With CFCnet’s offices a stone’s throw from Stamford Bridge, we witnessed Saturday’s blizzard descend on SW6 first-hand. It was a whiteout alright and it came as no surprise that Saturday’s games were called off. But was it really necessary to call off Sunday’s titanic tussle between Chelsea and Man Utd?
The King’s Road shoppers didn’t seem to think so, with tens of thousands streaming up and down the 2 mile length of tarmac eager to spend their husband’s banking bonus on a last minute gift for little Ambrose or Uncle Montague.
For battle-hardened veterans of the good ol’ days – terrace violence, riots, tear gas, police dogs and chases up blind alleys by rival fans – a little ice and snow holds as much fear as a Christmas fairy. CFCnet felt disappointed and although we understand the decision to postpone the game, we felt slightly perplexed as to why shops like Harrods and Peter Jones never saw fit to shut their doors. We’ll have to ask Santa.
Still, for the sake of honesty, this writer must disclose that on the stairwell of Greaves Tower in the World’s End Estate, I came a cropper with my boots doing an aerial somersault over my head. Landing heavily on concrete steps, 2010’s Christmas will see me avoid all comedy shows as any laughter sends a searing pain through my ribs. Perhaps I’ve answered my own question.
With the big match cancelled, the CFCnet crew ended up at the King’s Arms on the Fulham Road to drown our sorrows and re-invest our programme money by entering a raffle for a signed Chelsea team shirt. Courtesy of Chelsea F.C.’s Caroline Mabey, the Kings Arms has raffled a number of signed team shirts and raised £1,000 each for Great Ormond Street, Chelsea & Westminster Paediatric and now the Brompton Paediatric.
Incidentally, a lot of this charity work flies under the radar compared to Chelsea’s more high profile charity work but it’s greatly appreciated by the local SW6, SW10 and SW3 community.
At the pub itself, the general feeling amongst the gathered fans was that the cancelled game probably worked in our favour. Whilst we’re not pleased to see the tie add to 2011’s Champions League fixture congestion, there’s no question that current momentum favours United.
For that reason alone we’d prefer to re-find our form and confidence before ruining the Manc’s undefeated record. Add Frank Lampard’s return to match fitness alongside a few more January additions to our squad and by the time we play United we might be the team to beat, not them. Let’s hope so.