Before you start reading this post, this is not a hate speech, you should all read with an open mind especially Chelsea supporters, drop your emotional attachments as you read and if you agree or disagree with me let me know via the comments section.
So on Sunday after Chelsea’s match against Mk Dons John Terry announced that he was leaving Chelsea, after he was not offered a new contract, am I surprised? No!!! He will not be the first nor the last to leave Chelsea in such acrimonious circumstances, this same treatment was meted out to club legends like Frank Lampard, the club’s highest goal scorer of all time, Ashley Cole arguably England’s best left back ever was also let go without an ounce of courtesy or respect and Petr Cech was sold to their greatest rival.
These players were the pillars and icons of the club. I remember when Jose Mourinho hit back at legend Didier Drogba for saying that the team lacked leadership in his book ‘Commitment’.Drogba may have been wrong at that time but with John Terry leaving we cannot deny he is on point now.
Fans are growing tired of Abramovich lack of sentimentality, he needs to listen to the opinions of the fans.
Compare Terry’s treatment to that of Paolo Maldini or even Ryan Giggs at Manchester United. I still feel John Terry can play at the very top for the next two years.
In fact, these players are the history of Chelsea, Chelsea gained relevance with these players in their prime. It shows a clear lack of loyalty from Chelsea to its icons to be treated in such distasteful manner which is linked to the club’s lack of tradition.
Ask an average Chelsea fan(for instance an ‘Okada’ rider) when Chelsea football club was formed and most of them will tell you 2004 which was when they started buying success. Tell me how many Chelsea youth player have made the grade into their first team. Chelsea have a lot of young players but most of them are at one Dutch club or another or is just an way of hoarding talents. Why wasn’t john terry offered a new contract and when he decides to retire he would have been made a defensive coach.
Chelsea is not a traditional English club, not forgetting in the past two decades they have won almost all trophies available, these trophies have been bankrolled with the ill gotten wealth of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. I imagine how Chelsea fans felt when Frank Lampard scored in a Manchester city jersey against them, it must have been very hard to swallow, just imagine John Terry signs for Crystal palace in the transfer window and scores against Chelsea, because Alan Pardew has said he wouldn’t mind buying John Terry, during his Press conference.
If you are talking about clubs that have tradition you mention Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal. Most of the young Chelsea fans currently are ex-arsenal fans who carpet-crossed during the years of trophy drought. You cannot compare Chelsea to the traditional club sides in England just because of the years of bought titles compared to a rich history of sustained success.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s in particular Chelsea fans were associated with hooliganism which is probably why they are the most hated club in England. In 2009-2010 season 126 Chelsea fans were arrested. There are other reasons why Chelsea are not a traditional club;
• They bought their success: No need to say much about that.
• Pride: Chelsea fans are always the loudest fans and are quick to argue with other fans but ask them when Chelsea Fc was formed and they keep quiet( for those that do not know Chelsea was formed on the 10th of March1905). I wonder what will happen if Roman Abramovich decides he is bored with Chelsea and the next owner is not someone willing to splash the cash.
• Mourinho who many have respect for but is impossible to love him. I saw a young school boy under senate building and I asked him his favorite coach and suggested to him Jose Mourinho but the boy exclaimed ‘God Forbid’ , I love Pep Guordiola. The boy must have been between the age of 8-9 years old. Mourinho mind games, ridiculous decisions (like banning physios) parking the bus etc.
• Lost talents : You can expect like Fernando Torres or Shevchenko fans to hate the club, there are too many players on loan and probably their future is not secure.
• Under appreciation of people: Too many managers have been sacked without giving them enough time e.g Carlo Ancelotti, a double winning manager who was sacked in the dugout at Goodison park.
As I said ab initio this is not a hate speech, so I will spend some time talking about the good and bad side of John Terry. I guess we all know how his relationship with Wayne Bridge his England teammate went sour.
(Far right is Wayne Bridge)
Aside that off field incident, on the field he is one of the greatest defenders ever to have played in the English premier league so replacing him won’t be easy and cheap, defenders like John stones, Varane, Marquinhos, Hummels and even Diego Godin have all being mentioned.
He is such an influential leader even Arsene Wenger had some nice things to say about him at a press conference;
“He was a real leader and he had a great career as well, let’s not forget that, that’s never a coincidence. The guys who last such a long time have something special. He was the symbol of cohesion inside Chelsea because him, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Cech were the guys who carried the club’s values for long period. When you lose players like that you’re always in danger”.
John Terry is the highest scoring defender with 40 goals. He is the sole link currently between supporters and the despised board.
The major trophies he has won include Premier league x4, Fa cup x3 , League cup x3, Champions X1, Europa league x1.
The one thing I like about Chelsea fans is their unrelenting loyalty to the extent they are ready to die for their club. I was chatting with one of my numerous Chelsea friends, immediately after Chelsea had beaten Mk Dons, and he was so ecstatic, I was like so Chelsea have sunk this low, that if they beat Mk Dons someone will not hear word again, he was telling me of his new babe (Yoruba boys sef), as soon as he heard the news about John Terry his mood changed. See picture below;
The sooner the Chelsea board starts to show respect to its players and the wishes of its fans, the more likely they start being recognized as a traditional club because I do not want to lose my friend all because of some kamikaze decisions at the top.
In other news I witnessed one of the most boring January transfer window ,the biggest story was about a coach in the mould of Pep Guordiola who is officially coming to Manchester city in June 2016, hopefully Manchester United appoints Jose Mourinho and you need not be told how feisty the Manchester derby will be from next season. Other notable transfers include Gianelli Imbula to Stoke City, Charlie Austin to Southampton, Mohammed Elneny, Kelechi Nwakali, and Samuel Chukwueze all to Arsenal, Pato to Chelsea, Adebayor to Crystal palace 😇, Omar Niasse to Everton, Doumbia to Newcastle, Emenike on loan to West ham,Ramires and Jackson Martinez both moved to China for 25 million and 32 million Pounds respectively. In fact China spent the most money(£150 million) this January window.
Did you see Vardy screamer against Liverpool 😱. He was watched by screenwriter Adrian Butchart who wants to make a movie about Vardy. It would be lovely to see Leicester City win the league at least for the neutrals.
So much action to look forward to over the weekend like the Lagos City marathon,the Super Bowl 50 between the favorites Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos where Beyounce, Bruno Mars and my favorite band Coldplay are expected to perform during the halftime show (Sunday 12:30 am Nigerian time), an advert costs $5million just for 30 seconds 😮 and also the latest round of matches in the major leagues in Europe.
(Left to Right Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos)
Enjoy the rest of the week, and do some sports 💪🏽.
Tochukwu Anosike is a member of the law class of “18, who loves and follows sports. If he were not studying law, he may have been playing for his favorite club, Crystal Palace :). You can connect with him on Instagram @carlsyke.