I don’t tend to venture away from covering the youth and reserve teams on this website, but this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Give me the chance to take aim at Nick Metcalfe and the Daily Mail? I’m there.

You see, it’s not exactly news that most of the nation’s media has something of a vendetta against Chelsea. Dissenters may claim that’s nonsense and Blues fans have adopted something of a siege mentality, or that we bring it on ourselves, but as far as I’m concerned, the evidence is there for all to see.

Before the Champions League tie against Inter, Mr Metcalfe and the Mail decided that encouraging supporters was something of an embarrassing act, and one which deserved national ridicule. Naturally, responses were made, but rather surprisingly this time, the Mail decided to publish them, whereas many have found previously that ‘free speech’ was thrown out of the window when countering their ‘points’.

I found it necessary to point out at the time that the clubs Metcalfe assured us would not be seen dead adopting such actions had indeed already done so. Links to evidence were removed, but you can find them on the CFCnet forums if you’re so inclined. That’s old ground. Today, however, has presented a glorious opportunity to stoke these fires once more, and leave a considerable amount of egg on Daily Mail faces.

My thanks must go out to David Sullivan, new joint owner and chairman of our friends at West Ham. Metcalfe wrote:

“I don’t even think London’s ‘lesser lights’ would need such encouragement. Certainly not West Ham”

Don’t need encouragement to get up for a big game? Would a must-win home game in the fight against relegation qualify as big?

Sullivan appears to think so.

A few choice excerpts make for particularly delightful reading:

“With your help we can get out of this and regroup in the summer.”

“We need a win, we need you to support us”

“Saturday may be tense, on Saturday you will feel anxious and, at times, unsettled. I ask that we try not to transmit that on to the field, that we get behind the team and provide them with a platform.”

Certainly not West Ham? I beg to differ sir.