The fact that John Terry is still regarded as a “legend” at Chelsea, despite the fact he was getting off with a former Chelsea player’s bird, sums up their support. What made that whole episode so much more classless was the fans’ reaction to Wayne Bridge when he returned to the club he had spent six years, opting to boo him whenever he went near the ball. It’s not often I would side with a City player but the whole situation was diabolical and seemed to sum up what CFC have become.
However, not all their fans are bad eggs, and Chelsea D is a prime example of an old school blue, who loves their team without being involved in the less savoury side of the club. So here’s an honest bit of a banter with one of the good ‘ens.
Scott the Red: Were you happy with your team’s performance last season?
Chelsea D: What, you mean being double winners? Well, y’know, it was a struggle having to watch the lads lift both cups but I just about coped. Seriously, overall yeh. I wasn’t expecting anything at the start of the season and we had the odd blip but fortunately so did everyone else, and we actually played some decent football under Ancelotti which pleasantly surprised me. So given they managed to do all that and leave the zimmer frames in the dressing room, yeh, I was pretty happy.
STR: It must have been nice for you to see your lads lift two trophies in one season. Only happens once every 105 years at Chelsea. So, what are your aspirations for this season?
CD: After what I’ve seen pre-season I’d have to say to keep Hilario and Turnball well away from our goal. Apart from that, another double and a much better showing in the Champions League would do.
STR: Well they’ve certainly shown how important Petr Cech is to your team but who are you expecting to be your most important player this season?
CD: Personally, I was expecting it to be Fernando Torres but that won’t be so easy with him at Liverpool. So, looking at who we have actually got, I’ll go for the predictable and say Drogba. Even with a groin injury constantly niggling him last season, he was outstanding for the most part, so with the surgery done and dusted now, there should be no stopping him.
STR: Or maybe this is just the first of a long line of niggles now that he’s the wrong side of 30. Turns 33 this season doesn’t he? Obviously, I’ll have my fingers crossed he’s ok. Anyway, I know you weren’t at all happy when Ancelotti got the job but how do you rate his ability to take Chelsea forward now?
CD: At the minute I’m still not sure what I think about him. Whenever he was linked to us, like you say, I never wanted him at Chelsea, so it confuses me a bit. He had a great first season, and whilst I wasn’t always convinced with the diamond, at least he showed he isn’t one to bow to pressure the minute he’s questioned. Longer term though, I’ll have to reserve judgement.
STR: What’s your favourite chant you’ve heard sung at your ground?
CD: There’s been a couple of Ancelotti one’s although no-one seems to be able to make their minds up which one to go with, had to laugh when I heard ‘Carlo’s too sexy for Milan, too sexy for Milan’. To be honest though, whilst not what I’d call a favourite, probably the one that made me laugh the most was the inevitable ‘same old Terry, always cheating’.
STR: Where do you think United will finish this season?
CD: Below us hopefully.
STR: If you could have any two players from United’s current squad playing for you, who would they be?
CD: Rooney’s a no-brainer obviously, who wouldn’t want him in their squad? And whilst I know there’s mixed opinions on him, I’d go for Berbatov. I rated him at Spurs and would’ve loved to see us sign him instead of you. I think he’s totally underrated by a lot of people and his contribution isn’t always recognized just because he isn’t banging in goals every five minutes.
STR: A fan after my own heart. A Berbafan! What are your thoughts on United’s debt?
CD: ‘Thank fuck my overdraft don’t look like that’ usually! Realistically though, I’m hardly in a position to stand in judgement. For a start, it seems to be the nature of the game these days and God knows, if Roman Abramovich ever did get the right hump with us, we could be in serious trouble, likewise City should the Arabs walk away and leave that wage bill behind. I suppose the biggest difference though, is that United genuinely have earnt their status as a big club, so their situation would never be quite as disastrous as clubs around them.
STR: We like you, you can stick around. What is your favourite game your club have played against United?
CD: The 5-0 in the 99-00 season stands out. It was one of my favourite periods as a Chelsea supporter, we had some cracking players and their motivation was a little different to today’s. Loved it.
STR: And your worst?
CD: Some nothing game in Russia, can’t really remember a lot about it. ‘Trauma induced amnesia’ I think it’s called.
STR: I have a vague memory. Slippy night wasn’t it? So, how did it feel winning the first Double in your club’s history?
CD: Bloody marvellous thanks.
STR: Are you banking on being as lucky with the officials as you were in both games against United last season in order to win the league again?
CD: Surely it was more of a sound investment than luck..? Glad you’re not bitter about it or anything though. Seriously, titles are won over the course of a season, they don’t come down to 2 games whatever the decisions happen to be. Yes, we might have had the odd decision go in our favour but I’m sure if I had a Rafa moment, I could scrutinize the season and come up with more than enough that hindered us.
STR: When the title is decided by one point, then yes actually, the two head to head games do decide the title. All teams get decisions here and there across the course of a season, but it’s those 6-pointer games that can make all the difference, and you had unexplainable decisions both at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford. As for being bitter, I think you would might feel the same if incompetent officials had cost you a title too. Talking of bitterness, Joe Cole made his “dream” move to the “biggest club in the country” after conning Chelsea fans in to thinking he really loved your club. How did that make you feel?
CD: It goes without saying I’m not happy about it. I always thought he was an honest player and totally believed it was never about the money for him and whilst I don’t want to get into slagging off a player who spent 7 years with us, let’s just say I don’t see him in quite the same light anymore. Will he get booed? Well, I’m sure there might be some who go in for that sort of thing but if they do, I can’t see there being much effort put into it.
STR: I imagine City didn’t even feature on your radar before but now your feelings towards them may have changed. Does it give you a different perspective of how non-Chelsea fans viewed and still view your club?
CD: Red rag to a bull now. Obviously City weren’t a consideration before, and why would they have been? They were hardly competition and that’s what really grates with the comparisons because any similarity between us and them begins and ends with money – and even that isn’t exactly the same. Yes, Abramovich came in and saved us from football obscurity and he was pretty loaded, City were hardly on the eve of going bankrupt and loaded doesn’t even cover the sort of financial backing they’ve inherited. Add to that the fact that we were in the top four and already playing Champions League football before we came into money whilst City were averaging 10th place finishes, and the comparisons start to get a bit stretched. Of course I don’t pretend the money didn’t make the difference between us winning the titles under Mourinho and not winning them because before that, whilst were there or thereabouts competing, we weren’t realistically challenging you or Arsenal – the money allowed us to do that. So on that level, yes I can see why other fans couldn’t stomach it and that’s probably where I’m at with City. Tossers.
STR: Indeed. And finally, what are your predictions for our match later?
CD: Comparing both our pre-seasons, I could be forgiven for reaching for the valium ahead of kick-off. Hopefully though, our backline’s amnesia might resolve itself just in time to remember they’re actually there to defend and we’ll leave the rest up to Didier Drogba.
STR: And see if he can perform the Michael Ballack clothesline routine? I would wish you the best of luck, but that would be disingenuous. May the best team win.