Grayson Perry once said that when he looks at a masterpiece on a gallery wall all he sees is money. Or was it Monet? No I’m sure it was money. I’ve taken that out of context and no doubt quoted incorrectly but perhaps you get his point, that the artistic value of something can become overshadowed by its financial value. Here’s a leading question for you then, when you look down the Chelsea line up, what do you think of, football or Rubles? Probably the same as Grayson I’d Eden Hazard. The name of the keeper helps of course and then there’s Salah(ry) the former Basle boy coveted by many, purchased with a bit of Roman loose change and now watching from the Stamford Bridge tramlines. Or maybe, because of the fortunes being shelled out regularly by the Abu Dhabians for everyone, Real Madrid for our Gareth and Man Utd to keep Rooney the noteworthy thing is not how much they’ve spent but how restrained Bruce Buck (there you go again) and Abramovich have been? Perhaps someone is taking financial fair play seriously after all.
Whatever the case, skinflints or spendthrifts, it’s The Pensioners we face on Saturday evening in an important league game for both sides. Few things are in our favour. They’ve probably had more players away on international duty than we have, in Sandro and Townsend we’ve got a couple of players returning and getting stronger and Robbie Soldado will be chomping at the bit after last week’s strike. Sadly for him though his chances to build on that and begin a goal glut are likely to be restricted over the coming weeks given our run of fixtures. This assumes that the heavy strapping around Adebayor’s knee holds whatever is troubling the be-all and end-all of our attack at bay. Apart from these trifles though, just about all the soccer betting odds are stacked in the home team’s favour.
Most, if not all of our remaining March fixtures cry out for a thickened midfield. Sandro, Dembele, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Capoue, Paulinho and Bentaleb will have a lot of work on their hands in the next few weeks but perhaps not as much as the back four. Such was the ineptitude at Norwich and nervousness against Cardiff that frankly one fears for them against the trickery of Oscar, Willian, Hazard and (don’t call me) Schurrle. All we can do is protect them as best we can which means being disciplined in our shape, careful and patient in possession and not making silly mistakes all whilst not defending too deep. Stating the bleeding obvious of course but only because they’re not qualities we’ve been associated with much of late.
Injuries abound in the rear, to the extent that there’s no point in guessing who will feature. Whoever it is, it won’t be very near a first choice selection. I’m just reading Diego Maradona’s autobiography. Whislt at Napoli he claims that it’s those who fight hardest who win, not those with the money. Hmm. We’ll see. Michael Oliver is down to referee. COYS.
Have something to tell us about this article?