Why every neutral should root for Chelsea tomorrow

This post was NOT written by me, but by a genius at http://www.chelseapies.tv.  The permalink is here.

I don’t know quite when Chelsea became more hated than Manchester United, but it’s seems to have happened. We always get Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal fans hawking abuse towards Chelsea here on Pies, but in recent weeks it seems everyone from Turks, Peruvians, and even those ever friendly Newcastle fans want to take a pop at Chelsea. Oddly I think most neutrals will be supporting United in the Premier League title decider tomorrow.

Their reasons? They reckon… (1) Chelsea fans are “chavs”, (2) Chelsea fans are “corporate toffs”, (3) Chelsea “have no history”, (4) Chelsea “bought their success”, or (5) Chelsea “play dull football”. Well every club has their fair share of chavs and prawn sandwich fans (especially Man Utd). Go to any Burger King I guarantee you’ll find someone with an Asbo and a fake United tracksuit stolen from an Essex carboot sale. As for the corporate lot – wasn’t the term “prawn sandwich brigade” coined to describe Man Utd fans?

Lack of history? Nobody (in their right mind) has ever said Chelsea have the history of a Liverpool or Manchester United, but let’s face it the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet has still had a lot of silverware on it’s shelves over the years while other supposedly “big” clubs have just had “dust” clogging up theirs.

Bought their success? Who hasn’t in 2008? Everybody spends, and spends big – some just spend better than others (see Leeds, Wolves, Spurs, Newcastle, etc). As for point (5) did anyone else watch United’s Barca game – it was hardly exciting stuff.

If Chelsea win tomorrow, it’ll keep the Premier League race wide open, and create an exciting finale for everyone, especially the neutrals. And let’s face it with only Euro 2008 on the horizon we all need that…

 

Avram Grant, I hate you.

I’ve not written about Chelsea in awhile, even though I salute them for their win over Arsenal on Easter Sunday (hooray for Jesus coming back, because apparently he’s a Chelsea fan too). They played Fenerbahçe, a Turkish football club in a Champions League Quarterfinal match. For those of you who don’t know what the Champions League is, it’s the top three or four teams from each European club to battle it out for top dog in Europe (ish). At least, that’s how I describe it. So, back to Fenerbahçe. Chelsea was up 1-0 when I started to watch live in minute 60 or so, because of an own goal by Deivid.

Chelsea’s entire performance was lackluster at best, wasting precious time and effort in front of the goal. Drogba had a good shot at goal during a penalty kick towards the 80th minute, but it cleared the top of the net by a good four feet. Fenerbahçe played tremendously well, and used the entire field to their advantage. They won 2-1 after a cheap goal, and then a beautiful (ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL) goal 10 minutes later. It was from way behind the penalty line to the top left corner of the net. Gorgeous!! If you want to see the goal, it’s around 2:35 in the video. The full highlights from the match can be seen here:

Avram Grant’s problem is that he refuses to make Chelsea his OWN team, and will still play the 4-3-3, despite it not working. His poor decision to leave SWP on the bench was questioned after he puts Anelka and Drogba in, but doesn’t play them together at the top. He could’ve done a 4-4-2, which works fine, or even a 3-4-3 if he wanted to be a bit more aggressive in the middle. Our problem is that we have too many midfielders, and not enough fullbacks or even strikers. If we traded Ballack, which would be a good idea since he’s been rubbish all season, and Drogba stopped being so effing selfish, then we’d have a better team.

Justin reckons we’ll beat Man U 2-1 unconvincingly at home in two weeks. I might agree, if someone just ninja-kicks Ronaldo in the face, the smug cunt. I hate that man so much.

Chelsea 1 – 1 Portsmouth

This match was disappointing to me. Chelsea should’ve won – they needed the three points to stay in contention for the cup. Unfortunately, they didn’t play as a cohesive team, and Pompy almost got the better of them. It’s really too late for a match account, but I’ll register my complaint:

Chelsea:  You need to start playing like a team.  I realise the majority of your best players are injured or are playing in cup games (whether for Euro 2008, which I don’t want to talk about, or for Africa cup).  You have to work with what you have.  Joe Cole is playing AMAZINGLY right now, so use that to your advantage.  There’s really nothing I can say except some of your players really aren’t ready to play for one of the ‘big four’ teams (Blues, Gunners, Man U, Scouses), and maybe Avram Grant needs to look at playing them against easier teams, or trading them somewhere else.  The only way to get out of this rubbish playing is to not give up towards the end of the match (even though I know we love doing that), and to acquire decent players who make good decisions with the ball.

Ok, that’s my tiny rant.  Thanks 🙂

Chelsea 1 – 0 Reading

Chelsea won. I was so stoked to come home from uni today to watch Chelsea play LIVE that I was just off my rocker all morning. “Chelsea’s playing!” I whispered to Ash during women’s studies (It’s still a rubbish class, btw). I hummed “Blue is the Colour” for nearly an hour straight. The song is catching, okay? I txt’d my little brother with Celery, Celery! (Mum would’ve been upset if she knew I was chanting THAT).

Ok, for a very brief match ‘report’: Anelka is fairly impressive. He plays with a mechanical beauty like Drogba (but is still hardly on par with him). He fits right in, and there were really no problems at all with his passing or technique. Michael Ballack scored somewhere around the 33′, and that was really the only highlight from the match that I can think of. Reading played very, very hard. They tried their arses off to beat Chelsea, and it just didn’t happen. Even with most of their first team missing, Chelsea still cleans house.

On a separate note, Joe Cole was, and has been, impressive for the past handful of matches. He’s really coming into his own, and will be a definite asset to the England squad.

How Has Avram Grant Measured Up?

Since taking over for Jose Mourinho in 2007, Avram Grant has been a pleasant surprise. In 28 matches played, Chelsea have won 21 matches and only lost two. They have achieved a place in the Carling Cup finals, and are currently in the Champions League knockout stages. He has been without at least one of his five headline players, namely John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, and Michael Ballack, throughout his entire campaign. Since the beginning of 2008, he’s been without his 13 first choice players, and he’s won every match. For someone who was given precious little to work with, he has achieved much.

Roman Abramovich, current owner of Chelsea (for those of you who live under a rock), chose Grant because he was a safe substitute for the brash and outspoken Mourinho. Grant, unfortunately, lacks the finesse and charisma of The Special One, and is rather boring to watch. He will never yell at the refs for a shoddy call, never argue with the press off the field, and so far has been rather unremarkable in the public light. I’m rather surprised Abramovich gave Grant a four year contract, especially since he was supposed to be a temporary solution until Abramovich could find a flashier, well-known manager. But, Chelsea’s patience has been well-rewarded with the successes they’ve garnered since he signed on. Like I said, he has had precious little to work with, especially with playing much of the second team as stop-gaps for the missing players on the first team, and has done substantially well.

After hating Grant in the beginning, he’s slowly growing on me. I’ll miss The Special One’s outbursts, but Grant’s methodical organization of the Chelsea side has won him a small, fuzzy place in my heart. What do you think?