Friday, 6 November 2009

Chelsea v Unireh…

Alright folks,

There may be other fixtures this weekend, and there may be plenty of other issues up and down the league but when I sat down to do a predictions blog for this Saturday, Sunday and Monday three words stopped me in my tracks. ‘Fat Sam’ and ‘Lawrenson’.

Scanning through a fixture list that looks odds on for a few one-alls, the odd thrashing and Phil Brown losing his job once James Beattie scores for Stoke I thought it best to leap over the Lawro-isms and get on to the big business of the league’s top two sides battering each other on Sunday afternoon. (Also, trying to predict a Liverpool game is too weighty on the soul at the minute).

Just the word ‘Blackburn’ turns my stomach now, with images conjured of the ugly, bullshitting, bad tempered, mildly disfigured koala that is Sam Allardyce picking yet another needless fight in his press conferences, alongside the similarly horrific-to-look-at football they play. Let’s just say I hope they get beaten heavily by Pompey and that Sam ends up in the lower leagues ASAP.

Not that the Chelsea and United always play beautiful football of course. Both of these sides can get hugely robotic when they want to and, in both cases when confronted by other big sides (both with Barcelona last season for instance) they can be as quick as an elderly Italian manager who shall remain nameless to revert to a safety-first game. There is however, something brilliantly compelling whenever these two meet. Well except for that dead rubber league game involving Chris Eagles a few years back.

The Champions League final of two seasons ago is a perfect example and, mainly due to the concentration on John Terry’s wonderfully poetic penalty miss, it’s a game that is often overlooked as one of the best ‘major’ matches of the decade. Finals, semi finals and huge clashes between big sides are often woeful affairs.

I’d put that game alongside Barcelona’s three-all (Messi hat trick included) against Madrid a few seasons back, Italy and Germany’s immense World Cup semi final in 2006, Istanbul in 2005 and a few more as one of the most complete games of the decade but unfortunately not even Didier Drogba’s stupid sending off is remembered as “Terry’s Tears TM” dominate any flashbacks.

Chelsea, the home side on Sunday, have to be favourites due to Rio Ferdinand’s injury problems and United’s shambolic defensive display on Tuesday. Add in an in-form Drogba, the excellent Anelka, and the ever reliable Laaaaaaaaaamps and they should score a goal or two, though considering their problems at set pieces Vidic may well score as many as Drogba come Sunday.

Carlo Ancelloti has a 100% record at home in the league, and the last two times he’s locked horns with Ferguson he’s won out over two Champions League legs in ’05 (with a little help from Roy Carroll closing his eyes in case a Pirlo shot hit him in the face) and handsomely in ’07, winning the second leg three-nothing at home having been very unlucky to lose to a last minute Rooney goal in England the week before.

For United, considering everyone else has been calling time on the careers of various players so far this season (Carragher, Ferdinand, King) I’m going out on a limb to say Paul Scholes will never make a difference for United in a big game again. Yeah, yeah he scored on Tuesday and bedazzles Stoke and West Ham whenever he plays them but in this type of game I think he’ll be lost in the slipstream of Chelsea’s midfield with possibly his only hope being Deco to start, so that the ginger nut won’t be the only once great, now not quite great midfielder who can’t tackle on show.

Now while all this should be the cue for Scholes to score twice, set up another and solve a murder mystery during Sunday’s game I’m sticking to my guns. I’m going for United’s midfield to get their arses handed to them even more effectively than Lucas and Mascherano did a few weeks back and the home side to win 3-1.

Enjoy the weekend folks, JJ, ODF


Anonymous said...

Jesus JJ, I think You're being a bit generous with your 3-1 prediction. If United play on Sunday as they did at Anfield ie: Show up when there'e 5 minutes left, I think you could be looking at another 5-0 a la Massimo Taibi's heyday!! Hope I'm wrong of course, don't think so tho.
p.s.Bit unfair to compare Paul Scholes to Deco. Was Deco ever a great midfielder like Scholes undoubtedly was?? I Would'nt put Deco in Scholes' class when he was in his prime or even now for that matter.

Anonymous said...

3-1 is definitly generous. Having a midfield thats already been outplayed by the likes of Lucas and Abou Diaby doesbn't bode well. I think a 3-0 will be on the cards.

To the poster above Deco is a big big achiever. Dragging an average team to Champions league glory, ala Stevie G, followed by a succesful transition into being a top performer in a starstudded team en route to another champions league win is pretty great. Especially for someone with the physical composition of an overweight 15 year old

Anonymous said...

I never felt that he done much after leaving Porto, where,in fairness he was brilliant. I don't think he ever caught fire at Barca, how can you say he was a top performer in that side. He's done fuck all at Chelsea yet either. I just thought for a lad as talented as he obviously is, that he would'nt flatter to decieve as much as he does, just an opinion!
I think your doing $tevie GBH a disservice for comparing what he done with Liverpool in 2005 and what Deco done with Porto in 2004. That Porto side were a good, skillful team with expierence. The Liverpool team contained DJIMI TRAORE for fuck sake, again,just my opinion!
p.s.Mark my words......Chelsea 5 United 0!!

JJ said...

I'd rank Deco as being comparable to scholes in most respects, for a good two seasons he was as important as anyone for a truly great barcelona side (not to put too fine a point on it he was was named Barcelona's player of the season in the 05/06 season) while it's hard to believe porto would have won the UEFA cup or champo league without him.

The Chelsea move hasn't been a great success but overall I'd say he made the move for financial reasons than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough,JJ.

Anonymous said...

By the way,JJ, Was just watching Phil Thompson on Sky defending Benitez again. Do you "Thommo" is afraid of being labelled bitter because of the way Benitez ended his time at Anfield when he arrived, so he simply won't publicly call for the managers head?? He conceded that the two most important things to get right in management are results and signings, both of which have undermined Liverpool and Benitez this season. So why does such an obviously passionate scouser want to see Benitez continue in the job? You'll probably point to the yanks and say that money has been scarce, fair enough. But what money he has had, he's pretty much wasted. I just find the whole situation at Anfield really fascinating, I can't believe at this stage that the hierarchy at a club the size of Liverpool will allow a situation like this to continue indefinitely. As a Liverpool fan, do you think Benitez should stay on?

JJ said...

Short answer, yep he should stay on til the end of the season, not gonna go too much into the cash thing as its a long, meandering road but in essence one thing benitez has never had is full backing for his transfer policy from the first regime he worked under or the new one. Vidic and Barry, and I'm sure a few others would have been there had he generally not been fed lies by those above him. There have been mistakes though, don't get me wrong - babel, keane and dossena paramount among them - but to sack him now would achieve little.

As for 'Thommo', have a read of Fowler's autobiography or Brad Friedel's and you should get a good picture of what a small, simple, awful man he is. I never saw him play so I'm not bothered by hazy memories of him being a great player or captain. I just see him as a mouthy twat, and from the description in both those books that opinion seems to be bang on.

Anonymous said...

Will defo try to get hold of both books. It will only back up what I think of the big-nosed cunt anyway!
It was obvious Benitez was at loggerheads with Parry from day one over transfers. And I suppose you could say he's unlucky in a way, cos the minute he won the power batttle with him, the yanks came in, then the funds previously available when Parry was there,dried up. I though after Istanbul and all that, Benitez would be backed hugely in the transfer market and I fully expected Liverpool to dominate English football within a couple of years. Whether it's down to bad luck, bad timing or bad buys it just hasn't happened for him. In one way I admire him for his persistance and belligerence in obviously impossible working conditions, but the squad that he started the season with was never going to be big or strong enough to do much this season and he has to accept at least 75% of the blame for that. Having said that,I agree with you that there's little to be achived by sacking him now. What top class manager in their right mind would take that job anyway?

Anonymous said...

Thought United were the better side and did'nt deserve to lose......and the lads at the back kept (apparentley) the best striker in the world quiet. Totally different United team from the one at Anfield and the one I was expecting today, I'm down that we lost the game to a dodgy free kick (A.Cole the little bitch, shat himself when he saw Fletch coming)but the manner of the performance gives me hope for the rest of the season. 5 point gap or not!!
p.s. Who the fuck gave Anelka man of the match??? What does Fletch have to do to convince people he's a top Midfielder? If he was English, they'd never shut the fuck up about him.

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