Monday, 21 May 2012

The Marginal Victory that is Winning The Champions League

Roman took over Chelsea in the summer of 2003.

Transforming a modest team into one of the top sides in the world.

Traditionalists will cite that what took place over the course of the next nine years was a club buying their success.

Realists will know that this is how football works these days.

Chelsea are no different to Blackburn, Liverpool, Manchester City or Manchester United.

Arsenal would have seen the same success but spent their money on a stadium instead of players.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are funded by Spanish banks and the Government.

And money has dictated the Italian championship a lot longer than it’s European counterparts.

Yet even those who have spent big have still only managed limited success in Europe’s top competition.

No team has ever retained the competition.

No team has ever dominated it.

Sir Alex Ferguson has had 17 attempts at winning the competition yet has only yielded 2 titles.

By his own accord that has not been good enough - but he is still the most successful manager in the competitions history.

Arsene Wenger has had 14 attempts with just 1 runner-ups spot.

Roman has tried and failed with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Avram Grant, even Jose Mourinho.


We have witnessed one of the greatest sides to ever come out of England continuously miss out on Champions League glory.

And by the smallest of margins.

John’s slip in the final.

Luis’ goal that never crossed the line.

Eidur’s miss in the last minute.

The penalties at Anfield.


This squad, more than most, have proved what little margins there are between coming first - or coming last.

For to win the Champions League - everything must go your way.

Everything over the course of the season.

Liverpool were 4 minutes away from elimination in the group stage in 2005.

Not to mention what happened in Istanbul.

Manchester United were losing 1-0 in injury time in 1999.

The same club of course, who benefitted from John’s slip.

And then we had Chelsea in 2012.

How many times had they looked dead and buried in this seasons competition?

Napoli defeating them 3-1 in the first leg.

Then scoring an away goal at the Bridge.

Losing both centre backs in Camp Nou.

Barcelona going 2-0 up.

Lionel stepping up to take a penalty to give Barcelona the lead.

Their opponents in the final playing with home advantage.

Bayern scoring in the 84th minute of the final.

Arjen looked to seal it from 12 yards in extra time.

Juan missing his kick.

Before finally Bastian tipped the competition in Chelsea’s favour.

They were down and out on so many occasions yet they would not die.

Neutrals may not like some of these Chelsea players but they have to have been impressed with their mentality.

They have earned the respect of everyone who really knows about this sport.

Their ‘not knowing when to quit’ attitude was exceptional.

Desire unquestionable.

Every time they looked out, they somehow found something extra special to keep them in the fight.

This is what makes great teams great.

What made Chelsea great.

And Chelsea have been exactly that this century.

It’s just now, they’ve finally got what they deserve - a marginal victory...

Monday, 14 May 2012

End of Season Awards

Player of the Season:
(1) Vincent Kompany
(2) Robin Van Persie
(3) Yaya Toure

Young Player of the Season:
(1) Sergio Aguero
(2) Gareth Bale
(3) James McClean

Manager of the Season:
(1) Alan Pardew
(2) Roberto Martinez
(3) Roberto Mancini


Goal of the Season:
(1) Peter Crouch vs. Man City 
(2) Papiss Cisse vs. Chelsea (2nd) 
(3) Hatem Ben Arfa vs. Bolton

Game of the Season:
(1) Man City 3-2 QPR
(2) Man Utd 1-6 Man City
(3) Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal 
(4) Man Utd 4-4 Everton
(5) Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal


Moment of the Season:
(1) Sergio Aguero vs. QPR 
(2) Eden Dzeko vs. Man United 
(3) Steven Pienaar vs. Man United

Gripe of the Season:
(1) Luis Suarez vs. Man United 
(2) John Terry vs. QPR 
(3) Roy Hodgsons’ Media Treatment

Reality check of the Season:
(1) Gary Speed
(2) Fabrice Muamba
(3) Stylian Petrov


Best signing of the Season:
(1) Sergio Aguero 
(2) Paul Scholes 
(3) Papiss Cissé

Worst signing of the Season:
(1) Stewart Downing 
(2) Charlie Adam
(3) Roger Johnson


Team of the Season:

Joe Hart

Kyle Walker
Vincent Kompany
Johnny Evans
Leighton Baines

Antonio Valencia
Yaya Toure
Clint Dempsey

Wayne Rooney
Robin Van Persie
Sergio Aguero