Holding Our Nerve....Together

Football is strange. Or should I say, the life of a football fan is strange. Maybe the life of a Chelsea fan is even stranger, though I ...

Football is strange. Or should I say, the life of a football fan is strange. Maybe the life of a Chelsea fan is even stranger, though I am probably wide of the mark there. There are certain things that bind us all together and when you talk to fans of other teams, those common experiences emerge. 

I sat there, for 2 hours last night, along with my 2 teenage sons, experiencing the usual excruciating feelings associated with these occasions. For the record, I thought we looked lively and fluid, with Hazard approaching something like his best (anyone who has criticised him for missing the penalty needs their head examined), Willian again performing admirably, and Costa looking lively until the injury cruelly cut short his evening. We created some reasonable chances and we came up against a keeper in inspired form. I felt we were at fault defensively for their goal (Mikel and Ramires were too easily bypassed in the build up and Walters had time for the proverbial cigar before turning and admittedly finishing brilliantly), but such is the way of things in this wretched run that we were immediately punished. After Diego went off, we struggled a bit in the final third, and I honestly thought our time was over until Remy gave us hope. Butland produced his finest moments in extra time and we were denied a deserved victory. 

As we sat there in silence as Stoke celebrated, my mind wandered to Roman Abramovich, longing to know what he made of it all. We have all seen those clips where he has kicked and headed every ball. My type of owner, I recall thinking, all those years ago. I suppose that image has largely remained in tact, only tainted by those times when he seemed so out of tune with the fan base consciousness (Benitez, Avram Grant - at least with Grant you could possibly see that replacing Mourinho was always going to be a tough ask, so let's put an absolute nobody in charge, before making a proper replacement). But what is he thinking now? As the popular press feast endlessly on the issue of 'Jose out if Chelsea lose to Stoke and Liverpool' what does Roman actually think? We will never know now of course, but I have to pin my hopes (perhaps naively and with some weakness) on the football fan side of Roman. Surely he can see that in these last 3 games, the players have undoubtedly been playing for their manager? Surely he can see that by holding his nerve, Jose and the squad can emerge from this period having learnt some valuable lessons? Surely he can see that we are just around the corner from an upturn in fortunes? I hope so. As despite the lack of a victory in the last 3 games, I sense a significant sea change. My gut tells me that it is a time to keep faith, to hold our nerve and and to stick with Jose. Even Jose himself was calmer last night. I hope you see these things too Roman, because if you don't, I'm not sure where presenting Jose with his P45 will leave us. Jose won't last forever; the time for him to say goodbye for good will come, as it does for every manager. I just don't think it should be now. What do you think Roman? We will find out in the coming days and weeks........

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