Congratulations Chelsea!

What a game!

When you thought Roberto Di Matteo’s amazing run of luck might end, he pulls another miracle out of the bag.

Chelsea were clear outsiders before the game at 5/2 while Bayern were clear favourites, playing at their home stadium.

And as the game progressed Bayern Munich created chance after chance after chance after chance. But Chelsea’s game plan was (just about) working by the skin of its teeth.

Robben, Ribery, Gomez and Muller all had guilt-edged chances throughout the game but failed to take them. But they got what they deserved with 8 minutes to go, when Muller scored from a fortunate header.

After all their attacking possession, Bayern thought that goal was the winner and celebrated as such.

But Didier Drogba and Chelsea had other ideas.

With 2 minutes of normal time remaining, Chelsea, from their first corner of the game, and their second attempt on target, scored with a Drogba bullet header.

The goal literally came from nowhere and with luck like that you just knew Chelsea were going to grind out some kind of result.

And when Robben stepped up to take a penalty in extra-time, Chelsea again had luck when Petr Cech made a save and the ball stayed under his body and went into his arms.

If this wasn’t going to be Chelsea’s year, it never will be.

And with the penalties, Chelsea were at one point 3-1 on spot kicks.

The Champions League Final between Bayern and Chelsea is one of the most unbelievable games I have ever witnessed.

Chelsea should have been dead and buried long before the 90 minutes were up but it goes to show what heart, determination and guts can achieve.

Congratulations to Chelsea, and when I watch big games I always like cheering for the underdog. Maybe it’s something about defying the odds, but I was pleased that Chelsea won tonight.

I know most Arsenal fans hate Chelsea, John Terry and the fact they’re the first London club to win the Champions League, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter a huge amount. Arsenal are years away from even thinking about lifting that trophy and you can’t rely on other teams in London not to win it, all we can concentrate on is trying to win it ourselves.

Ever since Villas Boas got sacked, Chelsea have been intriguing to watch. God knows how they’ve turned it around but they looked like ending up with nothing and yet have won the FA Cup, Champions League and secured a place in Europe’s top competition next season. What they have done is nothing short of remarkable and I don’t care who you support, that has to be admired.

I wonder how ‘Arry Redknapp is feeling tonight. Robbed of the England job by Roy Hodgson, and now of Champions League football by Chelsea. It’s not been a good few months for the medias favourite drinking buddy.

And how about Villas Boas? What Chelsea have achieved since he left the club shows how overrated he really was. But I’m sure he’ll still get a job at one of Europe’s top clubs.

I do feel sorry for Bayern though, they were the better team, created the clearer chances but in the end they just bottled it. They lacked composure at the vital times and had so many chances to kill the game off. In a way, it was similar to the Blackpool v West Ham play off final, where Blackpool should have been home and dry well before the hour.

But that’s football and Roberto Di Matteo has shown us all that he really is the special one.

Tactical genius? Luckiest man alive? Whatever it is, Di Matteo shouldn’t be worried about whether he gets offered the Chelsea job on a permanent basis, Chelsea should be worried about him getting a better offer from elsewhere!

Arsenal’s Champions League Hopes In Tatters

Regular followers of my Twitter feed will know that Mikel Arteta has been my favourite player of the season. Dreamy good looks and elegant style, he has an eye for a pass, a killer shot and more importantly, experience. What he does in an Arsenal shirt may not be flashy or make the back page headlines, but he gives this young Arsenal team assurance and balance in midfield.

So the statistic that Arsenal have failed to win a single game without him this season is not surprising and on the flip side hugely disappointing.

And so it proved again today when we were held at home to a Norwich side that have nothing to play for.

And that draw leaves our hopes of qualifying for next years Champions League in tatters. There’s no other way of describing it.

Because we are currently in 3rd place but only 2 points ahead of both Tottenham and Newcastle who have a game in hand. Win that and we find ourself in 5th. And that’s before we play our last game of the season at West Brom, while Tottenham and Newcastle have more straight forward games against Fulham and Everton. And both challengers are in much better form than we are.

While it’s conceivable that one of them may slip up (Newcastle still have to play Manchester City), even if we manage to fluke 4th spot we could still be in trouble. Roberto Di Matteo (or John Terry) has the golden touch and it’s not a forgone conclusion that Bayern Munich will lift the Champions League trophy in their own back yard.

That’s why 3rd spot is so so important.

The biggest frustration is that going into the game against Wigan at home, 3rd was all but sealed. A sloppy performance was punished and since then we’ve been complacent and lazy.

While the Arteta stat is easy to point to, the fact is he is one of the experienced players who drives the team on and helps us see out games. But the fact we can’t win without him is a damning reflection on our team.

The bottom line now is that Arsene’s brilliant record of getting us into the Champions League year after year is no longer in our hands.

The Media Should Be Ashamed – Roy Hodgson Deserves Our Respect

I’ve just watched the 25 minute press conference for Roy Hodgson as he was unveiled as England manager, and the obvious crap about Harry Redknapp was asked time and time again.

Seriously, is everyone that stupid?

Just because ‘Arry’s drinking buddies all work for the football media he was painted as the odds on favourite for the England job. And in that respect, I’m pleased he didn’t get the job.

Roy Hodgson has by far and away, the much better record in football. I don’t need to tell you how he’s done with Fulham and West Brom in the Premier League, as well as his stints at Inter Milan, and his record with the Swiss International team.

He has respect throughout Europe and is the far better coach.

I for one will be 110% behind Hodgson and for the first time I think he will give the England team some respectability for the first time in no long.

He won’t come across like a headmaster like Capello, or a star-lover like Sven.

And going back to Harry Redknapp, what has he actually achieved in football? He won the FA Cup with Portsmouth.

And that’s it.

People will point to Hodgson’s record at Liverpool, but the fact is that with a team that didn’t have £35 million spent on Andy Carroll and God knows how much on Adam, Henderson and Downing did better than they are doing right now, which is a team being lead my Liverpool legend King Kenny.

So in retrospect maybe he didn’t do too badly – considering Liverpool are a shambles anyway.

My hope is that Hodgson weeds out the jokers like John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and the other “old boys” who are well past their sell by date and goes with young players who are hungry and deserve a chance.

The public should get completely behind the new England manager and recognise that he is a man who deserves the utmost respect.

Although with ‘Arry’s mates in the newspapers that’s probably unlikely to happen.