The score is 1-1, there are literally seconds until the final whistle and you win a corner. What do you do? Obviously put everyone in that box and swing it in and pray for the best. Well that’s what you do if you are anyone but us. We simply play it short. And that few seconds summarises perfectly what it’s been like to watch Chelsea this season.
Ole Gunnar always struck me as a lucky player at United. That ‘good luck charm’ quality seemed apt for his impish, otherwordly-creature demeanour, too. He’d come on for the final act at the Theatre of Dreams like some Shakespearean sprite and conjure up another improbable Midwinter’s Night winner, before exiting stage left and taking the next magic sleigh ride to Lapland. (Well, Kristiansund; near enough.)
It’s the ultimate battle of philosophies in Manchester tomorrow. A classic clash of styles as the family pulling every stroke to pump as much money as possible into their club faces the family working every trick in the book to take it out.
For once, in his post-match comments on Saturday, José didn’t dissemble, and he spoke for what was in all our hearts. We all knew we’d robbed the Cherries blind - but we felt it was the cosmic karmic balancing for our own last-gasp mugging at Stamford Bridge two weeks back. Somewhere in the back of mind chirped the old cliché “these things even out over a season”.
It’s been a weekend for saying goodbye. Not only to the 2017/18 Premier League season — good riddance, on the whole — but also to some characters who’ve marked the competition’s last 15 years or so.
It’s certainly been a week for unlikely bedfellows getting pally. Trump manhandled Macron; the two Koreans hugged; and then, most unexpectedly of all, Old Trafford embraced Arsene Wenger. Where once would rage ‘shooting by other means’ now reigned sentimental applause.
The story goes that Jose Mourinho once hid in a laundry basket to brief his players covertly and get around a matchday suspension, but manager John Caulfield won’t be going to such lengths when Cork City host Sligo Rovers in their SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash at Turner’s Cross this evening (7.45pm).