I would like to say that it is exhaustion which led my team to produce two of its worst performances this season, but there were some players who haven’t really got enough minutes under their belts to be able to use that excuse without some of us supporters at least raising an eyebrow. The players surely must realise they are in the last chance saloon as far as qualifying for next season’s Champions League is concerned? Yet the nonchalance of some of the play and the sheer laziness in passing and marking is staggering for a team of this experience.
We can consider ourselves lucky to get all three points against Wigan but I am not going to lose any sleep over our “controversial” goals – as no one seems too bothered when they are scored against us. As for the Fulham game, the equaliser surprised no one but the players themselves it seems who all stood like statues after having got an identical warning only seconds before.
If I was trying to see the positive side I would point out that we have narrowed the gap between ourselves and Spurs to just two points but now we have Newcastle to oust too and they don’t look at all in a mood to make way. Also RDM’s honeymoon period looks spent already with the cracks we always knew were there re-surfacing and possibly at the worst time in the season.
The FA could not have treated us with any more contempt regarding the timing of this FA Cup tie had they tried. We have seen other countries do everything in their power to help their respective clubs but the FA pander to their sponsors first and foremost & then to Liverpool. If the FA had wanted to there were ways of ensuring that all issues were considered but as usual, they took the path that would provide them with the least work and most financial gain. I bet a bellowing Sir Alex Ferguson would have seen a few mountains moved.
Most European FA’s understand their position – they also understand how the relationship with their clubs should work – the English FA seems completely oblivious to this. They believe that THEY are the pivotal party in this circus we call football and as such they do what suit them first and foremost. And what’s even more staggering is that the football clubs themselves (well most of them) come very low on the list of those consulted in any scheduling discussion – certainly behind the sponsors, TV companies and police. Aren’t the police meant to serve us? Provide a service to us? Don’t we actually pay for that?
So next time the police demand that a league game gets played at lunchtime to avoid the potential for trouble will someone remind them of this? Well the FA certainly won’t – unless the TV company wants it too obviously.
And almost as galling as this all is, is the way that our club and those that run it stand meekly by and allow this to happen without barely uttering a word in protest. It is a trait that has angered me for many years. Perhaps Ken Bates was too much the other way, but at least he stuck up for the club. Both UEFA and the FA behave like this towards us because we allow them to – again and again. It’s akin to an abusive relationship.
I’m sure there are discussions “behind the scenes” but that achieves nothing – bodies like the FA and UEFA need to be lambasted publicly – only then will they take notice and perhaps think more carefully before they skewer another club. Those that run our club need to learn how to do that – have people of sufficient gravitas for it to be taken seriously – because history has shown that we do not have the balls to do anything about it. Perhaps that famous Chelsea banner of the 80’s should be rolled out again and be directed at those that run the club – “Fight Like Your Fans”!
So to THE next two weeks which will determine the remainder of our season – what these last few weeks have proved if anything is that you cannot predict which Chelsea is going to turn up and what the score will be at the final whistle, so any attempt at a prediction will be futile.
The doom that hangs over me from Monday’s performance makes me fear the worst but the extraordinary highs that this club has given me also gives me that warm glimmer of belief. The only thing that I can hope for is that once all these monumental games are over, that we as supporters can be happy in the knowledge that those men on the pitch had given everything for the cause no matter what the result – that’s all that the majority of fans want – to know that that’s the case.
So one last final monumental push boys – the prizes are worth it – we could be heroes.