A team even more over than ripped jeans, Hard-Fi and Kenny Dalglish
NEXT STOP: CAMP NOU
The way some people have been going on since Saturday, you’d think Pep Guardiola had spent the last few days sat on a bar stool telling anyone who’ll listen he used to manage the European champions you know, while an Bergdorf Goodman Prada Mens Shoes unshaven Lionel Messi had Authentic Prada Messenger Bag For Sale been walking around the streets of Barcelona, like Ron Burgundy after he’d been sacked from Channel 4 Evening News, shouting: « It’s so damn hot! Milk was a bad choice! » And, indeed, it is hot in Barcelona today, a sweltering 21C with clear blue skies in fact, meaning Chelsea’s hopes of a wet, windy Tuesday night in Stoke look slim, and not just because they’re in Barcelona.
But Biggest Prada Outlet In Italy their chances of reaching Big Cup final are not, for Barcelona come into this game on the back of two defeats for the first time under Guardiola since May 2009, reeling from losing El Clasico at the weekend. That means it’s BARCELONA IN CRISIS!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, a team that has already won three Authentic Prada Americas Cup Sneakers trophies this season and could end it with five out of six is even more over than ripped jeans, Hard-Fi and Kenny Dalglish. Get with the picture guys! Barcelona are so old news! Move on. It’s done. Messi? Overrated. Andres Iniesta? He’s no Fabio Rochemback. Xavi? The Daily Mail had it right all along.
Only, that’s not really the case, is it? While an excellent Madrid side made Guardiola regret his tinkering, there wasn’t too much wrong with Barcelona at Stamford Bridge last week. If they match that performance tonight, they should stroll through to a third final in four years, as long as Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez decide not to act like eejits in front of goal again. Even then, Chelsea will still have to stop Messi from adding to his 63 goals this season. Although he has never scored against Chelsea. Hmm. Back Chelsea.
The hot news to emerge from yesterday’s press conferences is that both football managers think their football teams are going to do a win in the football match. For his part, Roberto Di Matteo insisted Chelsea will try to mount an attack or zero. « I do think we’ll have to try and score a goal, » he sighed. « That would give us a greater chance. » Yes. Goals do tend to be quite handy in football matches. « They’re strong and have the weapons to hurt us, so this is a big challenge, » Guardiola said in response. « But I have no doubts that Ap Lei Chau Prada Factory Outlet we’ll get to Munich. I can either sit here and be depressed about the result of the first match or I can be optimistic. And I have faith. »
It was left to Gerard Pique to inject some much-needed light relief and claim that Didier Drogba is not a diver. « Every time a player goes down and complains, I believe he’s been hurt, » he said. « If he keeps doing that, you might end up thinking that’s the case. But, for now, I believe in his honesty. If not, we’d have to start to talk about football not having fair play and being all about cheats. » Comments that would have only been more amusing if they had been uttered by Sergio Busquets.
• Join Jacob Steinberg from 7pm for live MBM coverage of Barcelona 3-1 Chelsea (3-2 agg).
QUOTE OF THE DAY
« Beckham and Lampard and the whole Man U team » – Pele has Black Prada Doctor Bag a new rival for the Utterly Useless Rent A Quote Of The Year Award! Ronaldo names his favourite young English players during his trip to the London 2012 football draw. The big-boned one has also tipped Pitt the Elder as Britain’s next PM and Austrian teen heartthrob Wolfgang « Woolfy » Mozart to win Best New Act at the Smash Hits Poll Winners’ Party.
« All this fuss about Messi scoring 63 goals in a season. There was even a letter about it in the print version of Big Paper. No one mentions that Liverpool have managed 60 in all games so far, and we’ve still got five games to go » – Tony Lynch.
« In homage to Real Madrid and Chelsea’s results against Barcelona, I would like the Fiver to start a START BUS PARKING campaign. I believe this would also be useful at one’s office, where one can park the bus to desperately avoid work by: Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible a) blocking all work coming to your desk; and b) constantly tripping over things and rolling on the floor as if shot by a sniper » – Herman H00ker.
« Re: Sam Miles on Shay Given (yesterday’s Fiver letters). I have been saying this for years about Given, and I’ve never really understood why no one else seems to be able to see it (apart from Barry Glendenning). Our defence has got noticeably better since he left Newcastle. And if I could be bothered to do any research on this at all, then I reckon the pattern would repeat with Manchester City. Brilliant keeper my … » – Sally Paterson.
« Re: yesterday’s ZX Spectrum-related last line. Ah (audible reminiscent sigh), the 1988 flashback to the past took me back to a better time. When all matches were more blocky and rugged and were decided purely by skill. Not by refereeing decisions/spineless officials/too much added time/the 12th man/fixture scheduling/balls that didn’t cross the line but were given as a goal/balls that did cross the line but were not given as a goal/inept suits stuck in a time warp failing to implement goalline technology/boardroom issues even though no one on the board would be playing in the match anyway/Twitter/fan protests/traffic/ridiculously expensive and overly accurate statistical software/weather/the questionable groundsmanship of the playing surface/the roundness of the ball (because, of course, back in 1988 the ball practically had corners, see the video, adidas have done the footballing world a cracking service)/the ergonomic aerodynaminism of the respective kits worn/the time of kick-off/transfer budgets/strong winds/phantom beach balls/foreign managers that cannot speak a word of the Queen’s/inanimate woodwork that seems to move every time a Liverpool player shoots (although that’s no excuse, but still worth saying in the post-match interview)/pre-match handshakes/24-hour rolling media circus/Mr 15% and so on! I could go on but I don’t want to ruin this sense of nostalgia, after all it’s just a game … oh » – Paul Munro.
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BITS AND BOBS
Denmark’s players have been banned from social media during Euro 2012. Lucky Denmark followers. « There was a time when we lived without Twitter and we’ll be able to do it during the Euros replica prada saffiano handbags, » tapped Thomas Sorensen, Authentic Prada Vitello Daino as Danish journalists cried into their Midsomer Murders box sets at having to find other sources for stories about what Nicklas Bendtner is eating for breakfast.
In a desperate attempt to inject some jeopardy into the situation, Stuart Pearce has said David Beckham is not guaranteed a place in the Team GB squad for London 2012. But we all know that he’ll be there in the end. And who really cares anyway?
Meanwhile, Team GB’s team of perfumed, beautifully coiffed semi-professionals are applying their make-up and Authentic Prada Bags Uk getting ready to play Uruguay, UAE and Senegal at London 2012 while – wait for this one to zing – Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shoes Sale the women’s team will play New Zealand, Brazil and Cameroon.
Once again showing that he has his finger on the pulse of the nation, Roberto Mancini has played down the significance of Monday’s fight to the death between Manchester United and Manchester City. « For us it will just be one more game, » Mancini said. These mind games are really getting to him.
And assorted football hacks have proved themselves even more clueless than the pros by voting Paul Scholes third in their Footballer of the Year award. Whether that’s for his displays in the first half of the season or the second is unclear.
STILL WANT MORE?
Cristiano Ronaldo stars as a gladiator, chewy sweet and his big-boned namesake in this week’s Gallery.
Team GB’s group opponents Uruguay are likely to select Diego Forlan, Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez as their three overage players for the Olympics. Stuart Pearce may choose those bastions of the Olympic idyll Lee Cattermole and Craig Bellamy in his, as Louise Taylor explains.
If you were wasting time on the internet this afternoon instead of doing your job you could have posed a question for Dominic Fifield on Barcelona v Chelsea. As it is you can just make do with reading the questions of others.
And Chelsea must better perfection against Barcelona, declares Daniel Taylor, little realising that particular oxymoron was achieved during Aston Villa 0-0 Wolves back in August.
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THE HUNT IS ON