Are there any fans besides those of Chelsea who felt sorry for John Terry when he was lying prone on the turf in last week’s game versus Liverpool? No. Didn’t think so. Terry received some good news from the Stamford Bridge medical staff who said his knee injury would keep him out for weeks rather than months. That’s a shame.
It is interesting to see that the web site VisitBritain lists the top five nations going to see EPL games are supporters from Ireland, Norway, USA, Spain, and Germany. That Ireland and Norway are at the top of the list is no surprise because of the level of support the game has in both countries. It is impressive that the United States is third on the list and goes to show the level of support for the game that exists in America. With the crowds attending MLS games and NBCs investment in the sport, is there any doubt remaining that the US is now a major soccer market?
Sunderland’s James McClean has received death threats because he refused to wear a red poppy on his shirt in honor of Remembrance Day. It would have been far easier for McClean to wear the poppy rather than take the stand he did. McLean is from a community for which the poppy represents all that is wrong with Imperialism and deserves credit for not being politically correct. It is ironic that his right to freedom of expression, the very right those who fought and died for, has been called into question.
I know it is not the done thing in the modern game, but I am getting bored of players who score against their former clubs not celebrating. Therefore, it was refreshing to see Charlie Mulgrew wheel away in excitement when scoring for Celtic against his former club Aberdeen. It was one thing for Denis Law not to celebrate his back heal that relegated former club Manchester United down, but is it that much of a big deal if Kevin Nolan celebrates the winner for West Ham at Newcastle United?
If there is any doubt that Roman Abramovich and Chelsea Football Club represent all that is wrong with modern football then it was eliminated with the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea, despite their glowing reputation in America, had no class before the oligarch era started in 2003 and have demonstrated precious little since. The club’s sacking of the Swiss-Italian being the latest example of that lack of class. Yes, they have been very successful, but older Chelsea fans that followed the club since the dark days of the English Second Division might now be finally embarrassed by their owner. Throw in the fact that John Terry and Ashley Cole are the modern faces of the club and is it any wonder they have few fans among neutrals.