After crawling over the line to secure a win against QPR, it carried on our unbeaten run this season. Now, on paper everything at Chelsea seems to be fine and dandy and generally, it is. Jose Mourinho has been given time to select his ‘perfect eleven’ and now he seems to be reaping the rewards. The players have hit the ground running and everyone is happy, but are they? The reason I say this has nothing to do with the players, but more to do with us, the fans, after the Special Ones comments on the current atmosphere at the Bridge.
Now, it definitely has been apparent to me that over the years our home support doesn’t seem to be what it was (however this definitely can’t be said for our away support) and I know everyone has their own opinions but here could be some of the solutions.
First off, after going to watch us comfortably beat Villa 3-0, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of tourists taking pictures and standing up during the course of the game to take a ‘selfie’ with the game happening in the background.
The majority of tourists aren’t there because they are ‘true blues’, they are there because at this moment in time with Chelsea flying high, they want to see the league leaders in action. This got me wondering, ‘where are the rest of us Chelsea fans, surely there aren’t so few of us that we have to let glory supporters through the turnstiles to fill up the seats’.
After pondering on this thought for a few minutes it suddenly came to me why it is such a special occasion for me to travel up to Fulham Road to watch Chelsea play, ticket prices. With the cheapest ticket prices coming in at around £50, many of us working class people find it financially impossible to attend regularly, and it is us (although a generalization, is most of the time true) who chant the songs which give our team a lift when they need it and it is us who make Stamford Bridge the fortress that it should be, not the people who are purely there for the experience because they are here on holiday.
I know that for a top club like Chelsea that ticket prices will generally be higher than most other clubs in England but does that mean that it’s alright to take away the heart and soul of the club as well. In my opinion, it is not. A perfect example of this was when I was at the Villa game-we had killed the game and were in cruise control. Me, my brother and my dad were sat in West Stand Lower in the corner, right next to the Shed End. After a period of sustained possession it was starting to become clear that the game had pretty much run its course and that both sides were wanting the referee to blow his whistle to signify the end. Suddenly, the fans in the Shed End started singing, ‘West Stand, give us a song. West Stand, West Stand, give us a song’. This was met with a wall of silence, apart from a few Belgian fans who were sat next to me who started to sing a quite comical song about Thibaut Courtois, but eventually they died down and the silence was restored.
I was frankly quite annoyed and frustrated and part of me felt sympathy for the players as what was there to look forward to when they were playing at home. On the contrary our away support is absolutely phenomenal. The Arsenal match in the League Cup last season comes to mind. Juan Mata had just scored a screamer from outside the box, leaving the keeper no chance. The minutes which followed were brilliant! We rocked the Emirates from top to bottom that night and probably woke up a few Spurs fan who were dreaming of Champions League football! It was definitely a night to remember and just showed what we are capable of doing, and what the team is capable of doing if we are existent in voice during the 90 minutes.
I recently saw a picture which sums up everything I have just said, so basically I have just wasted my time writing this. The picture shows a man who went to watch the Manchester United-Chelsea game recently and one half of his shirt was the Chelsea shirt with our badge and on the other half of his shirt was the United shirt with their badge. If I was asked to find any evidence of my claims being true, then there it is, it goes against everything football is about to support two opposing rivals, yet this man has done it. I rest my case.
Paul Ferris (Age 16)