!
- The second PotB isn’t as impressive as Hitchin Town, but it goes to Lionel Messi for scoring his 500th goal in the last minute of an El Clásico to beat Real Madrid 3-2 in their own back yard. Whilst I bet that goal felt good, I reckon after scoring 500 times for the same club it must get a bit boring. My first 7-a-side goal in 8 games at university last year probably gave me a bigger buzz, right?
Twat of the Week (Name subject to change)
- Alexis Sanchez for A) diving to the floor after being hit in the shoulder by the ball from a throw-in; and B) for then putting a picture of yourself with the TINIEST cut on your lip on social media, looking for sympathy. You absolute knob. (I will revoke this if you score a winner against Spurs x)
*THIS IS NOT A TRANSFER RUMOUR (OR IS IT…)*
Thanks for reading, see you next week for more of the same!
*Whilst Savage’s writing may not be world-changing, his podcast with Freddie Flintoff and Matthew Syed is absolutely brilliant. It’s called ‘Freddie, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy’ and is release by BBC every Sunday night. They talk all things sport with constant, revealing anecdotes from Savage and Flintoff. It’s a great listen and a good laugh, check it out. (They should be sponsoring me for this)