Sunday, May 01, 2005

Roman's Army Conquers England

May be money can make a great team out of a decent team, even if it may not make 'Galacticos' of mortals. While Real Madrid have bought one player after another in a somewhat pompous display of financial muscle and have virtually got nothing to show for it, Chelsea are now on the verge of a triple crown after following a similar path. With one critical difference perhaps - Chelsea under Roman Abramovic have been trying to become the best in the business, while Real have seemed more focus on being the most high profile club. While the likes of Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Didier Drogba, all acquired at considerable expense, have made stellar contributions to the Chelsea cause, Michael Owen has spent most of his time trying to keep his electric feet warm. Perhaps therein lies the secret, although there is no fairy tale here. The odd small club will have sporadic success, the big clubs continue to rule the roost. The salary cap system is still alien to European football. Not all of Chelsea's money has been prudently spent. Hernan Crespo and Juan Veron are out on loan. Claudio Ranieri, who couldn't take the club to the next level that the aggressive new ownership aspired for, had to be paid a hefty severance fee. Chelsea fans could care less. Their team has played magnificently all season and there has been no end of the season stumble that the odd skeptic may have expected. They are favourites away against Liverpool, which says volumes for their form and squad strength. Fittingly, the 'league-winning' goals were scored by their talismanic mid-fielder Frank Lampard, who has played an amazing number of games this year (56, I think of which Chelsea won 40) at the top level. John Terry was a tremendous presence in the defence - he is outstanding in the air and has become one of the most authoritative figures in defence anywhere. With him around, I'm not sure why Chelsea are desperate (apparently) for Rio Ferdinand's services. More than any of the players though, this was all about Jose Mourinho. To win the league in his very first season in the Premiership (and seemingly back up his arrogant prophecy) is nothing less than extra-ordinary. After all, Roman needed an able general to command his crack troops. - NK

1 Comments:

Anonymous bobby said...

Despite the money and the talent Chelsea and the whining Jose Mourinho were shown the door by the fighting Liverpool. Can there be a miracle in Istanbul with the glory days of the 80s repeated?

1:00 AM  

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