So the updates on football have been few and far between this winter, but with a huge amount of snowboarding to be written about, it has been a little thin on the ground here. Well only on here, as match of the day has been going full tilt every week with the latest and greatest games from the mighty Swansea city, whom may I add are now gaurenteed to not only stay in the Prtemier League but also finish at minimum 14th, so a pretty good effort for the first season, so congratultaions to Brendan Rodgers and the boys.
So onto the main crux of the blog.
Well in life you meet so many people who say, “I just don’t understand Football” “its so boring” and everyone can be into whatever they may want of course, however if any of those people have watched the Champions League semi finals last week, then they would have had trouble not being sucked into the drama of the whole thing.
Think about the Barcelona-Chelsea game. Barcelona are widely regarded as the best club side at the moment and probably of football in the last few decades. The passing, the movement, the possession, it is what Johan Cruyff called “Total Football”. All led from the by Lionel Messi flanked by Ineista, Xavi, Fabregas and the rest of them including Terje look alike Puyol.
Messi is on the cusp of scoring 70 goals in ONE SEASON between club and country, league and cup. Then they were pitted against an aging Chelsea side, with exensive flops in the form of Fernando Torres, a captain whose name is mud in England after Racism charges and sleeping with anyone of his team mates wifes. They also have David Luiz, the sideshow Bob of football.
Now these two up against each other, you would have been hard pressed to find any pundits betting on Chelsea. The first leg at Stamford Bridge, was a 1-0 to Chelsea, in what was a fairly normal result as Barcelona knew going back to the Nou Camp, where in front of their own fans, they could tear Chelsea apart like at a gladiator showdown.
And true to course, within half an hour or so, one of the Chelsea Gladiators, well, John Terry, managed to get sent off for a ridiculous knee in the back to one of the Barca players. A minute later Barca scored, and a few minutes later Chelsea were 2 down. Pundits and twitter alike was screaming for Blood, and that of John Terry. “How many will it be?” , “this will be embarrassing for Chelsea”, “this will be a masterclass for Barca” every man and his dog was getting ready to see the aging Chelsea side get ripped to shreds by the Wolf pack of Barcelona. Of course the other half of twitter was dropping jokes like “the Chelsea players look nervous, probably because John Terry has taken an early bath and is trying to get his team mates wives in there too”
John Terry not looking too worried about the early bath with this one.
But then, and this is where the game got interesting. This is also probably the game where you realize why Club football is way more enjoyable than internationals. Chelsea retreated. They retreated like a fox into its hole, but they didn’t give in. They simply stood their ground, and on a break away Ramires scored an amazing goal.
So then, at half time Gary Lineker and Terry Venables, despite the score being 2-2 on aggregate and Chelsea going through on away goals, no one gave the londonders no chance.
And so they came out second half ready for the drubbing to start. But again it didn’t. Chelsea defended like Barca where trying to invade England and they were on the white cliffs of Dover keeping them at bay by any means possible. Still the comentators, gave them no chance, until around 75 minutes it dawned on everyone, that whilst Barca where huffing and puffing they weren’t actually troubling the keeper much.
It continued on, and with 91 minutes gone, everyone realized the impossible was going to happen, and then Fernando Torres of all people ran onto a pass and charged half the pitch towards goal, and with baited breath we all watched as he rounded the keeper and put Chelsea into the final of the Champions League.
So why am I writing so much about this then?
Well probably because after Swansea, it takes a while for me to actually get to excited about watching another team,
The thing which infuriates me, even more and probably you, unless your Spanish, more than anything, is watching the national team. To see a collection of allegedly the countries best players, huff and puff and produce shite year in year out, is just awful as a football fan.
So to see a club team, actually put in a shift, and make the finals of a champions league, well I have to doff my cap to them, as the England team would never have worked so hard and resoloutely. If you think back, to the Man Utd Champions League win in the 90s, when Solskaer and Sheringham scored in the last minutes to win the game, and the Liverpool when they were 3 down coming back to win on penalties, I think those three games really show why club football is taking priority over internationals.
When the Champions League was formed it was for the best few teams in Europe to pit their wits against each other, and it has now really become the benchmark by which players are judged. You ask many a player if they would rather reach champions league with their team, or play in a tournament for their country I bet most would elect for the club option.
Its probably the same for the fans. Go on tour to foreign lands, with your club, with your team, and our fans, far outweighs going to watch John terry and Frank Lampard run about and then get knocked out in the first round. This is what the league means to our fans. There there flower, you will be alright, we will beat Man Utd this weekend aswell, so its not just “citeh”
Then of course the Bayern – Real Madrid game. Again, the under dog game through in all things a penalty shoot out, now a penalty shoot out is something neutrals can understand, probably even Americans who call football “soccer”
Football is the beautiful game, yet can be even more intrigueing when its not played the beautiful way Swansea do. Even Chelsea can have a go at times.
Talking of the beautiful game, watch this goal now, from Pappa Cisse for Newcastle, goal of the season…
Congratulations to Charlton, Southampton, Reading for their promotions, all we need now is West Ham back in the premier League because Cardiff will bottle the playoffs and of course QPR to get relegated and we will be happy. Oh and if we can sign this legend Gylfi Sigurdsson permanently, it will be even better.