Fernando Torres, eh? Three years ago he had the world at his feet. If that were still the case, he’d only shank the world into Row Z.
That miss, that glorious Rosenthalian miss, capped off a performance that sums the lad up at the moment. Clearly, he’s got a bit of the old swagger back. Villas Boas made him the lone striker and the way he ran off the shoulder of the United’s back two was very reminiscent of his better Liverpool days.
His finish for Chelsea’s goal was pretty smart too. And suddenly you were thinking that the lad that made Nemanja Vidic look like he was on board the starship Enterprise during a prolonged meteor shower was back.
But the false dawns continue. Put him in front of a net and it’s like Chelsea have paid £50 million for Norman Wisdom.
"Mr. Villas Boas! Mr Villas Boas! I think I'm going to score, Mr Villas Boas!"
I just picture Nando at home, haplessly going about his business. Looking for his pants and finding them slipping out of his trouser leg an hour after he gets to work. Dunking his biccie in his tea and losing the whole blinking digestive. Bending over to wipe his arse only for his I-Phone to fall out his shirt pocket and into the lav (all right, that last one’s happened to me – except it was a cranky old Nokia summat).
You could cry for the lad were it not for the fact that he’s paid an effing fortune and it’s Chelsea’s look-out of they want to keep rewarding failure. (As opposed to say the Royal Bank of Scotland where we’ve all got an interest, not that you’d know it).
Not that Torres’s team-mates helped out a lot. Ramires looks a decent player until he gets inside the box when he betrays all the confidence of a hydrophobic climbing into a punt. And defensively they were alluerthpless (Hansen speak for ‘crap’).
Of course, as any Arsenal fan’ll tell you, a pathetic defence makes for highly entertaining football, and despite your average neutral wishing ill on both United and Chelsea, the game was a joy to behold.
On the BBC Fergie (I’m missing Mike Phelan already aren’t you?) described the game at Old Trafford as being like basketball - well given the number of sitters missed it was like basketball played blindfolded elves.
As we know only too well, Rooney isn’t immune to the odd desperate muff, and the scuff on to the post was probably even worse than the John Terry impersonation for the penalty kick. (Although the latter wasn’t nearly as enjoyable: I think the new dictionary definition of schadenfraude is: ‘Watching John Terry fall on his arse while trying to score a match-winning penalty for Chelsea’.)
Of course Fergie’s main concern post-match was the atrocious tackle by Ashley Cole on the Cheapdorito. Cole was probably at the end of his tether after Nani spent the whole match ripping him to shreds like so much damp newspaper. Say what you like about Ferguson but he’s stuck with this bloke even though for much of his career he’s had the National Society of Show Ponies (chairman one D. Bentley) hiding their heads in shame.
You can't help wanted the cocky git to fall on his head, mind
Nowadays Nani eyes up a full-back like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall eyes up a rabbit carcass. (Although I’ve noticed the old Etonian broiler has announced he know mostly eats vegetables – a fact that coincides serendipitously with his new vegetarian cookbook.)
Another pleasing development was the loss of points by Manchester City, despite the continued ruthlessness of Sergio Aguero. Mancini says he’s short of midfielders of the holding variety. What planet is he on? I’m guessing that Mancini doesn’t step out of the house on a cold day unless he’s got at least three coats on.
Arsenal’s continued inability to tackle is another delight. According to the Daily Mirror the Arsenal squad are right behind the manager but would like a defensive coach brought in, which is ironic given that Wenger’s about the most defensive person working in football.
It was also a weekend for patting the Premier League new boys on the head. When pressed Alan Shearer managed to positively spike himself on the fence regarding the prospects of Norwich, QPR and Swansea staying up. Not sure that lad ever utters an opinion one way or t’other. Me, I don’t see the Canaries or the Swans escaping the bird-catchers.
The R’s though have one Joey Barton in their ranks and if he can stay out of trouble he might just keep the Loftus Road lot laughing. And if Shane McGowan could stay out of the pub he just might make another record.
Despite my better judgment I watched a recording of England’s rugby players’ victory over the might of Georgia. The upside was that fast-forwarding a rugby match is the best way to watch it. Just press play during the ten minutes of each half when summat is actually happening and the experience is greatly enhanced.
A lot of fuss was made of some of the England blokes – one of them married to a royal personage as if that makes a blind bit of bloody difference – having a few beers in a boozer after the Argentina game. I mean so the hell what? There was a whole week before the next game, it didn’t look like they were totally hammered, and while there’s plenty of things to do in Queenstown, most of it involves doing summat really stupid like bungee jumping... ahem.
The fact that the people involved included one Chris Ashton, a man who continually confuses extreme self-confidence with being an utter tosser (c.f. Cristiano Ronaldo, Floyd Mayweather, Robbie Savage) hardly helps their cause.
Ronan O'Gara mind-melds with a New Zealand supporter
But it was the Irish who actually brought the tournament to life. There’s nowt like beating the Aussies in the Kiwi’s backyard for endearing yourself to people. Marvellous.