The pulsating sounds of Caribbean steel band music, childhood memories from south London, a decades-long affection for Chelsea… where else could Brian Wise* have ended up than Middlesbrough? An old colleague and pal of Pete Sixsmith’s, Brian has left his London roots only in geographical terms and passionately follows the entirely unassuming Mourinho and his team. As a schoolboy goalkeeper, he imagined himself to be Peter Bonetti. Didn’t we all, when not thinking we were Monty? But now sit back and enjoy Wise’s Words of Wisdom in the last Who are You? of the 2014-20-15 season, our own safety secured and nothing but pride riding on the game …
Salut! Sunderland: Bravo Chelsea. No one can seriously doubt their right to the title. All down to the Special One or could even you and I succeed as manager with all that Abramovich money?
I think it was a true team or even squad effort in winning the title and let’s not forget the League Cup. Mourinho has a track record as a great manager across Europe, where in his early career had limited financial resources. Many managers with a large amount of financial back have not achieved as much success. So maybe money is not the answer to winning but sound management. Not sure about your good self but I don’t think I would succeed as a football manager … too busy with my day job! [I’d be booted out after one game – Ed]
Imagine Mourinho at Sunderland (or, of course, Burnley or Leicester or Hull) with only the players he inherited to work with. How would he fare?
I reckon he would do pretty well and definitely win a trophy or two
Hazard, Terry, Costa .. I could go on. Who do you feel has made the difference for Chelsea this season?
Do any weaknesses remain?
We need to sign another striker as Drogba isn’t getting any younger. Also we need to add to our keepers if Cech moves on.
Will the title at last make people like Chelsea, who generally attract respect rather than affection, and why do you think the club is so unloved?
From my point of there is lots of love for Chelsea, even in the North East…
That gruesome incident on the Paris Metro. What was worse, the racist abuse and intimidation or the attempt by some CFC fans to pas it all off as misunderstood irony?
I’m not sure of the legal investigations into that incident but I don’t think this is really a football question, quite simple, zero tolerance for any people or groups involved in unlawful behaviour, including racism. whether they are wearing football colours or paramilitary uniforms.
Back to positives: what have been your highs as a Chelsea fan?
Lots… 1970 FA Cup and then 1997 under Gullit, with the Di Mateo goal. Then winning the back to back titles under Mourinho, the double under Ancelotti (which was a bit if a boyhood dream as I remember Arse FC doing it in 1971). The trophies under Vialli and of course 2012 Champions League against Bayern in Munich.
If not included in your last answer, tell us what you recall of that 1970 Cup Final and the impact it made on you
This was the first football game I can remember and has led me to support the Blues for 45 years. I watched it on a rented black & white TV, which was the norm back in the day. I was at junior school and seem to recall that my teacher was a Scottish lady who was mad about Leeds..!
Have there been lows, too?
Yes, but I usually avoid any sports-related press for a week and get over them….
And who, from a long list of Chelsea stars, has/have given you the most pleasure in Blue?
Taking out the current stars: Osgood, Charlie Cooke, David Webb, Bonetti (I used to play in goal at school and idolised “the cat”), Kerry Dixon, Pat Nevin, David Speedie, Ruud Gullit, Zola … and many more
Can you think of anyone who didn’t deserve to wear the shirt at all?
Mmm,…Mutu didn’t work out too well.
How do you reckon CFC will fare in the Champions League next season? Is the answer to that more important than questions about retaining the Premier title?
I think we will do well, of course would like to win it again …in answer to both of your points !
Your pal and mine, Pete Sixsmith, wailed about the play-acting of the Chelsea Under 21s, which he saw as a case of young players imitating their seniors. Are Chelsea any worse than the rest when it comes to cheating or is it so prevalent that we may as well all accept it as part of the game?
I didn’t see the game so can’t really comment on the “wailing” about play-acting. I think that if we accept cheating in any sport then there’s no point in watching or getting involved..
Best ref, worst ref today?
I haven’t been overly impressed with decisions from officials in recent years..whether that’s down to the amount of instant scrutiny from TV I’m not sure.
Your thoughts on Sunderland – club, fans, city, region, Advocaat?
I follow SAFC results with interest. My son grew up and went to school in Co Durham and during the Peter Reid era we went to many matches, league and cups, through the schools ticket schemes. As a member of the club I have watched CFC matches at the Stadium and always enjoy the atmosphere, and usually results!
Any special memories of past encounters between our clubs, or links of the Porterfield, Clive Walker, Gareth Hall, Gus Poyet variety?
Poyet’s volley in the 4-0 win 1999
One step Chelsea or football authorities should take to improve the lot of the ordinary fan?
Ticket prices should come down..
Will you be at our match? What will be the score?
I won’t be at the match due to work. My last game for this season was at the Bridge against Palace earlier this month…good memories. I’ll go for 1-1
* Brian Wise on himself:
I’ve been a CFC supporter for 45 years and live in Middlesbrough. I was born in Crystal Palace, and that club owned the house that I was brought up in during my first few years as a child. I am a musician and spend much of my time teaching and playing Caribbean steel pans.
After leaving school at 18 I spent just under 9 years in the RAF before leaving to become a full time teacher. This saw me work in schools in the North East, including Sunderland. 13 years ago I set up an organisation that delivers music making for people of all ages from 5-65+
Interview: Colin Randall