May 8, 2012

Keep The Blue Flag Flying High

Why do you support Chelsea? You did not support them before the Russian Rubles arrived, did you? Money can buy everything but the titles.
Well, being a Chelsea supporter, I often encounter such questions. Very often. And to say the truth, it is indeed irritating at times.

Let's rewind back to 18th December, 2005. Chelsea vs Arsenal at Highbury. It was the one of my very first premier league matches, and I certainly did not have any orientation towards any club. All I knew that Arsenal had achieved an undefeated season just over a year ago, and the core of the 'Invincibles' remained pretty much the same. At the same time, I, in no way, liked Manchester United. The reason: well, every second football maniac in school supported United, without knowing anything about them(They could even mistake the Arsenal jersey for that of United).

Coming back to Highbury, it was the match which changed my life as a football fan. At the pre match conference, the pundits highlighted Joe Cole as the player to look out for and praised John Terry for his performances in the recent matches. It was just before half time that Robben slotted in home a Didier Drogba rebound. Joe Cole, later, doubled Chelsea's lead with a clinical finish; an effort of the highest quality.

The importance of that match was even more because it basically ended Arsenal's title bid and put Chelsea nine points clear of second placed United. From that game on, there was no looking back. To be honest, I had no idea how many millions Abramovich had invested, or how good Mourinho was. I just knew Mourinho to be fairly new, with a bad relationship with the press.

Others argue that people like me support Chelsea because of the riches. Well, there's always a catch, isn't it? I question them as to why they support their own club. They have certainly not been here to cherish all of United's 19 League titles, Liverpool's six European Cup triumphs and certainly not Arsenal's record number seasons in top flight. Maybe they were there when the Invincibles were doing their magic, or when United defeated Bayern in the Champions League final, or when Liverpool won their last two European Cups. The reason why you support your club is simple: You love their football, and you are willing to stick by your club no matter how they play.

I personally hate people who change their loyalty after a major event. These people are plain hypocrites. Players and trophies can not be held over the club. In any case, someone who changes the loyalty should be ashamed of calling himself a fan.

The recent success of Manchester City has led to an increase in support for them. And why not? They are playing good football, with the 6-1 thrashing of United in their own playground being the highlight of their season. The spending of City has taken the attention off Chelsea in recent years (starting from the Robinho saga). The City fans are facing the same questions I faced back when Chelsea had just started tasting success.Well, the ones who generally ask the questions are plain jealous of the success of City (just as they were of Chelsea back in those days...) I sympathize with them, but I am pretty sure this won't last much.

Coming back to Chelsea, I am writing this about twelve days after they performed beyond their humane capabilities to come back from two goals down against arguably the best team in the world, to book a place in the Champions League final, ten days from now. This mightbe a good time for Chelsea after one of the best turnarounds in history after the poor start under Villas Boas, but, I would still like to stress the fact that even if a day comes when Chelsea are relegated, they would still have my support.

Signing off. KTBFFH!

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