by Chris Bertram on April 22, 2006

I’m hoping against hope that the forces of “Good”: will defeat the legions of “Evil”: in the semi-final of the FA Cup later on today (although “God himself”: is ineligible to play for Good, being cup-tied from an earlier round). Meanwhile, I laughed aloud at several passages of Simon Burnton’s meditations on “Djibril Cisse and the off-side rule”:,,1758833,00.html .



P O'Neill 04.22.06 at 8:51 am

How is the Good/Evil dynamic affected with the match location being at the former forces of Evil?


des von bladet 04.22.06 at 8:54 am

Sadly for your absurd moral misattributions, the world-historical dominance of bleu in its overcoming of rouge is a dialectical inevitability. As is not at its least clear with the mismatch of Peter Crouch against John Terry.


Tim Worstall 04.22.06 at 9:27 am

Tsk. Bath/Biarritz, only important match this avo.


Chris Bertram 04.22.06 at 10:58 am

Well that’s a good omen Tim, as the forces of Evil were defeated by the forces of Good (or whatever the Basque word for good is) there too.


Tim Worstall 04.22.06 at 11:03 am

Well, yes, Bath lost, and I suppose as one of Malcom Pearce’s (who, oddly enough, I used to work for. Well, his mistress actually, but he owned the place.) cheerleaders at Bristol you would think Evil lost.

Fortunately the wife supports Liverpool so at least half the family might be happy later on.


Chris Williams 04.22.06 at 1:05 pm

I think you’ll find that neither Good nor Evil triumphed today. Evil equalised in the second half, giving Good and Evil a point each. This leaves Good four points clear, but Evil have a game in hand.


Evan 04.22.06 at 1:58 pm

Chelsea lose to Liverpool again in a semifinal.

My viewpoint on the game was to take a “glass half-full” approach–rather than seeing it as a club I hate going through, I take joy that a club I hate was bound to lose. I would always prefer seeing Liverpool lose, though.


Ben 04.22.06 at 2:49 pm

Victory for the forces of Good… :D

Let’s just hope they go all the way now!


stuart 04.22.06 at 3:57 pm

Well the double is off, shame there is essentially no chance of them missing the title (and even if they did it would only be to place it in the hands of Man Utd which is really not particularly the lesser of two evils either).

Of course all that Chelsea have done in the last couple of years is make explicit what has been known for much longer, the premiership is won by a race to spend the most money more than anything else now.


nick s 04.22.06 at 8:18 pm

Of course, the important semi-final is yet to take place, in which the team that has been offered far too many cups to juggle tries not to drop them all in doublequick time. Deep breath. Did Cissé do anything after coming on?


CR 04.22.06 at 10:17 pm

For an American who gets up most mornings to watch UK football at 7:30 AM, a casual fan who’d like to be less casual, can somebody explain why people seem to hate Chelsea? It goes further back than the current owner of course? I’ve heard somewhere there was a hard right association or something?

(If you’d like, in return, I’ll tell you about the socio-ethnico-politico break down of Yankees vs. Mets fans in New York. Or not.)


Jimmy Doyle 04.23.06 at 1:05 am

cr–Don’t get Chris started.


foolishmortal 04.23.06 at 2:09 am

11: As a fellow American that gets up at 7:30 AM to watch football, I can tell you that, no, it doesn’t go past the current owner. In fact, it doesn’t go much past the current manager. In 2002-03, Chelsea were occasionaly qualifying for Europe and a welcome (if infrequent) wild card to Man U-Arsenal dominance.

When Mourinho came along, that all changed. Before his Chelsea so much as kicked a ball in anger, he declared that he was “The Special One”, and thus demanded respect. Since, he has instituted a policy of paying well over market value for any footballer that happens to catch his eye(16-20 million pounds for Carvalho who does not make the first team). Chelsea buy players that are vastly important to their clubs (Scott Parker, Shaun Wright-Phillips) just to park them on their bench. And then they win the league playing 85 minutes of “ten men behind the ball” interspersed with five minutes of brilliance.
Add an interminable stream of Mourinho’s high-profile complaints, “questionable” tactics (the pitch v. Barcelona, the Porto v. Celtic UEFA Cup Final, Didier F***ing Drogba), and an owner eager to launder his ill-gotten gains into silverware, and Man U look downright respectable.


Pooh 04.24.06 at 12:58 am

Porto v. Celtic UEFA Cup Final

Oh gawd I almost forgot that one, I didn’t really give a crap and was just watching and I wanted somebody to deck Mourinho (who, truth be told, I have some perverse affection for in his willingness to be a complete and unapologetic prick.) Wenger always at least tries to sound reasonable…well not this weekend since fair play apparently died…

As for Chelsea, from this neutral fan it’s the overly defensive style, when they could play absolutely devastating attacking stuff (as they did in the middle of last season back when Robben was a player and not diveractorsimulator.)


Thlayli 04.24.06 at 3:47 pm

I’ve heard somewhere there was a hard right association or something?

That goes back to the hooligan era of the ’70s and ’80s. Every club had its “firm”, but Chelsea’s happened to overlap with a neo-Nazi group called the National Front.


Stencil 04.24.06 at 6:54 pm

can somebody explain why people seem to hate Chelsea? It goes further back than the current owner of course? I’ve heard somewhere there was a hard right association or something?

Take your pick. The origins of Hooliganism in the Shed / Neo-Nazi’s / shady russian billionaire / pomp portageezer / the now globalized and gentrified Bridge (Arsenal now gets flak for it but Cheslea were the first to field a team with nary an Englishmen) / Shoddy match-tendium tactics (anybody remember that Porto v Monaco final for anything but how debilitating it was to watch) / a total, tortured, metatextual restatement eminating from abstractions — or, not abstractions, but qualitative terms when the quantitative finally won’t suffice / winning

all and more I’m sure are reason to hate Chelski.

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