So not long to go now until the European Cup Final. The domestic season ended on a positive note although realistically if Chelsea do not come away with the trophy this Saturday we may struggle on many fronts next season. No Champions’ League and therefore a harder time to attract players; Tottenham sullying the name of the competition; and less exotic places to travel to on away trips in the Europa League where the likelihood of being beaten up by knuckle-dragging locals increases.
It is time for change at the club – not just on the pitch but on the terraces. It was noticeable to see how many empty seats there were in the Chelsea end following two weeks of endless begging from Chelsea fans for tickets for the European Cup Final. This was the final game of our season and it seems many of us have forgotten how to support our club. There are many reasons why fans are cynical and negative these days but we really have to get behind our players even if we may not agree with many of the decisions made behind the scenes or players' behaviour off the pitch.
There were a few positives to take from the game though and the future for our youngsters looks quite bright. Winners of the FA Youth Cup again and fairly solid performances when they have been called upon (Bertrand in particular) for the first team bode well for the future. In a time of austerity and financial fair play we may have to suffer for a little while longer on the pitch to see the full results of our Academy’s success. Lukaku deserved more playing time but perhaps Di Matteo wanted to see who between Torres and Drogba looked hungrier for a place against Bayern this weekend.
Manchester City won the league – a team I have often said is similar to Chelsea in so many ways. I am glad for their fans who were there in the less successful days (who can forget them singing about Alan Ball to the tune of Wonderwall at the Bridge?) and it was noticeable that Ferguson could only retort to their league victory by noting how much injury time was played at the City of Manchester stadium (pot/kettle) and how it would take another century for them to emanate Man Ure’s history. The only shame is that the likes Balotelli and Tevez are rewarded with a medal despite being utter scumbags.
I am one of the few who did not mind QPR staying up. Frankly, I find the away trips up to the North-West a hard slog and will not miss Bolton or Blackburn despite the many good memories of our first Premier League trophy win up at the Reebok. Both stadia are not close to the train station and both clubs have fans who rarely fill out more than a fifth of their away allocation at the Bridge.
Yes, so QPR fans have brains the size of peanuts – but so do many of our jealous rivals’ supporters. The only hope is that Joey Barton (who declared himself a pacifist on his Twitter account only a few months ago) is sacked from football… what a disgrace that player is to his club and the game.
We go into the Final at Munich with a Bayern side that has many similarities to us… with some players who blow hot and cold but on their day could fit into any side. I will reserve judgment until after the game but it is just too close a call. Remembering how Liverpool fluked the trophy a few years back anything can happen… and for once this season luck seems to be marginally in our favour. Good luck Chelsea!