I’m terrible this season in predictions. Absolutely terrible. So when I say I think we’re out, if you believe in jinxes there may be hope. I don’t believe in jinxes. We’re out. We have as much chance as I do with Emma Stone. The funny thing is, we weren’t bad yesterday. We were better than them in the first half, we didn’t employ a cynical defensive job and attacked them (although how much of that was due to us conceding early?) Why does that the fact we actually took the game to them make me feel even worse? Probably because we still lost 3-1 due to a few mistakes.
So for next game, we need to sacrifice one player and sneak in Matic. I wonder what hairstyle we can place on Matic and make him pass off as a player in the Champions League squad. Hmm… put a blondish wig and call him Kalas? Or maybe Bieber-fy him and call him Van Ginkel. Both of them are 6’ or taller.
Ideally I’d pick the worst player and say Torres, but then UEFA would be suspicious if he suddenly played well.
The 2nd leg has been compared to the Napoli matchup. While we do have the manager who’s been putting down the players by saying it (as opposed to just putting them down on the bench a la AVB) the only way this analogy works is if we sack Mourinho before the weekend and hire an ex-Chelsea midfielder manager (Poyet? Deschamps?). Yes, we do have Stoke at home again before the 2nd leg at home.
This is more like Barcelona at 04/05 perhaps, if we can pull off a comeback. Because, we’ll probably need a wave of attacks. We didn’t even have Drogba then, but Duffer, Joe Cole, Lampard and Gudjohnsen brought the sexy back for the first 20 minutes.
This is theoretical. Like I said, not going to happen. Moving on.
Kids, if you’re ever in the middle of something very important with a lot of pressure, and a chance arises to really make your mark… don’t over think it and for goodness sakes, don’t try to be fancy. If you’re a lawyer and the witness you’re cross-examining opens the door for you to catch them making a statement you can point to, just get it done with. Don’t go "Ha ha! Gotcha, you fool"
What on earth am I talking about, I hear you say? I’m talking about Danny Welbeck. All the pressure in the world, a break arises… he’s free and the only person in front being Neuer. Bayern Munich Manuel Neuer. One of the best goalkeepers in the world playing for one of the best teams in the world. Everyone becomes silent. This is unexpected; Manchester United were supposed to be in fetal position begging Bayern to stop. Heck, I said prior to the game that if Bayern didn’t win by three goals it would be an achievement for the English club.
And what does he do? He tries to be clever and chip the goalie. He failed. Hit the ball, blast the ball, round the keeper… but don’t be cocky unless your name is Messi (or Ramires to be fair). Even Fernando "Goal?" Torres knew not to be cocky when his chance came. He rounded Valdes and slipped the ball into the warm embrace of the net.
People, when opportunity knocks in your life, let this be a lesson to you. Don’t try to be clever. Just get it done with.
In other rumors, Lukaku’s been linked with Everton and Tottenham for a sale. Now, I’ve made my views very clear on selling Lukaku (it’s somewhere between hell no and going postal on my range), but selling to Spurs makes me laugh.
To paraphrase, I wouldn’t sell Spurs herpes.
Opposition player to catch my eye: Veratti. If PSG is still hellbent on getting Pogba, can we ask them if they’re willing to part with him? Matic and Veratti midfield… tasty.
The ‘will this cliché ever die please?’ thought: Mourinho leaving early only when he wins and it’s disrespectful. Handshakes after Pastore’s goal. And I don’t blame him, if I was him you’d have seen me riding a Segway saying "Fuck this, bitches" on the way to the tunnel.
The ‘what have we learned from Torres this midweek’ thought: Nothing. I learned nothing. And seemingly neither did he. And more depressingly, Mourinho. I disliked experimenting with Schurrle in a major away game again without having tried it in lesser matches, and would criticize Mourinho but for my relief that Torres didn’t start. But then he came on a sub. Either put on Mikel if we were going to go for the draw or put in Ba if you had hope for another goal. Torres helped in neither.
Random ex-Chelsea manager of the week: Roberto Di Matteo. Current events have not been updated.
European thoughts: Are you managing the best team in the world, playing a game at Old Trafford? Victory right there if you just take your chance?
Why not tiki and taka about with no striker? In some alternate universe Robben, Ribery and Schweinsteiger tapping the ball endlessly about rather than doing their more quicker performances like last season makes sense. Yes they had like 16 shots, I don’t know how many of them were even deadly. See how quickly Mandzukic was thrown on after Vidic’s goal? That was the "oh crap, tiki malfunctioning" moment. A team that should have no chance of progressing has a chance, even if it’s small. Football…
Random non-football thought: I’m not a Star Wars fan. Sure, I’ve watched all six movies and the original three were enjoyable, but I wouldn’t call myself a fan. So I was confused when I heard they were making more movies. More? For what reason? Story’s over, did the prequels… what else to say? But like I said, not a fan and apparently the story continuing was discussed multiple times over the decades. But then one thought came to mind. Slap ‘Knights of the Old Republic’ on the name, and I’ll walk barefoot on glass to watch it.
Lastly, Slap Bet is probably my favourite sitcom episode ever. Just saying.