Wayne Farry looks back on a week of misplaced criticism, caretaker concerns, and a tweet too far.
Sorry for my absence last week folks. The life of a football diarist can be a busy one at times and so it transpired last week. Regardless, we fight on and this week we go straight to the top.
Chelsea – who have essentially been champions since Christmas – overcame the last possible hurdle of their season yesterday as they drew with Arsenal. This 0-0 was so predictable that I didn’t even bother watching it. Some have used the scoreline to continue to level accusations at the incumbent champions that they have hobbled over the line, ignoring the very make up of Jose Mourinho’s teams that make them win titles in the first place.
Football fans have short memories, their minds so full of shit and anger and pictures on Twitter that they’ll be foaming at the mouth about an incident while simultaneously forgetting what actually transpired. This can be the only explanation for the continued criticism of Chelsea, who have been so far and away the best team this season it’s actually laughable to hear anything else. This side – in the first three months of the campaign – played some of the best football seen in the Premier League in many years. The combination play between Fabregas, Oscar and Costa before all three of their bodies broke down was a site to behold.
What’s more is that they didn’t only play wonderful football – like some sides, ahem, Arsene, they reached and stayed at the summit of the league in the process. Yes, their style of play has slowed recently but this is an attribute of a Jose Mourinho side. And while many call it a negative, it just so happens to be the attribute that will no doubt win them the title. They’re a side who can play whatever way they want. When they know that things are going to be less expansive, they tuck in and wait, knowing that they will get a goal.
They have the quality throughout the side to be barren for 80 minutes and still run out winners without any real of threat of conceding throughout. Let’s not pretend that the flak thrown at Chelsea isn’t mostly to do with a general dislike of Mourinho. The Portuguese manager is a massive prick, few would deny it, and his histrionics this season have put past-Jose to shame. But his side are the best football team in England at winning football matches in England. Ergo, they are rightful champions, and should be celebrated as such.
It may be tough at the top but it’s tougher in Newcastle. After the side’s seventieth defeat in a row, caretaker manager John Carver is said to have avoided blaming the whole staff in public and instead, this time, locked them in the dressing room to give them a dressing down. He is believed to have focussed heavily on the Newcastle tea lady, accusing her of putting too much sugar in the players’ tea and stating that her actions were tantamount to sabotage.
The woman – who is 72 – is believed to have been close to tears as Carver, with his face like a sheet of human skin pulled over a Staffordshire bull terrier’s head, berated her in front of the squad. The players watched aghast at the exchange but as they’ve been wont to do this season, they sat back and watched the carnage unfold instead of attempting to change the course of events.
Finally this week we pop over to Catalonia and poor old Dani Alves. The Brazilian defender and procurer of clothes from the 31st century took to social media to give his support to the people of Armenia – who are striving for international recognition of the genocide of their people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire (modern Turkey to you philistines). His gesture of kindness and goodwill quickly became perceived as one of disrespect to the people of Turkey however. So much so that the player was forced to apologise on social media tweeting – “Me gustaría pedir un millón de disculpas a todos mis fans de Turkish, jamás pensé que la foto iba a haceros daños, tengo muchos amigos……”
Alves here showing that sometimes two rights can actually make a wrong. Why he felt the need to brag in the tweet about how many friends he has however is anyone’s guess.