EPL Season Recap: The Best and Worst Game for Every Team

In the course of every team’s 38 fixtures, there will be great triumphs and terrible embarrassments. Every team had games that their fans will cherish when they think back on the 2014-15 season and games they’d soon like to forget. These are those games for the top half of the table. The bottom half will come later today.

Chelsea

Best: Swansea 0-5 Chelsea

Worst: Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea

Given that Chelsea won the Premier League and only lost three games, it was difficult to identify their best game this season since there’s several excellent candidates. A dominant road win is the best candidate. The 5-3 loss to Tottenham was bad, but Harry Kane won that game for Tottenham more than Chelsea lost it. The Newcastle game ended their hopes for an unbeaten season and it was game they had a much better chance at winning than facing an in-form Kane at White Hart Lane.

Manchester City

Best: Southampton 0-3 Manchester City

Worst: Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal

Manchester City really seemed like the opposite of Chelsea: they had many choices for their worst game of the season. Losing to Stoke at home and Burnley away were candidates, as were drawing with Hull and Burnley at the Etihad. But really only one game will stand out looking back at the season: Arsenal at home. One season removed from thrashing the Gunners 6-3, City lost a game where it clearly looked like Arsenal was the team that wanted it more. Looking on the bright side for City’s disappointing title defense, Southampton was a great road performance against a very good team. Gael Clichy even scored, which hadn’t happened in a really long time.

Arsenal

Best: Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal

Worst: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

City’s worst fixture was Arsenal’s best. Arsenal avenged their embarrassment from last season and did so with a complete performance from everyone. Santi Cazorla in particular had a masterful game, completing 10 dribbles with a goal from the penalty spot and an assist. For once, Arsenal didn’t roll over in a big game. Of course Arsenal’s worst game was a big game where they rolled over. Manchester United beat them at the Emirates through a comedy own goal from Kieran Gibbs and Wayne Rooney icing the game on the counterattack. Arsenal largely outplayed United – United scored twice but had only one shot on target – but couldn’t get the win, which makes this game worse than losing the North London Derby for me.

Manchester United 

Best: Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City

Worst: Leicester 5-3 Manchester United

Manchester United had only won a single Manchester Derby since the 2011-12 season prior to this game, and had failed to beat City at the Theatre of Dreams since Rooney’s iconic bicycle kick back in February 2011. Additionally, United never really got a chance to prove how good they were in the fixture at the Etihad due to Chris Smalling’s red card. The win could prove to shift to the tide in the rivalry but at the very least, it ended a drought United fans felt had gone on far too long. The Leicester game hardly needs an explanation. Conceding five goals and blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads to a team that just barely escaped relegation is pretty dreadful.

Liverpool

Best: Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

Worst: Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace

Liverpool’s win over Southampton has gradually become less important as the season progressed. But after Liverpool went into St. Mary’s and grabbed three points, they were just two points away from Manchester United in fourth and just took 3 points from one of their other main Champions League rival. Coutinho’s goal of the season candidate didn’t hurt either. I originally had planned to pick Liverpool’s loss at Old Trafford for their worst game of the season. But Crystal Palace and Alan Pardew spoiling Gerrard’s emotional Anfield farewell will haunt Liverpool and the fans in attendance for years. That game is a sour taste in their mouth that won’t be very easy to remove.

Tottenham

Best: Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea

Worst: Crystal Palace 2-1 Tottenham

For some teams I found it difficult to select their best game. It is either because there are several good candidates or no clear cut candidate for which game was the best. That is not the case for Tottenham. There is only one possible answer, and it was that magical 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day. The game took Harry Kane from a striker who was in decent form to HARRY KANE, THE FUTURE OF ENGLAND with his two goals and an assist. It was Spurs’ first win over their London rivals since 2010 and there’s no doubt it was worth the wait. Tottenham then managed to do the most Tottenham thing ever, which was lose their very next game at Selhurst Park to a Crystal Palace team situated in the bottom three when the game started. Losing to Tim Sherwood wasn’t ideal either, but Palace takes the cake.

Southampton

Best: Southampton 8-0 Sunderland

Worst: Southampton 0-1 Swansea

I’m generally trying to avoid just picking the game with the most goals as the best game a team has in the season. But when a team scores eight goals, there is no chance any other game will be topping that. Dusan Tadic had a hat trick of assists and a goal while Graziano Pelle added a brace. Losing to Swansea by itself at home isn’t really that bad. But this is Southampton’s worse game because Swansea only had one shot on goal and it was this goal from Jonjo Shelvey. Ronald Koeman didn’t take it well, saying “We are very frustrated. I think the most lucky team won today.”

Swansea

Best: Swansea 2-1 Manchester United

Worst: Swansea 0-5 Chelsea

Swansea started the season off with beating Manchester United at Old Trafford. While it was certainly an impressive result for the Welsh side, that team was hardly the team that Louis Van Gaal managed to lead back to the Champions League. By February, LVG had the team he wanted and surely would’ve been able to exact revenge for his team’s earlier loss. But Swansea had different plans, and managed to sweep United with their 2-1 win. As for their worst game, losing to Chelsea isn’t that bad by itself. But when you fail to get a shot on goal and are down 4-0 before you can even get to halftime, that’s a bad performance no matter who you’re facing.

Stoke

Best: Manchester City 0-1 Stoke

Worst: Stoke 1-2 Burnley

I originally wanted to go with Stoke’s 3-2 win over Arsenal at the Britannia. But Arsenal hasn’t beaten Stoke on their ground since 2010, when Cesc Fabregas, Nicklas Bendtner, Thomas Vermaelen and Danny Pugh scored the goals in a 3-1 Arsenal victory. So it had to be Stoke going beating the defending champions at their own house. As the season has progressed, City has proven that the Etihad wasn’t quite the fortress it was in 2013-14, but you’d be hard to pressed to ever argue beating the defending champions as the road that isn’t your best game of the season. Burnley won a grand total of two games away from home in their one year stint in the Premier League. One of those came against Stoke. Nice job, Mark Hughes.

Crystal Palace

Best: Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace

Worst: Crystal Palace 0-2 West Brom

Crystal Palace has Liverpool’s number. They famously drew with Liverpool 3-3 at Selhurst Park last year and made Luis Suarez cry. This season they beat Liverpool at home, winning 3-1. Later this season, Palace traveled to Anfield for Steven Gerrard’s final home game. And they spoiled it in absolutely glorious fashion with another 3-1 win. While nine years is probably a bit too long to wait for a revenge, Alan Pardew in particular had to enjoy being the party pooper. His West Ham was on the receiving end of Gerrard’s famous 2006 FA Cup Final goal. West Brom is Palace’s worst game not because of how they played or anything to do with West Brom itself. But seeing Tony Pulis win in your own ground after unceremoniously kicking him to the curb wasn’t likely to be an enjoyable experience.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

viagraofchaos_2015-May-23

Xavi Hernandez played his last league game for Barcelona today, ending a career with the club that started in 1991, when he was 11 years old. He made his debut for the first team in 1998, but it would take a decade for the diminutive playmaker – in my mind the most influential midfielder of the past ten years – to make his mark on the team, and in fact all of world football.

Xavi’s rise to prominence began in the summer of 2008, when Spain manager Luis Aragones built the national team to take advantage of the central midfielder’s gifts of ball possession and retention. Spain tiki-taka’d their way to a European championship, with Xavi earning player of the tournament honors.

Xavi came back to Barcelona on a high, and took control of  new manager Pep Guardiola’s offense, amassing a trophy haul from 2008-2012 that would rival most clubs’. In fact, Xavi Hernandez’s club and country trophy haul in that four year period is more than Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United combined. His 17 trophies, in fact, are more than Arsenal’s entire Premier League haul (15) and Chelsea’s since 2004 (13).

ElMaestrofcb_2015-May-23

For a long time, Xavi was the symbol of Barcelona football, the engine that made everyone tick. And while he’d be quick to tell you he’s not even the best midfielder on the team (that would be his best friend Andres Iniesta), it was he that ran the show. The team was built to accommodate Lionel Messi’s talents, but it was built around number six.

As time went on, and the immortal makina showed signs of mortality, Xavi accepted a new role, one that allowed him to be great for a shorter period of time rather than good for a long time. He became Luis Enrique’s closer this season, the guy you call upon to shut a game down. And while most teams do it by adding defensive mettle, Xavi did it by lulling you to boredom, with short, deliberate passes around the field. Quietly, the machine just kept on humming.

Xavi’s last La Liga game was against Deportivo La Coruña, a drab contest that ended in a 2-2 draw. But the game, a mere formality after Barcelona already clinched the title last week at the Calderon, was the undercard. Today, everyone came to say goodbye to Xavi Hernandez, the soul of the Barcelona machine.

Posted in La Liga | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Barcelona Will Not Win a Trophy in 2015-16

Barcelona are actually going through with this. The Catalan club’s home kit next season will feature horizontal stripes. (There’s the pic, in case you haven’t seen it.)

I mean.

Come on.

You know who else wears horizontal stripes? QPR. Granada, too, and they’re REALLY crap (and they somehow may stay in La Liga. Spain!).

You know what happened to QPR? We don’t talk about it. Poor Pete Doherty, by the way.

We haven’t seen Thomas Vermaelen in horizontal stripes – hey, we haven’t seen him in anything Barcelona-related! – but I’m sure he’ll look good in these.

Hey, let’s not go ov..hell, why not? Go crazy! This is the swan song. YOU CAN NOT PROSPER IN HORIZONTAL STRIPES. LET THE IMAGE LURK LONG IN THE MEMORY.

Capture66

 

Long in the memory.

Posted in Frivolities, La Liga | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Steven Gerrard Farewell Tribute

As we all know, Steven Gerrard won’t be wearing Scouser red anymore after this season.

So, last night, I decided to make a Gerrard tribute video. I felt obligated to make one, because he really is one of the best players I’ve watched.

I’m not a Liverpool fan (nor do I hate them, only Brendan Rodgers), but it was insurmountable for me not to make a Gerrard video. I’m thankful to have watched him…and hearing Andy Gray climax at so many things he did

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NYCFC Diaries Volume 3: The Song Sheets from Hell, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, NY Derby

NO DANNY, NO PARTY

First things first: HE WASN’T THERE. Not like that means a lot anyways, because he’s gone by the end of the first half. BUT STILL, YOU’RE THE MASCOT OF THIS SERIES! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


Clint Dempsey + Marco Pappa= Teary-Eyed Goodness

When Clint Dempsey’s name was announced by the PA guy, the cheers-to-boos ratio was about 50-50. It should have stayed a little more silent, but booing an immortal American international is…nah, just, nah. I get that it’s MLS and not the World Cup, but this guy is massively important to all American soccer fans.

He had set up Obafemi Martins (more on him in a little bit) with an enthralling back heel nutmeg through two defender’s legs while Martins was making a run. Marco Pappa, though, made me fall into the back of my seat, as if my uncle farted in my face while I slept peacefully.

Dempsey’s goal was a mixture of luck and epic placement. He nutmegged a defender on the border of the box, and Josh Saunders couldn’t manage to get his fingertips on the ball at full low dive stretch. Saunders ended up having a hissy fit at his back line and for good reason. Unfortunately for Saunders, (who, in my eyes, has been the best player this season), he just couldn’t find his A game. The defense was  also eviscerated by Dempsey and Pappa, two special players that have tons of creativity on and off the ball.

O-BA-GAWD:

Two Nigerian guys wearing Nigeria national team track jackets (these track jackets are everywhere) were sitting behind my friend and I talking about how Chelsea is the greatest club in the world (with the heavy accents, it sounded even funnier), John Terry being the best center half in Europe (yeah, that’s no typo) and so many other Chelsea-oriented things that my head couldn’t handle.

obafemi-martins6Right after all of the annoying Chelsea talk, they were talking about how Obafemi Martins is the best player in MLS by a wide stretch. “HE’S NIGERIA’S FINEST,” one of them shouted out. And I thought to myself “doesn’t he mean Vincent Eneyama? Peter Odemwingie? VICTOR MOSES?!? NIGERIA’S FINEST?!?”

But really, Obafemi Martins is an amazing specimen. It’s like him and Clint Dempsey played the two man game inadvertently against NYCFC’s back four throughout the match. Whether it was Dempsey free roaming out left, or Martins cutting inside to receive a low cross and vice versa, these guys just did it all.

Martins finished very well in a 1v1 against Josh Saunders set up by Pappa. I couldn’t stress enough about his incredible composure in the box. With no defenders behind him, it was like me shooting around with my friends.


Unlucky Number Seven, But Still On Board:  

NYCFC has now dropped seven straight matches without a win. In New York sports terms, that means the following:

  1. Let’s evict everyone from their apartments
  2. Burn down Yankee Stadium
  3. Rant about how the whole team needs to be traded (or transferred)
  4. Jump ship to another team
  5. Everything, with the exception of number one, because, well, maybe if your corrupt landlord is at the game lighting your money on fire with a Bic cigarette lighter

See, that’s what it looks like through the eyes of other MLS fanbases when they look at NYCFC fans. They’d assume that the stadium would be empty, like Vans Warped Tour at the Nassau Coliseum parking lot the last few years it was there (god, the lineups sucked).

But that’s beyond false. It’s almost been a month since NYCFC has won their first and only match—their home opener against the Revolution— and fans haven’t stopped attending the games. In fact, a couple of games have sold out— the home opener and their 1-0 loss against Sporting KC— and many have eclipsed 20,000. In fact, attendance figures for their loss against the Sounders clocked at 25,384, which, I believe, was a massive sellout.

There were a couple of times where I felt like Yankee Stadium was empty, but that’s because people left early to catch the elusive 4 train (don’t you dare make a joke about people leaving early).

I’ve left early once, and it was at the Sounders game, because there was no way NYCFC was going to pull off a 1999 Manchester United-scoring-two-goals-in-stoppage-time-against-Bayern-in-the-Champions-League-final comeback. And let me tell you, there was a colossal difference between the train station immediately after the game, and during the 88th minute with NYCFC down two goals. This time around, I got home at 11:00. I usually get home at 12:30 A.M. An hour and a half is a big difference, trust me on that.

Of course, watching the games on TV and being at the game is incredibly different. But I 041615NYCFC11BK.JPGreally did feel the roar of 20,000+ when Mehdi Ballouchy equalized in the 54th minute. The generic “N-Y-C, N-Y-C” chant echoed throughout the stadium, but as much as I don’t like it, the interest level hasn’t left the stadium just yet.

There’s always going to be the fickle, anti-pragmatic supporters wherever you go, but this crowd is miles away from fading into obscurity. It’s not just a part of football, but in all sports.

My experiences at the games have been very pleasant (especially when the Eugenie Bouchard stunt double and her friend were right behind me. Oh my goodness, I still miss them). Talking to Danny, his friends, and other friendly strangers that I’ll only see at these games is something I didn’t really expect. Usually, someone is just screwing around on their phone the whole time or something like that.

Song Sheet Scrutiny And “Joke Club” Annoyance:

I’m all for being honest, so here’s an honest opinion on the apparent handing-out of song sheets at NYCFC games: Immediately after looking at the song sheets, I did cringe and gave a “wut” eyebrow like The Rock.

Throughout the past week and a half, there has been a ton of laughter from all over the MLS (and the world, after it was tweeted out) over these song sheets handed out before NYCFC games. I thought I’d offer some thoughts on the sheets.

For the record, I never got one (because I have no idea where they handed them out).

Now, here’s a preemie club. Only nine games have been played. It’s owned by a big Arab conglomerate and the generalization around the league (and world, again) is that the “plastic” Manchester City fans are automatically “plastic” fans of NYCFC. I’ve never heard so much criticism for an expansion franchise in any sport.

What’s more annoying is that NYCFC is a “joke club” for not only handing out the sheets, but also because they play in a baseball stadium. Realize this: D.C United, has played in RFK Stadium, perhaps the biggest dump of a baseball stadium before the Nationals had Nationals Park, since the inception of the club and MLS as a professional sports entity.

What if D.C United, a top three most successful MLS club, played at Nationals Park? My point is this: If you’re going to bash a team that’s starting out and has no idea how to jump start its fanbase, it’s better to brainstorm new ideas rather than just not making any noise in the stadium at all.

Much to D.C United supporters’ delight, the club is set to get their own soccer specific stadium  named — with no originality— D.C United Stadium in 2017, which is going to be located right next to Nationals Park.

So does that mean the same for NYCFC? Besides the complaining about the pitch being 031615-600-david-villatoo narrow (by a couple of feet), I don’t know what the big deal is for people that think it’s terrible to play in at Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira has already scorned over the fact, but MLS fans? They’re just being lousy. There’s been rumors of NYCFC getting their own soccer specific stadium, but the rumors are no more similar than any transfer rumor a fake Twitter account posts.

It’s easy for me to say, but all you need to do in order to create a song, presumably for a player, is by taking a well-known song and hoping that the amount of syllables in the player’s name matches with the rhythm of the song. Like, for instance, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston can be “I Wanna Dance With Josh Saunders.” There’s one right there. Sure, it’s cheesy, but I’m all for being a complete cheese ball. Manchester United fans paid homage to Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” by putting Shinji Kagawa’s name in the song. “ALL WE NEED IS…SHIN-JI KA-GA-WA!” C’mon, that’s weird.

In the very first post of this series, I mentioned how the “Eye of the Diskerud” chants were pretty clever, yet weird (but I’m for being a complete cheese ball). There is no such thing as an NYCFC late bloomer, because they just started. The overall team chants are generic, New Yorkish shouts that aren’t really too special. These include, but are not limited to, “N-Y-C *clap, N-Y-C *clap,” “Ole…New York, New York,” you pretty much get the kind of spin the fans are trying to put on the chants.

Again, I don’t think they’re so special, but at least people are getting the feel for chanting for a team they’ve been waiting to cheer for, since NYCFC was first created in May 2013. The song sheets were just a bump in the road. The team will get better as time goes on and the fanbase doesn’t seem to be turning south.

New York Derby, Womp Womp:

It was a given that NYCFC got their asses handed to them by Seattle. What was more important was that they would go out to Red Bull Arena and grab a win against their quasi rival, the Red Bulls, which, unfortunately, they didn’t, falling 2-1 at the feet of the perennial goal scoring godsend, Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Before I talk about the game, this so-called “rivalry” is exactly what happened with the Brooklyn Nets’ rebranding, where the Knicks automatically became a rival because of their metropolitan location (and who knows when they’ll actually face in the playoffs…). This time, Third Rail supporters sailed across the Hudson River.

The unhealthy gluts of hype that was thrown at this game was, of course, necessary for network promoters, but it turned out to be just like the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight: very meh.

Some of the banter between the two fanbases wasn’t too bad. NYCFC fans acknowledged that the Red Bulls haven’t won MLS silverware, with the exception of a community shield. Red Bull fans counteracted with calling them “Man City Lite” and smurfs (like Islander fans would call the Rangers). But most of it is stuff you would have expected to have been said: lack of trophies and being a lovechild of a bigger club. Nothing new.

The first New York derby’s scoreline looks convincing at 2-1, but it really wasn’t if webmls11s-be1-webyou watched the game. Bradley Wright-Phillips really should have scored a hat trick. Josh Saunders made a nice 1v1 save, but Wright-Phillips had an empty net with someone backing up on Saunders’ right. He demolished NYCFC’s defense, even when the Red Bulls had only 10 men on the field after Matt Miazga was sent off in the 36th minute (for what really wasn’t even considered a yellow card).

NYCFC’s defense played like QPR’s defense against Manchester City earlier that day. It’s like when you activate offside traps in FIFA, only to get sucked up like pet dander into a vacuum. Well, just picture yourself doing that at least 5 times, giving up brutally easy gimmies.

Although Patrick Mullins slotted in the 76th minute, nothing else was salvaged. Bragging rights were won for Red Bull fans and rightfully so. NYCFC fans just have to, unfortunately, pucker up, and admit that the team is the antithesis of playing good football, because that’s been reported missing on the milk carton for way too long.

Posted in Features, MLS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Game With A New Throne

It wasn’t supposed to take this long, but it’s finally happened: Chelsea are Premier League champions.

Jose Mourinho’s three-year quest for a meaningful title ended this week with Chelsea crowned after their 1-0 defeat of Pardiola’s Crystal Palace, and while I think it took longer than expected (or needed to), the inevitable is finally upon us.

Sure, Mourinho might feel that his team underachieved in Europe – bowing out to a PSG team that spent the majority of the second leg down a man – but locally, this was always Chelsea’s league to lose. It wasn’t always pretty, but it sure was efficient.

Chelsea started out this year displaying an attacking fluency that was absent from last year, and led by Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, the West London club played some pretty football.

Maybe too pretty for their manager’s liking.

Since the New Year, this team has displayed both the qualities and faults of its manager. Chelsea transformed from a free-wheeling offensive juggernaut to a defensively sound outfit that suffocated opponents. Perhaps it was because of fatigue and suspensions, or maybe because Mourinho thought his team was too loose, but whatever the case, this team transformed at around the time of the 5-3 defeat to Tottenham, when the Spurs midfield (!!!!!!) pressed the double pivot of Nemanja Matic and Fabregas, exposing the lack of pace in Chelsea’s centre backs.

From then on, Mourinho tightened the defense and conservatively coasted to the title, helped by the relatively tame challenges from the rest of the league. Arsenal put up a valiant effort in 2015, but while Arsene Wenger’s team may be the kings of North London, they didn’t have enough to withstand their western opponents, with Wenger playing the role of Stannis Bartheon to Mourinho’s Tywin Lannister (I don’t know if Mourinho enjoys his wine to the extent that Cersei does, but then again, no one probably does).

Meanwhile, City faded down the stretch despite the best efforts of Sergio “Brienne of Tarth” Aguero. On New Year’s Day, they were joint top. As of May 5, they are second and fading fast, with Manuel “Renly” Pellegrini looking like a dead man walking.

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United are probably a year away, and next season will probably mount more of a challenge to the West Londoners, but they did play a part in the vanquishing of a pretender to the throne.

Yes, THAT pretender.

Fresh off a second place finish last year, Liverpool and their Robb Stark of a manager, Brendan Rodgers, talked a big game and even warned van Gaal of the challenges of the BPL. Perhaps he should have taken his own advice, especially against the Dutchman, who flayed his formation twice and is set to finish above Rodgers for a spot in the Champions League. (In this analogy, Wayne Rooney is Theon Greyjoy.)

These were all subplots in the main story of Chelsea’s ascent to the Premier League throne. The next chapter for Chelsea is to capitalize on the local successes and try to conquer Europe.

Then, and only then, will Mourinho have paid his debt.

Posted in English Premier League | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Words Can Sometimes Hurt You

Since the race for the last ever Barclays Premier League is over – Barclays have not renewed their sponsorship – and the top four teams will basically be the top four at the end of the season (in some order), there’s been a clamor in the media to figure out what exactly they can write about.

There’s the fall of Liverpool, which has been done to death here and elsewhere. There’s the resurgence of Manchester United under Louis van Gaal, but that felt like it reached its apex in the middle of March, and United have now lost two straight games. Writing about Manchester City and their decline is, like the current state of their squad, rather boring. There’s nothing there that wasn’t written two years ago.

Which leaves us with Arsenal and Chelsea, or rather Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.

The war of words and clash of styles between the two has been the predominant storyline closing out this season, with both managers not exactly hiding their disdain for one another.

Jose, ever the results based pragmatist, can point to his perfect record against Arsene Wenger as well as not allowing Arsenal to score in more than eight hours of play. Arsene, the hopeless romantic who is more concerned with aesthetics than results, can counter by saying that Chelsea don’t have a particular style of play, that the West London club is boring.

Accusations will lob back and forth between both teams, and of course, nothing will be solved.

Chelsea can say that they have scored more goals than Arsenal, more goals than anyone except Manchester City in fact, but their total of 68 goals isn’t anything to write home about – certainly not after Manchester City’s 102 goal explosion last season, which is eclipsed only by a Chelsea squad managed by Carlo Ancelotti, winners of the double and scorers of 103 goals in the 2009-2010 season.

Arsenal can talk about their impeccable run of form in 2015, which saw them gain more points at 2.54 per match than any other team in Europe. But again, this will prove nothing, except that the Arsenal of Wenger and the Chelsea of Mourinho play the game in extremely different ways.

The one thing this war of words, this clash of styles, is proving is that Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho will probably never see eye to eye, and the chances of them being friendly to one another are slim to none.

This will probably be the case for as long as Mourinho doesn’t see Wenger as a threat. As long as Wenger continues to play the way Mou expects him to play, Jose will always have the upper hand, and he will rub that fact in Arsene’s face. He holds the advantage in the mental aspect of this “rivalry”, and until Arsenal either find a way to beat Chelsea or, and this is looking like the more likely scenario, upstage them in the league (that is, finish above them or even win the whole thing), Mourinho’s bullying and disrespect of Wenger will continue.

Then again, this is asking too much of Wenger at this point. The man is an aesthete, and he would rather lose playing his way than win aping someone else’s. This is why Mourinho will always win.

This is why Jose’s words will always hurt.

Posted in English Premier League | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment