May 25 2013 Latest news:
Paul Lagan, London24’s Chelsea blogger
Monday, May 21, 2012
You might find this hard to believe but there are some people who didn’t give a monkeys about Saturday’s mesmeric victory for the Blues.
Yeah, honest - I know, I don’t get it either but there you go - I’ll get to that in a mo.
But first, I was in the unfortunate position that, while I had the means to be in the Allianz Arena, family commitments prevented me from attending - having to pick up my son after he had completed a walk across numerous Thames bridges, yesterday, all in aid of charity of course - being one of the reasons.
Anyhow, in the full knowledge that I wasn’t going to sit in the glorious press box in Munich and chat to the victorious lads afterwards (or be completely ignored in the event they lost) I contemplated what I was going going to do in the build-up to the match on Saturday.
Had circumstances being different, I would have taken a very early Saturday morning Eurotunnel shuttle to Calais from Folkestone and driven the 10 hours or so to Munich.
The journey would have be all-consuming thus not allowing me to get nervous in what would easily be the most important match since the Blues won the Cup Winners’ Cup in Stockholm in 1998 (the Champions League final loss in 2008 never really happened).
Nerves play a funny thing with your mind, coupled with the disappointment of not being in Munich, my small brain decided it was best way of coping was to imagine the whole event was not actually going to happen.
My normal Saturday morning ritual - coffee, posh croissants and a rummage thought the sports pages in the Guardian (well, only the footy section and just who is The Secret Footballer,anyhow?) went out the window.
I simply did not want to read any previews for the match, I’m fact, I did not want to hear anything about it. The TV news was ignored in case an item on the match was included, a certain sports channel on a satellite station, did not see the light of day in my gaff.
Text messages did not get a reply, most were of the ‘Have you got to Munich yet?’ variety.
The kids sensed that dad was in denial mode, and were understandably walking on eggshells) as to what they said to me (sorry kids).
To help pass the morning and afternoon, my better half must have decided I was not the best of company and took son number two to the West End to buy some shoes, I was put on homework duty with son No 1 ( school calls it home learning, not homework - neither of us learnt much).
My neighbour Dan popped in and we chatted about lots of things - but not football, Dan is not the least interested in ‘The Beautiful Game’
Having dissected the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Olympics, Dan left but at least another hour passed successfully with not a comment about Drogba or Torres uttered.
When son number two returned sporting natty footwear, I promptly decided to drive him to Streatham Hill to get his hair cut - that would pass another hour and a half at least.
Then, back, home and still half a day left, I decided the best way to forget about football would be to watch West Ham on the box - ho, ho!
Sadly Blackpool failed to read the script and lost, meaning Chelsea will have an extra derby next season.
But I digress, I still had hours to fill. At five thirty I absent-mindedly took a a call on my mobile, it was my mate, Michael and he was calling from a bar in Munich, informing me he had bagged a ticket for the game for 600€.
Bang, like a bullet in the head, the game returned in sharpe focus. While I was chuffed for Mike, I was tensing up, my stomach churned just at the thought of what was to come.
Further diversionary tactics like making dinner (honest, I do do it sometimes) proved to be mildly successful. I also must confess to have done excessive washing-up too - some plates have never been so clean, so that was a bonus, I suppose.
With kick-off time approaching, and a hour to go, I knew that the teamsheets would be issued and thus TV would be shouting out who had made Robbie’s last match in charge of the Blues. c’mon, you don’t honestly think Roman’s gonna give him the job permanently, do you?
But I still did not want to turn on the telly - not just yet.
Son No 2 could not believe his luck as he got double helpings of The Simpsons and Futurama to watch to pass the time, but when the clock turned to 7,30pm, he wanted just one more Futurama episode to watch. That was my signal to get let it all out, the game was minutes away, no more sulking but I was still tense, I had to focus on the game - but now it was Chelsea time. Sorry son No 2 - TV cartoons another time.
I had managed to get through the day, but I had alienated my family in the process ( never a good tactical move).
With 10 minutes in, the door bell rang, it was my mate Dan - he had popped back for a chat - yeah I know unbelievable. He was completing unaware of the game.
But Dan’s intervention brought me back to reality, made me realise that the world isn’t actually solely focused on Chelsea in the Champions League final, that other things were going on.
I felt stupid for trying to ignore it, I wasn’t at the game for a reason, and that was because of family, but I I wasn’t really there for them either ( if you know what I mean).
Rather than getting worked up as I normally do when watching the Blues play on telly, I just relaxed and let the game flow through me.
Only when Drogs put the final penalty away, did I scream in delight like the hundreds of thousands of Blues fans world-while.
Was it worth it all? Well the Blues are Champions of Europe and the family are still talking to me, what do to think?