Chelsea’s dead end?

With Tony Ngare

After tossing arch-rivals Man United out of the FA Cup, Chelsea seems to have bitten a huge chunk of poisoned cake.

With eight Premier League matches as well as at least one FA Cup and two Europa League matches left to play, Chelsea face a dilemma. No, it’s not a moral one like the one Kenyans had to face on mpango wa condom advert. Theirs is a dilemma of a difficult and extremely tricky season finale.

The Blues face a battle to finish in the Champions League places, and will strive to perform to their maximum in the two cup competitions. As such, the squad may be stretched to its limit under a manager in Rafa Benitez who is known for his mishaps when ‘tinkering’ with his sides.

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Furthermore, given Benitez’s role as interim manager, and as ESPN reported, he will be leaving the club in the summer after his contract runs out, he may well focus on winning trophies instead of securing Chelsea’s future European status.

The importance of attaining a place in next season’s Champions League is greater to the Chelsea board than to a manager who only has two months left in charge.

It may well be down to Chelsea’s senior players to ensure that there are no slip-ups in their league form before the end of the season. However, the advantage that may have been handed to Chelsea’s rivals may prove to be too great. For instance, the fixture between Chelsea and rivals Tottenham will be rescheduled due to the FA Cup semi-finals, and consequently Spurs will have a beneficial weekend off to rest.

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If Chelsea manages to defeat Manchester City in the semi-finals, then it would seem natural that a number of their players will have their eye on Wembley final and, therefore, may not want to risk injuring themselves during premier league games. If this happens, then, Chelsea may find that their league form suffers.

Ultimately, Chelsea may well discover the difficulties of trying to achieve success in multiple competitions, and it will be interesting to see how their season finishes, and how Benitez’s signs off.

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Not saintly

Now there are things you simply cannot be accused of, especially if you have one of the biggest world leaders as one of your famous fans.

An Argentinian goalkeeper has been arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting a football hooligan who is wanted for homicide.

Pablo Migliore, a goalkeeper with San Lorenzo, was detained on Sunday night on the pitch. It is possible he still had his gloves on.

Just in case you may have fallen off from Mars, San Lorenzo is a small team that has had the affection of one Jorge Bergoglio, this man was, of course, elected Pope last month in one of the smoothest manual electioneering process.

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With Pope Francis as one of its diehard supporters, San Lorenzo is aptly nicknamed Saints; perhaps it’s one of the reasons why the man who would become pope found reason to support them. But in the keeper who is also the captain, I find nothing saintly conduct.

Migliore stands accused of helping to hide notorious Boca Juniors ‘barra brava’ — a football hooligan — Maximiliano Mazzaro, who allegedly beat a neighbour to death in 2011.

San Lorenzo have been a hot topic throughout the game after the appointment of Pope Francis, who is a well-known fan of the club and was seen waving the team’s shirt, now featuring a photo of him, after last weekend’s Easter service.

The club issued a statement on their official website saying they did not have any more information, but it was clear the incident tainted what had been a spectacular month for the club, including their 105th anniversary this week.

Abou Dingy

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Regular readers of this column will attest that I have a healthy dislike of Arsenal’s Abou Diaby. But honestly, what does he need to do to pick two consecutive monthly pay cheques without getting crocked? His injury crises are far too often such that it always a matter of when and how. When was Abou Diaby going to Abou Diaby himself, and in what sort of fashion. In the past, each time the guy bounced back from an inexplicable injury, we knew to measure his comeback by the amount of days before he’d find himself in another health crisis, wondering why it’s always him. Why Abou Diaby, and why so goddamn often. With him, it’s always been a matter of when and how he gets injured. At this rate, the ball boys at Emirates Stadium may experience more action fetching the ball from the advertising boards than Diaby on the pitch.

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