I was worried before the West Brom game; don’t get me wrong, we were always going to be stronger than the newly promoted side, but I did wonder whether we were going to see some major bottom lips on display after news was leaked of the abolition of various bonuses. How is a young man to survive on just £80,000 a week anyway?
Any toy throwing has wisely been kept behind closed doors, as double or no double, there would not have been much sympathy from fans like myself who will be charged over £60 this season for the knock out stage of the Champions League, as well as having swallowed a significant season ticket increase. Chelsea fans will even be charged a fiver to watch the reserves this season – looks like Peter Kenyon’s replacement has taken seriously the task of breaking even some time this century.
I did feel for Di Matteo though – a talented, elegant, modest and popular player who was part of a revolutionary Chelsea team – he was given a rousing welcome home before his team were torn apart with consummate ease. In these situations I usually feel sorry for the fans too, but not in this case. The Baggies showed their Nationwide roots by booing Lampard, Terry and Cole – but the boos choked in their throats as the blues gave the Albion players a footballing master-class and twisted blood to boot.
Still I imagine it’s just a taste of what the trio are going to have to endure this season but the hypocrisy in the media still makes my blood boil. A well known commentator judged that it was fair enough to boo the Chelsea players, but to boo Rooney was just “perverse” – I must have missed his scintillating England displays in South Africa then. What’s this English obsession with booing about anyway?
Although I suppose it’s quite apt considering the pantomime that football has become these days, but it’s too early in the season for one of my regular rants on the decline of the game.
A six nil win was just what was needed, as many were already writing us off before a competitive ball was kicked – I even had a popular radio station ring me up an hour after the Charity Shield match asking me if I would take part in a live radio discussion on the “crisis at Chelsea following their disastrous start to the season”. I hung up.
Perhaps the six nil was a little flattering, but really, only a little. One could also argue that had we not “rested” with the ball for the last 15 minutes, they could have been on the end of a real hiding. Either way, it was a great start to the season and sends out a statement of intent nice and early.
Our squad is easily one of the best in the Premiership, but I am worried regarding sufficient cover should we incur injuries to key players. If we are going to use some of the talented youngsters then we need them to have some playing time – and games such as last Saturdays are perfect for them to rack up some minutes.
We know what the likes of Kalou and Ivanovic can do, so four nil up why not bring Sturridge or Van Aanholt on?
So Wigan this Saturday and hopefully we’ll put on a better display than last season! The three-one loss last September had me cursing all the way back down to London and made me write off the season even at that early stage – oh ye of little faith eh?
We must not let complacency creep in because of their comprehensive loss to Blackpool and our even more comprehensive win as it would be nice to put some daylight between us and the usual suspects even this early in the campaign.
One thing I will be interested in this season is whether Ferguson deems Carlo worthy of his mind games – he only had a mild dabble with him last season (naming Arsenal as United’s only real rival for the title) but I imagine Lord Goven will see the mild mannered Italian as more of a threat this year. I will be even more interested to see how Ancelotti will deal with it. Watch this space.
Call me bitter and twisted but I can’t go without mentioning Joe Cole. Seven years with the enemies of football and he was never sent off, yet he barely makes 45 minutes for the media darlings before he sees red. Looks like the protection of the red shirt hasn’t quite kicked in yet has it Joe? Although I chortled (a lot) it has to be said that St. Gerrard’s (unpunished) tackle on Eboue looked more worthy of an early bath. But those of us that watch football regularly are acutely aware that all footballers are equal but some are just more equal than others…..
I will leave you with another Orwell quote – “whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible” – long may that continue. Come on Chelsea!