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Chelsea’s 10 Years With Roman

When Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea you had to at least wonder, but more likely, presume, that United’s period of dominance was over.

After just one season Chelsea climbed above us in the table and the following year they won the league. Weeks before the end of that season United became the club with the biggest debt in world football when the Glazers bought us. Doom and gloom.

Things started to look up for us slightly the following season, even if we were still no match for Chelsea, but then, incredibly, we managed to win our title back in 2006-2007. Whilst it is probably too difficult to single out Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest achievement as manager of our club, overcoming Chelsea’s wealth to win the league that year has to rank up there with the best things he did at United. Having won the title in 2006 they then added one of the best players in Europe for each position to their title winning team. Ashley Cole came in defence, Michael Ballack in midfield and Andrey Shevchenko up front. In contrast, we bought Michael Carrick, a player far down on the list fans had of ideal replacements for Roy Keane, if he managed to make the list at all.

Still, United went on to win the league for three years in a row, something Chelsea have never achieved, as well as beating them in the European Cup final in 2008.

In the last seven seasons United have been crowned champions five times. In 2010 we lost out on the title by one point and in 2012 we lost out on goal difference. It’s staggering how close United have been to winning the league for seven years on the trot.

Whilst these past ten years have been the best years in Chelsea’s history, it’s apparent they are nowhere near as successful as they should have been. The West London club should have dominated English football for a decade but as it is United have been the better team over the course of these 10 years.

When you take in to consideration the fact that Abramovich had built a better team than United after just one season, with us finishing 4 points behind them in 03-04, and Chelsea have still gone on to massively outspend us, our success is all the more impressive.

Today marks Abramovich’s 10th anniversary as Chelsea owner as well as Manchester United’s first day without Sir Alex Ferguson as manager. I wonder what the comparison between our clubs will look like ten years from now…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. OJM says:


    – Agree with you that we should play the ‘United way’, but can you honestly say we have played that way the last few seasons? Yes, there have been a few glittering performances, but I’d say for the last few seasons we have been more workmanlike than spectacular. That’s why I won’t accept people saying that Moyes will destroy the beautiful, free-flowing football Ferguson had us playing, especially when Fergie hasn’t had us playing that way for years.

  2. mes says:

    For what it’s worth:

    Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has told Sky Sports:

    “I really miss English football. For me it was some of the best years when I was there, everyone knows that. Manchester United is still a club that is close to my heart.

    “Now my life in in Spain and I have enjoyed playing there too.”

    After reading that, I think the best way to sum it up is that he’s going no where and will move to United tomorrow for £200m which is shit for a 50 year old player who is no good anymore.

    I blame Moyes, he’s clearly trying his best to ruin our club and turn us into his beloved Everton.

    Apparently, next year we’re going to be playing in blue.


    Sorry, there has been far too much sensible stuff on here in the past 24 hours.

    The Friday press conference can not come soon enough. Can’t wait to hear what the new boss has to say. Really hoping there are some big announcements. I’d love for one of them to be related to the quote above.

    The recent bout of sense on here has been welcome indeed. Especially the bits about how the money is spent. Who the hell cares indeed. It’s not my money. As long as the finance boffins deem it affordable, all I care about is will it be good for the team.

    Anyone who thinks Moyes is intentionally going to buy Baines while jeopardising other more important signings really needs to get a grip of themselves. If you can see it, what in the hell makes you think that the man SAF chose to replace himself with can’t?


    Here’s to Friday and something real, concrete and exciting.

  3. mes says:

    Also, Martinez calls Baines an icon and vows to keep him at Everton:

    It also mentions Baines has been at Glasto with his friends. How dare he!!!??? He should never play again for that right? Erm… oh… ummm….

  4. rohan_19 says:

    @mumbasared : Everyone knows why he was benched… Fergie was sure he wouldnt be able to mark xabi hence played welbeck and it worked like a charm..

    CC : he scored two goals at city away and then rvp scored the winner… his goals have dried up partly because he isnt played up top anymore and keeps getting moved.. stop discounting rooney.. He was an is a great player.. and if he really does leave the club(which i highly doubt) then i would certainly wish him luck.


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