Tuesday, 15 April 2008

‘Maybe there is more to life than playing, really, really, really, good football’

There is only one place to start today – no not United being champions elect or anything to do with Chelsea but instead I’ll start with this oddly mesmerising image of the ‘Wengerbus’. Truly magnificent and the full glory is here. I hate Zoolander but for giving us this, the $50 million budget was worth it.

Anyway, back to matters sporting, and where to really start today… Avram Grant hanging on by a thread, Rafa Benitez supposedly heading off in the summer or Ronaldo being worth more than £100 million according to Carlos ‘rejected Bond bad guy’ Queiroz. In the crescendo that is the end of the season we have talks over who’s going where, how much money will be spent in the process and all of this goes on for the next three months.

In many papers’ minds, and with most sane individuals, the title race is over after Chelsea’s abject display yesterday which didn’t merit three points. All that’s left now is mathematical confirmation and a few commemorative pull outs from the more excitable tabloids. Hats off to Steve Bruce (good god that’s a difficult few words to write) for making some telling substitutions and bigger, novelty-size hats off to Chris Kirkland for keeping Chelsea at bay whenever they threatened… he didn’t even get injured in the process, what a guy.

As myself and Mark alluded to in last week’s podcast, were Chelsea to actually win the league it would remain one of life’s biggest mysteries for generations to come. Brutal football, complete boardroom turmoil and to be fair to Grant, some unfortunate injuries to key players. How could they do it?

What will be left after their failure in the league is the feeling that Mourinho’s Chelsea would’ve taken this title race by the scruff of the neck and won it; and while the Portugeezer’s demeanour in his latter days as Chelsea boss suggests that might not automatically be true, it will ring of truth in enough ears to send Grant packing come late May.

I’d suspect even a Champions League win would be ‘rewarded’ with a promotion upstairs within the club, a prospect that Grant wouldn’t fight either. So as Chelsea search for a new manager, the turmoil at Anfield will continue and I honestly think Benitez will go this summer to Real Madrid, Barcelona or possibly Inter Milan. I still believe his first choice is to stay at Liverpool but why should he at this stage? Another season of league mediocrity, which is the most likely outcome of him staying next year anyway, would only see his reputation damaged.
Right now, he has a huge profile around Europe and a very decent managerial record. The funny thing is that only three months ago it was the fans who wanted him out, but the truth of football is that decisions are always made in the boardroom rather than the terraces, no matter how many protests there are.

Elsewhere, Quieroz’s claims over Ronaldo’s worth are correct – the guy is so valuable to the club through the on the pitch performances and off the pitch revenue, they could never sell him. With 37 goals this year, only he could force a move and why would he at this stage? It may be that a few years down the line we’re looking at a Ronaldinho situation of a guy who has fallen out of love with the club but if that doesn’t happen, it’s hard to see United losing a stranglehold on the Premier League and possibly Europe.

Considering how flaky the rest of the big four have been of late, whether on the pitch or off, the happy house that is Old Trafford will continue to dominate and Fergie may well laugh into that glass of fine Bordeaux. Even with the mediocre performances of late that Mark mentioned yesterday, they’re still untouchable. Ah feck it, let's look at the Wengerbus again.


Mark said...

i just hope Chelsea can pull it together for the Champo Leagueo and beat the Pool

JJ said...

At the very least the game at the bridge this year should be important enough that we don't have to endure chris eagles getting a run out.

Mark said...

i quite like his hair, the way it goes 5 different directions...


better than Drogba's 'shite on a head'

JJ said...

That really is spectacular. Though in fairness, a Coca Cola Championship haircut if ever there was one.

Mark said...


arsenal mastermind. Why?

JJ said...

I like lehmann's complete disregard for team-mates numbers and the 'why the fuck should i care' look on his face.

Cathal O'Brien said...

Chelsea for the league, come on Grant!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you JJ(!),Benitez is in big demand around Europe. He should definitely go,with most probably another European cup to bolster his wage packet at his next club.
Re:Uniteds recent performances.I don't think they've been bad at all.They battered Liverpool and Villa,Were very good in Rome,but for a bit of dodgy defending and finshing could easily have beaten Boro. Fair enough,Arsenal bossed United for an hour,but I thought once Anderson and Tevez came on the tide turned. They are so far ahead of Chelsea in terms of performance at the moment,I would'nt be surprised if United won at "The Bridge".
You two must have been shattered last week,a 50 minute podcast?? What the fuck? You'll be charging for it soon!!All the best,keep up the good work,LUHG.