Travels Without The Chels – The Veneto Part 2

August 4, 2011

Part 1 concluded with your humble narrator shivering on the Ferry back to Jesolo. Then to make matters worse I misjudged the bus stop and ended up having to get off at the one after Piazza Mazini, leaving me with a 15 minute walk back to the hotel. It hadn’t just been showers local to Venice, the whole of the Veneto appeared to be under water. A sign on a…


Football’s Shadow Line

July 8, 2011

Note: I started writing this at 1.48pm, on Thursday 7th July 2011. We interrupt our usual diet of light-hearted reminiscence and fluff for a serious consideration of an issue which, taken to its ultimate possibility, could end Premier League football as we currently know it. Firstly, use of the phrase “shadow line” is intentional. I hope that many of you enjoyed Hugo Blick’s superb psychological drama of Police corruption which…


Travels Without The Chels – The Veneto Part 1

July 6, 2011

There are many for whom the close season is an intolerable burden. I try and fill it as much as I can with family visits, spending time in the gym and culture. Then there is the matter of an attempt to get away. I find June a better time as the weather in Continental Europe should be good (in theory) and it’s a bit cheaper compared with July and August…


The Southbank Show

June 23, 2011

One of the plus points to the 24/7 society we are now living in is that the gnawing tedium of Sundays that most of us endured as children has ended. When I was young in the 70s and early 80s, Sunday consisted of going to Mass, dinner (not lunch, this was Birmingham) – often cooked by my father if Old Mother Baby was at work as a nurse at the…


My End Of Season Awards

June 14, 2011

Well, we’ve now long past the end of a season which, although rich in promise at the outset has ended as a damp squib, particularly with Carlo’s departure, which although not unexpected was shocking in its suddenness. I strongly suspect that the most disappointed amongst our fan base will be those under 25, who have grown up seeing Chelsea as an established Premier League force and for whom a season…


Managing Chelsea – Where Angels Fear To Tread…

May 23, 2011

For we fans, the possibility of Carlo Ancelotti’s departure as Chelsea manager has been the equivalent of a steady drip, drip, drip of tepid water down the back of our necks from a tiny crack in the ceiling. Now the ceiling has fallen in on us, we’re up to our ankles in water and plaster and we’re scrambling around looking for the telephone number for a plumber. The question is,…


We Need To Talk About Fernando

May 19, 2011

I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one who felt uneasy on Sunday. A torpid performance against an admittedly game Newcastle United, struggling to a draw. Fans trickling away at the final whistle like water draining from a bath. The ground a third full by the time the players came out for the lap of appreciation (and those who had the decency to remain were starting to get the hump)….


The Mourinho Issue

May 2, 2011

There has been a lot of speculation (mainly in the press, although it hasn’t been exclusively limited to them) about the future of Carlo Ancelotti, and whether he is likely to see out the remaining year of his contract at Chelsea. I’ll put my hands up here and say I’m ambivalent. One on the one hand, I like Carletto very much as a person. On the other hand, however, I…


The Happiness Index

April 8, 2011

As a Chelsea fan, how happy are you? I ask this now because, after the hugely-awaited Champions League game against Manchester Utd, I’m not happy. The world’s most rubbish pre-match meal, combined with an extortionately priced vodka and lemonade, a log-jam at the turnstiles causing me not only to not get to the loo beforehand but to miss the first five minutes of the match and a hugely disappointing result…


Travels With The Chels – Porto

April 4, 2011

Chels have been dining consistently at the top table of European football for nearly eight years now. Those hideously short, turn of the century, UEFA Cup campaigns are largely forgotten by all but the most masochistic of our fans. And there are a couple of teams that we seem to keep bumping into on our travels. One of them is Porto. Therefore, when discussing European trips there with friends we…