Tuesday, 6 December 2011

COME ON BASEL VALENCIA NAOPOLI BAYERN

I can’t get my head round those supporters who claim that they ‘want all the English teams to do well in Europe’; I don’t. I want them all to lose. All of them. Particularly in the Champions League. This is not due to animosity, schadenfreude (I love that word) or malice. It’s simply because I don’t want to play any of them in the knock out stages. We have yet to get past an English team in the Champions league and it’s most annoying.
First there was Chelsea. A good draw at Stamford Bridge courtesy of that unlikeliest of events; a Robert Pires headed goal. Then the second leg where Reye’s  goal late in the first half meant that if we shut up shop for the second half we would progress into an eminently winnable Semi final. We didn’t do either. Then Liverpool, when frankly, refereeing decisions in both legs cost us as did an inability to sit on what we had at Anfield. Manchester United next and in the Emirates game we knew that realistically we would need to score a three to win the first United goal from a Gibbs mistake was not a catastrophe but the rest of the game was and United, deservedly progressed.
So yes I want Chelsea to crash out against Valencia, I want Man City’s other group members to not do them any favours and I want to see Basel pull of an unlikely victory against Man Utd. Of course another motivation is that in City and Chelsea’s case it would rule them out of the opportunity of winning the Champions League before we do (at least for a year). Do I think we can win it? Why not. Stranger things have happened and it’s realistically one of the two trophies (the other being the FA Cup) we ‘can’ win this season. But to improve our chances it would help to not have our English colleagues in the mix.
Abou Diaby (R) of Arsenal is congratulated by teammate Cesc Fabregas after scoring the opening goal at Anfield.

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