|Gosh, I hate all three SO much !|
27th AUGUST, 2008 :
"The club is confident that the transaction for Robinho will successfully go through and we expect the signing to be completed in a day or two", said Peter Kenyon, Chelsea's then CEO. "The Real Madrid stepover machine and dribbling magician is about to join us, I'm so happy !", said I to myself, unaware of an Arab's ambitious intentions.
30th AUGUST, 2008 :
"Manchester City are all set to be taken over by a consortium led by the Arab investment company, Abu Dhabi United Group.", reported BBC, "Manchester City in the hunt for Tottenham goal-machine Dimitar Berbatov, expecting to snatch him from right under the noses of their arch-rivals, Manchester United". I was so happy. Not that there was another cash-rich team, but the sheer pleasure of seeing United trolled at the 11th hour by the lowly Manchester City was unmatchable.
31st AUGUST, 2008 :
DEADLINE DAY. "Chelsea and Manchester City are expected to announce the signings of Robinho and Berbatov respectively any moment now." I soon went to sleep. Next morning, without bothering to check, I was off to school, with a sense of nonchalancy now that Robinho was ours and United were trolled. I saw few United following friends pointing fingers at me and laughing. Little were I to know what made them laugh. Soon, my best mate, a Gooner, came in. He broke the news to me....
The world had crashed. How could Robinho, whose 'heart was already at Stamford Bridge' snub us for City? I was probably too young and immature then to realise the power and attraction of money, so I was in utter disbelief. Meanwhile at Manchester, Robinho was asked by a reporter on why he signed for them, to which he replied "On the last day Chelsea made a great proposal and I accepted", "Surely you mean City, right?", "Yeah, right. Manchester City.".
That very moment I had lost all my respect I so admired. I had, prior to then, idolised him for his stepovers. That was the day I removed the continuous repetition of stepovers from my repertoire of skills. I needed nothing to remind me of this greedy asshole. To make matters worse, he scored against us barely two weeks later.
BACK TO THE PRESENT :
It's El Cashico time. Two of the world's richest clubs face off. Both are coming off disappointing seasons. City, being defending Champions, have all but lost their title to Man Utd this season. Champions Of Europe Chelsea have been KO'd off the CL and are now fighting for the Europa League and the FA Cup, being shrugged off the title race since sacking Robbie Di Matteo. City are in pretty impressive form, coming off a 2-1 win over Utd. For more, read this Opposition Scout Report on Man City.
TEAM NEWS :
City are without the services of Micah Richards, Maicon and Rodwell, and subject to a late fitness test is David Silva. Chelsea have Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Oriol Romeu missing, with Bertrand and Ba expected to shrug off a virus and an ankle knock respectively.
TV TIMINGS :
Date and Time : April 14th, Sunday.16:00 GMT, 8:30 PM IST, 11:00 AM EST.
TV info : ITV 1 (UK), ESPN (INDIA), Fox Soccer (USA)
City are expected to be favourites here but Chelsea wouldn't be willing to surrender their stronghold of the Chelsea Cup meekly. But now that Wembley-hero Drogba is plying his trade in Turkey, a City win wouldn't really be unsurprising. However, being an optimist, I'm hoping for a Chelsea win ! COME ON CHELSEA !