English Football for Cinephiles - The Reykjavik Grapevine

English Football for Cinephiles

English Football for Cinephiles

Published October 7, 2005

The Plot
Chelsea are the bad guys, owned by an all powerful, exuberantly rich, Russian billionaire oligarch, Roman Abramovich. They have, in their manager Jose Mourinho, a criminal mastermind, and, in the players, the perfect henchmen to dispatch their opponents in a clean and calculated manner, as well as headquarters inside a volcano and a giant man with metal teeth called Jaws working for them.

Trying to stop them is the rag tag trio of Harpo, Groucho and Chico: Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. These three teams in the recent past have been the top calibre, the crème de la crème of English football, the detectives who always solved their cases and came out on top, with a funky flick of their hair and a cheeky white toothed grin, but this season Chelsea are bigger and meaner than ever and the grins of the other teams have turned to grimaces. Arsenal, the one time Starsky and Hutch of football, charging around in red and white with sexy style and funky hairdos, now seem to have forgotten how to drive. Liverpool are more akin to Miami Vice, with bad hair and bad suits to match, can’t get over the eighties. And good old Manchester United, the Charlie’s Angels of the trio, or should I say Sir Alex Ferguson’s Angels, perhaps are spending too much time looking in the mirror saying “I used to be young, I used to be beautiful.” All the while as these teams fret and try to reinvent themselves Chelsea are quickly disappearing into the distance.

Too Darn Good
With full points this season and only conceding three goal (as of press time), Chelsea are playing a brand of football that Mourinho has spent his whole managerial career trying to perfect. A managerial career that has only lasted five years, years in which he was won the Portuguese title, the Premiership and become the only manager to win the UEFA Cup and European Cup in back-to-back seasons. Mourinho is a cold and calculated perfectionist, so devoid of all emotion that after his first team Porto lifted the European Cup two years ago, he refused to celebrate with his players. This season Mourinho and Chelsea have gelled, becoming a robot-like entity, making no mistakes. It is obvious that nobody can stop Chelsea this season. No team has the money, the confidence or ability to challenge them, which is a pity for the game in general.

Abramovich has just made another 13 billion USD through the sale of a Russian energy firm so the Chelsea money pot is far from running dry with the future looking bleak for the English Premiership. All we can hope for now is that Abramovich gets bored of trying to take over the world through football and retires to sit on his yacht and let the sport get back to the way it was. In the meantime, I shall be watching Spanish football, a far more exciting prospect.

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