Day: December 5, 2015

Have Chelsea lost the keys to the bus?

Substitute, Glenn Murray, has just scored one of the most memorable goals in the history of AFC Bournemouth and in the history of the English Premier League.


AFC BOURNEMOUTH: The Premier League Rug Rats


The Cherries have just defeated the current champions of England’s top flight division in their own back yard. A headed goal on the 82nd minute has shocked the football world! This is a game they will never forget!


There were heroic performances all over the pitch today. The Cherries played the Blues off the park at times, and matched them in every way. Artur Boruc, who has been under a lot of criticism since the start of the season, produced a memorable performance between the sticks and managed to successfully preserve his clean sheet. Manager Eddie Howe has Bournemouth supporters gushing over the cherries style of play. The team have struggles to produce positive results, but their performances have simply been a breath of fresh air this season.


CHELSEA FC: The Premier League Pensioners


Chelsea Football Club, the current league holders, are now sitting 14th in the league merely 3 points away from the relegation zone. AFC Bournemouth, a team who are competing in the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, is now only 2 points away from the league champions. This is a massive result for AFC Bournemouth, and these crucial 3 points have lifted the club out of the dreaded relegation zone.


The Blues have attained only 15 points in 15 games, and have lost a total of 8 games this season. This places Chelsea 11 points away from 5th place Tottenham Hotspurs (minimum European place)  and 17 points away from current league leaders Leicester City, who have had a phenomenal start to their season.


CHELSEA FC: The Collapse


The Special One, Jose Mourinho, is now under tremendous pressure from the fans. It seems he has misplaced the keys of the old Chelsea bus. The team have conceded 24 goals in the Premier League this season. Last season the Blues only conceded 32 goals over the entire season.


There is no question that the challenge for the top four is over for Jose Mourinho; a fall out with your captain and team doctor are sure signs of turbulence at any football club. The Chelsea captain, John Terry, has offered 20 years of service at Stamford Bridge and this season has been shut out of the team by Frenchman, Kurt Zouma. His substitution at half time against Manchester City at the beginning of the season seemed to “shock” the Chelsea captain, yet he backs manager Mourinho to return the London based club to form. As much as the captain may back his boss, his boss has not returned the favour. Terry has only made 8 league appearances this season.


Chaos has surrounded Chelsea Football Club and manger, Jose Mourinho, since the beginning of the campaign 2015/2016. A stadium ban from the Football Association prevented The Special One from entering the Britannia Stadium back in November. This ban was issued after being dismissed to the stand during a 2 – 1 defeat to West Ham United in October. Furthermore, Mourinho was issued a £50,000 fine by the FA for comments he made about ‘cowardly’ English officials. These comments followed after a defeat by Southampton in October.


Mourinho found himself in more trouble after former club doctor Eva Carneiro filled a legal claim against the Chelsea gaffer. Carnerio has claimed that Mourinho used derogatory language against her and that the manager was instrumental in effectively demoting her by having her dropped from first-team duties. This row between the manager and his staff has cast a cloud that has overseen the worst title defence in Premier League history.


There have been positive signs for the manager. Club owner, Roman Ibramovic, has stated that he has complete confidence in Mourinho and that the manager has the full backing of the clubs owner. Furthermore, despite the scepticism of the mainstream media the manager and his players insist that there is no unrest in the dressing room.


Overall, Mourinho has had to deal with a plethora of headaches this season. The injury of first choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois back in August has certainly not been ideal. Mourinho has also been let down by key players in Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.


Costa has proved to be nothing of a nuisance for Mourinho. A fight after a win against Tel – Aviv and a refusal to warm – up before a game against your London rivals in not the best way to impress a manager, or indeed the fans of your club especially when you are struggling to find form. These antics have led to Costa being dropped for games, and rightly so. But it begs the question: has The Special One lost the dressing room?


Eden Hazard had a phenomenal season last term, however this year the Belgian international has struggled to find form. Last season in the Premier League Hazard found the net on 14 occasions. This year he is yet to score in any of the 4 competitions he has been involved in with Chelsea this season.


CHELSEA FC: What’s next?


Well in 4 days time Chelsea will return to their home ground, Stamford Bridge, to face Portuguese side Porto in the Champions League. A side Jose Mourinho knows all too well, having previously led the Portuguese outfit to European success. Chelsea needs to avoid defeat to advance in the competition. After that there is the small task of facing current league leaders, Leicester City.


We shall have to wait and see whether the so-called ‘The Special One’ manages to find his keys before facing Jamie Vardy and Co at the King Power Stadium on Monday 14th December. Set your watches, this could be an absolute Christmas cracker!!



This afternoon Leeds United supporters will conduct a protest against a ‘PIE TAX’ when they face Hull City at Elland Road in the Yorkshire Derby (3pm KO).


Leeds owner, Massimo Cellino, has increased the ticket price of the South Stand by £5. This £5 increase will include a food voucher, intended as an incentive to encourage supporters to use the clubs catering facilities.


The fans are simply outraged at the owners’ decision to enforce the new ticket price, without consultation.


This new price will be applied to today’s fixture against Championship rivals, Hull City. Supporters in the South Stand will now be obliged to pay an increased price of £32 for the luxury of watching their home side, in contrast to supporters in the North Stand who will pay the usual £27. However, they will have the comfort of a half time pie – this is assuming that the loyal supporter wants to eat a pie at half time.


To be honest this incentive provides more ammunition for the case of Fan Ownership in football. This ‘pie tax’ surely has to be the last straw for a football club who for the worst part of 15 years have suffered from financial mismanagement and poor ownership. To pay an extra fiver for the price of your ticket you would be expecting a better seat, better players, or a better manager. This is simply ludicrous governance. I would think if you were seeking to encourage supporter attendance, and overall buy in from the support, then you would sell tastier pies at a reduced cost. But that seems too far fetched.


Owner, Massimo Cellino, is by no means a popular figure at Elland Road. His controversies have lead to the Football League banning the chairman from running the club on not one but two separate occasions. The first ban occurred in December 2014, after Italian courts found the owner guilty of tax evasion. The chairman appealed against the decision but was unsuccessful. The second ban occurred in October 2015. Again, the owner submitted an appeal against the decision but it appears he has so far been unsuccessful. Finally, to cement his undying love for Leeds United, last month the chairman vowed to no longer attend fixtures and removed his interest in selling the club to the supporters group, Leeds Fans United.


It is clear that Cellino has no loyalty to the club, and shows complete contempt to the Leeds support. The Whites have been made to endure the hardest of times and it goes without saying that they simply deserve more.


There is no question that the club would have fell to rubble by now had it not been for the loyalty of the fans. Football clubs are like no other business on the planet. If you use a product and you don’t particularly like it, then you change it and try a new one. This does not happen in football. Football is part of our identity, it is our cultural grandstand. The Leeds fans have proved this today. Even with the ‘pie tax’ the loyal support SOLD OUT their South Stand, and every home fixture welcomes 20,000 loyal whites. These supporters MUST be rewarded for their undying and lasting loyalty to their football club.


Leeds United is far from the riches and royalties of the Premier League; the club currently sits 17th in the Championship. The supporters must fight their majority share holder, Cellino, and take over the governance of their once proud club. For too long they have suffered at the hands of turbulent mismanagement, discouraging the club from gaining any form of stability or transparency. Perhaps a greater victory would be to win the battle, and for now, lose the war.