Date:Monday February 26 2007
After the popularity of the pre-match interview with Vital Chelsea editor, Merlin, we've decided to go one better and get each other's views 'post-match'.
So without further ado, may I welcome Merlin, League cup winner.
1) Your thoughts on the game?
I thought it was a classic! It had everything, thrills, spills, skill, power and a thrilling finish. So what if the brawl deflects attention, it showed the commitment both sides had to winning what in reality is the lesser of the domestic trophies.
I can't praise Arsenal enough for the way they started. We were chasing shadows for twenty minutes until we started to actually play. Your goal was sublime the way Walcott ghosted past his marker to finish in superb fashion. I thought, until the introduction of Robben, we lacked pace and a change of speed.
The substitution changed things around. Robben was a constant thorn in your side and the cross for the winning goal was class itself. I think the defining moment may well have been when Terry went off injured. Your youngsters looked shocked whilst our players decided there and then to win it for John.
Hopefully, the ill-feeling that erupted in the final minutes won't carry over to the match at your place towards the end of the season.
2) Man of the match from each club?
I'm going to go against the majority and plump for Ricardo Carvalho. The Portuguese defender often gets over-looked when John Terry is playing but since John picked up his back injury Carvalho has come into his own. He's keen to get forward when the occasion presents itself but he's just a great defender. He plays the game as if he enjoys defending. He's not built like a true defender but is incredibly strong and yesterday his decisive tackling thwarted several encouraging Arsenal attacks.
As for Arsenal, I'll go for Diaby. He was immense until he was taken off with a foot injury. Can't help thinking he damaged it on the head of John Terry. Apart from him, I'd go for Walcott. The goal was superb and he gave Wayne Bridge a torrid time in the first half. He faded in the second half probably due to the fact the occasion drained him somewhat.
3) If you had to choose one player to move to Chelsea from our squad yesterday, who would it be?
If I could take one it would be Fabregas. Although his temperament needs working on he has all the ingredients needed to become a world class performer.
4) What did you think of the 'brawl'? Handbags? or something more serious?
To be honest it made me laugh. It was a throw back to the game of old when men were men and tempers came to the forefront. The sad thing was that it all came about through a simple shirt pull by Mikel. Then everyone got involved and it was always going to dominate the press reports today. Felt sorry for Mikel as he didn't really get involved. Perhaps Eboue should be a worried man this morning once the FA gets to view the tape in slow motion. No doubt we'll both get fined and Sir Alex Ferguson will scream for a points deduction.
5) Any idea's why the Chelsea fans threw celery at Cesc?
He was just unfortunate to be taking the corners. Celery rained down on both corner flags and whilst admitting it didn't do us any favours, it didn't exactly harm anyone. As the famous song goes -
'Celery, Celery, if she don't cum I'll tickle her bum with a lump of celery, Repeat, repeat etc.
6) But why celery?
It's traditional amongst the Chelsea ranks. It goes back decades. God knows where it originated but in the 80's I can remember wearing a 'Celery' t-shirt and we even had inflatable celery at one stage when inflatable's were all the rage. Indeed, one of our site journalists had his collar felt at Villa Park when we beat Fulham before losing the final to you lot in 2002. Throwing a little bit of celery was deemed by the West Midlands constabulary as throwing an offensive weapon!
7)Any news on John Terry?
He appears to be fine. Less than two hours after leaving the pitch he was back with the squad having discharged himself from hospital. Not sure if he's actually human. After the miraculous recovery from the ankle injury and this latest episode, I have this sneaking suspicion he could be an android. Did the doctors simply pull his head off and stick another one on? No seriously, it looked awful although no blame can be attached to Diaby. We here at Chelsea Vital would also like to thank the Arsenal medical team for their assistance, at a time like that rivalry has to take a back seat and preservation becomes a necessity.
8) Why did the Chelsea players turn their backs on the Arsenal as they collected their medals?
I wasn't aware of that. I'd guess it was simply a co-incidence especially after Sky showed scenes of Henry, Gallas, Cech and Drogba larking around with each other beneath the Millennium Stadium some sixty minutes after the game had finished.
Anyway, I'd like to finish by thanking Arsenal for providing stiff opposition, a lot stiffer than Spurs would have provided if they'd have got through. Perhaps see you at Wembley in the FA Cup in May.
Date:Monday February 26 2007
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