On Wednesday night I made another pilgrimage to my favourite place to watch football. Sitting in what was once many moons ago the West Stand Benches I lamented over how much the atmosphere in the ground has changed over the years.
I now know how the Arsenal supporters must have felt to be out sung by the Chelsea fans the week before at the Emirates as the FC Schalke fans pretty much out sung us all night.
The man behind me mused a few times that the crowd was “all right for inviting to your funeral but you wouldn’t want to invite them to your party.” But at no point did he join in with the short-lived attempts made by a few to get a song going.
The crowd lift the team. We saw this at the Emirates and the efforts were roundly appreciated by the players and opposing supporters alike. A rousing atmosphere can change the mood of the game.
The game was by no means electrifying. Chelsea seem to have slipped back into their November slump which baffles the supporters. For some reason when the clocks go back and the calender changes to November the form falls apart.
We got the victory we needed. We didn’t play wonderful football. Our passing is too slow and sloppy and at times there is no understanding between the players which is a worry.
In football you can’t afford to be too cautious. You need to make the most of the chances you have, something Chelsea have never really been good at doing. When it comes down to the clinical need to kill a team off in a match we always seem to leave a door of hope open.
I attend matches when I can and join in with the singing when I know the words. I’ve always been a vocal supporter but I found myself feeling subdued by the dead atmosphere of the West Stand on Wednesday and it effected my enjoyment of the game.
Before anyone thinks I am a fair weather supporter; for me attending football is a monetary issue, the ticket prices are too high for me to attend every game as I would like. I went to my first Chelsea match in the 1990/ 91 season and have attended as many matches a season as I can since then.
It’s not all doom and gloom. We should qualify out of our Champions League group this year. We aren’t out of the title race in the Premiership and we are still in the Capital One Cup and FA Cup. We could still have the stellar first season everyone was hoping for under Jose Mourinho.
I see Mourinho as a necessary evil. Someone to take the pressure off the players when things are going wrong. I trust him although I don’t always agree with him. He will find a way to make the players we have work together. He will have to if he wants to keep his unbeaten records and win trophies.
The players need to get a bit more fight in them too and this comes from the stands, they need us to fill them with confidence, sing their names and praise their skills.
We need some positivity from our supporters. The social media outlets on match days are a hive of people calling for Mourinho to be sacked, Lampard to be dropped, Cole to be dropped, calling players a disgrace all hiding behind the title of Chelsea Supporter. All wanting to have their point of view taken seriously.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of a supporter is: a person who approves of and encourages a public figure, political party, policy, etc.:
So in the context of football a supporter would be: a person who approves of and encourages the team: If only…