Sunday 20th September 2015
Sixteen years ago a crucial work commitment meant I couldn’t make an away game. Little did I know that all these years later I would have missed only 1 game in all competitions.
Looking back over the ten years previous to that and the games missed, all away, can be counted on one hand. So that’s 26 years since I didn’t attend a home game.
That run includes over 100 games overseas in European competitions.
And then there’s the friendlies, 130 plus to be exact, including about half in other countries all over the world.
I’m not even going to start to go through the reserve and youth team fixtures!
So why am I telling you this?
Well, I didn’t go to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. For the same reason as the majority of the others over the last 26 years, a bestie friend was getting married. In the football season. At his age he should know the rules! 😉
It meant when I awoke on Saturday morning I felt very very strange. Not stressed or disappointed or annoyed, but extremely odd.
By the time I had headed up to Kent for the wedding however, the PMT had kicked in at levels I don’t generally experience when attending the game. I guess there is no other way of putting it, I hate not being there.
The time of the wedding and my sister’s house being only a few minutes from the venue meant I could at least watch the game. But it doesn’t need me to tell you it is absolutely no substitute.
As these fixtures tend to be, it was a game with much controversy. And after the dust has settled I can’t help but feel for the second time in a week one of our player’s stupidity and lack of discipline when provoked has cost us the game.
Costa is a good player but a nasty piece of work. No news there. But he is also clever. And it is the latter that got him exactly what he wanted.
He should have been sent off with his initial behaviour in his tussle with Kos. But the referee didn’t see it. Or if he or one of his THREE colleagues did, they got it badly wrong. Gabriel ‘stuck up’ for his fellow centre half and got a yellow card as a result. I don’t mind a bit of that. Fighting for each other is crucial. Just before half time, that should have been it. We had more than held our own and all was set for the 2nd period.
And that is where Costa’s cynical cleverness came in. He knew if he kept winding Gabriel up he could snap. And that is exactly what he did. And instead of dealing with it, he pleaded with the officials to send him off. And Jose wonders why people hate his club.
I’m sorry but Gabriel has enough experience to have walked away. And by not doing so he has to accept the criticism. That is the bit that is disappointing.
Costa could be retrospectively ‘done’ for his role in the initial incident but I doubt it. And even if he is it won’t bring any potential points back.
From that moment of madness onwards our chances of getting a positive result were lowered considerably.
Analysis of the game and our performance overall is extremely difficult after such an incident.
So I’ll leave that to other so called experts.
Another ‘car crash’ at the Bridge then in a disappointing week.
For the record the wedding was a right good shindig and i’m delighted that my bestie mate and his new ‘trouble and strife’ had such a good day.
As for our team, we desperately need to get things back on track. And fast.
Starting of course at the other end of Seven Sisters Road on Wednesday night.
Keep the faith.