And then there are the semi-finals of the Carling Cup and the Champions League as well as all the finals. We Chelsea fans have been very lucky in that regard – for a team with no history obviously.
I think Ancelotti learnt a valuable lesson from our exit of the Carling Cup and we played pretty much our strongest team available (depending on your point of view) on Sunday.
It was so good to see Alex back – he was immense and seemed to have a galvanising effect on John Terry too who looked back to his old self.
Despite the comfortable win on Sunday I found the whole game dull in the main but I have to say that I did enjoy John Terry’s goal – just to shove it in the faces of the northern monkeys who abused him throughout the game. The abuse had obviously got to him as could be seen from the passion of his celebration, but not in the manner that the Stoke fans had hoped. If that’s the kind of effect that real abuse does – bring it on – all the way to the end of the season please.
I wonder if Capello watched that game and pontificated whether he had made such a good decision. Whether you agree or not with Terry being stripped of the armband, I think that Capello’s declaration that he will never again wear it under the Italian’s tenure left no room for negotiation and seemed childish, spiteful and unnecessary. No redemption, no forgiveness – some would view it as cutting off your nose to spite your face.
For me it makes it even clearer that the decision was one driven by the FA and demonstrates again their petty bias and lack of comprehension as to what it takes to win the big competitions. They will get the team and the ethic they deserve I guess.
It seems that the majority of England fans appreciate in the main what JT brings to the England team as there was nowhere near the level of abuse I was expecting last Wednesday at the Egypt game. Doubtless many papers were salivating at the prospect of the flak that JT would get at the hands of the England faithful, but after an initial half-hearted boo there seemed to be more cheering when he touched the ball that anything else.
I doubt he will get away unscathed this weekend as West Ham seem to have a permanent chip on their shoulder when it comes to Chelsea. They hate Lampard for coming to us, even though they thought he was over-rated and only picked through nepotism.
They hate the fact that Joe Cole and Glen Johnson also joined us even though I expect that the money they received for these three purchases alone helped them avoid the kind of financial mess that Portsmouth now find themselves in. They also seem to be totally unaware of the fact that it was Chelsea who made them into the successful players that they eventually became. Had they stayed at Upton Park they would have stagnated in a team of also-rans.
Speaking of Joe Cole, his contract situation doesn’t seem to be resolving itself with the crowd favourite not even making it off the bench for cup games this year.
I fear he will be leaving us at the end of the season which will be a shame as he has given us some wonderful moments. The problem with us fans is that we are on the whole a sentimental bunch – and Joe Cole is such a nice lad that we would quite happily keep him within the squad, paying his wages and giving him the odd run out. A situation that would not be acceptable nor beneficial to the player, the team, nor “the business”.
Part of me thinks that he still hasn’t had enough competitive playing time after such a long lay-off and part of me curses his stubbornness in seemingly going back to the lightweight show pony displays that Mourinho took great pains to knock out of him.
However it will be difficult to see him pull on the shirt of another team especially if that team be United or Spurs. That pain will be further intensified if what we are seeing now is just a fleeting form issue and he joins a new club and eventually goes back to the Joe Cole of old – the player that could come on change a game, mesmerise the spectators and charm the crowd. Ancelotti and those involved in contract negotiation at Chelsea should tread carefully.
Finally, I had to laugh when I saw the story of Tevez cheating on his wife who has just given birth in Argentina – the gobby hypocrite had been slating John Terry and yet there he was having liaisons of his own with a young blonde model – very honourable – I expect Stoke fans and other northern monkeys to take him to task as they have done John Terry – but I shan’t hold my breath.
Come on Chelsea.