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Apparently Diego Costa and his alleged stamping incidents at Stamford Bridge mean that Chelsea have forfeit their right to play in the Capital One Cup Final in order for the media to focus on this properly.

Well that would certainly seem to be the case looking at the back pages of the daily newspapers today, they have all decided to focus on the stamp allegations rather than the fact that Chelsea have reached the final of the competition.

I know the Costa “badboy” glorification, vilification , rinse and repeat cycle game from the media generates clicks but sometimes a little perspective is required. Sure it is far sexier a story than a team reaching the Capital One Cup Final but it does disservice to what was actually one of the most enthralling games of the season across all competitions.

A hard fought and reasonably open game where both sides were going for the win, something that we do not see that often in the tactical planning of a long Premier League season

It seems that the fact that Costa may or may not have been sent off for stamps that are more than open for interpretation is far more of a story than the chance of winning silverware. I hasten to add that had it been Liverpool that came away from Stamford Bridge victorious the focus would be different. The Costa story would have been a footnote, the editors would have been to busy talking about “Brendan’s Lions” “Gerrard’s fairytale ending” and all the usual guff they come up with to fawn over the Liverpool the moment they rise even slightly above mediocre.

So don’t be surprised if it is not Chelsea that line up at Wembley on the 1st of March, but instead Chelsea field a team of journalists all battering the opposition into surrender by saying it should have been Liverpool.

 

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Humiliating, embarrassing and almost unfathomable, this weekends football has left many Chelsea fans scratching their heads.

Losing to a team in League One it is no surprise that Chelsea fans are frustrated, angry and flabbergasted considering our reputation and the talent we put on the pitch.

It is a marker of how far Chelsea have come since I first started watching them that defeat in the FA Cup to a lower league team seems apocalyptic. Expectations of a crushing win and march to the next round may not have materialised but it is time to put things into perspective.

Every loss, however rare seems to rally a cry of “change” “buy  more players” or “is he special anymore” football is a great game because the most talented club do not always win and that even when they do there are bumps along the way.

This Chelsea under Mourinho is the calmest, most driven and exciting side to watch play and one defeat to a minnow does not change that. Stamford Bridge is still a fortress and we are still building towards a season that could go down in the record books as a awesome one.

So for those going crazy it is time for a little perspective, we lost it happens and knee jerk reactions just make you look stupid.

It is a compliment to how well we have performed in the FA Cup in recent years that you feel this way, but the 4 trophies in 6 years of the late 00’s seems to have given some fans a distorted sense of reality.

We have a semi final on Tuesday, another chance to push the club forwards, by all means have a sulk this weekend its only natural, but don’t overthink it.

Oh and don’t forget to congratulate Bradford, they achieved something unreal this weekend, and fairplay to former Chelsea players Felipe Morais and Billy Knott for being part of it.

I still love the cup, but will remember this one for all the wrong reasons.

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The arguments over where Chelsea fans come from is something opposition fans try and throw at successful teams. So where do Chelsea fans really come from?

Well the results based on SportsDirect sales may surprise you, here is what there data shows.

There really are Chelsea fans in London

Ok, so not a shock to match going fans but more than half of Chelsea shirts sold by Sports Direct were in London, something that the media may not believe or are sure to spin another way.

John Obi Mikel Is Not The Only Nigerian In A Chelsea Shirt

Now for the surprise, the city that sold the second most Chelsea shirts in 2014 was Nigeria. Accounting for a whopping 8% of Chelsea shirt sales accounts. Nigeria is a football obsessed country that loves the Premier League and maybe our European Cup Winning midfielder has something to do with our popularity in his homeland.

The Scottish Blues Brothers Connection 

Another country with strong Chelsea shirt sales is Scotland and this can be explained not just by the terrible standard of football in the SPL, but in the bond between Chelsea and Rangers that sees many fans travel to watch both sides play. It seems the bond is stronger than ever and is keeping the tills ringing at Sports Direct.

Norwich Is Bluer Than Delia After A Few Sherries

It is not surprising to FamousCFC.com that Norwich is doing well on this front, there quite a smattering of Chelsea fans I have met that travel home and away that currently live in Norwich, including our founders father (A Chelsea ST Holder), as well as the editor of one of the major Chelsea fansites. One of our editors worst fan experieces was walking 5 miles from his Dad’s house when we played them on Boxing Day as there was no transport that day, darn blisters he hobbled from the pub to the ground.

What do you make of these stats? Thanks to SportsDirect for sharing*

chelsea-shirts

 FamousCFC was not paid for this article, we just liked the stat and the argument it may stir.

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AC Milan sign Fernando Torres permanently in January ending his tenure at Stamford Bridge in am move that will be a huge relief to fans that feared he would be returning to Chelsea in January after failing to impress in Italy.

With poor form an issue the news that AC Milan sign Fernando Torres permanently may seem surprising but he will ultimately be a pawn in a loan swap move that will see him make a homecoming to boyhood club Athletico Madrid.

The transfer will be confirmed on the 5th of January triggering an instant loan move to Athletico Madrid, who will reciprocate by sending Alessio Cerci the other way.

Relief As AC Milan Sign Fernando Torres Permanently

I will be sad to see Torres leave, I had always hoped he would come good and prove the doubters wrong, however it seems now he will eternally be a flop who still managed to help the team to some massive highlights along the way.

Despite not hitting the expectations that come with a £50m price tag, he always tried and as fans we always gave him our full support, every time he did something noteworthy he got a “TORRES, TORRES, TORRES” roar, which would also happend when he was simply warming up on the bench.

He played his part in Chelsea winning two European trophies including a semi final clincher against Barcelona causing Gary Neville to have an orgasm, and he led the line in the Europa League final, opening the scoring with a typical golden era Torres goal.

He never quite got a run of form going and in Mourinho’s return season it became clear that the pressure was doing him no good and he was using a space in the squad that an on form striker needed to fill.

From FamousCFC.com we hope that Torres regains his form and flourishes in Spain, thank you Nando we will remember you for the Nou Camp and Munich.

 

 

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Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way, Oh What Fun It Is To See Chelsea Win Away

One of my favourite festive songs, and one that you can see on the BT Sport adverts being sung by a choir and after Monday night one that can be sung with pride at the moment.

Victory against Stoke on Monday night saw Chelsea secure top spot in the Premier League at Christmas for the fourth time in the club’s history. The result showed character and that we can do it “on a Monday night in Stoke” but we will have had a cracking Christmas should we manage to hold our top stop with games against West Ham United, Tottenham (away) and Southampton (away) coming up.

Although things are not as emphatic as they were in mid November, we are having a great season so far, in all competitions we have entered and there is a real mood of optimism, beyond anything I have felt since the last time Mourinho was in charge and we were charging towards the title.

Christmas is a bonus time of the year for football, but getting to the games can be a struggle and hats off to everyone disrupting their Christmas to put a bit of Chelsea in their lives, so far this season our away support has been amazing and demand for tickets is at record levels.

So I guess I want to end this happy go lucky post by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a reminder that we are top of the league and should be ecstatic with how we are doing so far.

WIN OR LOSE UP THE BLUES 2014 and beyond. Cheers from @Famous_CFC

You can see some Chelsea joy here – the Jingle bells song is in the last 10 seconds

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Our trip to Derby this week is the perfect opportunity to take the next step in winning the first piece of silverware in Jose Mourinho’s second spell at the club.

 

The Capital One Cup Quarter Final fixture will be held at Pride Park or as it is now commercially demanded the iPro stadium in a game that will provide a reasonable test for what I imagine will be a weakened game that may include some younger players.

 

Derby Form

 

Derby have been on a good run of form recently and were top of the Championship until this weekend, when Chelsea loanee and former Derby player Patrick Bamford inspired Middlesborough to a 2-0 victory over the rams.

 

To earn a game against the Blues they have overcome Carlisle, Charlton Athletic, Reading and Fulham and will be full of confidence in a game in which they have nothing to lose.

 

Key Players –  Midfielder Will Hughes a prodigious youth talent that is being trailed by a number of top clubs and Ryan Shotton a defender with Premier League experience on loan from Stoke, although he is now suspended due to his challenge on Chelsea loanee Bamford at the weekend.

 

Chelsea Team News

Predicting the starting XI and the end result are difficult, but Mourinho is likely to take this game seriously and name a strong team.

 

I would expect Petr Cech to continue what would be a run of three straight games in the starting XI. In defence Kurt Zouma is likely to start and we could see Andreas Christensen play some kind of a role in the team.

 

In midfield, John Obi Mikel may continue his run in the team whereas younger players such as Ruben Loftus Cheek, Lewis Baker and Jeremie Boga, may fancy their chances of being involved at some point during the game.

 

Up front Loic Remy or Didier Drogba are likely to start up front, but Dominic Solanke, would be a good youth candidate to feature from the bench should the situation arise.

 

Predictions

 

With a large run of seasonal fixtures coming up, we should expect to see more rotation for this fixture which makes predictions difficult. However we should be strong favourites to move onto the next round.

 

 

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Injuries to top players are frustrating and can have a real impact on the success of your team. Fortunately for Jose Mourinho one training ground injury this week it turns out to be more of a blessing than a curse.

At his weekly Premier League pre-game press conference Mourinho confirmed that current number one goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had suffered a slight injury in training and would be unavailable.

The injury to Courtois means that Chelsea will be without two of our best players at the weekend as Cesc Fabregas will miss out due to suspension. This is a great opportunity for Ramires to come into the squad and show his ability.

Cech A Delight

Losing a player of his calibre is never good news, but a Courtois muscular problem means that Petr Cech will make his 2nd Premier League appearance and his first start against Newcastle tomorrow.

This is the equivalent of losing Diego Costa and replacing him with a less bitey version of Luis Suarez as Cech is also one of the top 5 goalkeepers in the world.

Hopefully a little more first team action will help convince Cech to stay beyond January providing the back up to help Chelsea win a fourth Premier League title.

Team v Hull City

Chelsea XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Luis, Matic, Mikel, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa.

Subs: Zouma, Ramires, Drogba, Schurrle, Remy, Schwarzer, Azpilicueta

Hull XI: McGregor, Elmohamady, Dawson, Davies, Chester, Robertson, Meyler, Livermore, Huddlestone, Jelavic, Aluko.

Subs: Rosenior, Bruce, Hernandez, Brady, Jakupovic, Ramirez, Quinn

Facts

  • Chelsea have yet to drop any points at Stamford Bridge
  • We have kept 12 clean sheets in their last 15 home matches in the league.
  • Diego Costa has only scored two goals in his last seven games
  • Hull have played three of last season’s top five (Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton) away from home this campaign and drawn all three matches.

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Ken Bates may look a bit like a cuddly old grandad, but he is anything but. He is a character larger than life who has had a lasting impact not just on Chelsea Football Club but the game itself.

This week he turns 83 and despite his age he remains an active an controversial figure within the football community.  today Chelsea fans have confused loyalties as to what to think about him and his legacy due to the contradictions and character during his time at Chelsea.

His actions saved the club and Stamford Bridge in the 1980’s when debt and property companies circled like wolves. Yet he almost ran the club back into the ground in the years before Roman bought him out.

Ken Bates Events/Milestones

  • Chairman of Oldham FC in the 1960’s
  • Chairman of Wigan 1980 – 1982
  • Bought Chelsea for £1 in 1982
  • Set up Chelsea Pitch Owners
  • Tried to turn on electric fence around Stamford Bridge pitch in 1985
  • Redeveloped Stamford Bridge
  • Involved in the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium
  • Sold the club to Roman Abramovich
  • Bought Leeds in 2005
  • Called Leeds fans ‘Morons’ in 2011
  • Sold Leeds in 2012

Ask non Chelsea football fans and it gets even more diluted, at Leeds the club he controlled after Chelsea, he is hated, associated with mismanagement and complicated ownership battles.

He was and still is a difficult character that had a less than jovial relationship with the fans from time to time. He is the man that ostracised club legends, had furious board room battles with Matthew Harding and tried to put electric fences around the pitch.

Yet without him there would probably be no Stamford Bridge, no Glenn Hoddle, no Guillit, no Zola, no Premier League titles, no European football, just a club that people remembered as being a decent cup side.

Regardless of what you think of the man, he had the vision to pick up the club at it’s lowest ebb and make changes and drive the club forward, as Chelsea fans we owe him everything, even if we don’t like him as a person!

Therefore from FamousCFC.com we wish Ken Bates a happy 83rd birthday!

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