Yesterday, I spoke these words aloud to see how they would sound: “I am a Chelsea fan”.
I immediately looked around to see if anyone had actually heard me, and also in complete fear and desperation in case I had said something I could not take back. After a few furtive glances around I determined the following: a) no one had heard me b) I was talking to myself c) Chelsea might be the perfect club for me.
Chelsea might be my team? When just a week ago the Manchester Squads were neck in neck for my affections? When Chelsea was on the chopping block, waiting to see if a rose / picture / scale / chef’s knife would appear for them as they looked on in anguish at the last possible and epically dramatic second?
Chelsea showed me something against Bolton this past weekend I did not anticipate ever seeing in a high paid, endless egomaniacal squad – their beating heart. With an embattled coach, embarrassing losses piling up, their backline leader facing a potential prison term and their $50 million striker unable to buy a goal, the team pulled together and gutted out a commanding win against Bolton with a dominant second half versus a squad fighting relegation (the words: “I love and unequivocally support John Terry” are much harder to stomach and each attempt to say them aloud led to serious chest pains and visions of holy water boiling).
Yet what truly sucked me in to the team was their gaping flaws, so heart-wrenchingly on display. Fernando Torres exquisite agony – readable in his every breath and each extra long closeup; Gary Cahill’s complete inability to anchor the shakiest of back lines and playing without any trust from his teammates; Petr Cech’s unyielding steadiness in the face of pressure; the unwavering devotion of Frank Lampard and, finally, the diminutively death-defying forays and volleys of Juan Mata.
Currently sitting fifth in the Premier League, Chelsea has a long way to go to get back into the top four as Arsenal continues to round into form . They may take a few years rebuilding and fitting new pieces into their team. Tradition dictates an eventual return to contention but given the slippery slope of has-been Vets and not enough youth it should take some time.
The Manchester Squads meanwhile won in very different fashions but seem to be headed on an apocalyptic collision course for the league title. Man City won going away against Blackburn in a performance so dominant that at times it appeared they were playing a youth league team. Man U needed goals from ageless wonders Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs (playing his 900th game!) in order to get past Norwich. Both goals were simply perfect examples of wily / crafty vets getting into the right position. Giggs goal was pure clutch, and one of the most exciting moments of the season not involving Thierry Henry.
But, I said the following words aloud: “I am a Chelsea fan”.
The worst part is, it did not sound too bad.
 Do not mess with Premier League Fans.
 And Terry awaits his trial and a pack of Manchester lads sent out to the cut…I guess I can no longer make John Terry jokes if Chelsea is possibly going to be my team.
 Unlike Man City and Man U who have stockpiled…except for Man U’s 95 year old midfield. Chelsea currently has 2 under 21 players.
 My brother, Just Ross, has thrown his hands up in defeat and sworn off all soccer related posts for some time.