The candid thoughts of Premier League referee Colin Preece, as recorded by our eavesdropping mole in the Duck and Peasant.
Evening lads. I won’t beat about the bush. I am gasping for a pint. Dave, here’s a 20, would you mind? Lovely, so I can tell the rest of you all about it. Well, I was at the Liberty Stadium for Swansea-Arsenal, and an entertaining game it was too, but that’s not what we want to talk about, is it?
It’s all about Jose Mourinho. What the four asterisks is going on at Chelsea? Exactly, Dave.
It all started with the doctor business, the Carneiro woman – no, really, that’s where all the trouble started. I’ve seen her up close, mate, and let me tell you she is a bit of all right. And I think Mourinho liked that element, the showbiz angle. It was all very Chelsea, wasn’t it? Playboys, always have been, right from the 60s with Osgood and Eddie McCreadie’s pink shirt and boozing up and down the King’s Road.
So they get bought by a Russian billionaire and they start winning things and they’ve got a charismatic manager. Then he leaves, but his soul never sets foot outside Stamford Bridge because it knows he’ll be back. And sure enough he does return, but in the meantime they’ve won the Champions League without him, whereas he didn’t manage it first time round
He’s getting older – hear me out, Gary – and he can’t just do a sort of Round Two, plus he’s got some hard decisions to make about David Luiz and Fernando Torres etc, which he does. But now the club’s lacking a bit of glamour, but suddenly, what’s this? A nice looking woman hanging around the pitch on match days. Can’t do any harm, can it?
But somebody with an ego like his can’t have co-stars hogging the limelight, even though, as I mentioned a few week ago, I reckon she had something going with the owner, Roman Abramovich. So Mourinho finds an excuse to get rid of her.
And it’s been all downhill from there, hasn’t it?
Now, someone like Abramovich, he didn’t get where he is today by being nice. It doesn’t just drop into your lap and change your life – just doesn’t happen like that. Okay, Baz, granted there was the time when Johnny Boothroyd’s uncle died and left him the burger van in Clacton – and Johnny never looked back until the heart attack – but that was an exception, a freak occurrence if you like.
The point is, nobody knows what’s going on at Chelsea, but you can bet your life there’s more to it than meets the eye. Half the side is off form at the same time. That is suspicious.
You remember the Ice Bucket Challenge last year? When you did one – and yes, thank you, Dave, my nipples have finally thawed out – you had to nominate somebody else. And Eva Carneiro nominated Branislav Ivanovich. It’s the kind of thing you do to someone you’re fond of, isn’t it? And now Ivanovich has aged 10 years over the summer.
Well, come on, lads. I don’t know what it is, but something’s going on. Abramovich hasn’t sacked him yet, but why not? To make him suffer? I’m the last to want to start rumours, but you’ve got to wonder, haven’t you?