A Few Hyperlinks: Man United vs. Chelsea pt. 2

Almost all the previews are in. Almost all of them DON’T have Ross Barkley understand it. But I’m not going to talk too much about that today, because that’s what I talked about in the last post.

I guess at least one outlet predicts Ross Barkley will start. Gotta love “football.london.” That’s where I go for all my footballing news.

In related news, I’m drinking black tea mixed with almond milk right now. It’s my second cup of the day. Out of solidarity for Christian Pulisic and his new surroundings, I have completely stricken coffee from my diet, at least for the next three hours. Christian, as the last day dawns before your first ever match in the Premier League, we are thinking of you. You will probably start tomorrow. If you don’t start, you will at least definitely play. You’ve been waiting for this day your whole life. The whole world has been waiting (in Buddhism each person is essentially the world; conversely, I could consider myself the whole world).

Anyway, N’golo Kante. Little known fact about N’golo Kante, courtesy of Wikipedia: When Kante played for Boulogne at the beginning of his career, he commuted to training by scooter. Good for him. In the world of Neymars and Cristiano Ronaldos and other crybabies, it’s good to see a guy who remains down to earth. Or down to England. Or down to London. Or down to West London.

In mildly related news, has anyone ever walked from Hyde Park to Stamford Bridge? I think I want to start a pilgrimage called the “Camino de Stamford,” much like the Camino de Santiago in Spain, a 500-mile walk from the border with France ending in Santiago de Compostela. I DID the walk back in 2014. It took me 33 days. But the question I have is: If I leave my house in Seattle and start walking to Stamford Bridge, how many days will it take me? Will I get eaten by wolves in Canada? Will I be able to row or swim across the Atlantic? Will I accidentally become a helicopter pilot in Greenland?

These are questions that plague me.

Random image of Puli in Chelsea kit:

So here’s my question for all of you out there who are getting excited for the game tomorrow: Who will start at the number 9 position? Will it be Tammy Abraham? Will it be Olivier Giroud? Or will it be someone else? Also: Will Mason Mount start?

Please leave your comments in the comments section.

Ideally, here’s what happens tomorrow: Pulisic at some point blows by Harry Maguire and slots it into the left corner of the net. Or the right corner! As long as the word “slot” is able to be used, I’m OK with whatever happens.

The match starts at 8:30am. I will be up by 7:59am, waiting for the preview, shaking. I will pour myself multiple cups of tea. I will pour anyone around me cups of tea and demand that they drink them or quit my presence. At approximately 8:29am I will commence shouting at no one in particular. Also around this time I will start singing whatever national anthems spring to mind. I will sing the Canadian national anthem poorly. When the players trot onto the field I will attempt to contain myself and fail. I will resist the urge to distract myself by pouring scalding water onto my hands.

Matchday 1. Tomorrow.

Let’s go Blues.

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…