2011/12 top 5 moments

What a season! Hope, misery, revival, jublilation. Arguably the greatest season in the history of Chelsea FC has come to an end and what an ending for not only Chelsea but Didier Drogba. Here are my top 10 moments which are highlighted by those videos on Youtube that most of us will watch repeatedly.

1. Only 2 results stand out to me within the terrible AVB era. One being a late winner at Wolves highlights just how bad we had become. However, the 2-1 victory against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge was the first of many victories which opposition fans had given us no chance. ‘ONE STEP BEYOND.’ 

2. ‘There’s only 1 Di Matteo’. What a player, what a manager. He took the reigns and swiftly rectified the mistakes that had been made. Two defining results including his first game in charge deserve a mention. The crucial 2-0 at St Andrews which saw us through to a relatively easy FA Cup Quarter Final. But not until his third game did Chelsea really turn on the style, Chelsea 4-1 Napoli.

3. The first brilliant moment which had negative consequences for Tottenham, 5-1. Recent results have not been what we were previously used to at 3 point lane. Anyway, normal serviced resumed. ‘We won 5-1 at Wembley’. 

4. Revenge, justice and Gary Neville making funny noises. Chelsea doing the ‘impossible’ and making me an easy £50 along the way. Possibly the most fired up I have been for a game when Barcelona turned up at Stamford Bridge. Finally we can forget the pain that was imposed on us a few years ago. ‘He scored a wonder goal, now Pep is on  the dole…RAMIRES’.

5. Another season, another FA Cup. My trip to Wembley has become a formality and it was even better beating Liverpool. Never liked that pitiful club and that was capitulated by the arrogance and stupidity of KD. In addition, in some ways our loss 3 days later made it even better.

The pinnacle of our season needs slightly more space and there will be a new post for Munich.


We ain’t got no history?

Since the arrival of Roman Abramovich and the uprising of Chelsea we have become public enemy number 1 along with our most successful captain John Terry.

The bitter Liverpool and Arsenal fans have reacted the worst with our climb correlating with barren runs for both clubs. As everyone knows Arsenal are heading towards their 7th year without a trophy (http://www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk/). Depending on their League Cup final, Liverpool have not won a trophy for almost 6 years (http://sinceliverpoollastwonatrophy.com/)! In addition Liverpool have struggled to make the Champions League.

Clearly we were never consistently challenging in Europe but it is there for all to see that despite the blip in the late ’70s and ’80s we have performed in the top flight.

In total we have won:

2009/10 League Title
86 points from 38 games
2005/06 League Title
91 points from 38 games
2004/05 League Title
95 points from 38 games
1954/55 League Title
52 points from 42 games
2010 FA Cup
Chelsea 1 Portsmouth 0
2009 FA Cup
Chelsea 2 – 1 Everton
2007 FA cup
Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United
2000 FA Cup
Chelsea 1 – 0 Aston Villa
1997 FA Cup
Chelsea 2 – 0 Middlesbrough
1970 FA Cup
Chelsea 2 – 1 Leeds (replay)
1998 Cup Winners Cup
Chelsea 1-0 Stuttgart
1971 Cup Winners Cup
Chelsea 2 – 1 Real Madrid (replay)
1998 Super Cup
Chelsea 1 – 0 Real Madrid
2007 League Cup
Chelsea 2 – 1 Arsenal
2005 League Cup
Chelsea 3 – 2 Liverpool (aet)
1998 League Cup
Chelsea 2 – 0 Middlesbrough
1965 League Cup
Chelsea 3 – 2 Leicester
2009 Community Shield
Chelsea 2 – 2 Man Utd (4-1 on pens)
2005 Community Sheild
Chelsea 2 – 1 Arsenal
2000 Charity Shield
Chelsea 2 – 0 Man Utd
1955 Charity Shield
Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United
after 2003 – 10 honours
pre-2003 – 11 honours
As shown we were have multiple trophies to our name prior to Roman.
Secondly, the myth that we have a small fan base and this has only just been increased through “glory-hunters” etc. My favourite stats are coming up:
Top five Chelsea attendances at Stamford Bridge
Arsenal (12/10/1935) – Highest ever attendance for an English League game77,952
Swindon Town (13/04/1911) – FA Cup Round 477,696
Blackpool (16/10/1948) – Football League76,000
Tottenham Hotspur (16/10/1920) – Football League75,952
Arsenal (09/10/1937) – Football League
That website shows in general our average attendances do not drop lower than 25k and throughout most seasons are over 30k and 40k.
In comparison with Arsenal our averages are fairly similar when excluding the fact The Emirates is considerably larger than Stamford Brigde.
Another top moment in our history was the return to the top flight and taking thousands of fans to Highbury. We filled The Clock End and had other supporters all around the stadium.
The players we previously had are often overlooked. Since creating this blog I have been creating profiles of 11 Chelsea players in which only 2 (Terry and Lampard) have made it into my team. Although other players were close, Makelele is the only Abramovich signings to be included!
We are the famous CFC and despite the inevitable increase in ‘fans’ since we began to win consistently, it was way off to assume we were not a force to be reckoned with before. Personally my fondest memories are from the Bridge and most have ended dancing around to One Step Beyond. I also get excited weeks prior to away games when my tickets arrive, not because we will win but because of the whole Chelsea atmosphere and experience win or lose (obviously winning often determines memories of the day).
Just remember we had and may still have the 3rd best away following in the country.

Dorigo – legend!

Although not particularly high up the list of Chelsea’s highest appearances, he made 180 solid appearances, scoring 11 goals from full back.

He signed for Chelsea from Aston Villa for £475,000 and immediately settled making his debut at home to Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day of the 1987/88 season before going on towin the player of the year award despite relegation. The following season he continued to thrive and helped take Chelsea back into the First Division.

Dorigo was refused permission to leave and remained unsettled until April when, with promotion assured, he finally agreed Chelsea were right for him.

Despite not being the biggest player at the time he was a strong-tackler, but it was his stylish runs forward that put him in line for an England call up. Unfortunately Pearce became the first choice left back with Dorigo a regular squad member before finally earning his first cap in December 1989.

He returned to Wembley later in the season for the Full Members Cup Final against Middlesbrough in which he became the hero with another trademark free-kick.

When the league form again began to dip in the early ’90s Chelsea could not satisfy Dorigo who swiftly moved to Leeds for a fee of £1.3m which would see the best Chelsea left back for 30 years depart.

Le Saux – legend!

Graeme Le Saux had a stand out career with Chelsea, first time round was not his most successful but when he joined for his second stint we were much improved.

Although Le Saux was signed as an 18-year-old from a junior club in Jersey in 1987 he was not introduced to the Chelsea faithful until the last game of the Second Division Championship winning season of 1988/89 to make his league debut.

Over the next four seasons he became a regular in the first-team squad but as many versatile players discover he was unable to cement a permanent position. He was on his way out after being substituted in a December 1992 game against Southampton in which he threw his shirt down in protest at the decision by current manager Ian Porterfield and stormed out of the ground. Three months later he was transferred to Blackburn for a low fee of £700,000.

This cheap price was again shown when he returned to Chelsea in 1997 for £5m, a record for an English defender. At Blackburn though, Le Saux’s career flourished. He gained a Championship winners’ medal and became an England regular.

Both Chelsea and Le Saux had matured and he remained at the club for a further six years playing a vital role in the team that won the League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and FA Cup between 1998 and 2000, unfortunately, he was injured for the last two of those finals.

Osgood – legend!

Osgood was the top player amongst a group of talent in the glorious Chelsea side of the ’60s and ’70s.Another player whom we snatched up young, Osgood made his debut in a League Cup tie against Workington at the age of 17. He started well, grabbing 2 goals and getting all the headlines. Despite earning a first team place for the following couple of years, his career was halted by a broken leg.

He missed almost a year but returned as an even better player maintaining the effortless skills and composure. He was certainly not a ‘one trick pony’ scoring all types of goals ranging from headers (as seen in the FA cup final), tap ins and belters.

Not only did he score in the final but every round of the FA Cup in 1970, the last player to achieve this feat, including the vital equaliser in the Final replay. He also scored in the two cup finals over the next two seasons.

Sadly, as the club went on a downward spiral, he was sold to Southampton in 1974 to the dismay of supporters. He did return to the Bridge for the 1978/79 season but it was an unhappy spell as we were relegated. Ossie was a shadow of the player we had once known although his two goals during that spell took his Chelsea total to 150, the joint fourth highest individual tally in our history.

Tragically, Osgood suffered a heart attack and died in March 2006 at the age of just 59 but he will always remain at the Bridge with his ashes buried under the penalty spot in front of The Shed End hence the Drogba celebration vs Aston Villa. Also, a statue of him stands outside the West Stand.

Wilkins – legend!

As an apprentice, Wilkins joined Chelsea and it soon became clear that his talents would allow him to quickly break through into the first team. In October 1973 aged 17 he did just this.

However, his development coincided with the breakup of the heroic cup-winning team. Consequently, Wilkins was made our youngest ever captain, just 18, but he could do little to prevent relegation. Two years later though, Ray had led a young team to promotion with his range and accuracy of passing creating chances for his team mates aswell as adding 7 goals himself, many spectacular long-range efforts.

Wilkins earned his postion as an England international being called up while still in Second Division player. This outstanding achievement resulted him in becoming a household name despite footballers not being as widely recognised nowadays.

Unfotunatley, a lack of investment in a diminishing Chelsea team could not be resued by Wilkins alone. He suffered his second relegation with the club in 1979 and was immediately transferred to Manchester United for £825,000 in order to help the club who were suffering with financial problems.

After a long playing career, Wilkins moved into coaching and has been assistant manager at Chelsea twice, under Gianluca Vialli from 1999 to 2000, and from September 2008 to November 2010, under Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

As everyone will know, he was dismissed early last season after overhearing top club board members complaining about Ancelotti and so intervening where he disagreed. His departure and our drop in form seem to correlate suggesting his role as assistant was more important than previously considered.

Those goosebump moments…

After a terrible half season I am starting to lose faith in AVB and our squad so I decided to put together a selection of my favourite 5 moments since 2002/03 (when I started going with my dad). These videos give me goosebumps each time I watch them and one consistently bring me close to tears (you will be able to guess which).

Fernando Torres’ first goal for Chelsea – This was against West Ham last year and despite not being very significant for the team it sent the Brigde into pandemonia. At the time I was front row of the East Stand lower and we went absolutly mental. The rain was pooring down and most people had fled to cover but when he scored everyone joined me in a pool of water to celebrate for the final 20 mins.

The Frank Lampard penalty. He dedicated his vital penalty against Liverpool to his mother Pat, who passed away the previous week at the age of 58 after dying from pneumonia. Need I say more, fantastic player, total legend.

Chelsea vs Liverpool has been a fantastic fixture in recent years providing controversy, classics and crucial games. However, it was my first season in 2002/03 and the final game of the season. Many believe that without Champions League football Chelsea would not have been able to maintain the stars they had due to financial difficulties. It was also Gianfranco Zola’s last game having agreed to join Cagliari, a true legend. I was only 7 but the players sliding on their chests towards me in the shed still sits firmly in my memory.

“Oh Wayne Bridge, he scored a fucking great goal, in the Highbury shithole, 2 minutes to go.” What a day, what a moment, no one expected is to win having not been successful against Arsenal for countless years, especially away. The celebrations from our away fans emphasise the euphoria.

Finally, our double winning season and the last game against Wigan. Not only did we win it, but we won it in style. 8 goals on the final day and an incredible 103 goals across in the league. EVEN MALOUDA PLAYED WELL! The video is also very well put together.

You know its a great day at the Bridge when ‘One Step Beyond’ is played and lets just hope we have a few more of these memories in the next decade. Thanks to the old guard and players involved during these games but we now need to move on and get rid of a few including Malouda and Drogba in order to allow us to progress.