‘I wouldn’t mind,’ said Desdemona at a press conference, ‘but it’s the same every single time. We never seem to learn from one performance to the next. I just feel completely smothered.’
Spectators watched in shock yesterday at the Theatre of Dreams as yet again team captain Othello allowed wily play-maker Iago to run rings round him. TV pundit Alan Hansen analysed the way the team repeatedly failed to deal with Iago’s attacks, describing central defender Cassio as immobile, easily led and ultimately guilty of ball watching.
‘Even after all that, they soak up an unimaginable amount of pressure and to their credit it’s still nil-nil with five minutes to go, but then for some reason Othello just loses the plot and scores an own goal right at the death. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen. Having said that, Iago has the low cunning of Messi and is a real pleasure to watch.’
Some felt that the team might have more luck with the operatic version but results there have followed the same seemingly inevitable pattern over more than 100 years, with losses in Milan and Paris but also at smaller venues in Huddersfield and even Norwich.
Desdemona is known to have considered a transfer to Madam Butterfly, a move described by Hansen as ‘suicidal’, but says she is now looking at an offer from La Traviata after Violetta failed a late fitness test.
Hansen said that despite the superior set up there, he felt Desdemona would ultimately be doomed. ‘There’s even more drinking, illicit sex and gambling than you see at Chelsea. Mark my words, she’ll be dead on her feet before the fat lady sings, if that’s not a contradiction,’ he said.
‘In the old days you’d have ten pints before a game and get your leg broken in a sliding tackle in the first five minutes, but you just picked yourself up and got on with it. There was no room for prima donnas back then.’