Has anyone picked up and read today's copy of The Sun, that bastion of impartial reporting? No? Ok, no worries. Let me share with you some key moments from the match report from the Chelsea v Spurs game.
And despite Harry Redknapp's side having tested Chelsea in all areas until then, the contest was over.
- Was it really? How so? Do games end when one the home team takes a 1-0 lead? Was it that one-sided that the white towels were raining down on Stamford Bridge?
Redknapp complained bitterly that Robbie Keane should have had a penalty nine minutes into the second half but the claim was more doubtful than the outcome.
- Are you blind? I guess you would be down there on your knees taking it. Learn to close your eyes. It's what all the best starlets do.
The same cannot be said of Ricardo Carvalho's on Keane but the reaction of the Spurs skipper led to justice, regardless of the claims. Carvalho did make contact but Keane initially stayed on his feet before tumbling like a stuntman. Ref Howard Webb waved away the appeals and even refused to book Keane for diving - despite his insistence he should get one if there was no foul. All of this, however, was an example of wasted energy from Spurs.
- Possibly one of the most ludicrous statements made in any match report. Ever. Well, this weekend at the very least. But this is The Sun we're talking about. Ironically a paper Harry writes for - so should be interesting to see how he plans to use his column in this losing war of propaganda and distortion to fight the fight. Tumbling like a stuntman? Yes, we beat you 2-1 at Upton Park. Dry them. Wasted energy? What like the Top 4 clubs waste energy chasing down and attempting to influence the ref, week in week out? Or are you too busy begging for another moneyshot in the face to notice?
Chelsea are top of the league, a 100 per cent record and playing well - who could ask for more?
- Whoop-de-do. What more could any of us possibly ask for? I'm sitting stroking myself I'm so happy that no boat has been rocked and that the status quo is still in it's divine place, up there in the Gods. You absolute wound of a journalist.
There you go. Fact turned to fiction in one simplistic match report. I guess asking a West Ham fan (Ian McGarry) to report on a Spurs game will always result with this type of bullshit, appeasing the untouchable aura of a Top 4 club. Shame on anyone who though it was a pen, right? Even though it was, it wasn't actually a penalty because saying that Spurs could have had a way back into the game would be stating that Chelsea could have possibly suffered for it. The very thought is blasphemy.
Ok, look. I'm not going to start throwing conspiracy theories all over the place about how ref's consciously or subconsciously protect the members of the Sky Sports Super league, making sure that key decisions at key moments always go their way. You can argue that its just coincidental in that the standard of referring isn't particularly good and that these types of decisions can go either way. Except if you add them up you'll find them stacked up against us. Although I've heard plenty of Man Utd fans say the same thing about ref's and their side, so it's all in the eye of the beholder.
However, how can you not be bitter when the same incompetent clown - who gave Utd a pen last season at OT when we were 2-0 up - decides that Keane wasn't fouled on Sunday afternoon? Did he not see it clearly? Did he think Keane dived? If so where was the yellow card? And if he believed Robbie lost his balance, logically, would that not have been because he was tripped? Key decision, key moment. And then we're 2-0 down within two minutes.
There were other moments in the game that had me in facepalm mode. Defoe brought down just outside the area was one example. God forbid we get a freekick just outside the box. Damn it, I want to see Huddlestone smack the ball into the wall…do not deny me this!
Webb's lack of performance aside, we didn't look too bad in the first half. Second half, it all went wrong. From the no-penalty to King going off injured (game over for certain at this point) and then Bassong off on a stretcher. We lost shape. We lost hope. It was comfortable for them. It was lucky it stayed at 3-0.
We are desperately missing Modric and having Utd and Chelsea in the first two games without him have not helped as Harry has looked at shaping the team in a certain why to live with the both of them and it hasn't worked. On Sunday, their fullbacks enjoyed plenty of success. And yes, it would be nice to one day see us take moments of injustice and truly take the game by the scruff rather than heads dropping downwards. Are we a one-man team? Nope. But we could have done with far more comfortable fixtures.
But that's neither here or there. We lacked full pelt effort at home to United and no luck at Chelsea. The harsh reality is we are some way off from the Top 4. We knew that before both of these games. What we need, now and again, is for people like Webb to avoid blatant fuck-ups and award decisions our way. Because that sort of decision can possibly aid us in producing one of those type of upsets that people like Richard Keyes have nightmares about. It seems that the difference between us and sides like Chelsea sometimes come down to the ref rather than the players on the pitch.
I'd like us to work towards a level where our destiny within the 90 minutes is completely in our hands and we win games with football and not the ref's whistle. That way there are no ready-made excuses and what-if's. Because there is nothing worse than the day after being spent thinking about how the game could have turned out differently.
Will blog some more about the game later.