Well I have to say, I haven’t had as much fun down at the Bridge for a long time. The Carling Cup win on penalties over Fulham encapsulates all that AVB brings to Chelsea and only goes to confirm why Abramovich was so keen to sign him: alongside essential tactical awareness and a renewed determination to win, we’ve somehow regained our sense of fun.
Of course, this was revealed more by luck than judgement, if you can call two enforced first half substitutions and a centre back sending off luck, but however it came about, the young, undermanned team, marshalled by Terry and Lampard, ripped into Fulham with a relentlessness and a joie-de-vivre that recalled the days of Zola, Vialli and Gullit. As it turned out we didn’t score, which was a shame, but in the end the heightened drama of a shoot-out seems the only fitting way to wrap up such a show.
It may only be a Carling Cup tie, it may only be for a place in the fourth round, but coupled with last Sunday’s performance it bodes well for the rest of the season. Consider the emotions that the first team must have experienced at half time at Old Trafford. Two questionable goals and a third flukey tap in; for our part a mix up in front of the posts that should have reduced the deficit; it seemed that the gods were against us and that United were destined to continue their goal-scoring spree. But what happened? In the second half we outplayed and outscored them, in their own back yard. Unlike the Arsenal match, it’s no exaggeration to say any result was possible that afternoon.
Meanwhile, at the Bridge against Fulham, with subs exhausted, players outnumbered and the knowledge of a woeful track-record in penalty shoot outs, we saw the same grit and desire. A new-found camaraderie has enveloped the Blues, young and experienced; players, fans and manager alike. Momentum is gathering and in spite of what the papers are waffling on about a Manchester-won Premiership, I’ve got a feeling there may be some surprises in store this season.
In accordance with this team spirit, I think it’s only right we lend some time to conjuring up a few chants for our new arrivals, you know, to make them feel at home and whatnot.
Romelu Lukaku – Only 18 but already outmuscling everyone he’s put up against. Yes he lacks a little finesse, but when he stoops over the ball like a hawk over a freshly skewered rodent you know we’re keeping possession. Of course the name lends itself to the Beach Boys Kokomo, but listening to that again there are way too many Caribbean islands to get through before the pay off, which means we have no choice but Ricky Martin’s Livin’ Lukaku Loca.
Oriol Romeu – He was something of a mixed bag of nuts on Wednesday. Good reading of the play, nice passing and good pressing were offset by at least three suicidal mishaps. A higher caliber of opposition would probably have made him pay. But who cares? It was Fulham, and his surname fits way too well into Erasure’s Oh L’Amour for any discussion on the subject.
Josh McEachran – Cool on the ball, instinctively knows the pass and has the skill to deliver. A bit of muscle won’t hurt, nor a few more run-outs to boost confidence. Either way, there’s a whole lot of potential, which means it won’t be long till the Bridge resounds to the tune of McEachran’s On Fire by The Kings of Leon
Andre Villas-Boas – He’s cool, he’s suave and he squats in the technical area. What else but Mambo Italiano by Dean Martin?
His hair’s not grey!
He’ll win the game!
See the portugeezer as he squats down on his knees ah.
or whatever… In the meantime I’m sure we can do something with Juan Mata and Shaddap You Face and Ross Turnbull and Total Eclipse Of The Heart, right?