World Leader Pretend

******.

Anyway, Chelsea are victorious after dodging a thousand Barcelona and Bayern Munich shots and springing the odd random goal JUST when it was needed. Assuming that Roman Abramovich hasn’t bought his way into God’s great control booth in the sky, this is good old fashioned luck and good old fashioned defending. I confess that last night’s performance was quite enjoyable in John Terry’s absence – I’m a huge Ashley Cole fan and Gary Cahill’s performance had much to admire in it. Juan Mata seems like a good chap and I’m even warming more to Didier Drogba as the years go by. It was fun football in the end, even if the result was (more or less) a travesty (again, and that again is the crucial thing really isn’t it? Can’t be a fluke if they can do this to order), you can’t fault the drama.

This is arguably the worst side in Abramovich’s time, which is perhaps why they won. Abandoning any notions of fighting toe-to-toe, Chelsea left few gaps to exploit, and remain defensively strong enough to repel a lot of what even the best teams can throw their way.  You need something about you to win this trophy and pretty much everything went right, most notably that Barca and Real Madrid fought out a classico just before the semis, but Chelsea did their bit and are in some senses worthy winners (less so in other senses).

Bayern didn’t help themselves always – I read that Arjen Robben had 23 shots, which is more than most teams come up with in 90 minutes and somewhat shows his playground ball-hogging in its worst light.  Yeah he’s a great player, but sometimes he seems to take things that bit too far.

It’s a very fine Bayern side and I’m sad that they weren’t able to win – that’s two defeats against defensive teams in three years now. Such is football, of course.


Richard Allen founded this website in 2006. This is him at a wedding last year.

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