Firstly ladies and gents, Happy New Year to you all (regardless of who you support), may 2022 be an easier, more prosperous and healthy year and a big thanks for the support as always!
Gonna kick the football off with the crazy situation that started unfolding last week following an interview with Chelsea striker Romelo Lukaku.
I have to say that if you ignore the sensationalist headlines and read the actual transcript it’s not really that bad.
I could spend a page breaking it down, but if you’re interested I suggest you read it for yourselves.
Saying that I’m not defending the Belgian. Despite the fairly innocuous comments, I agree with coach Thomas Tuchel, it brought a lot of “noise” and that’s the last thing you want especially ahead of a gigantic game.
However you interpret Lukaku’s words, there’s no doubt that he was extremely naïve to open his bek like that knowing the sensitive nature of fans and more importantly, the snivelling press who can build a crisis story out of silent fart.
Like most Chelsea fans, I believe the decision to drop the number nine entirely from the squad to face Liverpool was correct.
Despite the gravity of the game, (and his recent return to form) a stand had to be made. It’s what top managers do, because if they don’t they don’t last.
The situation illustrated the old adage “no player is bigger than the club”. As you’ll know, I’m 50/50 on Lukaku.
I don’t believe he’s a £98m player. He’ll get a decent tally of goals, but his allround game leaves a lot to be desired.
He’s scored a couple of really important ones recently and it’s a shame timing-wise that he wasn’t playing and continued his run. I had the pleasure of chatting to his agent a few months ago and it seemed clear then that Lukaku’s final destination definitely isn’t Chelsea…
He’s pissed off Inter fans in the process of moving to Stamford Bridge, so his reported wish to return to Italy is unlikely. Don’t be surprised if he eventually lands up in Madrid!
Deputizing him on Sunday was a particularly melancholy Kai Havertz who floated around for 70 minutes like a stoned hippy until finally after ANOTHER offside flag Tuchel screamed “WAAAKE UP” before pulling him off a few minutes later. Lukaku was needed and we missed him.
It was a brilliant game to watch! A true Premier League spectacle. Where else can you find a top-level football match like that? It was frenetic, so highly strung…
Beautiful skill coupled with appalling defending, it was exhausting to watch, can you imagine how it must have felt to play in it? The complete opposite to Pep Guardiola’s perfect bore-fests.
City of course were the big winners given the Chelsea result, they’ll more than likely go on and win the league and deserve it. But I’m not a purist like that, I ain’t no football nerd, not the type to sit through Serie ‘A’ games wanking over their technical prowess.
A good old-fashioned 90 mile an hour toe-to-toe that stops you emptying your bladder before half time is what it’s all about. In all honesty the Blues have been devoid of that kind of performance for some time and it was incredible to see fight, spirit and commitment back at the Bridge.
It’s gonna be a tough few weeks ahead for everyone given the loss of Afcon players, Covid and injuries. Its Carabao Cup semifinal action tomorrow night as Chelsea meet Spurs in West London before the return leg next week, followed by a trip to the Etihad to face City and a MUCH improved Arsenal host Liverpool in the other two-legged affair (first leg on Thursday) before a tasty North London derby at the Tottenham Stadium.
Not forgetting FA Cup football coming up this weekend! Madness…
Good people, stay safe out there, do your bit, get vaxxed, keep yourself and those around you protected. Chat next week…