Fiddling While Roman Burns
At the time of writing, Manchester United and Chelsea are huffing and puffing their way around the Old Trafford pitch. From what I’ve caught of it so far, United are completely over-running Chelsea at the moment and taking pot shots at a somewhat horrified-looking Petr Cech. Whatever happens on the pitch this afternoon, however, will most likely be over-shadowed by newspaper reports from this morning, suggesting that Roman Abramovich is really the new Chelsea manager, and that he is, effectively, wearing Avram Grant like a glove puppet. According to The Observer this morning, Abramovich ” instructed midfielder Essien, player of the year last season, to hit passes wide rather than through central areas where the Norwegians had compressed play”. Meanwhile, John Terry doesn’t come out of it all covered in very much glory. Terry, who is apparently threatening legal action against the newspaper, Terry “told one of Mourinho’s assistant coaches that he had ‘things on my mind’. Only the intervention of a team-mate put him in the right state of mind to take part in the pre-match warm-up, for which Terry arrived late”. This is all just too funny for words. One of England’s richest clubs in open revolt against each other, and with an owner who simply couldn’t resist the temptation to Be A Football Manager.
Elsewhere, yesterday was all pretty much of a muchness on Planet Football. Arsenal destroyed Derby County (who have already proved me wrong by contriving to beat Newcastle last week – this was one victory more than I was expecting them to get this season), whilst Fulham and Manchester City played out a knockabout 3-3 draw at Craven Cottage. In The Championship, Sheffield Wednesday finally recorded their first league win of the season by beating Hull City at Hillsborough. There were 48 goals in that division yesterday. This must be getting something close to a record. In League One, the increasingly tiresome Leeds United made it seven out of seven with another win against Swansea City (if you continue to have any sympathy for them, just focus on the mental image of Ken Bates and Dennis Wise) and in League Two Franchise scored a last minute winner against Darlington. A bad day at the office all round, but stay tuned, because we’ll have something rather special up here later on this evening.