Pretty much ever since 2003, weâ€™ve wondered what would happen to Chelsea if Roman ever decided to hand the club over to someone else. And now we know – not a lot will change.
Abramovich officially announced he was passing the â€˜stewardship and careâ€™ over to the trustees of the Chelsea charitable Foundation on Saturday night. Whilst we can guess at the reasons, it would be no more than speculation -and, in all honesty, not a lot will change with the multi-billionaire passing on the day-to-day running of the club to people he has trusted with the day-to-day running of his football club for the last 20 years. Roman still owns Chelsea, will still fund Chelsea and is not looking to sell Chelsea. He just wonâ€™t be making any decisions (officially), OK?
The League Cup Final wasnâ€™t completely overshadowed by the announcement – Chelsea and Liverpool went German-toe-to-German-toe at Wembley, the initial 90 minutes packed full of incredible saves (had the double stop by Mendy been made in an FA Cup Final in the 70s or 80s weâ€™d still be talking about it now and his second one in the last five minutes wasnâ€™t too shabby either – let alone the injury-time stop), terrible misses (looking at you Mason and you Mo) and disallowed goals (Virgil was interfering, despite King Kloppâ€™s protestations).Â
And the penalty shoot out was a classic that will be remembered – you could only be a Chelsea fan if you donâ€™t find the tactic of bringing on Kepa because he is better at saving penalties, only to see him let 11 in and then blaze his over the bar, just a little worthy of a smirk. Kepa and penalty shootouts at Wembley – not good bedfellows.
Fans of Leeds United were in mourning on Sunday – and not just because they shipped another four goals, this time at home to Tottenham. Marcelo Bielsa is no longer their jefe and the mythical manager has delivered his last murderball session at Beren Cross.
On one hand, it is easy to admire Bielsa and his absolute commitment to playing the way Leeds play regardless of the opposition. Not many teams would try and go toe-to-toe with much better sides week in week out. The fact that if they did, theyâ€™d probably get stuffed 4-0, 6-0, 5-2, whatever too almost feels irrelevant because of the aura that surrounds Marcelo. On the other hand, the Argentine is a stubborn fool who still called the sky blue even when all the evidence that it was green suggested maybe he should change his beliefs.
Against Tottenham, it was pretty clear what was going to happen. Leeds would bomb forward, make a mistake and then Spurs would hit them on the counter and either score or go very close indeed. Would Kalvin Phillips have stopped Harry Kane dropping deep and pinging it to Sonny with ease? Would Patrick Bamford have taken any of the chances Leeds did manage to create? We will never know, but there was certainly a feeling that one of the names in the respective dugouts would be leaving after the final whistle depending on which way the result went.
Antonio Conte was understandably less grumpy and self-questioning than after the â€˜everyone say that comingâ€™ defeat at Turf Moor. That said, he wasnâ€™t quite as â€˜these boys are the best I have ever coachedâ€™ as he was having beaten Peppy G a week ago either.Â
As for Leeds, theyâ€™ll be hoping Jesse Marsch does a bit better than the last boss from the USA to â€˜graceâ€™ the Premier League – Bob Bradley.
If the Yorkshire club are very much in a relegation scrap, then so are Everton. Granted, Frank Lampard would have seen any point gained from a home game with City as a bonus but they are only a single point ahead of a resurgent Burnley. They made Pep wait for the three points, Phil Foden scoring late and Lamps was left suggesting that his three-year-old daughter would have made a better fist of VAR duties than Chris Kavanagh. To be fair, he did seem to have a point unless Rodri has bizarrely large shirts sleeves.
Everton have their lowest points total since 1930, but donâ€™t forget thatâ€™s not Frankâ€™s fault.
Remember the days when Watford couldnâ€™t keep a clean sheet for love nor money? That was, of course, BR (before Roy). The stats do suggest that United should have blown the Hornets away at Old Trafford but hey, if you donâ€™t take your chances (or put it on an actual plate for Ronaldo) then you donâ€™t win.
Matty Cash scored the all-important opener for Aston Villa against Brighton and then got booked for removing his shirt – nothing to do with the message he revealed, though some common-sense refereeing wouldnâ€™t have gone amiss. Ollie Watkins ended his seven-game drought meaning Stevie G can start looking up the table again rather than down.
Burnley are grinding their way up – a 1-1 draw at Palace courtesy of an own-goal making it a very good week for them, further enhanced by Norwich continuing to look like a team that might struggle to win the Championship next season.
Wolves are wisely opting not to push for Europe – or at least that is the conclusion I am drawing given their lineup against West Ham. Tomas Soucek scored the only goal at the Athletics Stadium to keep the Hammers dreaming of the top four whilst knowing it will probably end up being the Europa League again.
And, in a week where good news has been hard to find, Christian Eriksen came off the Brentford bench in their 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle (who are managing to keep winning despite losing Kieran Trippier). Donâ€™t let the bonhomie around Eriksenâ€™s return distract you from the fact that bar Norwich, Brentford are the worst form team in the Premier League right now and are joining Leeds and Everton in making the relegation dog fight a little more interesting.