AFC Bournemouth 0 Chelsea 1
Saturday 28th April 2017 17:30
So I’ve been on a road trip in the USA to see some of the most awesome people I know. In the meantime…
Roma 3-3. Massive amount of nappy sh*tters going into meltdown after this one. From my vantage point many miles away, yes we squandered a 2-0 lead but the vestige of this effluent bunch this season appears to be forgetting that it isn't all about us. Occasionally you have to factor in the opposition. They are a very good side and they puzzled it out. We have seven points halfway through the group stages. Not only that, but when you consider that Atletico failed to beat Carrier Bag it was as good as a win, because they are languishing without a single win with a measly two points to their name. Janice (muppet alias) is helping by me compile this on the coach home from the seaside and she also wants to point out that we then came back from 2-3 down after they turned the game around. This would not have happened under Chequebook Pulis.
Watford 4-2. I watched this hanging out of my arse in a hotel room at 7:30am after a long night in Columbia, South Carolina. First half we were the better side; second we were awful. But we scored three goals whilst being outplayed. In days gone by we would have made three w*nk like-for-like substitutions and achieved nothing. Antonio bossed it. And the players he put faith in to sort it out responded. Not so much hysteria after this one but I missed the point where a win isn't a win if we don't smash the opposition. We came for three points. We got three points. Do we want this harebrained chaos every week? Of course not. But job done against an in-form side who came to the Bridge to actually beat us.
Everton 2-1. I think for this one I was ambling around Savannah, Georgia, and eating lunch at a place called Spanky's. Or I may have still been in Charleston abusing a valet who claimed he "supports" Sp*rs AND the Scouse and said that Sturridge was his favourite "footballer". (I pointed out one can't claim something as one's occupation when one only works two days a year.) If I had had a spare twelve hours I might have tried to fix him, but we had to get to Florida. Large number of changes for the competition we care least about, against a side who would be hoping for new impetus having canned their manager. Hung in the balance for too long, but again, job done and players rotated out and rested with no consequences. And another home tie in the next round.
So the way I see it, whilst admittedly drunk and rambling around the Carolinas: three matches In a week, none easy, in three different competitions and no f*ck-ups. It may be a diabetic coma caused by the horrific amount of high fructose corn syrup still in my system after my trip across the pond, but I'm pretty zen about that.
In the News: I only landed yesterday lunchtime, so there isn't much. Antonio swore. He said bullsh*t. Three times. To be honest, I swear three times an hour about the press so the fact that it has taken him over a year to tell them that they behave like a*seholes is a massive achievement. It made me so proud to see him call the Red Swarm out for being the lying, skullduggerous b*stards that they are. I like to think this angry, sweary blog is rubbing off on him. While I was away Kobe Bryant (he plays that bizarre form of netball where they bounce it up and down a lot) met Harry F*cking Kane. I don't care if it isn't true, but I've seen a hilarious quote attributed to the American: "I'm fluent in four different languages and I have no idea what was coming outta that dude's mouth." (It's called spit, Kobe.) I'm also going to go out on a limb to guess that while I've been in the States, Paunchettino has said something existential and pointless in keeping with him trying to turn Sp*rs into the new Arsenal (never winning anything but obsessing about the moral high ground because their football is beautiful and all that sh*t) and that Chequebook Pulis has spent most of the last eight days talking out of his backside. Never cries about injuries. Apparently. Unless it's a day that ends in a Y. Oh and I'm back from Bournemuff (London pronunciation) and TM Lewin are using Gary Lineker as a model and touting him as Mr Perfect at Fulham Broadway station. By any stretch of the imagination this is outrageous false advertising. Even if you're his mum.
The Others: A Chequebook Pulis game that was tedious and sh*t? Nay says I. Not possible. Note how once again United face a team just as one of their key players gets injured. How jammy thou art. But it meant Sp*rs lost. So I can't be sad. We had a glimmer of hope Re laughing at L'Arse but it was snatched away after Tammy Abraham could have had the opportunity to fire Swansea two ahead. City flirted briefly with disaster, too, but won. The Scouse and Stoke picked up three points, whilst Palace and West Ham drew. Tomorrow "Super" Sunday offers the joy of Brighton versus Southampton and Leicester against Everton. When Burnley take on Newcastle on Monday, if my own hair does not need washing, I will be shampooing the kitten. Against his will.
Us: After multiple changes for the Everton game, Antonio reverted to a much more familiar looking side. Courtois returned with Dave, Luiz and Rudi in front of him. Fabregas partnered Bakayoko in midfield, Zappacosta and George Michael took the wingback spots and the creative sh*t was placed in the hands of Pesto (blah Auto-spell) Hazard and Morata.
It was an upbeat start from both teams, if anything we had a slight edge and our first shot came from Fabregas on seven minutes. It wasn’t bad, but it was well blocked. A minute later Pesto also battled his way to an opening but his attempt was over. Bournemouth were by no means idle, and they made a dangerous run shortly afterwards. Bakayoko looked like he was going to continue to vindicate Antonio’s observation about him a few weeks ago. Outstanding when it comes to retrieval, much, much room for improvement when actually in possession. Some wits changed his song slightly to “he sometimes give the ball away” but I continued to forgive him on account of his awesome new hair.
We were getting forward but Bournemouth were making a good job out of closing us down. Most of our attempts thus far had been from range and we hadn’t exactly been prolific, though the better of the two sides. Morata missed a sitter after being played in by Hazard on 24 minutes, then it was straight into the keepers hands a couple of minutes later. We had it in the back of the net before the half hour, but it was ruled out, wrongly, and I’m sticking to that even if there was a lunatic jumping up and down in front of me. But the Chelsea end was at least seeing the funny side, singing “we’re gonna score in a minute.” And so we went into half time at 0-0. And people started complaining. We weren’t winning, so it was a disaster. Once again there was a spate of forgetting that there was another team (and a bellend of a Lino) involved as well as us. Nobody in a Chelsea shirt had played badly, and we were unlucky not to be ahead, but the truth is that the home side had made a very good job of intercepting our play and had been disciplined and firm off the ball. All that happened in the first half, and yes, it was a tad disappointing, was that we failed to break them down. (Or at least failed to get credit for it)
We were shooting down the near end in the second half, which meant that we could at least stop mistakenly cheering everything in the six yard box as if we had scored. It was pretty much as you were for the opening few minutes, then the luck swung our way. A Bournemouth defender (I was too busy jumping up and down to care which) fell arse over tit to give Hazard a free run on the goal, but Eden had the mere tiniest bit of it to aim it and like the beautiful little genius he is he put it in the near corner. Or in the words of Chelsea Paul Weller's best mate in front of us, he put it on toast. Bournemouth had chances to level, we had more chances to extend our lead and between the sides several misplaced shots ended up on the beach. We looked the more likely to win it, because Bournemouth were not nearly so disciplined off the ball and were lacking a decent finish, but our major fault today was not enough end result for our attacking. We should have scored more than once.
A decent attempt from Bournemouth was cleared by Luiz on 75, at which point Conte decided to change it up with some fresh legs. Danny Drinkwater came on for Pesto, who managed to waste more time than a Palace player with his twenty yard detour to shake the ref’s hand. He is as good as Bosingwa was in making a meal out of getting off the pitch, in that he can move slower when he is told to jog off and hurry up and not walk. Vengeance for all the times other teams do it to us. Morata also trotted off, with the Roma game in mind and on came the Batman. At this point, with Drinkwater constantly fumbling with his junk and Hazard flaunting his rear end right in front of us, it was hard for the girls in Row H to concentrate on what was going on. The latter played the ball in to Fabregas on 82, but firing from an almost impossibly tight angle Cesc skimmed it just over the far corner of the goal. That was the last contribution from Eden, who went off on 84 for Willian, who when I went away was more Will-I-Ain’t. Happily, although it was a brief cameo today he looked capable of passing the ball to his own teammates and not like he was running about with concussion. I’ve got to say too, as of about the 40th minute Bakayoko got much better at not giving the ball away, and when it comes to winning it, his Inspector Gadget legs just defy human comprehension. Rudiger just looks better every time I see him.
Refwatch: Craig Poorson today. Not the walking f*cking catastrophe he usually is by any standard. My beefs are limited to missing two hands in the back on Hazard a couple of times and a turdlike use of advantage on 87 minutes, but I found it hugely entertaining when he then booked Simon Francis. He protested, and Pawson pointed at his lino and said: "He made me do it." This is the least of the accusations that that knob deserved after he ruled out a goal and gave offside against us after one of their players headed it on for us. Not sure Roger East needed to signal for four minutes of injury time but it did us no harm in the end, as the most that was required as the minutes ticked down was a well placed header from Zappacosta and a quick catch from Thibaut at medium range to secure the win.
So: Why, when there are only 1300 tickets on offer, would you take the trouble of hogging one to stand there and abuse one of your own players while they are warming up? I did find it funny that the chump shouting "Yes Luiz, you can hear me, I'm talking to you, you need to start playing for the manager and not against him" felt comfortable doing it repeatedly when Luiz was running the other way, but scampered into the crowd when he was facing him. For David's part, and he can be proud, the withering look of hate he gave this nonsensical twat matched the ones I dish out to anyone who smokes near me in places where there are no smoking signs, supports Sp*rs, or walks into me because they are dicking about on their mobile phone.
On the other hand there were several candidates for genius of the day. There was the brilliantly English bloke behind us freezing his nuts off out of principle in a pair of shorts because he was at the seaside. (This after I witnessed everyone who works at Busch Gardens in Tampa shivering in a fleece and complaining about the cold because it was only 22 degrees celsius on Thursday.) However he was trumped by Winnie (new sitcom Alias - Mrs Brown) who regaled us all with her spare pair of knickers/Paolo Ferreira story on the coach. (If I'm honest I should probably stop there with that one.) But in the end I gave this award to myself. Because whenever people ask me how to find my blog online I now tell them to google "Blue Waffle." Mwhahahahaha (Evil laugh) — [ed.note: strongly advise against actually Googling it].
I love Zappacosta’s song, but more volume is definitely required. For the record: “He’s a star man, running down the right, his name is Zappacosta and he’s f*cking dynamite.” If you don’t know the tune then you should just hang your head in shame.
Not only did we take home three points after a spirited performance from the home side, we also won the kids relay race at half time. Even if we did have a thirty year old running the last leg who almost blew a twenty yard lead. A most entertaining day out not least for the smutfest on the way home looking at player photos. I'm not sure some of the men on the club coach will recover from what they have heard. City have stretched away a bit for now, but despite Walmart's best attempts to convince me otherwise with fifteen aisles of tinsel and baubles, we're not even approaching Christmas yet. We remain fourth, and a victory against CP next week could take us within touching distance of second. Hopefully we'll be within reach of the knockout stages of the Champions League by then too. Contrary to the conviction that this is us failing, I see this as a solid second season in the hands of Conte so far. By no means perfect, but neither was our summer recruitment drive and so far for me he's doing well enough at balancing the much increased workload compared to last season. We are capable of excellence (Madrid away) but it’s not yet consistent enough in the midst of a full fixture list. There are far worse positions to be in. And Sp*rs lost. With the Diving Little Sh*t missing an open goal apparently.
And just a reminder - all donations still being gratefully received for the Desert Walk in aid of Veterans in Action. I'll be trotting from the Dead Sea to the site of Petra in just a couple of weeks' time. Donate (via Virgin Giving) by clicking here.