The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.


WHEN you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk!

These legendary words spoken in the classic western movie ‘The Good,the Bad and the Ugly’ couldn’t be more appropriate to describe the woes that have befallen Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United.

In the movie itself gangster Tucho’s life is spaired due to the procrastination and dillydallying of a rival gangster who instead of opening fire at the first opportunity, delays his actions believing that he has ample time.

In a footballing context, this example clearly describes Chelsea and Manchester United who seem to have forgotten that football matches are won by the clinical conversion of chances into goals.

Chelsea since the arrival of their new owners have embarked on a mad spending frenzy which has topped the GBP 1 billion mark but which foolishly has not included the purchase of a world class striker.

The distinct feeling although no one associated with the club is willing to say it out aloud; is that the removal of Tuchel followed by the axing of Potter was touchy, potty, incredibly hasty and a catastrophic mistake.

New supremo Mauricio Pochettino can try all he likes to disguise their weaknesses and is putting on a brave face, but the reality is that Chelsea have gone backwards at an alarming rate.

I sympathize for the crestfallen Argentine who perhaps unsuspectingly and naively, walked into a blitzkreig and barrage at Chelsea, the likes of which no one would have been prepared for.

It’s one thing having exciting new ownership with tons of money to invest in new players and infrastructure.

It’s another however, when the new ownership are clueless about the task on hand but are arrogant, stubborn and determined to prove their worthless football credentials.

I speak regularly to Chelsea fans who typically in good times refuse to be silenced and exhaust all with their brashness.

For now though, they have all disappeared underground into hiding, embarrassed to be seen or spoken too!

I reckon that they might be out of sight for a while yet in a season made worse by the unexpected emergence across the road of a dynamic cock a hoop Spurs.

Ange the Greek has turned the tide over at Spurs and got them out of their perennial prickly salad. Instead it’s the Argy Pochettino who finds himself in a messy pickle.

It’s seriously ugly and I’ve no idea how Pochettino will manage to stamp out the troubled waters at the bridge.

It’s almost as ugly too in Manchester where every conceivable thing that could possibly have gone wrong, has!

Their ugly state of affairs on the pitch has been compounded by a multitude of scandals off it including the debacles of Greenwood and Antony, the Sancho self-inflicted stupidity etc etc.

Unsurprisingly there is mounting pressure on Erik ten Hag who also has to contend with the issue of the Glazers involved in a game of Qat and mouse with plans afoot to sell the club one minute and then taken off the market the next.

On the pitch however, this version of Manchester United resembles quite possibly the worst Manchester United side since the difficult early days of Alex Ferguson’s tenure.

A horrible loss of form to key pivotal players has got people genuinely starting to question the gaffer’s transfer acumen as well as his ability to command a fractured dressing room.

Blockbuster signing Casemiro has been way too slow off the blocks and is demonstrating just why Real Madrid were so eager to take United’s offer and get him off their books.

There are question marks beginning to surface too over the form and temperament of Lisandro Martinez.

Not for nothing I surmise did Argentine manager Lionel Scaloni choose to start a World Cup final with aging Morris Minor Nicholas Otamendi ahead of him!

Furthermore, for a side supposedly hampered by a lack of cash. I cannot fathom why they paid top money for another keeper Andre Onana when they already had David de Gea on the books.

That money as well as the money they forked out to bring in a luxury player Mason Mount could surely have been better used in the pursuit of prolific Harry Kane who is now scoring goals for fun and thriving at Bayern.

Having what can only be termed as a marginally better season at this stage than Chelsea and Manchester United in terms of their expectations are Arsenal.

This is a club who even if they choose to deny it, are honestly having a BAD blunt season because while on the surface everything is picture perfect, the reality is that they are not firing on all cylinders and are themselves being gunned down.

Arteta not only blundered in his purchase of Kai Havertz in the summer, but unfortunately in trying to justify the pricey purchase, he has also erroneously gone out of his way to give the German every opportunity to prove himself in a midfield role even though it’s often been to the detriment of the side.

It’s culminated in the shabby treatment of Thomas who was so key to Arsenal’s party last season.

I do applaud the capture of West Ham’s Declan Rice which gives Arsenal a massive boost in midfield, but not if Arteta forces his hand by insisting on playing Kai Havertz in midfield ahead of Partey or anyone else for that matter.

In addition, like United in their madness and Chelsea in their drabness,

Arsenal failed to improve the squad in attack where it was desperately needed.

Against Spurs, for all the Arsenal domination, the lack of cutting edge class in front of goal was evident with star striker Jesus cross and berating himself for not taking a gilt edged opportunity.

Once more Arteta’s side showed an inability to kill teams when the opportunity presented itself, a weakness that is proving to be their achilles heel and will cost them the title.

While Manchester United, Chelsea and even to a lesser extent Arsenal are somewhat concerned over their troubled starts to the season, there are a number of teams who simply put, have been astonishingly GOOD!

Brighton sit proudly in this group with a brand of eye catching football made even more remarkable by having to contend with the loss of Alexis Mac Allister  and the £115 million whatshisname…..!Liverpool with a remodeled magnificent midfield of the always mobile Mac Allister and the stunningly sensational Szoboszlai are just purring and are ever so grateful to Chelsea for stealing from under their noses, both the current unused Chelsea purchase Romeo Lavia and the mega £115 million whatshisname…!

(I really can’t remember!)With Mo Salah sublime,Darwin on course to become the Kop’s new darling, and the canny Columbian Luiz Diaz all shooting when they need to, taking their chances(instead of mulling about and talking)and culling the opposition,

Liverpool are truly once more back in the hunt.

Which leaves me predictably ending off with Manchester City who in all their football history have never had it quite so good.

City get so many chances to shoot that even if they stopped for a break at a lay by for a chat or a Kit Kat, they would still eat you alive!(Even if they did generously allow a certain iZAK to steer Newcastle in midweek to an unlikely victory over them in the Carabao Cup!)For a City fan, seize the moment, breathe it all in,take in and savour the magic of what it feels like to support the best club as well as the best run club in world football.

By the way, I don’t want to jump the gun, but in Julian Alvarez Manchester City have a player who appears to have the combined all round talents of a De Bruyne coupled with the finishing shooting ability of killer Kun Aguero in his prime.

And I haven’t even mentioned City’s Haaland,the ultimate striking shooting machine and assassin! Till the next time folks….

In loving memory of my dear brother Inayet who was laid to rest this week.

Life dealt him a pretty Ugly hand, but he dealt with the bumps in his path, taking his chances and knowing when to shoot or sing even though the odds were usually heavily and Badly stacked against him.(he didn’t talk, he just sang divinely beautifully!).

You did good bro, really GOOD!

  • Feedback: Twitter @thesoccerwhiz

Related Topics