On my most recent trip to see CFC I was lucky enough to be part of a live football forum on the 18:00 fast train out of Kings + en route to Peterborough where it seems many London teams fans converge when making their way to the Big City to follow their particular team.
# On that point what city in the WORLD can boast SIX teams in their top league? – Not Birmingham, not Manchester no, not Rio, not Paris, Munich, Amsterdam, Liverpool, Montevideo, Santiago, Lima, Washington, Mexico City and certainly not Barcelona or Madrid…
… Well on the 18:00 out of Kings + there were QPR, Spurs and Blues fans all playing in the same city on the same afternoon and on all on the same train – while West Ham were playing up at Anfield, Fulham were at Newcastle and Arsenal had the day off – Unique football city !!! Well at the bar gathered around Heineken’s, Stella’s, Costa’s, Glasses of wine, stood this particular rag-tag bag of footie fans, out of White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge, and a most interesting open forum ensued.
Matters for debate included ‘recent form’, Champions League qualification, the possibility of a Europa League Spurs/Chelsea final in Amsterdam and eventually progressed to ‘JT, Lampard and England’, ‘the best centre back in England’ and hovered constantly around ‘what it means to be a fan’ including ‘Rafa’s future’, ‘AVB then and now’ and nitty gritties like ‘Spurs and their ‘Jewish’ tradition’ and ‘the future of Stamford Bridge’ – The conversation was dynamic, informed, honest and emotive and I could not but marvel afresh as to just how well ‘the fan’ knows their club and what ‘is best’ for the team and their progress and how much Mr Daniel Levy and Mr Roman A – aka all football chairmen would benefit from experiencing similar open forums.
Having worked in Retail for nearly 40 years, with 3 shops of my own, I can say hand-on-my-heart you can learn as much from your customers as anyone there is, about your trade…. Listen to the ‘buzz’ on the street chairmen of the board…. In the pubs matchday, around the ground and on the stadium concourse before the game and you will lean a lot and then you can make your big decisions. … and the current ‘buzz’ says there is only one man for the ‘hot seat’ at the Bridge this summer…. the knowledgeable CFC fan says José has to come back, take up the mantle and carry on where he left off … José has the un-feenished busyness … even if its not for 10 or 20 José must finish this chapter … José José José Mourinho !!!
This article was written before AVB and Robbie and of course Rafa, the fat Spanish waiter – I am re-posting it as it seems to have an almost ‘eternal’ quality. I just cannot get away from the reality that most Chelsea fans feel deep in their inner being – José Mourinho must return to Stamford Bridge and carry on where he left off ~ Roman and José must bury the hatchet ~ it is his destiny ~ it our destiny !!! Otherwise there will always be a José shaped piece missing from Chelsea fans hearts and a Chelsea shaped piece missing from José’s heart ~ Come on Roman get the ‘special one’ back where he belongs …
… José’s 2nd Coming seems to get ever nearer – my campaign continues 18.05.2013
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN JUNE, 2011 ~ edenbray
Whilst Chelsea fans wait endlessly to find out the new incumbent in the managers chair at Stamford Bridge we can muse on certain painful and yes joyous truths.
No top flight fans pay more dearly for their happies and ‘bit a’ success’ than Super Blue Loyals. Forget the pocket change pay outs by our super rich owner. Chelsea fans pay very nearly with our own blue blood drawn out from our veins never seeing the light of day.
True, success came to us, like winning the lottery without buying a ticket, that blistering June morning when Mr A handed over 19 mill in readies from his battered old kgb suitcase and the oh so ungrateful and churlish Mr B took his bundle and went and bought our fiercest enemies whilst retaining best seat upstairs in ‘our house’. Batesy malicious and nasty as a bulldog with piles was offered an Hon Chairmancy but he tried it, spat it out, turned on his heel and with a childish rejoin snarled “I’m not playing any more and neither will you”.
Since then the torture of following ‘them blues’ has just continued unabated as it always had. The newspapers have slurped and indulged themselves at the troughs of Stamford Bridge while Roman keeps getting his rods out and personally attempts a clear out from yet another blocked sewer.
Compared to the dodgy dealings and ‘shyster’ practises (good Ken word there) that many have tried to lay at Mr Abramovich’s door during the darker history of ‘glasnost’, what he has had to deal with in South West London must seem more like trying to arrange a sports day in one of the communist gulags than the happy, recreational pastime he probably expected when he first caught sight of the Bridge on that fateful, sunny June day.
But we loyal ‘blue’ men and women, boys and girls don’t dance the ‘kalinka’ anymore and no wonder. Sure, we remember that heady afternoon when the nice Russian man came round at the footlights of our beloved arena and we clapped and we sang and we danced. We are reminded of that day whenever the curtains draw back and we wave the nice Russian man’s flags at big games that so often end in tears.
No, all our bad dreams were not behind us. We would not after all be accepted in those verbalised footballer lists – the Real Madrid’s, the Milan’s, the Liverpool’s, Man United’s, Arsenals, the Chelsea’s.?!?… But being a ‘Blues’ fan has never been that easy and the painful days of relegations, missed opportunities, so nearly seasons and barbed wire fencies were glowering in the wings like spectres in an opera, waiting their chance to reappear maybe like a clod of loose earth by the penalty spot, on a new laid pitch, on a damp night in ….. Moscow.
Torture is our middle name, fellow prisoners, as we wait for the 700th time to find out our latest ‘new’ manager and what makes it doubly sad is the media and fans of other teams now don’t really even give a toss.
In the midst of all our misery came a shooting star and like a whirlwind romance we embraced our movie star leading man, we hung on his every word while we clenched our teeth, grimaced and wondered ‘what the hell is he up to now’. Yes, Jose Mourinho gave us back our respect and the rest of the football world, snarling, jeolous and bitter were forced to applaud and chokingly admit we finally had got our desserts. We will probably win the Champions League one day peeps, but at what cost, what human misery?
This, then is the one joy above all others that I hang on to, this particular grey June morning as I stare and wait in another Chelsea ‘bread que’, a little like us ‘loyals’ of the sixties did for three consecutive years in those early morning FA cup semi final ticket crocodiles that snaked up the Fulham Road around the back streets and almost down to Parsons Green, whilst we waited so patiently, quietly and hopefully wondering whether this year might actually be Chelsea’s year to win the cup. We didn’t and the dream had to live on till 1970 at Old Trafford when we finally laid that particular ghost to rest.
Yes, joy does come eventually like Mourinho came and whatever success he has had in the past or the future you can be sure he will never, never, never be as cool as when he was the ‘new’ Chelsea manager.
TAke heart blueheart ~ and stay Carefree forever!
BE PATIENT LOYAL ‘BLUE’ AS YOU ALWAYS ARE CLICK THE > IT COMES TO THOSE WHO WAIT – IT WON’T BE LONG TILL YOU WILL BE DANCING THE KALINKA – HONEST!
ARTICLE FORMERLY POSTED AS : ~ RAFA SUICIDE MIGHT STILL WIN THE FANS
EDENBRAY COMMENT : 01.03.2013
… And so, as Edenbray predicted 0n 21.02.2013 see (see ~ the TRUTH ABOUT RAFA … article), the media flies have returned to the stinking corpse that is the Chelsea career of Rafa Benitez after the apparent suicide of the latest in a long line of Chelsea ‘interim’ managers took place only minutes after one of his more memorable and momentous victories, the 5th Round 2-0 away win at Middlesbrough which in turn secured a 1/4 final trip to Old Trafford on Sunday week and potentially Chelsea’s most important game of the season thus far …
.. But no quiet, ‘Frank Pentangeli’ – Godfather II , blood-letting into a hot bath, like a deposed Roman general – suicide, for Rafa … No, no, if Rafa is going ‘down’, as most commentators of the game suspect he must now, he is taking everyone down with him … Those boys upstairs, who termed his stint an ‘interim’ post in an effort to take some of the pressure ‘off’ Rafa during his stand-in reign … and those unreasonable hard-core fans who spend a small-fortune in cash plus hours of dedication and sacrifice while travelling to Chelsea away games for no financial remuneration at all … This suicide, if that is what it was, was going to be a very messy affair Rafa had pre-determined, as with sharpened blade and a stiff, flailing arm he deliberately unleashed salvo upon salvo on those who have apparently made his job soooo hard … but then Rafa DID know what he was letting himself in for, as did Gus Hiddink in his FA Cup winning visit to Stamford Bridge ; as did Avram Grant en-route to Moscow and a penalty shoot out defeat in the CL final ; as did Robbie DiMatteo while re-building Chelsea team spirit and guiding us to that Holy Grail CL success not 12 month ago in Munich … hey, all accepted the ‘interim post’ tag and their very healthy pay check with hardly a whimper …
Not Rafa Benitez! … no the ex- Liverpool manager who once made jibes about Chelsea’s ‘plastic flag fans’ and who obviously expected better of the ‘plastic flaggers’ when he joined … but then no doubt so did Roman expect more when he appointed this oh so ‘experienced’ manager who has apparently won all the major honours going at domestic level. Certainly those same hard-core fans who sang anti-Rafa songs throughout the Middlesbrough win had a right to expect more and to be honest, so far, Rafa has not delivered! – F.a.c.t.
Had Rafa showed a little more humility and respect for the European Champions when he joined and had he accepted that the fans had a right to moan and made a plea for their support he might just have won them over. This rant has signalled the end of Rafa at Stamford Bridge but the club say they do not plan to replace him or ban anti-Rafa banners at Saturdays West Brom game.
Perhaps one important thing may be won by the club this season :- A MUTUAL respect by the club for their true blue fans and in return a respect by the fans for Mr Abramovich and what he is trying to achieve … Now that would be a result! …
Things have quieted down at the Bridge for the moment … the media monster has turned its savage attention on Arsene and the sorry Gooners after their recent debacles … but don’t get too cosy fellow blues-men. The vultures could well return sooner than we might think as the jury, as they say, is still a long time out on the Spanish waiter … his ‘come and get me’ ‘cap in hand’ cry to the bosses at Real was not very classy …
… I was not originally one of the ‘You are not welcome at Stamford Bridge’ brigade but the longer this season progresses the more I feel Roman must get our manager for next season ‘sorted’ as it’s looking to me that the choice of Rafa Benitez – Mr Abramovich’s decision to appoint an ‘interim’ manager – might well prove to be his worst ever football decision .. the fans are disillusioned … the players including some great, great new talent, are not performing … our champions league future is in doubt and Thursday football could well provide the death knell for our season … Too many games leading to injuries and I’m betting Rafa will want to win this one more than any to improve his European CV …
No sooner has the news broken that Pep Guardiola, Mr Roman Abramovich’s alleged and universally assumed 1st choice as Chelsea manager, has revealed his preference when returning from a sabbatical taken in New York and concluding this summer is to take up the position at Bayern in Munich than the speculation monster has turned its malevolent attention on the unsuspecting and quietly successful manager of Championship outfit Watford FC.
Despite the huge, effective and mysterious shroud of secrecy that hovers over Mr Abramovich like the rain-giving swell of low pressure that intimidated Great Britain last year. R.A. has managed to run the show at Stamford Bridge without conducting a single press interview during a near decade of ownership and yet we are consistently told what the quiet Russian thinks, decides and desires but do we really ever know and why are the sports press in this country so consistently obsessed by whats happening at Chelsea anyway.
At the height of his popularity back in the late sixties the trash of Bob Dylan was searched by journalists trying to find out all they could about the poet/folk singer turned pop star. Dylan’s response when hearing of his trashcan being searched by one eager beaver journo was – ‘Boy, this guy needs to take a rest.’
Why is it assumed that the whole of the football world is interested in what happens at Chelsea. The last thing I want to hear about is whats happening at Old Trafford, the Etihad, the Emirates or White Hart lane.
… And so the assumed obsession for news about the managerial position at Chelsea FC now turns its many-headed attention on the quietly unassuming little Sardinian.
God, give us all a break! Surely football has more to offer than this.
After watching Ian Holloway featured on the interview on this post I had to laugh at Ian’s trademark and uncompromising response to speculative questions about the future of his Crystal Palace star striker. During the interview he alludes jeeringly to Sky’s Transfer Window feature they run almost like a late-night National Polling swing-o-meter at the General Election and last night on Sky’s Sports Programme I tried to watch the feature through the critical eye of Mr Holloway. I found myself laughing out loud at this nonsense and agreeing wholeheartedly with the guy. This particular feature is based purely on conjecture and speculation. The interviews with managers revealed not one definite or interesting piece of news but was more like a training film produced to aid coaches on how to deal with the media.
Full marks to Ian Holloway, thanks for the laugh and please, please, please – football fans everywhere > NEWS about Chelsea’s revolving door managerial position really IS NOT that interesting … journalists everywhere leave Gianfranco alone he doesn’t know !!! … and in the words of Dylan ‘Boy you need a rest…’
A SKY-TV ‘TRANSFER WINDOW’ SPECULATING FEATURE FROM LAST JANUARY – HOW INTERESTING NOT – INFORMATIVE NOT – ACCURATE NOT – GROUND BREAKING NOT !!! DON’T YOU JUST HATE SKY’S INTRUSIVE ARROGANT MIS-INFORMED PROPAGANDA – THEIR OVER ANALYTiCAL, PATRONISING COVERAGE WILL KILL THE SPORT FOR ME ONE DAY I KNOW IT WILL – THERE, A RANT OF MY OWN …
Listening to the bitter, disappointed, miserable Chelsea fans on the Radio this morning. Complaining about this, complaining about that … I think to myself, nothing changed there then?
I remember standing with my mate at Stamford Bridge, by the ‘Boys’ Bovril Entrance, 50 years ago where the fans stood with their grey coat collars pulled up round their mouths unable to muffle their grey, grave voices as the atmosphere turned gloomy and sad whenever we went a goal behind or talented young players like Hollins, Tambling, Bridges or Venables skied a chance over the bar or made a poor pass. The nucleus of that team came through the youth scheme and had previously won the FA Youth Cup. They would go on to become legends of Stamford Bridge. At 11 years of age and smitten with new young Chelsea, we thought those fans were miserable and grumpy and we called those Chelsea supporters ‘the moaners’. I’m sure they or their ghosts are still there, hovering over our pitch, they are probably founder members of the Chelsea Pitch Owners.
That team was one of the most exciting of our history and the club were undergoing a major revolution as they tried to compete in the renaissance of the great game that was taking place in those ‘swinging’ sixties but it went over the heads of most of those ‘died in the wool’ blues fansunable to grasp the bigger picture, incapable of getting behind the team and show encouragement during difficult moments.
This morning Chelsea sit in 3rd place in the English Premier League and Chelsea are current holders of the European Champions League, the English FA Cup and the FA Youth Cup. Chelsea FC have won more trophies than any other PL team in the past 10 years, while on the pitch are assembled some of the finest young midfield talent in the world playing alongside a squad which cost our owner millions. Despite this, certain supposed Chelsea fans, happy to enjoy the many celebrations since Roman took over, now gripe and moan, complain and boo. How do those same ‘fans’ think that makes young men from Brazil, Belgium, Spain and Eastern Europe feel as they step out to ‘entertain’ the crowd on a freezing night in London? Do those same young men even understand this ridiculous, irrational hatred towards their manager?
Chelsea’s season is in danger of going down the toilet. Defeat in Swansea or in the FA Cup will commit us to one of the most disappointing for years and still Chelsea fans turn up to watch the big match with a negative attitude, to moan and boo and chant.
It costs me nigh on £110 to travel to the Bridge and watch a game and at least 13 hours of my day. I’m sorry but I don’t put in that kind of commitment to sit next to a misery or to spend the evening listening to booing, chanting or people chuntering on about Rafa Benitez because he once managed Liverpool or to complain about the ‘mess’ Roman has made of the so-called successful pre-Abramovich club full of debts and ageing stars. Call me old-fashioned but I go to the football to be entertained and to support my team and personally I have appreciated what Roman has done for the club.
No, someone has poisoned the water-hole at Stamford Bridge and for me it’s been like that for a very long time … I for one am not surprised that Pep Guardiola has looked at our club and has given us a very wide berth and that is on quite a few levels. It’s time for Chelsea fans to show some basic support for the team and also acknowledgement and appreciation for the man who has brought so much success to our club and I believe still carries a dream. ~ A dream to make us the best team in the world, playing the best football and playing in the best stadium. Come on blues fans; Chelsea pitch owners can you get behind the team and the owner and let the manager do his best for our club!!!
Roman Abramovich has a chance to get the fanbase back onside by announcing they are making an exception to the 30+ rule in the case of Frank Lampard … Give Frank a 2-year deal and the Chelsea fans will love you forever Roman …
Not hard to recognise that there’s a bit of an ‘atmosphere’ down at the bridge at the mo-mo – the natives are restless… Certain Chelsea fans are not happy and in danger of throwing their dummies and their blue plastic flags right out of nice Mr Abramovich’s not austere black but expensive perambulator rescued from the ‘heap of glasnost’…. Nor the patched and mended Maclaren double-buggie still in 80’s blue-stripes, laden with errors and debt and still carrying that music-hall image of the Pensioners that mad emperor Bates tried to shift by draconian methods and his own cultural revolution (which involved trying to eradicate most of Chelsea’s pre-Bates history) …. No the ‘kids’, the fans that is, the ones Piers Morgan slates as ungrateful little b’tards, are jumping up and down in that nice, very expensive shiny metallic blue with gold edging limo that the new emperor – Roman Abramovich drove into Stamford Bridges’ plush underground car park now nearly ten years ago and from where the sounds of quarrying and clanging have been heard ever since as the new owner has sought to make changes to everything and leave his own indelible mark on the club he bought for a song but has since cost him much more than a small fortune.
Being a sports fan is an irrational pursuit in many ways. There is very rarely any financial return to be had, in fact it is invariably a constant drain on one’s resources. The cost of tickets, travel to the game, memorabilia etc and that apart from the investment of time, emotional stress etc…. The pleasure gained from those notable and special days when you actually win that big and important game is nearly always out-weighed by the sense of depression that can overcome you when you see your team lose and that goes for fans of Real Madrid, Man U and certainly Chelsea despite picking up more trophies than any other PL team during Mr Abramovich’s reign…. That is as I say, if one was being rational but then a fan is a ‘fanatic’ after all and irrational and Roman A, it seems to me, is no more or less than a fan-atic himself the way he throws his money away over us. His allegiance is just on a far, far, far bigger scale.
For nearly ten years the Chelsea fanatics have sat in their seats applauding and clapping and waving their flags as the trophies, the players and the managers have rolled in and out of Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea faithful have paid and ‘put up’ because ‘at the end of the day Simon, winning is what it’s all about’ and we’ve certainly done more than our fair share of that … They’ve sat next to long rows of Japanese tourists taking photos of themselves ‘@Chelskea’ and listened to disinterested corporate guests arranging business breakfasts during the warm-up who then seem uncomfortable when you cheer or shout and then return ten minutes into the 2nd half with their mobiles to their ears … The fanatics at the Bridge have not said a word … they’ve put-up, paid-up and shut-up … that, however was before the revolution!
But now there is certainly something in the air … I think they used to call it the 10 year itch … that time in a marriage when you might say the honeymoon is truly over and individuals begin to say – ‘Hold on doesn’t my ‘I’ have a say in things anymore. Maybe Roman didn’t account for that when he drew a line in the sand and said ‘over 30 you cannot go – Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and maybe JT’. Or to Euro-winner, Chelsea favourite or not, Robbie DiMatteo – ‘You’re not up to snuff, you are the weakest link, you can go.’
So the ‘blue flag brigade’ are clapping in the sixteenth minute, singing ‘One Di Matteo’ and carrying ‘Hate Rafa’ posters while they boo the manager and cheer obsessively every time Super Frank gets the ball. From where I’m standing most of this is pretty much counter productive to the ‘team’ and football is after all a ‘team’ game, on and off the pitch, 13th man and all that but hey if it means Chelsea Football Club finds its heart again and sheds some of those annoying tourists, corporate guests and ‘good-time Charly’ hangers-on then personally I can live with it. Just don’t ask me to get up and clap in the sixteenth minute or yell abuse at the fat Spanish waiter because I’m too busy admiring the likes of Hazard, Oscar, David Luis, Demba Ba and Juan Mata and hoping we can after all pull another couple of trophies out of what so far has been a pretty depressing season.
ta for listening – true-blue edenbray
Time for all true Chelsea fans to stand up, stand up but don’t block my view I paid good money for my ticket too …
Be honest wherever you sit on the RAFA-ISSUE you have to admit he missed a big call that Sunday in Japan … bring home the bacon and daddy will always keep the family happy.
Even when there are discontented pupils the “DON” commands respect ~ if the family are taking their cut and for the 0’so blue CHELSEA family that big old World Club Cup would have been a notable prize to put on the mantle … Plenty of the unrelenting would still have toted the banners, sung the songs, grieved over poor Robbie and waited their time to spring a coup at the top that might just – even bring José riding back into town with his full gun-toting entourage wearing crombies and mufflers and including ‘that guy in the wooly hat’.
If Roman fails to lure Pep, fresh from his NY sabatical, to the traumas and intrigue of Chelsea management, with our diabolical ‘war crimes against managers’ record, pre and post Mr Abramovich, then Rafa could conceivably end up as the longest-serving manager since Dave Sexton ~ You never know!
Chelsea FC do have that way about them.
Cue : Avram Grant ironically being the 1st to take us to a final and then ‘poor Robbie’ eventually being the one to lead us to the promised land of European Glory … AND he didn’t even have a beard, a movember, wear a cross or even have any hair … ye Gods!!!
The bizarre is telling me right now as I look at fat Rafa, the Spanish waiter sat on our bench, wearing our badge and telling our players what to do and how to play … that YES of course, it was bound to happen … our destiny, our karma, our future … we are to be finally led into the ‘promised land’ flowing with milk and honey … win more trophies than even José amassed … come to a place of managerial rest and harmony … the press applauding our great play … no more ugly newspaper stories or court cases … take our place in the bastions of football legend in our brand spanking new 70,000 seater Stamford Bridge Stadium … Roman is offering our manager a 5 year extension on his contract … and its all because – No, not of Glen, Ruud, Gianfronco, Claudio, José, Avram, Gus, Luis, Carlo, André, Robbie – NO, its Rafa and yes of course he has got a beard even though it’s not a long flowing one and of course I forgot this too – we even have a player called Moses … ye Gods.
Always look on the bright side of life !!!… sing it Rafa … sing it !!!