In any football season, there are alot of titles to fight for. In order of prestige, there are the European Champions league, the domestic title ( EPL in case England), the Europa league, the FA, the Capital One cup, the Super Cup, the Club world cup and many more.
This season, Chelsea lost the Super Cup to Bayern Munich. Chelsea is no longer in the Cpital one cup and the FA. However, the prestigious West London club still tops the EPL log and is still very much in contention for the holy grail of European soccer, the Uefa Champions league!
Chelsea was knocked out of the FA on Saturday. I usually stay off this forum on most weekends so that I can concentrate as much as possible on family, rhumba and the beer. I am poor at multi tasking.
It explains why I was so surprised to find some 53 hate messages in my inbox, taunting me about Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City in the FA clash. As if that was not bad enough, I have read a report about the match in the Daily Nation suggesting that Manchester City utterly outplayed Chelsea and restored their status as front favourites to win the EPL.
To be fair, Manchester City is a good side. More about just how good they are will be revealed on tuesday when they meet Messi, Neymar and Co. In the meantime, I am compelled to respond to a situation I had intended to ignore.
Mourinho is a good football manager. Like every other manager, he knows that no matter how good you are, you cannot win every competition. It helps to prioritize which competition you want to win. It is why some managers send out their second string side to play in competitions which they dont fancy. When they send out the first or senior squad, it is to give them a practice session.
That is precisely what happened on Saturday. Granted, Chelsea sent out the first team squad to battle it out with City, but it was to give the first team a practice session ahead of our European commitments. The FA is also a cup we are in love with, having won it so many times, so it is proper that we give it the respect it deserves even when we are not keen to win it this time. But how else would we be keen to win a competition in which Wigan Athletic is the reigning champions? How can we risk fatigue in a season that has produced the toughest competion for the EPL yet? How can we prioritise the FA when we want to win the EPL and the UCL?
No one likes to lose but on Saturday, I saw our boys come out of the pitch at the end of the match smiling. I guess the were amused with the wild celebrations by City players. They needed something to uplift them after that chastening loss to Chelsea some thirteen days ago in the EPL.
City does not have many fans locally. I guess after they won the league some two or three seasons ago, they got some one thousand or so fans. However, the handful of fans were not alone in their celebrations locally because they were buoyed by the celebrating Arsenal masses. Arsenal fans were right to celebrate because they knew that Chelsea, rather than City were their biggest threat to winning their most realistic silverware this season: the FA.
Indeed fate, preferential refereeing by Howard Webb and atrocious finishing by Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling helped Arsenal to breeze past Liverpool in the other encounter on Sunday night. I hope each of the Arsenal fans went for heart check up because the way Liverpool put them on the edge for about fifty minutes cannot be good for the heart.
At Chelsea, we can now happily say we wish our neighbours from the North of the Capital well as they slug it out with City, Everton/Swansea and the others in the FA. I urge Arsenal to give it their all because it is the most realistic chance at silverware after eight long years!