From everything we’ve seen on the telly and the silver screen, In Off the Ghost gathers that it feels great to be a champion. After years of blood, sweat and tears the winner can now bask in the glory of victory, revel in the adulation of their fans, and enjoy hearing Queen replayed over and over again. But once you’re at the top the only way is down and, after three defeats in four games including this weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City, Chelsea are finding out the hard way that it’s tough keeping your status as the best in the business.
Fortunately being the best in the business isn’t something that In Off the Ghost has to worry about. However, there are many amongst our posse of expired experts that know what it’s like to be a champ under pressure. This week we have former middleweight champion and best pound-for-pound pugilist in the history of boxing, ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson, to give us his views on the biggest story of Saturday’s Premier League action.
“It was a great result for Birmingham,” said Sugar Ray, floating like a butterfly around the room, “they have a top class trainer in their corner in the shape of Alex McLeish and they fought a tactical, counter punching fight. Pound-for-pound they are no match for Chelsea, but the Blues were punching above their weight this weekend. When Lee Bowyer jabbed the ball into the net it gave the reigning champions another bloody nose.”
I asked Robinson who he thought were the stand-out performers for Birmingham City in a match which saw the Midlands club climb to thirteenth in the table.
“Ben Foster and the Birmingham City back four, especially outstanding centre backs Roger Johnson and Scott Dann, who ended up being punch bags for the normally heavy hitting Chelsea front line. They were on the ropes for most of the match and they looked a little punch drunk by the end of the ninety minutes, but they managed to stay on their feet and claimed the victory.”
Finally, I asked the champ what he thought of Chelsea’s title credentials after another damaging defeat.
“If they continue to play this badly, they might as well throw in the towel now. The ‘Italian Stallion’ Carlo Ancelotti has a lot of work to do, but I think Chelsea will be able to take this on the chin and come back fighting. It will be close, but I predict they will defend their title and come out ahead on points.”
The title race is wide open and if Chelsea can’t get up from this latest set back quickly, it may well prove to be a knock-out blow for their title chances.
(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author)