I remember the first poster that I got from SHOOT. It was a poster of Dan Petrescu done in a yellow with dark blue and light blue stripe strip away Chelsea shirt. That was back in 1996. I have very little knowledge of the English League back then. I know Liverpool and Ian Rush. We have a gigantic poster of Mr. Moustache on the wall. My dad is an avid fan of the KOP. Mom told me that I was about to be named “Kevin” as in Kevin Keegan but due to my dad’s strong belief in Spurs number 8 midfield maestro, Steve Archibald, I was named Bernard Archibald instead of Bernard Kevin Keegan. Oh! Boy that would be one hell of a name.

Ever since I got to secondary school, the boys have been talking about Manchester United and Liverpool and a little bit of Newcastle because Alan Shearer was a big hit back then. I think it was 1995 when I first heard of Manchester United. That was when they beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final, or was it 1996? I was not too sure.

When I first got my playstation which was freaking expensive that time, the first game that I bought was ADIDAS Power Soccer. It was a game full of shit whereby you can play Street Fighter kind of football. Some hidden keys to perform ADIDAS Kick and you’ll be on fire. I did that accidentally once I guess and scored a goal. I picked Chelsea as my first club, because of the colour blue and I saw Gullit on the squad list.

It has been 11 wonderful years I’ve been supporting Chelsea. Yup, a club that everybody loves to hate. I was with them since Ruud Gullit took over from Glenn Hoddle then came on Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri and now Jose “The Special One” Mourinho. I was with them when they were sponsored by AMIGA, Coors, Autoglass, Fly Emirates and now SAMSUNG. I was with them since the Ken Bates era until now the multi millionaire Roman Abramovich. I was with them when Matthew Harding met with an accident on the way back from watching Chelsea’s league cup defeat at Reebok Stadium. I was with them when Dennis Wise was captain and now he’s trying to save Leeds United’s ass from being relegated to League Two.

Talk about memories, I will never forget Wembley’s 1997 FA Cup final. A superb 18 seconds second half strike from Roberto Di Matteo, which was the fastest goal ever scored at Wembley and another one by Frank Sinclair in the 70+ minutes, I couldn’t remember that to details, hand me my first ever trophy as a Chelsea supporter. That same year, Middlesbrough was relegated to the English First Division and it was also Juninho Paulista’s final game for the teeside club. Juninho and I share the same birth date. 22nd February.

One not to forget was how Chelsea bounced back from 2-0 in the first half to win the tie 4-2 in the end at Anfield. Thanks to Gianluca Vialli for the brace. That was before we beat Boro in the final of the FA cup. Mark Hughes puts on another pulsating display in the next round where we beat Wimbeldon 2-0 at Selhurst Park. The same year Fergie said “My biggest regret was letting Sparky (Mark Hughes) moved to Chelsea”.

We finished 6th in the league, Gianfranco Zola was named The PFA Player of The Year, the first ever foreigner to have won it and what more to say that he only came in to Stamford Bridge halfway through the season. The same season we did a double on United by winning both ties home and away. 1-0 at Stamford Bridge Thanks To Gianluca Vialli and the same player scored the winner in United’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. Eventually they went on to win the league the same year.

1998, Chelsea got it’s first ever European silverware, The Cup Winners Cup by beating VFB Stuttgart 1-0 thanks to Gianfranco Zola’s superb solo effort. Chelsea was the last team to have won it as the competition was abolished a year after. The same year, Chelsea added another European silverware to the trophy cabinet, European Super Cup by beating Real Madrid, winner of 98’s European Champion’s Cup. The hero was Gustavo Poyet, a player whom Chelsea got on a free transfer from Real Zaragoza, already past his prime that time but still have a lot to offer. 
 
1999 Beating United 5-0 at Stamford Bridge was a very much anticipated news for the only Chelsea supporter in my school that time. It was a shock to the whole nation; I was happy and sad at the same time, happy because we won and sad because I have nobody to celebrate with. Gus Poyet and Jody Morris scored in that game. The same year, FA Cup 5th round, United took their revenge by Beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge 5-3 in which Beckham scored two and sang “Can you hear the Chelsea sing?” The same year, we beat Arsenal 5-0 at home in the League Cup.

2000, the start of the new Millennium, Chelsea beat Aston Villa at Wembley by a single goal. Roberto Di Matteo scored again for the second time at Wembley. That was the only trophy of the season and the last game to be ever played at the old Wembley. We managed to get into the Champions league that year facing Barcelona for the first time in the quarters, we won the first leg 3-1 thanks to Tore Andre Flo’s brace but we were battered in the 2nd leg 5-1, with Dennis Wise, captain marvel scoring the only goal.

Start of 2000/2001 season, Chelsea bought Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink for a club record of 18m pounds if I’m not mistaken. He proved to be a good buy, scoring 2 goals on his debut in the English Charity Shield in the expense of Man United. Sir Alex Ferguson refused to receive the medal given by Ken Bates. Well, Ken Bates was all in all an ass anyway. I was glad that he was butted out from the board.

You see, Chelsea’s history and successes might not be as colourful and magnificent as Man United’s or Liverpool but it’s worth all the pain to be a true supporter to a club that I’ve been clinging on for the past 11 years. What I know is enough for me to tell my children that Chelsea Football Club is the club of my life even if the very first thing that connects me to the club was not the football but it was the colour blue, so blue is the colour and another thing is I don’t even know how to pronounce Chelsea when I first know about them. Instead of telling everyone I’m supporting Chelsea, they thought that I was expressing my obsession to a girl name Chel-see-ya!

I wore the number 8 since I was in primary school. I don’t play football that much. Why 8? Because of all the great midfield player wore 8. For a start it was because my dad told me number 8 is nice (Remember Steve Archibald?). When I first saw a football match, it was when Brazil beat Italy during the 1994 world cup. I was fascinated by Bebeto’s perfect passing and intense tackling which actually influenced me a lot. I got a lot of yellow and sending offs since then and at Chelsea, that was the perfect number for a perfect player. Both are my past and current favourites, Dennis Wise and Frank Lampard Jr, 11m pound buy from West Ham. The move was motivated by the clash of management. Frank lampard Sr was sacked by West Ham and for the better, Frank Lampard Jr hand in a transfer request in which he was quickly snapped by Chelsea. He was back then the captain for England U-21. After his moved, a few other bright promising youngsters left West Ham which was the turning point of their pinfall down to League One. (Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Jermaine Defoe, Michael Carrick, Glenn Johnson) My favourite number 8s have the more or less similar style of play except for Wise is more of Roy Keane-liked and Lampard is more to attacking.

I’ve been asked this a lot of times, “Do you think that Chelsea can retain the title?” My answer is still no, they can’t but I still have that belief that they can turn things around. People talk about scrappy play and it was just luck in every game, yes I do agree that Chelsea didn’t play a Man United and Arsenal entertaining kind of football but that football have brought Chelsea two back to back Premiership titles. If you asked me again which one I’d prefer, lousy football but 3 points or brilliant football and a draw? I still prefer 3 points. It’s all that matters. Money can’t buy success, yup.. very very true. I’m a believer, but it’s not a reason or an excuse for not winning the Premiership. I just hate the statement, “They bought the premiership”. What’s there to play for?

For God sake, Chelsea have money and let them spend what the way they like. I mean is it Chelsea’s fault that Andriy Shevchenko cost 30m pound? Is it Chelsea’s fault that Michael Essien costs 25m Pounds? Think about it, if it’s Tottenham who were going for Essien, do you think he’d costs that much? It was just because it’s Chelsea, people know that they got money. It’s like me blaming Bill Gates for being rich while I’m stuck here at home not earning a single penny because I don’t have a proper job!

People hate Roman. Why? Because he got money and he can buy who he wants or what he wants. To remind you, Abramovich was considering buying United, but it proved to be too costly even for someone who have bottomless pocket like him. What if he did buy United in the first place? Will they be saying that United bought the title? I doubt it; it was only because it’s Chelsea, the club that everybody loves to hate!

If Chelsea doesn’t win the title this season, would I go and kill myself? No! A farking no is my answer. Why? I’ll give you a piece of my mind. I’ve been there when Chelsea were nobody. I won’t be lying that I would be a little bit disappointed but I will still be happy about it. For me, this particular season, was undoubtly Chelsea’s best season of all. Why? Given the situation Chelsea was playing without a single centre back for almost 2 months, we managed to go through and not losing the second place to Arsenal and Liverpool. If you give that situation to Arsenal or maybe Liverpool, they might have been in the relegation zone so to speak, too harsh to say, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t fancy United will make it through 3 weeks without a centre back. Chelsea only lost one game that is to Liverpool within that period and I must admit with the scrappy play that Chelsea have been playing, I didn’t expect them to close the gap to 3 points but they proved me wrong. They did it.

I’m not going to talk about how Rio’s blunder and Van Der Saar’s poor handling of the ball giving Chelsea any favour. It’s football and shits does happens and I’m not saying Portsmouth was lucky but I think they deserved the the 3 points so to speak.

The title race is still very much wide open and I must say I still have the respect to Man United that they will bounced back from what’s would deemed to be one of their worst week ever, beaten 2-1 at Stadio Olimpico and then with the same scoreline at Fratton Park. There are still 6 games left to play and anything can happen at any moment. Chelsea’s great week turned out to be an opposite one for United but I do believe everyone will not give up the race without a fight, be it with spectacular football or just scrappy play, and still 3 points that matter.

I think this is the longest post that I’ve ever written. I just can’t stop typing actually. There’s so much to say but I’ll just save it for another day. A toast to all football fans around the globe. As for me, once a blue forever a blue!

Before I leave, to Charyelle and all Chelsea fans out there (If there’s any)

 “Always Look At The Brighter Side of Life” – Even if Kimi didn’t win.

From Stamford Bridge to Wembley
We’ll keep the blues flag flying high
The blues flag flying high
The blues flag flying high
Flying high up to the sky
We’ll keep the blues flag flying high

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