What a difference a week makes in the world of football.
Our captain, legend, leader now thinks we can win the title again – I was merry after our win on Monday but didn’t go that far, JT – Man Utd showed what would have been described ‘The Spirit of Istanbul’ had it happened 30 miles down the M62, and next year’s FIFA branded computer game will need a new commentator.
What a team performance on Monday. Following a shaky opening ten minutes, Dids silenced the critics who claim that his dip in form following a bout of Malaria signalled the beginning of the end for the talismanic Ivorian were eating their words with a nice side of humble pie.
My frustration with the re-tinted spectacles of the press can be summed up with the case of Didier; he now has ten in the league this season and sits joint 4th in the goal-scoring charts, but is ‘finished’, whilst Wooney has three all season but is still England’s saviour.
Cheryl Tweedy/Cole gets malaria and is at deaths door, Dids keeps playing and is slated for it. All we ask for is even reporting, lads (and ladies – I don’t want to be accused of sexism).
Back to Bolton, as confidence grew, we were doing that passing thing we have struggled with lately quite well, were looking dangerous on the counter, and even got a goal from midfield with Lamps absent.
My most recent observation noted that Ramires looked a goal away from looking like a very good all-round midfielder – let’s hope I was right. The bad moment has passed into a good moment, the corner has been turned Carlo said so himself.
The customary three points at Bolton, our 18th goal there without reply, and a first away win since October, as we keep being told. A chant last heard en masse at Villa Park, during Guus Hiddink’s first game in charge, rang round that corner of Lancashire: “Chelsea Are Back”.
On to Tuesday night and an evening of ignoring the footy to try and bring good luck, and to appease the long-suffering Mrs Morris Minor. When I received a text telling me it was 2-0 at half time, I didn’t get carried away, experience told me that it would be a 2-2 draw, how right I nearly was.
However, having watched the highlights, the penalty incident has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. In 2011 alone, there have been ‘stone wall’ penalties at West Brom and Blackpool not given against the refs XI.
Compare the barge on Varney to the penalty given at Salford Industrial Estate against Liverpool in the FA Cup and tell me which on sees more foul contact. I know we are told that these decisions even themselves out over the year, but that means there are already three to go against United based on the past four weeks.
Their fans have tried to even it out on forums and chat sites by saying Adam should have been sent off for his elbow on Evra. Two points on that; it wasn’t deliberate, and if it were, he would have been due a knighthood, not a red card.
The ‘it all evens out in the end’ theory also means we are due one following the penalty not given for the foul on Nico on Monday. Even if we are 4-0 up, it’s still a penalty. Sian Massey would have given it.
My personal gripe against United getting decisions stems back to the 1994 Cup Final and Mr Ellery’s decision to award a penalty at 0-0 despite contact on the half way line. Being only just out of short trousers, I couldn’t understand why such a poor decision could be made in a Cup Final – I have come to believe that such decisions earn officials a free seat and complimentary half bottle of wine at the Old Trafford end of season dinner and dance. They will need to hire a bigger function room at this season’s rate.
However, trying to find positives, at least we no longer have to listen to Mr Gray’s pro Fergie bleating on the travelling football fans worst nightmare – Sky Sports.
It is clear that Keys and Gray were not very well liked within Murdoch Towers, as the amount of YouTube footage appearing featuring them making less than wise comments will soon send the net into meltdown.
I for one think, as Keys himself said on TalkSport yesterday, that they have been slightly hard done by. Given the resignation of Cameron’s PR guru last week due to phone tapping, using a recording of a private conversation to remove someone from their job seems to me, at best, dubious.
I do not condone their comments, but fully appreciate that ‘industrial’ language is part and parcel of any male dominated workplace, it’s just that not many of them have microphones and cameras catching what gets said.
Note to self, don’t ask female colleagues to ‘tuck it in’, or discuss ‘smashing it’ with the lads if I’m being filmed.
I do think it’s a bit rich that pundits can slate male referees and their assistants for making poor decisions every week, and as soon as gender is bought into the matter, it becomes a national talking point. I know it was the manner in which it was said, but I stand by my point. In fact, I may start a petition against that ‘Loose Women’ programme…
So a vacancy for an expert analyst is waiting to be filled. Who else but Raymond Wilkins would suit such a position? Likable? Definitely. Knowledgable? Of course. Impartial? Well 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, and it would be nice to get some positive spin from a Chels point of view.
An important point to note is that the big decision Ms Massey made was correct, the real talking point as far as I was concerned was that Liverpool got three points, and following last night’s result against Fulham moves them up to seventh.
With the season they’ve had already, and we’re supposed to be the ones in turmoil?