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Monday, October 03, 2005

BBC's Hansen goes down in my estimation.

Alan Hansen is the voice-over on a Tesco's advert saying that Frank Lampard is a '£40million football genius'.

These are not the only dubious words that Alan Hansen have come out with recently.

Today, Hansen has written on the BBC website that Chelsea detractors are, in effect, either 'crazy' or 'jealous'. This is both insulting and incorrect.

I am not someone who says Chelsea play boring football, but they did play in a boring match against Liverpool last Wednesday and the defensive nature of their set-up does not always make for entertaining viewing. This is not a 'crazy' judgement- this is how it is. I don't mind being in the same company as 'total football' Johan Cruyff with this opinion.

Hansen is also blind to context. Chelsea is a club who refused to admit they tapped up Ashley Cole after a guilty verdict delivered by an FA inquiry; a club who poached Frank Arnesen from Spurs; a club whose manager publicly questioned the integrity of Anders Frisk and the Barcelona coach on the back of sketchy evidence; a club who have a coach and a leading player who have the grace to shoosh Liverpool fans; a coach who said- live on ITV- after defeat to Liverpool last season that the 'best team lost'; and who have the offensive Peter Kenyon proclaiming that the championship will be won by a 'small group of one'.

In other words, they are their own worst enemy in the field of public relations. They might as well just come out on the pitch flashing wads of cash for all the class they have shown since their rise to the top. Football fans aren't stupid. Over the past twelve months they have taken in this accumulation of events and the result for some is a sour taste. Its got little to do with jealousy.

Chelsea is a really effective football team. In John Terry they have a magnificent captain and centre-back. Jose Mourinho has found a winning system of play that others have tried to emulate- but none have been as successful with. I respect all these things.

But I also can see the whole picture of events, unlike Alan Hansen. My approach is more balanced and sensible. Alan Hansen should reserve his dubious observations to Tesco's adverts.


Blogger Gamblog UK said...

Yip, it's not about money. It is about how you carry yourself.

Chelsea have not only won the Russian lottery, they have used those winnings to flout every rule they can, because they can afford all fines. Spurs should not have let Chelsea get away with the Arneson thing, but once again, Chelsea paid their way out of that one too.

Chelsea get no respect, but not because of plenty money alone. Sugar daddy teams have not been disrespected for "buying" success before.

No one begrudges Wigan for paying their way to get above their supposed station via their sugar daddy.

Hansen should know that much.

10/03/2005 8:38 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, I don't buy it.

Chelsea have some cash, but the way they play, the way they work, the way they're organised and their desire to win are second to none.

Boring? Unbeaten for months, a higher goal to game ratio than any other side in the league and a vastly superior goal difference indicate otherwise.

Admit it - you just don't like 'em...

10/03/2005 10:26 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments clearly prove that Hansen was correct.

10/03/2005 10:36 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

I just don't like the way the Chelsea camp operate, but it doesn't mean that I am jealous.

10/03/2005 10:55 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Well, beyond the banter, beyond the comments, do Chelsea fans feel Mourinho is justified in some of the things he has said, at the expense of annoying, irritating, upsetting others? The classic "the best team lost". Was that necessary, or a way of venting frustration? Peter Kenyon, 'the title will be won by a small group of one'. Does he have a crystal ball?

I have witnessed people almost bragging from positions which they feel they are the best, inpenetrable, perhaps unbeatable - and then the shock happens and they fall, or something happens to remind them they are not as invulnerable as they think. I personally feel Chelsea's time will happen, the rise before the big fall. That isnt jealousy, that is always the case when one feels they are in an untouchable position. The worry for Chelsea was that they had lost an edge to their game from Wednesday, why they were so happy on Sunday afterwards.

The words happened from Mourinho in the beginning, Kenyon added to them. Were they necessary, or couldn't Chelsea have said they feel confident of retaining the title? Had it been another team doing this to Chelsea, the fans would be in uproar. Lampard is one who wallows in the arrogance Mourinho and Kenyon have formed, initially because he knows he is a favourite of the manager along with Terry. The finger on the lips on Sunday made him a hated man, he forgot that the gesture happened from the League Cup Final, and THAT occurred because Mourinho was being teased by Liverpool fans for his comments before that final. Again, it began from Mourinho. Simply, if Chelsea felt aggrieved by what was said in the papers, scoring goals and winning the game was the best answer, not the need felt to antagonise the home fans.

Unbeaten in some 30+ games, maximum points, highest goals difference so far into double figures, more than twice that of second place, technically three winning games ahead of second place, and the players they have, the finance - how can you NOT have respect with all of that?? Simple, you have those concerned near enough bragging about it, about their opinion of the opposition, as if they are in a palatial elite realm.

I summarise that T's words hasn't proven Hansen was right. It is not about disliking Chelsea for their wealth, their current superiorty at the top of the league. It is about exactly that which T stated, nothing to do with jealousy. But instead it is about humility.

And furthermore, when you attempt to poach another player from another club, poach a member of staff from another club, outside the boundaries of the rules, question the integrity of one of the most respected professional officials in the game to the point he is made to retire prematurely, and then request for respect, one shouldn't be surprised that the request is thrown into question.


10/03/2005 11:43 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done reds man! Poaching players isn't something that Arsenal, Liverpool or Arsenal would ever do is it? What about Arsene trip to Brazil to talk to a former Seville front man? Or Red Nose's chat with Stam? Do I need to mention Houllier dinner date?

So far Kenyon's comments have proved to be spot on as much as I didn't agree with them initially if he is wrong come may then I am sure you could ask him to say he is sorry!

You want to see arrogance look no further then Arsene Whenger the man doesn't understand the word humility. Would you see him making comments similar to the one's Jose made after the Villa game?

If you aren't jelous then what are you bitter?

10/04/2005 12:07 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon, you have jumped the gun somewhat. It wasn't said other clubs hadn't attempted to poach other players from other clubs in similar or identical fashion as that of the Colegate affair or Arnesen issue. It was said that when you are seen or proven to have done so and then ask for respect, it can be open to question.

Whether Chelsea will win the title in May or not, it is therefore justified that, before the season has begun, Kenyon made his comments, particularly after just one season? Confidence or arrogance??

When Man Utd and Arsenal were playing teams with equal devastation as Chelsea are now, they were both that good and Liverpool, for one team, were that far behind them that one wished they would fail somewhere just to disrupt their flow and allow teams, if not your respective team, to beat them. That is not jealousy, that's wanting your team to improve and cease being beaten whenever they encounter the better teams.

I'm sorry, anon, I have to reiterate that which I mentioned before. Humility, not jealousy or bitterness. The difference in reaction, from outside Chelsea FC, between hearing words of confidence and words of arrogance would be, I suspect, a vast one. So vast that Mourinho feels the whole world is against Chelsea.


10/04/2005 8:29 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

To be fair I think Hansen was making the point about people attacking Chels for being boring rather than every single 'attack'. In that regard he is right as the game we play is far from boring.

In answer to your question Redsman I do feel that Jose was justified in saying the best team lost. Firstly, IMO it was true. Secondly he (along with anyone else) has the right to express their opinion, right or wrong. But why does he get attacked so much for doing so? SAF, Wenger and Allerdice are managers that spring to mind who are ALWAYS giving their opinion and are usually graceless in defeat. But Jose is held up as the worst culprit? Why?

I do think Kenyon was a bit over the top and groaned as I knew it would foster resentment. All that I can say is that this opinion comes from a small minority of one. ;-) Even now most Chels fans I speak to feel very confident about the title but are not yet saying it's won. We'll leave that sort of tripe to Fleet Street who seems intent on creating resentment towards our team.

As for the whole finger thing. Lets be honest, Jose was not being ‘teased’ by the Liverpool fans in the league cup final. He was taking a torrent of abuse which in normal life nobody should have to deal with. When we got the equaliser he wanted to give back some of the ‘teasing’ he’d take for the best part of an hour. And if a shushing gesture is reason to become a hated man then people need to gain a perspective on life and even seek counselling.

The same with Lamps. There has been a lot or rhetoric (to put it kindly) from the Liverpool camp before both games (not starting with Jose as you suggest). As he went to take the pen not only did he have the Kop calling him Fat Frank and all other manor of names but Carriger was sledging him left right and centre. I think he was quite restrained in only shhhhing the ‘Pool fans not sticking two finger up at them and telling them to f**k off (as would have Rooney).

Regarding the whole poaching saga. Yes it was tawdry but lets he who is without sin cast the first stone. Lets face it we all know it happens day in day out but we were the club who got caught, and thanks to the righteous indignation of the press (who as pointed out do seem to have an agenda) were singled out by the FA.

And a real bug bear of mine is people who question Jose re the Barca/Frisk fracas. Sketch evidence? Frisks own match report CONFIRMS that Rykard followed him back to his room and had to be stopped from entering. This is a solid FACT. Now no one on the planet can convince me that Rykard was just trying to say hello and pass the time of day, as he claims. We all know he was trying to influence the ref. 10 mins into the second half….. a very dubious second yellow.

Now Jose here made a mistake. He never personally witnessed the meeting but two of his staff did. Being the kind of person he is he 110% backed up his staff to the extent that he treated their report as fact (which it was) and said the words “I saw it happen”.

UEFA then had the legal room they required to show that Jose was the enemy of football and causing the death of the game blah blah blah and find him guilty of lying. A week or so latter the quietly release the details of the refs report and sweep it under the rug. And the press was happy to ignore it as they wanted to maintain a hate figure to sell papers.

When the press are constantly trying to cast Jose and everyone connected with Chelsea in such a bad light is it any wonder they lack humility and become stand offish? If we were treated with respect we would treat others likewise.

10/04/2005 9:14 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Blindjak, thank you for your view.

I personally have never viewed Chelsea as playing boring football and initially one wouldn't care as long as it led to 3pts. There use to be cries of 'boring, boring, Arsenal' yet they were doing that which their fans and manager wanted, gaining 3pts practically every time.

I agree there have been and are a few managers who point out little moments they feel went against them unfairly in a defeat. But Mourinho has made a rod for his back with a flair for words one would link to arrogance, which is one, if not the only one, of the reasons why he is particulary singled out.

About Kenyon, your opinion is honest and I appreciate that very much. I will, at this point, admit that I felt similarly when Benitez said Chelsea were frightened to come to Anfield. It was as if we'd slapped a lion after refusing it it's meat.

However, with the LFC fans at the League Cup Final, Mourinho shouldn't have made the gesture, regardless of the abuse given. Abuse has been given by the opposition for years and players are expected to ignore it and concentrate on the game. The temptation to retaliate in those circumstances are immense, but had it been Benitez, I would have been dissapointed, for the best answer to criticism, abuse, chanting is to stifle the fans by matching or defeating their team. Chelsea's, and Mourinho's, answer came through their goals on that day.

I've just heard some 10mins ago that Graeme Poll has reported LFC fans for throwing objects onto the pitch when Lampard made his gesture after scoring the penalty. I don't and never will condone such actions but it emphasised why Lampard shouldn't have done it, despite what appeared to have been said. Carragher said words that one would accept as part of the psych to put off the taker. Danny Mills (Boro) did so to Thierry Henry at Highbury, and Henry answered by scoring and then striking himself on the chest within millimetres of Mills as a show of defiance. Henry went further to nutmeg Mills from a very tight corner, I digress slightly but the point is there are more than one way of getting back at those who tease and perhaps abuse.

Again, I don't say other clubs haven't done or wouldn't do the poaching manner. Mourinho has currently emerged as a prominent figure in our football and as such when sensationalism is seeked, the media (mostly the press) are like ninja shadows popping out when one least expects it, if at all.

I am not familiar with Frisk's report confirming Rijkaard attempting to enter his room, but that in itself isn't proof of influence and you state that the Barcelona coach was prevented from doing so. Be that as it may, I wouldn't be convinced either that he wished to be so cordial, that can be done after all have left their respective rooms, in the tunnel perhaps.

If there was proof that Rijkaard had influenced Frisk to the point the referee issued a second yellow to Drogba dubiously, that is a very serious allegation against quite a renowned professional official. Not even UEFA could bury that, considering what I mentioned earlier about how hungry the media can be for sensationalism. Mourinho, as you stated, made the mistake of speaking, perhaps emotionally or frustratingly, and not engaging properly the appropriate channels for complaining.

If I were a Chelsea fan, or better still if Liverpool were equal to that of Chelsea, and heard negative reviews about my team, I wouldn't mind. At the end of the day I'm concerned about my team, how they progress, atmosphere at the club between all, injuries, suspensions, management, etc. When my team are on maximum points, goal difference of double figures, and the rest, I would be comfortable. The press or whoever could say what they wish. My team should continue with business and let the football speak for itself. Because at the end of the day, despite any perceived negativity, my team would be respected for where they are and how, and no one could deny that.


10/04/2005 10:36 am

Blogger T said...

Thanx Blindjak for a really solid contribution on behalf of Chelsea fans. Totally agree with gambling joey. And great stuff as ever Redsman.

I stand by every observation made about Chelsea, bad or good, in my article. Mourinho was out of order on the Anders Frisk situation. He had to quit following death threats on the back of Mourinho saying he saw Rijkaard enter Frisk's dressing room, when in fact he did not see such a thing. Further, as blindjak points out, the UEFA report said this incident never happened.

I'm not saying that all clubs are perfect aside from Chelsea. And I reiterate that I can only admire Chelsea's run of unbeaten matches. But they have done quite a lot of things that rankle fair football fans, including some of us at EFT.

10/04/2005 12:02 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

Redsman, points all well made and taken on board. There are was of displaying defence in the face of provocation and maybe Frank/Jose took the more emotional and less well considered versions.

As for Rijkaard, I should point out that the influence I refer to would be the sort of influence SAF exerts with his constant clock watching (i.e. giving more extra time when he wants it to avoid any controversy or a verbal blast) or the preferential treatment Wenger gained for Vieira by claiming that he was targeted by refs for yellow/red cards (ref then thought to prove they weren’t they would not book him and he ended up getting away with murder in the last couple of seasons).

I don’t for a minute believe that there was any collusion to definitively red card anyone or gain Barca any advantage. But under pressure did Frisk feel it was easier to come down on the side of 80,000 fans and a manager who had planted seeds in his head? We’ll never know.

As for the whole respect thing. I’ve been going since the 80’s when we were truly awful and now that we have finally achieved what I never thought I would see in my life time, Champions Chelsea, I can’t help but feel this has been somewhat soured by constant negative press which in itself feeds/fosters negative fan reaction. I wanted to bask in glory yet some insisted on raining on my parade.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve realised that no matter what we do or how well we play some journos have it in for us (maybe Bates did something to piss them off) and have started to let any negativity wash over me. But every now and then the righteous indignation does unfortunately rear its ugly head!

At any rate, best of luck with the rest of the season.

10/04/2005 12:18 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

T - Just to clarify UEFA said that Jose didn't see the Frisk incident (which is true) not that it didn't happen as Frisk himself confirmed it did.

Also as with all teams we have our fair share of morons and can Jose be held accountable if a few of them are unhinged enough to make death threats after a valid complaint? It would be like blaming Wenger if some reality challenged Gooner made death threats to Roman after his complaints about financial doping etc.

10/04/2005 12:25 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you will find that the vast majority of fans of cluns other than Utd,Arsenal or Liverpool actually really like AND RESPECT Mourinho. If you take off the club blinkers you will find that what he actually does is simply tell the truth, the whole truth with no fear of whether it is contraversial or will upset anyone. He has brought a huge amount of entertainment into the game for fans who like his refreshing refusal to duck the issues or be diplomatic. As a Chelsea fan i agree that Kenyon is an idiot and should not have said what he said but cannot go along with the attacks on Jose or our team. We play good football most of the time,are well organised and have the best team spirit shown by any side by a country mile.We are never given any credit for our amazing run of form and also not for our excellent disciplinary record. Very rarely do you see us chasing referee's,manically disputing decisions or verbally abusing anyone.When it does happen Jose clamps down on it. Is that ever mentioned in the press, No. In the Ashley Cole saga we were in the wrong, of course we were but the facts seem to indicate that Cole and his agent were more guilty than us as they instigated the whole thing,so how come it is the club and not cole who were slated for doing what every other club is also doing.In the Frisk afair,Chelsea's argument was actually proven to be 80% correct,what we did wrong was breaking the unwritten official code of silence (lying about it)that is prevalent in the game.

On top of all of this, i would argue that a bit of controversy, a few tongue in cheek comments, shushing the crowd etc are actually entertaining. If an opposition player or team did it to me i would boo him and probably abuse him but actually , in reality, it wouldn't bother me in the least and on the way home i'd probably laugh about it. So who are the idiots who are so incensed by it, i'll tell you who. They are the ones who recognise, like Hansen did that their hatred and fury is spawned by their sense that they can't do anything about it and for now can't stop us,Jealousy!!

10/04/2005 12:50 pm

Blogger T said...

Blindjak, to further clarify the facts on the Frisk incident, I copied and pasted this which was reported a week after the Mourinho guilty verdict:

Fratellia (UEFA venue director)says in his report that he personally spoke to Frisk immediately after the match. His report states: "The referee told us that he had contact with Frank Rijkaard from the pitch to the front of his dressing room door (closed). Rijkaard wished to say hello to Frisk at the beginning of the tunnel and then tried to talk to him climbing the stairs.

"Frisk told us then that he said to Rijkaard that it was not the moment or the place to speak about any match situation and instructed him when he was in front of his dressing room door (closed) to go to his dressing room."

I reckon this evidence shows that Mourinho was hasty and incorrect to say that Rijkaard entered his room.

Not sure if you can equate Wenger comment on 'financial doping' (factually correct), with Mourinho's Frisk comments questioning an offical's integrity(factually inaccurate), but definitely agree that Mourinho cannot be held accountable for death threats by morons.

10/04/2005 1:39 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

Jose was hasty to say he saw anything as it was his assistants who saw it and not him. And as I understood it all at the time the lay out of the corridor etc could make it seem as if he entered the room although Rijkaard clearly did not. But it serves to illustrate that while technically incorrect in stating that he’d seen it he was correct to raise it as an issue.

If Rijkaard had to be told “that it was not the moment or the place to speak about any match situation” and had to be sent to his dressing room what does that tell you? That he wanted to put some sort of pressure on the ref to hopefully gain advantage. Was Jose wrong to question this?

As for the Wenger thing I was just attempting paint a picture rather than comparable the situations and wouldn’t attempt to equate the two incidents.

10/04/2005 2:32 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But I also can see the whole picture of events, unlike Alan Hansen. My approach is more balanced and sensible. Alan Hansen should reserve his dubious observations to Tesco's adverts."

Oh yeah? Don't give up the day job.

10/04/2005 5:24 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chelsea were fined seven time the previous amount for tapping up players when they were found guilty of tapping up Cole. That was a little unfair- if it's the same offense the same punishment should prevail regardless of how well off the club is. They had excellent grounds for appeal but chose not to so as to draw a line under the issue.

Secondly, with regards to the Frisk affair, the official report (which tactically came out the day after Mourinho had served his two match ban) actually admitted the meeting with Rijkarrd did take place exactly as stated by Mourinho.

Thirdly, whilst they have a rigid defence this is something to be proud of not ashamed of. Newcastle built an excellent team with their money, as did Spurs with the influx of Dumitrescu etc etc, but won nothing because of their lacklustre defence.

Finally, I'm pretty sure that your hatred of Chelsea is purely down to their sucess and money. I'm also pretty sure that you're one of the many who said that 'money doesn't gurantee success' in the first place - and have now changed your tune to one of the 'you bought the league' idiots.

10/04/2005 5:26 pm

Blogger Abdul said...

This article and thread have made good reading. Plenty of insightful comments.

Blindjak, I am one of the contributors to EFT. We are looking out for correspondents for other clubs. Would you be interested in becoming the EFT correspondent for Chelsea? Please feel free to contact us at our email address

10/04/2005 5:48 pm

Blogger T said...

To last anon- sorry mate but I don't 'hate' Chelsea. That is way to strong a word.

Some things they have done have rankled but there are others that have had me off my seat- like the three goals scored early on in the second-leg against Barca which was awesome viewing.

Yeah, blindjak's comments were solid- it would be good to see some more on EFT.

10/05/2005 12:26 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (5.26PM), I ditto that said by T. There is no hate in football, as far as EFT is concerned. Jealousy doesn't exist either, humility does and we expect that, winning, drawing, losing. That is it. You have to trust us on this because it is the truth. Chelsea's record and current league standing speaks volumes, and quite simply the rest are currrently playing catch up.

I felt it was established that Frisk's report stated Rijkaard came to him to speak and was told immediately it was inappropriate to do so, neither the time nor place. There wasn't, therefore, a meeting and the contact thereafter went no further. The Chelsea staff who witnessed what Rijkaard had done had a right to complain.

Money doesn't buy you success alone in football, it serves as a strong bargaining chip when one wagers on attracting the better, if not the best, players around the world.


10/05/2005 1:17 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You PROVE Hansen's comments correct.

Do you think he cares about the off pitch antics?

Hansen is a football critique, he analyses what happens on the pitch.

Your accusation that Chelsea are boring is the typical deranged 'scouse humour' that is prevelant in the media.

You might want to check your own goal scoring and league form this season, not to mention certain interesting stastics that recently came to light whereby Liverpool appear as the most prominent long ball team in the league.

But there's no arguing with scousers is there?

10/05/2005 7:19 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (7.19AM), please refer to the above, preferably from the begining, again. T stated "I am not someone who says Chelsea play boring football, but they did play in a boring match against Liverpool last Wednesday...", thus not labelling them as 'boring'. T is an Arsenal fan. A picture of Thierry Henry appears in his comments.

I am the Liverpool fan, and have stated I have never labelled Chelsea's football as boring.


10/05/2005 9:45 am


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