Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Optimism amongst the endless headlines

Alright people,
JJ here

Is anybody else feeling drained? I dunno about anyone who reads the blog – though it’s a fair guess considering you land on this page – but a great portion of my day is spent on football sites. Reading The Guardian’s finest and even David Pleat when the fancy takes me; going to the once great, now up its own arse Football365 (what a shit podcast); even seeing if the BBC have anything decent to add. Today all of them are dominated by Pool v Chelsea and after days and days of it I just want the match to happen; the mind games are getting a little tired at this stage.

So Sheva is out; hey that’s a bonus for Chelsea, with Robben back and Cole in form they can play one up front with the two of them running off Drogba. It’s the same tactic that won them the league for two years on the trot and produced their finest football.

Off the field, the two managers have been jousting it out with little attacks here and there – Benitez generally getting the better of things with his Alonso/Drogba/yellow card remark a week ago being the highlight. But while some fans might see this as important, Chelsea are professional enough to get the job done. Bizarrely, Mourinho’s dour demeanour at present might be one of the few obstacles they have to overcome in order to see out this win.

A 1-0 lead going into a Champions League semi second leg is always a good start, you force the other team to attack and if Chelsea hold out (assuming they don’t score early themselves) it’s had not to see them picking off Liverpool in the final third of the game. Chelsea did look tired on Saturday, but they did against Newcastle the week before and were brilliant the following Wednesday against the Pool.

As Mark has said on these pages, Mourinho may well have conceded the title at this stage so they’ll be going all guns blazing. Liverpool will do as well of course; and while an early goal has been seen as the be all and end all for them I think 0-0 at half time would give them a decent shout.

It’s a hard game to call and being a Pool fan it’s hard not to believe they can win. If Essien starts at centre back that will certainly give some hope, even if he moves up to midfield and Boulahrouz comes in that’ll give the Pool a boost as well. With Finnan back I’d say play Crouchigol up with Dirk, Arbeloa at left back, Riise up the left hand side (bringing on Gonzalez for Arbeloa if they need to press more for a goal); then Monster Mash and Xabi in the middle with $tevie Me on the right – all of whom will be expected to do better this week.

Chelsea should win. Liverpool can win. Fuck it; I’ll go for Liverpool 3-1. Rabid optimism, nothing like it.

6 comments:

Mal said...

I agree with a lot of that. Advantage Chelsea but Liverpool are more than capable of turning it around. Sheva being out is good for Chelsea as Robben and Cole are more effective than he's been so far. First goal will probably decide the match.

JJ said...

Most likely yeah, really edgy affair I'd say, for neutrals i think they'll all be hoping Liverpool are chasing it towards the end to make it exiciting. Grinding 0-0 still a horrible possibility though.

Mark V said...

i gonna go with some rabid optimism of my own and go with chelsea to win. i just can't wait for tonight to be over so that i don't have to watch the 2 sluggers in 'action' again until next season....

JJ said...

Good point boss, please god let there be only the two league games next year. Sick of Chelscum.

JJ said...

Well I suppose I could say I was close with 4-1… okay they were penalties but fuck it. Athens here the Pool come; I’d say the police there just can’t wait for United to get an away goal tonight;o) In all honesty, I can’t believe how one dimensional Chelsea were. Even by their own direct standards they just hoofed the ball Houllier style at the very rich man’s Emile Heskey – Didier Drogba. I think the Pool deserved to go through but I never want to see these teams play in Europe against each other again. Two legs is way too much.

Oh happy, happy, happy day.

Here’s some pics, including Terry being comforted by “the funniest man to come out of London since Del boy” according to Carragher!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/6611405.stm

Mark V said...

pics - bah! saw enough last night