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After a nervy win against Queens Park Rangers, Jose Mourinho lit the blue light touch paper by suggesting that the Chelsea fans were so quiet it was “like playing in an empty stadium”

These are harsh words, but many Chelsea fans will actually agree with their manager, there is a consensus that the atmosphere in Stamford Bridge is not as good as it could be and is deteriorating.

Chelsea fans are frustrated, so rather than blame the fans, some of the responsibility lies with the Chelsea board for policies that deter atmosphere and have promoted the game more as a tourist attraction than a football club.

The problem is created in part by the club management and even by steps by Jose himself, after all it was his demands that saw away fans moved into the Shed during his first spell at the club.

Our traditional fan base feels marginalised by huge ticket costs, aggressive stewarding and prevalence of tourists. So before people point the blame exclusively at the fans let’s be reasonable and fair.

Chelsea Football Club Does Not Want Loud Supporters

Chelsea Football Club has become a brand focussed on commercial revenues, these has seen a prioritisation in making the club as sanitised and marketable as possible.

Chelsea tickets have never been more in demand, when tickets go on sale to members they sell out within an hour. There are different types of people that go to Chelsea and the club wants it to be people with money, otherwise the prices would not be so high.

So many fans are being priced out of the game as the cost of an average game at Stamford Bridge is £150 once you factor in transport and entertainment costs.

The majority of the fans that go to matches and make the most noise, are not so bothered by the fancy marketing, you can stick them on a terrace, with no facilities and they will be in their element.

Football in the UK remains governed by the findings of the Taylor report, yet the world has moved forward and we now have the ability to police football matches where fans stand up safely. Until this is done we have the militant stewards and stadium bans for fans that try to stand up and create some atmosphere.

This is why support from our fans when they go away is so much louder, the cost is lower,  tourists are gone and passionate fans can stand the entire game unmolested by stewards that do not want the battle.

Shed End Full Of Away Fans

The Shed End was the heart of Chelsea support, however in his first spell at the Bridge, Mourinho got the away fans moved from the East Stand to the corner of the Shed/East Stand. This splits our support base and dissipates the atmosphere.

If Mourinho wants a better atmosphere he should look at how we move the away fans out of the Shed.

The Club Supports The Touts and Tourist Exchanges

Interest from all over the world is flattering, but it is not conducive to atmosphere, whilst there are lots of passionate overseas fans that see Stamford Bridge as a pilgrimage, there are the daytrippers who are there for a fashionable day out.

The tourists in town who view a trip to Stamford Bridge like they do visiting Trafalgar Square, they spend the whole game recording the game on their iPad or using their selfie sticks. The club doesn’t care that these fans do not add to the atmosphere, because these are the fans that spend a fortune in the megastore.

Getting their tickets from illegal websites,touts or ticket vendors in the trendy parts of the city, they will pay over the odds for a daytrip. Then there are the touts that go unmolested about their business outside Fulham Broadway. If the club was serious about wanting to protect fans and the atmosphere it would crack down all the places tourists buy tickets.

They won’t though as that would hurt the brand and megastore takings.

Put Up or Shut Up

The club has to decide does it want loud supporters creating atmosphere, or does it want to keep building the ground by flooding it with tourists. It cannot have its cake and eat it.

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Sunday sees two of the world’s most successful and flamboyant managers square off against each other at Old Trafford. Van Gaal also used to be Mourinho’s boss and helped in his development by giving him more responsibility.

Here are some videos highlighting the relationship and entertainment factor of the pair.

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Proper football returned this weekend as we travelled to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace side that won the same fixture last season.

There was to be no repeat performance though, as Chelsea won to maintain a five point gap at the top of the table and pull further away from Arsenal who are increasingly becoming irrelevant in the title race already.

The game was John Terry’s 500th as captain and he played a captains game as always.

With no Costa in the team there was apprehension about what Loic Remy could do, but he put in a decent performance and despite the scoreline, we were comfortable in the game.

Despite the game being full of drama, the result never really felt in doubt from the moment that Oscar’s free kick hit the back of the net.

The sending off of Azpilicueta threatened to make things uncomfortable in the second half, his challenge was reckless but without malice. Fortunately Palace soon even things up with an ill judged tug on Loic Remy.

The suspension of Azpilicueta will create an opportunity for Felipe Luis to build on his solid substitute performance and lay his claim for more involvement in the team.

Cesc Fabregas had the moment of the match as he finished off some beautiful interplay to get his first Premier League goal for Chelsea.

Solanke Denied Debut

Sadly the last minute goal saw Dom Solanke denied a debut, he was stripped and ready to come on but the goal saw Mourinho choose to go with the experience of Drogba to see out the final minutes.

Let’s hope he gets another chance

Man of the Match – Nemanja Matic (commanded the game)

Highlight –  The pure bliss of that Fabregas goal

Full Team

  • 13 Courtois
  • 02 Ivanovic
  • 24 Cahill
  • 26 Terry
  • 28 Azpilicueta Dismissed
  • 21 Matic
  • 04 Fàbregas Booked
  • 22 Willian (Filipe Luis – 42′ )
  • 08 Oscar
  • 10 Hazard (Salah – 86′ )
  • 18 Remy (Drogba – 91′ )

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The international break means we are all treading water until the action starts up again at the weekend. So we thought we would take this opportunity to look at two great Chelsea teams, the one from Mourinho’s first spell in 2004/2005 and the one today.

Obviously the systems are different, but how many players would get in the current team from the first spell in charge. This is a harder decision than you would think.

So which players would get in the current team (in their heyday)


Obviously Courtois is the incumbent against Petr Cech, however his place in history is not yet secure, therefore I would choose Cech as we know he is ready for the fight.

Left Back

William Gallas was not a natural left back but dependable enough, and although Azpilicueta is on the opposite side of the pitch to his natural position, he has made it his own.

Right Back

Ivanovic of Ferreria, well I love them both but I would have to go for the Serbian

Centre Back

John Terry is the only player in both teams so he is a given, however I think in his heyday Carvalho edges Gary Cahill.

Central Midfield

This was a tough one, but the club’s top scorer of all time and the man who had a position named after himself get the nod over Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic.


Damien Duff was a great player and Schurrle has his moments, but a combination of Robben and Eden Hazard would dominate the league.

Attacking Midfield

Oscar has talent, but EIdur Gudjohnsen was unplayable on his day and I think he just about gets the nod ahead of Oscar.

Central Striker

This for me is the toughest one, compared to Drogba in 2004/2005 Diego Costa is the better player but he has yet to play a whole season. Drogba is the man for the big occasion and won trophies for Chelsea. For this reason I will go with Didier Drogba.

What would your combination XI be?

Team comparison

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The focus on Eden Hazard this season has been intense with players, the media and the fans comparing the potential of Eden Hazard to Lionel Messi.

This is a little premature but he has had a good start to the season, with the arrival of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas tying up more defenders giving him more time and space to impact games.

Here is a video of the damage he has done so far this season

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Plastered over my timeline today was speculation that Lampard could spend the whole season at Man City, it is upsetting to see Lampard in anything but Royal Blue but the time has come to move on and live and let live.

Frank Lampard is a Chelsea legend, and his exploits will be remembered for generations in the same breath as Tambling, Osgood, Bentley and Zola. He is our record goalscorer and has won a staggering amount of silverware.

But for the next six months and possibly beyond he will play for Manchester City, the full story behind that one is not entirely clear but glancing in his direction and getting obsessed by the speculation on his future does no-one any good.

The talk is that he will extend his loan into the future and every single one of these stories is pounced on by Chelsea fans who reopen the wound that he is no longer at the Bridge. The time came and a decision by someone was made, there is no changing it and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

He left, there was no shirt burning and a mutual respect, but he has gone.

The story is of course made richer by the fact that we have had to suffer him playing against us and showing his class on and off the pitch with his performance and reaction at the Etihad.

The goal he scored against us was painful, but in ten years it will be a funny anecdote in the story of Frank Lampard a Chelsea legend a one time Manchester City player.

Instead let’s focus on the player he was for us and ignore the fact he is playing for a rival. In two years time he will have retired and we will have forgotten all about that.

Frank Lampard a Chelsea legend but let’s stop talking about who he plays for now.


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Fabregas celery

When the news broke that we were favourites to sign Cesc Fabregas despite various Arsenal ‘resources’ saying he was going back to the red side of north London my feelings were mixed – Yet Cesc Fabregas  could be Mourinho’s most inspired signing.

I immediately remembered the dramatic dive at the Nou Camp in 2012 and the pleased little look of his face when he got up. I remembered all the times he kissed the Arsenal badge, the passion when he scored a goal for them and THAT tweet; ‘once a gooner always a gooner’.

The other side of me was pleased that we were getting a player who’s style and flair would be awesome for us and the prospect of him joining up with the inevitable signing of Costa seemed almost too good to be true. I was certain the deal wouldn’t happen when I heard Arsenal had a first refusal clause when they sold him and I was certain that even Wenger wouldn’t pass that up.

Fabregas slotted straight in and had a very good pre season and it was like he had been wearing the blue for years not weeks. His partnership with Diego Costa was blossoming through that tour of Europe pre season and it was frightening at times.

Then the season started and he did what he did against Burnley and although many people claim to have spotted Shurrle’s run very few people in the world could have executed that pass. That pass to Shurrle was just out of this world and it gave us the first gooner meltdown of the season on social media. Very happy times.

Cesc Fabregas Mourinho and Perfect Timing

I am going to go out on a limb here and say Cesc joined at the right time. He needed to come in after Lampard left. I say this as we could not play the way we play now with Lampard and Fabregas in the side. Fabregas and Matic works. Lampard would obviously play in a more advanced role but this may have unbalanced the side. I have heard pundits, people who are paid to talk about football, say that Fabregas will not score the same goals as Lampard.

This is true (and very obvious). Lampard is the arrive late in box late and mop up midfielder, he’s the have a touch and look up can I shoot midfielder. Fabregas is the have a touch and look up to find a pass midfielder, he’s the sit on the edge of the box and start a new attack from any clearance midfielder. This is not a dig or a rant about Lampard at all. I miss the man. We all do.

But Fabregas performances have justified Mourinho’s decision for one to move on and the other to come in.

The game on Sunday showed the class of the man on and off the pitch. He ignored the flare lighting, bitter, living in the past Arsenal fans booing him for the entirety of the match. Fabregas was man of the match for me against them. Nothing he did was misplaced. He was a proper gent and could have made the most of the Welbeck challenge and got him sent off but didn’t. Arsenal fans were saying before the game that they would rather have Ozil than Fabregas so when Fabregas dispossessed Ozil with the same ease a father tackles his young child in the garden I howled with laughter.

Then after the game in his post match interview he conducted himself with such class I felt a little proud of the man. After getting dogs abuse for 90 minutes he stood there and said ‘I thank Arsenal for all they done for me’. He done two things saying that that upped his popularity with Chelsea fans no end. He one, was very Mourinhoesq with his reply to Geoff Shreeves and secondly and most importantly made every single Arsenal fan look like a pathetic ex partner who, even after years of being apart, still cannot let go.

For this I will be eternally grateful.

Cesc Fabregas will achieve great things with Chelsea. He is the player that completes the connection between our solid defence and our frightening attack. What’s more…….he cost 8 million more then Adam Lallana cost Liverpool.


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