SkyDaz Chelsea/Wigan Preview

Last updated : 30 December 2005 By Darren Porter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all that blah blah blah.

2006 is going to be a memorable year. Either we will look back at the finest comeback since Lazarus or we will remember it with distaste. It’s World Cup year as well so it will always stick in the minds of us football fans.

The defeat to ManYoo in the Orangeade Cup was disappointing. They started with a weakened line up and on paper we all thought we had a real chance for an upset. The truth was that their second string were too good for our first team. On the night. Until half time we were fairly evenly matched but the introduction of the scowling scouse for the second half proved too much.

The loss to Spurs was harsh. However at long last the supporters could see that the team was trying. The ManYoo match started the glimmer of hope and the Spurs game sparked a light of hope at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it won’t be an oncoming train.

Once more we have to suffer the scourge of penalties at the hands of incompetent officials. One soft one against us and a nailed on certainty for us is rejected and the ignominy compounded by a red card. Later that night I watched the round up of the other games. The Fulham forward bears down on goal, shimmies Cech, and is just about to shoot when Joe Cole hacks his legs away. Blatant penalty. Ref agrees. Obvious red card. Ref shows a yellow! With the game in the balance at 3-2 Fulham shoot and John Terry punches the ball away. Blatant penalty. Ref disagrees. Red card. Clearly not!

All season long we have had players sent off for fairly harmless incidents. Those are the rules and our players have accepted the consequences but the inconsistency is baffling. You all know full well that if you replace Cole for DJ and Terry for Cunningham in the above instances both would have been penalties and both would have been red cards. With our run of injuries we could do without an unfair amount of suspensions.

The combination of bad luck, bad decisions and downright bad play meant that in truth we didn’t stand a snowball in Baghdad chance of getting anything from the ManYoo league game with them starting with a fairly full strength team.

It certainly got off to an awful start when Richardson got free down the wing and found Ruud with a low cross. Four minutes gone. One nil down. Only one possible outcome.

But wait what’s that I see coming over the brow of yonder hill? Could it be a small piece of backbone? A little fighting spirit? An air of Dunkirk? Lo and behold the boys not only competed and fought to get back in the game they damn well knocked in an equaliser to boot! Well bless my nylon lycra socks. Young Clapham finished off a delightful move with a rasping first time shot. Heady times.

Sure enough once again we started slowly and were caught by the sheer pace of the United attack. Smith’s crossfield pass was allowed to run on to Rooney who controlled the ball beautifully before clipping it past Taylor. Two one down. Still only one outcome.

Oh my word, look at the hill. More cavalry arriving. This time they are armed with rifles. It was no more than we deserved. We went behind twice to Manchester United and twice got back into the game. That speaks volumes. It may only have been a point but in the context of our season so far it was a huge return.

Chelsea, Chelsea. Forget it. The league race is over. Use the match for some fitness and some male bonding. Have a night out up the Kings Road, kebab on the way back to the hotel, set off the alarms on a few Mercs and wake up some sleeping Tories. Job’s a good ‘un.

Who the hell do Wigan think they are? They come into the big boy’s league with no stars, no fans, no history, and waltz up the table without so much as an ‘excuse me’. Oi Wigan, this league is supposed to be the hardest in the World. You can’t just gatecrash and pick up points home and away. No. You are supposed to stay in the bottom three and worry yourselves stupid until the last game of the season and then go back down with your two mates. Know your role. Kids these days eh? They don’t know they’re born!

Keep Right On kids. Remember the Blues are for life, not just for Christmas.