Tag: Chelsea

Back To The Eighties: 1980/81, Part Twelve – The Kings Of Orient Are

Five days before Christmas 1980, Chelsea were chasing promotion back to the First Division. The leaders, West Ham United, were already sailing off into the distance at the top of the table, but that still left two automatic promotion places to play for – no play-offs in those days, of course – and Chelsea went into their last match before the Christmas rush in third place in the Second Division table, although their advantage was a slender one, with five points separating them from twelfth placed Orient – no “Leyton” prefix for them in those days, either – whose visit to Stamford Bridge was consider worthy of a visit from the cameras of Match Of The Day. Meanwhile, we also have very brief highlights – one goal per match – from two First Division matches played that weekend, as Manchester City played Leeds United at Maine Road and Brighton & Hove Albion took on championship chasing Aston Villa at The Goldstone Ground. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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That’s Entertainment – Or Not, As The Case May Be

For the modern football supporter, there are two types of investment associated with their role in going to matches. The first is emotional, a desire to win, a bond with the team or with the club. The second is, in the modern game, financial. Attending a football match is, for a majority of supporters these days, no longer a matter of pitching up at five minutes to three on a Saturday afternoon with a handful of coins and paying an insignificant amount of money for a couple of hours’ cheap entertainment. There are logistics to take into account, and then there is the small matter of the fact that, in the Premier League, a season ticket is a sizable investment against which supporters might hope to make some sort of return. Last night at Old Trafford, both Manchester United and Chelsea failed in their quest to entertain, but as professional football increasingly becomes part of the entertainment industry it becomes easier to forget that this concept of “entertainment” remains riddles with qualifiers in sport. As we are perpetually reminded, professional football in the twenty-first century is a results business, and neither Jose Mourinho or David Moyes will have emerged from last night’s match considering the result to have been disastrous. But that small matter of entertainment – especially in an era during which it has clear that the interests...

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The 200% Premier League Pre-Season: Chelsea

It says something for the levels of expectation at Stamford Bridge these days that winning a European trophy and improving on the previous season’s league position may still be considered by many within the club to be the end of a disappointing season. The club had ended the season before that as the champions of Europe, a state of affairs which was in itself indicative of the extent to which fortunes, in professional football, can stand or fall on the slimmest of margins. That win against Bayern Munich in May of last year was enough to earn Roberto di Matteo a permanent contract as the replacement for Andre Villa Boas as the club’s manager, and that the excitement of that night at the Allianz Arena was also enough to blind many to the fact that di Matteo had only led the club to a sixth placed finish in the Premier League that season, its joint-worst league finish in fifteen years. Di Matteo, though, was a favourite amongst the fans, and when the following season continued in much the same vein as the one which had immediately preceded it – only with the Champions League miracles of the that season conspicuous only by their absence – there was outrage amongst the supporters that has seldom been seen anywhere before in the entire history of English football over a managerial appointment....

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