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Is Fergie Right About Chelsea?

Tevez ChelseaOne of the most painful moments as a United fan was that 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea won back to back titles under Jose Mourinho. United were played off the park and Chelsea didn’t even really look as though they were trying.

United fans had been spoilt with success, becoming accustomed to winning the title at least every other season. That day marked the third year we’d gone without winning the Premiership and things weren’t looking good. Rooney was injured, Ruud van Nistelrooy was on his way out, and there seemed no way back when it came to competing with Chelsea.

A few months later and things had gone from bad to worse. Ronaldo was a hate figure in the country and was likely to leave us for Real Madrid, after it was reported Rooney and Ronaldo would not play together following the events of the World Cup. Ruud had been sold and the only player signed was Michael Carrick Carrick. Surely Rooney, injury prone Saha, a recovering Solskjaer and Alan Smith who was still carrying his injury, could not lead United to victory against Chelsea? They had just signed one of the best players in the World for each position they required. Ashley Cole, Michael Ballack, and Andrei Shevchenko all made their way to Chelsea and we looked to be well and truly fucked.

Throughout this period of time, life was frustrating for United fans. Everything just seemed so unjust and when we voiced our negative opinions about Chelsea, we were told either that we were just jealous, or that United had been doing the same for years. It was infuriating. No denying United have been spending big money for years, but that is big money we have brought to the club with our style of football, our history and our success. It was money we had a rightful claim to and for fans to be comparing our money spending with Chelsea’s left me incredulous.

I was positive it all had to come crumbling down for Chelsea at some point, but despite my desperate hopes, it didn’t appear as though it was going to be any time soon. They were like a machine. Whilst not too kind on the eye, they were efficient, strong and confident, and the rest of the Premiership were terrified of them. As soon as Chelsea scored a goal, more often than not their opposition rolled over, too fearful to even give it a go. Chelsea steam rolled their way to both titles, with weak competition from Arsenal, Liverpool and United.

We all know what happened next though, United won the title despite being written off entirely, and Jose Mourinho was put in his place by Sir Alex Ferguson. A few months in to the following season, Mourinho loses his job, which seemed to confirm the title for United, despite their poor start. Surely Arsenal weren’t going to carry on their position in the league for much longer and Chelsea would be toothless without Mourinho.

Their first game under new management, the unknown Avram Grant, was at Old Trafford, where they were totally outplayed by United. With not a single shot on goal in the 90 period, Chelsea were fortunate the eventual scoreline was only 2-0.

However, things haven’t gone entirely to plan for United fans since then. Arsenal have continued on with their great form, still holding top spot in the table, and Chelsea haven’t fallen away like we predicted. I am certainly still of the opinion Grant is a clueless moron, who is currently letting John Terry perform the team talks and wouldn’t know sensible tactics if they punched him in his gormless face. Still, Chelsea are hanging in there, nine points behind Arsenal, six points behind United, and despite their recently Carling Cup defeat, have been going strong in the league.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today agreed that Chelsea cannot be ruled out, particularly with the more favourable fixtures they have in store. “The number of points Chelsea are behind Arsenal is not insurmountable,” he said. “The fact that they have got us and Arsenal at home, and their home record is so good, you would have to think they have still got a big chance in the Premier League.”

Do Chelsea stand a chance of winning the title?


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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13 Comments

  1. stamford says:

    Yes we have a chance but very slim….got to get past the hammers on saturday then what should be 2 easier fixtures, namely derby and sunderland then the away to the scum from white hart lane then the other muppets from Dubaibury….still long way to go but my monies is on united ( dare i say it) due to the fact that grant is the moron we all expected him to be….Grant last chance falls on wed night against Olympiakos…if he f*cks that up he is history….

  2. jimmybob says:

    SAF at it again, he knows chelsea had a bad result last weekend and now he is cranking up the heat talking them up and piling more pressure on Grant.
    He really is a wily old fox, chelsea won’t win the leauge it will be between us and the “we spent the least” mob from North London and hopefully wenger and co will bottle it .

  3. spindle says:

    Who predicted they would not contest the title?
    I knew Chelsea will be in the hunt from the beginning, reinforced when they didn’t drop points during the ANC.
    Of course there is still time for them to drop off the pace as there is a lot of football left to play this season. But with key players coming back from injury at the right time, I don’t doubt they are still in with a chance to take the title.
    Arsenal surprised me, I didn’t think they could better Utd’s form but that club is looking stronger now with their new stadium and great young players coming through excellent young setup. Still I think we will win it as we have the momentum and the squad! Come on the Red Devils!

  4. denton davey says:

    Don’t be too quick to write off the RentBoyz. After that loss to UTD in the wake of Maureen’s departure with a boatload of cash, they strung together a long run of impressive results (which would have been even more impressive if Peter Cech had not – quite uncharacteristicaly – misjudged a corner and gave that prat Gallas a free header). They’ve also had a terrific string of injuries – and absences due to African Cup – which hasn’t really slowed them down. I’ve been impressed with their resolute resistance in these conditions. It seems that their team spirit is very, very strong and – if you are willing to face the truth – they have a terific squad of players. Grant has been a “caretaker” and done a better job than expected.

    BUT, they are not only a fair number of points behind both the Arse and UTD but they also have an inferior goal-difference, which is tantamount to being another point in arrears. Considering how few games are left to play, they have to win BOTH home games against the Arse and UTD and also hope for some more banana peels for them while giving away very few points. It seems a tall order – particularly since they are still alive in both the CL and FA Cup competitions. Still, it would be foolish to write them off before they skid on one or two of those banana peels.

  5. Sam says:

    Scott,

    I think you’re being slightly harsh on Grant. He’s come in and done very well in the league, whilst, as Denton Davey says, having pretty major injury problems- if United were to lose their so many key players (say Rooney, Ronaldo, Rio, Vida) I dont know if we’d have kept pace as well as they have.

    When Mourinho went without Lampard and Drogba, he went on a very poor run and hardly got any goals; this run ultimately culminated in him getting sacked. Grant has been without those two as well as Terry, Carvalho, Kalou, Mikel, and Essien for long periods, but they have been pretty good. This criticism on him after the Carling Cup final is slightly unfair- firstly, are you really going to sack a manager after a carling cup defeat, and secondly, should he really have started ballack? I’m sure many people would have criticised him far more if he’d rested lampard, like the now suggest. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    And as for the topic- don’t write off Chelsea yet. I don’t think they will win, as it happens, but I do think they will have an impact in the title race- by beating Arsenal at Stamford Bridge whilst only drawing with us.

  6. Scott the Red says:

    Spindle – are you seriously telling me you still considered Chelsea a threat when you heard Mourinho had been sacked and Avram “who?” Grant took his place?

  7. stamford says:

    Well my northern pegidgree chums…we smashed the pikeys from pakistan on saturday on and off the pitch… roll on olympiakos…we had stenght/depth/passion etc….all we need for our final surge towards the title.
    still a massive ask but hey we can beat both utd and the muppets at home…arsenal can nick a point at old traff and who knows…..
    CARE FREE!!!!!

  8. Tom F says:

    Chelsea will not beat United.

    The End.

  9. stamford says:

    see you on the kings road

  10. austin reynolds says:

    chelsea are clearly still a threat, and as sam said, mr grant as done a very good job considering the injuries that hes put up with. missing two players and having spent hundreds of millions of £s on players, mourinho come out with the no eggs no ommlette comment?!?! JOKER.
    I actually feel a little sorry for avram grant as NOTHING he does will be good enough because moureen had and still has the people in this country believing hes as good as he wants u all to believe!
    1. UTD
    2. CHE
    3. ARS
    4. LIV (THOUGH I,D GIVE A MONTHS WAGES FOR IT TO BE EVE OR VILLA! ;)

  11. Shaibu Ismaila says:

    how many players had been bought by chelsea this january transfer? Please kindly refer this result to my email immediately because am not happy with the way chelsea is been down this time around.
    Thanks for complying with me.
    By Ismaila Shaibu

  12. Adinoyi Suleiman says:

    Am 100% sure that even is the others team are been tired by hands and legs, chelsea can not longer win them. thus this means that the situation chelsea was in now does not permit or modify the coach (Carlo Ancelotti) to buy some new players in this january marketing. why? can anyone answer this please
    If no target agreement from people that could make chelsea to get back to their final positions, shame on the coach and shame on the advisers.
    i will never thanks until my questions is answered correctly.

  13. Shaibu Ismaila says:

    How many players had been bought during this january marketing?

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