British football: Manchester City perform as Chelsea crumbles
The English Premier League has remained consistent by the extent to which it is never predictable. My friends Peter Denk of Liverpool and Ruben Prinz of Manchester United are now visible for a change and they phone me almost every second day for a reason, because their teams have traded places with mine, Chelsea.
Manchester City beat Chelsea in revenge to wrestle the first spot from Liverpool and Manchester United has used the opportunity presented by Chelsea’s erratic performance which landed them on the sixth spot on the Premier League log standing.
On Sunday past I rushed from attending a funeral in Okakarara to watch the match that turned out to be a disaster for Chelsea. Already in the 19th minute, Chelsea trailed 4 goals to zero. They were nowhere and I could not believe my eyes on the switching of roles on the pitch as Manchester City did to Chelsea what the former champions used to teach them. When Man City scored the 5th goal I told my friend who watched the match with me that we were headed for 10 goals to zero. Fortunately, Manchester City lost scoring appetite at goal number seven and for what it was worth, we were spared the embarrassment of a ten-zero.
Three years back I had predicted in a book I had written that Manchester City was headed to dominate the English Premier League for a long time to come and I was correct. By that time it had become evident that the hitherto mainstay teams of British football such as Liverpool and Manchester United were already concealing blood noses. What I did not anticipate then was that Manchester City would be triumphant at the peril of my then high riding Chelsea. When I watched on Sunday how Chelsea was being inducted in soccer by the very team that used to thrive on Chelsea’s second fiddle players, I wished this was not happening, but I remembered the old English word: “If wishes were horses beggars would ride”.
Liverpool and Manchester United had dominated the European soccer limelight for the longest time and at one point the world may have thought that they will never falter. When Liverpool started their steady decline, most soccer observers must have thought that this would be short-lived and over ten years later, still Liverpool is hoping to win the Premier League title once more. Manchester United had reigned supreme for the longest time and their peril came when the club’s all-time manager Ferguson retired from management and Jose’ Morinho was groomed to the hot spot, after latter was pushed off the stage at the Bridge when Chelsea no longer impressed. From there Manchester United declined as if in competition and the world wondered whether it was the team or the coach that was accountable for the unfortunate decline from glory. In the end Jose’ Morinho had to go and that inaugurated the resurgence of Manchester United, to the point that they now boast membership of the top four teams in the Premier League.
But now it looks for real that the shoe is on the other foot. Until two weeks ago my heart told me that Chelsea would rebound and the team was on its way back to the top. Until Sunday I would blame this referee or that linesman for Chelsea’s erratic performance. But last Sunday’s encounter helped me to settle down, accept defeat and to wish Manchester City the very best for their classic victory and consistent form that accounts for the team’s sterling performance.
As for the future of Chelsea, I have remained conservative. I still believe that the best coach for Chelsea is Jose’ Morinho. He has pulled Chelsea out of the doldrums of being whipping boys of British and European football and transformed them into the team to beat on the British scale for several football seasons. That in part because of his qualities as professional coach, but also in part as a result of his unyielding strong personality, mixed in with a dose of arrogance, and arrogant he is. While he coached Chelsea a mischievous reporter asked him the question: “which team in the Premier League do you fear the most?” His answer was: “The second team of Chelsea”. Another reporter asked him in a television interview while he coached Real Madrid: “What are the major challenges you face in coaching Real Madrid?” His answer was: “My only challenge is how to win with Real Madrid”. Now the Special one is reported to have taken an assignment as sports commentator with Russian Television and I wish him the very best.
New Era Reporter
2019-02-13 10:05:09 | 8 months ago