Chelsea bashing alive and kicking in Spain

HOLA from Spain! I thought I would take advantage of the international week to get away from the torrential rain and constant Chelsea-bashing for a few days.

But it’s as bad here as it is at home, what with Barcelona claiming that we are sabotaging the pitch and Real Madrid saying that Chelsea’s spending power is over-inflating prices in the transfer market.

Why would we sabotage our own pitch when our players are worth millions of pounds? Do they have special magic boots so that water-logged pitches don’t affect them? Real Madrid´s president Calderon pushed the credibility gap to the limit last week when he claimed that Chelsea had “distorted” the transfer market. This from the club that paid £45m for Luis Figo and who have been a byword for extravagance for two decades. What’s the Spanish for “spend, spend, spend?”

Calderon should be blaming the clubs that get revolving dollar signs in their eyes as soon as they hear that Chelsea are after one of their players, thus hiking the price up.

For those in la-la land who are thinking: “Well Chelsea should refuse to pay it — they would then drop their price” — that isn't true either. Two clubs have already openly said that if Chelsea will not meet their over-inflated price for their players, they would sell them to another club . . . for less money.

Speaking of hypocrites brings me neatly onto Arsène Wenger. Last week I thought that he had taken to stand-up comedy when I heard his views on foreign football club owners. Apparently they worry him — he doesn't elaborate why, but then says “at Arsenal I feel I am really at an English club.”

Just how did he manage to keep a straight face? And why are English soccer journalists so supine that they let him get away with this nonsense? Foreign manager, virtually all foreign training staff and only one British player in their squad and he feels he is really at an English club? Chelsea (at which his barb was aimed) are well represented in the England team and in fact have become more so since Abramovich´s takeover. So shut it, Wenger.

Someone else who would also do well to shut it is William Gallas. He has announced that he is going to go on TV and tell his version of events following his acrimonious split with Chelsea. It´s taken him a little while to get to this stage, hasn't it? Or is this how long it has taken him and his manager and new club to come up with anything that is remotely plausible? I can’t wait! I can see it all already: “My millionaire lifestyle hell”, “how winning trophies destroyed me”, and “how maniac Mourinho playing me at left-back drove me to the edge of madness”. Bring it on.

We now enter a period where we have a game virtually every three days, including two clashes with Barcelona. Mourinho is going to have to work some of his magic as the squad was trimmed extensively in the summer and we also have some significant injuries. I am still convinced that we are in need of a central defender and another striker. An injury in either of these departments could leave us very exposed.

We were lucky that JT’s recent back problem happened when we were playing Fulham, rather than a better team. But backs are notoriously unpredictable injuries and you never know when it will go again.

I like Ledley King — I have done for some time and we have been linked with him in the past. Last weekend he proved that he and Terry play well together too. Spurs are showing more than a passing interest in Joe Cole and, much as I rate King, Joe is worth three of him. What we do NOT want is another transfer stand-off with a north London team.

OK — there’s a Bacardi out there with my name on it and pale skin crying out for some sunshine. Adios.

*Contact Trish on Trizia_f@hotmail.com

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