Naaarwich 2 Chelsea 3: Just your average, run of the mill VAR CLUSTERF*CK. I was moaning enough about it before it screwed us. Nevertheless, we picked up our first victory. Despite the best efforts of Pukki and his farmyard posse. I sh*t you not, I watched this on my phone, in part, with a WW2 contingent of American servicemen stationed in the far east and eating Pringles. In Kent. It’s as bonkers as it sounds. They were dressy-up people. But they get the raging hump if you don’t call them “living historians.” Tammy came to life, Mason was notable, so was Jorginho. Losing Kante so late and Pedro Pony in the warm up was less than ideal, but we battled through it, and thats all I really ask for at this stage. We’re not looking at the finished team. We’re doing the best we can in the face of a new style, the loss of our best player, a new management team, a transfer ban, and a pile of significant injuries.
In the News: Frank is thrilled for Jorginho in the wake of his new popularity. He’s earned it, and as Frank points out, “he never hid” despite the criticism he received in his first season. Let’s face it, he was saddled to Sarri, whether he liked it or not. This must have been like the kid who sh*ts his pants at school and eats his own bogies telling everyone he’s your best mate. But he’s come through the other side. Good for him. I said it on the Fancast this week, as far as I’m concerned, him and Kovacic get a fresh start this season. Mason Mount has got an England call up, though Tammy is coming into form just a little too late for this round of international dirge. Rudi hustled his way through 90 minutes for the U23s last night. Huzzah. Apparently, new boy Pulisic rejected a move to United on the basis of his dad not being able to stand Chequebook Pulis and not believing that he would get a chance to actually play football. Zappacosta has been loaned out to Roma, paving the way for Reece James to make a play for a first team spot. We’ve blocked Bakayoko going back to Monaco temporarily though, because we’re worried about not recouping the £40m we paid for him. Sorry, but the only way we’d ever recoup that is if we chopped him up and sold his organs off on eBay, and even then he‘d have to have a blood type as rare as Unicorn p*ss.
More streams of vile, racist abuse on twitter. Especially after Kurt’s own goal today. What on earth gives these people the right? Actually, what gives Facebook and Twitter and their ilk the right to let it happen? Oliver Holt thinks clubs must do more to stop the scapegoating of black players. What? Firstly. What are you talking about, you hairband wearing fool? You are giving pond scum far too much credit. This is not what is happening, what is happening, is morons with the intellectual capacity of your average amoeba seeing a black person miss a penalty, or scoring an own goal, flapping away at a smartphone because they have no comprehension about the social connotations or impropriety of what they are doing. The clubs are not letting systematic and preventable abuse happen. There is no strategic thought behind it such as Holt insinuates, they are not capable of such a thing. At fault are the social media twats themselves for letting these a*seholes use their apps. They make BILLIONS as a result of providing these platforms. Therefore there is no argument in which it should not be their responsibility to safeguard users against this kind of sh*t, and all the other negatives that come with their great fortune. Anyone who says otherwise is a c*nt. So there. In the words of the prophet, Christopher Reeve: What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely.” Read that and weep, Twitter bitches.
In the world of the Virtual A*sehole Rampage, apparently referees are now being dissuaded from checking screens after a tumultuous introduction to the Premier League. Sure. Because that will make everything ok. Apparently Lukaku was bored at United. Might have been less so if he’d taken the revolutionary step of attempting to earn his wages. He reckons he’s lost half a stone already under Antonio’s revolutionary regime at Inter: Move off the spot once in a while and stop eating like a fat b*stard. Someone should patent that. Podgettino rueing the fact that he rejected swapping Eriksen for Dybala and now it looks like he will end up with neither. Oh well, what a shame. The wisdom of Eric Cantona: As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods. Even allowing for the fact that he’s French, there has to be a screw loose there.
*I have lots of French friends who think he’s barking and are laughing at that, before anyone contacts the Daily Mail.
Lineker apparently being probed after mean comments about bald pundits. Do give over. In such situations, can we not just send the archive footage of him sh*tting his pants in front of the whole world round on TV? Far more satisfying. Mind you this is the BBC, who are so frightened of offending anyone, ever, that they will literally steal your work if they can give it to a disabled, LGBTWTF alien to present on camera so they can crow about how inclusive they are. Yack.
*You can’t have a go at me. It’s fact. They’ve GENUINELY done it to me enough times.
More to the point, that big-eared chump, who is about as fun as period pains during a prolonged Nandos with Michael Owen, in which he leaves you to go and get the cutlery and place the order, gets paid nearly £2m a year. And some of it is MY money. I’m going to find something to kick.
*I have no defence for mocking big-eared people. I’m just a bad person.
The definitive argument on Brexit came from Ian Holloway on the subject of the continent’s butt-monkey, f*ckwit ruling on handballs. You can suspend all of the bad feeling, the squabbling and the uncertainty. Because the oracle has spoken: “I hope we get out, Brexit… because you cannot have someone telling us how to do our own game.” I’m drunk. And even I know this is ridiculous. And RIP Bury. I’d like to type a heartfelt missive about the plight of lower league clubs in today’s game. But I’m half cut. And I don’t even know where Bury is. Still, sad.
The Others: The Daily Fail are doing their utmost to award the Scouse the title IN AUGUST. Apparently it will be the first time since Maggie Thatcher resigned, since Klopp played in front of 5,000 people and Baggio smashed the transfer record at £8m. Excuse me while I choke on my own vomit. They realise we’ve play FOUR GAMES. Right? Since believing that they were going to win the treble after their first game, United have come crashing down to earth faster than a space shuttle with a lawnmower engine for a booster. Firstly, former blue Van Aanholt sank them at Old Trafford, and today, they couldn’t beat Southampton. Teehee. Not sure we could at the moment, but that’s not the point. Also, they are paying £16m this season just to make Sanchez go away. Sp*rs lost to Newcastle. See, we’re not the only ones. We had the lameness of Atkinson last week, and what is his punishment for a truly f*cking atrocious performance at Carrow Road? He gets the North London Derby tomorrow. Jesus wept. Speaking of which, apparently we were disgracefully behaved up there. One John Conway complained that he witnessed Chelsea fans singing about Canaries having six fingers, and that when he asked them to stop, they threw a steak pie at his head. The only travesty of that is that is sounds like a waste of a decent pie. Apparently it was very hot and he had pastry in his eyeball. Which I think is a lie, because last time I checked eyeballs weren’t permeable. Certainly not at the hands of shortcrust. Oh and VAR made a tit of itself. Again.
Us: Frank was always going to give Tomori a shot, but he couldn’t let them all of the leash at once, and arguably Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham play in more stretched positions, or had performed better in preseason. We’d been leaking goals, so a change wasn’t out of the realms of possibility. It could have been either or, so far as Christensen and Zouma are concerned for me, so not a slap in the face for either. Our bench looked pretty thin, in terms of midfield, as was to become painfully evident. Once again we took our youngest ever starting lineup last week, and went even younger.
Gonzo (Muppet alias) would like it told, that he has a one hundred percent record of being in his seat before kick off. I told him we’d only played two games at home so far, but he was determined not to let anyone p*ss on his parade. Tyler (Sitcom alias) was seen rapidly cramming a pie in his face in order to be ready to take him on in the four-pint-challenge at halftime. He was duly mocked. In the meantime, Alf Garnett was chipper as you like. This was not to last.
The usual pacy start. Barkley looked desperate to impress. A little too desperate perhaps. Tammy was in on five minutes, but it got away from him under pressure from two defenders. A minute later Ross was heading it into the six yard box, but nobody claimed it, before Mount wrestled the ball away from them to run at goal; only to be pulled up for a foul. We’d been much the more proactive in the opening ten minutes, and yet chances had been slim on the ground. There followed a lull, in which Tyler regaled us as to his wedding plans, before on 18 minutes we broke out. Pulisic made it, cross in from Dave, Tammy’s header was weak, but Henderson spilled it and Tammy was there to make good. 1-0. Maybe. Life has been forever ruined for the match going fan, for although we get up and applaud, we stand looking at the referee waiting for confirmation, by which time the heat of the moment has passed, along with the instant jubilation of seeing the ball hit the back of the net. F*ck VAR. And f*ck the Premier League for inflicting it on us every week, for not giving a damn about the people who pay to go to the games, and for lying abut the extent of the impact it would have.
We needed to be sensible, for Sheffield were already proving that they were far from pushovers. There was an elaborate amount of showmanship over the ball from Emerson and Barkley, who hit the free kick in the end. Straight at the wall. Another ball in from Abraham went through to Kovacic, who just shanked it wide across the face of goal. In return, we were very nearly undone in two balls on 38. The only hair raising moment of the half, and luckily Callum Robinson missed the diving header. Big inquest by the United defence after they ballsed it up and gave Abraham another chance. Another great goal from Tammy, he’s taking chances that require composure and skill, which is all good going forward. We could even get the goal difference back to zero, said Alf Garnett with a big grin. Mason Mount found himself in before halftime, but it deflected on its way towards goal and out for a corner. We may not have been frantically attacking for the whole game, but rarely did we look troubled at the back either. But. And it’s a big but.
We came out dozing. Again. They came out very perky. Not surprised given our record of being half asleep after the break. And what happens? They score in seconds. Dave done, Kurt done. Their one single effort on target so far. Sorry Alf. Very evenly spread game going forward now. They had a lot more actual attacking intent about them, and grew in confidence. That said, an outstanding flick almost led to a hatrick for Tammy. Then it was back up the other end and it looked like we’d been carved open, but Tomori was there to clean up. Not the only time today.
Alf: “We’ve only got to hold on for any other 35 minutes.” It would have been funny if it wasn’t so accurate. It looked like we had got our sh*t together, but still we squandered our chances and there is that worrying tendency of giving the ball away. If we could not strive to be as beneficent as Mother Theresa on a guilt trip on a weekly basis, it would be appreciated. Willian on for Barkley on 60. Please be better, I said. Or at least look like you’re interested, quipped Alf Jr. To be fair he played an outstanding ball through to Tammy straight away, but the latter took his eye off it. Kovacic sprung forth again on 62, but Abraham couldn’t play it out to Willian without clipping the defender and another chance went to waste. An emphatic block from Zouma on 68 as they ran in on goal, and he smacked it into the ad boards. They were still looking for something from this game. Jorginho continues to impress with his do over, and the adulation that followed after he dug the ball out on the edge of the box was deserved.
We had looked better since Willian came on at that point, I’ll give him that, but we still couldn’t get back on top of this game. From a lovely summer day we’d ended up with floodlights on in August and pouring rain. Said it all, as the match deteriorated from our point of view. Fair play to them, it’s becoming clear to opposing teams that if you stay in touch, you can hope to get something out of the game. We badly needed to change up the midfield, but we couldn’t. Not effectively, because every first team choice not on the pitch was injured. Come to think of it, Kovacic was on the pitch AND injured. Frank was either going to have to play Christensen out of position and lock it down, or bring on an actual midfielder: Billy Gilmour, who turned 18 a few weeks ago.
Corner headed just over the bar by Zouma and then they came back at us. Come on Chelsea sang the crowd, which is code for please don’t f*ck this up. On 87 they looked in again, after the Batman gave ball away high up, but there was Tomori steaming in once more. He did well today overall. Then an own goal from Kurt. Harsh on him. He’ll become the whipping boy again, when in actual fact he wasn’t sh*t today. People streaming out. Not on. Where is this solidarity and this emotional investment in a new era, one we’ve proclaimed to want? Sadly, when JK said on the Fancast this week that he thought there was plenty of snarkiness simmering beneath the surface regarding this “free pass” for Frank this season, it doesn’t appear that he was wrong. 2-2 and for some, it seemed, it was the end of the world.
So: It was the hardest result to take so far, I’ll give you that. But, to be fair to Frank, he went for the option you should at home: to win the game, not cling on against a newly promoted side. The Batman came on, as did Gilmour, the teenager. Who wasn’t even listed on the programme. He’s little, unlike the size of Frank’s balls. He made Mason Mount look old, and yet Frank wouldn’t have put him out there if he thought he was incapable. People have pointed to this as the reason we conceded, but actually, it had nothing to do with the debutant. We were under the cosh the entire half, and it was the only midfield option Frank had. Sheffield United had plenty of opportunities to take something from this game that had nothing to do with our substitutions. I didn’t have a problem with it. “Play the yoof,” people have proclaimed for several seasons. “F*ck all these prima donnas, let the kids have a go. We’ll finish 10th but we’ll have our Chelsea back.” Well, we did. We are, we might, and we have. And yet certain fans don’t seem to be able to comprehend that the price you pay is a lack of experience, a lack of composure, the inability to close games out and the chance that you might have to live with a dip in the results that you have become accustomed to, especially when half the experienced players are out injured and others: Dave. Willian, are well below par. Some people don’t seem to be able to marry one with the other. Added to that, this is categorically, unless there is an outbreak of bubonic plague, the weakest our squad will be: ALL. SEASON. Was today disappointing? Of course, we led by two goals. Is it the end of the world? No. Six goals so far and all of them from Mount or Abraham. How’s that for yoof? I think we should just do what Gerrard did his whole career and fake niggly ingrowing toenails and fake injuries so nobody goes on international duty. These next couple of weeks are really important for Frank and his team. Rudi and Kante we need back desperately to be able to shut teams out. The likes of Pedro Pony, Ruben and CHO coming back will give us infinitely more options going forward. Then maybe we can all calm the f*ck down.