And so it is upon us. Do you know what? I’m not even going to waffle on about it. We had some good times, he’ll always be a part of the club’s history and rightly so, but the histrionics and the often frustrating, negative football, as well as the media drama are their problem now, not ours. As I said on Sunday our options are as follows:
- Ignore him
- Applaud him
- Sing ‘You’re Not Special Anymore’
- Boo him
I like to think I’m mature enough to carry off ‘A’ but I’m really not. A combination of peer pressure and possible amaretto or gin means ‘C’ is the more likely prospect, especially if we go ahead at any point. The other two don’t interest me, but take your pick!
The others: None of this Friday night nonsense this week. The early kick off on Saturday is Bournemouth, who were brilliant last week, vs. Sp*rs. (God speed, seaside chums) Arsenal have yet another seemingly easy fixture at home against Boro, which seems to occur every week (none easier than us, apparently) Burnley host Everton, and Hull will hope to get one over on hapless Stoke after receiving a proper Trump-style, grubby, surely-not-legal ravaging at the hands of Bournemouth last week. Leicester take on Palace, Swansea, who deserved a point at least last week, play Watford and West Ham face bottom Sunderland. The late kick off is the Scouse vs. my new ‘bestie’ Tony Pulis, who despite being tedious, bland, and looking like a wino in his old tracksuit and grubby hat, is my hero after robbing points off the spuds. Before we kick off on Sunday, City (I still haven’t stopped laughing after Wednesday) play Southampton. Who knows, Pep might even play that striker that, you know, scores goals, instead of attempting to prove he’s got the biggest b*llocks at the club by leaving him out in favour of The Ginge. Oh well, he can at least be happy he’s got a keeper that’s great with his feet at the back, eh?
Our game: JT is in ‘good shape’. The Boss says he’s trained well and he is apparently available for Sunday. Willian came back on Thursday morning, he has trained twice and he’s fine, but whether he is in the right frame of mind to play is not clear. The decision hasn’t been made yet. Wasn’t entirely clear whether Oscar is back in the country yet after the death of his grandfather, and Ivanovic is still carrying a muscular injury that he picked up on international duty. Zouma update: he has been training with the under 21s, and Conte is hoping to move him up to train with the first team next week. Fabregas still has a muscle strain in a “very strange place”. It is in a part of his thigh not normally prone to injury and not his cock, which someone thankfully had clarified amidst much laughter. Press plebs earning their money.
As for Contewatch: (Each week, using all of my FBI profiling skills, meticulously absorbed watching 12 seasons of Criminal Minds, I rate him on the Mourinho Scale, a careful and scientific calculation based on the premise that the more dishevelled and tramp-like a manager gets, the more he is about to strike the male menopause and have a total meltdown) Defcon 1. (For those unfamiliar, 1 is normal and it goes up to 5 when the Russians are coming) He looked more tired than anything, which made for some pauses for translating, but it didn’t help that the press plebs worded their annoying HWWNBN questions like incoherent muppets. I’d be pissed off if I had to deal with them, but he was laughing at Fabregas’s manhood with everyone else by the end. They talked a bit about the young players that have managed to get some pitch time too. Chalobah recently said there is a clear pathway to the team now for those that earn it and Conte says this aspect is important for him too, and that Chelsea should reap the benefit of bringing these kids through at a high level.
Actually turning up against some of our closest rivals is long overdue after the Vermin and that nightmare trip to north London. We are unbeaten against this lot in the last 11 ties in all competitions. I fully expect it to be next to impossible to break them down by the time he has put the handbrake on the bus in front of the Matthew Harding before kick off, but we can but hope that enough of our attacking players turn up feisty and can overrun them. It wouldn’t surprise me if it is dull as Monday night was. Put it this way, if I was a Gooner, I’d be considering taken some knitting with me. (Find the video on youtube, it’s hilarious) Massively important for us not to concede first, as that plays into their hands with the now infamous tactics that he will employ away from home.
Contribution from Alex Churchill Follow Alex on Twitter.