Well, I mean, that’s just brutal. Barely had the suitcases come off the baggage carousel when boom – end of honeymoon, on your bike Bertie. I can just picture Roberto coming out of the loos into the baggage reclaim hall, wondering whether his hands really are dry, and looking around. No Roman, no limousine driver. Only one lonely Italian suitcase and that big teddy he won at the rifle range for you, slowly rolling round. They’ll probably cut that open in customs too.
In truth DiMat was never on anything but borrowed time. Had Pep not taken a sabbatical he’d never have started the season, so upon reflection, perhaps honeymoon isn’t quite right. A more accurate analogy might be a call girl hired to escort Roman to some function or other, who puts on a good show and hangs around for a bit. Kind of like Pretty Woman, without the happy ending. Or maybe it was the film that finished early, maybe the film dropped the curtain at the Champions League victory and said “and they all lived happily ever after” whereas in truth, well, we know the truth… Off comes the make-up, up goes the hand and, well… Brutal. Makes you look at Richard Gere in a whole new light, doesn’t it? Yeah, you can squint Richard, with your silvery shoe-catalogue good looks, but we know what you’re hiding.
What’s harder to swallow is that, unlike AVB, or indeed Big Phil, the team was playing attractive football. We were creative, original, we played relentlessly attacking football and for once entertained the impartial observers. Isn’t that at least part of what Roman wanted? I suppose what’s undeniable is that we’ve been shipping in goals at a ridiculous rate, which complicates things a little. And in fairness, DiMat didn’t really look like he knew how to put a stop to that.
So that’s that. DiMat, well, even if it had all gone to pot at the start I’d still love you for your FA Cup goal. That was enough. The fact that you brought us another FA Cup; the fact that you delivered the Champions League and that your management means that there will always be a youtube video out there that can lift even the glummest Chelsea spirits; the fact that you have been ice-cool in every press interview you ever held, even when the chips were down… well, those things make you a Chelsea legend through and through. What else is there to say but thank you old friend and Bon Voyage!
Meanwhile, I was pleased to see newspaper reports all clamouring about Messi trying to take on Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year. He’s only nine short, they said, it’s a sure thing! Nine? I counted up the games he had remaining until New Year. Liga, Copa and Champions League: he had nine. So, basically the press were expecting a goal a game for the next nine games. If anyone went on a run like that in the English game the press would go wild, and yet they expect, no wait, predict it in Messi’s case. Ridiculous. So what does Messi do? Yeah, he scores four in two and now has seven games to collect the remaining five. Can we buy him please Roman?