CFCnet has to apologise for the late arrival of this blog post. In our defence, last weekend saw a momentous event in the history of Chelsea FC. No, not our exceptional result against Wigan but rather that one of Chelsea’s most famous fans saw fit to host his 50th birthday bash in, of all places, Merseyside.
Timed to coincide with our match against Wigan, many Chelsea fans made the pilgrimage up north to salute ‘Norvern Muppet’, a cheerleader in the old Shed and now the Matthew Harding Upper Tier. Many of the great and the good from the old days of the Shed were in attendance and it was slightly surreal to see a collection of some of Chelsea’s best known fans gathering together in West Kirby. We even spotted Chels Guevara, a regular contributor to the popular printed fanzine CFCUK.
Chels Guevara appeared rather down which was surprising given that we’d just whopped Wigan 6-0. The reason? “I’m sad about Joe Cole, particularly as I know how much he did behind the scenes for fans. A nicer and more generous guy you couldn’t wish to meet and I’m worried about the reception he’ll receive.” We couldn’t agree more with Chels Guevara as we’ve also heard at first hand about Joe’s generosity. Chels feels that Joe’s comments about Liverpool being the ‘biggest club in England’ were aimed more at Man Utd than us. Anyway, Joe Cole will get a tremendous ovation from CFCnet, that’s guaranteed, as he was a key member of our most successful ever team.
As for the Wigan game itself, the scoreline didn’t really do the match justice. Indeed for the first 25 minutes Wigan played well, passing through our midfield with neat triangles. Although they were limited to 3 shots from distance, for the early sections of the match CFCnet felt ‘we’re in a game here’.
The match turned on a sweet move which saw Malouda tap the ball in smartly from close-range. Still only 1-0 up at the interval, our thoughts quickly cast back to a year earlier when Wigan brought Ancelotti’s six game unbeaten run to an end with a 3-1 victory. We knew that one goal might not be enough.
However, almost immediately after the break Nicolas Anelka’s sublime angled shot opened the floodgates with the pick of the goals being Drogba’s unselfish layoff to Kalou. With Didier often accused of playmanship we were sad that the media didn’t highlight his team ethic and professionalism in this instance.
The noise from the Chelsea crowd was exceptional and as the goals reigned in, tune after tune bawled down from the away end. The highlight was a new chant for Yossi Benayoun which should make the player feel far more comfortable in his new surroundings. It’s not often that a player with the Scouse background of Yossi gets a song so soon after joining – Ballack had to wait a year remember and he wasn’t even Scouse – so Yossi might consider himself fortunate. Still, his goal helped!
Overall the Wigan game was a fantastic day out. With seats priced at only £25 and with thousands available, we’d urge fans next season to take the trip up north. Wigan itself has undergone considerable regeneration and the DW stadium and surrounds were as modern as you’d find anywhere in the world. We also received an exceptional welcome from many of the home fans who were happy to drink with us in the local pubs.
Perhaps the only dampener was that Roberto Martinez received some poor press the following day. We thought his team were technically gifted and skilful, and whilst they did lack a little character as the goals flew in, you couldn’t complain at their commitment to playing football the right way. We hope they stay up.