Preview: Chelsea v United (COC)

Like London buses incidents of racism appear to come in threes in English football; a trio of shocking accusations that have left the beautiful game with a festering wound. When Manchester United visits Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, for the second in a league and cup double-header this week it is, once again, the most unsavoury side of the game that will dominate the headlines. It should not be this way; a game no longer at one with itself.

First, a little over a year ago, Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra, repeatedly and with malice. Shortly after, John Terry called Anton Ferdinand a “f*cking black c*nt” – a crime for which the Chelsea captain is serving a far too lenient ban.

In the latest dark moment for the game referee Mark Clattenburg stands accused of racially abusing two Chelsea players – John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata. While nothing is yet proven of Clattenburg’s actions last Sunday, briefing and counter briefing through the mass media has done little to clarify the picture of an alleged incident that may yet have major ramifications for the game.

The episode, taken together with Chelsea’s perceived injustices during the Premier League encounter on Sunday – Fernando Torres’ red card, Javier Hernández’ winning goal – means there will be a feisty atmosphere for what might otherwise have been a tepid affair. Whatever the merits of the Capital One Cup, Wednesday’s tie was always going to feel like the morning after the Lord Mayor’s show. No longer so.

Still, there is a game on and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to field a fringe side for the fourth round tie in west London. Out go United’s old guard, including Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick; in come a host of youngsters and squad players in need of playing time.

Chelsea v Manchester United - Capital One Cup, Stamford Bridge - 31 October 2012, 7.45pmIndeed, Ferguson is likely to make at least 10 changes from the side that started at the Bridge on Sunday, although winning goalscorer Hernández could start alongside Danny Welbeck in attack. Into the side may also come defenders Alexander Büttner, Michael Keane, and Scott Wootton, together with Nani, Anderson and Anders Lindegaard.

“Obviously we will make changes for the Wednesday game,” confirmed Ferguson, with United seeking consecutive wins at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1998.

“The squad that played against Newcastle will be in place again. You don’t want to lose down there and we want to continue in the cup. Any game down there is going to be tough. There has been good progress there since Roberto di Matteo took the job. They are big games – and big games are good for us.”

However, the game will come too soon for defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, although each is nearing a return that will bring to a close a defensive headache that has seemingly overshadowed Ferguson’s squad since August. Captain Nemanja Vidić is likely to be on the sidelines until December at a minimum.

“We will try to push Chris on quickly,” added Ferguson of the 22-year-old centre back.

“I don’t think he will make Wednesday’s game but I am sure he will be ready for the following week. There was some hope both he and Phil would be back for this busy schedule. Phil will be starting football training next Monday. He still has some running to do. The good news is they are not far away.”

Smalling’s loss is potentially others gain, with at least one of Wootton or Keane likely to start at Stamford Bridge. Keane impressed with a classy performance against Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the third round, although as the senior party Wootton is more likely to start.

Still, Keane is relishing the opportunity to be part of United’s party travelling south once again this week. The Stockport-born youngster is United’s current Reserve Team Player of the Year.

“You play games with more pressure when you get to a higher level,” the 19-year-old told MUTV.

“Every game you play, you’ve got more experience of playing for points and playing because it means something rather than just friendlies. When you get called into the first team, you’re used to being desperate to win.

“I was so tired [after the Newcastle tie]. I’ve never been that tired after a game. Mentally as well as physically because of the concentration, how the day went building up to it and then the 90 minutes was tough but we did well.

“I know there’s probably only going to be one or two opportunities because of the players involved but I can’t think like that. I’ve just got to work hard every day in training and prove I’m good enough to play and, hopefully, get picked. I keep stepping up a level and, hopefully, that will keep happening and I can progress with England and keep getting my chances here in the first team.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is likely to rest those most closely involved in the post-match argument with Clattenburg, including the alleged victims of on-the-field abuse, Mikel and Mata.

The west London club this week made a formal complaint that the Geordie referee used “inappropriate language” on the field, while briefing the press that words of a racist nature were uttered by Clattenburg. It is likely to be another long-running and highly damaging saga.

On the pitch Di Matteo is without a host of first-team regulars through injury and suspension, meaning a much changed Chelsea side is likely to be deployed for United’s visit.

“It is certainly a tricky situation,” said the 42-year-old Italian.

“We have Branislav Ivanovic, Fernando Torres and John Terry suspended, and Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole out injured. Ashley’s ankle is sore and swollen and he won’t recover in time for tomorrow. So it reduces the squad but everybody else is okay. We always talk about developing and giving youngsters a chance so this type of game is a good opportunity for some of them.”

It is a strategy, for one match at least, mirrored by the visitors. In that there is hope for the future. If not the game itself, then of the respective clubs at least.

Match Details
Chelsea v Manchester United – Capital One Cup, Stamford Bridge – Wednesday 31 October 2012, 7.45pm

Possible teams
Chelsea (4-4-2): Hilário; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Bertrand; Marin, Ramires, Romeu, Moses; Sturridge, Piazón. Subs from: Turnbull, Ferreira, Mikel, Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Torres, Malouda, Feruz.

United (4-3-3): Lindegaard; Keane, Wootton, Evans, Buttner; Anderson, Cleverley, Fletcher; Nani, Hernández, Welbeck. Subs from: Johnstone, De Gea, Cole, Lingard, Vermijl, Rafael, Valencia, Giggs, Young, Powell, Macheda, King, Henríquez.

Officials
Referee: L Mason
Assistant referees: J Collin and J Brooks
Fourth Official: M Dean

Form
Chelsea: WWWWLL
United: WLWWWW

Head to Head
Last 10: United 6, Chelsea 2, Draw 2
Overall: United 79, Chelsea 41, Draw 48

Prediction
2-0

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Comments

  1. marlon says

    Much as I hate Chelsea, if they are lying, I hope they are not punished too harshly. After everything that has happened over the last year, it would be terrible if harsh punishments made players scared of coming forward when they are racially abused.

  2. marlon says

    “We will try to push Chris on quickly,” – isn’t that how we get recurring injuries. Looked like that was the problem with Vidic. Would rather he missed a couple more games and came back when he is ready.

  3. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    More than anything tonight I’d love the talking points after the match to be football-related rather than the aftermath of everything that happened on Sunday, but I fear I might be being hopelessly optimistic on that one. I’m not convinced United are gonna win this one either, like Sidney said, they’re gonna have the serious revenge mentality and, even with a fringe side, they might be too much for us, but once again I do hope I’m wrong.

  4. Denton Davey says

    If Nani is going to be sold to the highest bidder in January, why give him game-time ahead of Ashley Young or one of the youngsters ?

  5. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Commenter said:
    If Nani is going to be sold to the highest bidder in January, why give him game-time ahead of Ashley Young or one of the youngsters ?

    Shop window?

  6. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    sidney said:
    They’re gonna be right cunts for this one, fueled by ‘injustice’

    I’m not too worried about the match itself… we’ll play mostly kids, and if Chump$ki do the same, we should win… it’s the fans… they’ll be spitting bile tonight, and it’ll make for an ugly atmosphere.

  7. marlon says

    If we don’t play him, there’s a risk he could leave like Berba and we’ll get fuck all for him. Should be able to get at least £30m for him, but with his contract running down and clearly not wanted at United anymore, we don’t have much leverage.

    Anyway, my team for tonight:
    Lindegaard
    Vermijl-Keane-Evans-Buttner
    Anderson-Fletcher-Powell
    Nani-Hernandez-King

  8. Denton Davey says

    Spudiator @ 1:36: “Shop window ?”

    I agree with Alfonso Bedoya that “if his heart’s not in it, he’s not going to impress anyway” but, even more significantly, it’s not like Nani is an unknown commodity. Any other team that wants him ALREADY has a huge body of evidence about his skills, fitness and so on. So, putting him “in the shop window” probably is more likely to depreciate his selling-price if his heart isn’t in it against a bunch of second-stringers.

  9. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Fair point, it’s anyone’s guess then I suppose. Maybe Fergie’s hoping Nani’ll pull out all the stops and miraculously turn into the player we expected him to be overnight so Fergie can change his mind and keep him?

  10. Digga says

    Still not sure Nani’s departure is a foregone conclusion. it was not so long ago that Nani was the second name on the team sheet, after Rooney.

    he’s a good player, albeit a confidence player severely down on confidence. He’s much better that young when in form, and i think our squad would be all the poorer for losing him.

  11. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    andershite shouldnt be playing these games, he shouldve played against chelsea and should against arsenal

  12. Minus The Bear says

    Commenter said:
    Still not sure Nani’s departure is a foregone conclusion. it was not so long ago that Nani was the second name on the team sheet, after Rooney.

    he’s a good player, albeit a confidence player severely down on confidence. He’s much better that young when in form, and i think our squad would be all the poorer for losing him.

    Don’t to him not willing to accept less than 130k/United not willing to pay him that and not apologising for smacking Petrucci…

  13. Sidsidney says

    United fans’ banner at Stamford Brdige: “Clattenburg, Referee, Leader, Legend”

    United fans chanting “Where’s your racist centreback?” heh

  14. baloobaloo says

    I think we’re looking really good here. Calm, nice passing. Ando is looking excellent as is Nani. Fans fucking class.

    Enjoying this! Who’d have thought – CapitalOne Cup eh?

  15. says

    Beauty from Nani, Anderson, I wish they’d both play like they’ve been tonight every time they play.

    Powell is strutting around like he fucking owns the place, the team, the club. Brilliant. He needs more games.

  16. says

    With Hernandez, those people who don’t rate him think we can sell him for £303m and buy in Neymar AND WUNDERKIND AND WIN ALL THE GAMES

    We call those people foolish

  17. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Not really that arsed about this cup, but I really hope we can hold on to win this game… especially now that Ferguson has fielded so many kids, and Chump$ki have had to bring on their stars.

  18. Sidsidney says

    Cock… he scores in that position anyway, even if Wooton doesn’t foul him

    I can’t see us surviving 30 more mins, a few of our players are knackered

  19. baloobaloo says

    Great match – I’m enjoying it. Shame, but the kids are alright – loads of positives from tonight. Some class football. Happy.

  20. says

    It has been interesting to see our kids against a lot of their very experienced players, especially since they brought on all their superstars, and Ramires, who can actually tackle

  21. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Sturridge… what a tosser… posing for the fans like he’d really done something.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  22. Sidsidney says

    Sturridge has been shite today, and he’s had a bad attitude about him n all

    I can see why he’s been completely ignored under Di Matteo

  23. says

    CBs are utterly fucking exhausted. Kinda feel maybe Tunnicliffe shouldn’t have gone to ground. But then again, he’s facing off against however much Hazard cost them.

    I don’t think there’s any shame in the result tonight. Chelsea brought on all their superstars. We’ve had makeshift fullbacks from half time, with players out of position. A couple of silly, exhausted mistakes.

    Wootton and Keane look like good prospects, I’d love to see Powell get more games. Sturridge looks like a twatty bellend.

  24. sheesh says

    Inexperience has done for us tonight, unfortunately. We played really well and were by far the better team over 90 mins but that goal in injury time was an absolute killer and there was only going to be one winner in extra time.
    Chelsea needed Mata, Hazard, Ramires and Oscar to beat us.
    By the way, if Nani fucks off from United, I won’t be too disappointed. The number of times he gives the ball away or does something dumb is becoming far too much for me. His giving the ball away led to their injury time equaliser. I’ve defended him in the past (mainly because he shows glimpses of class like he did for one of our goals tonight) but I’m sure we must be able to get more consistent players in the transfer market.

  25. Sidsidney says

    That was some game.

    Got to look at the positives – Giggs played 90 minutes plus extra time, Cal. He’s barely sweating at full time n all. He’s got another 2 seasons at least.

    Powell is ready for the first team n all.

  26. baloobaloo says

    Brilliant performance by the team tonight. Superb effort from everybody – class football at times, effort, young players giving everything and learning. Superb. Loved it.

  27. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    ffs anderson should play against arsenal, if it wasnt obvious before the game its staring taggart in the face now

  28. says

    Did not see a minute of the game. Was in church, finished and turned on the radio when it was into injury time and we were leading. Hazard scores the pen and I switched radio off.

    I honestly am not sad at all. I have a theory about league matches and cups. They have won today so according to my theory we should do the double in the league over them unless we get them in the FA Cup again.

    Sid, you can say whatever you like about Giggs’ performance tonight I could not care a jot. I am happier by the praise thw younger players are getting. Unfortunately, I do not see our manager playing Anderson against Arsenal on saturday. Just because…. Am sure he might rely on Scholes instead.

  29. Dean Jackson says

    Fantastic game tonight. A really good performance from the youngsters. Keane was a diamond tonight. Did anybody notice Keane break Ramires just after half time? Get stuck in fella =D

  30. sheesh says

    Fergie has criticised Nani for pissing about with the ball which led to the injury time penalty.
    “Nani tried to beat a player, lost the ball and we’ve got a penalty against us. I don’t know if it was a penalty or not but at that point think the young players started to feel it. If you are winning 3-2 in the final seconds of the game then you should see it out. Nani is an individual. He wants to beat men and we are not going to discourage that.”

  31. says

    These are the kind of times I just realise why I love Sir Alex. He is a proper man and it will be hard to stomach when he finally leaves. I remember him saying almost the same exact words when at the start of the ’06/07 season we lost to Arsenal at home to a late Adenayor goal that was caused by Ronaldo trying to dribble just outside our box, lost the ball and Fabregas fed Adebayor who scored.

    Post match he said that we will never discourage players who dribble. I remember keeping quiet after.

    So what he has just said about Nani is close to how he sees the game.

  32. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    Calvino said:
    Did not see a minute of the game. Was in church, finished and turned on the radio when it was into injury time and we were leading. Hazard scores the pen and I switched radio off.

    I honestly am not sad at all. I have a theory about league matches and cups. They have won today so according to my theory we should do the double in the league over them unless we get them in the FA Cup again.

    Sid, you can say whatever you like about Giggs’ performance tonight I could not care a jot. I am happier by the praise thw younger players are getting. Unfortunately, I do not see our manager playing Anderson against Arsenal on saturday. Just because…. Am sure he might rely on Scholes instead.

    tbf giggs was probably the best player on the pitch

  33. Sidsidney says

    sheesh said:
    Fergie has criticised Nani for pissing about with the ball which led to the injury time penalty.

    “Nani tried to beat a player, lost the ball and we’ve got a penalty against us. I don’t know if it was a penalty or not but at that point think the young players started to feel it. If you are winning 3-2 in the final seconds of the game then you should see it out. Nani is an individual. He wants to beat men and we are not going to discourage that.”

    Sounds ominous. Nani started the season as if he’d been told he could leave if he wanted. He was trying, but he was just a bit unarsed.

  34. steggo says

    Mark Bright going on about how great Chelsea were-no mention of the number of young players for United tonight.Of course, Ferguson knows that mistakes in this sort of game can make or break young players, he would call it a test of character.Most of them passed,I think. Ando to face Arsenal-yes,on the evidence of tonight.
    Aren’t Chelsea a cheap club,from the incident with their groundsman a few years ago to Saturday’s goings on.To paraphrase Coco Chanel “There are clubs that have money and there are clubs that are rich”.

  35. Coach Herbie says

    Only mistake Fergie made was to play two kids in the center of the defence against a Chelsea team with all their star players. Shoud have used Ferdinand and Keane together instead of Wooton and Keane. Needed just a little experience in the heart of the defence. But the kids did a great job!

  36. AnantaxAnantax says

    Didnt see the game, did read SAF’s comment on Nani.

    How did Nani play? Was he good? Obviously scored a goal so thats good…but how was the rest of his game?

  37. Minus The Bear says

    I think it’s being spun out of proportion.

    “If you are winning 3-2 in the final seconds of the game then you should see it out. We only have ourselves to blame, really.”

    It just happens to have been Nani who lost the ball, however because he’s mentioned it instantly becomes “FERGIE BLAMES WORLD POVERTY ON NANI”, and as a more senior player I suppose Ferguson hopes for a little more sense from him.

    It’s annoying in the sense the cup is nice for the younger players to get a bit of first team football, but equally encouraging that he’s actually started to play them and by and large they did pretty okay. I think the young centre halves did pretty well, and considering the current situation i’d much rather they played than forcing Ferdinand and Evans to play another 90 minutes before an important game on saturday.

  38. says

    It’s brilliant, Spud. They brought on about what, £60m worth of players to go along with the however much they had sat on the pitch, and suddenly it’s “justice for 28/10!!!!!!!11!”. Laughable.

    We ran them close, and really they didn’t look dangerous until they brought Hazard and Oscar on to face our already knackered midfield and defence.

    Giggs was great last night, I thought Nani was actually ok and Anderson had a great game. It was fantastic to see them play so well. Powell looks like a diamond, just easing through the game (in the right way) with easy balls and passing / moving. It’s a bit soon to scream “he’s the answer” but a fair few more games wouldn’t go a miss, or at least jumping off the bench. He didn’t look out of place against Chelsea’s midfield, it was only when Ramires came on that they got a real grip of midfield, and even then he had his buddies Hazard and Oscar arrive to help tighten that grip.

    Proud of United last night

  39. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    sidney said:
    Class banner

    From The BBC:
    “BREAKING NEWS
    Chelsea have confirmed they are investigating an apparent racist gesture made by a supporter during Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Manchester United.”

    That banner just seems truer and truer by the minute!

  40. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I wouldn’t read too much into what Di Matteo says… it wasn’t the press he was talking to, it was the Cossack pirate… he’s on a hiding to nothing really… I doubt there’s a manager in football anywhere whose job is less secure…

    Every game he loses, he’ll need an excuse…

  41. says

    Even Wenger says he thinks they should never have made those allegations public. Like I keep saying, this will cost Mikel his place and Di Matteo and his backroom staff their jobs. Scratch that, it will cause Mikel to leave the country!! He has not said he heard anything. It was Ramirez apparently that heard it all and his English is dodgy at best. Chelsea will collapse with this. It wrecked Dalglish’s reputation and so it will on these Chelsea lot.

  42. Sidsidney says

    According to the Express (who are full of shit) Clattenburg is going to sue Chelsea over their attempted smear campaign

  43. Coach Herbie says

    Lot of talk about Nani but if I was the manager, I would play Nani as my attacking midfielder because he loves to dribble and beat players and is selfish, a typical attacking midfielder’s job. Nani is so anxious to get goals, to do everything by himself. He would make a great attacking midfielder, as long as he is going to create scoring positions for his strikers and not try and do it all by himself. Right now, his best position is right wing, although most people are saying his best position is off the field. What I’m reading, Nani wants to move on and thats why he is not signing his new contract. He wants more money to stay at United. Is he worth a much higher salary? What do you think? And I said this a long time ago also that I would play Powell before I play Cleverley. Powell is a class player and he has that deadly left foot. I’ve seen him hit a ball with that left foot 25 yards out straight in the goal and not a man move. That was class stuff!

  44. vlad says

    Maybe it’s just me getting older, but somehow those stories of going public are disgusting.

    No it’s not just me, a couple of years ago..

    Just cannot imagine that someone tried to insult the great Zidane, and Madrid or FFF went to newspapers or the police.

    Or that someone approached Cantona and told him that he is a monkey, and we had to file a lawsuit against Mr. Simmons.

    Absolutely i cannot imagine that 10 years ago someone crossed our captain and told him that he is an Irish twat, and later MU tried to hunt a referee in the Sun. Guess hunting a crippled person is in no way better than offending someone on the basis of his nationality.

    But now – the age of effing twitter, social networks and Glazers absolutely changed the world.

    I’m absolutely against racism, but – maybe it’s because i’m Russian by origin, and we never had a history of treating people because of their race – rather our native people were slaves for centuries – i absolutely don’t accept the method of standing up against racism by making a fuss about it.

    Suppose for a minute that Mark Clattenburg really told a certain player that he is a Spanish twat.
    Racism? Does this mean that he doesn’t mind being a twat, but the problem is being Spanish?

    Should’ve called him a Chelsea twat – no racist offense, just facts.

  45. Coach Herbie says

    Clattenburg did his job, the game is over and these Chelsea fans need to get over it. What they gonna say if they lose at Swansea tomorrow? Who will they blame tomorrow? The pressure is on! Stay tuned.

  46. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Commenter said:
    Maybe it’s just me getting older, but somehow those stories of going public are disgusting.

    No it’s not just me, a couple of years ago..

    Just cannot imagine that someone tried to insult the great Zidane, and Madrid or FFF went to newspapers or the police.

    Or that someone approached Cantona and told him that he is a monkey, and we had to file a lawsuit against Mr. Simmons.

    Absolutely i cannot imagine that 10 years ago someone crossed our captain and told him that he is an Irish twat, and later MU tried to hunt a referee in the Sun. Guess hunting a crippled person is in no way better than offending someone on the basis of his nationality.

    But now – the age of effing twitter, social networks and Glazers absolutely changed the world.

    I’m absolutely against racism, but – maybe it’s because i’m Russian by origin, and we never had a history of treating people because of their race – rather our native people were slaves for centuries – i absolutely don’t accept the method of standing up against racism by making a fuss about it.

    Suppose for a minute that Mark Clattenburg really told a certain player that he is a Spanish twat.
    Racism? Does this mean that he doesn’t mind being a twat, but the problem is being Spanish?

    Should’ve called him a Chelsea twat – no racist offense, just facts.

    People do read far too much into words sometimes. I remember a couple of years ago when Jeremy Clarkson was under the spotlight (not exactly for the first time) for describing Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”, but exactly which part of that is untrue? He was saying Brown was an idiot for being Scottish or being blind in one eye, they’re just incidental identifiers, and yet that’s what everyone jumps on. I don’t doubt something does need to be done about racism, because some of it really is vile, but at the same time, I do think people need to have slightly thicker skins as well and not be so touchy about every tiny thing, but alas, that’s just the way the world’s moved.

  47. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    bman said:
    Fergie wins the mind war, again:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/nov/02/roberto-di-matteo-alex-ferguson

    Bah!… this whole Fergie, “Master of the Mind Game” thing is a load of bollocks.

    Every week he holds a pre-game press briefing to talk about the fitness of his team and such like… and every week, some press knob asks a shit stirring question, and no matter what Ferguson says, it’s shit stirred in such a way as to piss someone off… and when that someone gets pissed off, “Fergie has won another mind war”.

    It’s the press that plays these games, not Ferguson… they dig for snide remarks and innuendo to play the managers against each other to make stories where there aren’t any… it’s the press that create the tension, and because Ferguson has been around so long, he knows better and doesn’t take the bait… but other managers do, and end up looking stupid… giving the press what they were after in the first place.

  48. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Spudiator said:
    People do read far too much into words sometimes. I remember a couple of years ago when Jeremy Clarkson was under the spotlight (not exactly for the first time) for describing Gordon Brown as a “one-eyed Scottish idiot”, but exactly which part of that is untrue? He was saying Brown was an idiot for being Scottish or being blind in one eye, they’re just incidental identifiers, and yet that’s what everyone jumps on. I don’t doubt something does need to be done about racism, because some of it really is vile, but at the same time, I do think people need to have slightly thicker skins as well and not be so touchy about every tiny thing, but alas, that’s just the way the world’s moved.

    It’s missing the point… when a black man calls a black man a “ni&&er”, it’s their right, as it obviously doesn’t have the same inference as when it comes from a white man…
    If I call someone a cunt… I’ve generally insulted them… not nice, but nothing more than a straight forward insult… if I call a black man a “black cunt”… I’m suggesting that being a cunt isn’t bad enough… but a that being a “black” cunt makes it even worse.
    What Clarkson said, again isn’t nice but it’s the banter that has gone on between North and South since the the days we used to dress in pelts and blue mud… and it’s recognised within its context.
    And we accept that.
    And that’s the key issue… when ever these debates come up, there is always someone that wants to split hairs, and ask why it’s ok for them to say it, but not for me… the answer is simple… because it is.
    We all know what’s acceptable and what isn’t… and no one crosses that line unwillingly… that cunt making the monkey gestures, knew exactly what he was doing… and Terry knew exactly what he was saying as well.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  49. Sidsidney says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Bah!… this whole Fergie, “Master of the Mind Game” thing is a load of bollocks.
    Every week he holds a pre-game press briefing to talk about the fitness of his team and such like… and every week, some press knob asks a shit stirring question, and no matter what Ferguson says, it’s shit stirred in such a way as to piss someone off… and when that someone gets pissed off, “Fergie has won another mind war”.
    It’s the press that plays these games, not Ferguson… they dig for snide remarks and innuendo to play the managers against each other to make stories where there aren’t any… it’s the press that create the tension, and because Ferguson has been around so long, he knows better and doesn’t take the bait… but other managers do, and end up looking stupid… giving the press what they were after in the first place.

    Aye. I think Fergies does play mind games but nowhere near as much as people say. Most of the time he is giving an honest and often quite unremarkabkle opinion on a player, a game, a club etc. and that’s that. But the press tell us that these comments are full of hidden meanings and stuff that are designed to undermine the opposition etc – and it’s just shite.

  50. bman says

    I agree, I think that most of the time this “mind game” stuff is total bullshit made up by the press. But in a few cases I think Fergie genuinely does throw a few jabs, probably not expecting that much of a reaction, but sometimes his opposite number surprisingly cracks up. Benitez a few years ago is a definite example. In this case, Fergie saying that Chelsea are making up the accusations against Clattenburg is not exactly a “mind game”, but he’s definitely stirring the pot a little bit, and I think Matteo’s reaction sounds a little tetchy. That poor bastard has a very unfairly insecure position at Chelsea, it would almost be too easy for Fergie to work on his nerves knowing that Abramovich will sack him after just a couple of dodgy results.

  51. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    It’s missing the point… when a black man calls a black man a “ni&&er”, it’s their right, as it obviously doesn’t have the same inference as when it comes from a white man…

    I disagree, this is one of the big hypocrisies that really gets me, if the N word is so offensive to them, they shouldn’t be using it either. I don’t use the word myself because I just find it unpleasant in general, but as far as I’m concerned, if they’re gonna use the word themselves, then they waive all rights to be offended by anyone else using it.

    I do find it absolutely baffling the way everyone talks about equality, and yet there are still certain groups of minorities who seem to want to separate themselves and their race from everyone else, like the various players who were talking the other week about forming a black player’s union separate from the PFA. What exactly is that going to accomplish? The goal here should be to create unity, and all the black player’s union idea (assuming it goes ahead) is going to do is create further division.

  52. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    It’s racism that has made the word “ni&&er” offensive, it’s racism that has created an “us and them” mentality… I may call a member of my family an idiot, but I won’t like someone else calling him an idiot… racism has pitted the black man against the white man, and I don’t give a shit about the “hypocrisy”… “me and my brother against my cousin, me and my cousin against my enemy”… if the black man doesn’t mind being called “ni&&er” by another black man, but doesn’t like me calling him that, why should I care about the logic behind it???…

  53. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11668/8246765/Chelsea-s-approach-questioned-after-police-drop-Mark-Clattenburg-investigation

    This cunt has pissed me off no end… typical lawyer though.

    He’s right that Chelsea should have pursued this with the cops… but that’s assuming that Clattenburg really did racially abuse anyone… which is what this fuckwit actually has done… “guilty”… it’s all about Chelsea and the FA and “the football industry seeking to sweep racism under the carpet.”

    What about the very real possibility that Mikel and Chelsea are talking shit… and that’s why they’re not pursuing it further?

    For me though, the same thinking applies to Clattenburg… if he is innocent, then he should pursue this, and sue Chelsea, Mikel and anyone else involved for slander.

  54. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:For me though, the same thinking applies to Clattenburg… if he is innocent, then he should pursue this, and sue Chelsea, Mikel and anyone else involved for slander.

    I’d imagine he probably will, once the FA and Chelsea have finished farting around investigating, if there’s even the slightest hint that it was a frivolous accusation I’d expext Clattenberg to be on Chelsea’s case immediately for defamation of character, or whatever it’d be categorised as.

  55. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    I’d love to see Chelski taken to the cleaners on this one i.e. that their complaint is proved to be unfounded, malicious, vexatious etc. but I remain somewhat expectant that Clattenburg will get a wrist slap of some description by the F.A.

    The trend appears to be that the F.A. will dole out some form of punishment (be it a fine or ban) for even the slightest suggestion of anything deemed to be racist, which in this case – and if rumours are to be believed – was Clattenburg’s response to Mikel’s moaning over some incident or other being along the lines of, “I don’t give a monkey’s.”

    I wouldn’t read anything into the police decision to drop the investigation, as I’m sure Mikel and Chelski were certain that, due to a lack of any concrete evidence, the charge would be dropped anyway hence the failure on their part to pursue it. They probably feel they are more likely to get something from the F.A., which could be somewhat damaging towards the F.A’s already tarnished reputation.

    Fuck it; we still won the match so I don’t give a monkey’s

  56. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I care… racism is a proper issue and needs dealing with… and we can’t be wagging our fingers at the Serbs and Croats, if we can’t sort out our own problems.

    If Clattenburg is guilty, hang him high… but if Mikel and Chelsea have fabricated a race row where there wasn’t one, that’s even worse, because it pollutes the water for any further complaints… fines won’t be enough, in my opinion… especially not for a cunt as cavalier with his money as Abramovich.

    That’s why I’m particularly pissed off with this lawyer… he’s practically making the case that Clattenburg needs to answer for his crime, and ignoring the even more serious possibility…

  57. says

    Totally with you here Alf. I was telling my mates last night that when this is over that Clattenburg will absolutely batter Chelsea, Mikel and all involved. He will bring football as we know it down. That is the only way he can keep his reputation intact. He has been badly sullied by Chelsea’s hooliganism and he has to respond.

    I did say this from the very beginning that Chelsea have made this up and that the idiot that is Mikel will be hounded out of England in the end. Nothing to make me change that view yet.

    As for Herbert, he is looking to make money and name. Clarke Carlisle and John Barnes have told him where to get off. So he really does not count.

  58. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    That’s why I’m particularly pissed off with this lawyer… he’s practically making the case that Clattenburg needs to answer for his crime, and ignoring the even more serious possibility…

    Agreed, this Herbert fella seems determined to stick his oar in where it’s not welcome, makes me wonder if he’s got a bit of a hidden agenda here, given that he’s also the one fronting this proposed “black players union”, which can only create more problems than it solves if it ever becomes a reality. For him to be getting the police involved in the Clattenberg case and labelling the FA as institutionally racist before the FA have even concluded their own investigations into the matter just reeks of him deliberately shit-stirring for no good reason. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty, eh?

  59. vlad says

    Chelsea sure fabricated it, fuming after defeat.
    But i cannot see Clattenburg successfully pursuing Chelsea FC to the extent of restoring justice.

    Can see Clattenburg battering Chelsea no more than a little boy breaking a castle’s wall with a ground biscuit – exactly for the reason that Abramovich is so cavalier with money.
    For the same reason as Financial Fair Play will never relegate Citeh, while Glazer acquisitions are possible.

    Chelsea are a power, they represent England as they are acting Champions League champions, and no way will the FA intimidate them.
    In the very extreme case of being nailed down, Chelsea/FA will sacrifice Mikel – which, i maintain, is unlikely.

    That’s bullying of the highest caliber possible. Next time a referee will think twice before sending Torres off.
    Uncomparable to any hypothetical pressure SAF could ever have created on refs by interviews, presence, mindgames or the likes.

    I’d really love to see Clattenburg bring football as we know it down – but you need to be very romantic to believe.

  60. says

    vlad,
    Clattenburg has to do something. His reputation is in tatters here and this is guy who am sure wants to follow the footsteps of Webb and officiate in a major final. He has already done the Olympic final, so his next target will be the Champions or Europa League finals. He has to restore it one way or the other.

    Why is the sacrificing of a journey man footballer like Mikel unlikely? That is the easiest of the options available to Chelsea – the wording of most of their statements make it out to be that it is HIS case and they owe him a “duty of care” to report it.

  61. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    I apologise if anyone felt I “didn’t care” about racism; I do – it disgusts me in all its forms and I still can’t quite fathom that it exists in professional sport in this day and age.

    I share both Alf and Cal’s sentiments on this, but should Chelski’s claims prove to be unfounded what realistically is the best Clattenburg can hope for? He could take a case against them of course, but he’ll have a wad of cash fucked at him and be told to be on his way. Wouldn’t surprise me if Chelski take umbrage with Clattenburg ever refereeing one of their games again either…

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