The Plastic Hippo

September 1, 2015

Saddle up

Filed under: History,Sport,Walsall — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am


It is foolish to wish your life away but, on current form, I wish this coming Wednesday was September 23rd when the mighty Chelsea Football Club travel to Walsall. Three weeks is a long time in football and fortunes may change, but if the next game both teams play were to be the third round League Cup match, Walsall could beat Chelsea. No, really…think about it.

Having played five, won four and drawn one, Walsall are top of League One and a mere 31 places behind Chelsea in the football league. Chelsea have been beaten by the likes of Crystal Palace and there is a palpable absence of confidence and morale at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho might have “charisma” and the arrogance to blame everything and everybody when his opponents refuse to lie down before his magnificence, but in the early days of the season, Chelsea have proved themselves to be far from invincible.

The defence is woeful and most of the strikers have yet to turn up. Mourinho himself is contributing to the shambles by picking unnecessary spats with other managers and suspending the team doctor for doing her job by treating an injured player. If any premiership manager deserves a good, hard slap then it is Jose Mourinho and Walsall might just be the team to do it.

A convincing four nil away win at Blackpool was no fluke and Walsall, according to match reports, are playing with style, confidence and skill. It is, of course, far too early in the season to talk of promotion and relegation but it is not beyond the bounds of possibility to suggest that by this time next year, Walsall against Chelsea might become a regular fixture. Television companies might regret the decision to broadcast the punch-up between Aston Villa and Birmingham City instead of the Walsall game.

With less than 24 hours to go before the transfer window closes, Mourinho has failed to attract his target signings, particularly John Stones from Everton and Pogba from Juventus and is now sweeping up b-list players that no other club want. With Manchester City spending money like a drunken sailor in a brothel and Manchester United making a complete hash of the David De Gea transfer, time is running out. Dean Smith, on the other hand, might be tempted to put in late bids for Lionel Messi and Raheem Sterling but on current form there is no need and it`s too late to go for David De Gea.

The growing sense of panic surrounding Stamford Bridge might just send Mourinho further out into the twilight zone of irrationality. With Champion`s League fixtures in Tel Aviv, Kiev and Porto on the horizon and already losing touch with Premiership leaders, Mourinho might decide that the League Cup is something of a less than lucrative distraction and “rest” his expensive thoroughbreds in favour of a bunch of apprentices. Walsall, at home, could give them a bit of a scare. Saddlers have faced Chelsea on 11 occasions and the record of won one, drawn one and lost nine is not particularly impressive but, as every impressionist knows, football is a funny old game.

It is foolish to wish to return to the past but on a Saturday afternoon back in March 1963 during a League Division Two fixture at Stamford Bridge, Walsall beat Chelsea one nil. Sadly, the season ended with relegation for Walsall and promotion for Chelsea. On that day, Summer Holiday was number one in the charts, the Beatles had just released Please Please Me, Dr Beeching had just published his report, John F Kennedy had nine months to live and Jose Mourinho was two months old.

We can but hope that Walsall makes him throw his rattle out of the pram.

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