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Anorak | Guilty Pleasures – Ashley Cole Out, Spurs Lose & Chelsea Fight

Guilty Pleasures – Ashley Cole Out, Spurs Lose & Chelsea Fight

by | 1st, February 2007

FOOTBALL fans do not love the game. They love their teams.

Many is the Cup Final watched in the, admittedly misguided and downright nasty, hope that any minute there will be an explosion and the game featuring your team’s rivals will be rendered null and void.

This is shameful stuff. It is appalling. And when Arsenal fans see the Times’ picture of Ashley Cole writhing in agony on the Chelsea turf they must surely temper their broad smirks with the realisation that an injury can happen to any player in any game. That it should happen to the charmless CAshley Cole is by the by.

But there is no small pleasure to be had in watching the enemy suffer. As the Times writes of Arsenal’s Carling Cup semi-final win over North London rivals Spurs: “It was debatable which was the more enjoyable for Arsenal last night. Was it reaching the final of the Carling Cup…or the fact that it was Tottenham Hotspur, their great rivals, who they denied the chance of making the same trip?”

It is a close run thing. But given the importance Spurs place on winning any Cup, let alone just reaching a final, most Arsenal fans would take the latter. It might be the Mickey Mouse Cup, but it is the Mickey Mouse Cup that Spurs can’t win.

And as Arsenal fans have one of those days when it all just slots into place (“Cole Out For Season,” says the Star’s backpage headline), Manchester United roll on.

“Riding high,” says the Mail’s back page. United beat a doomed Watford 4-0 and keep their six point lead at the top of the Premier League.

That’s six points above Chelsea. The Blues beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 and lose Ashley Cole (Sun: “Cole hit by horror KO” – does he still get paid a win bonus if he’s injured? This might be something Ashley asked as he was being carted off on a stretcher.)

Chelsea are in trouble. Of course, things are relative and the likes of Spurs would take any amount of in fighting and moaning if it meant being second in the Premier League, in the Champions League and in the final of the Carling Cup final.

And if things get too much for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, he can always make way for Marcello Lippi. As the Sun reports, Italian football’s answer to Paul Newman is considering the position.

Says he: “I’m aware that I’m on the wanted list at a number of big clubs but specifically at Chelsea and I regard that as only natural.”

He goes on to show off his CV: “I have coached teams which have reached the Champions League final four times. I’ve won Serie A five times and of course the World cup, too.

That sounds not unlike an application. Mourinho, the self-styled “Special One”, seems less special, a little ordinary even.



Posted: 1st, February 2007 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink