Sunday, March 12, 2006

55. Milosevic

Farewell to bad rubbish. Responsible for more than 200,000 deaths during the Balkan conflict, the "Butcher of the Balkans" Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell yesterday. He got off easy if you ask me.

If there were really any justice in the world, he should've been castrated and had his limbs amputated. Then they should've displayed that limbless, dickless sodding piece of shit to all the Balkan states he so terrorised and let the public use him as a punching bag. Of course, he'd have to be kept alive as long as possible to be tortured in the worst possible way so they can't really let it get too far.

And what kind of torture should he'd have to endure that would match his crimes? Well, a pulled fingernail now and then never killed anyone. And I kinda like what Adolf Hitler's punishment in hell was as imagined by the South Park creators (the whole daily pineapple up the ass routine). Only instead of pineapples, it should be durians. Additionally, he'd be forced to listen to endless Ricky Martin and Spice Girls songs. Now, that'd be just too cruel.

Below are some other people that have yet to be punished for crimes against humanity. There might hope yet for the world if we can get to them before they get away with that pesky "dying of natural causes" thingy.

Mass murderer and all-round looney, Saddam Hussein

Mass murderer and all-round dumbass, George Bush

Dumbass and all-round dodgy marksman, Dick Cheney

Elder of the two brothers ugly and all-round downright ugly, Gary Neville

Creator of Jar Jar and midi-chlorins and all-round no-necked douchebag, George Lucas

Friday, March 10, 2006

54. The Emperor Has No Clothes

The secret is out. Shhhh, say it quietly. Or rather, maybe we shouldn't. The British press (both tabloid or otherwise) surely aren't. They're practically screaming it at the top of their lungs. And just what is it that they're going on about? What's the thing that's got them in such a feeding frenzy? Well it's because the Emperor, it seems, has no clothes.

The Emperor in meaning of course is the Special One himself, Jose Mourinho. The undisputed Master and Commander of Stamford Bridge. A shy Russian may be doing the bank-rolling, an ex-Man U fan may be doing the administrative running of things, but there's no doubt who the real head honcho, the numero uno, of Chelsea is. That's right. It's old Mr Smoldering and Pouting himself. The man whom all Chelsea fans love to love, and everyone else loves to loathe.

So headlines in the press are blaring how inadequate Chelsea are compared to the sheer genius of Barcelona, a case of the artists vs the artisans. How Jose got his tactics completely wrong on the night (case in point: Huth playing as a target man upfront). And how such an expensively assembled team can put out such a limp performance.

Well actually, I've been harping about it for ages now. It just strikes me as odd why they've only now figured it out. And the problem does not really lie with Chelsea at all, it lies with the entire English Premier League. And how it's been overhyped to death.

Collectively, Chelsea's present squad costs significantly more than what it did to assembly Barca's squad. Think about it. Terry and Lampard's comments after the 2nd leg of the last 16 was that there wasn't much difference in quality between Chelsea's and Barcelona's squads. That and the fact they were the two best club sides in the world. Ho hum.

When you pay 24 million quid for a fumbling and clumsy sod of a player like Drogba when it cost Barcelona significantly cheaper to purchase the exhilirating Samuel Eto'o, you've really got to ask yourself some very deep questions. Wright-Philips went for double the amount Man U payed for Cristiano Ronaldo. True, Ronaldo is crap and but his level of crapiness is yet to sink to Drogba like-depths. Plus, he's still on the young side and has time to mature and improve on his skills (like crossing the ball decently for once). In two to three years time, he has the potential to be a passable Luis Figo clone (ala another Portuguese starlet, Simao). More damningly, Rooney was only 3 million pounds more expensive than Drogba. Also, Essien's price was double that of Xabi Alonso.

Let's not bring up the other signings Chelsea have made in the past. There's just so much one can bear. Let's just say that the only players worth their value brought in since the new regime are as follows: Robben, Cech, Crespo, Makelele. That's it. Of course Ferreira and Carvalho are halfway decent defenders, but surely for the prices that they were bought for there would have been better alternatives out there (Zambrotta and Nesta spring just to name a few).

Ok, let's not criticise Jose's transfer policy. Everyone knows that Chelsea have to pay way over the odds for every player they buy. Fair play then, with enormous resources comes inflated prices.

But one does have to wonder on his tactics. Cautious to the point of tedium sums it up best. As a Chelsea fan, I'm not afraid to admit it. Yet they were tactics good enough to win the Premiership by a mile last season and to clinch this year round as well. That just shows to prove the overall standard of the Premiership. Man U have been shit for the past five years now, and are steadily declining into oblivion despite what Fergie says. It's too unpredictable to tell with Arse at the moment but they do have the potential to rise up again, but not within the next two to three years. Only Liverpool have looked decent enough to challenge Chelsea but then again they have the likes of Traore and Cisse in their team, so you can more or less count them out.

Let's not kid ourselves here. A mediorce Chelsea may just stroll through to another league title without breaking sweat. But when it comes to Europe, that's a whole different ballgame here. After all that build-up and hype that's gone Chelsea's way, how they have the best squad in world football, etc, the way they meekly bowed out against Barca was frankly, embarrassing. The two best club sides in the world? Not by a mile. The best team was definitely on show, but the 2nd best team was no where to be found (it's a toss-up between Juve or Milan).

Liverpool's fluke win in the Champions League last year withstanding, English clubs have always underperformed in Europe. And the blame has always been those dodgy cheating foreign tactics like diving and time-wasting. Well, honestly, there's just so much one can blame before taking a good long look at themselves to find where the problem truly lies.

Man U and Liverpool went out limply to a team who are woefully underperforming in the Portuguese league. Why? They were just out-skilled and out-thought. Chelsea went down without so much of a whimper against a rampant Barca side. Why? Barca had technical players who knew what to do with the ball while Chelsea couldn't even string three decent passes together without conceding possession. And Arsenal? Well, we all know Real Madrid have long ceased to be a football club and has instead turned in a freak show starring overaged and underperforming stars (kinda like in Vegas) so they don't really count as opposition against a team containing the second best player in the world in my books (my top three in order would be Ronaldinho, Henry and Totti).

Wouldn't it be nice for once if Chelsea, with all their vast resources, could assembly a team capable of winning and entertaining? As a fan since the days of Hoddle, Gullit and Vialli, I find the current Chelsea side to be functional, capable of flashes of brilliance, yet dull most of the time. We're still winning, so no complaints. But perhaps, a little guile and magic is required to take the team to the next level. Maybe one day, Chelsea will win the Champions League with the type of thrilling football that Barca are so deservedly praised for. And till that day comes, I'll have to be content with sweeping mediorce competition in a mediorce league.

Come on you Blues!!!