Russell Crowe once asked. No, is the answer.
Hiatus/Trek: I will blog the charity trek properly, because it was largely through the massive generosity of Chelsea fans that I was even able to go (not that there weren’t non-Chelsea donations too) But for now, thanks to all the contributions from the Twittersphere and Facebook to help me bridge the gap between the last time I saw a game and tonight.
West Brom 0 Chelsea 4: I was on a flight to Jordan by the time the second half started and I consider that I have been robbed. Having spent about a decade bludgeoning Tony Pulis’s management style and mugging him off I wasn’t there to see us get him the sack.
FC Carrier Bag 0 Chelsea 4: A total car crash from the home side’s perspective, conceding two penalties and getting a man sent off. I was lying in a tent with a flatulent Leeds fan. Yes we were all in bed by kick off, which was 7:30pm local time. In fairness we had climbed a mountain that day and there isn’t a lot else to do in the desert after it gets dark at four o’ clock. Credit to the Chicago CFC guys who probably didn’t expect to take a detour to Azerbaijan when they booked their trip – but everyone I have spoken to loved it in Baku.
Scouse 1 Chelsea 1: I was barely back from the airport, and it was on, but I was shoving 1000 calories of McDonald’s in my face having lived on humus and flatbread for seven days. I’m in agreement with @Rashthedoctor as in I don’t see that as two points lost. I take the week as a whole, and we’ve avoided a faceplant in the Champions League, secured our qualification and not lost at Shamfield. Absolutely was a shot by Willian, says @alanjt26. “Had it been Messi then everybody and the media would be creaming their panties about how class it was and how he meant it.” Had this been last year, when we were playing one game a week, yes, Conte probably would have chosen a different side, but times have changed. And this is a good thing, because we’re back in Europe. Hilariously, Klippity Klopp accused us of playing with eight defenders. “Is obviously ignorant of the term “counter attack” says @Goongyae. Everyone wanted Willian to p*ss off when I left for Jordan, now it’s like the second coming. Is Luiz still in the doghouse? Or has he left to join the circus? Worst coup since Tom Cruise in Valkyrie when he couldn’t even be bothered to try a German accent. 750 minutes it took one Chelsea fan to get home from the land of Scouse after the Thomas Cook debacle. So basically almost as long in football minutes as it has been since Lukaku last scored a goal. Thomas Cook being twats is not new – we’ve missed kick offs because they’ve skimped on drivers. This, however, took it to a whole new level.
In the News: Lukaku has dodged a bullet with retrospective action for kicking an opponent. There’s a surprise. Klopp says he’d quit before he turned to art of time-wasting. Which is why we hope that the idiot stays the FOR-EVER. “West Brom can turn on the style now Tony Pulis is gone” says Ben Foster. Who has singularly contributed, with his incessant time-wasting, to making every instance of watching West Brom the most boring experience known to man for the last couple of years. Allardyce continues on his nomadic roamage of the Premier League on a mission to carpet England with his used gum and bore the living sh*t out of a new set of fans. He’s taking a red Scouser with him too, just to rub salt in the wound. Podgettino claims that Sp*rs have improved this season. Well that will make all the bellends who support them feel better about not having won a league match for a month and having scored a paltry three goals in that time. And the transfer nonsense has started again. Real Madrid are set to offer £80m for Anthony Martial apparently. If they’re p*ssing money away I’ll take £80m off their hands. I might even consider selling them Bertie the kitten for that. But I want a buy back clause. Us? We’ve got to do a patch up job after the summer, but let’s not go mad.
The Others: Everton won a game 4-0. Rooney scored a hat trick and one of them was from the halfway line. Everton. Watch us make a meal out of West Ham now in a week and a bit. Moyes says his team did OK. Psychological assessment clearly not part of the recruitment process in East London. City have almost dropped two points second game in a row. Just f*ck off Sterling. And f*ck off Mendy, who reduced everyone’s sh*t obsession with their phones to hideous levels by dragging his broken a*se all the way down the length of the pitch to take a selfie with Sterling during the goal celebration. That was worth setting back your recovery by a month. Dickhead. Speaking of dickheads, Scouse fans are claiming that Salah is the best player in the league, nay, Europe. Because they are the most delusional bellends in the league, nay, Europe. Christ knows how Mingolet (intentional spelling error) was still on the pitch. Solanke. Short sleeves and gloves. I’m glad we f*cked him off. And Arsenal have beaten Huddersfield 5-0. Watch us make a meal out of playing them now in a week and a bit.
Us: Some rotation again with four changes. Dave dropped out of the league starting eleven for the first time since anyone last had any expectations of Arsene Wenger as a manager. Rudiger came in, and Pesto (auto-spell is still as sh*t as pre-desert) also started, but more importantly Alf Garnett (sitcom alias) pointed out that not one of our players was wearing gloves. Which made me prouder than the fact that Bertie the kitten managed to somehow detach a fake fluffy bird off the Christmas tree from five feet up without knocking it over before he deposited it on my pillow as a present at four am this morning. Evil cat genius.
This was obviously the kind of thrilling encounter that makes people turn out in droves on a cold winter night. Hence a fair few empty seats and an air of lethargy at the Bridge at kick off. There was a penalty shout that we were never going to get given less than thirty seconds in, which gave a false impression that this might actually be a good watch. This one I could live with, but then we were denied one of the most obvious spot kicks you will ever see on eight minutes. Unless your name is Neil Swarbrick. The Scouse would have been given two penalties for that. Flappyhandski was beaten when a Willian free kick somehow missed everyone and almost crept in the far corner and a quick shot by Zappacosta on 15 was easily saved, but we had no more clear attempts to speak of early on. Swansea looked sh*t, but, and this is difficult to explain when we were so dominant, we hadn’t exactly come out all guns blazing ourselves. You felt we could be doing more. However the chances began to mount. Some hapless nonsense in their own box almost resulted in a goal from Pesto, from a corner on 19 minutes the ball was headed back over the bar by Morata, and we seemed to be warming up. He almost notched up another headed goal moments later. The away side had everyone back and still couldn’t prevent us taking potshots at them. Time and time again our number nine was unmarked in the box, and surely at this rate it would only be a matter of time before we scored.
Or not. Somehow whilst fashioning all of these attempts, the game just seemed to plod along. There was a brief diversion in the Shed from a couple of fans that managed to take a song that has one word by way of lyrics (Chelsea) and somehow sing it both out of time and out of tune. One of them expended so much energy on this that he had to go home at half time. There was another penalty shout, but by way of applying some fitting moron logic to Neil Swarbrick’s f*ckwittery, it he didn’t give the second one he certainly wasn’t going to give that. Then another Morata attempt was tipped over. According to Bet365 Swansea had had 47% possession in the first half hour. B*llocks. Unless you are counting all the time spent by Flappyhandski dawdling around his box with the ball in his hands like a tit in a trance. Timewasting after four minutes. Sigh. It also helps when you get awarded a free kick every time you fall over.
A bullet header went close from Alonso (who, as it’s been pointed out to me by Karn has let his highlights grow out. Spoilsport) and then on 41 minutes the ball skimmed just wide before it was put out by Swansea. Then chaos erupted because Neil Swarbrick is a spunkmuppet who can’t do his job properly. Conte was sent off for making sense and the Daily Fail are now having a circle jerk in the office getting ready for the “Chelsea are the enemies of football” sh*tfest tomorrow morning. At least he was still ranting from the stands. One minute added on? It took Flappyhandski that to take each goal kick. Not to mention all the time Neil Swarbrick wasted on the sideline being an a*sehole. Hazard’s not going to get the night off after all, is he?
Alonso put in a great cross just after the break but a defender got a foot on it. There was much sarcastic applause for Swarbrick for giving us a corner shortly afterwards, but being Chelsea we failed to clear the first man. A sitter was missed on 52 minutes, but dull would be an understatement for this match. Nobody was playing badly, but this was just starting to feel like an FA Cup tie against a League One side where you get dragged down to their level. Then out of nowhere came a shot from Kante, a deflection and a flying header from Rudi, who had come out of the dressing room after half time like a man possessed. Boycie (sitcom alias) and I couldn’t figure out quite what happened, and frankly, we didn’t care. 1-0 and sparked into life would be an understatement. Batten down the hatches leek munchers. We are coming for you. Probably. Chance after chance followed, but we failed to double our lead. Leroy Fer had their first shot after more than an hour of play tonight. It was atrocious, and nowhere near on target, but excited their fans who started singing “We’ve had a shot” in good humour. That was the sum total of their endeavours tonight. Life didn’t get any easier with the introduction of Hazard and Moses, who made his first appearance since Klopp last had a wash. Not only is he fit again, but while he’s been off sick someone appears to have shown him how to take a throw in. DD for Willian completed the changes. Flappyhandski continued palming the ball away and tipping it over the bar, and despite me finding him hilarious stopped it being a somewhat casual rout on our part. As for Refwatch: Swarbrick. I think I made it clear he was a c*nt. Despite his best efforts to award them nonsensical free kicks as the clock wound down and despite our best efforts to shoot ourselves in the foot, the points were safe.
So: Last up on Match of the Day. This game was about as pretty as a drunken Lindsay Lohan mugshot. On another day we might have been punished for being pretty lacklustre and wasting countless opportunities. But to say that Swansea looked like a pub team would be an insult to the pub. Their marking from set plays was pathetic, they time wasted from kick off, and in the odd occasion they did try to play the ball forward they were bereft of any creativity. The one and only thing that were good at tonight was smashing it out of the six yard box, but I don’t think I believed they would be able to hold out for 90 minutes. We knew that Antonio couldn’t do what he did last year. He couldn’t use the same players every game because there are too many fixtures. Thus far I am more than satisfied with his attempts at rotation, especially given that the summer transfer window did not live up to his expectations. Still in everything, with a decent fixture run coming up. What can possibly go wrong?