Thursday, May 07, 2009

Aftermath

The aftermath of the Chelsea v Barca Champions League semi-final game yesterday has been... well, nasty. I can understand why Chelsea supporter's feel crushed and I won't dig the shank in deeper. But I have to say that Drogba's and Ballack's performances after the game and the supposed "handball" incident with Eto'o respectively, as well as manager Hiddink's comments about some kind of UEFA conspiracy that prevented Chelsea from winning, were ridiculous.

We won. They lost. We didn't play up to our standards but we didn't blow it either. Great teams don't self-destruct and we didn't. We held on, we kept our composure, even after the red card against Abidal, and we pulled off a miracle. Chelsea scored that incredible goal early on, but they were never able to build upon it. It happens. So they dive, dive, dive, and then whine to the ref when the calls did not go their way. Barcelona have been accused countless times of doing the same thing. Drogba should consider himself lucky he didn't get a yellow card for diving. We won. They lost. It's over.

But a conspiracy? Please. The sense of entitlement from Chelsea, but from most of the top Premiership clubs in general, is astounding. It's difficult for me to believe that anyone would want to see another England league match disguised as the Champions League final again, but a conspiracy by UEFA to prevent Chelsea from winning their due European crown? I mean, they're entitled to win it! Suitcases of money had been exchanged beforehand cementing their victory! Roman Abramovich promised that it was a done deal! How come the ref didn't abide by the deal?

See how silly it is? Ah, cheer up Chelsea. You still have Everton to molest and take your frustrations out on.

For a more reasoned approach to yesterday's game, you can read Nic's great reflections over at FCBnews here.

4 comments:

shawnlevy said...

How is your defensiveness different from the petulence you ascribe to some mythical Chelsea fan?

And what about the takedown of Malouda -- called a foul and misplaced outside the box -- or Pique's admitted handball?

Please: Some balance.

Derek said...

Shawn,

I didn't intend my comments to be balanced. But I wasn't trying to pick a fight either. Just blow off steam perhaps because frankly a lot of the pieces I read after Wednesday's match, I felt, were blinded by anger and reached a level of entitlement (or were slanted that way) that was disgusting. Maybe that's my own fault for getting too emotionally involved when I read my football papers! But it was Paul Hayward's crap article that sent me over the edge:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2009/may/06/lionel-messi-gets-his-wish

I'll totally admit that most of the English press (outside of Sid Lowe,Jonathan Wilson, and Harry Pearson) gets to me when it comes to Spanish football. That's why I don't read them any longer. Hayward's dribble (did he lose some money on the game?) got to me and his comments seemed unformed, ignorant of La Liga, and Messi in particular.

Was the refereeing good? No. The Malouda call seemed fair to me and I'm not convinced that the linesman made a bad call on that due to the position he was in. I only saw the replay during the match and it seemed close but I think it was outside the box. He fell in the box but the foul was out of it. Pique? Unintentional but his arm was extended. It should have been called. Bad call. But that's it. I'm really finding it hard to come up with the "six or seven" penalties that Terry came up with afterward. I mean, I don't really care about that because I can only imagine the emotions he must be feeling having played the game considering what everyone else felt having watched it. But you don't honestly believe that that ref was bought do you?

I always try to keep our comments on apm balanced to some degree (except when it comes to the Timbers), but it was difficult for this one. And except for opponents of the Timbers, I certainly do not care to gloat about a victory.

So my apologies for that.

It was an ugly match. It wasn't fun to watch and I felt drained afterward. Sorry if I stuck the knife in. My emotions took over, amigo.

Salute,
Derek

Derek said...

I guess I should clarify... after reading my post... that neither Jonathan Wilson or Harry Pierson write about Spanish football. Only Sid does. Wilson and Pierson are English, though, and I just meant that I enjoy their writing on other aspects of football.

Lynda said...

Yeah, read this as a response to viewing the vitriol in some of the articles and commentary over on the Guardian, not on the perfectly understandable general frustration and broken-heartedness on the part of the average Chelsea fan. And it should be noted that Shawn took a very measured tone over at The World Is Round despite the crushing nature of the result.

I could say a lot more about Brits and Spain and cultural attitudes, which is also sort of at the heart of this, but I don't think this is the time and the place. Might work up an apm piece on it sometime in the future though.