Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sorry, No Love from Russia!

Oh dear oh dear. Stamford Bridge will not see a trophy this season. Cracks are starting to form in the oligarchic Russian Roman Abramovic's theory that money can buy success. Chelsea went down 6-5 on penalties to league winners Manchester United. In some ways, I didn't really care. Arsenal were long gone from the greener pastures of continental Europe so there was little in the game for me. However, I do believe that football games should be won on the talent of the players and the intellect of the managerial staff, not the deep, silk-lined pockets of the owner.
Henceforth, I was rooting for the Red Devils, not the Chelsea Cheapskates. Let's make this clear. I despise Manchester Utd. But I loath Chelski on a whole other level.
To see Didi Drogba sent off for bitchslapping Vidic at 1-1 left a bitter taste in Chelsea's mouth and set the angry fire burning in the hearts of Manchester. Yet the game dwindled with the Blues more or less edging the Us until the petulant Joe Cole was taken off for Salomon Kalou in the 103rd minute. Avram Grant first real managerial decision had been a poor one as Manchester controlled the tempo but were unable to capitalize amongst a dozen or so episodes of cramp and the referee blew for penalties.
Both teams capitalized on every chance before Ronaldo capitulated his to the hands of Petr Cech. Monotony returned until Cashley Cole somehow squeezed the ball through van der Sars' fingers, setting up John Terry for a championship-winning spot-kick. Alas, ol' JT slipped to the freshly-laid Luzhniki turf, sending his effort on to the right-hand upright. Both teams added an extra goal. Conclusively, Nani then sent the ball past Cech before mid-season arrival Nicolas Anelka sent the ball tamely into the welcoming palms of Edwin van der Sar. The Dutch legend lept from the ground in elation whilst Anelka merely stood, wondering where he's off too next. van der Sar's teammates hugged, kissed and generally embraced their keeper whilst their counterparts realised that money is no substitute for success. Indeed, Arsenal have the meagre Emirates Cup to hang over Chelsea's heads.
I wasn't so much celebrating Manchester's win but Chelsea's loss. I can now rest comfortable knowing that money doesn't necessarily win titles. That same knowledge leaves Roman Abramovich twisting in his silken sheets. Actually I don't know. He still has this:
Yeah, I don't think he's too upset.

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