I was lucky to be at a wonderful game at White Hart Lane on Saturday and I’d love to be able to tell you only how good Chelsea are and how they look to be strong contenders for the title. I will. But unfortunately I can’t ignore the mud that’s around them too.
Can you believe it’s a YEAR since John Terry was first accused of hurling racist abuse at Anton Ferdinand? The repercussions of his lamentable behaviour are still around.
Are we meant to take seriously Chelsea’s claim that they have a zero tolerance policy for anyone found guilty of discrimination?
How can that be when he continues to be their captain?
The chairman Bruce Buck insists that the club fined Terry by far the largest punishment a player at Stamford Bridge has ever received, but it can’t have been more than two weeks’ wages since they’d have needed permission from the PFA to do so. So, it’s a joke…
No doubt, that and the limp four-match suspension imposed by the Football Association, were behind the decision taken by some players NOT to wear the ‘Kick It Out’ T-shirts over the weekend. They’re fed up at the wishy-washy stance still taken by authorities towards racism.
Not that I didn’t understand Sir Alex Ferguson getting angry when Rio Ferdinand didn’t wear one. The United manager would have been previously assured by the player that he would. Of course, it was embarrassing…
But, you see what I mean? Chelsea, the FA, that magistrate who agreed that the trial should be put off until after the European Championship…they’ve all contributed to a wholly unsatisfactory situation: to be talking about Terry when all you’d rather think about is how good his side is at the moment.
So, let me move on to that. Chelsea were excellent at Spurs.
Fernando Torres looks far better for not having to worry about the shadow of Didier Drogba behind his back.
And, behind him, the trio of Edin Hazard, Oscar and the outstanding Juan Mata |(pictured) bring a flair and adventure to the team that we never saw under Jose Mourinho, despite the success and trophies he brought to Stamford Bridge.
Yes, I know the fixture list was initially kind to them, but they’ve now won at Spurs and Arsenal, two teams most would agree are contenders for Champions League places. And Sunday sees them home to Manchester United.
I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson knows the size of the task ahead of his team.
Terry won’t be playing but the form of David Luiz and Gary Cahill means he may not be missed. I only wish the club had taken the proper moral stance and kicked their ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ out of the door.
While he remains at Stamford Bridge — they can’t surely offer him a new contract? — there’ll be a stigma about Chelsea.