Two Croatian Passports Score for Chelsea

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Damnnnnn son, Cha Boi been gone, Cha boi hasn’t been postin’. Cha boi on vacation? Cha boi in that warm weather? And no, Cha boi hasn’t been on vacation. Well, that’s not entirely true. Cha boi went to Norway but Cha boi hasn’t been in warm weather. And meanwhile Cha other boi been on an absolute tear….


Today Christian Pulisic scored for Chelsea in a 2-2 draw against Valencia. Other than his goal (thank God for VAR), he didn’t play THAT well. He had a few unfortunate giveaways, and didn’t create that many attacking threats. However, by the grace of Thor he continues to score, and that will (hopefully) keep him in the lineup. He did look better than Willian. That much is true. But just barely. I wouldn’t be surprised if Willian gets the axe soon in favor of Mason Mount. It’s weird having Mason on the bench. What is he doing there? But Lampard has had to shift things around now that N’golo Kante is healthy. Because Kante must play. Also, what on Earth was the deal with that yellow card against Kante? I’ve never seen a cleaner, more legit, all ball challenge, and the ref gives him a yellow card. I was screaming in my boat, where I was watching the game on my phone thanks to Xfinity steaming and TNT.

Cha boi.

The draw did a lot for Chelsea; all they have to do now is play Lille and basically not lose, which they should be able to do quite handily.

Other people who impressed me in this game: Mateo Kovacic, Reese James, Kante. One who didn’t impress all that much was Tammy Abraham, though to be fair he didn’t get all that many opportunities. It was great to see Kovacic get his first ever Chelsea goal. What was that celebration? There are so many good things to come out of Croatia. What a wonderful country. I watch chess videos made by a guy I’m Croatia everyday.

Lastly, hats off to Kepa Arrizabalaga for his insane penalty kick save. Jesus, what a beauty. That was the difference, right here. Granted, it never should’ve been a penalty in 8,000 years, but still, Kepa came in massively when they needed him most. Plus I bet he was stoked to be in a Spanish speaking country. To be, like, able to go to the corner store and buy a Kit Kat in his native language. Unless his native language is Basque. And as if they sell Kit Kat in Spain…

Speaking of Spain, why am I not there right now? Oh, it’s cuz Cha boi like dat cold weather. Cha boi cold blooded, just like Christian Pulisic and dem icy cold touches in the six yard box.

Thank God for VAR…

Chelsea v. Valencia Minute by Minute

Ed’s note: I missed the first half because the library didn’t open today till 1pm. When checking the timeline on Google I was a bit disappointed in myself when I saw that Mason Mount had already been subbed off, presumably because of injury, and found myself getting happy about this. Why would I be happy about Mason Mount getting injured? Well, I don’t want him to get injured of course. I don’t want him to feel pain. But I want Christian Pulisic to play. So I immediately checked who’d been subbed and saw….Pedro. 

46′ – Tammy Abraham somehow hurts wrist going for ball keeper gets to just before him. What are those little wrist band things on Tammy’s forearms, anyway?

51′ First half has pretty boring start. Side note: the guy to my right is typing like he’s trying plunge his fingers all the way through the keyboard and into the desk below it. He’s also wearing a hospital mask.

53′ PUT PULISIC IN.

53′ Pedro’s every second touch is a back heel.

55′ Pedro hacks some blond kid down. Does that thing where they laugh at the absurdity of it all.

58′ Cannot believe Marco Reus missed that penalty kick. But Marco Reus doesn’t play for Chelsea, you say. Yes, that’s because I’m now watching Dortmund vs. Barelona and will continue to do so until the Chelsea game gets more exciting.

59′ GOAT. GOAT. GOAT. GOAT. GOAT. GOAT.

— Goat alert center, what seems to be the problem?

— Excuse me, there’s a goat in our backyard eating all our garbage and scoring disgusting goals.

–Is it wearing a Messi jersey?

–How did you know?

GOAT. GOAT. GOAT. GOAT.

(Messi subbed in for Ansu Fati. Rakitic also comes in.)

63′ Sancho driving run. Marco Reus gets off lackluster shot.

67′ Meanwhile, in Chelsea v. Valencia, Lampard has yet to make any more subs.

68′ There’s a very low likelihood Pulisic will play against Valencia. If he was gonna get subbed in it would’ve been instead of Pedro.

66′ Is Pique still married to Shakira?

66′ Have you ever had a dream about Achraf Hakimi?

70′ And we’re back to Chelsea, where things are still scoreless and boring. Chelsea have no leader. Chelsea have no leader. Q: Chelsea have no? A: Leader.

72′ Awful shot from Rodrigo M. Olivier Giroud about to come in. Kurt Zouma goes out. Lampard wants to win!

73′ Chances of Pulisic playing plummet even further. Next sub will undoubtedly be defender.

74′ Amazing goal from some dude on Valencia. Kepa pissed and rightly so. Horrible defending.

75′ Go Valencia?

75′ By going down 0-1 Pulisic actually has a chance of getting subbed on. Lampard will be looking for a wildcard.

75′ Valencia scoring is actually the best thing that could’ve possibly happened for Pulisic.

77′ Valencia players start rolling on ground. This is what’s so wrong with the sport of soccer. It disgusts me and could so easily be solved. It’s called…Stopping. The. Clock.

78′ Olivier Giroud gets shot on goal and looks approximately 89 years old while doing so.

78′ Looks Like Ross Barkley is coming on. He’s putting his shirt on. If there was one other player I’d want coming on instead of Pulisic, it’d be ross. Semi-stoked.

79′ Mateo Kovacic comes off for Ross Barkley. Pulisic will not play in this game.

Frowny fucking face.

Meanwhile, Dortmund v. Barca still scoreless.

82′ Barkley shows QUALITY. Corner kick coming.

Will Mount be healthy for Liverpool????

83′ Chelsea players want handball. Ref says, “Gracias, muy amable.”

Then checks VAR.

Oooooh, slow mo is show, and looks like bro had his arm away from his body. Could be a penalty.

85′ Ref goes over to look at replay himself. This is getting spicier than Tom Kha Ga I had last week.

PENALTY AWARDED.

(But who will take it?)

86′ Ross Barkley will take it! This is huge for Chelsea and also for the rest of Ross’s season.

He…looks…nervous.

87′ Barkley misses penalty. I’m going home.

Wow.

 

Pulisic Goes Full 0 Against Wolves

Christian Pulisic played a grand total of zero minutes last Saturday, the first time he’s been benched for an entire game this season. Frank Lampard obviously found Willian to be the better option, presumably because of his experience and/or kick-ass hair. Pulisic has stiff competition in the winger spot from the the likes of: Mason Mount, Willian, and probably some other players I don’t want to mention because I’m not completely sure if they’re wingers or just regular midfielders. In fact, I’m not even sure a winger is a midfielder. In fact, I’m not even completely sure where I am right now.

Let alone what this blog post is about.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea play Spanish titans Valencia tomorrow at home in their first game of the Champions League. Valencia is known, among other things, for producing excellent oranges and for being home to a dialect of Catalan called “Valenciano.” Oranges should not affect tomorrow’s match, as they would undoubtedly be confiscated by customs agents at Heathrow (see: Luton [see: Standsted]).

In other news, I’m coming down from the coffee I had this morning, which means my perspective on the world is changing. Instead of feeling like I’m at a cutting edge technology center surrounded by cutting-edge minds, I actually feel like I’m at a public library in Seattle surrounded by body odor. It is unclear where the body odor is emanating from, which means I will exit the premises soon.

Will Pulisc start (or even play) against Valencia tomorrow? I don’t want to speculate. I was sure he’d start against Wolves, I was sure he’d score, and look where that got me. Instead I’ll leave you with a quote from everyone’s favorite mystic, Rumi:

We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.

What does that mean? It means I currently carry an energy bar inside me, since that is what I seek, which is strange because the very reason I seek it is because I don’t have it.

Seek, and ye shall have already found?

Go Blues.

-M

 

Cha Boi Back in England

They call him Christian Pulisic. Some pronounce this Christian PuLIsic. Others say Christian PUlisic. And others, usually the English, also often the Germans, and definitely the Slavs, say PuLIsiCH. What would the correct pronunciation be? I’m not going to tell you. Your vocal cords are not capable of it. You must be divine or a parakeet in order to pronounce it right.

So, following the USMNT’s sub-par (shouldn’t it be “above-par,” though? Like, sub-par, in golf, is good. When I golfed I never shot below par. And I was even on the golf team until my overweight geography teacher wouldn’t let me play in a tournament because I didn’t tuck in my shirt), Pulisic has shipped back off to England, where he’s now ostensibly preparing for Chelsea FC’s Saturday match against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, AKA Wolves. In case you’re wondering, Wolverhampton is a city just outside of Birmingham that was once described by the future Queen Victoria as “a large and dirty town.” As far as I can tell, there are no actual wolves in Wolverhampton. The city, undoubtedly, would be a lot cooler if there were.

Pulisic. Christian Pulisic.

That is supposedly what this blog is about.

Please let me gather myself.

I’m at a Seattle Public Library writing this post and, as usual, slightly uncomfortable. Yesterday I used the computers in the Central Library and the guy across from me (and also across from the guy next to me [pertinent detail]) at one point got up and said, “I’m changing computers; I don’t like sitting across from douchebags (semi-colon yours).” At which point the dude sitting next to me and I looked each other, both, obviously, trying to figure out who the douchebag was. Or at least that’s what I thought. The older gentleman to my left, bless his heart, after looking at me, said, a bit bewildered, as if sensing he should maybe be hurt, “What’s a douchebag?”

At which point I signed out of the computer and left the premises.

God, I’m sorry, I’m supposed to be talking about Christian Pulisic. Sorry. It’s just the computer I’m on has restricted access and won’t let me use Twitter. Give me a sec.

Christian did not play that well in this game. ESPN gave him like a 7 on the player rankings, but ESPN is also not where you should be getting your player rankings. You should be getting them at your and your sister-in-law’s favorite blog, Straight Outta Hershey. Where we (I), have decided to give Pulisic a rating of…6. Yes. I know. One point less. But that one point says a helluvuvuva lot. However, that rating is Pulisic COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE ON THE TEAM. If it were in relation to how good he’s capable of playing, I’d give him about a two. And I know that sounds harsh. And that’s because it is.

(insert Twitter embed of Christian smiling)

As I said in a previous post, it didn’t matter much how CP played against Mexico last Friday. What matters is how he plays against Wolverhampton on Saturday, and against Ajax and Liverpool coming up, should he play much in those matches. I think he will start against Wolves. But I think that’s about his last chance. If he doesn’t show some quality, he’s going to get axed from the starting lineup real soon.

In other news, Christian Pulisic is still just 20 years old, and is still the greatest soccer player in US soccer history. So let’s just take a breath for a moment. Maybe stop, just for a second, heaping all kinds of pressure on him. Instead let’s turn our attention to a quote from Seneca the Younger that’s fitting for this upcoming game:

“Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”

 

The Hate You Give

Twitter isn’t exactly a bastion of wisdom. You don’t go to Twitter looking for the long play, for the big picture, for a wider perspective. You go to Twitter for knee-jerk, reactionary comments usually designed to incite.

Which is why it doesn’t really bother me that everyone on Twitter right now is hating on Christian Pulisic.

For example, a thoughtful tweet from user Jamie @jmemc55. Notice the period after “Nicolas Pepe or not” that should be a comma. Notice the lack of period at the end of the tweet. This tweet was probably written while Jamie was sitting on the toilet in his mum’s house in South Essex, or wherever it is Jamie lives. It was undoubtedly something Jamie did not ponder too much before writing. It was merely a thought in his head, albeit a thought he felt strongly enough to tweet.

Which, I guess, is the beauty of twitter in many ways. It is a good way to gauge what the general populace is thinking. Is it a good way, in this case, to gauge whether Christian Pulisic is in fact “shit.” Of course not. But from it you can glean that Pulisic hasn’t played great so far this Chelsea season. And from it you can glean that if he continues to play how he’s been playing, his future at Chelsea isn’t that bright.

But obviously that won’t happen, since Cha Boi is a football leviathan who eats defenders like they were schools of krill.

Or who will do this, if just given some time.

Or who might not do this EVER at Chelsea, but who will one day do it for a big team, in a big league.

Now, one person who did criticize Christian Pulisic recently, but in a thoughtful, articulate way, was George Benson (see video above). Benson has a YouTube channel dedicated to Chelsea called “Football with George.” He makes videos every couple of every couple of days, and they’re always well thought-out (at least the ones I’ve seen), and they’re always, at least for a self-proclaimed Chelsea fan, fairly objective. It’s also good to hear what non-Americans think about Cha Boi, since if you talk to me or most other Americans we’ll simply tell you that Pulisic is a Christ figure and destined to one day usurp Messi as football’s midfield Messiah. Granted, I like to think I’m fairly objective. I realize Pulisic has not played well this season. Watching him play against Sheffield United actually hurt me in a visceral way (it was like getting punched in the stomach by a weirdly strong 8-year-old). But I also realize, and I think George Benson probably realizes this, and most thoughtful football pundits, that Pulisic has only played 3.5 games. He’s only 20 years old. Twenty. Years. Old. And he just got uprooted into the biggest soccer league on the planet.

So yeah, there’s some hate out there. In fact, that seems to be pretty much the only thing that exists on Twitter. Unless, of course, you follow Straight Outta Hershey, in which case you’ll find nothing but love.