Last week I wrote an article for ChelseaFC Blog which touched on the permanent sheen of madness which covers our club, and makes us the most bi-polar fans in the league. An idea borrowed from broadcasting genius and renowned Chelsea hater Danny Baker.
I still maintain that he’s right, and every real fan knows that Chelsea is alive and well when at its basket-case best.
Sadly, looking at the increasingly wild press speculation and the comments across various forums it’s apparent that the furore over the recent form slump is driving some sort of mass hysteria. And as everyone knows, mass hysteria leads to more mass hysteria, the only real cure being a period whereby none of the alleged rumours happen.
So lets try and keep things calm with the overriding thought that this is a traditional Chelsea slump arriving early and look objectively at why its happening.
The sudden, crassly handled departure of Ray Wilkins is without doubt a contributory factor. Follow this with the mystifying decision to promote the ill-qualified Michael Emenalo to replace Ray, capped by Carlo’s superbly subtle dismissal of this and you have the ripples of political battles and discontent running through the club. People can’t work in an environment whereby big changes like this take place and not be affected, irrespective of the mask of bravado/professionalism they might display. Subconsciously the boat has been rocked and that would affect anyone no matter what their job is. The signs were there before Ray was dumped, when we lost to City and Liverpool in anaemic passionless displays. We got past Wolves in a fitful style and Aston Villa gifted us a draw through the incompetence of Reo-Coker.
So, prior to Wilkinsgate, the warning signs of arrogant and sloppy play were there, as if the team were starting to believe the hysteria being whipped up in the press and a slight dip in confidence is further dented by Wilkinsgate. Follow that with an alarming drop in form for Drogba……malaria or captaincy induced? Either way, the big man is way off his normal rumbustious defender bullying best. Then look at serious injuries to the talismanic duo of Lampard and Terry, with Lampard out for possibly the longest he’s ever experienced. At his normal run rate of 20 per season, that’s about a pro-rata’d 6 goals missing from our tally. A stupid and pretty unforgivable suspension for Essien depletes us further, and then to cap it all, along comes the resignation of Arnesen, the Chelsea PR department as usual timing everything to happen at the worst possible time.
All of which is sauce for the goose where the press is concerned. After months of having just about sod all to write about Chelsea -wise that’s, the collective 4th estate nostrils twitched and scented blood. They suffer from mass hysteria as well, but it takes the form of bullshit and the result is a form of starvation-sated madness that leads to extraordinarily stupid, wildly extravagant speculation. Add to that the power of the Interwebtwitterblogsphere and it’s surprising there haven’t been reports of ritual sacrifice and witchcraft ceremonies taking place under cover of darkness at Stamford Bridge.
We all know its mostly rubbish, and yet we react to it. So, my fellow Chelsea fans take note from intergalactic space and time traveller Arthur Dent, and comfort yourself with the thought that this is all normal fayre for any Chelsea fan over the age of 25.
Remember the big friendly words on the cover of The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.