Racist thugs on Paris subway platform do not represent Chelsea FC supporters: #ktbffh

Pick a football site, any football site. Right now the raging topic of discussion is the abominably racist behavior of some Chelsea fans on a Paris subway platform in advance of the club’s Champions League Round of 16 match vs. Paris St. Germaine yesterday. What the heck, try The Guardian.

If you know football, you know that the Blues have a history. Their legendary hooligans, the Headhunters, rated their own chapter in How Soccer Explains the World, and if you go back a few decades you’ll learn that once upon a time the racism infesting the club’s fan culture was so vile that they abused their own black player. Continue reading

Chelsea 2 : 4 Bradford City: Three Thoughts

Well, then. Time for some quick thoughts on today’s FA Cup debacle at the Bridge.

1: Time to rethink that transfer talk?

Just yesterday Jose Mourinho was insisting that Chelsea has no interest in shipping players out or bringing new ones in. He’s happy with what he has. He trusts what he has.

“The window is open, but what I can say is I like them, I need them and I trust them,” he said. “I cannot select the same 18 players every game — I only can play 11. Salah is not playing a lot, Schurrle more than him. They are players that play for us in every competition. Even in the Champions League. I count on them.” Continue reading

Why do Chelsea Supporters Think the Refs are Against Us? Exhibit A…

We Chelsea FC supporters have a bit of a complex when it comes to officiating. Last year the Blues were voted the Most Hated Club in the Premier League by fans, which is fine – if they don’t hate you you’re doing it wrong – but all too often it seems like CFC is equally hated by the referees. I’m not going to bother you with an extended laundry list of grievances – feel free to Google [chelsea referee controversies] if you want details – but trust me when I tell you that for every questionable call that goes our way (and sure, there are some, like Mike Riley awarding Ramires a penalty against West Brom last season), it seems like there are a lot more that don’t.

There was a moment yesterday, in our scoreless draw at Sunderland, that I think illustrates why we have that complex. First, the picture: Continue reading

Goodbye and Good Luck to Fernando Torres

Today’s announcement of a two-year loan deal to AC Milan marked the end of a 3.5 year saga that began with £50m leaving Chelsea’s pockets and going into that of Liverpool. Clearly Torres never hit the heights that many expected, but claims of him being the ultimate flop are hard to justify.

The Beginnings

I’ve already commented on Didier Drogba, a player who was often glorified despite his many flaws. We were all glued to our computers or phones waiting for an official announcement from the club that Torres had been signed. There were those that had concern over the deal but it was mostly positive. We were taking the biggest star from a bitter rival and making him our own. Continue reading

The Drogba Double-Standard: A Tale of Redemption

Chelsea fans revere Didier Drogba and hail his return, but they’re suffering from a bad case of selective memory.

Didier Drogba’s return to Chelsea has been viewed as the homecoming of one of the greatest players to ever wear the famous Chelsea Blue. No one ever denies the importance of Drogba’s contribution to Chelsea but some wonder why people view him as an untouchable god? For all of Drogba’s accomplishments there were just as many turbulent times and failures to go along with it. We welcome back Drogba with open arms, but let’s not forget all the tough times he put us through. Continue reading

Local Media, Americans and the World Cup

As this World Cup comes to a close, I have been watching a lot more than just the glorious display of the Beautiful Game on display here in Denver. Here are a few things to note about my perception of Americans (or people who live in America) and the media in Denver during this World Cup:

1. In the main, supporting the country of one’s ancestors seems to be more important than the country one is born in. This could be a fallacy, but I have seen more Americans in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, France and the other South American country’s shirts than I have the US one. I will say that in a few, rare cases some of this is because of a true love of football as a whole (I myself had a Pele shirt in the 90’s). My prime example is RMB’s own Greg Lepetsos as he shows us all his pain while wearing his Brazil tee during that 7-1 capitulation to Germany!

2. When the US lost to Belgium, the World Cup finished for those who were only supporting the American side because ‘Murica. It’s like they believed the World Cup existed up until they lost, which is a shame, considering the amount of passion we saw from a lot of US fans. Those who have invested time in following a league team, however, have been following the whole tournament and have been treated to an event far better than South Africa, four years ago. This is just an observation of the casual fan who only shows up when there isn’t any American Football or Hockey on. They will disappear as soon as social media dies down and their twitter page isn’t inundated with facts they can repeat as necessary. This is the kind of fan we need to educate more and get on board full time. They know the score, but don’t have the base to stick with it.

3. The 9News Sports department is decades behind the rest of the world and a good section of Denver, too. By only focusing on the World Cup until the US went out they missed a huge opportunity to connect with an already large and continually growing part of Denver’s community. I don’t even think someone of them know that US had to go through a quite arduous qualification process to make it to Brazil, you certainly can’t have a decent conversation with a few in there without getting the usual misinformed rubbishing you get from those who don’t know the game. More importantly, they are missing out on the chance to forge a link with the community, especially seeing as we have live Premiership football broadcast on our station. @nil_nil00 was contrived, cheesy to those already in the Denver football community, but he was a step in the right direction and I hope he returns soon, so get your #savenilnil hash tags ready, my friends. Here I get ribbed by the unidentified reporter for predicting a Brazil win over Germany:

4. Telemundo Denver’s approach to the World Cup has been perfect. They have done everything that 9News should have and I think their general viewer base will grow because of that.

5. I was given the chance to work on air with Susie Wargin on her show with Dave Logan at KOA radio. I enjoyed myself immensely and got to advertise my abilities, but more importantly I thought it was a good step for them to take as it engaged with the community. As football continues to grow, I think it would be a great foot in the door to build and have someone (not necessarily me) on a regular basis to cover the Premiership, La Liga and other leagues and cater more to Denver’s already passionate football community.

And here we are now at half time in the World Cup Final with everything to play for. Just 45 or 75 minutes away from being able to take a deep breath and focus on what’s really important – Chelsea’s pre-season training and our impending campaign to bring the Premiership, FA Cup, Mickey Mouse Cup and Champions League where they belong – the trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge.

The Match That Changed Football: The Aftereffects of Heysel

the 1985 European Cup final witnessed one of the great tragedies in sports history, but modern football is a brighter, safer and more entertaining spectacle as a result.

39 Juve fans died at the European Cup Final in Belgium because of football on this day in 1985. 39. Take a moment and let that sink in a little. Regular guys like you and me were killed at a football game. On top of that over 600 fans were injured. At a football game. I’m not going to blame Liverpool fans and jump on the “Always the victims” moniker that has sometimes rightly been thrown around. Instead I will squarely blame everyone: Continue reading

The Chelsea Supporter’s Guide to Silly Season: Four Tips for Calm Your Ass Down and Don’t Be a Wanker

Transfer rumors have begun. Here’s how to decide if what you’re hearing is bollocks.

simmer-down-beavisI’m a member of multiple CFC communities and already things are getting out of hand. We’re buying Mandzukic. We’re buying Costa. We’re buying Luis. We’re selling Lukaku. Cole, JT and Lamps are gone. Sideshow is off to Barca, while Hazard and everyone else of any value is going to be sold to PSG.

Simmer down, Beavis. Continue reading

The Hand That Moyes Was Dealt: Why He is Not to Blame

We have all had fun poking at Manchester United fans with their team experiencing one of their worst seasons in years. It is unusual to see them completely out of the title race and even more unusual to see them out of Europe altogether. The focal point of all the blame has been David Moyes, a manager with more experience managing a top-flight Premier League club than most of the league put together. With a world of experience, why was he doomed to fail? Continue reading

In Defense of Fernando Torres

This is in direct response to Sam Smith’s article on Chelsea lacking a striker. A lot of criticism has gone around directed at Fernando Torres but it is not justified. I am not going to claim that Torres is the greatest striker in the universe but the criticism he has received is completely unfair.

The “Consistent Striker” Argument

Who was the last Chelsea striker to knock in 20 League goals in consecutive seasons? No, it was not Drogba. Drogba never did. It was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. The most annoying argument has always been the Drogba argument. People always chose to overlook the fact that he only scored 20+ goals twice in his 8 year career at Chelsea. What they overlook now is that Chelsea had Lampard banging them in with incredible consistency to shadow the fact that Drogba was not scoring goals. Continue reading