Andre Villas-Boas. It doesn’t trip off the tongue any more easily than Roman Abramovic. Or Abram-O-vitch, depending on whether the person talking is a pedantic knob-end or not.
"Look! Here comes Guus! I told you he'd return!"
It cost €15 million for the Russian billionaire to buy off Porto for the 33-year-old and as yet there’s nowt to show for his money. Three months is a long time when you’re a clown-faced oligarch who changes managers more often than a teenager’s Mum changes his sheets. Villas-Boas must be ruefully stroking his bum-fluff this morning.
What’s most confusing about the young Portuguese gaffer’s reign thus far is how nowt’s changed. Having promised a new broom, AVB has lumped himself with precisely the same backsliding squad that dogged Ancelotti last season.
As we know, John Terry’s always open to trying out a new partner but maybe not at the centre of defence, particularly if the man in question is the human spaniel David Luiz. Off he bounds up the park chasing some imaginary stick, getting himself into deep water and dragging the whole team down with him.
Not that Terry’s lumbering efforts do much to reassure either. Perhaps the fact that people are beginning to recognise that for all his faults Ashley Cole’s as good a left-back as England has ever produced is leaving the poor lad bewildered, cos stick him in a blue shirt and he defends like Cheryl.
‘Course it doesn’t help Chelsea that they’ve tried very hard in recent months to stop getting beat by Liverpool, namely by nicking their matchwinners Torres and Meireles. Given that pedigree, it seems weird that Villas-Boas brought them both on with six minutes to go so they could get a closer look at what they’ve been missing.
Torres is of course AVB’s biggest liability.
"You remember what a football is, Nando, right?"
£50 million’s worth of talent bought, £49 million of which was lost in transit. Little bits of pace, power, anticipation and precise finishing are sitting in a LOSt Property office somewhere at Euston station. Unless Luis Suarez picked it up on the journey back up to the North-West (and you wouldn’t put it past the talented little sneak).
For 84 minutes Chelsea had the big strapping enforcer that is Didier Drogba, and right now that lad looks like he couldn’t give a fig, a toss or a shit. Anelka drifts from pitch to bench in an aimless approximation of a career. In fact the only poor sod looked miffed to be a sub. He wasn’t exactly smothered in brotherly love after he scored the goal either.
Of course the least able footballer in blue is still John/Mikel/Obi*. His worth is finally being recognised. Zilch. His meek surrendering of the ball after it’d been played to him by Peter Cech (currently doubling as a World War II pilot judging by the facial get-up) was utterly typical. I guess the only reason Chelski haven’t replaced him is that Man City currently have so many holding midfielders the FA should seriously think about contacting the Monopolies Commission.
In short it doesn’t how much Villas-Boas squats on the touchline like a dysentery victim in a Turkish loo, until he gets shot of this job-lot of these old boys who still secretly worship at the altar of the Special One then he’s pretty much done for.
Guus Hiddink, the only other man capable of wrestling these egos into summat resembling a football team, is idle now Turkey have no Euro 2012 to attend and it must be tempting for Abramovich to get straight on the blower this morning and sort it out.
In the meantime AVB resembles a shell-shocked casualty from an ad for Calvin Klein's Obsession. He seems a decent enough bloke, but you wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the Algarve for Christmas – and he can take the Thunderbirds side-parting with him.
The winner came from a Chelsea old boy, of course, and once again Glen Johnson has made himself look good going forward. Defensively he still looks like he’d fit very well into Chelsea’s current back four. Which does beg the question ‘So what did Micah Richards do that means he’ll never get picked to play for England again?’
Certainly, Richards has had a couple of years when he’s ‘lost his way’ (translation: ‘getting shedloads of cash and spending it on booze, birds, brum-brums and bling). But with the generous exception ofKyle Walker, Richards is to every other right-back in the country what Mark Cavendish is to a kid whose just had his stabilisers taken off.
So what did he do to upset Fabio? Wear a tie incorrectly? Use his PS2 during a team talk? Happen to remark that he hadn’t understood a word of that last piece of advice, even though it had come from Stuart Pearce?
I don’t know either. But it has to be something. I mean there’s not been so mysterious an absence since Lord Lucan rode off on Shergar.
Praise however is due to @Rioferdy5. While I can’t say his is not a somewhat chequered past - Christmas parties and missed drugs test through jumper-shopping spring to mind, the way he stepped up as the Twitter-Blatter-Twatter was top-notch.
Of course some of us still remember that it wasn’t more than a few months back that the triumvirate of Wills, Backs and Dave went forelock-tugging to Switzerland and returned with a bad dose of Sepp-ticaemia.
But since they rooked us good and proper and we’re not bidding for the World Cup for the foreseeable, we can slag off the man who put the swizz into Switzerland good n proper. Unlike the strangely quiet Rest Of The Bleeding World!
Blatter won’t go. He’s apologised. He’s hugged black men in his time so that puts an end to any talk of homophobia and racism, doesn't it? So who will start the FIFA spring? Perhaps Rio, now that his England duties are over. Not sure he’s going to want partner JT in defence again anyway. He’s more likely to be working with his brother - for the prosecution.
I'm at the front of the queue, mind. With a scowl on my face and a giant fuck-off Toblerone in my hand.