An early kick off meant a subdued atmosphere from United fans compared to the last time were at this cauldron of snides last October. That night, the pathetic home support only woke up after Daniel Sturridge put them in the lead seven minutes into extra time, apart from that, United fans took the piss out of their wooden counterparts. Yesterday at Stamford Bridge, it was more of the same. Stood in the lower tier of Shed end of Chelsea’s modern but soulless stadium, we couldn’t hear a whisper out of Chelsea fans until Demba Ba’s admittedly brilliant goal, three minutes into the second half, put them into the lead. United had controlled the game for most of the first half without looking like scoring. Only once in that period was Petr Cech tested, when a bizzare swirling shot from Javier Hernández four minutes before half time produced a great save from the Czech goalkeeper. For all United’s possesion, it was Chelsea who had the first shot on target when Demba Ba tried catching David De Gea out on his near post after half an hour. It put me in mind of the rope-a-dope tactics Muhammad Ali deployed in his 1974 fight against George Foreman in Kinshasa.
Yesterday was April the 1st and the first joke of the day I heard was that Wayne Rooney hadn’t made the squad due to a previously undisclosed groin injury and that Nani was starting. My amusement turned to horror when I realised it wasn’t a joke. Stamford Bridge is the scene of Nani ruining a brilliant nights work by a young United side last Halloween when he needlessly gave the ball away deep into injury time to start a Chelsea move which lead to them getting a penalty and equaliser from Eden Hazard in a League Cup match. That faux pas from Nani earned him an extremely rare public rebuke from Sir Alex Ferguson. He was nowhere near as culpable today due to his involvement in the game being limited to him hitting a free kick low in the Chelsea wall and yet again failing to beat the first man from a corner. It should really be a pre-requisite that every professional footballer be able to cross a ball and take a decent throw-in. Any weakness in them areas can only really be tolerated if the footballer is special (I.E, somebody like Cantona or Scholes). That Nani can’t cross the ball or take a corner is a familiar problem to reds, what makes it worse is that he doesn’t have any special skill to compensate for them weakneses. The fact that Nani, a man whose union card says he’s a winger for fucks sake, can’t cross the ball is sacriligeous. It was widely reported in November 2010 that Nani had installed a lifesize statue of himself in his house in Wilmslow. If I was Sir Alex, I’d pick the statue to play on the flank before I’d pick that spineless waster again. Nani is as infuriating player that I’ve seen play for United since Jesper Olsen from 1984 to 1989. Whilst Olsen was lightweight and inconsistent, he could cross a ball. On Saturday I commented that Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young were out of form and out of confidence but for all that, give me them over Michael Jackson’s love child anyday.
For the first time since 2009, United have been knocked out of the FA Cup by a team that is not a despised rival. Despite all Chelsea’s posturing, particularly since all their fans dropped their draws and dignity to a trigger happy oligarch, they just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things to United unless we’re playing them or in a title race with them. I can guarantee that Chelsea, the club and it’s fans, look North to Old Trafford with far more frequency and attention than we would ever grace them with. They now go onto play the jolly Stopfordians at Wembley. They themselves can contend themselves with swaggering around the M6 and M40 services like Liam ‘n’ Noel, serene in the knowledge that there won’t be any coaches full of black clad moody reds, ready to put them on their giddy arses and shut their Munich chanting mouths whilst they run for their pathetic lives in a balmy Staffordshire night. Chelsea football club is surrounded by opulence, expensive ponced up bistro’s charging £15.00 a bowl for Irish Stew by the name of ragoût de mouton and an overwhelming smell of bullshit. Whatever they are and whatever they aspire to be, at heart they and the team they’ll be playing at Wembley, will never be United and they wish they were. They’ll deny it of course but to paraphrase William Shakespeare’s Hamlet (act 3, scene 2) ‘They doth protest too much, methinks’. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Chelsea fans have nicked almost their entire songbook from United (with to be fair, a little seasoning thrown in from Liverpool). In the mid 1990s, they wanted to be the “Man United of the South” but for all that money and crummy Stone Island gear their fans wear, they’re a load of racist spouting England followers with a despicable manager who has not as much a chip as 56lb bag of spuds on each shoulder (FACT!!). In recent meetings against United, their pathetically mute fans would suddenly burst into life to boo Rio Ferdinand for being the brother of a man their team skipper served a four match ban for racially abusing. This perfectly sums up Chelsea fans. Class to Chelsea is George Gideon Osborne, Ashley Cole and Jason fuckin’ Cundy. Thank Christ that for all our imperfections, we’re not them.
Even though on the balance of play, United may have been unlucky today, I have to say that Chelsea deserved to go through because they took their chances and United blew theirs. Petr Cech, for the second time in the match and the third time in the tie pulled off a truly incredible save from a Javier Hernandez header to re-affirm his postion as the best keeper in the Premier League, just in case anybody was daft enough to think that the present England keeper was. Immediately after that breathtaking save, Robin Van Persie was brought on to perform his firemans role for Tom Cleverley in the 62nd minute. Van Persie missed two good chances late in the game to now make it nine club games without a goal. That is only a stat though, he was crucial to the winning goal at Sunderland on Saturday and after the contribution he’s made to the goalscoring tally this season, if anybody is to be cut some slack in this United team/squad for misfiring form, it’s Van Persie. United got to this replay through the skin of their teeth. Having squandered a comfortable postion in the previous game against Chelsea, United were hanging on for dear life at the end of that game with only a magnificent David De Gea save from a Juan Mata shot in injury time, stopping Chelsea winning the match. Lethargy was used as an excuse at the time for United’s collapse in the second half. United had been in a dramatic match against Real Madrid at Old Trafford five days prior to the match whilst Chelsea had been involved in a Europa League match in Bucharest three days before. Under them circumstances, lethargy doesn’t wash as an explanation. There was an overwhelming sense today that once Demba Ba put Chelsea in front, it was going to be the winner. United played with plenty of possesion but no urgency or threat.
Anybody who jibbed in todays match has my full respect. Rarely have I seen it so on top, I believe it would have been easier breaching Checkpoint Charlie at the height of the cold war than it would have been blagging your way past the Bovril Gate of Stamford Bridge today and that was well before you were near any turnstile. To all the lads and lasses who picked up dawn coaches and turned out on this bitterly cold South Western London day, we deserved far better than the drivel and the alcohol free ground catering we were served up. Beat City next Monday and all will be forgiven, that said, after this and recent performances, nobody is under any illusions that there needs to a wholesale change in Manchester Uniteds squad over the summer. It just isn’t good enough. As United We Stand columnist Steve Armstrong said, “Biggest disappointment for me yesterday was that five pigeons sat pecking in Cech’s six yard box for fifteen minutes without anyone going near them”.
Thanks to Peter Gorton for his help in writing this blog
16 thoughts on “Ragoût de mouton and an overwhelming smell of bullshit – Chelsea, April the 1st 2013”
It was a match that no one deserved or appeared to want to win, although the finish from Ba was deserving of winning the match considering the sub quality fayre being served up on the pitch and in the concourse (mainly the lack of beer!). The support for the shirts was average at best as well…although better than the home support who could only be heard booing Rio or just after they scored. Hopefully we will get ourselves back on form with a win against our local neighbours next Monday but just like before the Etihad derby we will need to improve on recent displays.
I guess the bit about the pigeons is what you could call a coo (sic) in media parlance? I spotted other vermin on the pitch that shouldn’t have been at times…a certain England captain warming up as sub being one.
It was a poor match, I found the lack of urgency from United the most worrying thing. Chelsea’s defence were there to be terrorised on Monday but it seemed that Hernandez and Welbeck always needed one touch too many.
Surprised about your comments regarding jibbing. Me and my mate walked past the 2 lines of stewards and 1 line of Met with nothing but cursory glances to check our tickets were pink and a bag check – which resulted in a sainsburies bag containing my dirty boxers from Sunderland away and a Newcastle night out being confiscated. They’re welcome to them. We then proceeded to spend a good 30 seconds in the furthest turnstile trying to get the thing to accept our valid tickets, which, despite zero attention from stewards, it eventually did. We commented there and then that anyone showing up with an old pink League Cup ticket from Halloween would’ve have zero problems.
As for the footy, frustrating that at both Sunderland and Chelsea we travelled a fucking long way to watch United admittedly dominate possession but show very little urgency to move the ball around quickly, attack and stretch the opposition. And then to top it off, the sets of players walked off both times without barely a glance and arbitrary clap towards the away end. Oh well, belting weekend off the pitch – bring on next Monday
Fair enough regarding security, I can only say what I saw and whilst nothing’s watertight, this looked near enough to me. As for the players not acknowledging the traveling fans, that’s been a bugbear of reds on the road for as long as I can remember (I started watching United aways in 1990). Ferguson used to motion the players over to the fans at the final whistle for a time in the 1990s, doesn’t happen so much now alas.
I’ve seen some sour grapes but this takes the biscuit, we want to be Man u? Are you mad? We are Chelsea and proud and your deluded arrogance in describing our club is unbelievable. We have passionate fans who could be heard loud on the television so what planet are you on? Get a life you muppet
Tristan, i can assure you that from where i was stood in the shed end upper, the only noise i heard from your lot in the first 55 minutes was boos directed towards rio ferdinand and a tame effort at being ingurland fans. And you come to old trafford with your ridiculous “just like a library” song. Have a look closer to home before slating others.
That’s the difference Tristan (although the name leads me to think stooge). Being at the game you hear the real atmosphere whereas on the tv you hear whatever the producers want you to hear by upping and downing the volumes. And just for balance this happens at Old Trafford too with the microphones placed near tier 2 of the Stretford End to make it sound like there is something of an atmosphere in the ground when in reality opening your packet of crisps too quickly would probably result in De Gea flapping at a punch.
Was all a bit lacklustre. Not sure why…
As for the crowd, I had to explain to the Mrs why Rio was booed. She still doesn’t understand. Mind you, not sure I do. And the tv company definitely turned up the chelsea fans’ volume at one point, so i’ll stick with the views of the person who actually went to the game.
Roll on Monday…
just seen this crap on twitter, why on earth would we want to be man u? most of your fans live here in London. the ones that do bother going to that desolate and rainy shithole to watch man u every so often are arrogantly deluded about a football club that matters nothing to anybody on its doorstep. where in London do you live in murph?
Obviously just another new age mockney Chelsea fan. You never heard of Ken Bates? Going an look up what he has said in the past before your Russian crooks took over and you all bent over.
Nice one Jim, there obsesed with City these rags, this murph guy can’t shut up about us. You know what everybody else knows, MANCHESTER IS BLUE
You’ll have to go and tell all your chums on Bluemoon that then. Why was the thread on there about being outnumbered by “rags” at school, work, football teams etc… etc… within Manchester suddenly closed and pulled? You keep perpetuating your myth but can’t fill your stadium. You are the local joke that went national due to being the Arabs new plaything…nothing more nothing less.
You also do the other normal bitter blue thing and suck up to anyone you think might help you fight the big boys at “ManU”. Well Chelsea have a huge out of London following as one side of their stadium celebrates with flags from all over the world not just UK. Myself and other reds were applauding this from the Shed on Monday at the same time as noting the hypocritical press and ABU fans who would then be coming out with the usual shite about no United fans from Manchester at every opportunity. And right on cue…
John… are you larkin’ about with your spelling….. it spelt ‘their’ not ‘there’
Tristan, watching football on the TV, is like sucking a sweetie with the wrapper on. If your nanny asks mummy, can she take you to Jim G, If we’re being minimalistic, your insulting remarks about other parts of the UK is nothing new from people who have clearly lost the argument. Try sticking to the subject at hand. That is chucee are a ground full of fakes. We, as not so humble northerners, for all our faults, have always supported our team through every test imaginable. How many mockneys can say the same? Few if any of the current example is anything to go by. You must be able to do better than that. J Lacking, fuck off. You’re not a bitter. You didn’t mention MUNICH.
Hopefully Monday will prove me erong, but it was almost as if we didn’t want to go through.
I hope Fergie isn’t scared of the City challenge.
He was certainly scared of them at their place last season – the defensive team selection and tactics were shameful. I don’t care what the situation is, we’re Manchester United, we do not line up against citeh hoping to get away with a draw. I want to humiliate them.