Time to stop hating Chelsea?

chelseaIt has become almost the stock phrase of every fan who doesn’t support Chelsea. Whatever they think or thought of Manchester United or anyone else, they especially hate Chelsea.

In truth, the attitude predates the moneyed years of Roman Abramovich, whose £7.4 billion fortune puts him in second place (ie after Lakshmi Mittal) among the wealthiest characters in Britain. There was always a feeling that despite its fashionable name and location, there was something spivvy about the club. Going to the Bridge was almost always an unpleasant experience.

But has the time come to drop the kneejerk response to all things Blue?

It is worth remembering that what every Sunderland fan wants for the coming weekend – a morale boosting, midtable confirming victory over United would go a long way to ensuring the Premier League title goes to Stamford Bridge.

And would that be such a bad thing? Look at the season as a whole and it is not hard to argue that Chelsea have generally played the better, more entertaining football. Remove Rooney from the equation and there would be no reason to debate the point at all.

Both clubs ultimately disappointed in Europe. But somehow, it seems right that United will probably end the season with just the Carling Cup to show for their challenges for four trophies.

Chelsea, barring an upset to compare with Sunderland v Leeds in 1973 (brought about in large measure by Ian Porterfield, a player remembered fondly at both our clubs), will probably win a double by breaking Pompey hearts at Wembley on May 15.
We don’t actually have to start liking Chelsea very much. But after the demolition of Stoke, I cannot help recalling the gobby teenage girl in Blue who, as the goals mounted up in similarly alarming fashion against us, walked past Sunderland fans and offered the one-word advice: “Appreciate.”

Well, I wasn’t ready to appreciate much in the world of football on that particular day. But any team that dishes out seven-goal hammerings, in the space three months, to no fewer than three clubs supposedly occupying the same division has to have more to it than arrogance.

And on goal difference, Sunderland are not only now at the dizzy heights of 10th top – our owner’s target when the season began, remember. Thanks to Zenden and Bent, we are also top of the mini-league of teams crushed at the Bridge, ahead of Villa (goal difference -6) and Stoke (-7).

So if Chelsea’s title is clinched next weekend, courtesy of a win for us at the Stadium of Light and a win for them at Anfield, I will happily grant them a little appreciation.

Colin Randall

With thanks for the Chelsea image to the Flickr pages of “Free-er”

* 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.

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12 thoughts on “Time to stop hating Chelsea?”

  1. It makes me laugh when people complain about Chelsea’s millions spent. You’d think that Fergie spent nothing and that his team was acquired on free transfers from Bath City or Rochdale’s reserves. I’ve not been enthused about Chelsea winning the league, but to make the distinction between these two clubs on the basis of money all too much like sending Bill Gates food stamps since he was usurped as the world’s richest individual my some Mexican we’ve never heard of.

    It’s ok to dislike Chelsea simply because they are Chelsea. Just relax and hate them. It’s surprisingly pleasant, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort.

  2. Apart from the odd cup disaster I’ve always had time for the Mackems. Great fanzine too: A Love Supreme. I don’t think Bruce likes Ferguson as much as people make out, and I fancy Bent to maintain his useful scoring rate against top four clubs. However, I hope we’ve done the business at Anfield beforehand.

  3. Very generous from Salut, even if he has yet to admit that the two police horses did not play Clive Walker onside in 1985.
    On a more serious point. Sanity has finally returned to the Bridge after the Shevchenko disaster. Recent signings have been younger, cheaper – with the exception of Anelka who, at £15 million, was larceny.
    Ivanovic at around £8 million is astonishing value, great things are also expected from Zirkhov.

  4. Alan:
    Point is – and I may insert a reference to this – that we also benefit currently from money.

    Ellis Short may not have as much as Mr Abramovich, and the Irish consortium may have had less still. But without what he has, there would have been no Darren Bent. His goals now make a top half finish possible, and we cannot end up lower then 13th; I hate to think where we would have been without them. And without the Irish takeover, we’d still be in the Championship (or worse).

    In the present climate of football, it is probably hypocritical to object to loads of money flowing Man City and Chelsea’s way, while gratefully accepting a decent chunk of it coming ours.

  5. Well, after your mob broke my heart back in ’84 in the League Cup semi-final (courtsey of Dale bloody Jasper in the first leg) and then again in ’92 in the FA Cup Quarter final, I think you could at least do the honourable thing a bit those Mancs! I hope Steve Bruce doesn’t continue his love in with all things Fergie and asks the players to go easy on Sunday…

  6. I have never been a supporter of Manchester United and I bow to the theory that we have seen some beautiful and compelling football from Chelsea. I am however from the older school that some can buy success and others create it..The treatment of the chosen one illustrated the financial attitude in the hierarchy of Chelsea whereas Fergie has built five teams of champions sometimes almost from scratch. Given an ambivalent approach my natural choice would e to see Manu win because I would prefer Chelsea not to succeed..

    However on Saturday another element enters the lists and I want nothing more than to see Sunderland beat Man united at home after we were “robbed” in the last few seconds of our away game.

    The consequences of such a victory, no matter how unlikely, I will cheer to the rafters, so if it hands Chelsea the Title so be it.

    Had it not been for our huge injury list we might not have been struggling for a position in the top ten

  7. Any team in blue is not worth liking. We might go out to get the most on Sunday, but not for Chelsea for goodness sake.

  8. I will have my Sunderland shirt on, on Sunday. Come on you Makems, please don’t do a spurs and roll over! I really think you can do them.

    Good luck!!

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