Eddie Newton takes us back down memory lane!

There was one article that grabbed my attention over the weekend and that was the DAILY MAIL's article with Eddie Newton. Newton, par...

There was one article that grabbed my attention over the weekend and that was the DAILY MAIL's article with Eddie Newton. Newton, part of Bobby Di Matteo's backroom team spoke of his time at Chelsea leading up to Saturdays game and revealed what it used to be like as a trainee and how our fortunes changed from the day Glenn Hoddle walked into the club. He said:
"I have washed down every seat of the top tier of the East stand. I joined the club at 13 and we would train in the morning — on gravel in Battersea Park or in the car park behind Stamford Bridge — and do chores in the afternoon. I’ve pulled out the weeds in the away end and painted yellow markers on the old terracing steps. I collected dirty kit and bagged up the clean one. We cleaned boots and dressing rooms — we were fully paid-up skivvies. It’s difficult to recognise the club now from what I wandered into.

Everyone thinks that Ruud Gullit was the catalyst for change, But it was Glenn Hoddle. He turned Chelsea into a forwardthinking, winning football club. He had to educate the players, the coaching staff and everyone else behind the scenes. And the fans. They were used to 4-4-2, highoctane, “get-it-in-the-box-quickly” type of football. He didn’t want that. He played 3-5-2. I don’t think anyone had played that system before. I certainly hadn’t. He asked me to be a “holding midfielder” — I didn’t have a clue what he was banging on about.

We ended up getting booed for the first dozen games. The boys in the Shed weren’t happy. “Get it forward,” they’d yell, “what are you lot doing?”. I can still hear the jeers ringing in my ears. And Glenn is on the side shouting: “Don’t launch it, don’t you dare launch it.” Then, we got a clap after a bit of possession. We started looking at each other: “Bloody hell, what’s happening here?”.

People started signing for us. Ruud Gullit walked through the door and my jaw dropped. At AC Milan it is five-star, 24-hour service. At Harlington, we had Heathrow on one side and the M4 on the other. Coaches would have to stop what they were saying while Concorde took off. So Ruud needed to adjust — on and off the pitch.

I remember one day we were playing QPR and Ian Holloway was ratting around the midfield — as he did. All of a sudden, a ball bounced up. Ruud went to chest it and Olly put his foot up, won the ball and almost took Rudi’s head off. My pal shouted at the ref: “Oi, he can’t do that” but play went on. Ruud was stood, frozen in the centre of the pitch. We were screaming at him: “Get back here, this is England, that’s allowed.” But Ruud was not having any of it. I had to have a word with him at half-time. I said: “You need to start looking after yourself.” He took it on board. He understood.

Rudi was the perfect man to follow Glenn,’ added Newton. ‘He made the dressing room feel good about itself. If we were playing Manchester United, Ruud Gullit didn’t care. And that transmitted itself to us.

He wasn’t massive on tactics. He would stand in front of us and say: “My belief is that we are the third best team in the country. The aim is to be the best. I believe, with one or two additions, we will be." Everyone just looked at each other. Some people, like Mark Hughes, were used to that mentality. Some of us weren’t. But we took it on board.

There were two camps, the domestic guys and the foreigners. Ruud managed to blend them together at a Christmas party. The foreigners wanted to go for a meal, which they were used to. The British lads wanted a jolly-up, go to a club — which they were used to.

So Ruud said: “OK, this is what we will do. All of us will go for a meal. Afterwards, all of us will go to a club. Everyone will have a drink. You are not standing there for 10 minutes and going home. You will stay.”

We all had a great time. We had banter about that night for ages. The feeling developed that it was us against the world. We knew everyone was painting us as big-time Charlies, flash this, flash that. The way we played our football. The club moved up a gear.

Such a great article and to all the Chelsea fans that had stood with me on the Shed and watched what had been unfolding right in front of our eyes at the time, its great to look back. I remember the days of standing there next to somewhere in the region of 8,000 fans as we were in the old Second Division which of course these days is the Championship.

What really grates me these days is the fact that supporters from other clubs still give it the "you bought the league" jibe at us Chelsea fans, and had made us the team everyone hates. I ask people who say that the question:
How did we buy the title last season?
After all we only signed Yuri Zhirkov, Turnbull and Danny Sturridge who last season were hardly world beaters. Chelsea had worked hard to get that title back and we did last season without really throwing money at the problem.

Look at Man City, at the moment they are just throwing money about and we all saw at the weekend the problems they have with their defence and no attacking midfielders. Chelsea methodically bought players in and strengthen positions in the team.

At the end of the day some rival fans will always hate Chelsea or get the ump with us supporters cause the way we have celebrated and will celebrate our success in recent times. This article takes us all back to remember exactly where we had been, what was happening all around us as the club began to take steps in the right direction and to whats been happening now. Something back in the days when Eddie was playing, that we never ever dreamed could of happened!.

That's why we are loving it right now and let's hope it continues and the Champions League is locked away in our Trophy cabinet sooner rather than later so people will finally realise what a fantastic club we really are!.

We're making history!, We're making history!, We're making history!.....


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