Chelsea FC Lose.

Chelsea cry

Chelsea FC lost a game.

1 game lost in the last 14.

Every man, woman and their cats and dogs have already had their say on last night’s match against the DVD makers Tottenham Hotspur. According to my Twitter timeline the opinions on this defeat ranged from a “Trumpesque” catastrophe to a “stepping in canine excrement” minor inconvenience.

I’ll leave that aspect of last night to the more dramatic amongst us and concentrate on how the now highly visible and audible Y*d Army managed to end our run of 13 successive wins.

Headers.

Since moving to a back 3 formation Chelsea FC had only conceded 4 goals as 13 successive managers had tried and failed to work out how to play against the new formation.

13 successive sets of players had tried without any real success to break down the defensive masterclass arranged and organised by Antonio Conte.

conte

The one constant in all of those efforts had been to try and pass or run through our defense. Every time an opposition forward ran one on one at a defender a 2nd defender dropped in behind to cover and clear up. Every time an apposition forward ran across our penalty area a 2nd defender came out to clear.

The fact that our back 3 had remained  constant throughout the run was no coincidence, they knew each others game, knew each others weaknesses and strengths, and the back 3 became almost impenetrable.

azpi-luiz-cahill

Credit to Pochettino however, he realised that and by sacrificing  Harry Kane as the one who would attempt the runs at the defense, he freed up Eriksen to stay in the hole and spray the passes to runners heading just wide of our back 3.

The main beneficiary of course was Dele Alli with 2 headed goals, the first headed goals conceded in the unbeaten run.

More teams will now try and do what Tottenham did last night, they’ll stop running at our back 3 all the time and will try and attempt to spray those passes just wide of them instead.

So is that the way to stop the Chelsea FC juggernaut steamrollering everyone on their way to the Premier League 2016/17 crown?

Will they succeed?

No.

No, because Antonio Conte will have realised what happened last night, and will already be working with our holding midfielders on preventing those crosses coming in from the middle of the park.

No, because few teams have the players of the calibre of Eriksen who can pick out and execute those pin point crosses from just in front of our back 3.

No, because few teams have the Lampardesque midfielders who can time their runs undetected with such precision that the in form Alli managed last night.

Last night was bound to happen, Chelsea FC were bound to come up eventually against the perfect storm of a tactically astute manager and a goalscorer bang in form.

It’s just a shame it had to be that pesky small team from North London.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my return to blogging. Please let me know what you think with comments or shares, even a #RT on Twitter would be appreciated.

Many thanks and #KTBFFH.

Lee Fraser.

@carefreelee62

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Underdogs become play-off favourites in the battle of the Albions

This sums up the highs and lows of grassroots women’s football perfectly.

Sent Her Forward

Sent Her Forward previews the game that could make or break champions’ seasons

Brighton and Sporting Club Albion celebrate winning their respective Premier Leagues, 2016 (Photos: Geoff Penn/BHA/SCA) Brighton and Sporting Club Albion each won their leagues with points to spare (Photos: Geoff Penn/BHA)

For a second time, the cream of England’s Women’s Premier League footballers will do battle for a chance to join the game’s élite in the Super League.

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Loyalty

Loyalty

Loyalty is an extremely rare and precious commodity in every walk of life, but none more so than in modern day football.

When applying the word loyalty to Chelsea FC it doesn’t just become rare, it almost becomes unique, with only 2 modern day examples of it in recent times. Those 2 examples are our Captain Leader Legend John Terry, and us, the fans.

John Terry.

captain-leader-legend

John Terry is acknowledged as one of the best, if not the best central defender of our generation, even rival fans would still love him in their starting 11. In the last few years he has fought through the heartache of cup final penalty misses, the doubting manager who thought he couldn’t play 2 games in a week, and the procrastination of his own club in awarding him a new thoroughly deserved contract.

Throughout all of that he has held his head high, kept his love for, and stayed loyal to his club when it would have been easier and more lucrative for him to up sticks, leave for pastures new and a massive final payday.

So what has kept him loyal to Chelsea FC?

Is it the massive pay packet?

Is it loyalty to the manager?

The answer to those 2 questions has to be a resounding no!

He could have commanded an even larger pay packet plus signing on fees if he had moved on.

How could he be loyal to the manager when he’s had more managers during his time at Chelsea than a lot of the world has had hot dinners.

No, there’s only one possible answer as to why he’s stayed loyal to Chelsea, and that is the fans.

The fans have been loyal to him and to Chelsea FC, through thick and thin we have been there for him and for our club. I’m sure that mutual love and respect for each other is the vital ingredient in JT wishing to see out his playing days at Stamford Bridge.

The fans.

fans

Chelsea FC have just endured our worst season in 2 decades.

Of course there have been murmurings of discontent on social media, with a few even going so far as to say “we’re shit”. Whilst it’s fair to say at times this season we were shit, it has largely only been vented in frustration and followed up swiftly by “KTBFFH”.

Have there been any mass walkouts, or stadium wide choruses of boos as are witnessed at certain other grounds when less successful clubs lose a match?

Have our fans come dressed as empty seats to watch our so called “mediocre” team?

Of course we haven’t!

As Chelsea fans we stay loyal!

And before anyone thinks I’m looking at this through Royal Blue tinted lenses just have a look at these facts from the last 2 seasons.

Look past the fact Stamford Bridge had the highest occupancy rate for the last 2 seasons and compare the consistency!

In the title winning 2014/15 season we had a 99.8% occupancy rate at home games, or on average 77 empty seats.

Occupancy 2014-15
2014/15 Season

 

In our worst season for 20 years in 2015/16 we still had a 99.2% occupancy rate, or on average 341 empty seats.

Occupancy
2015/16 Season

 

And then came the ultimate proof…………

Within 9 days of the end of our worst season in 20 years what did the Chelsea FC fans do?

We sold out our season ticket allocation!

Just think about that for a minute.

Every single season ticket was brought and paid for within 9 days of a crap season ending without the fans even knowing who would be playing in front of them! No marquee signings had been announced, no real idea of how our incoming manager wanted to play, for all we knew he may have wanted to promote and play the entire youth team every week. Did that matter to everyone who renewed or brought a season ticket?

Hell no.

That’s because we are loyal to the club.

We are loyal to our club, loyal to our club we fought for in the 70’s and 80’s during the struggles, loyal to our club during the highs and lows of recent times, and perhaps most of all, loyal to the Chelsea FC family.

So, as a fan I salute every single one of us because we are that rarest of rare commodities………….

#LOYAL

WM Throughout the years

If you’ve enjoyed this you know what to do, #RT, share, comment, whatever, just don’t ignore 🙂

And if you think it’s a load of baloney…… thanks for reading anyway 🙂

Lee Fraser

@carefreelee62

Womens Football.

Womens Football.

I cheated.

I got into the beautiful game of women’s football at the top by following Chelsea Ladies FC as they won the domestic double last year. I got used to seeing the top professional women football players at close quarters and thoroughly enjoy going to Staines or Doncaster to watch them play (and win).

Today however the wonderful girls at Girls On The Ball tweeted there was a FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division match between Bradford City Women’s FC and Blackburn Rovers Ladies FC kicking off at 2pm only 30 minutes away from me.

The sun was shining so I thought what the hell and decided to go along.

Oh boy, am I glad I did!

£3 entrance fee paid on the gate included a match day programme and access to the social club toilets! A simple cheap snack bar took care of refreshments and the players on the pitch magnificently took care of the entertainment.Programme

The facts and figures of the game only tell one side of the story.

4 goals scored in a 2-2 draw.

3 penalties conceded by Blackburn, 1 converted.

2 headed goals scored by Blackburn confirming what I feared when I tweeted before KO.

1 red card for Bradford’s Shauna Legge (2 yellow cards).

The other side of the story was 22 players (until the red card in the 63rd minute) showing total commitment to playing the game they love cheered on by about 40-50 fans and 2 sets of very enthusiastic coaches.

So the standard was not what you see on Match Of The Day on a Saturday night, but the effort, the intention, and the commitment were all definitely far superior.

Blackburn’s diminutive #14 (sorry i don’t know your name!) picked up a hip injury in the 40th minute, she carried on and hobbled off at half time to the dressing room. Guess what though, she came back on for the 2nd half, still hobbling, still holding her hip until she was eventually subbed in about the 60th minute. There were no dramatics from her, no rolling around on the grass, no feigning injury, no complaining, she was injured and carried on to the best of her ability.

There was no thought of money here, just the love of the game.

Isn’t that what football should be?

If you ever get the chance to watch a women’s football match I have just 2 words of advice:

DO IT!

Personally I have now found my local team to support…………

C’mon City!

I will finish this blog with some photos I took at the match, feel free to use and share if you like.

Team Talk
On pitch team tactics talk
Hand shakes
Pre match hand shakes
Paige Crosby
Paige Crosby
Sarah Danby
Sarah Danby
Sarah Danby 2
Sarah Danby 2
Goalmouth
Goalmouth
1st penalty saved
1st penalty saved
2nd penalty saved
2nd penalty saved
3rd penalty scored
3rd penalty scored
Rosie McDonnell
Rosie McDonnell

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to the beautiful game. If you have, please share, like, tweet or whatever is done these days!

I can be followed on Twitter @carefreelee62 or on Facebook if you dare!

 

 

RIP Chelsea FC

RIP Chelsea FC

rip cfc

Let’s all take a moment to remember our club, Chelsea FC, whose passing away was confirmed on 12th March 2016.

Now this may seem a tad harsh, we only lost a match on Saturday. It wasn’t the first loss let’s face it, but it was our only chance of redemption this season.

Redemption this season could have been achieved by at least winning and heading to Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

Redemption could have been achieved by at least still having a sniff of silverware by mid-March.

To have achieved redemption however it required 11 players and a manager to believe there was still life in the rapidly decomposing corpse that Chelsea had become this season.

6000 fans assembled 220 miles away from home trying desperately to breathe life into the corpse, but regrettably the 11 skilled technicians on the pitch, the ones that could have achieved redemption, failed to show the same passion and desire as the fans and allowed Chelsea FC to feebly slip away.

The official post mortem will return a verdict of death by unknown causes, so I will leave that to the so called experts to gleefully pick over, but as always I have my own opinion and as always I will give it!

Everybody and every institution needs at least 2 things for it to grow and thrive……..

Heart and soul.

Leadership.

The heart and soul of every club is it’s fans.

Chelsea Football Club has lost contact with it’s heart and soul.

I’m all too aware that the game has changed so the days of players wandering down the King’s Road and having a few pints with the fans after a game have sadly long gone. Nowadays if you want to meet a player you have to attend a melee at the superstore to spend 15 seconds having their latest book signed, or pay a fortune at an “evening with” session in the vain hope of being able to take a poorly lit selfie with your hero.

Social media is the closest 99.99% of our fans can feel they “know” our players and club these days, a sign of the times and the only practical solution you may say, so why oh why is Chelsea’s twitter account run by a PR team! It’s not even run by anyone associated with our club. It’s been shipped out to the highest bidder or cheapest provider, an anonymous company with no love for our club. This PR company didn’t even recognise our 111th birthday this week, not one tweet about it!!!!

I don’t want to bleat about the “good old days” but ………………

save the bridge

Back in the day when bucket collections were the main source of survival fans felt part of our club, I felt as though I was doing something to help our club continue, the club and the fans were as one. I felt as though I was helping pay a player’s wage and that player in return was playing for the fans and for me.

Nowadays when you buy a replica shirt do you feel as though you are helping the club survive? Do you feel as though the players that you are helping to pay their wages feel the same?

I don’t.

Who are Chelsea’s leaders?

Every institution, be it a large conglomerate or a 2 man operation operating from a garden shed, needs leadership, a focal point for the business and customers (God I hate that word) to respond to and interact with.

On paper, off the pitch of course it is Roman Abramovich, but in reality is it?

Does Roman really make the decisions these days or does he merely appoint people to make the decisions for him?

Roman for all his financial successes, and yes that does include Chelsea, seems to be inept at appointing the right people to make those decisions when it comes to taking Chelsea forward on the pitch.

Despite football being a business these days it still has certain peculiarities unique to it, and that is where our club is failing miserably. Continuity is essential for any club to be a success on the pitch and is crucially lacking at Stamford Bridge.

Numerous managers have come and gone with short term success (and failure) without any long term plan ever being put in place. They can’t all have been wrong can they?

The transfer policy during Roman’s tenure has been nothing short of chaotic with millions wasted on journeymen and ineffective prospects which, when coupled with a scattergun youth policy and selling for big money has left the current team at its weakest for over a decade.

Just who is responsible for this madness?

Is it the same person who decided that once a player hits 30 he is over the hill and can only be given a 1 year deal? This has caused us to lose our on the pitch leaders too, players like Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and now our John Terry all cast or being cast aside because of the rule that anyone approaching 30 was past it! The fitness of players these days means that when handled correctly they can easily play into their mid 30s at the very top level, all this rule has done is to rip out the heart and soul and leadership from our club.

Is it the same person who this season has seen us sign/loan the likes of Baba, Falcao, Hector, Miazga, Djilobodji and Pato, and sell/release the likes of Ramires, Luis, Cech, Drogba and Moses and is now going to let John Terry go for free?

How has this person still got a job? P.2-Emenalo

 

Has he got pictures of Roman?

 

On the pitch it is a similar story, the players appear to be playing for themselves and not for our club. How else can this season’s performances be explained? How can a team become so short of confidence so suddenly?

I’ll tell you how! If your only leader on the pitch suffers a dip in form and confidence who is there to support him? In Chelsea’s case absolutely no-one.

John Terry suffered his worst start to the season along with virtually every one else. Who was there to put an arm round him and help pick him up? No-one.

No-one, the likes of Lampard, Cech and Drogba had all been chucked onto the scrapheap by Mr. Anonymous in charge of the transfer policy.

Jose Mourinho had also been consigned to the same scrapheap with the summer transfer inactivity, almost constructive dismissal in my eyes!

Did this cause the almost mutinous reaction from the players? Did this make them realise Jose wouldn’t be around for too long and therefore didn’t have to push themselves beyond the limit any more?

With no heartbeat and no leadership, it’s going to lose its soul.

And so the death of Chelsea FC began.

R.I.P Chelsea FC.

 

This has been my 1st blog for 5 months after a sabbatical and in the words of the hairy one Kevin Keegan I “would love it” if you could share with your friends and check back for updates regularly.

Future blogs will be more light hearted……….. I promise!

Many thanks,

Lee Fraser.

Chelsea FC Weekly Wind Up

Chelsea FC Weekly Wind Up

Chelsea FC and the Hammers

Welcome to a brand new series of blogs.

If you are easily offended by banter and winding up Chelsea FC’s footballing rivals on a weekly basis then please leave now by the emergency exit marked X in the top right corner of your screen.

Now you’ve proved you’re not devoid of the humour gene and if you’re sat comfortably let’s begin with this week’s target ………..

West Ham United FC.

So where do I start with the spammers?

The beginning?

In 1895 a team formed calling themselves Thames Ironworks and won their 1st piece of silverware in the grandly named West Ham Charity Cup, even Arsenal can win their own trophy however, and 5 years later Thames Ironworks folded.

On the same day they folded West Ham United were formed, who said financial skull duggery is a new phenomenon!

whufc on the move

4 years later they started to live up to their yet to be recognised official nickname of pikeys by upping caravans and moving to a new ground in Upton Park, East London. They took over a piece of land with a pub on it, the Green Street House which the locals called the Boleyn Castle (it wasn’t even a castle!), hence the name of their ground, The Boleyn Ground.

If that confuses you as much as it did me, here’s the cherry toppping on the cake, they even incorporated a picture of the non existent castle on their club crest!

In honour of their nomadic and cashless society tinker roots they are on the move again next season, this time they have blagged England’s show piece athletics stadium for basically next to nothing, because the UK taxpayers are picking up the bill for them moving homes again. It looks like Lord Sebastian Coe’s lucky heather purchase cost us more than just the usual pound coin being dropped into a greedy grubby hand.

heather a pound

OK that’s enough history. Their fans do claim to have won the 1966 world cup, however all Chelsea FC fans know that Geoff Hurst wouldn’t even have been playing if the King Peter Osgood hadn’t injured his knee previously!

In modern day times West Ham have also maintained their cashless society roots with their wheeling dealing with unreliable sponsors. Del Boy should have been based in East London, not Peckham because the spammers are mirroring his failings perfectly!

Del Boy

How can a so called big club not rely on a shirt sponsorship deal these days!

Not once, but twice the spammers have been left with gaping holes on their shirts after their sponsor went bust. Once could be classed as unlucky, twice is just classic Del Boy!

Indeed the first time it happened in 2008 they surpassed Del Boy by just taping over the sponsor’s name on the players shirts in their game against West Brom!

So in my normal helpful style here is my suggestion for their next sponsor.

Del Boy services

We could move on to other classic West Ham moments but I think that’s enough for now, I do have a heart and Alessandro Diamanti has begged me to stop!

that moment bubble bursts

I hope you’ve enjoyed the chuckle at West Ham’s expense and please don’t forget to share to wind up any spammers you have the misfortune to know!

Oh and please let me know who you want next week’s wind up blog to target,

Many Thanks,

Lee Fraser.

@carefreelee62

Chelsea 1970’s Legends

Chelsea 1970’s Legends

Yesterday I published the results of my Twitter poll regarding the greatest Chelsea FC player with 1 player from each decade since the 1970’s.

The results can be found here.

That obviously got me thinking about who would be the player of each decade, surely an easier choice than picking 1 player from the last 45 years?

So I asked another question on Twitter:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

As you can see I chose the 5 players I thought were most influential in the 70’s for Chelsea FC, but even that started a debate with Tommy Baldwin and Alan Hudson mentioned as other candidates, but I stuck with the 5 and the votes started to roll in.

So in alphabetical order the players are:

Peter Bonetti.

Peter Bonetti

The Cat only won 7 England caps because an exceptional Gordon Banks was around at the same time. In any other generation Peter would have been England’s automatic #1 choice.

Such was his standing within the game that Pele was once quoted as saying:

“The 3 greatest goalkeepers I have ever seen are Gordon Banks, Lev Yashin and Peter Bonetti”.

Charlie Cooke.

Charlie Cooke

The Bonnie Prince always had a swagger about him and a swerve that bamboozled defenders and as quoted once “could send the whole crowd the wrong way”. He was the originator of the Frank Lebeouf chant “he’s here, he’s there, he’s every f*kin where” and was adored for his silky skills on the ball, his partying off the pitch, and will always be remembered for his cross to Webby to score the winner in the 1970 FA Cup final.

Ron Harris.

Ron Harris

Chelsea FC’s record appearance maker is infamous for his so called dirty tackles, George Best, Jimmy Greaves and Geoff Hurst can all testify to the fact that his nickname of Chopper was well deserved! He was truly a remarkable captain who always led by example on the pitch and now in retirement he can often be found amongst the fans on match days and doing the Chelsea FC ex players guest appearance circuit.

John Hollins.

John Hollins

John Hollins was the unsung midfield hero of the Chelsea FC team, always doing the unglamorous jobs. He was always extremely hardworking but also not averse to the odd glamour pass either, his cross for Ian Hutchinson’s headed equaliser at Wembley in the 1970 FA Cup Final being the most memorable. He went on to captain Chelsea FC 130 times and score 64 goals during his career.

Peter Osgood.

Peter Osgood

The King. R.I.P.

Words can’t do justice to the man and player that Ossie was. Every Chelsea FC fan knows of him and a few of us oldies were actually privileged enough to see him in action. The only reason he didn’t win more England caps was because his flamboyant nature clashed with Sir Alf Ramsey, but it was that very nature and his silky skills that made him a favourite of Chelsea FC fans the world over.

380 games, 150 goals are the stark stats, but the fact that his ashes were buried under the Shed End penalty spot on 1st October 2006 says far more than stats and mere words can say.

So those are my 5 candidates for Chelsea FC’s player of the decade.

Who do you think should win?

Vote here or on twitter @carefreelee62 and come back tomorrow to find out who Chelsea FC fans voted as their 1970’s player of the decade.

************* UPDATE***************

The results are in, have been totalled from twitter and here, and have been officially verified.

I can announce the winner of the fans vote for the Chelsea FC player of the 70’s is:

The King of Stamford Bridge, Mr. Peter Osgood.

Long live the King.

70s fav pie chart

Many Thanks,

Lee Fraser.