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Monday, 17 December 2012

How will Chelski cope with the journey fromYokohama to Yorkshire?

Reports from the Far East suggest that Chelsea haven't exactly enjoyed their trip on Football's Orient Express to the World Club tournament in Japan. What with players tweeting their blunt opinions about Rafa's selection for the final, Cahill collecting a red card that will see him miss their game at ER and their flight home delayed a day it's not the ideal preparation for their most important game of the season. Of course for a team stuffed full of world class talent such as Chelsea these little distractions should not matter. Rafa has the likes of Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Lampard to select from not to mention Mikel and Moses when he picks his midfield line up. Contrast that to Warnock's championship stock of Brown, Green, Norris, Tonge and Varney and it is abundantly clear that Leeds won't have a prayer of reaching the Semi Finals of the League Cup.  So why is the Theatre of Hope sold out for this fixture? Especially in a season where crowds have dwindled since day one?

The answer lies in the purely illogical rationale of your average football fan. Every one of the 30,000 Leeds fans who will fill Elland Road will have a smidgen of hope that their team can somehow overturn a team that cost over £200m to assemble and are the Current European and FA Cup champions. There is no logic to that. It can't be done. Leeds haven't invested 1% of that total in the team in the last 5 years. Chelsea have just sacked a manager who won them the champions league last year! Simon Grayson was sacked for failing to challenge for the play offs in the championship with no resources. Despite the history this is David v Goliath not the Clash of the Titans. But come kick off and fuelled by copious amounts of pre match refreshment "Marching on Together" will be sung as loud as ever by the Leeds faithful (plus few returning faithful!) expecting to witness a cup shock to match one against a certain team on Jan 3rd 2010. In essence that sums up cup football. On the day any team can beat any other team and on rare occasions they do. Will Wednesday be one of those occasions?

Well let me put the case for a shock. Chelsea will be affected by their unsuccessful trip to Japan. Team morale is never at it's best when you've just lost a cup final, especially a World Club final, add that to a delicate dressing room atmosphere of overinflated egos and salaries heading to West Yorkshire on a wet Wednesday night to be greeted by a snarling, spiteful bear pit of an arena and I would suggest that is a challenge Rafa will struggle to cope with. So will he play his reserves instead? If he does how will his talented youngsters react to seething cauldron of hate that will engulf them? Not sure anyone of them will have the faintest idea why they will be virtually "shot by the Father's gun" as the song goes. Yes whatever eleven Rafa sends onto the pitch it won't be for the faint hearted.  Will that be enough to turn the tables Leeds way? Well I suppose you only have to look down the road at the Bantams to see how a talented team can crumble against inferior opposition. Despite what Bollox Arsene came out with after the match the intimidation of unfamiliar surroundings and a passionate crowd clearly influenced that result.

So will we be celebrating a famous win on Wed night? The logical answer is no. Brown v Mata, Norris v Hazard, Tonge v Lampard doesn't bear thinking about but.............with Elland Road rocking, Chelsea sulking and the weather turning nasty there is just a chance, a smidgen of a chance that will charge the atmosphere to bursting point. The old crystal ball is a bit fuzzy but I can see an epic night.......hang on a's going to penalties.........Nooooooooooo my nerves couldn't stand that!

One last thing. Our lucky omen, daughter Sarah, is going to this one and she has never seen Leeds do anything but win so we are forced to win. Simples.

Can't wait.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come on Sarah, keep that record intact!

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