And so we near the end of another footballing year, a year in which, before we talk any further, I’d just like to point out that we did the double over Arsenal. Yup, that’s the presiding memory I’m going to take from the 2015/16 season. Leicester did what? Not sure I remember that, but we definitely did the double over Arsenal.
Anyway, I think I can confidently say we’ve all learnt a little something in the past nine months: we’ve learnt that celebrities are allergic to the year 2016 and should breath shallow; we’ve learnt that no matter how hard we try, none of us is going to grow that mysterious third testicle we were promised and discover its mystical powers (that’s where the word mystical comes from, apparently); and we’ve learnt that a Hollywood scriptwriter (who’d obviously just watched Moneyball) somehow managed to convince the whole of the Premier League that what it really needed was a fairytale underdog story. The real question is, who’s got the Ranieri gig? Dumbledore or Magneto?
In the meantime, you know what’s fun? Reading the football writers’ predictions before the start of the season, that’s what. According to almost universal consent in August 2015, Leicester had appointed “the man who lost to the Faroe Islands” and would be relegated, Eden Hazard was going to mesmerise the world all year long and Newcastle were finally going to challenge for the top four (nobody said that).
But, well, that never happened. Instead we’ve got a fairytale story so ubiquitous that it has forced John Humphries to interrogate Robbie Savage about stuff neither of them understand. It’s embarrassing for us all John, for us all.
The thing is, nobody has yet tied all this together in one, all-encompassing, all-explaining conspiracy theory. How can it be that the main Premier League teams all collaborated to let Leicester win? How could a team costing the same as Fernando Torres’s calf muscles beat the whole of England? And how come Spurs aren’t in the Europa Cup? Now, I’m not talking about any lame-ass doping theories or romantic refs notions; I’m talking about a proper Nazis v lizards, the Moon is Hollow conspiracy theory. I’m talking Voodoo and Angels. I’m talking Dan Brown, people!
So here it is: Brace yourself internet, because you can’t unsee this…
Back in September 2015, Chelsea team doctor and sexy feminist icon, Eve Carneiro was the guardian of a forbidden phial of Holy Water that she’d been secretly using on Eden “Garden of” Hazard to make him undisputed player of the season. Nobody knew of this secret, and history does not relate how she came to be in possession of the phial. But one unguarded night, after a few too many vinho verdes with old Portuguese chum Jose, Eve lets the cat out of the bag …
With an ailing father on his mind, Jose immediately pleads with her to let him use the Water’s healing powers, but Eve is sworn never to reveal its location. A desperate Jose sacks her on live television and steals the Water for himself. But he is hasty. Word gets back to the Roman overlord who sends in his legions and will stop at nothing to acquire the Water for himself.
Roman’s plan is brutish: bully Jose into giving up the phial by attacking the thing he holds most precious, his unrivalled winning record. In a twisted act of self-sabotage, Roman threatens referees with the slaughter of their first-borns unless they destroy Chelsea’s title hopes. Contentious penalties are given and Diego Costalot bleeds reds out of his palms until he is confined to a nunnery. Without his Holy Water treatment, Eden must relearn how to walk; Gary Cahill’s forgets the offside rule, and, afraid for his life by all this black magic, Ramirez turns Buddhist and flees to China.
In a last gasp attempt to nullify the loss of divine support, Jose orders the delivery of Pato from Brazil, whose heart he intends to sacrifice at the altar of the Portuguese Duck-God Cisne. But it’s too late. Before the year is out, Roman has successfully destroyed Chelsea’s title hopes and Jose’s career is mutually consented.
It is only now that Roman realises his mistake. The phial Jose had stolen was a duplicate and contained nothing more than a splash of vinho verde. (Nice if you’re on holiday, but not worth the suitcase space on the journey home.)
So where did the real Holy Water end up, you ask? Well, isn’t it obvious? Eve had swapped it the moment she knew its security had been compromised and escaped to a location as far from the tentacles of top tier Premier League football as she could find: The East Midlands.
Clearly the Water was too powerful to be kept intact. She needed to dilute it, but how? And where? In one final crafty diversionary manoeuvre, Eve sent another decoy phial (this time filled with Tizer) to Mike Ashley and, before the placebo effect wore off, she poured the true Holy Water into the most innocuous river she could find: the River Soar.
The effect was instant: local death rates dropped overnight, sick days plummeted and productivity surged as a virtuous cycle of vitality and good will filled the neighbourhood. Trains ran on time, traffic flowed, truancy levels dropped and school performances rose. At home, people bought more flowers and Dominos orders stagnated. Inevitably, local sports teams climbed irrepressibly to the top. Local pub striker and thug, Jaime Vardy, scored in 11 consecutive games; pool shark Mark Selby won the World Snooker Championship; and Leicester Tigers only lost their European Semi Final by 3 points because opponent fly-half Dan Carter knows Voodoo (The only thing that can successfully counter Holy Water).
Meanwhile, the rest of the Premier League hacked at each other’s ankles in confusion as chaos descended.
The only person who wasn’t flustered by this entire turn of events was Claudio Ranieri, a man born in Rome and well-versed in the qualities of Holy Water. He recognised the symptoms early on and calmly sat back to let the miracles happen. When the Hand of God is at play, you don’t interfere.
Of course, the effects of the Holy Water won’t last for ever, and it’ll be interesting to see if its potency still holds when it comes back to its original home at Stamford Bridge. Time will tell …
Meanwhile, what became of Eve, and how all this extravaganza completely passed by Louis Van Gaal are mysteries for another time. A sequel, perhaps. But for now, all that’s left for us to say, is: Get well soon Papa Jose!
And that’s what happened in the 2015/16 season. (That and we did the double over Arsenal, did I mention that?)