The Bipolar Express: What Makes Me a REAL Fan?

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On Monday night I settled into the sofa, remote in one hand, drink in the other, ready to watch our return to form after the Liverpool debacle. We were up against an in form Fulham, who haven’t hit last year’s Hodgson inspired heights but have become a tough opponent for any team, as Spurs will testify to.

After yet another dull first half, no better than the dire Liverpool display, I thought I’d detected small flickering signs of life in the dying embers of the worst title defence seen for some years. I was rather hoping for a better second half, almost convinced a stiff half time bollocking from Carlo would liven the lads up and see us hit them for two or three goals. Well we dominated yet another second half but despite vast amounts of possession and being camped in the Fulham half for all but a few minutes, we could only muster four shots on target from the whole game. It was dismal and exciting in equal parts, apart from the finishing and the snail-like pace of our midfield, Ramires aside. But enough has been said elsewhere about the season thus far including the Fulham game.

After the game I continued to follow and contribute to the comments on Twitter. I thought mine were perfectly sensible criticisms of our performance, the season thus far and Carlo Ancelotti. All comments which I feel entitled to say, both as a 40 year plus fan and someone who has splashed out £850 for a season ticket and more for Megastore stuff. None were personal or insulting but all were opinion based on my perception, knowledge and logic. This stirred a few people into slinging accusations at me and others involved in 140-character reasoned debate, that we couldn’t possibly be ‘real’ fans.

And this is my question. What constitutes a ‘real’ fan? This could apply to any other team but let’s keep it blue. I can’t describe the average fan, because no such thing exists. I can usually spot the casual fans, the people who are there for a day out or the glory hunters who would follow any team in order to be touched by success. But I can’t spot a real fan. It seems to me there is a faction out there who define being a real fan as someone who goes to every game, home and away including Champions League, who watches Chelsea TV all the time, who goes to reserve and youth team games and who spends all their disposable income on replica shirts and other Megastore tat. You’ll be accepted if one or two of those criteria aren’t met, but you would be instantly dismissed for any other indiscretion or wayward comment.

They have a jihadist attitude to anyone who dares question any player on skill or attitude, anything the manager does or anything emanating from the club’s official communications. These people see anyone with the temerity to question any aspect of Chelsea as some sort of non-believer heretic, and instantly accuse the likes of me of being disloyal or closet fans of other sides. I was accused of not getting behind the team, and one even said I was one of the ‘boo boys’ you hear at games. Dear God, if you ever sat near me at Stamford Bridge, or in my living room you’d know that not to be the case. But here’s a thing… I was accused of not being a real fan once because I publicly stated I would not sing ‘Murderers’ at the Liverpool fans, ‘Rapist’ at Robin Van Persie or that ultimate low point song talking about where Spurs fans were when Hitler gassed the Jews (I simply have standards of decency). In many ways these self appointed real fans share similarities with any political or religious fundamentalists who go to any length in order to ignore evidence in front of them, enraged at any variance from their faith, even to the point of using violence or threatening behavior to warn others of their undying belief.

I have an open mind, maybe explaining my own atheistic views whilst accepting that people should follow their faith quietly and privately, without the need to impose their beliefs on others. I believe in healthy debate, even heated debate that doesn’t get nasty or personal, and where the standard ending is an agreement to disagree and another pint.

I have loved this club for 40 years since I was 10, flying in the face of other Hayes-based mates who supported QPR, working with people who don’t get football and socializing with those who think we’re all thugs. I’ve spent thousands over the years on tickets and stuff from the shop. I watch every game that I can’t be at. I love them and hate them in equal measure, have endured more heartbreak than joy and still I’m here.  Isn’t that like love? I’ve cried openly in defeat and victory. I have two Chelsea tattoos; my kids support them because they see their dad’s passion. At work my passion sets me aside – I’m known as Chelsea Tony by colleagues, friends and relatives. It’s part of my identity. And I say what I think when things aren’t right. I criticize players often and I criticize the coach, but equally heap praise when it’s due. Credit where it’s due, criticism where applicable.

And that, after my earlier question, is my answer to what a real fan is. It’s me, and people like me. Not mindless, abusive, zealot puppets blindly following the club line, the players’ line or the coach’s comments. Not someone who lashes out at other fans because their opinion differs from mine. Not someone who thinks winding up other fans through racist or offensive morally indefensible songs is the right way to show my support. Tribalism… yes. Extremism… no.

So, where do you stand?

Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!




There are 57 comments

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  1. thepupsplums

    Nice article! You will always get those comments online nowadays, cyber warriors who don’t even attend games.

    If you’ve been to a game, watched and cheered while watching on TV, defended your team in discussion and been genuinely up or down after a result….then you are a real fan!

    Doesn’t have to be 40 years, could be a week of supporting a team.

  2. Anonymous

    You’re right Tony, no such thing as an average fan.

    Difficult for me not being from London to pick Chelsea as my club 21 years ago. Being from Norwich (whom I follow as well) people assume I’m some sort if shallow glory-hunter who switched allegiance the day SSN’s breaking news banner told me about Roman (I still remember the exact moment!).

    But I regale them with tales of Erland Johnsen, Jakob Kjeldberg, Newton, Grodas, Kharine, Stein, Spencer, Bumstead, Hazzard and other names from my infancy as a Blues fan and they get it. It’s been a long time. Not as long as most of you. But I’m a real Chelsea fan too.

    Things working out nicely in Liverpool, Joe? *chortle*

  3. stevecfc

    Tony, I, like you have been going over 40 years. I first went to SB 1968 then I started going regularly in 1969 when I was 14. I have never been a season ticket holder. I go to as many matches as I can afford to and work and family permitting,about 10 a year if I’m lucky. I used to go far more in the early 70’s. I, like yourself have a Chelsea tattoo, the old 1955 badge And I at one stage went to lots of games with lads from Hayes, around 1973. I am also known for my passion for Chelsea, which has never ceased in all these years. I still get a buzz from walking down the Fulham Rd to the ground. I think its what and how you feel deep down. Its in your blood. Like I said I am not a season ticket holder and may never be one, and I can’t go every match, but that does’nt make me less of a fan. I am taking my son to the Everton game on Saturday and will get tickets for the Copenhagen game through our memberships. Carefree!!!!

  4. Rafarelli

    Carefree!
    With you 100% Tone. I love the chels but that doesn’t mean i’m going to Blackpool on a Monday night.
    I was at Fulham on Monday, I am a season ticket holder, I’m starting to take my kids to the game, but like you I won’t sing any of those disgraceful songs. Don’t get worried about the ‘real’ fans. As long as you’re happy, screw ’em!

  5. Der_Kaiser

    Good stuff TG.

    It’s one of those debates – like the old ‘what is a big club?’ chestnut – that is all pretty subjective. Is a post-Roman era bloke in Kuala Lumpur who gets up at stupid o’clock to watch every Chelsea game online more of a ‘real fan’ than the member of 40 years that only goes to a three games a season and catches us on TV when he can? Really not for me to say – each to their own, and all that.

    Can’t live with all that unquestioning belief / rejection of all criticism nonsense, though. Part of me is grateful that the folk with that mindset are just following a football club – it’s relatively harmless for the most part and if they didn’t have [insert name of football club here] they’d only be a step away from blowing stuff up or shooting at abortion clinics.

  6. Cunningplan

    It’s alway’s difficult to define “an average fan” like yourself, have followed Chelsea for over 40 years, through the bad times, shit times, and even shittier times. And again not being from the London area to support the local team, I nailed my flag to the mast way back, when all my friends were Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal fans. I was always seen as some sort of lepor for having the audacity to follow Chelsea and not conform to the norm, hell I was given a bit of a kicking in school from a couple of Leeds fans after the FA Cup final draw with them, I remember one them shouting at me, “that’s for fucking equalising you bastard” (didn’t know I got on the scoresheet) 😉

    Of course when we won the reply, I thought do I bunk of school today because I knew what was coming, did I hell!
    The same two thugs dished out similar treatment to me, but you know, I quite enjoyed it, simply because we won, and it was worth it.

    I will admit I haven’t been up to the bridge for just over a year now, I just find the twelve hour day was becoming a bit of a bind. But that doesn’t make me any less of a fan, and will always watch them when on TV, and even revolve my social life around said fixtures.

  7. Anonymous

    Don’t think it’s possible to define criteria for “real fans” as personal circumstances and inclinations will affect when/how anyone gets to see the team/ how much, if at all, they indulge in merchandising consumerism.

    I think you’re right to distinguish those who form a bond that endures despite years of mediocrity from the glory hunters, but part of that bond has to be the right to criticise individual players/managers/directors/owners, particularly at times when we’ve been living off scraps of an occasional mad rebound from 0-3 down with 20 minutes to go or unlikely FA Cup wins against the Scousers.

    Which isn’t to deny the right to complain even in the good times, as long as we don’t turn into whiney gits who think we’re entitled to perpetual success without any down spells ever again.

    Oh, and never forget that Moffat is nothing but a troll and should be ignored on all occasions until he gets bored and crawls back into his cage – although I believe the Good Lord Kaiser has a special dispensation from Nick to have an occasional Utter Cuntery explosion at his more perversely mad ravings 😉

    • Der_Kaiser

      I’m very calm about it all these days. He made three blatant trolling posts the other day and I didn’t feel the need to respond.

      Just getting far too mellow in my old age… 😉

  8. bluebayou

    Tony,

    It’s a good question. One thing that seems to get lost in all the bruhaha these days is whether half the people talking about the game actually enjoy watching it. Not just their team but football in general. Half the time it seems to be an excuse for venting frustration with none of the humour that used to be so much part of it all.

    To some extent the advent of the web and so forth seems to give more opportunity for nastiness and venom instead of helping to spread enjoyment.

    And it’s very apposite we should talk about real fans when the latest UEFA outrage is foisted on the footballing public. Obviously concerns about sprialling costs, transfer fees and general indebtedness don’t apply to their big night out for the CL Final. Just take the fans for every penny you can.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/feb/18/ticket-prices-champions-league-final-wembley

    Two things really jump out. A £26 administration fee for booking one of 11000 tickets being released for neutrals on top of £150 for the cheapest (the participating clubs will get tickets starting at £80 whoopee).

    A 26 quid admin fee. What in the name of all that’s holy is a £26 admin fee? Are the monks on Iona scribing the bastard tickets in gold leaf on parchment??? The tickets for the game should be £26.

    And this gem – “The Champions League final took place on a Saturday last year for the first time after the Uefa president, Michel Platini, said he wanted to attract more children to the match. “That’s also why we put some tickets from children at a discounted price,” said Marchetti, though the 500 packages on offer for one adult and one child are only available in category two and will cost £338. “That’s a 50% discount for the child,” Marchetti added. The £26 administration fee per two-ticket booking was justified because there were “costs involved” he said.

    £338 quid includes a 50% discount for a child! Mate there are parts of the world where you can buy a whole child for less than that.

    And look at the justification for all this.

    “The prices are based on the type of event and when you compare it to other events we don’t think that the Champions League final is overpriced,” he said. “We do not want to squeeze every single penny out of the market.”

    Your doing a mighty good impression of doing so. The whole thing is tipped towards the one-off event goer who might go to watch Justin Beiber, Cliff Richard or Les Miserables the following week. Forget people who pay money to watch football throughout the year and indirectly keep this circus on the road.

    How the feckitty hell can they preach that there has to be a level playing field financially amongst clubs, going against a free market approach (not saying that’s wrong necessarily), and then pitch prices for their big event that basically tells the ordinary fan to pay up, look happy or fuck off ’cause that’s what the market will hold ?

    Whatever we think “Real” fans are, UEFA aren’t interested in them.

  9. John

    Thanks TG and as good a definition as I’ve seen for something that’s essentially subjective. It’s certainly not about blindly following the club line and it has to allow criticism of club decisions and team/individual performance or it’s a religious cult. (Though I’m ok with criticism, even at games, I hate it and will never join in when our fans boo a Chelsea player or team, no matter how poorly they’re playing.) I once heard someone say a supporter was someone who attended games and a fan was someone who didn’t. There’s something in this but I don’t necessarily go along with it because it fails to allow for things like affordability and travel distance. I think it’s something to do with the level of passion, the caring about the result and the ecstasy or pain that’s suffered, whether demonstrated in person at every game or in front of tele/radio, overlaid by staying power – I don’t care when someone started or indeed why as long as they stick with it through the shit.

  10. bluebayou

    Dr Bayou’s Consumer Corner (or why bother with sex when there are so many other ways to get utterly and completely f**ked)

    It’s getting like booking airline tickets. They’ll fly you half way round the world for 30p.

    Plus 100 quid airport charges

    Plus £50 to check your bag and send it somewhere else

    Plus £20 to use a card for booking (like there is any other option on the phone or over the interweb)

    A ticket price is the total cost of obtaining the ticket unless there is a viable option that means you can pay less for it.

    I really don’t give a toss what it’s composed of and whose scalping what and generally taking me to the cleaners. How can a ticket be £150 if you have to pay £26 to get it? It costs £176 quid.

    It’s all just lies and obfuscation.

    If I go to the pub and they tell me a pint is £3 then it’s £3. If they’re then going to charge me a £2 administration fee to pay for the fecking thing then the pint costs me a fiver.

    Why is is so hard for organisations and businesses to be truthful? They want less regulation all the time but then take every opportunity to prove the only difference between them and a lying sack of shit is the sack.

    End of Consumer Corner for this week.

    • Der_Kaiser

      ’tis indeed all a huge great fiddle. Mrs. D was attempting to book a flight to Jersey recently; a £30 per ticket booking fee with some bunch of ‘cheap’ flight shysters. Just ridiculous.

      I’m sure that old goat Freddie Laker is to blame for all this supposedly budget airline nonsense.

      As for the CL final – sums it all up really. I’m still reeling slightly at the £4.50 I was charged for a pint of Guinness in a West End hostelry last week, but a £176 for a game of football is barking lunacy of the first water.

      • Anonymous

        I had a Victor Meldrew moment when I saw the general CL Final prices last night too, and wasn’t much more impressed by the participant clubs’ £80 level.

        And then I just logged onto our website to buy my season ticket seat for the Copenhagen home leg only to be reminded for the first time this season what full price individual member tickets cost in the West Upper: £70 + the inevitable £1.50 admin fee.

        Doesn’t make us much better than UEFA, does it?

          • Cunningplan

            The reason why you were moved, and I have it on good authority, that your language and eating/drinking habits were disturbing some of the more articulate and classy supporters. Where does BB sit again? 😉

  11. bluebayou

    Correction or a bit of Redaction as you would have it in the modern parlance

    I’ve been asked by various legal entities to change the wording of that what I wrote otherwise it could go badly for me. Now I’m not one to just bend the knee to authority but it has been pointed out that in a piece where I’m complaining about the misleading of the general public I am guilty of the same. So here is the correction:

    Delete – “If I go to the pub”

    Insert – “When I go to the pub”

    Clive – being a real fan I’m always standing and tough on the 7 year old behind me.

  12. Nick Benfield

    Hmm… it’s too subjective. I think what matters is how you feel deep down, regardless of a club’s success or failure. (There is something to the phrase “it’s in the blood” because, for me, how I feel about Chelsea FC is almost physical – it’s an inherent part of who I am. Sometimes just seeing the word “Chelsea” gives me the warm-and-fuzzies. I know, I’m weird.)

    In the Nineties and early 00s I went to the Bridge and a few away games often, but more recently I’ve stopped going altogether (I just can’t afford to anymore). Am I any less of a fan because I haven’t been to the Bridge for a couple of years? Am I any less of a fan because these days I rarely buy replica shirts? Am I any less of a fan because I no longer subscribe to Sky or Chelsea TV and I don’t go to the pub to watch every televised match? Of course not. I feel as passionate about the club now as I did when I used to go to games regularly. My support has never wavered.

    What does waver occasionally, though, is my desire to blog and tweet about, comment on, and dissect every Chelsea game and news item (99% of which is dross) (I know, I know, that probably sounds strange coming from the person who administers this weblog). There are times when I just want to quietly enjoy the elation of a win or the pain of a defeat, and there are times when I want to share my feelings on the web. Just as Tony’s been accused of not being a ‘real’ fan for tweeting his opinions, I’ve been accused of the same for not tweeting/commenting/blogging (I hardly dare admit that I don’t actually watch many live games at the moment). You can’t win.

    Anyway, I’m going to have a doze in my rocking chair.

    • Cunningplan

      Wouldn’t that be classed as grooming these days?
      Bad taste I know, just thought the blog needed a Top Gear moment.

      • bluebayou

        Sir I don’t know what oufitters you frequent, but wearing a flat cap, a waistcoat and a white scarf has never considered proper grooming in the right circles and long may that remain so.

  13. Ososdeoro

    I think it’s very odd to consider your evaluation of the players and manager, as well as whether you agree with the company line, to be even a minor part of the consideration of whether you’re a “real fan” or not.

    Are the real Manure fans the ones who wear green or the ones who wear red?

    We have this same problem here in the United States. Unfortunately, it regards what constitutes being a “real American” and what does not. In a nutshell, the same arguments apply as those in the original post. That we even have to have these discussions is testament to our national decline.

    Personally, I think you’re a real fan if you obsess about the team on a daily basis, scrounge around for any news on the team, watch every game available to you (whether in person or on TV, makes no difference), and then like Nick spends a lot of time communicating about the team to others.

    But there is no doubt that those with tattoos and who go to all the games are more “real” than others. Still, I have to question the need for people to be THAT MUCH in need of a tribe with which to belong, particularly when the tribal “chief” is basically an entertainment company (with the exception in Chelsea’s case that the company can’t take the name away from the place, which is very cool).

    Still, I greatly enjoy EPL soccer for two reasons: the quality of play, of course (soccer is very difficult for me to watch when the passing is less than elite level) and the atmosphere of the games wrought by both the proximity of the stands to the playing field as well as the character and intensity of the fans (i.e., it’s a disgrace that West Ham’s offer to play in the Olympic Stadium, complete with track, gets more consideration than Tottenham, which wants to knock it down and build a real football stadium). I simply wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much without those “more real” fans.

    Another consideration altogether is that the football world is changing. Chelsea and other big clubs need worldwide fan bases. “Real fans,” those who are actually in West London participating, should probably realize this and get used to it. If your club’s success depends on millions of “hangers on,” make the “hangers on” feel welcome. At least the ones who end up with an actual allegiance to Chelsea — the ones who will still be following the team when it’s fighting for a Europa League spot.

  14. Ososdeoro

    Foxsoccer.com poll: Who is your money on to progress to the next Champions League round?

    The choices? Arsenal, Barcelona, AC Milan, Tottenham, AS Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Valencia, Schalke.

    That’s it. Sheeesh!

    • Gleb

      That’s because the rest of the games haven’t been played yet =)

      As for the topic, I had Andy, the bloke who works at SB, show me around the stadium (+ the museum, of course) in Feb 2010. And I’ve been to three Chelsea matches in Moscow (can’t for the life of me remember whether I was at the Chelsea exhibition match in Kuala Lumpur all those years ago, though I must have…). Does that make me a “real” fan?

      Just kidding, by the way. I haven’t been to a Spartak match in years, and I can still safely say that I’m more of a fan than 70% of my club’s current fanbase who don’t care about our history and/or weren’t even born yet , while my dad and I were watching our players destroy Ajax (*that* Ajax… you know, with Van Der Sar, Kluivert and all…). And the fabulous comeback against Basel yesterday (2:3 final, 2:0 at HT) truly made me the happiest person alive.

      In the end, we’re all doing what we can. The younger lads whom I just made fun of are still “real” fans who attend every match, home and away, and fight for their club (unfortunately, we still have this shit), they’re actually *doing* a lot more than I am at the moment, but there are also older fans who’ve been with the club for half a century but who might not have the time or, rather, the patience to stand the wild younger ones are just as important. As long as you love the club and care about it – you’re a real fan. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a season ticket holder or have never been to a match. I mean, I know a lot of Malaysian Chelsea fans. Obviously, most of them cannot attend even a single game due to various reasons, but can we question their passion? Believe me, they’re just as passionate. We should welcome everyone. Even if, in the end, only 1 out a 100 stays and becomes… well, a life-long fan (let’s call it that way) – it still is totally worth it.

  15. Anonymous

    Following the recent discussion about Carlo’s serious need of an experienced assistant to discuss tactics with during games here comes proof that someone close who knows the quirks of player eligibility for FA Cup replays and could point them out to him before he says Luiz will play at yesterday’s pre-match press conference too would be nice. See the last couple of para of this link after those pinko lefties at The Grauniad are done trying to make something from nothing out of a remark about Carlo’s love of the CL [ it takes all sorts]:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/feb/18/chelsea-carlo-ancelotti-future-doubt

    Oh dear!

  16. Anonymous

    Fucking dismal. Forget the penalty lottery although a 1 step run up Nico? What the fuck was that?

    But we were shit. The second half was slightly better but 1 scrambled goal is not enough to satisfy the fans who see a bunch of lazy, careless, casual shits, walking for most of the match.

    If we lose to Copenhagen then what? Fuck me, this season is shockingly depressing.

    • Jon

      How bloody lazy … even if you don’t give a fuck, at least look like you care and take more then 2 steps before hitting a penalty.

  17. Anonymous

    Lol, moment we went a goal up you could see the predictable outcome. The lax attitude towards ball retention, the stupid time wasting. Under Jose it was one thing, now SB might as well be our opponents’ backyard. The usual suspects, the usual failings, and the utter cuntery of it all.

  18. Jon

    To be honest … I’m getting pretty bored of stating how utterly shit we played, how lazy and poor the players are and how our manager is tactically inept.

    I think it is now clear this our “norm” and if we ever win a game again then that is the exception. I am now resigned to the fact we are no longer a force in football, we no longer have the never say die attitude and we certainly are no longer the best team London, let alone the EPL and god-forbid Europe.

    We played Everton, Moyes had a clear game plan which was copy what all other teams do against us. Play with wingers so that our only wide players (Cole and Paulo) are pushed back and force us thru the middle and long balls to DD. I wonder when CA will figure this out and try a change? It’s not like we have anything to win this season …

  19. Anonymous

    Beating Everton would have given us an undeserved hope. Hence, the result is logic. One shouldn’t be a great pundit to predict this result. This season is write off, if we can finish in the top four it would be great. However, we must start to rebuild the team and this is the most important thing. Can Carlo do it?

  20. Anonymous

    So fucking angry and I think the Chelsea fans smell blood now.

    Carling Cup gone. FA Cup gone. Title gone. Top 4 could be gone! And now it’s Champions League or bust.

    The attitude of some of the players stinks and if we lose at Copenhagen then there’ll be a riot at the Bridge soon. It’s gone beyond shit now and is just a fucking embarrassment.

    • Anonymous

      Habs, it doesn’t really matter, if we lose to Copenhagen or not. Anyway we are not capable of winning CL this year. We might beat the Copenhagen, but will drop in the next round.

  21. Prodicky

    That attitude has been instilled by the italian clown wearing an italian suit,for a fact he is not the proper guy to lead us forward SACK him please how blind can we get.

  22. Ososdeoro

    I hate the way it went down and the end, and NIc pissed me off too, but there was better play in this game than there often has been lately. Passes are getting completed, balls are getting into the box, possession isn’t lost at the touch of a feather. Yes, players who are paid this much need to finish also, but I’m oddly encouraged.

  23. Anonymous

    Pretty apparent that unless we win the CL, we’ll be after another new manager.

    That was fuckIng woeful. Nico should never be let near a penalty again. Leather the ruddy ballot step aside, don’t try and be clever. Especially when you’ve cocked up a similar chance in the CL final.

    Gutless, clueless, passionless. All the same words we wheel out week after week having heem subdued to inept shitness more often than should be expected from this so called group of talented players. Time to unfuck yourself Carlo and give some of the players on the periphery a go. The usual suspects are horribly ordinary now and really need to be dropped.

  24. Anonymous

    Its alright for you lot, you’ve watched the game. I was out golfing and am on match duty so still have to sit through this!

  25. Benjami

    It was cold and it sucked!

    Right last 3 games per BBC website (vs / shots at goal / goals / percent) :

    Chelsea

    Everton / 24 / 1 / 4%
    Fulham / 23 / 0 / 0%
    Liverpool / 14 / 0 / 0%

    Average: 20 / 0 / 1

    Man Utd

    City / 11 / 2 / 18%
    Wolves / 13 / 1 / 8%
    Villa / 18 / 3 / 17%

    Average / 14 / 2 / 14%

    So this facts are limited as they only show the story of the last 3 games each have played per the BBC website. Man Utd even lost vs Wolves.

    Man Utd on average created 6 chances per game less than us.

    Scored 2 goals per game more than us.

    Therefore have a conversion rate of goals / shot of 14% compared to our what 1% lol?

    In that time we have conceded a free kick right at the end of time and a scrappy crappy goal, so defence looks dodgy but ok.

    Midfield generally wins the war of possession, and creates chances it needs to start creating more golden opportunities and contribute with some goals.

    Attack is shocking, if we had a conversion rate comparable to Man Utd, we would have scored 8/9 goals in the last three games, and almost certainly won all 3.

    Thank god we bought Torres and he can play every game from now on. Drogba/kalou/Malouda should be benched next game, with Anelka and Torres up front together and Josh in behind.

    His aim to spend the entire game attempting through balls to the 2 of them to run on to. Ie no more long ball, play it to feet and past the last defender. Not like it could get any worse.

    Then play Lamps – Essian/Ramires behind so we have 2 DMs for cover and to dominate midfield whilsts Branners and Cole boom it forward.

    Cmon CA this manager business is easy!

  26. Anonymous

    For all the superstars we’re supposedly spoilt with, why are we so continuously shit from 12 yards?

    How can a group of ‘professional’ footballers be so bad at even hitting the target from 12 yards? Nico never looked like scoring and Ashleys was a disgrace.

    It’s bye bye Carlo. Simple. Can’t see us finishing top 4 and winning the CL? Well it’s a lottery but were so unlucky in the competition it’d be like us nog buying a ticket.

    Riijkaard then?

  27. Sarah

    we need continuity ! changing managers aint gonna bring success! we need to stick with carlo! what would’ve happenned to united if there wasn’t for ferguson?!
    He brought us FA Cup and Premier League. It isn’t his fault only!
    Give youngsters a chance!

  28. Anonymous

    What’s most depressing after looking back on the Arsenal-Barca game is that football should not only be a simple game at this level (if you know how to control the ball then passing and moving is pretty fucking simple) but also a beautiful one. I’m not saying that there’s no place for the likes of Inter or us under Guus when we faced Barca but the dross we put out is simply unacceptable at times. We can’t pass or control a football and the worse thing is that our players think it’s ok to walk around and play at a glacial tempo straight from kick off.

    We not only make football look extremely ugly and uninspiring but also bafflingly difficult. Yet we don’t ever seem to go anywhere with our football. Everything just seems wrong and I hate to say it but surely Carlo’s days are numbered.

  29. Anonymous

    Like for like; like for like; like for like.

    When dies Carlo plan his substitutes, Wednesday? Utterly devoid of a different plan, or devoid of seemingly basic tactics. I’m beginning to think Carlo’s a bit over-rated. How difficult can it be to manage an on fire Chelsea? Not very. I could do it. Where you should be earning your corn is when the chips are down.

    But us? No, we persist with the same shit, game after game, week after week in the hope that routine will be what turns our season around. Lets ignore the youngsters banging them in for the reserves or dominating international U21 games. Fuck the change, let’s stick to the boring shit we know.

    Unacceptable. Carlo knows it, and that’s why it’ll be his downfall. Bye bye.

    • Anonymous

      As I’ve said before, the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting difficult results.

  30. Gleb

    Stop lying to yourselves about Villas-Boas. Roman will never hire someone without a couple of European (not to mention domestic) trophies, no matter how promising one might be. Something tells me he doesn’t even know who that is (which, ok, cannot be true because the guy used to work at SW6, but you get the drift). So we’re left with pretty much… no one. That’s the saddest truth here. Not our dismal form, not the general bleakness of it all, but the utter hopelessness. We’re basically stuck with… how thing are now. So the change, the spark has to come from the inside. The “fix” has to be, therefore, done in a very subtle manner here, not something we’ve seen at the Bridge.


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