Europa League Final, 29th/30th May (seeing as it was played in the middle of the night) 2019

​Calling from f*cking Baku. How can you top the most ludicrous season in recent years? I know let’s get sent all the way past the f*cking Middle East, via every city in between to watch a game between us and L’Arse at a cost of thousands. You could not make this sh*t up. Unless you’re UEFA, and your heads are collectively so far up your own a*ses that they’re threatening to swallow your own tonsils.

In the News: Juventus players have allegedly already been told that Sarri will be managing them next season. We’ve canned so many managers, is it really so out of the question that one of them would eventually turn around and do it to us? But this leaves Napoli raging, and demanding they sack Carlo and have him back. Can we just do a job swap? If he goes I think it will be his decision, or a mutual agreement, not a sacking. He’s an oddball, but then we’re an oddball of a club too, so who are we to judge. He stomped out of training the day before the game, allegedly because Luiz and Higuain had a ruck, but actually because he wanted to practise all 40 of his set plays and the press wouldn’t f*ck off. Which sounds pretty likely. And if you saw our first free kick last night, you’ll understand why he was so p*ssed off. Hudson-Odoi set to be offered the No.10 shirt, as we appear to gearing up for life under a transfer ban by extending contracts. Big Willy and The Beard have already added their names to a list which features David Luiz. We played a friendly. In Boston. Before a final. Ruben is now out for months because the plastic pitch was sh*t. As I said on Twitter, we sacrificed him for nigh on a year to end hatred worldwide, and as a result I hate New England Revolution and their pitch, and I hate the idea of post-season friendlies even more that I did before it happened. So that was worth it.

JT came out the winner against Frank in the richest game in football. So Villa are back in the Premier League. Personally, I think it’s too early to consider either of them managing at Chelsea – but then, we’ve done crazier. Scolari springs to mind, (god he makes Sarri look debonaire) and AVB. (A veritable bellend) I just don’t want to see their standing at the club damaged by rushing one of them back before they are ready. Best part of the result? “kingkopite” tweeting: “So Villa finish fifth in the league with 76 points and get a trophy. We finish 2nd in a more difficult league with 97 points and get nothing. Absolute disgrace!” Oh, King Kopite, don’t ever change. Your kind are the House Lannister of football, for those who’ve seen Game of Thrones. Convinced of your own greatness, yet more than a bit scabby underneath, badly behaved and walking about wearing a lot of gold that someone else paid for, insisting that everyone owes you their allegiance while you enjoy questionable relations with your sisters. Prince William and Carew celebrating in their box was not nearly as heart-warming as Mike Dean going absolutely bonkers over Tranmere Rovers in the crowd as they gained promotion to League One. The most human showing I’ve ever seen from a referee. They have feelings. Who knew?

There appears to be some match coming up this weekend. Kudos to Chequebook Pulis, who is clearly bored out of his mind, because he’s stuck his head about ground just long enough to say he was desperate to work, but mainly to remind Klippity Klopp that he will look like a c*nt if he loses a third CL final. God willing it doesn’t happen. God it makes me shudder writing that. But footage of Harry F*cking Kane dribbling into ol’ big ears might actually end me. Kompany has left City after eleven years , bowing out after the slaughtered Watford in the FA Cup final. I’ve got a new one for Deeney – as well as kebab face. “He looks like a lasagne that’s been punched.” I had to giggle at the City fan who got into the press box at Wembley after the match and laid down an expletive-ridden rant about their red bias that made me look positively f*cking angelic.

Solskjaer cancelled his post-season briefing. Because hauling every in to remind them that they were pathetic on the run in was presumably deemed too cruel. Rashford is holding off on contract renewal because he is not happy with the direction that the club are taking under Solskjaer. They’ve been careening, Thelma and Louise style, towards the edge of a cliff ever since Moyes arrived, so what’s given him this sudden epiphany, who knows? Apparently Fergie is upset that he’s been sidelined in making major decisions. He remembers that he retired, right? And you do have to feel slightly for Rashford and Lingard, who have been blasted as arrogant for marking their place in the 0.012% of players who make it in the Premier League on social media. Yes, how dare they be proud of this. Thus hurting the feelings of the 99.988% who don’t. Politically correct w*nk. Do f*ck off. Arsenal may not be the only team contemplating life away from the Champions League, as City’s astronomical spending appears to be catching up with them. Barca faffed their domestic treble by losing to Valencia in the Spanish cup final. Hurrah. And Joey Barton’s stag do spiralled into “extreme violence” on a Cornish beach. If I had read you the headline without mentioning whose stag do it was, you would have pinned that on him before anyone else in football.

Transfer Bollocks: Yes, it has descended on us.

The Good
Higuain apparently set to be sent back to Italy after thieving a medal last night. Apparently we can sign Kovacic though.

The Bizarre
Batistuta, who looks half human after a good haircut, has apparently expressed a desire to manage Boro. Makes you wonder if they performed a lobotomy with the little scissors while they were at it

The Shamefaced
Bale is being ousted by Real. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a knob and I couldn’t care less. But you’ve got to some kind of w*nkers to sh*t on a player that’s helped you to three consecutive Champions League wins.

The Pointless Clutching At Straws
Podgettino’s cousin says he is interested in going to Juve. Surely they can’t be that desperate for news already?

The Ugly
Hughton sacked by Brighton. Have a f*cking word. Replaced him with Graham Potter, who has precisely one season in the Championship behind him managing in this country, and bossing a Swedish side before that. Which strikes me as not only massively ungrateful but singularly stupid.

The Downright Hilarious
Morata says he wants to stay at Atletico forever and everever. Will do “everything in his power.” Don’t bother, douche, I’ve already planted some dubious fundamentalist literature in your London flat and tipped off the Home Office. Now let’s hope that they don’t realise you can’t read…

Why This Was a Stupid F*cking Idea: I’m not letting this go without another rant. 200 plus times we’ve played these bellends. And never has the setup be so ridiculous. Let me start by saying that I don’t hate Baku, or Azerbaijan, I hate UEFA for inflicting a totally mis-organised and ill-considered farce on two sets of fans who had spent a fortune following their clubs in this bloody competition all season and had zero chance of enjoying the final they had earned as much as their team. Neither of the paltry, insulting allocations were sold. For a EUROPEAN FINAL. In fact there were barely 6,000 fans travelling via the clubs combined. Let’s point out that this is not people from London. This is all the two clubs could muster in selling to any of their members etc. ANYWHERE.

UEFA said, and I quote, it would be “utterly unfair to exclude a venue on the basis of its decentralised location.” This was despite the fact that their OWN REPORT said it was a bad, bad idea. It’s also utterly unfair to hold it in a place that is nigh on impossible to get to, without the logistical infrastructure to get people into the country, which is arguably not even in Europe, where one of the players had to STAY AT HOME because his personal safety was not assured. They swore it would be. Then the police proceeded to stop every fan so much as wearing a shirt with Mikhitarian’s name on it. All of these things should have been considered by the game’s governing body and walked through to the only sensible conclusion. Those who did go had to part with at least four figures, take nigh on a week off and sit surrounded by locals wearing Scouse and United shirts or, even worse, not even half and half scarves but three fold f*ckwittery. Us, L’Arse and UEFA. People were literally wandering about the stadium trying to find other travelling fans, whether they be red or blue, to avoid the complete carpeting of plasticdom that inevitably represented the non-capacity crowd at this game when they ruled out a location that would enable the real fans to go there. The resulting atmosphere, at best, resembled a friendly, not anything like the occasion it should have been. They have learned literally nothing from this fiasco. Euros next year – a group is being played in Baku. The other venue for those poor teams? F*cking Rome.

And yet there was a game to be played. And I will write about it. Unfortunately for all of us BT Sport managed to get there. At least they levelled, well, bulldozed their playing field and actually came up with a balanced panel. Well, nearly. Keown. Urgh. Eidur, and Cesc. Who they wanted you to believe was a neutral representative and desperately tried to convince the viewing public of such, before he was reminded that he was going to get a medal if Chelsea won. What broke Arsenal’s supremacy over Chelsea c.2005? They asked. Keown needled with a comment about Roman’s money, and someone buy Eidur a drink for his response: Well, its also when we bought Didier, who took care of Arsenal after that.

Us: Kepa in a final in his first European season, Hazard’s first final, in his last game, and Sarri, but was it his last game too? Kante played, very risky, with injections. Martin Keown says that said injections are painful and that it is not a comfortable experience. An allergic reaction to one might be the explanation for his face. Pedro Pony feeling something nasty in his hamstring according to Cesc, but he too started. The Beard, as was right and holy, got the nod ahead of Higuain.

Them: Mistakeland-Niles was the only English players starting on either side, in an all-English final. He didn’t scare me, but theoretically their attack was more potent than ours. More potent than Randolph Churchill in the latter stages of syphillis rambling in the House of Lords if you listen to BT.

So, we had a manager who’d never won a trophy, and it was Eden Hazard’s last game in a Chelsea shirt. Bigger stakes for them. They’d be consigned to this dross for another season unless they won, and they’d have trouble signing top players. Waxwork Corpse had won this three times. And Petr Cech was to bow out and retire after an exemplary career. I had literally no idea, and the only prediction I made pre-game was that it would be over in normal time. Huge booing for the sh*t anthem. Good. VAR was being used, heaven help us. And Italian officials. Here’s hoping that some rampant, biased nationalism doing us some favours. Robbie f*cking Savage was on the commentary team. Was that seriously the best you could do?

An 11pm kick off, yet another reason choosing a venue on the Caspian Sea was thick. Early long ball from David Luiz across to Pedro Pony, trying to get behind Kolasinac, and Monreal, and Monreal’s Massive Nose. Familiar, but effective. Sounded like a naff International friendly in the stadium. Rubbish. The teams had claimed 61 goals between them so far in this competition, so of course there were none in the first half. They squandered a good chance early on when Kepa made a ridiculous short range punch, but Aubameyang hit it like a dick. A little limp one. Ten minutes gone and still nothing to raise my interest above a pastry and cheese induced stupor, sitting in Calais watching this as I wait to do D-Day 75 stuff. The Beard doing a retro Hollywood cowboy slow motion death after Sokratis trod on him made me smile though. Free kick. Nobody moved to try and intercept the ball that Eden put into the box. Which was odd.

Our defenders were sleeping seconds later, and Dave was called into action to put it out for a corner. They had a daft penalty shout, which unsurprisingly Robbie Savage with his sh*t hair and lack of general wisdom said they should have been given. If he goes down from that touch that’s nobody’s problem but his own. Pussy. Twenty minutes gone and no shots on target, dead even possession. Five minutes later we suddenly burst out. Kante was away, showing no signs of his injury and putting it in to The Beard; but under much pressure his fellow Frenchman got it all wrong and fluffed his lines.

Xhaka just about clipped the bar after Dave had bailed us out once again. L’Arse had the slight edge and the Waxwork Corpse was padding back and forth on the touchline like a partially embalmed tabby. However the best chance yet fell to Emerson shortly afterwards. He went for the far corner but Sokratis threw himself into its path and put it out for the corner. Moments later, on the half hour, an attempted one-two involving Hazard, who had been quiet so far, just failed and went behind the Belgian in the box. 33 and it was Emerson again, this time beaten away comprehensively by Cech, but it was our brightest spell so far. Punch away by Kepa at the other end on 36. Robbie Savage criticising his goal keeping decisions. Couldn’t even play his own position, so should f*ck off. Then we had an even better chance. It fell to The Beard, but was met by a one handed save by Cech, who went down quicker than Sam Allardyce flinging himself onto an abandoned picnic blanket. Not quite enough in it, panicked a bit for me, and they beat us to the second ball; but we were getting closer. Pedro Pony hit another straight after, which deflected out for a corner. A pretty even first half, poised for an act of greatness from someone to really set the game in motion.

The match resumed past midnight local time. Waxwork Corpse needs to join The Beard in a 1950s western. Walks like a stereotypical cheesy cowboy. Or like he’s shat himself. But anyway, on the pitch Eden was ready to amp it up. He sprung forth, only to be bodychecked by Monreal. Nothing given though The Beard did get a shot off. Naff corner from Eden on the follow up. One man in particular deserved to put us ahead in this final, after being the poster boy for the competition all season, and seconds later when a slightly dodgy ball came in from Emerson, The Beard’s outrageously muscular neck did the work at an awkward height and enabled him to somehow flick it on target. Subdued celebration – but you could see what it meant to him on his face. Officially the top scorer in this competition too. Sarri also resisted the urge to be happy and promptly started scribbling in his notebook. I recognise not one Chelsea fan they have shown on TV tonight. That never happens. Gooners looking depressed. No fan should have had to do this f*cking journey to go home empty handed. Oh well. I’ll get over it. For the next twenty minutes L’Arse capitulated like a French army forced to choose between a fight and the worlds biggest lump of stinky cheese.

Hazard was off again on 52, with a swagger in that bum now, then Pedro Unicorn (for he was excellent) was away. Sh*t or bust for Arsenal, as The Beard tried to break his own crotch. They had to come out. Torreira smashed it, on the rebound Aubameyang was halfway into a bicycle kick, but had the sportsmanship to stop when he saw Christensen’s face come flying into the frame and he realised it was going to be in the way. The ball was instantly back up the other end. Hazard to Pedro Unicorn, who left poor Pete no chance when he swung his leg across and stuck it in the opposite corner. Koscielny had failed to replicate Christensen’s bravery at the other end and 2-0 it was. The Goons had half an hour to try and turn it around. And if they had any sense they wouldn’t be giving up yet, because as we have proved so many times this season, we can’t be trusted not to do something reeealllllly stupid.

But lo and behold, the stupidity was all theirs tonight. Kovacic in, Pedro Unicorn to The Beard. Mistakeland-Niles gets on completely the wrong side of him and brings him down. Not only that, but f*ck me, we get given a penalty. Wonders never cease. Up saunters Eden to poke in his 109th goal for the club. 3-0. They were doing an impression of us. Utterly baffled on the sideline, Dracula’s cousin, watching his mob inexplicably crumble, prepared to send on Iwobi and Guendouzi to salvage something. If possible the atmosphere was even flatter than before, with their mob silenced. But they clawed one back. Banging volley from Iwobi seconds after his introduction, not a chance for Kepa as it went barrelling into the net. This is us. You didn’t think it would be easy did you?

Pedro Unicorn off for Willian. We needn’t have worried about a Goon comeback. Hazard seemed determined to give us a parting gift. Eden to The Beard, back to Eden who slammed it into the bottom corner. Four goals in 23 minutes. He finishes his career with us on 110. Their heads had really dropped now. Hazard almost grabbed a third on 74, but Cech had the time to sort that out. Back up the other end it went, but Aubameyang’s shot was pretty pathetic, Barkley coming on for Kovacic – who along with Jorginho and Kante absolutely bossed this game in the second half. Conversely, off shuffled Ozil, looking more defeated than the Kaiser making a run for Holland in 1918. Shameful, spineless individual.

Little Willy ran the length of the pitch and almost scored, but once again Cech was equal to the effort. He was the only Goon entitled to hold his head up. Willian was in again on 79, but Sokratis put it out. They were deader in the water than submarine with the sun roof open. Dave could have scored on 80, and it had become mostly about not conceding a fifth for them. They couldn’t even score in front of a goal with no Kepa in it on 82, and Aubameyang was offside anyway. Willock surely in on 83, put it wide. Their subs had made a difference, but too little too late. No hatrick for Eden, but off on 88 for a standing ovation. Bingo! The crying Arsenal kid! My night was complete. Lacazette and Aubameyang’s Laurel and Hardy coming together on 90 minutes summed up the night for those two.

So: Europa league for them next season. Their travelling fans didn’t deserve that damning result. Neither did the Waxwork Corpse after they inexplicably fell apart in the second half. Bellerin deserves to be miserable for his dangly earrings. For once they all looked as deflated and beaten as Ozil. What is wrong with that fool? Is it psychological? In the studio Cesc didn’t think so. “I just think some players have it, some don’t.” He was talking about the ability to inspire. He didn’t call him a terrible footballer, but he said he was made to look better than he perhaps is when he was surrounded by greatness at Real. He isn’t the source of that greatness, and he doesn’t have it in him to be the main man. He also needs to play in a team that dominates possession, and he just doesn’t see the slant he did in Spain. There’s been much talk about “letting Ramsey leave.” Arguably he’s running screaming from a setup that is doomed to fail for several years to come. Emery has already bled the maximum out of that group of players.

But who cares about them? Two defeats in our last 19 games. We are the only club ever to win this competition unbeaten, and yet I’ve never seen such understated celebrations at a European win. Because there was no proper crowd to celebrate with. Thanks to UEFA. Rudi at least had a shirt on over his suit that set off his crutches nicely, tho he was piggy backed round for much of the festivities. Pedro Unicorn is the first player to win World Cup, European Championship. Premier League, Champions League and the Europa League, and he looked justifiably smug about it with the trophy slung over his shoulder. If you’re wondering why Dave and Cahill almost dropped it – the base is made of f*cking lead. Weighs a ton. Speaking of Cahill, I’m not sure why he couldn’t have a few minutes at the end by way of a send off. It irked me. At least he got to jointly attempt to lift the trophy. The media prised a comment out of Eden like the scavenging little b*stards they are. He was plying the party line “tonight is all about this win” but they kept on pushing. And we all knew it was on the way. Rob Green – European winner. Love it. Wonder how Conktois feels about that? Well done Christensen too, who apparently didn’t miss a single minute in this cup campaign. Gary Neville was moaning about Kepa, who was understandably nervy at the beginning of his first European final. What? “Can’t accept him.” Well its a good job he’s winning trophies with Chelsea instead of having been at Valencia for that two week spell you were in charge. Bellend.

As for Sarri, he crossed the white lines. F*ck a duck. Drank his orange juice with a cigar ready to go in his pocket. He may not have our love, but surely he deserves a modicum of respect for what he has achieved in one season in English football, however turgid it was at times. If you didn’t feel a bit of warmth for him as he turned that medal over in his hands with a little grin on his face, his first, then your heart is colder than a witch’s tit. That was a dream coming true for him, and if he buggers off and takes nothing else but the lingering smell of nicotine with him, he deserves that much.

The book will be out in the next few days, as soon as I’ve written a tribute to Eden and finished editing it. It’ll also have the “missing” blogs and exclusive season reviews. It’s been a blast, at least some of the time. Other times I’ve wanted to don a jetpack and blast my way clear of the weirdest display of up and down I’ve ever seen from us in a single term. Peace out. See you next season, bitches.