Man Utd Preview.Where is the Glamour?

November 19, 2016

When the deeply unpleasant Me-rinho announced that he would be talking over from flaky LVG I was concerned; this was a chance for him to resurrect his career. Hopefully, he will continue the fine work done by his two predecessors.

Jose’s press conference yesterday told all we need to know about him; just watch his facial expressions, listen to his envy. If I were one of MU’s phalanx of spin doctors, I would be worried. The man is unspooling.

Long may it continue

Unknown.jpeg

Onto the game.  As always there is the truism – points lost at OT are no more valuable than those lost at say, Vicarage Road. Nonetheless this is an important game, we need the points to stay with the front-runners and doing damage to MU is always good.

November. Bellerin. Santi. Sanchez. We know the problems.

Team selection will be very interesting. Will AW go with a defensive midfield pivot of Xhaka & Coquelin alongside Elneny? Will Ramsey start? Or Sanchez?

And what of right back? Peaches put out the rumour that Coquelin could start rather than Jenks, I can’t see it. Jenkinson has experience and is likely to start. Or could AW play Gabriel at RB and allow us to play with 3 at the back, pushing Monreal into midfield and thus giving space for an  attacking MF (Ramsey?).

A little about MU. They seem a club without an identity. In times of yore there was always a glimmer about them, some glamour. This is why Pogba and Ibra are so important to United, Pogba in particular, will be the man to base the team around. They have young talent in Rashford, Martial (I would love him to work with AW at AFC), Shaw and Bailly. Keeping De Gea was huge – he earns them at least 6 points a season. Someone will make them into a Top 4 side – I pray it is not the obnoxious Jose´.

My Team:

Ospina

Jenkinson    Mustafi    Koscielny     Monreal

Xhaka     Coquelin     Iwobi

Walcott   Sanchez   Ozil

Given Iwobi’s midweek travelling from Nigeria it may be that Ramsey will take his place, but let us not forget The Ox whose energy would do well in a more defensive performance.

The pundits are predicting Me-rinho will PTB, it is his way when facing attacking quality. Without Ibrahimovic I expect him to play on the counter and defend deep. Mata always plays well against us so I would not be surprised to him man marked.

Unknown-1.jpeg

This will be a test for us, the portents are not good – the Mourinho jinx, November, our recent record at OT, injuries but this is the time when all good men come to the aid of the party.

COYRRG

 


Ramsey is The Man

September 19, 2015

Chav. Know what it means? It is an acronym for Council House And Violent used by police on charge sheets. Gone are the days when Chelsea fans really were Chavs, nowadays they have been priced out of the ground. For all his wealth Mr Abramovitch has still allowed Stamford Bridge to have the 4th most expensive tickets in the PL.

What do the real diehard Chelsea fans think about their team? Are they sad that the club squander money on big name players who do not perform (Cuadrado, Falcao and the scores out on loan) or do they exalt in the fact that Chelsea are Champions? I know that I wouldn’t give a donkey’s butt about the balance sheet if Arsenal were to win the PL and I guess the Chavs don’t either.

As to this afternoon, I don’t accept the notion that Arsenal will be lacking in confidence following the midweek fiasco, 6 of the players are like to be dropped and those coming back add hugely to the team. Nor do I accept that Chelsea are over their problems because they beat Maccabi at home – as they should.

Will Chelsea be undone by the injuries to Willian and Falcao? Of course not. Will Fabregas have his best game of the season? Of course he will. Will Mourinho behave like a spoilt brat? You know the answer. Will Mr. Wenger shake his hand? Who cares apart from the media.

We know Chelsea have a fine team who are struggling defensively, they failed to buy the CB they wanted but still have Zouma, Terry, Ivanovic, and Cahill to choose from! Luxury (written with a Lancashire accent). A midfield of Fabregas, Oscar, Matic, Ramires and Obi One Kanobi is sure to gel at some point. Up front Costa is a petulant child (though I wouldn’t say it to his face!) and for this reason I hope Mr Wenger picks Gabriel. We know how fantastic a player Hazard is and AW must be gutted that he failed to sign him.

The Arsenal team?  I am sure it will be one which started against Stoke (unless BFG is fit).

Unknown-1

 

It becomes increasingly clear what a vital cog Ramsey is in the team. I have said this before and will say it many times, Ramsey is a better Ray Parlour.

Cazorla has been struggling of late. Could AW play the OX instead and bring Ramsey more central alongside Coquelin? He has tried to get Ramsey to play deeper in the past and it has not worked but that was alongside Arteta, Coquelin’s defensive discipline may be a better fit.

Once agin we have the Giroud/Walcott debate. Against the sluggish Terry/Cahill combo Theo is the obvious choice but I would certainly give OG at least 15 minutes. Or can we trust Campbell in such a big game?

I have to say that despite what has been written on AA this is NOT a season defining game; when was the last time we won at the Bridge? The bookies odds are against us and so are history and the experts. If we win it will be massive and send Me-rinho into the relegation zone with 6 games gone – effectively finishing their chances of winning the title. But ……

I have never enjoyed games at the Bridge – either I was shit-scared thanks to their knuckle-head Nazi fans (in the days of Yore) or because their team have comprehensively outplayed us. There have been great moments – Kanu’s hatrick, Nigel’s thunderbastard, the magic 5-3 which included a hatrick from some Dutch bloke and the JT faceplant, but they are few and far between.

Can we win? Of course. Will we?  I wish I could be positive about this one but I am not. We have scored just twice in 7 games against them and have not won for 7 games, Me-rinho has never lost two successive home games as a manager. On the plus side, we have won 7 and drawn one of our last 8 away games and Theo is on fire (11 from 11).

I would be delighted with a draw.

I am 34% positive.

COYRRG

Written by Big Raddy


Bellerin or Debuchy?

April 26, 2015

I used to like them. I used to like the fancy-dans of Kings Road. I liked John Hollins, Charlie Cooke and Ossie and even Terry Vegetables. I enjoyed watching Ruud Gullit and Vialli and Pat Nevin, They had swagger, class and style. They were Chelsea but post the Russian have become The Chavs. New money, new ethos – efficiency over character.

If I were a Chelsea fan would I be happy? Of course I would but I know I would hanker after the Glory Days because football is not just about winning – it is also about entertainment.

A team with Hazard, Costa, Fabregas, Oscar, Willian etc should be able to get bums off seats, instead they are tailor-made for a mid-afternoon Sunday nap on the settee. You know what to expect – they do enough to win and no more. What happened to that wonderful team which hammered all-comers at the beginning of the season? Same players but totally different entertainment level.

Unknown

Chelsea fan mid-way through the first half

Why? The rot starts at the top, filters down to the horrible oik of a manager then to the dreadful team captain and onwards to the team.

I will not ruin your day by spending any time writing about the manager; suffice it to say that he is successful and charismatic – so was Stalin.

What of today’s encounter? First vs Second (well it was on Friday!). A win today takes us back to second with a game in hand on MC & MU (and 11 points ahead of the N17 neanderthals). Can we finally beat Mourinho?

To start with, Ramsey has to play. Whomever is to play right back will have to cope with Cesc, Oscar and Hazard. He will need the additional security of a tackling “winger” rather than Theo.

Bellerin or Debuchy? We discussed this briefly mid-week with the majority pointing out Bellerin’s fine run of form and his extreme pace; my inclination is to start Debuchy. Bellerin makes the odd mistake which is inevitable with such a young man, Debuchy may not be as pacy or as much of an attacking threat but he has the experience. That said, Debuchy did not excel at Wembley.

Then there is the battle of the Franks – Francesc vs Francis. Le Coq has excelled in recent weeks but Cesc is a level above all the MF’s he has faced. Whatever your feelings about Fabregas the man, he remains a wonderful footballer – the best in his position in the PL (IMO). Would he improve the current Arsenal team – possibly not, but who would you rather see in the Red & White, Cesc or Aaron or Santi?  All of them is my answer!

The teams seem evenly balanced and I expect the result to depend upon which side makes the least mistakes. If our defence can concentrate for 90+ minutes with the midfield backing up both FB’s we should win because we have better forwards. I know Hazard will be Player of the Season but in my opinion Alexis has been better. Ozil and Giroud are better players than Oscar and whichever lump plays upfront for Chelsea today.

BFG or The Archangel? If fit, Mertesacker has to start, though Gabriel seems to have pace and excellent abitliy in the air which could be vital against a team with such big CB’s. Cahill, Terry and Ivanovic have scored 15 goals between them!

My Team:

Ospina

Debuchy    BFG (if fit)   Koscielny   Monreal

Cazorla    Coquelin

Ozil

Ramsey     Sanchez

Giroud

Other changes could be Welbeck in for Ramsey as Mr Wenger may choose to be more attacking in a home fixture – somehow I doubt it. The bench is possibly the strongest in the PL. We have so many fine players in the squad. When The Ox returns will he find a place in the current first 11 or even the bench?

Matic worries me. The man is a beast and exactly the kind of player Mr Wenger should be buying in summer. Sadly this type of player is rare and as such hugely expensive. The physical battle between Matic and Le Coq will be interesting.

Courtois. This chap is fantastic, everything I wish TPIG could have been. Let’s hope he has a disastrous evening.

As to the Mourinho/Wenger hoodoo. It is just history – as irrelevant as our FAC Final win over the Chavs in the Ray Parlour final. That said it would be wonderful if we could win today to stop another tedious media narrative.

We have won 9 games in a row, are at home, have a fully fit team and bench. We can win.

I am 51% confident

written by Big Raddy