Chelsea - Wing Wizards

Over the years, It has been an absolute pleasure to watch wing wizards cast their magic spells and bewitch defenders; turning them insid...

Over the years,

It has been an absolute pleasure to watch wing wizards cast their magic spells and bewitch defenders; turning them inside and out. Eddie Mcreadie and Frank Bluntstone were the first ones who caught my eye and Chelsea's love of the Scottish wing wizard continued with the likes of Pat Nevin. The ability to stay wide, attract the ball and then stretch the line or cut inside, bewildered and bedazzled many a tough defender, who would often seek retribution with a hard foul later in the game; we all remember Julian Dicks. Even in the dark days of the second division Paul Canoville ( who can forget Paul's contribution in the 4-4 FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday in 1985)  and Peter Rhodes-Brown could entice and excite as well as dumbfound and frustrate.

Then things began to slowly change and the hybrid winger began to become a part of the game and Dennis Wise, Joe Cole and before that even more bewildering was the hybrid defensive attacking winger with the likes of Clive Wilson, Tony Dorigo started to take over. The speed was lost and the cutting inside to become part of the midfield, ensured more intricate play and less excitement, The speed and dynamism was lost. However  when Jose arrived the first time, he returned to the wing wizards we had all missed for so long. Pairing Arjen Robben on one wing and an equally left-footed Damien Duff on the other and the speed, passion, fire and wizardry on the win returned. Balls were sprayed from left to right with equal propensity. Defenders had no idea which way to turn as equal strength and measure forced them to defend themselves, cutting down their own attacking options. Even when we were forced onto the defensive end, the speed of our counter attacks lead us to that great 2005 premiership title.

Nowadays without Eden Hazard last season, we do not win the premiership title and that is why I am giving him a pass so far this season on form and fitness. He will come good, because on his day, there is no-one better at attacking the defensive line. he can spin on a dime, change directions without losing speed and leave trailing defenders in his wake. He is the ultimate wing wizard that reminds me of the days of long flowing blonde hair and my original Chelsea wing wizard, Clive Walker. I am not saying Clive is on the same level as Eden, but the excitement he generated was the same level.

So as we sit and wait for Norwich tomorrow, I think back to the days when we threw away a 2-0 lead, thanks in part to Big Dave Beasant, and to a 3-0 home loss where the infamous later Chelsea signing Robert Fleck scored a 30 yard volley that would later be the reason we spent big money on him and he joined a list that still grows of big name signings like Christ Sutton, who never panned out.

Here's hoping that Eden Hazard and Willian, can bring their own brand of wing wizardry to tomorrow's game, because we the fans need a day of excitement, a day of Chelsea branded football and above all a confidence boosting win ending up with 3 points in the bag.

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  1. Eddie McCreadie was a full back, Peter Houseman spent most time in front of him on the left wing.

    Our best winger, prior to moving into midfield, was Charlie Cooke. He may not be in the same league as George Best as an all round footballer (Best could tackle, head the ball, score goals, etc) but for sheer ball playing skills he was the best I've ever seen.

    1. Beat me to it Norman...Rhodes Brown-Canovill,,I would sooner forget,thanks,,,C.Cooke,as an out/out,winger none mention of quite a few usefull wingers we,ve had over the Peter Brabrook,John Sissons,to name just a couple,P.Houseman a very underrated player,never got the credit he should have,,,I see this site is looking for writers,,Norman,could you do all of us oldies on here a big favour,,and do one of your well scripted and factual, CFC blogs,,,Im sure that not just ;oldies; would welcome it..

    2. Ah, Charlie Cooke, wonderful player. I remember watching him when we beat Man U 4-0 at Old Trafford. He was racing down the right wing but the pass was played behind him .... Without breaking stride he reached his foot back, took the ball under immediate control and didn't slow. To this day I don't know how he did it! His cross for Ossie to equalize v. Leeds in the FA Cup replay is likely a more common memory (Charlie must've liked playing at Old Trafford).
      As the pic is of Clive Walker, I met him in a bar in Southport on the Thursday evening before our 4-3 win at West Bromwich. Even though he was with his girlfriend and her sister, who lives here, he was more than happy to chat for a good while about Chelsea. What a nice bloke. I hope to bump into him again as he says they visit quite often.



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