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Could it have been any different?


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With a handful of games left til the end of the season, it’s still considered a two-horse race, with us being a surprise runner. I say a surprise because from the minute Grant took the reins from Jose, it’s felt at times, we’re like the horse that runs around without its jockey – enough potential there to win but missing the obligatory ‘master’ to steer it in the right direction. There’s no disputing that right now we’re no further behind the league leaders than we were a year ago and again have secured a place in the CL semi final, but somehow, it feels as if we’ve done that in spite of ourselves. So, I guess the question is would we have been in a better or worse position if TSO was still in the saddle?

One explanation put forward for our failure to retain the title last season was lack of support for the manager. Constant speculation in the press and the Chelsea hotseat have gone hand in hand for as long as I can remember and Jose’s success had not granted him immunity it seemed. Daily stories listing potential successors went unchallenged by the SB hierarchy, giving journalists carte blanche to go into orgasmic overdrive – even his dog wasn’t spared the intrusion. That’s not to say Mourinho was without his allies, far from it. Everyone from his right hand man, to players and supporters, vowed a very public allegiance to TSO. In contrast, his successor has both Clarke and Ten Cate with him on the bench, neither of whom appear keen to even talk to him, much less support him. Indeed, Clarke was rumoured to take some persuasion to stay following Jose’s departure, a decision which now would appear to have been a temporary one. He has looked a particularly unhappy shadow of his former self this season and he’s not alone. While clearly prepared to play themselves into the ground a year ago in order to save their manager’s job, some might suggest the reverse is now true for the players. Ok, to say they are deliberately playing badly might be taking it too far (although going on recent performances this explanation would come as a huge relief to many), but the absence of respect is evident, from the lack of response on the pitch to headlined quotes of imminent departures. Add to that a weekly barrage of abuse from the diehards, dismissive press and a non-committal board, and Grant doesn’t seem to have fared particularly well on the support front either.

Players who only a year ago appeared to hang on their boss’ every word, now pointedly ignore the manager, seeking touchline advice from Clarke whilst turning to the skipper for team talks. That famous team spirit fostered under the previous regime seems to be draining away as quickly as the love inside the Anfield boardroom. Drogba, who’d previously made enemies only with the elusive, but ever present sniper in the crowd, is rumoured to round on fellow players with a regularity Gallas himself would be proud of. Michael Ballack on the receiving end more recently, with Maka and Cech among his previous victims. No wonder Cech’s reluctant to part with his headgear given the current ethos, where the captain wrestling with Tom Jone’s look-alikes is all part of a day’s training. Still, the sparring practice all comes in handy when dealing with match officials, eh John? How exactly did Cech end up with stitches again? Hmmmm.

So, at the risk of going all Arsenal-esque here, that brings us nicely on to the subject of injuries. After two very healthy title winning seasons, last year saw us cursed with a constant string of afflictions, providing another piece of evidence for Jose’s defence. Yet the pile of sick notes left on TSO’s desk wouldn’t appear to have got any smaller now that Grant’s the one with his feet under the table. A glance at the physio’s stats shows injuries to 17 players during the course of the season. Didier Drogba, our main source of goals last season, missing more league games than he’s played; Carvalho and JT leaving our defence exposed on 18 occasions each, likewise Maka; Cech has been missing between the sticks on 12 occasions so far, with that set to rise as a result of his latest impairment and Cudicini as ever, has gone out in sympathy with him; the once ever present Lampard has missed 11 games with fellow midfielder Essien equalling that absence; and our midfield has been weakened still further with the much improved Ballack playing only 14 times. Now that’s not to say we’re the only club affected, United have had their fair share, from a captain who seemed to have taken a mini-retirement to the eternal sick note otherwise known as Louis Saha. Add to that having Vidic out sporadically and the effect of Rooney’s absences, and they’d have cause for complaint themselves. Certainly, there’s been times Tevez has been their only fit front man – although compare that with Pizarro or Anelka and suddenly it doesn’t seem such a hardship after all. And of course, I’m sure I’ve heard the odd subtle hint from Arsene’s Playgroup, who, rumour has it have been lucky to put together a decent 5-aside team this season, nevermind a first 11.

In terms of available personnel then, nothing much seems to have changed. Injuries continue to dictate, although the services of Belletti and Alex have been beneficial, if not exactly astounding in that respect. Then of course there’s the addition of the less than prolific Anelka, and the as-yet elusive Ivanovic. Whereas, having considered their own injury-induced battles from the previous season, albeit a title winning one, the opposition strengthened the quality of their squad considerably with the likes of Hargreaves, Nani, Anderson and Tevez. Were we ever really going to compete with resources like that?

And talking of the squad, what of the mass exodus the press have warned of all season? There’s every chance once Mourinho returns to management, wherever that may be, he’ll cast his eye over the remnants of his former relationship, hoping for the odd souvenir. Unsurprisingly, Drogba could head the list, having voiced his desire to either leave/stay at Chelsea with the embarrassing frequency of a dementing pensioner throughout the course of the season. And Lampard, who’s contract negotiations seem to have stretched from one millennium to another, yet another possibility providing he can tear himself away from the latest concubine. But, let’s not kid ourselves these potential and very probable departures are linked to the events of the summer. Drogba, after all, has talked of leaving from as far back as his first season with us when he failed to feel the love inside SB and Lampard’s contract has been pushed under his nose for the past two seasons, only to remain as it is now – unsigned.

On the face of it then, the current regime, rather than deliver the much talked about ‘beautiful’ football has delivered something far, far uglier. Grant’s decisions, particularly in the big games, have been a little confusing to say the least and we’ve lost that determined, unattractive yet efficient consistency we’d come to defend as a matter of course. And yet, the fact remains, in terms of position at least, we find ourselves mirroring the achievements of Jose’s last term (give or take the odd domestic cup or two obviously).

So, the question remains, how much worse has Grant really done and has Jose’s departure really affected us that much?

Disclaimer: This does NOT in any way mean I have changed my mind about the Hapless One.

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So, the question remains, how much worse has Grant really done and has Jose’s departure really affected us that much?

I belive it didn't do so much damage as i first tought it would do.I belive Jose would also struggle to catch up with United.We would also be in the semi's with Jose.Only thing that would be different is that we would won the CC against Spurs and we would probably play on Wembley in the Fa Cup final.But to be perfectly honest i am not dissapointed with this season,they boys showed real determination and still fighting on 2 major fronts.Hopefully we can get at least one of those trophyes.If not Grant will probably be something like a sport director and we will get another manager.

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The team, like a dog, is of the face of its master. The master of puppets. And the master is ugly to say the least. But we keep hoping that by the start of the new season, there will be a new, prettier, master holding the leash. But nobody will reach the highness of TSO.

Edited by manpe
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Would it have been any different? We'll see at the end of the season, if we are trophyless then yes it would have been different. Also we look like running Man utd to the last day of the season for the league title (mathematically only), with jose in charge I believe we would have regained the title by the skin of our teeth. Man utd went all out to improve their squad and their first 11 pre season which brought them on a par with the Chelsea first 11. Chelsea didn't improve the first 11 at all and just added mediocre players to the squad. The difference I can see is the manager, in key games when we took the lead and would have held onto it ie; spurs and Villa, the special needs one made crazy decisions to lose 2 points on each occassion.

I think Jose would have been the difference to us being a couple of points ahead in the title race right now instead of 5 behind.

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The team, like a dog, is of the face of its master. The master of puppets. And the master is ugly to say the least. But we keep hoping that by the start of the new season, there will be a new, prettier, master holding the leash. But nobody will reach the highness of TSO.

I think I should report Grant's missus to the RSPCA for fucking a dumb animal

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Would it have been any different? We'll see at the end of the season, if we are trophyless then yes it would have been different. Also we look like running Man utd to the last day of the season for the league title (mathematically only), with jose in charge I believe we would have regained the title by the skin of our teeth. Man utd went all out to improve their squad and their first 11 pre season which brought them on a par with the Chelsea first 11. Chelsea didn't improve the first 11 at all and just added mediocre players to the squad. The difference I can see is the manager, in key games when we took the lead and would have held onto it ie; spurs and Villa, the special needs one made crazy decisions to lose 2 points on each occassion.

I think Jose would have been the difference to us being a couple of points ahead in the title race right now instead of 5 behind.

I am sorry, but Where were you last season? when we gave up our 2-0 lead to Bolton at Home .while Mancs came from behind to beat Everton. Jose was in chanrge if im not wrong. That really showd the difference between the two teamsto me. No surprises who deserved to win the title then.

Secondly, You say Chelsea dint make changes to their first 11. And then Jose bought some ordinary buys as usual. Yet, with a team and players bought by your previous incumbent, you take that team in the middle of the season, when Chelsea are 6-7th in the league and have just drawn against Rosenborg at home, T COME TO WITHIN few points of beating MANCs to the League Semi's against Liverpool. Wonder how many expected this scenario.

But again, we say Its Jose's team now. :whistling:

But when Grant took over, Most of us thought we would b playing in UEFACUP next season.

I am happy with the season so far, considering the Shit we experienced the whole season with Jose quitting, AFN CUP and Sooooooo many injuries to our key players.

Lets change the formation for next season, add some new players to our 11, AND BLITZ THE LEAGUE RIGHT FROM THE START!!!....

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I am sorry, but Where were you last season? when we gave up our 2-0 lead to Bolton at Home .while Mancs came from behind to beat Everton. Jose was in chanrge if im not wrong. That really showd the difference between the two teamsto me. No surprises who deserved to win the title then.

Secondly, You say Chelsea dint make changes to their first 11. And then Jose bought some ordinary buys as usual. Yet, with a team and players bought by your previous incumbent, you take that team in the middle of the season, when Chelsea are 6-7th in the league and have just drawn against Rosenborg at home, T COME TO WITHIN few points of beating MANCs to the League Semi's against Liverpool. Wonder how many expected this scenario.

But again, we say Its Jose's team now. :whistling:

But when Grant took over, Most of us thought we would b playing in UEFACUP next season.

I am happy with the season so far, considering the Shit we experienced the whole season with Jose quitting, AFN CUP and Sooooooo many injuries to our key players.

Lets change the formation for next season, add some new players to our 11, AND BLITZ THE LEAGUE RIGHT FROM THE START!!!....

What are you on?

Firstly pal don't ask me where I was last season or for the last 23 seasons as the answer is stamford bridge.

Secondly if you are going to try and convince anyone here that Mourinho lost more winning situations in his four years than the special needs one has in less than a season then you may as well give up now. Last season when we hit our sticky patch around Christmas time we had the smallest squad of players we have had for many years, we were playing ferreira and Essien at centreback as we had no other fit ones. This season the special needs one has had a far bigger squad of players to bail him out when he needs it and he still manages to fuck it up.

Thirdly I don't understand if you are agreeing that Jose didn't make changes to the first 11 or not and then you state that he made some ordinary buys as usual. In fact he didn't make any buys they were all free transfers as Roman had closed his wallet!

Fourth. Are you seriously suggesting that the special needs one has taken a team 6/7th in the league and made them into title conteders. We were 6/7th in the league in September 1 month into the season how can you even contemplate judging Mourinho against Grant based on 1 month of this season and ignoring Mourinho's previous 3?

Come back when you know what you're talking about.

I'm not surprised at where we are as Fulham Broadway used the Rolls Royce anallergy earlier, Grant has taken over a precision piece of engineering which is driving itself at the minute but soon enough it will need direction from the driver and Grant cannot provide that.

Even when Mourinho left I fully expected Chelsea to take some silverware, and we still may, but the fact remains we are dangerously close to no silverware and that is plainly because of Avram Grants poor tactics in the Carling Cup Final, His shocking team selection and poor motivation in the FA cup against Barnsley and some horrendous decision making in key league matches.

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What are you on?

Fourth. Are you seriously suggesting that the special needs one has taken a team 6/7th in the league and made them into title conteders. We were 6/7th in the league in September 1 month into the season how can you even contemplate judging Mourinho against Grant based on 1 month of this season and ignoring Mourinho's previous 3?

I'm not surprised at where we are as Fulham Broadway used the Rolls Royce anallergy earlier, Grant has taken over a precision piece of engineering which is driving itself at the minute but soon enough it will need direction from the driver and Grant cannot provide that.

Even when Mourinho left I fully expected Chelsea to take some silverware, and we still may, but the fact remains we are dangerously close to no silverware and that is plainly because of Avram Grants poor tactics in the Carling Cup Final, His shocking team selection and poor motivation in the FA cup against Barnsley and some horrendous decision making in key league matches.

Excellent post and I also can't understand why some try to compare Mourinho's excellent record in three years with us to that of a clearly out of his depth, fumbling, bumbling, passionless man such as Grant - and manage to find Mourinho badly wanting.

We were 5th when Jose left us actually and two points off the leaders who were Arsenal (how things change!). Man Utd were actually level with us on points as were Liverpool, Man City were just above us I think.

In years to come I hope those churlishly nit picking over what Jose apparently got wrong during his tenure (does Fergie, Wenger or Benitez always get things right?) with us will look back on what Mourinho did, how he transformed the entire mentality of the squad, his passion, fire, commitment and charisma and realise that we were blessed with having a truly unique man and brilliant coach at our helm.

And we told him to sod off as good as.

No Jose was not perfect, yes he made some poor buys, yes he sometimes got his tactics wrong, yes he sometimes said things he should have kept to himself but hell I'd accept all of that in a heartbeat for the security, nous, charisma and team spirit we would regain if he could only return.

To try to compare Grant's stewardship of this club with Mourinho's excellence is like comparing the Queen Mary 2 with a canoe.

Edited by pluto
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What are you on?

Firstly pal don't ask me where I was last season or for the last 23 seasons as the answer is stamford bridge.

Secondly if you are going to try and convince anyone here that Mourinho lost more winning situations in his four years than the special needs one has in less than a season then you may as well give up now. Last season when we hit our sticky patch around Christmas time we had the smallest squad of players we have had for many years, we were playing ferreira and Essien at centreback as we had no other fit ones. This season the special needs one has had a far bigger squad of players to bail him out when he needs it and he still manages to fuck it up.

Thirdly I don't understand if you are agreeing that Jose didn't make changes to the first 11 or not and then you state that he made some ordinary buys as usual. In fact he didn't make any buys they were all free transfers as Roman had closed his wallet!

Fourth. Are you seriously suggesting that the special needs one has taken a team 6/7th in the league and made them into title conteders. We were 6/7th in the league in September 1 month into the season how can you even contemplate judging Mourinho against Grant based on 1 month of this season and ignoring Mourinho's previous 3?

Come back when you know what you're talking about.

I'm not surprised at where we are as Fulham Broadway used the Rolls Royce anallergy earlier, Grant has taken over a precision piece of engineering which is driving itself at the minute but soon enough it will need direction from the driver and Grant cannot provide that.

Even when Mourinho left I fully expected Chelsea to take some silverware, and we still may, but the fact remains we are dangerously close to no silverware and that is plainly because of Avram Grants poor tactics in the Carling Cup Final, His shocking team selection and poor motivation in the FA cup against Barnsley and some horrendous decision making in key league matches.

Firstly, I spoke about the Bolton game which happened in April so dont rant about Christmas Period.

We had an ALMOST full squad during that game, but Jose chose to rest Riccy Carlvaho at the back and few other players. And i know what our team went through in December and Jan. I just mentioned that game because your earlier post was all about "HOW Jose would have taken us to the title by the skin of our teeth", hence I mentioned that game where we blew it big time.

I am NOT trying to convince anyone that Jose blew uup our winning positions more than Grant.

But again, JOSE IS NOT GOD!!..He made mistakes last season, By cutting the squad short. And he paid for it and so did our team.(NOW DONT RANT SAYING ROMAN ASKED HIM TO CUT THE SQUAD SHORT) SO I WOULD HOLD JOSE RESPONSIBLE!!!!!...And ROMAN IS NOT A MINT MACHINE..HE gave Jose blank cheques in the previous two years to sign players.How many managers around the world would wish for it.. But when he denied him the money for the first time, Jose went public.(I KNOW SOME PEOPLE DONT SEE WHERE JOSE WENT WRONG)..So Dont try hiding Jose's wrongdoings of last season by blaming it on ROMAN.

OK I know GRANT is SHIT. But to blame everything on him, is a bit too severe. We ve seen the best from players like Ballack, Joe Cole in Chelsea shirt under Grant. Ballck and Lampard never struck a good chord the whole of last season. But under Grant they are playing quite well.

No one has been blaming the players..ITS ALL GRANT GRANT.That is wht pisses me off. When was the last time Anelka scored for us? We are NOT finishing the games. Anlka , kalou, Drogba everybody plays well. BUT WE DONT FUCKING FINISH THE FUCKING TEAMS when they are down!!!!....

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Firstly, I spoke about the Bolton game which happened in April so dont rant about Christmas Period.

We had an ALMOST full squad during that game, but Jose chose to rest Riccy Carlvaho at the back and few other players. And i know what our team went through in December and Jan. I just mentioned that game because your earlier post was all about "HOW Jose would have taken us to the title by the skin of our teeth", hence I mentioned that game where we blew it big time.

I am NOT trying to convince anyone that Jose blew uup our winning positions more than Grant.

But again, JOSE IS NOT GOD!!..He made mistakes last season, By cutting the squad short. And he paid for it and so did our team.(NOW DONT RANT SAYING ROMAN ASKED HIM TO CUT THE SQUAD SHORT) SO I WOULD HOLD JOSE RESPONSIBLE!!!!!...And ROMAN IS NOT A MINT MACHINE..HE gave Jose blank cheques in the previous two years to sign players.How many managers around the world would wish for it.. But when he denied him the money for the first time, Jose went public.(I KNOW SOME PEOPLE DONT SEE WHERE JOSE WENT WRONG)..So Dont try hiding Jose's wrongdoings of last season by blaming it on ROMAN.

OK I know GRANT is SHIT. But to blame everything on him, is a bit too severe. We ve seen the best from players like Ballack, Joe Cole in Chelsea shirt under Grant. Ballck and Lampard never struck a good chord the whole of last season. But under Grant they are playing quite well.

No one has been blaming the players..ITS ALL GRANT GRANT.That is wht pisses me off. When was the last time Anelka scored for us? We are NOT finishing the games. Anlka , kalou, Drogba everybody plays well. BUT WE DONT FUCKING FINISH THE FUCKING TEAMS when they are down!!!!....

Yes exactley you spoke about the bolton game - 1 game, when anyone in their right mind could stand there all day picking games that Jose changed from a losing to a winning situation with his tactics and could stand there just as long picking games that Grant has done the opposite in in less than 1 season.

Don't forget my original point was that Chelsea are still even at this stage in the season on the coat tails of Man utd and I believe that with a manager in Charge such as Jose that could change a game in our favour and proved countless times that he could hold onto a lead, we would be ahead of Man utd now. Thats the point where you chose the 1 Bolton game to use as ammo against that point completely ignoring the countless games that we had won from losing situations!

You are completely off base - I never once said Mourinho was god or ignored his mis givings if you bothered to ask me or anyone who knows me thay will tell you that 2 weeks before Mourinho left I said he is on his way because he can't keep his mouth shut and its damaging the club. And again I don't sit there booing Grant or the team when things do not go our way or sing Mourinho's name in similar circumstances, I merely say that you cant argue with the FACT (and thats maybe a word you should try and become familiar with) that the statistics and experience of the previous 3 years show me enough to beleive that in Key games this season where we lost winning situations, more often than not Mourinho would have held on to the win putting us in pole position.

And please don't try to convince me that Grant has turned Ballack from a poor performer last year to a good performer this year because that is complete nonsense based on you are ignoring the vital piece of information that last season was Ballacks first in the EPL and it would traditionally take a season for a player to adapt, although not in every case but in most. Ballack was a world class performer at Bayern and we are still to see that kind of form but as he becomes used to the EPL he is recovering. Absolutely nothing to do with Grant.

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And please don't try to convince me that Grant has turned Ballack from a poor performer last year to a good performer this year because that is complete nonsense based on you are ignoring the vital piece of information that last season was Ballacks first in the EPL and it would traditionally take a season for a player to adapt, although not in every case but in most. Ballack was a world class performer at Bayern and we are still to see that kind of form but as he becomes used to the EPL he is recovering. Absolutely nothing to do with Grant.

Totally agree about Ballack, he has had as many good games for Grant as he had for Mourinho - he was actually playing well for Jose but was also firstly adapting to the league and secondly he then got injured. Ballack has always been a class act.

Same for Joe Cole, under Grant he has not performed better than his overall 3 other seasons under Jose, he played fantastically and consistently well for Jose at points - he has had a very up and down season under Grant actually but as soon as he has one good game of a period of 20 minutes some fans go "well he's playing much better under Grant than he ever did under Jose". He is not, in fact I would say part of his game has in fact regressed in terms of show boating but I would also add that he would still be one of my players of the season to date despite this.

These are the same people who say that Sheva is also playing much better under Grant when he has hardly been seen from one month to the next - rubbish.

Grant has had little to do with Ballack suddenly becoming a great player again, he always was and as for him now fitting in much better with Lampard, most of the games they have played together were often in those cases against oppositon so weak that their pairing was never under any excessive scrutiny in the first place!

Jose was never a God, I'm not sure why some fans think that if you respond to their nit pickings over his regime it means that you automatically worshipped the guy and he could do no wrong.

The thing is his "wrongs" were few and far between in comparison to the "wrongs" being inflicted on this team by Grant in terms of man management.

He is one lousy man manager and as a tactician I don't think he's much better.

Decent man he may be, more media friendly for the club yes again he may be, not responsible for all the club's ills - indeed he is not.

But that does't change my views on him - or Mourinho.

Edited by pluto
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Totally agree about Ballack, he has had as many good games for Grant as he had for Mourinho - he was actually playing well for Jose but was also firstly adapting to the league and secondly he then got injured. Ballack has always been a class act.

Same for Joe Cole, under Grant he has not performed better than his overall 3 other seasons under Jose, he played fantastically and consistently well for Jose at points - he has had a very up and down season under Grant actually but as soon as he has one good game of a period of 20 minutes some fans go "well he's playing much better under Grant than he ever did under Jose". He is not, in fact I would say part of his game has in fact regressed in terms of show boating but I would also add that he would still be one of my players of the season to date despite this.

These are the same people who say that Sheva is also playing much better under Grant when he has hardly been seen from one month to the next - rubbish.

Grant has had little to do with Ballack suddenly becoming a great player again, he always was and as for him now fitting in much better with Lampard, most of the games they have played together were often in those cases against oppositon so weak that their pairing was never under any excessive scrutiny in the first place!

Jose was never a God, I'm not sure why some fans think that if you respond to their nit pickings over his regime it means that you automatically worshipped the guy and he could do no wrong.

The thing is his "wrongs" were few and far between in comparison to the "wrongs" being inflicted on this team by Grant in terms of man management.

He is one lousy man manager and as a tactician I don't think he's much better.

Decent man he may be, more media friendly for the club yes again he may be, not responsible for all the club's ills - indeed he is not.

But that does't change my views on him - or Mourinho.

Perfectly said.

Mourinho's biggest weakness was the fact that he could not keep his mouth shut but every season underhim we won silverware. I would take that any day over the bullfrog not upsetting anyone and us not winning a fucking pillow fight.

I really can't understand people that say Ballack and joe Cole are now playing much better than under Mourinho - Even if it were true how is it better to have two players performing better but the team not winning anything?????

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I couldn't imagine what on earth Grant could possibly say to players like Joe Cole and Michael Ballack to make them play better! The bottom line is that Ballack is in his second season and more settled now and able to perform better because of that. Joe Cole last season was injured for the whole season and the seasons before that he has had to contend with Robben and Duff and didn't get so many games. This is the first season he has had a real real run in the team like this.....

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I couldn't imagine what on earth Grant could possibly say to players like Joe Cole and Michael Ballack to make them play better! The bottom line is that Ballack is in his second season and more settled now and able to perform better because of that. Joe Cole last season was injured for the whole season and the seasons before that he has had to contend with Robben and Duff and didn't get so many games. This is the first season he has had a real real run in the team like this.....

Well, Esk...Joe Cole did say that Grant has given him more freedom to play his game than Jose did. Joe Cole even had a showdown with Mourinho at the beginning of the season.

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Well, Esk...Joe Cole did say that Grant has given him more freedom to play his game than Jose did. Joe Cole even had a showdown with Mourinho at the beginning of the season.

Okay so Grant has given him more "freedom" to play but has that really been a good thing for Joe Cole?

I would suggest long term - no.

Grant in my view has had little to do with any players performance - in fact overall you would argue he has been detrimental in terms of the overall spirit of the squad.

Joe had run ins with Jose prior to this but they were runs ins that I felt actually improved Joe as a player and made him see that working for the team was more important than just party tricks and step overs.

Because of that firm hand he actually developed as a player.

If Grant's legacy is to let him have more freedom to go back to his old ways then for me he will have been doing Joe a grave disservice.

Although Joe may feel that Grant is being far more forgiving - I feel Grant's actually not helping him as much as Joe probably thinks he is.

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