Despite being on pace for their 2nd Premiership title in as many campaigns, there’s little joy in being a Chelsea supporter in 2006 claims the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone.
A couple of nights ago in the pub I was chatting with a friend about Chelsea – how the stakes were now so high that they could win the Premiership title by a mile and still have an unsuccessful season. Mid-sentence I got a tap on my shoulder. “I heard what you were saying,” said a big bloke who looked as if he’d win any arm-wrestling competition down the Shed. “I’m a Chelsea fan.” Great. Here we go. I waited for the headbutt. “I agree with everything you were saying, mate. Chelsea have given me no pleasure this season. Nothing. Zilch.” He didn’t want to talk about any number of functional 1-0 wins or Makelele’s marshalling of his seven-man defence, he wanted to talk about Hudson and Osgood, Zola and Gullit, flair and romance down the King’s Road, the glory years when they won the FA Cup and sod all else. The one thing he didn’t want to talk about was modern Chelsea.
Steve, the fairest man I know, is also a Chelsea fan. He explains why they are no worse than Man United or Arsenal were, and tells me that everybody hates winning teams – that’s just the Robin Hood way of the world.
Well, I say, I’m not so sure – United had so much home-grown talent and played the beautiful game, Arsenal played the even more beautiful game. By now Steve is not only nodding, he’s helping me out, talking faster and faster. “They’re like that Harry Enfield character Loadsamoney, flaunting it, rubbing our faces in it. We know football’s become like that, but we don’t want to be constantly reminded.” Steve, like Mike and the arm wrestler, are on the verge of becoming self-haters.
Former Chelsea standout Peter Osgood, dubbed “The King Of Stamford Bridge”, has passed away at the age of 59. Osgood made some 580 appearances for Chelsea and Southampton during the 60’s and 70’s, with 220 goals to his credit.