Pre season: Good, bad or ugly?
Not too shabby, we won all our games in July and August save the Champions Cup final against Real Madrid. I’ve never heard of this cup before so it must be worth as much as winning the Emirates Cup (something Arsenal can’t even do any more, just laughin’), but I would have liked to have stuck it to Cristiano Ronaldo following his war of words with the Special One in the lead up to the game. As it was, he scored two of the goals in our 1-3 defeat.
Hopes for the season:
Well, now that Manchester United have replaced football genius Alex Ferguson with the far less formidable David Moyes, I’d be pretty darn annoyed if we finished anywhere other than first. A good run in the Champions League would be good too… heck, let’s go win it again, so we can create a sandwich of 2012: CL, 2013: EL, 2014: CL. Usually the filling of a sandwich’s supposed to be better than the bread, but I’m bucking the trend here. We should do it.
Fears for the season:
If Hazard or Mata get injured for long periods of time, then we’re facked; they’re pretty much the nucleus of the team. I worry that Barcelona’s dogged pursuit of David Luiz will result in them making Mourinho an offer he can’t refuse. I would be loath to see the Brazilian go as, effervescent personality aside, he has the potential to become the league’s best centre-back. Aside from that, my biggest fear is that we sign Wayne Rooney. Do. Not. Want.
Absolute bare minimum you’ll accept:
Second and a domestic trophy.
Fixture you’re most looking forward to?
A couple, Manchester United v Chelsea so early on in the season is better for us than them I reckon because they have a brutal run-in after that (Liverpool and City in the space of weeks) so we could strike first blood and dent their title chances as early as possible. Chelsea v Arsenal, because my boy supports them and I enjoy the bant, but given my Ashley Colesque predilection for self-sabotage in relationships, we’ll see if we’re even together by then. And Chelsea v Spurs, because my brother and various colleagues support Tottenham and I like mocking them when we destroy the Spuds.
Got the right manager?
I said it when I was a horny 15-year-old with a zen for Vladimir Nabakov, I’ll say it 8 years later: I wanna be Mourinho’s Lo-leeeee-tah. Oh, and he’s rather good at all the tactical stuff too. However, one thing I will say is that the fact that Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos lead the coup to drive him out of Real indicates he still possesses that habit of rubbing some people up the wrong way, and if he doesn’t want to see the same end of tenure as his last time at the Bridge, he’d do well to tone that bravado down around Abramovich.
By Christmas you’ll be…
Tied on points with Manchester City, second due to goal difference. I predict that Jesús Navas fella they signed will be great this season, much to our chagrin.
Player you’d most like to sign?
Sadly the ship for this one has sailed as Napoli beat us to it (plus it never would have been likely as Mourinho apparently never rated him that much when he was his gaffer at the Bernabéu), but Gonzalo Higuain. Excellent player who really deserved more starts at Real Madrid, and would offer Chelsea exactly the sort of movement we need from a striker. Apart from that, I’m pretty happy with our wheeling dealing this Summer.
Which player should we look out for?
Lukaku. I’m all for making him the focal point of our attack and just using Torres sparingly as a sub, to be honest. He was immense for West Brom last season and with the calibre of our midfield, if we field him as much, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t match, or better, that goal tally.
Which player would you love to ditch?
John Terry. So much baggage for a player who ain’t even all that any more. And whilst we’re at it, can we ditch all the dumb deluded Chelsea “fans” on Twitter who’ve never been to a game in their lives and think that posting a photo of Terry kissing Essien’s forehead acts as watertight proof that he didn’t say those words to Anton Ferdinand.
Opposition hate figure?
Luis Suarez for his racist, arm-biting antics, his constant backtracking and then the way he tried to use the English media to angle for a transfer to Arsenal. Rio Ferdinand; I never saw such a hypocrite. His tweet a few weeks back about how he expected Shinji Kagawa to hold his bags in Japan, whilst far from as offensive as choc-ice-gate, again indicated the insensitivity and childishness of someone who’s happy to cry racism when it suits him, yet not watch his mouth himself. Ryan Giggs, for two reasons. Firstly, what kind of scummy git (allegedly) sleeps with his brother’s wife? Your brother’s been in that Ryan!!! And secondly, the double standards when it comes to how the British media treat him and, say JT and Ash, vexes me no end. Now, I’m far from a Terry fan, but I fail to see in what universe bonking a teammate’s EX is worse than screwing your brother’s wife for 8 years. Similarly, the media were all up on their moral high ground that Ashley Cole was England’s captain for the friendly against Ireland, given his Cheryl Cole-cheating (she can’t sing anyway, so yawn), intern-shooting, Twitter cursing background. Yet this same media welcomed Ryan Giggs to captain Team GB with open arms. Triffic!
What won’t happen this season?
Broadsheet football journalists will actually practice what they preach when it comes to morality and the way footballers ~should~ conduct their lives. I’m a statistician by trade, so believe me when I say you’re more likely to see a flying pig.
Where will you finish?
Optimistic hat: first. Pessimistic hat: second. That’s the only margin of error I’m allowing. Go get it, Jose.