As the former editor of the Chelsea Fanzine ‘RedCard’, Alan Collis makes the transition from the printed page to website. In the first of his ‘Tales of the Unaccepted’ he asks the question …

Am I bovvered tho?
Footballers and women have many similarities.

You meet them; grow to like them, become fond of them, even love them. Then complacency sets in, leading to boredom until she announces she’s teasing you, poising the question, am I bovvered tho?

With our defeat at old Trafford it seems inevitable that Manchester United will be champions and increases speculation that our manager and several members of the squad will be moved on during the summer.

When a new player signs, some of us are really excited whilst others remain unimpressed. I’m sure we all remember first dates going horrendously wrong and immediately thinking, how am I going to get out of this? But sometimes, you are instantly smitten and can’t believe your dating someone so lovely.

Over the last 8 seasons Chelsea have signed so many players I’ve forgotten some of them. Some we have instantly fallen in love with and some we secretly wish sustain a long term injury. I’ve never actually been in love with a footballer; I used the word as a description of deep fondness.

Some signings I’ve grown to like, whilst others, my feelings have gone the other way. So it’s back to the women comparison. Will my mates think she’s ugly, too fat and been with so many others they’ll piss themselves laughing?

No one can predict success for new players coming and no one can predict how a relationship will go. We all do it but the motto is never to pre-judge.

Free transfer or £50 million, one previous club or ten is a guarantee of nothing.

The same with women, one previous relationship and always faithful and yet she turned out to be the most boring girlfriend of all time. Into soaps, reality TV, though getting drunk on two glasses of wine does have its advantages.

Newspapers love failure though that’s not a word associated with Chelsea anymore. Teams who come a close second right down to teams that are relegated give papers lots of reasons to speculate on the mangers and players futures.

Conceding a goal in the first minute is enough to throw any game plan out of the window. How different the outcome if it was us that scored first.
But it wasn’t, Ferguson gets all the accolades and perhaps, Carlo gets the sack.

Would I feel sorry for him? How do you feel sorry for anyone who walks away, head held high with a few million quid in his pocket?

Deserved? No, I don’t think he does deserve to go and neither do many of his players. After all, we are the 2nd best team in the country, with the best defence.

Some of the players I really like, others I wouldn’t care less if they went. What’s important is each and every one of them gives their best in every game. For themselves, for their manager, and for us, if we still come up short we’d still be proud.

So as the minutes ticked by at Old Trafford and my disappointment turned to anger, as I asked my girlfriend if she really needed that last slice of pizza, would she still have room for the tub of Ben and Jerrys?

Right, that’s it, she said

You love Chelsea more than me!

I didn’t reply with the; Babe, I love Spurs more than you.

As Howard Webb blew the final whistle I heard the front door slam.

Oh dear I thought.

No title and no girlfriend.

But am I bovvered??

Yes actually I am.

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