Salut! Sunderland had no doubt Chelsea deserved the Premier title more than Manchester United, and said so in the posting found here. For tomorrow’s FA Cup Final, poor Portsmouth get our sympathy vote, and we’d love to see them win. Having invited Peter Allen to share his Pompey dreams and nightmares yesterday, we were duty bound to hear from a Chelsea fan, too. Step forward
David Millward*, an occasional visitor to these shores, who passionately wants the richer shade of blue to prevail. But he does have kind words for Pompey and Avram Grant – and bemoans the Stamford Bridge moaners …
Once upon a time a Chelsea v Pompey clash was less to do with football than making a fashion statement.
Some time after the skinhead years, the two clubs rivalled each other in the designer wear which their crews wore. If it wasn’t Tacchini, it was Lacoste. If it wasn’t Lacoste, it was Slazenger.
READ ON: but also see our Pompey fan’s wistful thoughts on tomorrow by clicking here
Chelsea fans prided themselves on their King’s Road style and Pompey, by all accounts, considered that they brought a certain elegance to the terraces.
The behaviour wasn’t any better, just the clothes were a bit more expensive. We will draw a veil over the boyband hairstyles.
I think it is also as well to pass on some of the horrors which passed for away kits especially in the 1990s.
Pompey once pitched up at the Bridge in salmon pink. At Chelsea we have had jade and a tangerine and graphite monstrosity. More recently there has been electric lime green.
I believe that we have been designated the home side, so I trust that Pompey will show some sort of sartorial restraint.
It is fair to assume similar restraint will be shown by the fans. There will be lusty singing – at least from the Pompey end.
We will sing Carefree a few times, there will probably be a witty chant about Avram Grant – but that is about it.
Truth is Chelsea fans are becoming smug.
While I would rather not return to the days when an mounted police outriders were needed to guarantee the safety of anyone who had the temerity to score a goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, a bit of passion would not go amiss.
I hate to admit this, but Chelsea supporters have taken over from their equivalents at White Hart Lane as the biggest bunch of moaners in the game.
Look at the Chelsea website and you would think that Carlo Ancelotti is a clueless idiot whose trophy-littered career has been a fluke.
As I write we are chasing the double and have been scoring goals with an abandon which defies belief. Even if my blues had ended up with nothing, it would have been an astonishing season. But that will be to no avail – ask Avram Grant.
He took Chelsea to a whisker of winning the Champions League and Premiership. The width of the post – and the refusal of the referee to give us a penalty which his linesman waved for – denied the blues the “trophy with the big ears”.
But the flying fickle finger of fate meant he was out, much to the delight of many Chelsea fans who refused to give the man any credit whatsoever.
Yet under his watch we signed Ivanovic and Anelka, two of our outstanding players this year.
At Pompey he has performed miracles, somehow getting a team of misfits to Wembley – which is not bad for a man derided as being capable of doing little more than moving the cones on the training pitch.
Nevertheless my admiration for Avram does stop short of wanting plucky Pompey to win the cup.
I would be happier if they were plucky losers as we were at Wembley in 1994 when Gavin Peacock hit the bar before Manusa completed the double with a 4-0 thumping.
Something similar would do very nicely. But we shall see, won’t we.
(SID MILLWARD & HIS NITWITS)
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* David Millward – known as Sid in honour of a long-departed uncle who led a jazz band – is a Stamford Bridge season ticket holder and transport editor of The Daily Telegraph (which probably means his job is to mind the boss’s car, though he was shortlisted for specialist of the year in the recent annual press awards). He has always claimed riot police and their horses did not necessarily play Clive Walker and Colin West onside when they combined to score our winner at Stamford Bridge in the 1985 Milk Cup semi-final.
* NB: a recent deluge of spam means comments from people who have not been this way and posted before will have to await moderation. Sorry.