Monday, 30 April 2012

QPha and Bareclonha

It is not too often that I chuckle throughout many games. One of those was the home game against Barcelona this season where I could not fathom how we won and rode so much luck. The other was the QPR game yesterday. If there was a definition of comic timing then this game was it. Having the young QPR mascot provocatively kiss the QPR badge on his shirt in front of the Chelsea fans as he was lead off to the away end only to see his team concede inside the opening 30 seconds was one example. Hearing the away end sing, “loyal supporters” and finding no hypocrisy in the fact that some of their fans left the stadium at half-time was another. I am a Londoner and I would always prefer a local team to stay up. It is easier to get to games and there is more meaning to certain derbies (although I do recall Capital Gold arguing that it was better for there to be fewer teams from the same city in one division as it lead to too many points being dropped). In this case QPR's small club mentality shone through with the opposition fans spending more time throwing insults at Chelsea rather than getting behind their own side. And how fitting it was to see John Terry score a goal against them (although if he is found guilty of racially insulting Anton Ferdinand he should be sacked). This fantastic victory against a poor side capped a remarkable week. It was difficult to express the feelings I had following the magnificent performance in Barcelona. Most of those were of disappointment for selfish reasons - that of all the times I have been to the Camp Nou I missed the greatest performance of them all. Not only did we get through but you can imagine the gnashing teeth from journalists who I am sure were rubbing their hands with glee that our captain would cause our downfall. The victory in Europe was no mean feat – the Catalans won 7-0 away from home yesterday and Tuesday's victory to get us to the Champions' League Final was the definition of teamwork. There is a reason I never bet on Chelsea or play fantasy football – and that is because you end up in situations where you begin to cheer on other sides. This time there was an exception for me as I was so adamant that we would be knocked out by hook or by crook that I saw little downside putting £30 on at 12-1 for the home side to win 2-1. Although I cheered from my sofa when Torres scored at the back of my mind I thought, “that bastard just cost me £360!”. He marked a fine week though with a brilliantly taken hat trick against the ars (I think that's what their fans call them - 'Come on You Ars' - sounds like a porn film name). It is hard to come to terms with the fact that I am unlikely to make the Champions’ League Final. I have always been one of those who has no sympathy with those who moan about not getting tickets for the big games when they do not attend regularly. Earlier on in the season I was even secretly congratulating myself for not renewing my season ticket (nothing to do with Chelsea really – more because I have two young daughters to look after!) when we went through our bad run. I have not felt like this since we were in the Cup Winners Cup Final and I could not make it due to exams at University… if I get a ticket I will go. The only thing that makes me fume is how it is acceptable on the continent to tout your tickets (Chelsea’s own Viagogo is doing so from the US!) and with a pitiful allocation of 17,000 there will be many disappointed fans out there. It is fantastic that Roberto Di Matteo has achieved so much in so little time. He has made sensible decisions on the pitch and if anything the general feel at the club is better – we are all into feng shui now with all the luck he has brought us. No pressure now – let’s try to win all our remaining games this season and I will be happy! Come on Chelsea!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Well done Chelsea!

The win was tempered by John Terry's silly decision that lead to his red card but the resilience and experience of the team shone through.
Well done to all the players who worked hard as a team and the wonder strike from Ramires.
It is also the last time I bet on a match as Torres scoring cost me £300 I could have won if we had lost 2-1!
Having followed Chelsea for so long it feels hollow not to have been there and know that due to family commitments it will be unlikely for me to get to the final.
Well done Di Matteo and the fans who went out there!