What a roller-coaster year it’s been for us. We’ve faced the lowest lows and relatively high highs, and we still come through absolutely ‘Carefree’. Such is the nature of support at Chelsea, something we’ve enjoyed thoroughly since the arrival of Roman Abramovich. We’ve been in contention for all 4 trophies every year, and granted that we have the revolving door for managers at Stamford Bridge, it seems to have worked. We have added to our collection of trophies with our most recent success, the Europa League. The ‘Anti-Chelsea’ brigade can boast about how it’s a competition not worth much, but the fact remains that we’ve only finished 2nd to Manchester United in determining successful seasons.
After all the smiles and frowns, I only think it’s right we dedicate a pat on the back to ourselves.
Yes, we’ve had it easy with Abramovich controlling club affairs, undoubtedly. But the support for our team has never been in doubt. Whether you’re from London, England, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, you owe yourself a lot of credit for having to endure the bad times, and still having the courage to cheer on Chelsea in the very next game.
Going by Twitter, I have now been active as a fan/personal account (@Drogboss) for just under a year. Before creating the account, I had my own personal account, where I would follow top journalists and the fan accounts with huge amounts of followers. I learned that following these accounts lead me to very limited amount of opinions, and I never got to engage with the people that actually mattered – Us. Fans. People that had actual opinions about the game and about Chelsea, not accounts that gave opinions which were universally agreed with. After creating @ShedEndBlue, I then realised I could build a substantially larger follower and following base, where I could give my own personal views, and also learn about other football fans’ views. And this worked extremely well.
I found myself conversing with people of every opinion, and I honestly have to say, it opened my mind about a lot of things, such as ‘Is Torres off-form or just not a good footballer anymore?’, ‘Does Robbie stay or go?’ and the most discussed topic, ‘Rafael Benitez’.
After the endless amount of difference in opinions and ‘You’re clueless’, it was still apparent to me that however near or far we may be from the Bridge, the passion in people when it comes to supporting their team is greater than ever. We ALL want what’s best for the club, and nothing less. We’re fortunate enough to have a wealthy owner that allows us to dream, and we’ll all have different opinions, it’d be stupid not to.
So for showing more passion than ever, we should credit each other, and realise that people all around the world want exactly what you want – A successful Chelsea. It is the club that binds us all together, and we defend the club whenever needed.
As for Stamford Bridge, it’s clear to everyone that our home support has not been what it has been in the past. There have been a lot of changes, mainly for income purposes, but we’ve still managed to strike up a mean atmosphere at times, despite having that manager change, mid-way through the season. Of course, having a man, not all approved of, managing Chelsea was never going to create a monstrous atmosphere, but we have still managed to get behind the team, and produce some amazing results and more than that, inject energy into our football.
So if you were one of those people that generated a buzz at Stamford Bridge, we all credit you for doing so, and making every fan outside the Bridge proud to be a fan of the club.
The away support this year has been phenomenal. It always has been, but due to the home support being lesser than normal, the away fans have shone, and really done us all proud. Southampton, Leeds and United were the most memorable games where the away support were nothing short of amazing. We have been praised several times by the oppositional fans for our support at their homes, and again, despite all the Anti-Rafa banners, chants etc, the away fans still managed to make their voices heard, and gave us all a reason to boast about Chelsea.
I could praise the away support forever, but this is my way of thanking those fans that travelled hundreds of miles to support the club we all love.
I’d just like to add that there have been many cases of people classing other fans’ support for the club as poor, but being a Chelsea fan in London, I have nothing but good feelings towards our International fans, the people that represent us around the world. The time difference in certain countries ranges up to 8 hours forward or backwards, and they still manage to stay awake, just to watch those 2 hours of football, the same 2 hours we enjoy at convenient times. So with that in mind, I’d love to see a bit more appreciation towards them, as it is those fans that help make us a global brand, something that in turn allows us to boast proudly when supporting Chelsea.
With Jose Mourinho ever so close to re-signing rather than resigning at Chelsea, I do expect a lot of the divided support to unite again, and I do think we are in for much happier times than that we have endured since November 2012.
In conclusion, I’d just like to thank everyone for making it such an eventful season, and it’s times like these when we realise how awful football would be without pub-talk, arguments at school or college, and discussions at work. We have a lot to look forward to in the summer, and it promises to be one that generates a lot of talking points, and I can’t wait to get stuck in!
Have faith, never lose hope.