The first Chelsea player of the year was Peter Bonetti.
The legendary goalkeeper won the inaugural award in 1967 and is one of just five goalkeepers to have won in the award. A true Chelsea legend he played for the club between 1960 and 1979 and is the club’s second-highest appearance maker of all time.
Who Was The First Chelsea Player Of The Year
Peter Bonetti was a Chelsea academy graduate who made his debut in 1960 and spent 19 years at Stamford Bridge.
Bonetti is one of the most iconic players to play for Chelsea. Nicknamed the “Cat” he made a mammoth 729 appearances during two spells with the Blues. During that time he was one of the most talented goalkeepers in the country.
Unfortunately, he shared a generation with Gordon Banks meaning that he only received 7 caps for his country. He played in the 1970 World Cup and was part of the 1966 squad but did not play a game during England’s successful campaign. He did eventually get a medal though, awarded in 2009 after a long-running campaign for the entire Cup-winning squad to be recognised.
The “Cat” also spent time playing in the USA, after being released by Chelsea on a free transfer he joined the St Louis Stars in 1975 before returning to Chelsea the same year to help rebuild the club under new manager Eddie McCreadie.
The Cat’s Chelsea Rollercoaster
During his time at the club Bonetti experienced the rollercoaster that is Chelsea Football Club.
He saw the club rise and fall on more than one occasion, played with some of our greatest ever players and watched the club sink towards mediocrity.
During his time he got promoted, relegated, won trophies, and lost finals experiencing almost every emotion.
Trophies Won – League Cup (1965) FA Cup (1970) , European Cup Winners Cup (1971)
Standing at Stamford Bridge returned after nearly 28 years against Liverpool with rail seating in the Shed End and the Matthew Harding Lower.
Hopefully, this will help boost the matchday atmosphere and bring back some of the positive spirit of the terraces whilst leaving behind the bad.
A return to safe standing at Stamford Bridge has involved years of campaigning from fan groups and many false dawns but now standing is allowed in the entire Shed End and the Matthew Harding Lower.
Fans will still have an allocated seat, but they will now have a choice as to whether they use it.
Why Was Standing Banned?
The Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 was responsible for the tragic death of 97 football fans.
It led to the launch of a full investigation, the outcome of which was the Taylor Report.
The report recommended that stadiums should be converted to an all-seater model and that all ticketed spectators should have allocated seats.
Whilst the report did not say that standing was unsafe the government legislated that no standing would be allowed.
A deadline of August 1994 set for clubs in the Premier League and Championship to comply.
On the 7th of May 1994 Chelsea faced Sheffield United in the last game before the new regulations became law and the Shed End terracing was closed to be rebuilt, with modern seating, concourses, and overzealous stewards.
Impact On The Stamford Bridge Atmosphere
Whilst some of these changes were for the better, the removal of standing had a negative impact on atmospheres across the Premier League.
The cause for this was the introduction of allocated seating making it harder for fans to congregate and the way that standing makes fans feel more involved in the action and is far more conducive to singing and generating atmosphere.
Whilst an allocated seat is important for safety and crowd control, the desire for fans to stand whilst watching football has never disappeared.
If you have been to watch Chelsea at an away game out of the watch of home stewards’ fans watch the entire game standing. After a few years of trying to enforce seating on away fans most clubs simply gave up.
At home fans in the lower tiers of the Shed End and Matthew Harding Lower have spent the last twenty years doing battle with stewards trying to enforce rules against standing.
Maybe the tolerance of standing will see a better relationship with fans and stewards who can focus on things that will actually keep fans safe.
The Long Road To Safe Standing
A return to partial standing has made sense from day one, but it has taken a long time to get there.
The campaign to get seating back has been a long one that has brought fans across the country together. Fan groups including the Football Supporters Association have coordinated, lobbied and campaigned for nearly 32 years before we reached this point.
The challenge being for fans to convince their clubs, the Premier League and the government that there was a safe version of standing. This was a painstaking journey and we tip our hats to all those that fought the good fight.
Whilst allocated seating is a must in modern stadia, the introduction of rail seating is a huge coup for fans and should help revive atmospheres.
Will Safe Standing At Stamford Bridge Bring The Atmosphere Back
The introduction to safe standing is a great victory for supporters and should in theory lead to more fan involvement and a better atmosphere. For those not wanting to stand they will still be able to sit in the West, East or Matthew Harding Upper stands. (see our list of best place to sit at Stamford Bridge)
The proof will be in the results, but we look forward to finding out.
Editors Note - Fans standing in all-seater stadiums without rail seating was arguably quite unsafe with the risk of falling over the seat in front often quite high, particularly when getting to your seat or celebrating a goal.
Chelsea tripled the prices of tickets in some season ticket prices in the Westview Stamford Bridge, the question is it are they worth it?
The club spent the summer upgrading the facilities in the stand, holding prices where they are this season. It was clear though those prices were going to rise but fans are struggling to understand what a 360-degree bar and some catering upgrades do to justify the increase.
Overview Of The Westview Stamford Bridge
The Westview Stamford Bridge is the rebranding for the top tier of the West Stand.
It has always been one of the more expensive seats in the stadium and is normally where the sponsor and corporate tickets are sat.
So what do you get for your money?
The seats in the Westview Stamford Bridge are a far cry from the dilapidated terraces of yesteryear.
Your ticket gets you’re a padded seat, with space heaters throughout the stand to keep the cold of winter away. It is comfortable and designed for those that prefer to watch their football seated, eating fancy food and keeping noise levels to a minimum.
The view from the top tier of the West Stand is stunning.
If you have one of the pricier tickets on the halfway line you have the perfect view of the action, towering over the players with a true perspective of what is going on at all times.
If you forget the score, you also have at least two screens within your eyeline.
Meaning if your posh pie makes you sleepy, when your snooze is interrupted, you won’t have to ask the seat next to you what the score is.
The West Stand is not known for its ferocious atmosphere and the Westview changes will only reinforce this. There are this season pockets of those that want to get involved, but realistically it is a much quieter and calm place to watch football.
Which for most fans will be quite a disappointment.
The first thing you notice when you go through the turnstiles is the steps up to the concourse.
There are a lot of them!
You climb from ground level to the top of the Stadium winding up the stairs that seem to go on forever. This is an ordeal in itself!
If you are hungry the food options are more varied. Offering things such as pizza and rotisserie chicken that you do not typically expect at a football concession stand, as well as your standard burgers, pies and pasties.
These foods do not typically lend themselves to quick service.
You will be surprised by just how compact the concourse is. There is not much space and the queues for the food back up from the entrance to the seating block all the way to the back wall.
Meaning you have to dodge and weave to get from one side of the stand to the other picking through a sea of bodies.
These queues are only matched by those at the bar.
The much-vaunted 360-degree bars do provide quick service, but the packed concourse means it is still hard to get a beer and even when you do there is not much space to drink it.
After the game, the bars do remain open. It is only then that you can actually enjoy the panoramic views that the new configuration offers as you have a relaxed pint after the game. This is a unique touch compared to non-corporate seats where at the final whistle you are quickly ushered into the street.
Service lasts for around 20-30 minutes after the final whistle, so you will have to find another bar to properly celebrate or commiserate.
This is the painful bit for Chelsea fans.
The club clearly sees the Westview as a middle ground between standard prices and the nosebleed corporate packages that come with food, drinks and pre-match entertainment.
This is reflected in the ticket pricing.
Whilst ticket prices for 2022/2023 have not been announced, based on season ticket prices ranging from 1,500 to £3,900 (near the halfway line) the prices are going to be out of the reach of the average person.
Whilst a Westview season ticket covers domestic cup and Champions League group games the cost is still going to be over £100 per game.
This means tickets in the Westview for individual games are likely to be in the £150 range. I think this video sums it up
🤯 “How is a 300% increase justified?!”
❌ “It’s easy to sneer, but I would hate this at any rival club”
Having sat in the Westview a couple of times during the Champions League it is at 2021 prices an interesting novelty.
The incredible view and improved facilities are wiped out by the poor atmosphere and terrible value for money.
The refit and new facilities do not justify the price point. It is a middle ground between standard seats and corporate that does not really satisfy either market.
It feels more like a drive for revenue from the club. A lick of paint here and a fancy bar and catering to make a play to triple prices is not a great reflection on the club
Good food (that takes forever), a fancy bar with a good view of the street are not what watching Chelsea is about for me. This is not the way we enjoy watching football.
Who Is The Westview For?
The reality is that these seats are not for fans.
They are for corporates, sponsors, and tourists looking to take in a game whilst in town to tick an experience off the list.
As a fan this is disappointing, the club seems to have learned nothing from the European Super League fiasco. One can only hope that increasing revenue here, means the club keep prices stable in other more appealing areas of the ground.
We are not hopeful.
Should I Buy A Westview Ticket?
You pay your money, you take your choice.
We can certainly see the demand for tickets keeping these seats filled every game.
For those who do not have enough membership points can only make the odd game here or there any seat will do.
We cannot tell you whether to buy a ticket here or not, let us know your thoughts.
If you want atmosphere sit in the Shed End or Matthew Harding Stand.
If you want a corporate experience – get a corporate package that may seat you in the Westview but includes all the trappings and comfort of the money you spend.
We do not think the price is worth what you get and will be buying tickets there in the future.
On the back of winning the Champions League last season and performing very well in the transfer market over the summer, optimism is back at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are once again expected to be towards the fore when it comes to every competition they are in.
Of those, the biggest two are the Premier League and the Champions League, and this is where the focus will be. Can Chelsea challenge for both? Not only do they have to continue to prove they have the talent for this, but they also need to show the strength in depth they have. So, it seems they’ve certainly got their work cut out for them.
However, all is not lost. Amongst bookmakers, there is optimism that this can be done as they offer odds on both competitions. Betting sites like Space Casino have Chelsea as 43/20, or second favourites, for the Premier League and 6/1, or fifth favourites, to win the Champions League. This shows that The Blues can certainly get involved. Though the odds are separate, the big question is whether they commit to both competitions, or will one need to be sacrificed?
Back-to-Back Champions League Titles?
Fans will all remember the Champions League final win over Manchester City last season as being a real highlight and would love to see the club retain that title. Of course, this won’t be easy, but what we saw in that competition last season was Chelsea’s ability to plan for an individual game and pull it off to perfection.
The final against Manchester City was a prime example of Chelsea playing their own game, with tweaks to prevent City from playing theirs. It was seen as a tactical masterclass by head coach Thomas Tuchel. While he is at the club and able to keep it up, in a one-off game such as a big European final or knockout game Chelsea have to be fancied to win.
Can This be Translated into League Performances?
This is the real unknown for Chelsea and something that we will see develop as the season goes on. Tuchel is a great boss for individual games, but can he string together something that will last for an entire season, to lead his team to Premier League glory?
Small lapses, such as the recent home draw with Burnley may not feel too bad at the moment, but when we get to the end of the season, those two points dropped may prove to be valuable. Every team makes these small errors over the 38 games that are played, and the team with the least errors is often the champion.
The Champions League in many ways looks like the ideal competition for Tuchel to manage in. This season, given the quality of players he has, we will find out if he can do it in the Premier League too.
Right now, we’re all dreaming of a Blue Christmas. As football goes into the international break, Chelsea is sitting clear at the top of the Premier League – and on the previous five occasions we’ve been in that position on December 25th, we’ve gone on to win the title.
As the early pacesetters of the season, can the team keep that edge right through to May 2022? Well, the players have certainly maintained the momentum of the club’s second UCL win as well as taking home the UEFA Super Cup this year under the new stewardship of Thomas Tuchel. Will we continue to dominate the Premier League as well as score a third UCL title?
Currently sitting second in the PL are our UCL rivals Manchester City followed by the impressive rise of West Ham to third place – a team heavily favoured in the UEFA Europa League odds to win that title way ahead of their UK rivals.
If West Ham maintain their strong PL position, the UEFA Champions League tips place them for promotion to Europe’s upper tier next season. Of course, this season Chelsea are firmly amongst the favourites to be victorious at the Gazprom Arena.
Can we become the second team to win back-to-back UCL titles after Real Madrid in 2017? We’re up against stiff competition from the likes of Bayern Munich, PSG, Manchester City and Liverpool. Yet it’s not just Blues fans who can appreciate that Tuchel now has a strong squad with a real depth of expertise at his disposal.
Some Rest for the Winners
In under a year at the helm, Tuchel has been named Manager of the Month twice, in March and October 2021. Up until the international break, he has made 38 changes to the Premier League starting XI – more than any other team by a long way, with Liverpool next at 29.
This has helped the players to stay fresh, and those not away on international duty or in training to recover from injury will have a week off before the ‘tough’ winter schedule to rest and return reinvigorated. Going into the New Year the Blues will play ten games in the PL with the FA Cup and Club World Cup tournaments looming plus that defence of the Champions League title.
So, it’s undoubtedly a smart move on Tuchel’s part to give the squad time off if they’re to have the energy required to maintain that leading edge at home and on the European stage.
It was 2013 when we made history by becoming the first team to win both the Champions League and the Europa League back-to-back.
Then in 2019, we were part of footballing history again when both of the continent’s major competitions featured all-English finals – the Blues delivering a blistering 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in Baku in the Europa League and Liverpool victorious over Tottenham in the UCL 2-0.
Here’s hoping that we’ll end both our Premier League and our UCL campaigns this season as we’ve started – with the confidence, skill and motivation to continue our winning streak at home and the tactics, tenacity and determination to put Europe’s finest squads firmly in our shade.
With the 2021/22 edition of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) already underway, defending champions, Chelsea FC, enter the new season with more responsibility on their shoulders, but with the opportunity to make history.
Anticipation couldn’t be higher, as Tomas Tuchel will face his first full season at Stamford Bridge with a reinforced squad. The team that surprised Europe last year, will take their chances at the biggest club competition in the world, now knowing that staying on top is even more difficult than getting there.
A Third Title
When Thomas Tuchel arrived at Chelsea in January, it was hard to imagine the impact he would have on the team, but it was even harder to guess that in 10 months he would win the UCL and the UEFA Super Cup.
He did not only top all expectations, but he built a solid squad, by far one of the best in Europe, that has entered this new season as favourites to win the Premier League but also become the second team, after Real Madrid in 2017, to win-back-to-back UCL titles. Currently, Champions League outright football betting price Chelsea as one of the favourites to win the competition at odds of 8/1.
As defending champions, the Blues cannot have any other goal than to win the title. With no relevant departures, the team is practically the same as last year’s, plus the Belgium superstar Romelu Lukaku, who promises to make up for the team’s lack of goals in past.
Nonetheless, let us not forget that Chelsea’s biggest asset under Tuchel is the defence. At the end of last season, the team had only conceded 10 in 24 matches goals since the arrival of the German manager, who transformed the team after Frank Lampard’s departure. Playing with three defenders, the team is incredibly solid, with Antonio Rüdiger and Thiago Silva forming an almost unbeatable defence, which may also include Cezar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Andreas Christensen or even Malang Sarr.
A decade after leaving, Lukaku returned home after the best season of his career last year, in which he helped Inter win Serie A for the first time in 11 years. At 28 years old, the Belgian became the most expensive player in accumulated transfer fees. Big, strong, but also fast and smart, Lukaku is a top scorer. Last season, he scored 30 goals and assisted 10 times, all in just 44 games.
Midfielder N’Golo Kanté has consistently proven how important he is for his teams. A crucial element in Leicester’s 2015/16 title, the Frenchman was a decisive player in winning the Champions League last season. Discreet and incredibly efficient, Kanté has expanded his skills and he is now more than a defensive midfielder: he has also become a powerful weapon in the counterattack, due to his speed and ability to win over balls in advanced sectors of the field.
The 36-year-old Brazilian was initially met with distrust upon his arrival in London but has since then proved his quality. The defender, who won his first Champions League title last year, has 88 games in the main European competition for three different teams: Milan, PSG and Chelsea. He offers not only the quality but also the experience needed in a winning team.
Ultimately, Chelsea has everything needed for a successful run in the UCL this year, but the likes of PSG, Manchester City and Bayern Munich are also strong contenders to win the title.
Chelsea were well represented in the latter stages of Euro 2020, and the experience those international players gained could be priceless going forward.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will have been keeping a close eye on proceedings at the European Championships as the German tactician plots out his strategy to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Tuchel Will be Impressed With Italian Job
Euro 2020 winners Italy earned plenty of plaudits for how they went about winning the nation’s second European title this summer. Jorginho was highlighted as one of the players of the tournament, as his commanding presence in midfield allowed Italy’s attacking stars to go forward and shine. Chelsea, who are 9/2 in the English Premier League odds to win the title, have in Jorginho a player who will continue to make a formidable partnership with France’s N’Golo Kante in the middle of the pitch. That pairing of Jorginho and Kante would arguably walk into most teams in the Premier League right now.
One man who might not have expected to start the Euro 2020 final was Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri.
The 26-year-old found himself thrust into action after an unfortunate injury to Roma star Leonardo Spinazzola. Emerson took his opportunity eagerly and now he will be pushing England’s Ben Chilwell hard for the starting role at left-back.
Mount Comes of Age With England
It was only a couple of seasons ago that Mason Mount was playing out on loan with Derby County in the Championship. Since then, the attacking midfielder has made himself a first-team regular at Stamford Bridge, won the Champions League, and taken his country to their first major final for 55 years.
It really has been a steep rise for Mount and the 22-year-old will be seeking to deliver consistently strong performances in the Premier League this season.
As for Chelsea’s other England internationals, Chilwell will be disappointed he didn’t get any minutes in the competition, while Reece James only featured in one match. Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate stuck to largely the same XI throughout the competition, meaning that chances were limited for those on the bench.
Few would have expected Denmark to reach the semi-final stages of the European Championships, but the Danes were certainly one of the surprise packages at the competition. Andreas Christensen was a key figure in defence for the Scandinavian outfit, who gave England a scare at Wembley in the semi-finals before losing in extra time.
Christensen, like Emerson, is another player who will have given Tuchel something to think about, and will be hoping to get much more game time in the Premier League this season.
Honourable mentions to Chelsea stars from other nations include captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who was a penalty shootout away from taking Spain to the final. In addition, Kai Havertz was a standout performer for Germany, despite Die Mannschaft only reaching the Round of 16 before a 2-0 defeat to England.
Euro 2020 has certainly given Tuchel plenty to think about, and strong competition for places can only be good news for Chelsea, as they go in search of a sixth Premier League title this season.
In a few hours, we’ll have the chance to follow Italy and Turkey as they (hopefully) shoot their first goals at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in the first match of the 2020 European Championship. It remains 2020 because it’s still the 60-year anniversary of the tournament, albeit held a year later, that’s hosted in almost a dozen cities around Europe. It is, without a doubt, the biggest football event of the last three years, with all football lovers’ eyes on it.
Expect the keo168 tips to pour, expect the press to extensively cover the tiniest details of the matches day after day, for a whole month.
And expect to see familiar faces at the tournament, with these Pensioners stepping onto the turf for their respective countries – many of them against their teammates playing with the Three Lions: Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount.
Palmieri and Jorginho (Italy)
The first two Chelsea players to play on the very first matchday of the EURO 2020 are left-back Emerson Palmieri and midfielder Jorginho who, despite his Portuguese-sounding name, is Italian.
Ethan Ampadu (Wales)
Welsh defender Ethan Ampadu is also at his first major international tournament, having previously played in Wales’ World Cup qualifier and in the Europa League.
Michy Batshuayi (Belgium)
Batshuayi is one of the faces that may look unfamiliar, having spent the better part of the last two years on loan at Crystal Palace. Although he was eligible to represent Congo as an international, he chose his native Belgium instead – he made his debut in a EURO 2016 qualifier with a goal. He later scored in Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Bosnia.
Andreas Christensen (Denmark)
Christensen graduated from Chelsea’s academy in 2013 and has been with the club ever since. The 25-year-old defender has represented his country in more than 40 matches since 2015, including in the country’s World Cup qualifier in 2018.
Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)
Kovacic is a versatile midfielder able to play in many positions. He is also a player with a lot of relevant experience, having played in two World Cups and one European Championship.
Billy Gilmour (Scotland)
Gilmour has played more games with the Scottish U21 team than he has with Chelsea since joining the club in 2019. He made his full debut with the National Team this month – now, in turn, he’ll have a chance to shine.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
Azpilicueta is an experienced international with two World Cups under his belt, and at his second European Championship with La Roja, plus more than 50 games at a youth level. Under his captaincy, Chelsea won the Champions League.
Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kanté, Olivier Giroud (France)
Zouma missed his first shot at a European Championship due to an injury he suffered while at Chelsea. Now he has the chance to make up for the lost time. Kanté was part of France’s squad that finished second in EURO 2016, and the one that won the 2018 World Cup, along with Giroud who was also there.
Antonio Rüdiger, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner (Germany)
Rüdiger missed the 2016 European Championship due to an injury and hardly played in the World Cup. Now he’ll have a chance to show his worth. Havertz is a newcomer at Chelsea but has a formidable history in the Bundesliga, and a chance to shine at the EUROs. And so does Werner, who won a Golden Boot in the 2019 FIFA Confederations Cup, and is at his first appearance at the European Championship