Not Buying Jose's 'Little Horse' S***...

Is anyone really buying this notion that Chelsea are the poor underdogs? Surely not. We have lots of reaction to Monday night's football and a defence of Ashley...

Last Updated: 04/02/14 at 10:56

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No New Order After City's Blue Monday
I was going to write a proper letter about City fluffing their lines when they could have established themselves as the new dominant power but I think the title is so ace you should publish it anyway!
Steve McBain, Singapore


Martin Demichelis? That's is the question. How can a team spend a quazillion pounds and end up with Martin Demichelis in midfield?

Come On Chelsea...Ish

Hugely impressive performance by Chelsea last night, genuinely exceptional. Matic was excellent (and cost £5m less than Fellaini), and City sans Aguero were again a fundamentally weaker team.

Still struggling to reconcile myself to willing Chelsea, and Captain, Leader and Grand Dragon JT, to win the title as the least worst option.
Chris, MUFC

United Should Play Like Chelsea

Even though I chided Matt Stanger about mentioning MUFC in only the second para (I had para one in the sweep) of his City/Chelsea write-up I'm going to make last night all about United.

The 4-2-3-1 formation Mourinho played last night is by far and away the best chance Utd have of salvaging something this season.

RVP up top with any three out of a Rooney, Mata, Januzaj, Kagawa - jaysus even Valencia, Young, Nani or Wellbeck could probably do a job has to be the way forward.

Then we can add a nice sensible and intelligent midfield base two of Carrick/Fletcher - maybe even a Fellaini and/or Jones could do a job and protect our admittedly soft centre-backs.

All supported by two of the most attacking full-backs in the division to give us any missing width.

Let's just hope that our get it to the byline, Dixie Dean, get chalk on your boots 'manager' of ours can see it too.

Really enjoyed the game last night by the way.

What A Season!

1. Say what you want about Jose Mourinho but you can't deny the man is a genius. What a masterstroke! If Jose was City manager they would be seven or eight points clear by now.

2. With that in mind how crazy is that Arsenal are two points clear with 14 games to go! Let me go on the record as saying that if Arsenal win the league this year then even the most diehard of Spurs fans couldn't deny that it would be the greatest managerial performance in Premier League history by Arsene. To be honest even if injuries eventually get to them and they finish third but only four or five points out his overachievement this year should be applauded.

3. City could obviously still win the title but you have to think that if Arsenal or Chelsea had Aguero, or to a lesser extent Negredo, then they would have run away with the title by now.

4. You should publish this if only because.

5. All these sensible Man Utd fans posting patience and realistically understanding their current plight is making me hate them less. Please stop doing this. After all hating them is all I have known.

6. We should at least in passing mention the whole 'you're sacked ok you can stay' shenanigans at Elland Road no?
Leon (please post this I am trying so hard) #5 NJ LUFC
PS. Feel free to exclude this bit if it stops me getting published but I don't really hate them any less it just seemed like the right thing to say to get published. #sellout

Conclusions From A Chelsea Fan
* Firstly, can someone tell me why we played with our home jersey (blue) at the Etihad? I thought when two teams share similar colour, the second strip comes into play? No?

* Anyways, I always felt we had bad luck with our black away jerseys (barring 08-09) and was hoping we didn't wear it and I was joyed to see the home jersey.

* Now to more serious matters - City were outthought, outfought, outrun and outspirited last night.

* Jose's team selection was intriguing. The moment I saw Matic and Luiz, I knew we were going to go for a win. Just take a look at this midfield, big, powerful (actually Luiz is huge) and importantly technically gifted midfielders...I'm sure Jose planned this with Fernandinho in mind.

* That Fernandinho was injured and Demicheles had to play there was a big bonus to us. He looked so lost at times at the pace of our counter-attacks.

* How good were JT and Cahill last night - game by game they look the best defensive partnership in the Premier League.

* Ivanovic's strike was sweet and yet perfectly powerful..0.7 seconds from the kick to Joe hart's net..Wow

* There were times when we were either missing sitters (Ramires, look at me) or hitting the bar (Matic's would've been a thunderb**tard). I was beginning to worry because we have an awful history of games like this. But thankfully we finished the game superbly.

* Can we please stop the crap about possession - we had as much as shots as City, with more penetration and the best chances in the game. Hitting the bar thrice in the process. Attacking football is not equal to possession oriented football.

* Torres was missed - his pace would've been killer last night.

* Still expect City to be favorites for the title.
Aravind, CFC, (editor, can you stop the whining United mails and publish this?), Chennai

Eden Hazard

That's it. I didn't have anything else to say except, well...Eden Hazard.
Stu (Eden Hazard), Chiswick

Credit The Players, Not Jose

And THIS is why I was so gutted about Mourinho's return to the league. Skimming through the 'Mourinho Masterclass' article very briefly, I've only noticed one out of nine paragraphs where his name isn't mentioned. Good tactics, great execution from the players. Hazard was immense, would have much preferred reading about him and his team-mates.

Stanger, you're as bad as Tyler when he's commentating on a Chelsea game. It all suddenly becomes a one-man show.

Silvio 'Mourinho' Dante

Would A Moyes-Led Chelsea Have Beaten City?

I've read plenty of opinions claiming that given the squad he has Moyes is doing ok/can't be expected to do much better. I'd counter that with, 'How would Mourinho go with the United squad'?

Having seen the City v Chelsea game I'd argue top three. Amazing what a top-quality manager can do isn't it?

Amazing that anyone can defend Moyes. He's in way over his head, and a club the size of United needs a better manager.
Adam Whitemore (and the answer to the question is 'no')

Learn, Brendan, Learn

Jose, winner of multiple league titles and cup competitions, after keeping a clean sheet and beating Manchester City at the Ethihad in a ruthless, high-octane counter-attacking display:

"Some managers, some clubs because of their nature, their DNA say I need two, three, four, five years. I want to start the next pre-season in the summer and to say, and also my players to say, that this season we are going to compete directly with the best and we consider ourselves one of the favourites. This season, I'm sorry I can't do that."

Brendan, winner of...well, nothing, after beating Stoke at the Britianna in a roller-coaster affair, which could have frankly gone either way:

"But we know that if we have got the fortune to stay clear of injury and whatnot, I would put our team up against anyone. I would never give up the fight. Of course, the challenge is to get to fourth. Once you can do that, it is all about seeing if you can go beyond that."

That is how you take pressure off your team.

Learn, Brendan, learn.
Dominic, LFC, Singapore

It's Bollocks Though, Right?

Yesterday I listened to Jose again downplay his tea;ms chances for the title and also claim some sort of evolution like arsenal. The press love to have a go at Wenger when possible, so I wonder why none of them have called Jose out on his utter bullcr*p.

He is trying to make it seem like Chelsea are going through the same thing we are, in what universe is this possible. He tries to make it seem like Manchester city are the rich corrupt thugs and they are the gentle angels just trying to get by.

While Man City have blown millions, Chelsea are no better and yesterday they didn't even start their £50m striker. There are two faves and they are Chelsea and City. If Chelsea do not win the league it will be a failure on Jose's part because he had almost the same amount of budget to work with and he has experience of the league .

Stop with the bullc**p Jose, we see through your gas.
Doherty (number one on the table and number one in your hearts) Doherty

...Just how on earth did Chelsea pull that off! What an incredible performance form a team put together from pennies.

Seriously, listening to the media over Mourinho is pathetic.

Their midfield: Hazard, Willian, Matic, Ramirez, and Luiz all cost 20-30million each, and have been courted accross Europe at some point.

Chelsea or Citeh should both be winning the league. Their teams cost a fortune. Since when should Pellegrini be expected to win the league in his first EVER season in England, yet Mourinho knows the league well and also has embarrassment of riches, but is supposedly planning for next year. So sick of the love-in. City were missing Nasri, Aguero, and Fernandinho, so it's as good a time to play them as ever. Don't forget, Liverpool SHOULD have won there, and Arsenal went there less than 72 hours after leaving Italy so the loss was mitigated - you try playing a top team within 72 hours after flying home from Europe and having no preparation for a top-level sports game. It's not the mammoth achievement the media want to paint it at. That being said, stopping City scoring was the impressive part, but it was hardly David vs Goliath.
Strevs, AFC, Canada

Defending Ashley

Since the derby I've been inundated with calls to join the 'Ashley Out' brigade and while I was truly disappointed with Saturday's performance and the sale of Cabaye I'd like to remind my fellow Toon fans of our previous ownership and highlight Ashley's (few) good points.

He has brought stability to the club which we never had under Shepherd/Hall. We've got the second-longest-serving manager in the league. We have a stronger squad, with a lower average age and wage bill than when he took over in May 2007. I don't have any facts to back this up but a quick look at our 06/07 squad confirms this...Albert Luque, Obafemi Martins, Michael Owen, Geremi, Alan Smith all playing under the watchful eye of Sam Allardyce!

We've now gained a reputation for having one of the best scouting networks in the world, consistently getting the right players, at the right age for the right price, all be it not quite regularly as we might like. Our transfer 'strategy' has been called into question, like many others I was aggrieved by the sale of Carroll, Ba and Cabaye, but on reflection the Carroll deal was one of the best pieces of business in the club's history, Ba and Cabaye both wanted to go to better clubs and we made good profit on players approaching their 30s.

There are outstanding issues regarding a lack of communication and respect from the club to the fans and a lack of transparency of the club's finances and investment. Ill-advised stadium rebranding and the appointments of Wise and Kinnear (hallelujah he's gone).

But until a less savvy billionaire takes over or FFP kicks in (and pigs fly) I think we should continue to model ourselves on the team at the top of the league rather than those in second and third.
Nik (Cabaye, Carroll, Ba = Fabregas, Adebayor, RVP... where's our Ozil?) NUFC

Ver-Mailman In Flamini Role?

Flammers is out, Jack is out, Rambo is out. The OX is a baby ox, he needs milk and needs to learn how to jump in big games. Palace is one thing, but Pool away and Utd at home is another. I would love for Arsene to consider the Ver-mail-man to deliver in our time of need!

Vermaelen is aggressive, has a precise pass, a great leap and good energy. So why not convert him to be able to play defensive midfield as well as centre-back.

I really miss Vermaelen - simply because I can't shout 'Ver-mail-man - he always delivers' and I have make to do with 'Artekkers'... which is pooh.
Looney Gooney (SP)

Where's Januzaj?

Why has Januzaj been dropped the past two games? I know Mata's there, but, still...

It looks kind of weird from an outsider's point of view.
Rob, Dorset

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