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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

UEFA Roars and the Premier League Whimpers to a Finish

Yesterday's statement by UEFA lambasting Chelsea was brilliant in its ferocity and directness. UEFA, so often the bearer of little more than the ruler to slap the wrist of the European elite, finally rose up to the challenge set by those who think they are beyond reproach. It reminded me of that great novel - Animal Farm - where the animals realise their strength and power and run the corrupt and cruel human farmers off the farm.

Chelsea, Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea staff behaved reprehensibly during the Bacrcelona tie and I firmly hope that the proverbial book is thrown their way. Their is a possibility, or so UEFA say, that Chelsea could be thrown out of the Champions League. Unlikely that this is, it would be the kick in the teeth that Mourinho and his minnions have been asking for for some time.

Some of you may be thinking that, in writing the above words, I am retreating from my view that Mourinho has been beneficial for English football this year. This is not the case. I want to thank Mourinho for at least bringing some form of excitement to this season. At times during the past six months I have been exasperated by the aching dullness, the mediocracy, the sheer tedium that the Premier League has served up this year.

Chelsea have been consistently good, not excellent, the top three teams have been light years ahead of all the other teams in the league, Liverpool have (as per the past four seasons) battled for the fourth spot, and the three promoted teams find themselves at the foot of the table. How very predicatable. Aside from four or five teams, there is dearth of quality in the league and this undoubtedly effects the performance of English teams in Europe (few would disagree that Chelsea were lucky to beat Barcelona).

In these dark times - where quality is at a premium - (and at this moment I now type one handed) I feel it only appropriate to raise a glass to Mourinho, who has at least stirred emotions in an otherwise passionless and forgettable season.


Blogger T said...

In September 2002, the Skipper, Abdul and me were heading off to the Nike 10K run, and talking about football.

Arsenal were in the middle of an eventual 29 game or so unbeaten run in the Premier league. I was delighted with this but I knew that many of those games were against mediocre teams.

I told Abdul and the Skipper that it was my opinion tht half the 'premiership' were in fact 'nationwide' quality. They both vehemently disagreed and might have thought me arrogant, although I can't remember if this was the case.

But I stuck to my guns because I could only say what I believed based on what I saw. Now it seems Abdul also sees the lack of real quality in England's top division.

On Mourinhio, I liked him before I realised that he has a serious persecution complex and had no problem disprespecting Liverpool fans. Its time he had a reality check and UEFA are well-placed to deliver it.

3/22/2005 3:53 pm

Blogger Berry said...

I have to agree with TS on this one. I initially liked Mourinhio and thought he brought a breath of fresh air to the Premiership game, which was too fumed with Fergie and Arsene feud. As it turned out, he brought more nastiness to the game.

3/23/2005 11:37 pm

Anonymous Abdul said...

TS, I remember the conversation well. Although I was not vehemently opposed to your argument at the time, I did think at the time that the Premier League had some quality.

Perhaps I was trying to delude myself - like the rest of the English media - that the Premier League is "the best league in the world". I have seen the light and agree with you whole heartedly.

3/24/2005 7:01 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

It is certainly food for thought. The usual teams seem to struggle to emerge further than their previous season position or performance. Bolton have achieved such a move, where they now could place themselves into a champions' league place! Charlton have fared better too but when they are going up, they fall down. Boro looked to emerge too, particularly with good UEFA Cup form and have now suffered a dip, their home tie against S. Lisbon suffered, lost the away tie and went out, came home to lose to Southampton. It was Everton, Boro and Bolton who kepted out Liverpool when this season started. Currently it is now Everton only between Liverpool and 4th place, as Bolton look to revive their push.

The Premier League needs competition, just at the time where Man Utd faced serious challenge from a rejuvenated Arsenal under Wenger. Now a third has aded their name to the arena.

That answers the regard to the quality of the Premiership.

As for UEFA v Chelsea, no precedent. But there need not be, this is a landmark adjudication. Chelsea proven to be making false accusations, the content of which has possibly led to the early retirement of a respected UEFA official....what could UEFA do? I dont speak as if to indicate guilt on Chelsea's part. But if Chelsea are found guilty, their elimination would be reverberated immensely. This club has reached heights only to be cut down from the most prestuge European competition? Involving someone in Moan-rinho? Immense, I say, immense, and it would be like arousing a nasty dragon from sleep.

The dragon would be wrong, but with its power in revenge, it could be destructive. Chelsea's destructiveness would come virtually through Abramovich's finance. The Court of Arbitration for Sports has been mentioned as a pre-emptive hint if any decision was not received lightly. Sports lawyers have passed comment on the issue.

So, they look to stand in front of the English FA and the European Federation. If the Blues could play in the world competitions, they'd be addressing FIFA likewise. As if they wish to stand in front of any footballing body and defy they be accused.

'The gaul of it, this is Chelsea Football Club, soon to be the greatest football club ever,...'

'I am Kenyon....'

'I am Abramovich...'

'I am.....Jose Mourinho, Commander of the Blue Army of the West London, General of the Bridge of Stamford, loyal servant to the true emperor, Father to a Chelsea boys, husband to a Chelsea rich finance. And I will have my vengeance, in this season or the next.'


3/24/2005 10:47 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

It is not true that Liverpool have been fighting for fourth spot in the last 4 seasons, in 2002 they finished 2nd ahead United.

On the premiership, I have to disagree, and I will write a an article on this in the future. I think the premiership is fantastic, the quaity is good. In every top league, you are always going to get some rubbish teams. We can't have a league with 20 teams with Chelsea's quality that would be dull. Imagine Chelsea v Chelsea 0-0 Booooooooooooring.

3/25/2005 12:04 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Boring Chelsea we managed to score 6 goals against Bayern Munich and 5 against Barcelona.

If you said we are lucky to be in quarter final after Barcelona game, think about Bayern Munich vs Manchester United. Nobody said Manchester United was crap for 90 minutes and only score 2 goals in injury time.

As for now the claim by Mourinho on Frisk-gate it was proven true by fourth official report and yet no public apology made by UEFA. Where are those UEFA personnel banging drums on Chelsea and yet they are the one who are guilty. Why are they not standing down! So much for 'enemy of football'.

Mourinho binging nastiness to the game? Well Wenger and Fergie did this since Wenger came to EPL. Pizza-gate was a tragedy that waiting to happen between Arsenal and Manchester United even cops has to intervene!!

There will be craps teams in every single league. How do you explain Real Madrid winning more than 30 times in La Liga, Juventus and AC Milan won more than 50 league titles between them. Am I sensing jealousy because this season neither Arsenal nor Manchester United is top of the pile, then you claimed the league is not good enough?

Well unbeaten run by Arsenal does not seem extraordinary then, because as you said EPL is full of 'rubbish' teams.

4/20/2005 10:40 pm


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