Picture the scenario. There are six home games to go until the end of the season and we are in the middle of a relegation scrap. The fixture list reveals that the games to be played at Fortress St Andrews are Crystal Palace, Everton, Norwich, Bolton, Fulham and Southampton. How many points would you count on? The truth is that so far, with the last game to go out of that little bunch of projected drop candidates, we have amassed the grand total of one point!
We can blame the referee, the linesman, the weather, global warming, even the EU, but the truth is that we were simply not good enough. Not in any of those games. In the past we have lost games and trooped off home knowing that it was a fine performance tainted by the absence of Lady Luck but not in those matches.
I managed to raise my ManFlu ravaged body from my sweaty death bed on Saturday to see the Blues v Fulham sleep fest. My bedroom floor looked like a reincarnation of Tracey Emin’s bed with more discarded tissues littering the place than during rehearsals of a seedy porn movie. My DNA decorated the room in all chemical states, gaseous, liquid and unfortunately solid.
Moving my feet out of bed used up more energy than the twenty two alleged footballers managed in the first forty five minutes. The only shot on target was when Clinton Morrison kicked the ball back to Van Der Sar following an injury. If they could have guaranteed me a similar second half I would have gone home there and then. Mind you I would have been part of a crush!
The last time I was that bored I was sat at Basle airport with nothing to read, no local currency, no other people and a five hour wait until my lift arrived! Vandalising the toilet got boring after a few minutes and the Swiss have no sense of humour when it comes to war gags. Neutrality has its down side.
The tedium was alleviated by a Fulham own goal. It wasn’t even a comical effort that could have cheered us all up. In fact I didn’t know it was an own goal until I got home! The cross was excellent and Morrison’s header was no more than a deft flick onto Heskey and although his initial effort was weak the Fulham defence contrived to bundle the ball home.
I had a momentary feeling of warmth. It was probably urine.
Quite frankly Fulham didn’t deserve to get back into the game but then again neither did we. It was a crying shame that someone had to get something out of the match. A point each would have been unjust.
DJ had his usual game of running around, clattering the odd opponent but generally just rallying Blues fans into spitting abuse in his general direction every time he screwed up. Although this irritates me, I can understand it. However the fact that you are willing to stand up in front of thousands of people and hurl swear words at one of our own players due to a misplaced pass does not make you more passionate than the rest of us. A difficult concept I know, but true. Also, for the purpose of balance, the same fans should stand up and shout ‘bravo’ when he does something right.
For the equaliser DJ got far too close to Boa Morte for the odious diver to stay upright. Boa Morte had given an indication of his intention to fall over only moments earlier and it was bad luck that we had a referee in charge with the memory of a goldfish with Attention Deficit Disorder. Whether it was inside or outside the box is a moot point. The referee has an instant to decide the location of the offence and some they get right and some they don’t. This was demonstrated on Monday night when poor little Robbie’s team were beaten by Diouf’s antics and the onus is on the officials to do a small amount of research and separate the David Dunns from the Jurgen Klinsmans.
For the winning goal, pantomime villain DJ had ample opportunity to play a simple pass. Quite clearly this was too easy for a Northern Ireland international who waited until the pass was nigh on impossible before finally giving the ball away. The clear foul on debutant Diao was frustrating, the foul conceded was disappointing and the decision not to mark the most dangerous man on the pitch added up to a whole plethora of wrongness!
This weekend we play the other team from Fulham village. The pensioners have looked quite sprightly this season and Mourinho wants to win everything from the Premiership to the Eurovision. I have been bitterly disappointed by his reluctance to play crappy weakened teams in competitions deemed suitable for youths and trainees by the two old moaners, Wenger and Ferguson.
I thought ManFlu would turn them over at Old Trafford in the week but Mourinho marches on with a smile and an annoyingly honest and refreshing attitude to the game. Apparently their success this season is due to team spirit. That’s it, simple. Look and learn Kidderminster and Exeter. There is absolutely no need to spend £200 million in order to win things, just go for a few games of paintballing and a little go karting. Just don’t invite Jermaine Pennant!
On Sunday Mourinho could simply say ‘Ok the first eleven through the changing room door are playing’. They would probably be good enough to beat us based upon current form. But this is the FA Cup, anything can happen and although it probably won’t, it could. We are the underdogs and the majority of the country will be willing us on, I think. The British trait of hoping successful people fail has started to rear its monstrous head where Chelsea are concerned and the love affair everyone had with Ranieri has succumbed to jealousy with Mourinho.
Whilst Wenger and Ferguson have squabbled in the playground Mourinho has steadily accelerated from 1-0 victories to emphatic demolitions and will expect nothing less against the mediocre hapless Blues. Oh well, Keep Right On eh?