You’d have thought I’d have been whacking posts up left, right and centre this week, what with us being the CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE and all that. Truth is, I honestly haven’t known what to say. You lot on here should know I’m never speechless, I always have plenty to say for myself and I’ve never been found wanting when it comes to an opinion – until now. I felt like I should write something to mark the occasion but what could I say that hadn’t already been said? Of course I’m incredibly proud but we’re all feeling that, overflowing with it in fact and its still sinking in really.
Chelsea are the Champions of Europe.
Incredible isn’t it? In probably the season we least expected to win any cup double – a season where we’d got all sorts of shit going on and none of it particularly good – we end up with not just the FA Cup but the big-eared one as well. I don’t know about anyone else but I certainly didn’t see it coming a few months ago.
Even Saturday night, if I’m honest, when Muller scored on 83 minutes I felt physically sick, that gut-wrenching disappointed sort of sick and as much as Drogba’s equaliser had me screaming just 5 minutes later, the sight of Arjen Robben stood on the spot in extra time threatening to bring any shred of hope I had crashing down, was all a bit much. Even when Cech saved it, all I could think was that this luck we seemed to have couldn’t possibly hold out – well, that and pleading with God not to make us face a penalty shoot-out again.
Clearly he wasn’t listening because penalties it was – and penalties directly in front of the Bayern fans as well, so no pressure eh? When Mata missed, when David Luiz stepped up, when Ashley Cole stepped up – every one of those moments I prepared myself for the worst. In fact, the only part of the game I can say I actually enjoyed, was seeing Didier Drogba slot his penalty past Neuer.
The next few moments, the next few hours, were indescribable. God knows how it felt to actually be there, domestic events conspired against me so I missed out on the trip but I can only take my own feelings having supported Chelsea for as long as I have and magnify that – unbelievable, stunning, immense, incredible, orgasmic – not one of those words comes close to covering it.
Seriously, the critics can say what they like, and I’ve had it all said to me already – we didn’t deserve it, we got lucky, we spawned it and did nothing but defend every game…and the like – it’s all to be expected but the reality is, any team who can come back the way we did against Napoli, particularly under the circumstances our players were in at the time, earnt the right to be in the competition. The result and performance against Barcelona was bloody immense and so what if we spent most of it defending, we still managed to put 3 goals past them.
As for the final and Bayern being the ‘better side’, yes, if you’re talking purely abour possession, shots, corners and whatever statistics anyone can come up with, yes they were better but being the better footballing side on the night doesn’t make them the better team. In spite of the mess we were in earlier this season, in the few months since AVB went and Di Matteo stepped in, Chelsea have epitomised what being a team is all about and never more so than in the Champions League.
This team we have, this ‘ageing team’ so royally disrespected and derided in as many column inches as they can cram with drivel, through sheer desire, determination and strength of character, pulled off the unimaginable this season. Some of us may have thought the FA Cup was our lot this year but our players didn’t believe that for a minute. Even with Meireles, Ramires, Ivanovic and John Terry having to miss the game, not to mention our 2 centre-backs not playing for a month before the final and Bertrand having his first Champions League game, they beat Bayern Munich in their own back yard.
Which brings me back to my lack of posts on the subject because how the bloody hell can anyone truly sum up how it feels to be the CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE, even now?