War pigs; and moribund bullock
A RIP-SNORTER AWAITS
Barcelona versus Chelsea linked site, the clash of a club that is reaping the luscious fruit of years of painstaking talent hot-housing and the club that is valiantly staving off the comeuppance of years of splurging pell-mell and hoping for the best. But that is not to say one is more likely to win than the other. Because while Barca boast mobility, finesse and enterprise, Chelsea offer PASSION AND BALLS AND BOTTLE (when they’re in the mood). So it’s tiki-taka v hurly-burly. Fancy dans v John Bull. Ball-hogs against war pigs. Chelsea may seldom touch the ball but when buy canada goose jacket nyc they get it, by George they shall hoof it. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Stamford Bridge must be a wet Tuesday night in Stoke.
And then, next week, Camp Nou must be a wet Tuesday night in Stoke. It’s an order so tall that air traffic controllers are in a panic. Panic is good. Panic is Chelsea’s friend. Panic could beat Barca. “It’s fair to say we need two perfect games from our point of view against this team,” bellowed Roberto Di Matteo after watching England’s Brave and Loyal John Terry endure an extra session of advanced loin-girding exercises. canada goose coat 1000 bulbs reviews “Barca don’t like playing against us,” roared Di Matteo anew, as Didier Drogba ran through his raging-striker-on-a-pogo-stick routine one last time. “The way we play is maybe a bit more difficult for them to play against and we’ve shown on many occasions that we’re a team who can give them problems,” concluded Di Matteo before picking up Barca’s bespoke silk gauntlet, snorting and throwing down a knuckleduster in reply.
“I admire this generation of Chelsea players because it’s not easy to achieve what they have done – lots of semi-finals, and a final, in Big Cup,” retorted Pep Guardiola with irritatingly flawless politeness. “They have changed a few players and coaches but their soul and spirit remain the same. Maybe they do not have the consistency for a league, but in competitions like this they are one of the best teams in the world. I am struggling to see how we are going to hurt them and how we are going to create chances to score goals.”
Struggling to see a way for Barca to hurt Chelsea? Is that a suitably subtle flash of humour from the Barcelona conductor? Or did Chelsea manage to create a berserker atmosphere even for the pre-match press conference?
• Join Paul Doyle for live MBM coverage of Chelsea 2-2 Barcelona from 7.30pm.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I was saved in Sunderland. It’s changed my life for the better – through Jesus’s death” – Black Cats midfielder Kieran Richardson reveals that he has been a born-again Christian for the past four years.
RAISE YOUR CUPS TO THE BISCUITMEN
After a play-off final defeat there’s a little knot of sadness that never really leaves you. buy canada goose jacket nyc And such was the manner of Reading’s defeat in the Championship version last year – when they were 3-0 down to Swansea inside 40 minutes – that it was no surprise when they started this campaign with all the vim and vigour of a moribund bullock. A home draw with Millwall, an away win at Leicester but then four defeats on the bounce left them 23rd and pondering a future where mid-table misery counts as success.
The Royals were not helped by the fact they lost their crown jewels – Shane Long to West Brom and Matt Mills to Leicester. But in their best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest stead Brian McDermott brought in a couple of players with more best price for canada goose jacket points to prove than a baker of conical bread. In came Kaspars Gorkss, jettisoned by QPR having helped them to promotion, and Adam Le Fondre, Reading the club bold enough to take a chance on the little striker from Rotherham. The Latvian has proved the keystone in the buy canada goose parka ottawa tightest defence in the division, ALF the supersub and leading scorer.
But McDermott’s mix still took a while to gel. Autumn saw improvement but, like the central heating in a miser’s house, the club finally sparked to life once winter began to bite. In the 24 games since 3 December they have picked up 61 of a possible 72 points, 18 more than anyone else in the division and, crucially, 21 more than West Ham, who now seem certain to head into the play-offs.
It has been a run built on a solidity that is the envy of continents, a collective work ethic that would put a Trotskyite to shame, and set-pieces delivered by Ian Harte as juicy and dangerous as a steak laced with cyanide, not to mention McDermott’s understated and spotlight-shunning management style.
“In the summer I didn’t see too much good coming out of our defeat at Wembley,” said McDermott as the champagne corks popped around him after victory over Nottingham Forest secured promotion. “But I had great support from family, friends, they’ve sacrficed so much and I had to go through all that to get to where we are now. If you are at our club, it’s special. The environment is special, you can sense it. Go to the training ground, it’s genuinely everyone together. If you have that bond, it’s amazing what you can achieve.”
“Surely Teo Gutierrez (yesterday’s bits and bobs) would be more suited to a move to Chelsea in the summer, given the weapon-related nature of his indiscretion at Racing Club?” – Craig Anderson.
“Re: Morocco’s 1980 Eurovision song contest participation (yesterday’s Fiver). Finally! The Fiver has strayed into territory that I can speak authoritatively on. As Morocco is part of the European Broadcasting area (not limited to geographical Europe) it is eligible to enter any contest it wishes, providing it meets certain criteria. They have chosen not to re-enter since 1980, rather than not being allowed to do so. Tunisia authentic canada goose jacket sale also intended to enter, but later withdrew and Lebanon managed to spectacularly muck up their intended entry by refusing to broadcast the Israeli entrant, as they don’t recognise Israel, and were forced to withdraw and fined” – Stuart McLagan.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet the Fiver.
BITS AND BOBS
The Ukraine government has warned fans travelling to the country for Euro 2012 to get vaccinated can i wash my canada goose jacket or risk catching measles. “The situation with measles is unfavourable in our country,” blabbed a government suit, failing to explain when a measles epidemic is ever favourable.
Gael canada goose coat $5000 no credit check signature loans Givet has denied suggestions he was not in the right frame of mind to play in Blackeye Rovers’ 3-0 defeat at Swansea. “I wish to make it clear that I have never refused to play for [Blackeye] Rovers. It was the manager Steve Kean[-Out] who decided which players would be selected,” moaned Givet, who should really be grateful.
Instead of just burning all the cash they have in a K Foundation-style publicity stunt, Man City are considering throwing £20m in Chelsea’s direction for Daniel Sturridge, whom they sold to them for around £3m two years ago.
Carl Ikeme will get to enjoy Wolves’s relegation from the Premier League after being recalled from Doncaster to cover for knee-knack-afflicted keeper Wayne Hennessey.
And Ryan Babel reckons it was nasty Damien Comolli’s nasty businesslike manner and not his own inability to control a ball, run in a straight line or shoot within the boundaries of Liverpool 4, that was the reason for his Anfield exit. “So Comoli [sic] got fired at LFC, good for L.F.C. For him it [my sale] was just business,” tweeted the Hoffenheim winger.
STILL WANT MORE?
Floating football brain in a tank Jonathan Wilson tackles the Question: “How did Bayern outflank Real?” Funnily enough, “Because they wanted it more” is not his answer.
Dominic Fifield donned his best Columbo mac and scratched his head a lot while answering such questions as “What’s the reason for the sudden disappearance of Oriol Romeu?” during his live webchat with Chelsea fans ahead of tonight’s Big Cup semi.
Having limbs that may snap at the slightest touch isn’t a problem the Fiver has ever had to deal with, but Barcelona winger Isaac Cuenca has, though it hasn’t best price for canada goose jacket stopped him impressing Pep Guardiola, says Sid Lowe.
And when the Fiver saw Tony Hibbert’s picture at the top of The Knowedge it presumed the question was “Which player has blagged a living as a top-flight footballer for the longest time?” It was actually about scoring droughts.
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WE’LL MISS YOU, P302