In my defence, my word count would have been acceptable if not for Anthony Taylor. 

In the News: Thank God, someone has sent Conte to a relaxation guru. Before his head explodes. We will all benefit from this.

Did I not predict carnage with VAR? I pointed out that this essentially means that two dickheads will be in charge of every game instead of one. Case in point, Brighton and Palace will have to contend with Marriner on the pitch and Swarbrick at the monitor in their FA Cup tie. The world will literally end the day that we get the dreaded combo of Taylor and Madley. Or Taylor and Moss, or Taylor and Pawson. I need to go and lie down.

Is there anything more amusing than listening to Arsene Whinger and his existential moan-waffling (this is now a word – only applicable to him) about referees? Obviously it would be completely f*cking priceless if the old duffer actually got sanctioned every time he does it in the same way that everyone else does. But then I haven’t yet been sanctioned by the FA for my comments on referees either, and I’ve gone to town on Slaphead Taylor tonight so I won’t say any more.

Chequebook Pulis is still bleating about not being given enough money like a shameless gold digger draped in Versace. He would have you believe that his players were cobbled together on the cheap by him and Rui Faria out of budget pipe cleaners, cotton wool balls and that horrible fishy smelling copydex glue they gave you at primary school. Do you remember the “Mo*rinho Scale” from last season? I used it to gauge Antonio’s mental state in press conferences when he first took over. The premise is that the more dishevelled and hobo like a manager becomes, the more he starts gibbering away like a possessed chimp, the more he is on the slide out of his job. Antonio spent much of last season at Defcon 1, which for the purposes of my assessment is safe and normal. We obviously all expect CP to go batsh*t crazy and end up at Defcon 5 in his third season, it’s what he is does, but the fact that he already looks like Wurzel Gummidge halfway through the second after he’s had £286.3m spent on him and that he can barely string a coherent sentence together is a level of hilarity I never thought possible. I’ll say it again. He will never be able to outrun his own personality.

Paranoia must be catching. Steve Parish thinks that there is an agenda against Zaha in the world of football. Oh Steve. Nobody cares enough. And Mark Hughes made a very good point (I know, I had to pick myself up off the floor too) when questioned about why he still has his job at Sterk. Who else is going to want to do it? And speaking of morons, if Jake Livermore is sanctioned in any way after a West Ham fan baited him by mocking his dead baby son then the FA are as disgraceful as Flanagan’s brief.

Transfer B*llocks: Real Madrid have apparently “abandoned” their pursuit of Hazard, the pursuit that hadn’t actually really happened anyway. Good. F*ck off. Apparently this is to give Acensio a bigger role. If this is true, (doubtful) it would indicate that someone at Real had been smoking something particularly pungent over the festive break. Isco is joining us though. This is irrefutable, based on the sound logic that a Spanish person, who catches up with a Spanish person who works for Chelsea while in London is obviously moving here. But who really knows? Because apparently the whole transfer policy for Los Blancos is in the hands of Ronaldo, who doesn’t want them to buy anyone that might put him out of the team (he needs to keep his bonuses up if he wants to carry on buying babies at an alarming rate) and has included demands such as two new world class goalkeepers. I sh*t you not. He has handed in a list.

And ah, the red Scouse. The biggest hypocrites in football. Apparently they are going to take Nike to court after they jumped the gun and started trying to flog Farca shirts with Coutinho’s name on them. This is, as one Blue has pointed out on Twitter, after Klopp met Van Dijk in a hotel, and the Scouse found him a house (presumably nicked) and gave him a squad number while he was employed by someone else. As it was pointed out, ashamed of nothing, offended by everything.

The Others: Another day that ends in a y, another Sp*rs w*nker that should have been sent off and wasn’t, but St. Pep’s bubble has burst just a little bit. They failed to beat Palace on NYE. And they picked up injuries. De Britney (classic gaff by auto spell for de Bruyne, and I refuse to call him anything else henceforth)was supposed to one of the crocked, but has made a miracle recovery. Booooo. In the meantime the overrated sanctimonious bald twat says we are “killing” players by expecting them to work three days a week over Christmas. Get a grip you bellend. Or move back to Spain. Lukaku was stretchered off against Everton with a head injury. I can joke about it, because he’s going to be fine. My guess is that his brain just imploded having to listen to all the bullsh*t that comes out of his manager’s mouth. CP gave Pogba credit for “waking up” against the Toffees. Well that’s nice. Presumably that eighteen month nap has done him good.

Them: Ozil was fit, boo, but not Kolosinac or whatever he’s called or Koscielny, who I still maintain looks like a human cross bred with a velociraptor.

Us: Four changes from the side that beat Stoke so convincingly, including the return of Eden and Cesc. Not sure I agreed with taking out Rudiger after he played so well, or Willian, partly because he was so good last time out and also because his omission meant that we were being cautious. I wanted 3-4-3.

I don’t know what I did to deserve a beast-man bigger that Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor meshed together to form one giant person in front of me, but I will try and recount what happened.

This was the low point of last season, 3-0 left me sucking on a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. It was a “f*ck the tonic” situation. PLease at least turn up Chelsea, which we didn’t for the FA Cup final. Conte has faced Whinger six times, and only won once. But. That demolishing last season came after L’Arse suffered a five match winless streak against us in the league. No team has won away at their newish stadium more than us. The last time they managed to keep two clean sheets against us in a league season? The last century. In the last NINE league games against us they have failed to score in seven. So what does all of this number crunching mean? It means I’m going to sulk like and it’s going to be a repeat f*ck the tonic situation if we lose this.

Empty seats. Everywhere. And in the words of The Honest Gooner, (the only one of them I associate with, bar my adopted Trek Mummy from Jordan) it was probably due to a load of half-arsed twats who couldn’t be bothered after eating and drinking themselves into oblivion over Christmas, who will later claim they were “protesting” by staying at home.

Refwatch: Can we have Mike Dean? Can we can we can we?  Sadly the man who hates Arsenal had the night off. Instead we get the clown that is Anthony Taylor. Who hates us instead. I’m just going to end up moaning about him all the way through this, because his idiocy is as sure as rain at Wimbledon, misbehaviour by p*ssed English cricketers on tour and side-splitting capitulation by Sp*rs, so I won’t wait until the end to mention him.

He managed to negotiate the opening five minutes, as did we, but then he began his predictable sh*tstorm of incompetence by giving them a free kick on the edge of box about thirty seconds after a Goon had lost the ball. Seemingly he has made no New Years resolution to be less embarrassing as an official.

The first real chance of the game for is came after a quarter of an hour, (I’ll tell you now, all times are approximate because they run their scoreboard pretentiously backwards and I’m sh*t at maths) when poor Alvaro started as he probably didn’t mean to go on by failing to put away a golden opportunity. Next time, you beautiful man, lie down and do it with your head.

Shocking collapse in the box by them just afterwards. I called dive, but The Honest Gooner informs me that “Mistakeland-Niles” is so thick he wouldn’t have the capability, and that he just fell over his own leg. Still, they got what they deserved moments later when they all cheered like they’d scored.  Thibaut had in fact pushed it onto one post and then grabbed it after it rolled along the goal line and hit the other. Ha.But our formation was being overrun. Morata was proving easier to mug than a blind octogenarian. Moses in particular was being swamped on the right hand side. Courtois basically kept us in it. At the other end, they shat themselves every time Hazard had the ball. Unsurprising seeing as last time they let him run with it he managed to completely violate the whole of their back end, but he just wasn’t being found enough. In the first half I saw dives that would make Tom Daley weep. And yet I waited for the inevitable chants of “same old Chelsea always cheating” to come from the thirty people at the other end. Either that or some Arse indignant moaning about one of our players going down.

Taylor astounded everyone by making a decision against the home side on the half hour, when Wilshire paid the price of being a nasty little turd and got booked, but in the away end we rued how defensively we were laid out. Surely we were missing a trick, they were toss at the back and with multiple numbers of a miniature midfield assassins running at them in convinced they would have folded. Conte doesn’t do early changes, but Bakayoko needed to come off in favour of Willian or maybe Pesto (f*ck off auto spell) to change this up.

My player of the half was Fabregas, who was into everything and just wanted to destroy them. Absolutely robbed Sanchez in the box and when the sh*tbag went in on him two footed as a protest he just cuddled him. Leave it to the referee. Chelsea player running rings around the opposition? He wasn’t having that. After giving the most reluctant free kick I’ve ever seen to us, Taylor then made himself feel better by taking the wind out of Cesc’s sails. His booking was so pathetic that apparently in commentary Gary Neville and Martin Tyler were advocating introducing a panel to overturn yellow cards. Absolute b*llocks. The Honest Gooner and I couldn’t for the life of us figure out how it was 0-0 at half-time, but it was.

They trollied out some old bloke during the break that was so tedious that Stretch spoke for us all when he shouted “F*ck off you boring b*stard.” Then we were subjected to a kids penalty shootout. Very questionable goal-keeping from Gunnersaurus. Obviously Mignolet moonlighting in the dinosaur costume. If you needed any more evidence about them being stuck in the past, Whinger’s selection of toy-boys emerged to House of Pain’s Jump Around.

Three forward passes in a row straight off. Check us out! Taylor continued to adhere to his ratio if only penalising every third foul on a Chelsea player. The most consistent thing I’ve ever seen the twat do.

On 50 minutes I was screaming “Cech you w*nker! Whose side are you on?!” After he saved a Hazard shot instinctively and then parried the headed follow up. Pathetic dive from Wilshire on 54. I don’t know what’s funnier, the fact that three good games since 2007 has the Red Swarm proclaiming him as England’s saviour again, or the fact that any of them believe he might be able to stay fit long enough to play in the World Cup in the first place.This has got 0-0 written all over it, said the know-all little dick behind Stretch as he pointed at the scoreboard.  Yes, fool, because it is the current score.

A minute later it was Cahill, yes, Cahill, for all the nappy sh*tters out there, that got us out of danger. Willian. Now. Or we are getting nothing out of this game. Then they went and scored. Who else but that grubby little halfwit Wilshire, who would have been crying in the dressing room had Anthony Taylor had any balls. Lucky it fell to him, Courtois on his near post. Can’t really blame him though. It was amazing how 20,000 of them could make so much noise having been eerily silent thus far. Courtois saved us again moments later. Still no Willian. Or Pesto. Hazard trying to do it all in his own because Morata is having a mare. Wingbacks more likely to score that striker.

Until Eden went down in the box. The Honest Gooner was livid. I could not have given a sh*t. I’d have been more angry if Eden had stayed on his feet. Bellerin stuck his leg out in front of him and Hazard did his job. And they’d tried worse in this game. I take back everything I’ve said about Taylor. Actually no I don’t. It’s about time he did something nice for us. Cech had conceded 13 out of 13 penalties apparently, and according to THG he hadn’t even got a hand on any of them. Not on this one either. 1-1.

Now it was end to end. We could have been ahead! Morata again! How can you hold it up all the way in and then miss! Cesc off for Tenacious Double D, which made me slightly happy in a pervert sense, but it still wasn’t Willian. Alvaro was just trying too hard now. On 76 he had Hazard to his right but he decided to take a shot on from a narrow angle, right at Petr Cech. Urgh. We could win this if we actually committed to going forward. With Willian. (No, I was not going to let this go) He was out warming up, but in the meantime Lacazette, who was so woeful I forgot he was on the pitch half the time, was replaced by Danny Welbeck. Another member of the Spaghetti Legs Club.

FINALLY!! Willian on. But Hazard off. ARGHHHHURGH!! Someone find me gin! NOW! What does our fuzzy haired favourite do instantly? Beautiful pass to Zappacosta on the other side, our man rinses Mistakeland-Niles and crosses it in . Shocking defending, insinctive strike from Alonso. 1-2. Morata lying on top of him presumably whispering “Thank you than you thank you” in his ear. Where the fuck did that come from, they didn’t even move?! Queue an excuse for R*ttenham fans to go into social media meltdown. Their obsession with him really isn’t healthy.

Arsenal were doing their best to make amends. And all the while we sank deeper and deeper. F*cking hell. We all knew what was coming. The Goons apparently didn’t, because they were pouring out with plenty of time left on the clock, one of them booking a fly past with a Wenger Out banner for the next game. It was like the Alamo at the other end. Four added minutes for L’Arse (and Taylor) to try and take at least a point for the home side. Ragged defending, and f*cking Bellerin sitting on the outside of the box ready to thump it in. Bellerin. Jesus wept. They surged out again to try and win it, but what’s this? We’ve broken free! Noooo! Alvaro’s got the ball. We all knew what was coming. Largely because it’s what the player believes is coming at the moment. Miss. Then we had one off the crossbar! B*llocks!!!! Rage!!! Gin!!!

The four Goons that remained were singing 2-1 and you f*cked it up. Er, who was ahead in the first place, bellends? Then it was “One Team in London.” Did they realise it was 2-2? And that only the crossbar had even secured them a point? At home? This is why they are the most unbearable b*stards south of Anfield.

So: What did we learn from the first game of the year? That Whinger is as mad as a box of frogs. Vowing to fight his FA charge for slagging off an official, whilst slagging off another official. Not the best game plan.

We also learned that Conte failed to get the better of him again. If we had grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck then we would have won it. We were too defensive and when this was obviously not working we stuck with it for too long. If we had somehow maintained the 2-1 lead whilst sitting deeper than the wreck of the f*cking Titanic, it would have been because we orchestrated a smash and grab, not because Antonio got the better of his opposite number. This is becoming a bit of a trend against L’Arse. Boooo.

Morata. I don’t want to get on his back, because he is undoubtedly class and because he IS in the right place constantly, and not hanging about like a sack of potatoes like Lukaku does half the time having cost more money. And he is new, but I honestly have no idea, having seen him miss a dozen sitters now, how he has managed to get his wife pregnant. Christ knows where he was aiming. Of late he’s  got all the precision of a mole with cataracts armed with a sniper rifle in blazing sunlight. He’s got better about throwing himself on the floor though, and he’s nowhere near as bad at doing it as St. Didier of Munich was at the beginning, but it still makes me cringe when he does it. The 12 year old nappy sh*tter behind us who called him a useless f*cking c*** repeatedly and at one point told him to f*ck off out of our club is lucky that the useless docile, koala-like Stretch (special alias) didn’t turn around and head butt him at some point last night. A point is probably fair but it is f*cking annoying when you have managed to come from behind(when a certain blogger had a 10/1 bet on this happening) and then you just invite them on to equalise.

On Saturday I produced one word for every letter of the alphabet to describe just how bad Stoke City were. Anthony Taylor does not even deserve this. He just gets this 26 times:

W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk W*nk.

Round up every every criticism I have made of him in the last year in every clusterf*ck he has created and apply it again. Because it is always the same. If you are that consistently bad at your six figure salaried job that you can make the fans of both teams simultaneously revile you and want to string you up  by the b*llocks and use you as a human piñata, you don’t deserve to have that job. Do referees not have some form of performance review? Are they not subjected to the same level of tedious form-filling-out about their job progress and self-improvement goals as the rest of us? If they do it goes something like this:

“Taylor, you’re sh*t. You couldn’t make the right decision if you had a rifle with one bullet pointed at a starving hungry cheetah bearing down on you. What are you going to do about it?”
“Nothing, sir”
“Excellent! As you were!”

Either that or they skip around PGMOL HQ in their too tight shorts slapping each other’s a*ses, high as f*cking kites like Willy Wonka off his nut on sugar in his chocolate factory, blithely oblivious to reality and what goes on in the rest of the world, fawned over by oompah loompas and watching Nickelodeon and spliced propaganda footage that convinces them that they are the gems of the footballing world. And at the centre of it is Anthony Taylor, moisturising his stupidly shiny head with L’Oréal anti-wrinkle cream, kissing the mirror and telling himself he is worth it. He’s not. Retire him.

Anyone who isn’t at least a little bit excited about the FA Cup has no soul – how many changes will Conte risk against Naaaarch, as the locals call it? More importantly, Janice assures me that they have expanded the one road in and out of Britain’s answer to Chernobyl to two lanes, so it may not take 13 hours to get in and out, and if Thomas Cook bother to send enough drivers this time the club coaches may even arrive in time for kick off!