SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: Chelsea should concentrate on the Checkatrade, two fingers from Rocket Ronnie, rubbish refs, ban Jesus

Michy Batshuayi  in action for Chelsea at MK Dons.
Michy Batshuayi in action for Chelsea at MK Dons.
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Chelsea drawing Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League means they can concentrate on the one competition they might still win - the Checkatrade Trophy.

I assume the presence of £33 million Belgian international striker Michy Batshuayi in their ‘Under 21’ side at MK Dons in the previous round means they are taking this awful competition seriously.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is a popular genius.

Ronnie O'Sullivan is a popular genius.

As Leicester City must be as they fielded a £45 million team including three internationals and a 30 year-old goalkeeper to make sure they won at Scunthorpe.

The Premier League sides are not breaking any rules, but my goodness they are driving a juggernaut through the spirit of the competition which is supposed to help young English players progress.


In a perfectly-timed two-fingered salute to those who organise the BBC SPOTY contest, Rocket Ronnie claimed a record-equalling sixth UK Championship title, 25 years after his first. O’Sullivan is a popular genius, but as he’s male and he’s not a skater or taekwondo expert he is ignored by the PC-obsessed beeb.

Moeen Ali is a loan sane voice in the England dressing room.

Moeen Ali is a loan sane voice in the England dressing room.


England should pick 11 Moeen Alis to avoid the negative off-field headlines that accompany their cricket tours. Moeen spoke great sense about drinking and sledging this week. Basically he believes both are unnecessary and he’s right. Ali’s the one role model in an English set up full of boorish sledgers like Jimmy Anderson or party-loving dingbats like Ben Duckett.


England have no referee at the World Cup in Russia and if Michael Oliver really is the best we have then it might be a good thing. Oliver’s maddening inconsistency at Old Trafford last weekend had been matched by the ref of the League One game at the ABAX 24 hours earlier which suggests our recruitment and training is way off.


This retrospective diving ban for footballers doesn’t go far enough.

All diving disgrace Gabriel Jesus suffered in the Manchester derby last weekend was acute embarrassment when he should be facing a two-game ban for attempted cheating.

Just because over-rated referee Michael Oliver spotted the lack of a foul without taking the proper sanctions doesn’t mean Jesus should escape punishment.