A week on from our Champions League final win and there’s two things that stand out for me. First and foremost what stands out is the incredible joy and pride I still feel every single day when I remember we’re the Champions of Europe and it’s beginning to dawn on me that, that feeling is one I’ll get used to – because it’s not going away anytime soon. Sadly, what’s also been all too evident every single day since, is that any oppositional bitterness around our achievements last Saturday night have been channelled into the nation’s witchhunt against our captain.
From the daily breaking of ‘jokes’ and timelines full of bitter tweets, to photo-shops of him anywhere from the moon to the royal wedding balcony, we’ve took it all in the past week. And whilst it’s gone way past tedious each and every day, we have taken it, probably because we’re all way too happy to really give a shit. What I’m not prepared to take though are venemous, bitter and entirely uncalled for character assasinations written under the guise of journalism – and that’s what I’ve just read.
James Calvert, whoever he might be when he’s at home, appears to have spewed every bit of bile he had in him onto paper and palmed it off as sports journalism – and for me, that’s wholly unacceptable. It’s not news, it’s not even a sports opinion, it’s an attack on a professional footballer written out of resentment and personal dislike, set to antagonise anyone connected with Chelsea FC and kiss the arse of anyone who isn’t.
He has the front to suggest John Terry’s involvement in our Champions League celebrations was “quite frankly, a rather sad display of ego” and yet here he is, submitting a bitter, personal attack resembling a pretty poor blog-piece and dressing it up as sports journalism for the Times of Malta – if that’s not egotistical, then Joey Barton’s on for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Seriously, what’s it to him – or anyone else for that matter – if John Terry was involved in our celebrations? They were about Chelsea and Chelsea’s achievements over the past season. Why did it suddenly become everyone else’s business? Surely last Saturday night was about what we wanted to see? And whether the rest of the world like it or not, what we wanted to see was our captain, the captain who has put his arse on the line for us more times than I care to count, for over a decade, lifting the trophy he and his team have worked so hard for. Yes, he’d got himself sent off against Barcelona and by his own admission, had been a pillock with the actions that led to that, but a misdemeanour in one game doesn’t write off everything else in his Chelsea career up to that point.
And so what if he changed into his kit before the celebrations. Did anyone slate Ivanovic, Ramires and Meireles for doing the same thing? No of course they didn’t, they didn’t even notice anything our other players had done that night because that’s not how vendetta’s work is it?
So whilst Calvert points to footage of John Terry’s Champions League celebrations as his definition of ‘cringeworthy’, for me, the ridiculous amount of attention paid to our captain’s actions last weekend and the effort and time dedicated to keeping it in the news since are what really define cringeworthy. The bottom line is, last weekend we became the Champions of Europe and we celebrated it our way, a way Chelsea wanted and a way Uefa accepted.
Get over yourselves ffs.