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VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Chelsea fan on signing Rooney and Hazard the bargain

Continuing with the rival fan previews of the season, Joe Tweeds from Plains of Almeria has shared his thoughts on all things Chelsea. Follow @JoeTweeds on Twitter.

Scott: How did you rate 2012-2013 for your club?

Joe: It ended extremely well in Amsterdam, but for the most part it was another season of thinking what might have been. Hiring Roberto Di Matteo on sentiment was ultimately a wrong move. The callous nature of his departure was something that sadly has become de rigueur at the club. Sacking a club legend (both as a player and as a manager) to replace him with it was one of the saddest days I have experienced watching Chelsea. He embodied everything that was wrong at the club at the time and ultimately proved to be the reliable prat we all know and love. We very rarely have done the right thing, but this was.

The only real positives to come out of the season were ultimately to be found in Amsterdam. People can mock as much as they like but who would not take a day on the beers in Amsterdam to watch your team contest a European trophy? It was widely regarded by many as one of the best Chelsea European away trips ever. It still felt slightly underwhelming in many respects. The squad yet again lacked the firepower to really sustain results over the course of the season. Fernando Torres remains, in my eyes, the expensive elephant in the room.

Scott: Who was your best player?

Joe: Currently a tossup between Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and David Luiz. Mata remains probably the best pure number ten in world football. Some of his goals, passing and all-around play were just unbelievable. Eden Hazard is arguably the most exciting footballer I have seen play for Chelsea. His form towards the end of the season was utterly electric. If Gareth Bale is a £100m footballer, then the £32m we paid for Hazard was daylight robbery. David Luiz also showed great improvements over the course of the year, whilst still managing to score at least 3 goal of the season contenders. Lazy media analysis still labels him as a liability, but the reality cannot be further from the truth. Probably the first name on the team sheet under Mourinho. I did personally vote for David Luiz as my player of the year.

Scott: Which player are you expecting most important in 2013-2014?

Joe: I think Eden Hazard is on course for an absolutely stellar season. Juan Mata might be the creative brain of Chelsea’s attack, but Eden Hazard is the cut and thrust. His ability to constantly play on the half turn, unbelievable first touch and exceptional skill make him a frightening prospect. He needs to add more goals to his game, something I am confident he can develop. He could well be the most talented player the club has ever had and my only concern is that Madrid come calling for him in the next two years.

Scott: If you could take one United player, who would it be?

Joe: Robin Van Persie. Just absolutely deadly and often the difference against any level of opposition. Would be incredible to see Hazard and Mata supplying him, alas we have another season of Torres stumbling around. Hoping Lukaku makes that spot his own. Probably my most “where the f**k is he!?” panic related player in the Premier League. Very rarely does Bale do anything against us, but Van Persie always seems to score. I still think it’s incredible how Arsenal sold him to you guys.

Scott: Are you pleased Fergie’s retired?

Joe: Absolutely delighted. There are so many intangibles that Fergie had that couldn’t really be quantified. All of a sudden you’ve got a normal manager with little sway in charge, with no real pedigree to speak of and you have to think that impacts United. He was a fantastic manager and losing someone of that quality is always going to have some sort of recovery period. It must be odd as a United fan to suddenly become a team whose manager is effectively there to be chopped at any point.

Scott: Where do you think your club will finish this season?

Joe: 2nd or 3rd. I have a feeling that City are the side to beat, you cannot argue with the strength of their squad. Had we bought a world class striker I might have gone for 1st spot.

Scott: Where do you think United will finish?

Joe: 2nd or 3rd. It really depends how Moyes takes to the job. Arguably the biggest shoes to fill in world football and I personally was very surprised that he landed the gig. You are always there or thereabouts and it would only take City having one of their trademark dips in form for someone to capitalise.

Scott: What are your feelings on signing, as your fans chant at him every season, the “fat granny shagger”?

Joe: Very reticent. Clearly better than what we have, but when that’s Fernando Torres and Demba Ba as your senior strikers it’s not too difficult. I don’t personally feel he’s the same player he was in his early 20s. Clearly doesn’t look after himself, weight issues, enjoys too many of life’s vices and just doesn’t strike me as a top professional. Whether last season was down to playing second fiddle and out of position I’m not too sure.

Scott: Do you believe Mourinho would have turned down United for Chelsea if we had offered him the job instead of Moyes?

Joe: Always hard to gauge – his family had their hearts on a return to London, anecdotal comments suggest his wife wanted to return to the capital and his daughter was attending university/college here. I also think that he had been making noise for quite some time about returning to where he was loved, i.e. the Chelsea job. His nicey nice approach in the Champions League was also dealt to Dortmund, so likely to have been a typical Mourinho deflection tactic.

Everything would suggest he was gearing up to return to London, but ultimately you never really know. Such huge shoes to fill, even José might not have wanted to go there!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. scholes18 says:

    Seems a decent guy.
    Agree with almost everything…
    Except of course where he says united will finish 2nd or 3rd, I say we’ll finish 1st! GGMU

  2. MombasaRed says:

    Nice interview Scott.

  3. MombasaRed says:

    United to finish first for me. I dont care if it is U18 or U21, the expectation is to aim to be victorious, we can take the stock after the results

  4. Tom says:

    Jose wanted that post so much that’s why he’s bitter tryna unsettle Rooney and derail united

  5. Costas says:

    Has any journo or rival fan predicted United to finish first this season? Lol.

  6. bayoRed says:

    So far I haven’t seen anyone rating us to win the title, if I was a betting man this would be the time to make my money.

  7. sitesired says:

    A good insight , I feel they are under rating David Moyes although I can understand the train of thought . He will be with us longer than Maureen with them . No doubt it will be a battle this season but so be it .

  8. scholes18 says:

    I think the bloke was right. Even mourinho was too scared for the job. He didn’t want it.

  9. da blues says:


  10. Rvp is god says:

    Ronaldo spotted in Manchester or is this more bollocks made up??

  11. mkenya says:

    now that anzhi has put all their players up for sale, can we please get William? he seemed decent in the few games i watched him play

  12. Trydent says:

    Tom is correct to say maureen really wanted the United job.Of course he will do everything he can to unsettle us because he knows we are the team to beat.

  13. denton davey says:

    bayored @ 10:05: “So far I haven’t seen anyone rating us to win the title”

    RVP expressed the same astonishment the other day – I think that UTD’s senior players (Giggs, Rio, MC16, NinjaEvra, and CaptainVidic) are just as flummoxed as you are about this matter and the controversy surrounding TheWayneBoy, too.

  14. Soba says:

    I agreed with everything said most especially the saying that ManU will finish 2nd or 3rd, I would personally said 4th instead.

  15. Marq says:

    Nothing wrong with what Mourinho is doing. He is trying every trick in the book to topple us, and thats how much he rates us, which is surprisingly more than some of our own fans. Like Scott said, do you really think they want Rooney, offering that insulting amount? Highly unlikely. Its more of an effort to unsettle us, which Rooney himself is helping achieve. Their offer is one that made sure they don’t accidently get him, and even if they did, its a small price to pay to weaken us.

  16. manny says:

    I find it shocking that a team which won the league at a canter last season is being written off. So what city have strengthened they were still way short of united. Also united are a strong squad even without reinforcements they still have shinji kagawa ( who is world class as an attacking midfielder believe me) and many other seriously talented players and they also have a manager that everyone IN football says is a cut from the same cloth as fergie, which is easy to believe because its not easy to get 6,7th or europa league football at a team like everton. That to me is the equivalent of winning the league and champions league considering the funds available to him there and ( no disrespect to the players) the team hr had available to him. His teams are always well organised, extremely fit and will fight for eachother add that to a team that one the league so easily last season and the prospect is frightening for the rest of the league. With that said I do think that you was spot on with alot of your comments. I personally think that mata should be mentioned in the same breath as iniesta and xavi and as for hazard….. wow. Hands down better than bale and should be worth more and for me as a united supporter the only player that I really wanted and regret us not getting. Well done for signing him chelsea he is a truly fantastic footballer who will be a world beater under mourinho. Expect way more goals from him and mata under mourinho and that for me as a united fan makes chelsea our biggest worry and rival for the title. Whether united strengthen or not will not change the very real threat that chelsea possess to our title chances. Only people who think chelsea need an out and out striker will think differently but may I point out that with oscar, mata and hazard under mourinho chelsea wouldnt actually need a striker. Think about it

  17. drv3011 says:

    hey guys.going off topic.well,I spotted this:
    Again,we can’t be 100% sure of whats going on behind the scenes but there must be a reason why Ronnie flew in to Manchester,be it to meet Nike officlals or not.There was a theory a while back,one I’m sure many of you here know of and have discussed,where Nike could assist United in plotting a deal for Ronnie’s return.There wasn’t a mention of a possible transfer but that definitely isn’t the whole story.Trying not to be too optimistic here but something fishy is going on.Won’t be surprised if this turns out to be hype and disappoints those who want Ronnie back though.

  18. 0161-Jon says:

    In all honesty, whilst clearly hoping for first, I’ll be happy enough with top 3 this season (assuming we don’t sign a world beater which is looking less and less likely). This season is all about Moyes, the fans and the team settling in with each other for me. The press are going to jump on him so hard as soon as we lose a match, we need to stick together and I pray the board stick to their word and back him fully. In time he will be great I’m sure and he was always my first choice to replace SAF. But I do think it will take a season or so. I’m happy enough with that. We’ve been spoiled rotten over the last 20 years or so.

  19. 0161-Jon says:

    And also, if we don’t sign a marquee, I’d happily take not winning the league as long as Lingard, Keane(s) and especially Januzaj and Petrucci get a good crack at it this season.

  20. WilliamAR says:

    I think that people doubting us and not fancying our chances of the title will only serve to prove everybody wrong AGAIN!!!!! people fail to remember the fact that we utterly battered city and chelsea in the league last season and they have had to improve or get battered again. They have to improve to catch us and it’s not the other way round. we’re the benchmark not them. at the end of the day who have chelsea or city bought that’s tried and tested in the premier league? short answer NOBODY!! chelsea have Ba and torrez which is hardly frightening, granted they have Mata, Hazard, and oscar but other than that their team are pretty inconsistent (particularly in defending) city have just bought a whole load of attackers who need to gel together and i can already feel their unrest in their changing room at who’s going to play and who’s not. we will win the league again with 2 or 3 games to spare and everybody else will pipe down in the end.

  21. 0161-Jon says:

    @WilliamAR let’s hope so. It’s that midfield trio at Chavski I am most fearful of this season. They are going to wreak havok. I’m not too worried about city as they will implode I’m sure.

  22. Marq says:


    I think you pretty much answered yourself why ppl put us down. We are the Champions and it is up to City & Chelsea to improve to catch us, which is exactly what they have done, while on paper, we have stood still.

    But people forget that whilst we won the title by some margin last season, our team wasn’t even at our full potential. Our wingers had a horrible season, its quite improbable that it will happen again. Welbeck did well but the goals didnt come, and surely he can only do better. Our youngsters have gotten more experienced, and in Zaha we have a raw diamond. Even the likes of Anderson & Nani, who didnt feature much last season, if they can get his act together, can be like new signings. Of course all these are ifs and buts, and that a midfielder certainly wouldn’t hurt, especially since we are totally discounting Scholes & Fletcher this year. There is surely room for optimism, rather than the doom & gloom

  23. ontita aaron says:

    gud interview, for us as blues’ fans to be in 1st spot, i also feel we cud sign a top man in up-front.

  24. WilliamAR says:

    @ 0161_jon

    chelsea had the same trio last season and were nowhere near us so i can’t see that changing to be honest. they could have xavi and iniesta but it won’t change the fact that they have no frightening strikers and the fact that they are becoming more hopeless in defence as the years pass. for mourhino to make that team challenge he has to sort out the liability that is david luiz, make terry read the game better or suddenly make him quick and fearless again which is unlikely, cahill is simply rubbish. ivanovic is a good player but he’s not a centre half. and that’s the same for cole. so who do they have as defensive cover? well let’s see, Bertrand (rubbish) Ake ( even more rubbish) Azpilicueta (average at best), Kalas (forget it), and omerou (who’s he again lol) If any of the fearsome trio get injured or need a rest who do they have as cover to make a difference? essien is good on his day, ramirez is inconsistent, lampard has to be used sparingly, mikel again is inconsistent, van ginkel is a decent player but untested in the premier league, Mceachran is a step down to any of the trio and de bruyne is hardly a scary prospect. up front is average at best too. Torrez (rubbish) Ba (inconsistent) Schurrle (untested) in the PL but a good player, moses average and Lukaku who is fairly good. so looking at that squad it’s fair to say they are entirely reliant on 3 players lol

  25. slim says:

    Apologies before hand if this feels a lot like a broken record, but as the season dawns on us i can’t help but think more and more about Wayne Rooney.
    Do we really want two years of moaning and will he won’t he. More pertinent, 2 years of asking the up and coming talent in the squad to take a back seat. Two more years of NOT solving the midfield balance? Because make no mistake, he’s central to that problem.
    Rooney doesn’t want to jeopardize his Ingurland chances by taking up the Scholes role in midfield .
    I was pretty against the idea from the off to be honest simply because he hasn’t shown enough to do the business in that area. Now i think he’s talented enough and something he can excel in if he knuckles down and gets his head round it. Problem with that is, it wrecks his England chances of playing as the focal point.
    Denton brought this point of view to my attention yesterday and the more i mull over it the more plausible it sounds. We won’t give him the top striker position and playing 2 out and out strikers reduces game time for everyone else bar Michael Carrick.
    Selling him to Chelsea is a huge risk but you’ve got to ask yourself what we are willing to sacrifice.
    Taking in the shit Rooney serves us only makes our situation in the transfer market all the more untenable. It doesn’t bode well when other players see a host of talented players stuck on the bench, especially if Rooney continues to play as average as he did last season.
    I want to see the full potential of some younger players at the club , and I’ll take that at the expense of Rooney. I’ve bleated about it but these things happen, especially with modern players. Take into account that unlike Ronaldo, Roo seems to be antagonizing his team mates as well plus he hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory. His stats are amazing but when was the last time Roo got anyone off their feet, marveling at his talent and quality?
    If Roo is interested in reinventing himself, I’ll welcome him with wide open arms, but if he continues with this quest of being the top striker and making a circus of the whole affair, i say let Chelsea have him. They win the league, they go on to win another champions league. We’ve been here before and we’ll overcome this one. Only a few years ago when Mourinho joined Chelsea and the Petrol dollars were flowing, everyone predicted a domination, forgetting that like life, football has its ups and downs. Of course this also means that the Club has got to get the cheque book out. This saga has gone on long enough and I’m ready to see the people who want to play for us shine and do well here

  26. slim says:

    Here’s a thought and its just fantasy, I’m only trying to gauge the minds of fellow readers, so don’t bite my head off. Would any one accept a player plus cash bid from Chelsea(say 35 million and above) plus Ramirez?

  27. WilliamAR says:

    @ slim

    No Ramirez is too inconsistent and wouldn’t fit into our team. Also i’d sell rooney but to a foreign club and not a rival.

  28. Marq says:


    Hah, you rated them more highly than I do. I say they are relying on one player and that is Mata. He is the one that makes them tick while Hazard & Oscar blows hot & cold. But still, on paper they have improved, with Lukaku a definite improvement over Torres.

    That said, it is easy to forget that we have a similiar problem, albeit to a lesser extend. We are a injury to Carrick away from having big problems in midfield, so there are things we should look at

  29. slim says:


    I think he’d fit right in. Defensively aware, strong, quick and more than average passing range. Sounds okay to me. At the risk of pot calling kettle black, selling roo abroad is not a realistic option . Its just not going to happen. One: Nobody wants him . Two: Nobody wants him. Seriously though, Rooney retires in England. Its now a matter of where. United or somewhere else

  30. WilliamAR says:

    @ slim

    Ramirez has those attributes in ability agreed but he just isn’t consistent enough for us in my opinion. i think you’d be surprised the change of heart some foregn clubs would have if we put rooney on the transfer market. i think swapping rooney with one of madrid’s players is possible, someone like di maria. i think monaco wouldn’t turn their nose up at the opportunity to have rooney and falcao play together either. again it’s all up for debate but rooney isn’t on the market so it’s impossible to say what other clubs would do.

  31. 0161-Jon says:

    that trio have had a season to bed in together now, they will be MUCH better this season (not that they were bad last season) and score plenty between them. Correct on the striker front but I don’t see Chavski having trouble coming across goals.

  32. WilliamAR says:


    That’s true that they have had a season to bed in but i think over the course of the season with chelsea being so reliant on them that their system of play won’t diversify enough to win them the league. in a way they may even fall into the trap of becoming more predictable and may find goals harder to come by. If there is one thing you can say about mourinho, is if his team become more predictable and unable to adapt to different situations you can bet that in january they will buy more players which in turn will have to bed in to the league and the chelsea way. i honestly think their squad are being hyped up more than they should be considering the additions they have made aren’t world beaters. Mata Hazard and Oscar aren’t known for their abilities to fight and grind when it comes to defensive duties either so with their exploitable defense it could also be a point of concern for them. you certainly can’t say that for united as even RVP get’s back to defend. That’s possibly even why mourinho has such an admiration for rooney as he is the type of player who will run box to box when it’s called for. defending is just as important as attacking and i just feel chelsea are short in that department. there’s always a plan to contain good midfields, just look how bayern contained barca, same with AC milan against barca too. the midfield is where teams will look with chelsea so that could end up being chelsea’s problem. with united it’s a lot less predictable as we tend to change from wide play to central play to counter attacking play. it’s that diversity that allows players like carrick to be much more effective and less predictable. a lot of people criticize cleverly but it’s his stifling hard work in the middle that retains us the ball on many occasions. granted he isn’t as creative as many other midfielders but when it comes to grinding out results we do it more often than anyone because of players like cleverly doing some of the hard graft. People worry about carrick getting injured but his job is to steady the ship in midfield and distribute the ball effectively weather it’s a short or long pass (which he is great at both). Carrick plays every game just about, because his role isn’t to sprint box to box so his chances of pulling something are reduced purely because of how he’s used.

  33. NBI Red Moyesy says:

    If beat Chelsea when they had Drogba we can beat them when they have Rooney. No doubt about it.

  34. 0161-Jon says:

    @WilliamAR yes all definitely fair points, I still feel Chelski are the big danger this season and are in with a very good shout. We will have to be at it from the off to win the league this season and I just feel it’s going to take a little longer than that for things to fully click into gear this season. Hopefully by the time that happens we are still right up there.

    Time will tell. It’s going to be a very interesting season.

  35. WilliamAR says:

    @ 0161_Jon

    yeah it will be interesting. I think it’s a good thing that we have a difficult start as those teams will need to settle like us.

  36. manny says:

    Everyones forgetting how united and disciplined moyes teams are. Everton were always a hard team to beat. And if the united players gain the same fitness, determination and unity itz over for the rest of the league. Finishing 6th or 7th in the league consistently or making europa league with an average and (no disrespect) not filled with world class players team is a miracle. That is exactly why united will win the league because all moyes has to do is keep them fit, determined and united in the same cause and the rest will take care of itself as it always does for united.

  37. Unitedforeva says:

    Personally at this moment with all that has happened in the transfer market, I say Chelsea will win it with us fighting for 2nd/3rd. However, I do hope to see us doing a barnstorming finish and if 6 or 7 results in the last 10 games finish 3-2 or 4-3 in our favor, then it will be our 21st title wrapped up 2 or 3pts ahead of 2nd place Chelsea. Typical United finish, not like last season’s 11pts gap. GGMU!

  38. dennis says:

    One thing you keep forgeting is the manager factor this is not rafa or de mateo with them its mourinho look at us we’ve a pretty week squad over the years but we still won because of ferguson

  39. gg says:

    WilliamAR you’re just being biased lol I can’t take anything you said into consideration…Chelsea is by far the main threat and now since they’ve settled with a manager it’ll be a great season for all the top teams

  40. Cynic says:

    How can Chelsea have a rubbish defence when they had a better defensive record than United last season? What rubbish is this?
    If anything we could argue that United over achieved last season, largely to Alex and RVP. The former is gone and should the latter get injured then i dont see United anywhere near Chelsea or City

  41. Marc BKK/CFC says:

    Interesting. As a Chelsea fan looking in, I would say Oscar was neglected for his surprisingly successful maiden season, and with that, another with the ‘one to look out for’ tag. Also KDB who had a great loan season in Germany and has shown pre season, he could really come to life in the Prem this year. I’m the same on the Rooney issue, with all the baggage, I’d rather we didn’t sign him. No doubt in his class but I’d rather an alternative although who…. there aren’t many around, maybe we should rely on Lukaku and wait for January.

  42. WilliamAR says:

    @ gg

    There is nothing biased in my comments.

    @ cynic

    United achieved 89 points last season which is pretty much around the figure they achieve every season so that’s not over achieving that’s just fact. united have always been the most consistent team especially from the second half of the season. it’s not united’s fault that their rivals under achieved.

    as for your defensive argument, chelsea only conceded 4 less goals than united and you have to take in consideration the first third of the season united were leaking goals left right and centre purely because of united having an injury laden defense and didn’t have a settled back four, the second third of the season all the way to the last 4 games united had the best defensive record of all the teams (including chelsea). you could argue the best defence at the most important time when it really matters. that’s not fluke, that’s fact. considering united had wrapped up the league and our last four games was just a party for us and defence didn’t really matter we even conceded 5 in our last gam because it didn’t matter the league was already won say’s a lot to just finish 4 goals in defence behind chelsea.

    I can understand that you being a chelsea fan doesn’t want to hear bad things about your team but unfortunately if you don’t have a defence that can do it at a time it really matters in a season then you’re only going to come up short again. you can’t honestly tell me that your best back four is better than Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra. and even then we have Evans, Jones, smalling, buttner, fabio, as cover. chelsea don’t have sufficient enough cover. I agree and think the whole league agrees how good Mata, hazard and oscar are but 3 players aren’t enough to win a league. United have won 5 of the last 7 leagues. that’s not fluke or coincidence and it’s certainly not over achieving. Chelsea haven’t made any world beating additions to their squad so how people can say they are even better than last season is beyond me. At crunch time in the league it was your exploitable defense that let you down and seeing as it hasn’t improved in the transfer market i can only see it happening again. that’s not bias that’s just how it is, even you chelsea fans must admit that you guys haven’t improved the defence.

  43. Cynic says:

    I’m hearing excuses, i could argue we were missing JT, who was injured for the best part of the season. Chelsea are defensively better than United thats not even debatable. At right back we have Azpi and Ivanovic who are way better defensively than Rafael will ever be. I remember him costing United against Bayern, got a stupid red card against Chelsea last year AGAIN. At CB we have Luiz only Kompany is better than him, then JT, Cahill and Iva for cover, young Kalas will be given opportunities too. So thats tight as it gets. A. Cole is the best left back in the world defensively and thats not even up for debate.
    Last year we made a mistake of selling Merilles and loaning Essien which compromised with our pivot i.e. holding midfield position. This year we have Essien back however i dont trust his knees maybe we might add De Rossi then we have Van Ginkel who looks like a gem, will definately add quality to that pivot especialy when playing alongside senior players.
    Kevin is back from his loan spell in germany, Lukaku too, we also signed Schurlle. So this team wont be over reliant on Mata, Oscar and Hazard as last year. Even if we argue that some of these players have not proven themselves in the EPL, we can atleast agree they are significant upgrades to Benayoun and Marin. Chelsea should win the league if not City.


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