As A flight of fancy last Bank holiday, I decided to waste two hours of my life. I went to the pub and watched the Queen’s Arms, Watford play the King’s Head, Crystal Palace and mused if it were possible to allow them both to be promoted, such was the mundane level of the fare on show.
Sitting outside at half-time with an Absinthe and small cheroot, among friends, the conversation quickly turned to our requirements for next season.
A younger member said we needed to keep Tioté, as he was tough-tackling and added steel to the midfield, and I don’t doubt it. The group elders said that they didn’t know the meaning of tough tackling.
I was brought to mind of a friend who moves in exalted circles around the function suites, and she happened to mention that the sainted John McNamee from the 1960s team occasionally sat, well, where he damn well pleased, frankly.
This man made more footballers airborne than Virgin Atlantic. Indeed, it is rumoured that one particular Birmingham City centre-forward was only just beaten to Jupiter by the Saturn 1 probe. I believe that in John’s day, the FA rules on tackling had only one stipulation in that regard, in that the defender would be expected ‘to put his tab oot first’ as a nod towards gentlemanly behaviour.
The problem the Tiotés have, is that tackling is virtually banned, as the rules careered from one extreme to the other.
The name of the game now is craft, allied to a physical presence, and the best example in modern times has been Patrick Vieira, which Tioté is short of being.
Maybe next season will be different, rumours of an extra coach being hired may prove worthwhile, because we definitely have decent players. As an extreme measure, and if my eyes weren’t deceiving me last Bank Holiday, is to petition the Premier League and ask to play Crystal Palace 38 times.
In case you missed the latest update from Chelsea on SSN, Mourinho breakfasted this morning on a light cereal with walnut and date topping, his first bowel movement was at 9.43am.
SSN exclusively revealed that these two events were unrelated. Football, like Jose, breathed a sigh of relief.