And we gon' get paid.
That's Chelsea. Grind, grind, grind. Bully the bad teams. Stifle the good ones. Churning through the league like a diamond-headed drill. Just look at that team picture. Have you ever seen a more unlikable assembly of athletes? (Juan contributes below) Look at Ashley Cole's tiny head. He's ready to whine about anything and everything. Look at John Terry's half-smirk. Look at Didier Drogba's dead-eyed stare. Anelka isn't even in this picture, but just go ahead and imagine him making this face. I think the only players I would want on my team from a personal standpoint are Essien and MAYBE Joe Cole (Lampard I admire, and he seems to have matured a lot, but I can't get over the fact that he taunted American tourists on 9/11... pretty low). That being said, you can also look at that picture and see men hungry for trophies. They're selfish and unlikeable, yes, but they'll do anything to get their hands on something shiny. And they're wonderful footballers. Anelka looks lively, Drogba is deadly, Lampard and Ballack dominate midfields, Terry and Carvalho have reemerged as the top central pairing of Premier League defending. It's a team of grizzled mercenaries with a big job to do. And they're doing it quite well at the moment.
Here's Juan's take;
Is Chelsea the least likable team in the world? I think so, and it begins with their players:
Anelka - He needs no hyperbole; his nickname is Le Sulk. The Champions League miss makes him unlikable even to Chelsea fans. Just look at his body language, the man could not care less. His celebrations are trite and worse, lame. Really? A bird? Perhaps a butterfly? If I had to convince you that Anelka is boring and genuinely unpleasant then this post will fall on deaf ears and moreover, a crazy person's ears.
Ivanovic - Quite possibly the dirtiest player in the EPL. I would love to give him that title for all of Europe but there has to be some other miserable asshole worse than him in the Scottish Premier League.
Ashley Cole - Um, yeah; his nickname is Cuntly Cole and he has a more awful attitude than Rihanna pre-Chris Brown's attitude adjustment camp. He never stops complaining and is universally reviled. This is too easy.
Petr Cech - Why is he still wearing that absurd soft-helmet? His accident happened years and years ago. I don't know much about him but the helmet is annoying, that can't be denied.
Michael Ballack - Fans of Germany like Ballack but that sort of proves my point. Ballack has earned no fans from his time at Chelsea. Nobody watches the Premier League and says, hey that Michael Ballack, I like how he never smiles, doesn't seem all that committed and berates refs and teammates. He's uptight and if I wanted I could argue that he has horrendously underachieved in England.
John Obi Mikel - Find me a Mikel jersey outside of Nigeria. I'm not being facetious either, nobody owns a Mikel jersey that they didn't buy on clearance or wasn't a gift from UN peacekeepers.
Didier Drogba - Even though you must respect this ruthless and gifted footballer, it is nearly impossible to like him. The slap, his entire saga with Avram Grant and Scolari. He has to sleep in the bed he's made and when you pwn 80% the premier league and half of Europe you'll tend to be hated by opposing fans. He wants it this way though, make no mistake.
Jose Bosingwa - I actually don't mind him all that much but if Carlos Tevez can fix his horrible burn on the side of his face than surely Jose can shave the worst unibrow in football.
Deco - Eh. Undoubtedly boring is this man. I was excited for him at first but now he reminds me of interest rates or another season of Friends. Ricardo Carvalho goes here too.
Michael Essien- I like him. Since his DUI he's been MIA but hey, he's at least likable I suppose.
So if you've been keeping count then we're left with Frank Lampard and John Terry as the most exciting players on Chelsea. They're certainly the face of Chelsea but let's go ahead an eliminate Terry because I can't think of one single center-back that is authentically moving. Center-backs can't be exciting, sorry. So yeah, Frank Lampard, he's uh, thrilling, just breathtaking to watch... uh no.
[Back to you Jim]
For Arsenal, today was a big wake up call, but it's not the end of the world to lose away to Sunderland. That being said, if the Young Guns want any shot at the league this year, they need to win next Sunday. No excuses, no complaints. I also recognize that Chelsea are going to lose key players for the ACN, but they have a very deep squad (and Arsenal will be losing Alex Song, who is rapidly demonstrating that he might be the most irreplaceable player other than Cesc - who else on the team can play that position?). United are still legitimate, but Chelsea are the real threat. Thus, if we don't win, we better start eyeing the Carling, FA, or Champions League.
More on this later. Enjoy your weekend.