Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Oh dear oh dear. Claudio's gone and tinkered himself out of a job. It's not like this isn't going to be written in every major organ of sports reporting tomorrow, but the man does appear to have just suffered from some kind of spontaneously combustable brain trouble at half time. Chelski were comfortably in control having started appalingly, gone down to a poorly defended set piece and then pulled it back to 1-1. With Big Ron apologising for "harking" on about Desailly defending too far up the pitch (don't apologise for it, just stop - and am I not right in thinking it's harPing on?), and Lampard playing like he "owned the place" they were well on top when half time came.

And then he brought on Veron. To play on the left wing. Not, you understand, taking one of the following options available to him - a. LEAVE IT THE HECK ALONE, b. if you really must, bring on Veron to play in the middle of the park or c. bring on Joe Cole, who has the advantage of both being able to play in the position and having played more than five minutes football in the last 6 months. And it all began to fall apart. But, sorry as I feel for Claudio, Chelski deserved everything that was coming to them. Claude Makelele patted a monaco player's cheek. Said Monaco player gave him a gentle clip round the ear in return, at which point Makelele realised what had just happened and collapsed on to the ground as if he'd been whacked with a 2x4, getting the Monaco player sent off. Rivaldoesque. I lost all sympathy with the Chelski cause at that moment, and was faintly pleased to see Monaco run out 3-1 winners.