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The trouble with Chelsea

Arsene Wenger: 'If you give success to stupid people, then it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.' This statement from le prof earlier this year was sapient when he made it, but now it seems to border on prophesy.

I promised myself I would not do this. I promised I would not concern myself with the actions of other clubs when writing for this website. But given the unprecedented, and quite personal attack made on William Gallas by the dark blue PR machine yesterday evening, to not have added my tuppeny worth would have been a betrayal to my spleen.

I won't bore you with the details of Chavski's statement, dripping as it is in greasy pathos, as I'm sure you are already aware. Let me instead try to make some attempt to understand the accusations that Kenyon and his comrades are levelling at our new number 3.

Perhaps the most remarkable claim in this statement is that Gallas not only refused to play for the Chavs, but threatened to score an own goal or make deliberate mistakes if picked. They even claim that he refused to play in the F.A Cup semi final against Liverpool in April. So my question is this, why was action not taken against Gallas by Chavski? Surely both of these threats constitute breach of contract, and consequently would entitle Abramovich's charges to pursue legal action. Hell, they least they could do was fine him six weeks wages (the maximum permitted by Premier League legislation- not that Chelsea seem to have any idea what that is). Yet this suitable and entirely measured punishment was not handed out. On sky sports news last night, Director of Communications Simon Greenberg refused to confirm that this constituted breach of contract. Back up there a minute. Now we are all acutely aware that Chelsea seem to have little idea as to what contract law entails, but even an institution with their apparent legal naivety could say, confidently and lucidly, that sabotage violates the terms of one's contract. So why could Greenberg not commit to such language? Is it because he knows that such vocabulary could leave Chelsea open to legal proceedings of slander were their accusations proved to be piffle? Of course Mourinho is a man of impeccible taste. He would never behave in such an abhorrent manner to one of 'the family' (der der der der, click click). The self annointed 'special one' would never respond to a player's transfer request by say, telling him he can rot in the reserves.

Of course Chelsea, being a club of unedifying socialist principle, released this statement in the interests of their supporters. So they could know just how horrible smelly William was to 'the family.' (Apparently, he refused to eat his vegetables on more than one occasion). Yes, given their flawless humanitarianism, this was a 'for the people, by the people' manifesto of comradeship with their fan base. So Chelsea, in the interests of this transparency surrounding transfers, perhaps you would like to satisfy enquiring minds with the details of Jon Obi Mikel's transfer from Lyn Oslo. Just why were Manchester United paid 12m in this saga while Lyn Oslo were only paid 4m? While we're at it and Chelski are astride their Socialist soap box, perhaps Mr. Abramovich would like to set the record straight once and for all by telling his supporters just how he acquired his multi billion pound fortune?

But of course these accusations alone will not do. No, there's something missing isn't there? Some padding needs to be done, what else? Oh yes, apparently Gallas joined Arsenal in pursuit of money! His protestations that he sought a new challenge at a new club were complete tosh, he was, and I quote the statement, 'hawking himself to the highest bidder.' Now I must be honest here (in the spirit of transparency and all that), I had to read this statement a good few times. Were my eyes deceiving me? Had my mental faculties really deserted me for good? Did Chelski accuse a player of leaving them for financial gain? You may have noticed that this article was intended to be written in a sarcastic tone, and yes I was flattering myself. I believed that I could cogently produce an entire article with a nonchalant Sid Vicious-esque sneer. Yes, I was Johnny Rotten, Chelski were the royal family. But alas, the Chavs have defeated me. For this is a statement that defies any sort of sarcasm, its bulletproof. No matter how hard I tried to produce a witty barb through gritted teeth, I simply could not produce anything that outstripped the words used by Chelsea themselves. Yes, Chelsea have accused a player of leaving their club for financial reasons. Words such as 'hypocrisy', 'double standards' just do not do it justice. Continuing the sex pistols metaphor, it would have been the same as the Queen being pictured with a paperclip in her nose, circa 1976, spitting 'we mean it maaaaan' into a paparazzi camera lens. It's just so self defeating, so wonderfully ignorant, that it can only truly qualify as self destruction.

Now, in the interests of objectivity let us not pretend that Gallas has been whiter than white in this issue. (No FFF, no racial connotations were intended). Gallas made no secret of his desire to leave Chelsea, he also told any hack that would listen that he did not like being played at left back on a consistent basis. It is also fair to say that WG3 is a player that comes with a fair bit of baggage. As an Arsenal fan, in all honesty, this worries me little. Wiltord and Adebayor arrived at our club with similar reputations and Wenger had no trouble with either. Players such as Petit, Anelka and Cole who were a problem, were shipped out instantaneously. Wenger executed these transfers with a quiet dignity and the upshot was that our club was harmed little in the process.Regardless, Chelsea fans are probably correct to be annoyed at Gallas for this, and if he behaves in this manner as an Arsenal player I trust Wenger to deal with it accordingly- as he has always done in the past. But in fairness to Gallas, he handed in a transfer request (thus foregoing any signing on fee- money motivated indeed) and in the time he played for Chelsea he performed with commendable commitment. He certainly did not sit out a whole season injured only to miraculously recover for a Champions League Final and World Cup campaign. Gallas paid his dues and requested a move, only for Mourinho to tell him he could rot in the reserves.

The statement released by Chelsea last night reveals that they are a small club of a gargantuan inherited fortune, and as such have no idea how to handle big issues such as this. They seriously cannot continue to make an enemy out of everyone connected with football with PR gaffs of this proportion and question why they are the most despised club in world football. The statement, in my humble opinion, is an attempt to bully their supporters into believing they got the better end of the Cole Gallas swap deal. It is a blatant attempt to shift media focus away from the alleged row between Mourinho and Kenyon, a way of demonstrate a united front of comradeship, us against the world and all that. It is also a way of diffusing criticism towards Mourinho, as Chelsea now have a depleted back line following the deadline day sales of Huth and Gallas. But perhaps most cynically and most lamentably at all, it is another in the cavalcade of attempts to unsettle a player from a rival club.

Any Chelsea fans ready to vent their spleen in response to this article should consider Arsene Wenger's response to Cole's departure, 'Upon Ashley's departure I would like to thank him on behalf of everyone connected with the club for his contribution to our success over recent years.' Why were Chelsea seemingly so incapable of executing a similar courtesy? Are Chelsea fans not worried as to how this will affect their ability to attract players in the future? Seriously, if you were a player and Chelsea made an offer for you, would you not view the fortunes of Gallas and SWP with a little concern? The statement from the club's mouth piece confirms that they are bitter about the departure of Gallas, if he was so troublesome, surely the club would be glad to see the back of him and move on? I also do not seem to remember Chelski acting with disdain when messrs Drogba and Essien fought tooth and nail with Marseilles and Lyon respectively to get their moves? Ultimately, Chelsea's actions reflect the lack of class with which they conduct themselves and the nihilism with which the club is run. If lacking dignity were adequate grounds for legal action, Chelsea would be settling out of court this afternoon.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 5 2006

Time: 12:34PM

Your Comments

Players have a lot of power and will open their mouths very easily to spout all kinds of rubbish. Gallas and Cole are no saints, but they are both talented players. Its up to the clubs to set the moral code and show the leadership that inspires players to join. Chelsea's management cannot lead, they can only bribe, cajole or beat players into submission.
Wyn Mills
Excellent stuff dutch. I want to address one point that is being made on Sky at the moment. As has been noted, Chelsae claim that Gallas refused to play in the F.A. Cup semi against Liverpool (a game in which he did actually play!!) Sky are making hay out of the fact that Gallas was supposedly at fault for one of the goals. Apart from the fact that somebody is essentially at fault for every goal, this is a reprehensible piece of journalism (though I use the term advisedly when referring to Sky). Gallas' record at Chelsea is spectacular. To include this suggestion in their reporting only goes to further exemplify what side Skys bread is buttered on. In league with satan me thinks.
GunnerBlood
Your otherwise sensible article is marred by your inability to spell and the fact that you're not funny. Just as a point of interest, "prophecy" is spelled with a "c", and you're not really using "sapient" in the right context there. And that's just the first paragraph. But, as a Chelsea fan, the meat of your article is correct. Stick to the facts next time, Voltaire.
rjh
Sapient means wise, so yes I am. Since you mention Voltaire have you ever read Candide? The finest book ever written about schizophrenia. Perhaps Cavski read it before they issued this statement. And if it's comedy your after, check the official chelsea website, they've released an hilarious statement. That's comedy!
Little Dutch
Great article Little Dutch, couldn't agree more, it's great to read some journalism about Arsenal that has a personal touch to it. As far as I know, sapient is used in the right context there.
Parano!d
Oh so name calling and spouting off is what is required to be labelled as classy then! Also can you point me to the statements Cole has made since joining CFC, I seem to have missed them.
Mikeyblue
1. "Arsenal fed me to the sharks. 2. "I would not play for Arsenal again if they paid me 200k a week." 3. The entire forthcoming Cole autobiography. You seem to have missed the point of the article, it's Chavski's spouting off and name calling that shows how much they lack class.
Little Dutch
A new word a day, thanks Little Dutch.
jogabonito
"Chavski's spouting off and name calling that shows how much they lack class" Spot the problem with that sentence
Mikeyblue
Excellent article LD, very interesting and well written. Interesting to see that the Chelsea fans can't find fault with the article, so they're resorting to picking up of a few spelling and grammar mistakes. Quite petty really... much like Chelsea Football Club!
pitythefool
This isn't a discussion about supporters. I am appalled that so many Arsenal fans use the word 'yid', but that doesn't mean I think they're all nazis. Some Millwall fans like to have fights, this doesn't mean that their club or their chairman do. Arsenal fans sing about having won ten more titles than Chelski, but I would be appalled if Wenger turned round to Mourinho and did it. This is a discussion about clubs and the way they conduct themselves, yours has done so without a trace of class or dignity.
Little Dutch
LD, Good article. I also would be appauled if Arsenal did something like this.
smokin
Excellent article. I hate to agree but that guy was right about your use of the word 'sapient', you can't say the statement was sapient - just that Wenger was sapient.
Brady7
Glad someone else is able to point that one out. Not a question of finding fault, simply trying to help a journalist navigate his way through the minefield of writing coherent copy. Just out of interest, the person who would be "appauled" if Arsenal did this: presumably you have no problem with them reneging on a contract problem with Cole, though? If anyone could step away from their red- or blue-tinted glasses for long enough, they'd see that both clubs have behaved like utter children over this matter, and indeed every other matter that's involved them both over the last two years. Sadly, I suspect - as always - that most of the cretins on the internet and in the media won't see it that way.
rjh
Yes you're quite right. A syntactical error on my part. I'd meant to arrange the words in a different order. Chalk it up to blind fury and a quick trigger finger!
Little Dutch
By the way, I think Cole's comments in his autobiogrpahy were made while he was still an Arsenal player. But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good story, right?
rjh
Actually, the autobiography will be released when he's a Chelsea player. It was serialised while he was an Arsenal player, surely this was designed to cause maximum disruption to Arsenal? Check the facts before you criticise the inability of others to do so.
Little Dutch
I do agree with you to some extent on one point. At times this transfer seemed to be more about the egos of those involved than the players themselves. Unfortunately, once a line had been drawn under it, Chelski chose to rouse a sleeping dog.
Little Dutch
I read every article each day, i post on the odd occasion ... first off id like to say a great article from you Little Dutch i could not agree with you more on what you have said ... Chelsea have choose to make this one big issue as you said LD Wenger let cole go and showed great respect to a player who has been a solid left back for us, im sure wenger did not want himt o go how ever he choose to respect cole's decision ... why can chelsea just never seem to sit back shut up and play there football ... theres always some controversy breaking out or something they have to do or say to attract attention ... its begining to become abit of a pain, Cole is a chelsea player as they wanted so why can they not now just shut it ! Gunner Gallas to be a Golden Hit !!!
Achilles
Nice article! With regards to coles autobiography.... who gives a fk, has he actually done anything in his life worth reading about, my lifes probably more interesting.
TimJ
Great Article Little Dutch, perfectly written and executed. It seems to me chelsea have a huge chip on their shoulder, and its called history, they lack it, they know it and so does Arsenal, Man U and Liverpool. Look at Blackburn and after that maybe Leeds as examples, both spent alot fo money, limited success and since then not much history.
PUREGOLD
puregold....arsenal soldout their history when they named their new stadium, you wont get man u or liverpool doing that
sffsd
Man Utd would have no choice in the matter, they are floated on the stock exchange and if someone puts in a high enough bid they are for sale. Have you already forgotten the Glazers? Of course sponsoring your stadium is entirely different from having sponsorship on your shirt eh? We'll see what Liverpool's new stadium is called soon enough. I can't believe you would use Man Utd as an example of someone not trading in their history for commercial reasons!
Little Dutch
Excellent article. Simple question, who would you want to be your boss if you were a player in the prem? AW every time.
The Highbury Hero
what histroy have united traded when glazer bought them...nothing!!! under every scoreline throughout history an arab airline will be under your teams name, do u think united have not had a chance to change their name?
sffsd
And every time you see them you will see AIG affixed onto their shirts. Not that it matters, but we are an English owned club, Man United is owned by Americans. Yeah we've sold out, and that is sad, but so has every team that has a shirt sponsorship/ advertising hoarding etc etc. Besides which emirates have the naming rights for 12 years, not "throughout history" as you melodramatically put it. Besides, don't United have a huge nike swoosh painted onto their seats, is this not selling out the name of Old Trafford. Until this year, the word 'vodafone' was etched onto the stretford end. Take the blinkers off mate.
Little Dutch
chelsea should'nt make claims like this one. It ruins the mood in the premiership.
swanzboichris
'Rich but no class' seems the best way to describe Chelsea at the moment.
sandgroanun
rjh shut up and stop pointing out one word from the whole context and start thinking about the fact. what chelsea did was stupid childish and i can add more words to describe it noting that these words will be negative. at the end of the day you understood what he meant anyway. now you saying that all clubs went about this situation like babies. well think again. arsene still kept his relationship with cole professional. PROFESSIONAL. chelsea are meant to be pros and not childish dicks !
abdleb
The Chelsea board are all behaving like little children......they are the laughing stock of the prem.
Mikec
shirt sponsors and stadia name are 2 different subjects. and now your moaning about nike....so u want alex ferguson to sew the kits himself you nimrod, and dont even start by saying your an english club compared to man u....at least they belive in english players...you dont even speak english in the dressing room- at the end of the day i dont even support man u, but i respect them more then a club like arsenal...who are a joke, just ask mr reyes, cole, campbell, pires etc
sffsd
Why are they two different subjects, tell me how is sponsoring a shirt different to sponsoring a stadium. I embrace Arsenal's multi national facets, at the end of the day English players are getting too big for their boots and are far too expensive, anyone who has to blame a 17 year old for their own poor performance really isn't worth a place in our team. I didn't say anything about kit sewing, I just made the point that the seats at old trafford bear a corprorate logo. The fact that you chose to point this out says more about your conscience than my point, look at my post again, see nothing mentioned about that. Your basis for saying Arsenal are a joke seems to be that we have a lot of foreign players and that we are sponsored by an arab airline. I hope in time you can get into the wide world, it might do something to allay your prejudices.
Little Dutch
sffsd, where have you ever heard campbell or pires publicly trash Arsenal? Both split amicably with the club and had only positive things to say. Even Reyes just said he wanted to move back to his homeland, and never said anything that directly attacked the club. Cashley and maybe Jermaine Pennant and David Bentley are the only players I can ever remember speaking negatively about the club
absolutelyfabregas
talking of no class! I just looked at the chelsea website for the first time(looks really unprofessional by the way) and to my utter amazement i find the headline "Keep quiet Thuram and Domenech". i couldnt beleive my eyes at such an unprofessional classless headline. After mourhino likening Makelele to a "slave", which was obviously not meant in the worst way you could take it. It was yet another example of a sincere lack of intelligence and mass of arrogance and ignorance. Unebeleiveable. "Keep quiet Thuram and Domenech" lol nice!
smokin
You see this is Chelsi's way of trying to unsettle the player, now whenever he makes a mistake the media will jump on it and say it was on purpose (quote....Sky are making hay out of the fact that Gallas was supposedly at fault for one of the goals. Apart from the fact that somebody is essentially at fault for every goal, this is a reprehensible piece of journalism) now this is normal journalism for Sky however the rest do tend to jump on the bandwagon.....Chelski know this and are using the gutter press/media to their advantage. Gallas is a good player so give the guy some support....Cole deserves Chelski.
sidyid
You are all slaves to the media, take 5mins to think for yourself and ask do you really have any class? For years had the worst disciplinary record in UK, constantly complained about anything you could and constantly spout hypocritical guff! Where is the class there?
Mikeyblue
Sidyid you have shown how good your football knowledge is with your "Garth Brooks" comment aren't u supposed to be a Spurs fan??
Mikeyblue
Mikeyblue, so your happy with mourhino likeneing makelele to a slave and then having unprofessional headlines from your club saying "Keep quiet Thuram and Domenech". And then this on top of it ? Im not just being a typical football ******ing at teams for the sake of it. I genuinely think this is a totaly unprofessional classless display from Chelsea. I cant beleive any fan would be happy with it regardless of who is right or wrong, who lied etc. They simply should have said Gallas made it impossible to keep him or something. Not drag out every piece of laundry in public when there public image is terrible as it is.
smokin
I don't like the statement really, but if you all think JM writes the WebSite you are very foolish! The slave issue is a non issue. He was simply stating that the man is being treated like he has no right to make his own life decisions!
Mikeyblue
I don't like the statement really, but if you all think JM writes the WebSite you are very foolish! The slave issue is a non issue. He was simply stating that the man is being treated like he has no write to make his own life decisions!
Mikeyblue
i know he didnt mean it in the worst way. But dont you think he should think before he opens his mouth. I mean thats totally stupid anyone with a brain knows that was going to be taken in a bad light. And the website, i know he doesnt write it. But its not the point. Its just another sign of chelseas lack of professionalism.
smokin
I don't suppose it would fit your blinkered view, but Arsenal have won the fair play league two out of the last three years and if anything, are widely lambasted for being too soft! Isn't it funny how our disciplinary record improved the instant bskyb (who provide the F.A with all their footage and pressure our weak governing body into punishing players) sold their shares in Manchester United?
Little Dutch
And who can forget the Keown RVN row dead classy that!
Mikeyblue
Actually we won it 2004/2006 and u came second last season, do you not have to be first to win it??
Mikeyblue
those issues were dicsussed at the time. These issues are the now. And were not talking about Arsenal or any other club. Were discussing the impact on football in general and on Chelsea themselves of this subject.
smokin
Pot Kettle Black!
Mikeyblue
sffsd... i do seem to remember all the United fans complaining when the Glaziers bought the club, the huge protests, people sending their season tickets back, life long supporters prepared to never attend OT again. Arsenal fans get a sponser for the stadium, yes fans weren't highly delighted but at the end of the day its about MONEY. whether we like it or not the big money deals pays for the big money signings, its called balancing the books, something chelski hasn't heard of. it a FA ruling came in today and said if you want to be part of the PL you must show your accounts to be in the black, chelski would be playing in the conference by default. without Romans billions where would you be ? arsenal have to be clever in their financing to keep players like henry and co and give us a state of the art stadium. i mean lets face it you can't really compare the Emirates to Stamford bridge can you, its like 2 teams from different divisions
PUREGOLD
Check this out on Arseblog. http://arseblog.com/WP/?p=155 Simon Jordan makes a great point. Head of recruitment at Chelski must have been missing from the planet the last 10 years.
d11gunner
Little Dutch great article, its a shame chelsea fans, cant write such inteligent and well scriped, articles like that, they just try to go for the sorry vote, well must be soo hard that, a russian billionaire, takes over your club, when you were a dour mid table team, with an avearage group of players, and with his money and his Money alone makes u still a dour team full of cheats. i went to the bridge last season, my dad dragged me along, as he is a chelsea fan, and i have to say, all the chelsea fans were boored, all this money and they wernt playing attractive football, and also, the levels you go to be so snide and minapulitive to make thoose "claims" about Gallas, were as Arsenal and AW wished cole the best of luck even thou he has been a little *****, over the last year, and o yer, i asked chelsea fans the other day has Mourinho, made one signing that was good and worth the money please get back to me, i cant wait to hear, as AW has made 10 or 12.. and another thing, jose ses he is the special one, well, in his first season he manages the league and the CARLING CUP haha well Rafa managed a champions league with 12 players injured no strikers, and Arsene Wenger one the double, with about 3 million, were as jose had all that money, u make me sick, sorry i went on, but u are steadily ruining the game!
jack_a_lele
excuse me for my spelling i am only 11
jack_a_lele
you know, isn't it getting rather tedious talking about the blue no class boys now ? I think we should ignore the irating little runts and concentrate on what a great season our boys at ashburton are going to have .
PUREGOLD
 

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