The ‘I f*cking love this game’ highlight of the season?
I'd love to throw out something not so obvious but of course, I can't. Destiny? Written in the stars? Whatever the pundits want to hype it as - very little is going to top the Champions League Final for a Chelsea fan. Yes, Bayern dominated the game and arguably should have won it. And no I don’t care. Di Matteo played to the strengths of a weakened team and with a bit of luck we got over the line. Bayern’s opportunities were fortuitously wasteful but Chelsea’s achievement cannot be put down entirely to luck. Petr Cech had studied a two-hour DVD of Bayern penalties from the last five years as part of his homework. Ashley Cole had a typically fantastic game at left back (despite arguably being responsible for the Muller goal). Ryan Bertrand did not look out of place in perhaps the highest-pressure Champions League debut ever. And Drogba, well, what can you say - the big man for the big occasion. I did ‘f*cking love this game.’
The season ticket shredding moment?
Man United at home. Squandering a 3 - 0 lead to draw 3 -3 at home was a clear summary of Chelsea in the league this year. Fans will live off the cup glories that were achieved through a mix of sheer determination and luck but this was the game where it was clear Chelsea currently lack the quality of United or City to do it week in week out in the Premier League. The New Year’s Eve home defeat to Aston Villa was also a real “perhaps I’ll start following cricket” moment.
Moment that just about summed it all up?
Napoli at home. Turning that 3-1 away leg deficit around I think summarised Chelsea's season perfectly. Emphasising the grit and spirit that led us to two trophies. I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was a moment where anyone would have said Chelsea were going to get near winning the Champions League but it was certainly the time we made it clear we weren’t going to give up without a proper fight. It was also one of the first post-AVB games and the beginning of Di Matteo's glorious run. On top of that I couldn’t afford Munich but was sat in the Shed for this one to see Ivanovic smash his extra time winner home and seal the extra time comeback.
Got the right manager?
Yes. He had done enough before we lifted the trophy on Saturday. Even the league form picked up after Di Matteo came in. He only lost two games: away to City and at home to a very in form Newcastle to two wonder-goals from Papiss Cisse. And the other competitions he was left in? Oh yeah – he won them both. It would be ridiculous to say we haven’t got the right manager. I just hope if we do give it to Robbie we don’t heartlessly discard him after Guardiola has had his year off.
Player of the season?
The official Chelsea award was given to Juan Mata and I do think he has shown glimpses that he could be a Premier League great. But for me the player of the season was Ramires. After his first season I thought he looked too light-weight to cope with the Premier League but his second season has been incredible. Strong and skilful going forward, he also has the ability to defend but above all he was consistent. I just feel that Mata went off the boil a bit too much in the later part of the season, which is why Ramires edges it for me.
The New Year’s Eve home defeat to Aston Villa was a real “perhaps I’ll start following cricket” moment.
What would you change next term if you were the gaffer?
I would still have a clear out regardless of the praises for the old boys in that final. Despite John Terry’s appeals of “we want you to stay” to Drogba at the victory parade I think looking forward we have to say goodbye - and let’s face it what a way for him to end it? Kalou is also out of contract this summer and even that’s too far away for his departure. Ferreira? God I almost forgot we still had him. We also have to accept that Essien is unlikely to ever regain the same form he had. So I think clear out the squad a little bit and then reassess. But not too much of a clear out – Ashley Cole in particular still has a good few seasons left at top level.
Which player would you like to sign?
Cavani. Although we turned the Napoli game around, the first leg was enough to see the qualities of an obviously fantastic player. I would also like to sign a right-back who can defend because Bosingwa cannot.
Ramires against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Having just received the yellow card that would eliminate him from the final he went straight back up the other end and scored the exquisite chip that kept us in the Champions League.
Kalou. Although I feel terrible to criticise Di Matteo, his persistent selection of Kalou felt like starting each game with 10 men.
Ivanovic do do do-do-do. To this tune.
Player’s tweet of the season?
The silliness of David Luiz continues to make me smile and his regular tweets throughout the season along the lines of “Love and hugs geezers!!!” has brightened up many a scan of my newsfeed in the mornings.
Best laugh you had all season?
Spurs. 5-1 at Wembley and then relegate them to the Europa League. Hilarious.
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