Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Didier Drogba for Chelsea (v Barcelona), 18 October 2006
I was chatting to my boss, a Chelsea fan, last week. He used to go regularly, had the shirt, followed the club since he was a boy.
His biggest gripe? He hates the way that everyone hates Chelsea.
When Mourinho took over, I'm not sure anyone (other than for partial historical/rivalry reasons) hated Chelsea. Now, everyone does. What happened in the meantime?
Clearly, the Special One himself is largely to blame. From being an honest breath of fresh air to the Premiership, his outbursts and paranoia have got steadily worse and more ill-advised, culminating with his most recent attack on the efforts of the Berkshire Ambulance Service in responding to Petr Cech's injury at Reading last week. He can't seem to stop himself any more.
Why else do we hate them? Successful teams always suffer from jealousy and "automatic" dislike (as a United fan we have experienced this for years) but with Chelsea it goes above and beyond that. Their players started off being impressive and, on the whole, well-behaved, but now we have the histrionics of Drogba and Robben and the crude challenging of Essien and Boularouz. They signed Ashley Cole, possibly currently the least popular player around. Peter Kenyon talks about them as a "business" and about "margins" and "markets". Their endless cash pot has completely skewed the transfer market in Europe.
So, why do you hate Chelsea? Or maybe you don't?