Chelsea enter their Champions League clash with Barcelona minus the services of goalkeeper Petr Cech, victim of a mugging by Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt that left the former with a fractured skull during a 1-0 away win at the (Gary) Majewski. The Guardian’s Paul Doyle and Paul Smyth review the resulting furor.
Making obvious reference to the Fiver, Jose Mourinho said on Saturday that he was eager to read what “the media experts” made of Stephen Hunt’s horrific collision with Petr Cech. Today, in no way attempting to influence objective observers, Chelsea allowed the top story on their website to be written by one Neil Barnett, who appears to be some species of blue-nosed Oliver Stone wannabe, provocatively wondering: “Can two serious injuries to goalkeepers in one game really be a coincidence?”
When composing his piece entitled Save Our Goalkeepers, Barnett may have hired Mary Whitehouse as (literally) a ghost writer, since he proceeds to get his bloomers in a right twist over the decline of football’s morality, something which Chelsea have gone to great lengths to uphold while less scrupulous clubs tapped up opponents, hounded referees into retirement and wilfully racked up multi-million pound losses in order to lord it over better-managed outfits. “If there is not a thorough investigation into the match and a review of the game’s culture, then the whole sport is being irresponsible,” blustered Barnett.
With Cech recuperating from surgery and Jose Mourinho desperately trying to figure out a way of avoiding playing rusty, gaffe-prone Portugueezer Hilario in goal against Barcelona, the Fiver felt it might be in good taste not to conclude this piece with a joke. Fortunately, Bolton came up with something much funnier than the Fiver could ever have mustered, as a Trotters spokesman this afternoon quipped: “If Jose or Chelsea come enquiring about Ian Walker or Ali Al-Habsi, we will certainly talk to them about a loan.” Hilario indeed!
Sincere congrats to the New York /New Jersey Poison Energy Drinks on clinching the 4th and final playoff spot in the MLS’ Eastern Conference with Saturday’s home defeat of Kansas City.