|One Week From Now, A Feisty Derby Awaits…
Chelsea’s start to the 2012/13 season has excellent to say the least. The team has been playing well and have comfortably seen off all opposition in the Premier League so far. However, when the international break comes to an end and Premier League football resumes, Chelsea will travel to White Hart Lane to play Tottenham Hotspurs in a match that means so much more to the fans of both teams than just 3 points. This particular London derby has always been a feisty one for there is no love lost between the fans of both teams. The fact that Spurs haven’t been Premier League contenders while Chelsea have always been title challengers for the past few years hasn’t reduced the intensity of the rivalry one bit. However, expect the intensity of this rivalry to escalate to whole new levels this time around.
Spurs finished 4th in the Premier League last season, something that should have guaranteed them Champions League football this season. However, there was a little twist in the tale. Chelsea managed to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final and win the coveted trophy which guaranteed us European football this season too (Chelsea finished 6th in the Premier League last season and would have been playing Europa League football were it not for our Champions League victory). Hence, it’s fair to say that Spurs fans are feeling a little sour at the moment. Personally, I feel they have no one to blame but themselves. At one point last season, they were sitting comfortably in 3rd and had a 12-point lead over Arsenal. However, a spectacular drop in form meant that they somehow blew that lead and ended up finishing 4th behind Arsenal. It’s hardly Chelsea’s fault that Spurs couldn’t hang on to a 12-point lead. Funny how no Spurs fan seems to mention that….
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. Spurs appointed Andre Villas-Boas, the man Chelsea unceremoniously fired more than halfway through last season because results weren’t going our way, as their new manager after Harry Redknapp was sacked by the club (funny how he couldn’t hold on to his job despite finishing 4th). AVB has had a decent start to his Spurs career despite a couple of bad results and will most certainly look forward to beating his former employers this time around. No one doubts the fact that AVB has a massive point to prove. He was fired by the club despite constantly going on record to state that he had the full backing of everyone at the club. His spell at Chelsea was a disastrous one and while a lot of the disasters were down to him, he will no doubt feel hard done by.
So when Chelsea run out to face Spurs next Saturday, expect a good game of football (both teams have played some flashy football so far this season). Expect a few chants from Chelsea fans that will taunt Spurs about their failure to make the Champions League this season. Expect a slightly awkward handshake between Villas-Boas and Di Matteo. All in all, expect a VERY feisty derby.