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It’s Good News Week


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Apparently, Liverpool are still in the Premiership title race, ManU have made it known that they regard Chelsea as their nearest rivals [feeling honoured as I type] and Citeh are a real threat to anybody. Thus proclaims the Media in the aftermath of our return to the top of the table, thereby showering positives on all those in opposition who dropped points over the extended weekend and who might, as a result of results, just be feeling a little down. Personally, the only downing I vowed to do once the Scousers were humbled was to look in that direction from the top of the table and no amount of Sky or newspaper shelving of salient facts was going to spoil my enjoyment from on high.

Having said that, just when any further ascent to the heavens seemed impossible, word arrived that Chelsea TV were to show tonight’s England Under-21 game live, effectively cocking a second snoop in the direction of all non-Chels news outlets. Priceless - although clearly it wasn’t going to be for non-Chels addicts. Then, not long afterwards Lord Triesman, of all noble people, was to describe CFC as ’pioneers’, leaving me scrambling for an oxygen mask in what had become the rarefied atmosphere of even rarer FA praise. Okay, I’m overreacting a little, but who can blame me when, with not much else to talk or write about, the usual sullen suspects who report on Chelsea were seemingly being painted into a blue corner and forced to give us what we’ve always wanted - a favourable press and media coverage, if only for a week or two.

Just how wrong that assessment turned out be is summed up in the Media response so far and I suppose I shouldn’t really have been too surprised following our glumly received table-topping exploit. Sky have been silent to the point of being dumb and dumber over who will screen the Under-21 match and although this isn’t entirely unexpected the same cannot be said of an assortment of hacks who might themselves have ventured into some investigative journalism on why Chelsea TV made the effort, but in the end chose not to. Indeed, many papers including the Times majored on the sheer effrontery of there being no English international football to watch on a telly, as opposed to asking a few questions such as why Chelsea went for the Under-21 rights whilst, for argument’s sake, MUTV did not.

The answer to that one is easy, but not, apparently, printable - it is summed up in five surnames [Mancienne, Bertrand, Hutchinson, Cork and Sturridge] which, when measured up against one [Wellbeck] leaves a rather one-sided number of plus points in favour of getting a decent Chelsea viewing audience compared to any Manc interest whatsoever. However, perish the thought that this heavy weighting of Blues presence be made public and it even took the Times until Thursday, after several pages of general indignation and tub thumping, before they came up with this little afterthought of a sentence…â€The West London club’s interest, bolstered by the number of Chelsea players in the squad, enabled the FA’s landmark move by covering some of the production costs.â€â€¦a crumb of comfort amongst a week of cake, the icing upon which was ladled on snapshots of Theo Walcott, as if he was the sole reason for the game taking place, let alone for people watching it.

Enter Lord Triesman and what many would regard as a newsworthy comment about a club previously regarded as ‘an axis of evil’ for fielding a team of foreigners, but now perceived as ‘pioneers’ in the field of global football and its primary offshoot, the helpful pursuit of World Cup hosting. How times have changed - or have they as far as the sniffily selective newshounds in this country are concerned? It would appear not when Chelsea are the club doing the pioneering and those of us hoping to bask in the glory of some praise for a change were to be disappointed yet again. Nothing about pioneers on Sky, just trivia about a newcomer to the England squad, [Gary Cahill this time] with him saying how much he was enjoying the guidance of truly great defenders, whilst at that precise moment we are treated on screen to a shot of Rio Ferdinand skipping about and waving his arms in the air, no doubt only hours away from an all too obvious withdrawal from both forthcoming fixtures.

Similar stuff in print too with Michael Carrick declaring his love for Cappello one day and Wayne Rooney doing exactly the opposite when asked for an exclusive on his mate Ronnie Ronaldo. Oh so predictable and mundane, these gobbets of non-information only serve to heighten SSN’s growing reputation for dumbing down to the lowest Mancunian denominator, whichever player pronouncement or stroppy SirAlex quote that may be, and then rollover-ing the life out of both it and the ever decreasing numbers who are tuning in in the vain hope of hearing all of what Triesman might have to say or, Sky may be surprised to learn, what any one of five Chelsea players in the England Under-21 squad might be hoping to do.

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