I LOVE the smell of gooner blood in the morning . . .
Wenger is deluded; someone should check whether the Iraqi Head of Communications job is still available because he would be perfect. What’s so tragic is that Arsenal fans believe all the guff he comes out with. It’s like a cult.
You speak to any gooner and they get this slightly unhinged look in their eye and start talking, almost in tongues, about all that is good and pure in the game — how their football transcends anything as base and sordid as winning, the Corinthian spirit, their youngsters, how they are building for the future . . . at this point I usually tip-toe quietly away lest they steal my shoes and lock all the exits.
Obviously Arsenal fans are easily duped, but Wenger can’t honestly think that we believe his thinly-disguised diversion tactics.
It was “easy” — no it wasn’t. “We dominated the game” — no you didn’t. Chelsea had more possession, more shots on target and as many corners as Arsenal. The only statistics Arsenal “dominated” were in fouls committed and shots off target. I think we can let them have those.
Arsenal gave us a few anxious moments but so a club of their so-called calibre should —it doesn’t prove anything. Any team from Stoke to Blackburn could put together some fancy footwork, but what’s the point if it gets you nowhere?
For all this constant fawning over the “artistry” of Arsenal, some of Chelsea’s link-up play was simply stunning and on more than one occasion you saw a drop of the shoulder or a dazzling shimmy and we were off with the ball before Arsenal knew which way they were meant to be facing. Drogba’s pirouette which led to our first goal was rather pretty too.
One thing that impressed me was Jack Wilshere —a decent player who bossed their midfield with an ease that belied his age. I wonder if in years to come we will be arguing if he and McEachran can play together in the middle for England?
But back to the here and now. When Alex steps up to take a free kick, we all know what is coming — the crowd, his team-mates, the opposition and no doubt Fabianski too. Drogba magnanimously handed the ball over to Alex, obviously having heard the whole stadium chanting the Brazilian’s name and acutely aware that he could not in all conscience demand the ball only to produce something on a par with his previous effort.
The moment it left his foot it was going in; Malouda who was in the wall could see that and sensibly got out of the way, leaving a nice convenient gap and ensuring that his head remained on his shoulders at the same time.
As I left the ground on Sunday with yet another victory over Arsenal under our belts, I thought about the mess Liverpool were in and how lucky we were. Liverpool, once arguably the biggest club in the world, are on their knees and here we are riding the crest of a wave.
I know usually when I mention Liverpool in this column, it is with a sense of animosity, but not in this case. It’s sad to see a club, any club, saddled with enormous debt and factions fighting within it. We were there ourselves not too long ago.
For me, it makes me even more thankful for Abramovich and the stability that he has finally brought to Chelsea. He has made his fair share of mistakes, but it is only when you see other clubs virtually imploding that you understand that in the foreign owner lottery we scooped the rollover.
We have a state-of-the art training complex that could rival any clubs in the world. We have a youth academy that seems to be finally bearing fruit. We have had investment in the team and the stadium and we have had success beyond our wildest dreams. All this is thanks in the main to Roman Abramovich.
When a club is in the kind of mess that Liverpool is in, it’s difficult to know where to start to sort it out. The fans at war with the owners, huge debts, an average squad, a manager who is out of his depth and a malaise that hangs over the club producing the kind of results that Liverpool have suffered from recently.
It really puts the dissatisfaction that some Chelsea fans felt this summer over our lack of signings into perspective. I don’t expect to win the league every year and nor should any fan, otherwise wouldn’t it all get a little dull?
A little break now on the domestic scene which, as always, has its pros and cons, but one can’t ask for any more than where we are currently. Harder times will follow and our smaller squad will be stretched — no doubt about that— but while we have almost a full compliment of players, lets make every game count.
Come on Chelsea!