I won't bore you with the details, but this evening I had one of those conversations that can make you worry about how many horrible sods there are in the world, about the positions of influence some of those horrible sods can occupy, and about the fact that there's often not a lot that decent people can do about any of this. During the preceding working day, I'd taken so many phone calls that my mobile battery had run right down to zero, cutting me off from the news, information and comment beyond the long and surprisingly dismal chat in the pub next to the office.
So then I came home and fired up the laptop in order to check on today's football scores. Hoping for a little brightness, I wanted to see how I'd got on with my fantasy football selections, and I was hoping to learn that Chelsea had been knocked out of the League Cup. Happily, I'd racked up a fair few fantasy points, courtesy, in the main, of Messrs Cazorla and Podolski. Even more happily, those blue bastards from SW6 had indeed succumbed to the stifling style of Swansealona.
The result, of course, has been overshadowed by the moment of madness around the 81st minute of play.
Sure, the ball boy seems to have been a bit of an arse. Sure, we know that clubs clearly instruct ball boys to hold on to the ball and waste time when the home side are hanging on for a favourable result. It seems naive to believe that doesn't go on. But the lad at the Liberty Stadium was clearly a bit too obvious about it, not only during tonight's silly incident but also ahead of the match:
But Eden Hazard is the bigger idiot. Kicking out at a ball boy? REALLY? In a packed stadium? In front of the home fans? On live television? The Belgian player has talent. But intelligence, judgement and common sense? Not so much.
Hazard, as we already knew, is not the only talented moron employed by Chelsea Football Club. The indiscretions and the arrogance of Messrs Terry and Cole are the stuff of legend.
To this list we can now add the unprofessional, immature prick who runs the official @chelseafc Twitter account. In reaction to Hazard's richly deserved red card, the nameless tweeter opined thus:
Yes, that's right. Football must have "gone mad" when a professional player gets a red card for kicking out at a teenage kid. If the game were sane, in this tweeter's analysis, grown men should be able to do whatever they feel like when frustrated and provoked, up to and including sticking the boot into an uncooperative ball boy.
Of course, the Chelsea social media person has since retracted (and deleted) the above remark...
... but, once again, the true colours of the south west London club have been clearly shown. The Pensioners' official Twitter feed's comment is entirely consistent with the brand values of an organisation which:
- fights tooth and nail to defend a player who shouts "fucking black cunt" at an opponent
- imposes no meaningful punishment on a player who shoots someone with an air rifle
- employs humourless goons to frisk away fans so thoroughly as to ensure hundreds of them miss the opening minutes of a match
- feels comfortable with a home supporter bringing an EDL flag to games
- behaves in a markedly odd way when its players falsely accuse (with delicious irony) a referee of racial abuse
Same old toxic, unlovely Chelsea: shaming the decent people among its supporters again, and again and again...