And now for the start of the silly season

2010-05-11 00:00

SO much for a nervy ending. Chelsea’s thumping of Wigan on Sunday saw the title back in London after a four-year holiday in Manchester, and with it Carlo Ancelotti emerged from the massive shadow cast by the Special One.

You can almost imagine Jose Mourinho wincing in private that someone else has dared to win a title at the Bridge.

But, what is done is done, and in handing out an eight-goal lesson to the Latics, Chelsea deflated Manchester United’s balloon before it ever got blown up.

Of course, there had to be a bit of drama — though no one could have guessed that it would be between two Chelsea players squabbling over a penalty.

Trust Didier Drogba to poop the party in his pursuit of the Golden Boot. The story goes that Frank Lampard had agreed to let Drogba take any spot kicks if the game was safe, but at 1-0 there was still much to play for.

Try telling that to Drogba, though.

He took it with all the grace of a three-year-old who was miffed because he couldn’t open the birthday presents — at someone else’s party.

But all is well that ends well, and Chelsea will feel they deserved the title after a year of more drama off the field than on it.

The loss of their African players for the African Nations Cup was supposed to derail them, but that happened to be their purple patch.

They even found a way of living without Michael Essien for most of the season, though the fans showed just how much he was missed when he collected his medal on Sunday.

It was also time to say goodbye, with Joe Cole almost certainly playing his last game at the Bridge.

But it is not very clear where he will go if he leaves Chelsea.

Spurs’ style of footie is based on fast breaks, with wings Aaron Lennon and the relentless Gareth Bale providing the danger.

I am glad Spurs secured fourth ahead of Manchester City’s oil riches, and I happen to think they will do quite well in Europe.

Cole surely can’t go to former club West Ham either — it makes no sense whatsoever to go from a championship winner to a relegation fighter.

Liverpool apparently wanted him, but any player with half a brain would be cautious before signing up for the Anfield circus.

It may be close season now, but it is only the beginning of silly season.

All sorts of average has-beens will be touted as experienced campaigners by agents desperate for their slice of the pie.

Wide-eyed youngsters will be dubbed the next Wayne Rooney or the new Messi, thanks to one lucky goal with the cameras in attendance.

It’s that time.

And expect it to go into overdrive after the World Cup. We may yet see Steven Pienaar in the Champions League next season, while many local stars could seal big deals in Europe with a half-decent showing for Bafana.

With Chelsea banging in sixes and sevens for fun, you have to hope that Bafana PVR’d the Blues, and will use the tapes for inspiration.

At a million bucks a goal, they could put a bit of a dent in SAFA’s winnings from the World Cup.

But something tells me that the bigwigs could have made it 10 million a goal, and they would still have been safe.

I hope that Benni and company prove me wrong, but I am not holding my breath for a glut of goals.

Three miraculous 1-0 wins will do me — even if they all come via the dubious honour of own goals.

The nation does not care how they go in, as long as they go in.

It is crazy to think it, but it is now just a month before the big kick-off. Exactly one month. Sjoe!

Where the hell did the start of this year go?

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