So the weekend began, a Friday night full of excitement and anticipation. I looked at the Chelsea team to face Wigan and I smiled.
The little gremlin Doubt sat in the corner, tiny and huddled. It was a shame I did not notice the evil glint in his eye or I would have done something about it then.
Something like watching a few vids of our triumphs on TheChels.tv. But I didn’t.
And the little gremlin twitched and sneaked a few sly looks at me.
Saturday came, and in the long hours of a Saturday without a game the gremlin began to grow. By lunchtime he was stamping his feet and demanding attention; by teatime he had grown to twice his size and was lashing out at me if I got too close.
He demanded blood. But I was safe if I stayed away because he didn’t move from his dark corner.
Saturday night, he was chained and gagged. A few bottles of Hobgoblin saw to that, and though he had grown to twice my size by now, I didn’t care. He was captive and impotent. I slept well, full of anticipation and beer.
Sunday morning dawned dark. I could hear it downstairs, destroying the furniture, smashing the mirrors, tearing my hopes and dreams into shreds and daubing stuff on the walls with its own excrement.
I saw “Man U Champions” and “Blue Disaster” scrawled in the corner where he used to be held prisoner. I saw “Chelsea Implode” and “Red Heaven” writ large on the living room walls. I saw it, huge and monstrous, all slime and scales and red football shirts, red noses, red banners screaming obscenities and trampling over my barely twitching body, spitting on my barely breathing optimism.
By 4pm Doubt was the Champion. It had taken the Premiership away from Chelsea and was a worthy victor. We would lose, unluckily, but lose nevertheless. 2-0. Or 2-1. Or something.
I sat in front of the television, quivering, spouting gibberish, not just a shadow of my former self but the wreckage of a shadow of my former self. Doubt sat, for once quietly, and gloated.
The game began. Nic scored. I could see Doubt twitch and the smile begin to look a little false. The tug of the shirt, the penalty. I cheered. Doubt screamed a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse. 2-0. I could cry. Doubt was shrinking; it put me in mind of Dracula being hit by morning sunbeams.
The second half, goal of the weekend, Salomon Kalou-ou-ou, 3-0, I was crying. Doubt self-destructed, imploded like the fake obscenity he was, like evil in the face of all that was good.
Then Drogs, a-one, a-two, a-three, what was this? I filled the room with my euphoria; I filled the world with my self-belief, so much so that there was no room for any doubt.
When the final whistle blew, I had forgotten about the little gremlin, forgotten, in my elation and pride and tear filled ecstacy about Doubt. Champions of England, record after record smashed.
Tomorrow, when I see Doubt twitching in the corner, I will deal with it straight away. How?
Just by looking at this Chelsea team, that’s how.