May 20 2013 Latest news:
Paul Lagan, London24 Chelsea blogger
Thursday, May 3, 2012
“Is it because the lustre of playing at Wembley has ebbed away - we do seem to have played there quite often now”
Okay, it’s a couple of days to go before the boys take on Liverpool in the FA Cup - how are you feeling?
We should all be on tenterhooks, right? Worrying about who is fit and what tactics to employ against the Scousers? How to nullify Stevie G and hoping Carroll plays, yeah?
Will Drogs get the nod ahead of Nando? All that footballing stuff we all love to discuss and argue over.
Now I don’t know about you, but to be honest, I’m struggling to get a head of steam up about the game and that’s a terrible thing to admit.
I’m unsure why too.
Is it because the lustre of playing at Wembley has ebbed away - we do seem to have played there quite often now.
Is the shadow of the Champions League final casting it’s dark spectre over proceedings?
Have we still not recovered mentally, ] (and I mean us supporters) from eliminating Barcelona in the semi-final?
Or, is it the fact that we are all distracted from the so-called showpiece occasion of the season, by virtue of having to play two more league matches?
And with the added spice that qualification for next season’s Champions League through league placing hinges on us winning both games?
I do think it’s all of these things - and I ain’t happy.
Firstly the league season should be completed before the FA Cup Final takes place.
I know all the arguments about why it hasn’t this year - Euros/ Olympics etc, but the FA Cup final should be our last game of the season.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the Champions League/European Cup final was always after our domestic season ends, and I’m happy to factor that into my outrage - for now.
After all, we don’t often reach the final for it to be seen as a drudge, a chore, as a distraction?
I think what’s bugging me is that so much is at stake riding on the visit to Anfield on Tuesday and beating Blackburn at the Bridge on Saturday week in the league.
Chelsea should, quite simply have already qualified for next season’s Champions League.
In a season where the quality of the Premier League has not being its highest, Chelsea should have done far better than find itself scrambling round in a desperate chase for fourth place - FOURTH BLEEDING PLACE.
Okay, I’m trying to remain calm, I’m trying to think ‘What would Lamps do?’
Yeah, actually that’s helping, thanks Lamps - I’m thinking clearly now.
Actually, I’ve just realised what’s bugging me, what’s made me feel angst whenever football rears its ugly head in my noggin (at least three times an hour on average), what’s stopped me from enjoying what usually is and should be a brilliant crescendo-building climax to ‘Cup Final week’ - yes it’s Robin Van Persie and my part in his coronation as Footballer of the Year.
As a member of that wonderful organisation, the Football Writers’ Association, I have the privilege of voting for the best player in our country each season.
For the past 20 years or so, there has only being the very rare occasion that I have strayed away from voting for a player from SW6.
Chatting to Lamps and Franco Zola when they have collected the accolade has being as exciting as watching them perform on the pitch. There was always a case for at least one Chelsea player (in my mind at least) to get the gong.
But this year, I could not in all honestly find a place for one of our boys in blue. Too many things off the field, in the boardrooms (yes, plural) at the club, have reared their ugly head to tell me that no one from Chelsea deserves consideration this year.
Therefore I went in thought about it with a clear conscience and Van Persie kept coming out as the answer.
Without him, and how the hell hasn’t he been injured more - he rarely plays more than half the games, Arsenal would not be sitting third in the league - denying the Blues their rightfully place.
Van Persie has been a one-man team this season.
He deserves to win the true Footballer of the Year award, that bestowed by the nation’s finest footballing hacks.
And what makes it worse for me, is that I was there, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Bayswater, watching Van Persie pick up the trophy.
Perhaps, by tomorrow I shall be cleansed, exorcised from all the angst of recent days and will finally be returned to that state of excitement that all football fans experience ahead of the FA Cup final - the way it should be.
Now, whose gonna play........?