Chelsea vs. Man United Preview and The Importance of Ross Barkley

Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Jon Snow is facing down all of Ramsey Bolton’s army, standing there with his sword, facing certain annihilation? I feel like that’s a bit like what Chelsea is facing against Manchester United in their first game of the Premiership this season, this Sunday at 8:30am United States west coast time. Why would I give you west coast time? Well, first of all because I love the west coast. Second of all because I live on the west coast. And third of all because I’m a mariner. Friends, I live on a sailboat. The sea is my companion. When I wake up I don’t think about Greenwich mean time. I think about the west coast. I think about bull kelp. And I also think about Cha Boi.

Speaking of Cha Boi, most media outlets seem to think that he will start on Sunday. Christian Pulisic, who just last year was struggling for minutes in the Bundesliga, will probably start on Sunday against, what, the biggest football team in existence? Is that hyperbole? Did the latte I just drink plummet through me like a javelin? Is border traffic going to be bad today? Am I going to have a nervous breakdown? What is so strange about most of these outlets putting CP in the starting lineup is a lot of them don’t put Ross Barkley in it. To which I say: Are you out of your mind? If I’m Frank Lampard I’m building my team around Ross Barkley. And Ngolo Kante. But Chelsea needs to find a leader, and Ross Barkley seems like he could be that guy. He needs to play. More than anything, he needs to feel appreciated. Let me tell you something: Cha Boi, as much as I love him, is not going to be that leader. Olivier Giroud is not going to be that leader. Neither is Willian or Ngolo Kante. Call me crazy, but it has to be Ross Barkley.

On a mildly related note, tickets to London are not that expensive. How much would it cost me to see Chelsea against a shitty team at Stamford Bridge? Fifty pounds? A hundred?

Also on a mildly related note: Romelu Lukaku apparently plays for Inter now.

And on a completely unrelated note: I saw a black bear yesterday.

What will be the key against Man U on Sunday? The defense, of course. David Luiz, in a bizarre move to Arsenal, is gone. Which means, going back to the comparison to Jon Snow in the Battle of the Bastards, there’s no more giant rushing in behind him ready to battle. Is it generous to call David Luiz a giant? I mean, he does sort of look like a goon. What’s with his hair? He looks like a poodle.

And Cha Boi got them boots of valerian steel…

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