After the final whistle went today, I found myself throughly entertained at the football I had watched. Not for the reason most people would assume a fan would be entertained after watching his team leave with three points and a 1-0 victory against an opposition intent on parking the proverbial bus.
These are the reasons why Chelsea fans love the club and more importantly our players, fitting they occurred today, the 107th anniversary of the club:
1. Dider Drogba – There can be no other place to start. The Ivorian became the first African player to score 100 goals in the premiership! However it was his infamous hurrying of the opposition who were time wasting from the 1st minute, that brought a smile to my face, his efforts to run across the pitch and place the ball in the six yard box, ready for Begovic to take his goal kicks. His constant flailing arms towards the ref whenever Stoke players took to long in resuming play mirrors the thoughts and actions of every fan in the ground. His contribution to this article doesn’t stop there, following a Stoke corner with the ball being deflected in the air, Drogba performed a perfectly executed overhead kick clearance. When asking a toy Churchill what he thought on the matter, his response to the question of – Unnecessary? “Ohhh Yes.” Needless? “Ohhh Yes.” Entertaining? “Ohhhh Yessss!”
2. David Luiz – Never far from a comedy moment is the Brazilian. His off the field antics have captured the heart of every fan and his passion on the field is unparalleled. Growing impatient with the ball not being returned from the walkway in front of the West Stand, he climbed over the advertising boards and went to retrieve the ball himself. His actions were rewarded by chants of “Luiz! Luiz! Luiz!” Impatience is a virtue.
3. Salomon Kalou – The fleet footed winger has always been prone of the following occurrence but “That’s why we love Salomon Kalou”. On the edge of the penalty area, with the ball at his feet and the Stoke defence unsure of his next movement. Kalou managed to confuse all in the ground, unfortunately himself included. His attempted step-over was botched, yet he still managed to nutmeg the defender with an extraordinary piece of skill. It’s a shame he couldn’t react quick enough to his fortune.
4. Juan Mata – The spaniard’s comedy moment was brought to my attention by a fellow fan (@JoeTweeds). His constant aerial battle with the Stoke defence should’ve been one sided at best, in fact it was for this reason, manager Roberto Di Matteo decided not to start him. However the little playmaker threw himself around in attempts to win the ball. Heart of a lion with the grace of a gazelle.
5. Ramires – The roadrunner. Few would be accepting of his role in the team, but Ramires enjoys every minute of it. Relentless running for 90 minutes, constant pressure and hassling of the opposition can only be compared to a terrier. In attack, he must be the most fouled player in the whole team, his rapid acceleration and pace is guaranteed to leave midfielders and defenders in their wake, till they decide to hack his legs. Does he complain? No. Ramires gets up and just carries on running. I wonder if asked why he enjoys running so much, whether we would get a Forrest Gump type response “I run like the wind blows”. Run Ramires… Run.
6. Petr Cech – Peter Schmeichel made it known that it is never wise to cross a big European goalkeeper’s path, even if you are on their team. After gathering the ball from a cross, Cech came out to the edge of the box and following a quick exchange of words with none other than Didier Drogba, the keeper immediately turned around and appeared to set the record straight. Yelling at the striker and letting him know who is boss. One can only imagine it was because he had nothing better to do over the 90mins as Stoke rarely forced any sort of action from Chelsea’s number one, the only explanation for the outburst and his insistence on drawing the Stoke players as close as possible before clearing the ball.
As a final word. Happy Birthday, Chelsea FC. You have provided the highs and lows of my life and even though I might not always show it, I love you and all the players that have put on the shirt past and present.