The following article has been written by a Chelsea FC steward.
For a good few years now following Chelsea has been like Elizabeth Taylor’s love life; filled with drama, excitement and constantly changing suitors.
Being a Chelsea steward has been less so.
The past season and halfway into this one has been no exception. The appointment of Andre Villas-Boas was met with optimism and hope, but ended up with hate and resentment.
The interim manager and Chelsea legend Roberto Di Matteo gave us an FA Cup and the football Holy Grail that is the European Cup against all expectations, but apparently this was not enough to save him from redundancy.
Now we have a man in charge of the beloved Blues, who has replaced a managerial favourite and who was the ultimate nemesis to Chelsea and who has in the past ‘slagged’ us off.
I have been working at Chelsea for a long time. When people ask me how long I have been at the club I normally look at my watch and tell them according to what time I arrived for work, but to be honest I have seen at least seven managers at the club, and though that seems like a long time it is not considering that this is Chelsea FC. So no gold watch.
At the start of the season the atmosphere around Stamford Bridge was one of pride and elation. ‘Champions of Europe’ was sung in harmony by the most vocal fans of Matthew Harding and the Shed End.
All along the East Stand this is all you could hear. It is ironic now that on a match day anti-Benitez chants is all that we hear now.
The passing of emotions from joy to hate has been ever so quick and now that Chelsea has been knocked out of the Champions League, I’m not sure when we can sing that ‘Champions of Europe’ song again.
But to the future. And the future is with Benitez for the time being. To be honest, even if reservations remain on Benitez’s people skills he has produced some good results in the time he has been here.
Although much of these results may point to the fact that most of the opposition have been meagre in quality, the real test came at Goodison Park against an Everton team who are hard to play against. Therefore 2-1 away to ‘small club’ Everton is a good result, even in the first half where Chelsea was outplayed.
Now there is a Chelsea resurgence for the Premier League title and if this carries on, the fans will have to start liking the Spaniard, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
The will he stay or will he go saga concerning Frank Lampard is a welcome distraction. Personally I believe that unless he is a Jimmy Saville kind of personality, we should be getting behind whatever puppet manager is put in charge of the club if they come through with the results.
So far Benitez has delivered and, admirably, from my point of view has handled the commotion affably.