Ever since I was an idea (or not) in the minds of my parents, I have been Chelsea. This stems from my Dad’s side of the family, whose dad was Chelsea, and his dad the same (etc etc). There was no choice in the matter, no deliberation, not even envy toward a superior side – although there haven’t been many – just an understanding rooted deep within me that I was Chelsea through and through, and nothing else. So from a very young age, as important as it were to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to my elders, it was equally important to follow Chelsea all the same.
A blessing is what some would call the era I was born into. Abramovic arrived into the Chelsea family shortly after I did, and need I say the wealth of riches that have followed him over the past 17 years. I’ve seen us win everything there is on offer, but also felt the pain and the blues of missed opportunities and ill-fated decisions. I’ve seen magic unfold countless times at the Bridge, but also witnessed performances starved of flair and creativity. I’ve seen superstars come through the door, with hope and excitement, but legends leave, with great sadness and a stiff upper lip. ‘Inconsistently consistent’ best describes the emotions felt as a Chelsea fan over the years, although the one thing that has remained consistent in my journey through life as a Blue is our inability to stay away from silverware for too long, and that is a trait I worship because, after all, who doesn’t love winning?
I look at where we are now, and I can’t think of a Chelsea side that has got me more excited over football in my 18 years of existence. Of course, our title winning sides, European and domestic, have included some astoundingly talented footballers – Drogba, JT, Hazard, Fabregas, Ashley Cole, Cech and Essien to name a few. But there’s something that separates this novice side from the rest. Our Frank Lampard, in charge of our Chelsea, introducing outrageously young, hungry, talented players into the first team who are players that previously would have been discarded in favour of aging bygones. They have a pureness about them, but more than that. They have ‘Chelsea’ about them, and it’s surging through the club all the way to us – the fans. I can’t help but have an inherent feeling that everything has fallen into place; a destiny of sorts, and that we are witnessing the dawn of a truly special team, and an already special manager (anyone who beats Sp*rs in their own backyard instantly falls into that category, Frank Lampard or not).
With that being said, my optimism was temporarily scathed after our 2-0 home defeat to Southampton, and not because of the result. The outcry and anger aimed at the team and in particular, Super Frank, after the game was immense. I find it unfathomable; close to lunacy at how reactionary some ‘fans’ become after a bump in the road, which by the way, was said to be expected when we appointed Frank at the beginning of the season, as this was seen as a project, a long term plan where for once a manager isn’t sacked after so and so months because of a couple of bad games. Instead, ‘Lampard out’, ‘Abraham isn’t good enough’, ‘We shouldn’t have let go of Sarri’ were among the more pleasant tweets I saw post match in the midst of some shocking abuse from people who actually claim they ‘support’ the club and expect me to believe them.
Unfortunately, this breed of Twitter ‘fan’ is becoming ever more common these days. People that seem to enjoy obsessing over one player, at the expense of another, or singling out players for being ‘frauds’, whilst suggesting we go and sign every top European talent under the age of 23 to replace them. Or, my personal favourite, is those who believe they are anywhere near qualified to critique or explain a tactical decision or behind the scenes incident from those who are professionally employed by the club. To my shock, they are not.
I see three viable ways of dealing with these types of Twitter accounts. Number 1 – Ignore them. Block them. Do whatever it takes to remove them from my regular Twitter experience and go about my way, supporting our club in the manner that I know is right. Number 2 – Remove myself from Twitter. Slightly extreme yes, but saves me from falling into the inevitability that is option number 3. Argue with them, or at least do my very best to educate them on what it means to be a ‘Chelsea fan’; because clearly anyone who impetrates for Frank Lampard to be dismissed doesn’t have a clue in the slightest.
So my message to any ‘fan’ who reads this and feels like any of the above applies to them is to consider why. I understand that Twitter likes and retweets are important to some, and that’s fine. But why not attempt to ‘support’ Chelsea by doing the exact thing that the verb suggests. Supporting. Who knows, you might even enjoy it.
Written By: Jude Nicholls
Edited By: Jon