Chelsea Congratulations


Champions of europe

The morning after the night before and there will certainly be a few hangovers in West London and across the globe for Chelsea fans worldwide. Lifting the European Cup can be the pinnacle of many players and fans careers and Munich will live long in the memory of them all.

I have often criticised The Blues via Twitter (shameless plug time; @SoccerCoachRes) and to Chelsea loving pals, mainly due to the antics of certain players that were evident again yesterday. The sight of suspended players fully kitted up (including shin pads in Ivanovic’s case?!) marauding onto the pitch and celebrating had a certain lack of decorum.

However, despite my qualms about the individuals I am big enough to recognise that Chelsea as a team have achieved an incredible feat that could potentially be the first of many. When the famous ‘big eared’ cup was hoisted aloft in the Allianz Arena you could almost hear Roman Abramovich’s sigh of relief that his ‘project’ has now won the pinnacle of European club competition.

Roman

Media speculators pinpointed the reluctance of the ‘old-guard’ at Stamford Bridge taking to Andres Villas-Boas when he took the reigns at Stamford Bridge to be his demise. Lampard, Terry, Drogba and Cole were all mooted to have not taken to AVB’s training methods and the fact he commanded respect from them rather than earning it causing them to lack faith in him. When Di Matteo took the hot-seat ‘respect’ was already there, as he had worn the famous blue and knew what an integral part the aforementioned players would play if success were to be delivered. He immediately reinstated them, three of the four above scored in the shootout last night and the rest is history as they say.

Although Villas-Boas’ stay was short he did sign high calibre players like Juan Mata, Raul Meireles and Gary Cahill. The big centre-half was immense last night especially in the absence of John Terry and thwarted attack after attack from Bayern; in six months at Chelsea he has won the FA Cup and European Cup whereas players at so-called bigger clubs, like Van Persie at Arsenal, have their mantelpiece bare for another Summer.

Gary Cahill

It will be interesting to see what happens with the managerial position now, Roberto Di Matteo is in a strong position but you never know how the higher echelons at Stamford Bridge are thinking. As European champions Chelsea are an attractive proposition to some of the big name managers that have been touted previously such as Fabio Capello and Pep Guardiola.

What was evident last night was the essence of a fantastic team spirit and a ‘them versus us’ mentality. Whilst the individuals I mentioned earlier attract criticism for the misdemeanours both on and off the pitch, collectively you can see that the squad comes together as one. Having a strong team spirit is key in any successful club.

As much as it pains me to say ‘Congratulations Chelsea’, I genuinely do mean it. Drawing with Barcelona at the Nou Camp to beat them on aggregate was a fantastic result; many slated them for parking the proverbial bus that epic night but not all results will be the product of beautiful, flowing football. Di Matteo was savvy enough to recognise this and his team did a ‘job’ in Cataluña.

The main highlight of Chelsea and their European escapade though has got to be the reaction from Sky commentator Gary Neville when Fernando Torres rounds the ‘keeper in the Semi….

 

Article by Chris Stygal

 

Article by Chris Stygal

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