I started this blog in 2008 and every season since then, I have written about how I hate Chelsea.
I hate them for buying up all the talent from 2005-2012. I hate them for Jose Mourinho* and his faux masculinity and braggadocio, saying that he would like to punch Arsene Wenger in the face, proclaiming himself the “special one”, and calling Wenger a “specialist in failure” and a “voyeur”. I hate that they won the Champions League by playing anti-football with caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, proving Sam Allardyce’s assertion that if he were given a team that cost as much as Chelsea, even he could win the Champions League. I hate that they kicked lumps out of Arsenal in the League Cup final in 2007, causing three Arsenal players to lose their cool (Toure, Adebayor, and Eboue) and get red carded, while taking Cesc’s first trophy away from him. I hate that Chelsea’s entire philosophy since 2006 has been to kick lumps out of Arsenal, from Essien ruining Diaby’s knee to their current “bad boy” Diego Costa clawing Koscielny in the face and subsequently getting two Arsenal players sent off. I hate the fact that they took Arsenal academy player Ashley Cole and eventually took Cesc Fabregas, giving the latter the League title that Arsenal couldn’t.
Besides the footballing reasons, Chelsea have fans who have been filmed racially abusing a black man on a Paris subway, their captain was accused of racially abusing a fellow player, and their club has a history of violently racist fans. On the field and off the field, I hate Chelsea because they are easy to hate. But I mostly hate Chelsea because they win.
Other teams have horrible managers who talk nonsense, I don’t hate them. Other teams buy up all the players and I don’t hate them. If Chelsea bought Fabregas and Cole and they had failed, I would have just laughed. If a team kicks lumps out of Arsenal and loses, I pity them that that’s all they can do. If a team wins a trophy by playing anti-football, I don’t hate the team, I hate the tactic. All teams even have “bad boys” like Diego Costa, I hate those players, but I don’t hate the team. Other teams even win the Premier League title and I don’t hate them.
Point in case, Leicester played mostly anti-football last season, they have a player who committed a racism (just like John Terry, Chelsea captain), they won the League last season while Arsenal finished 2nd, and two of their players rejected moves to Arsenal this summer. But Arsenal beat Leicester twice last season – in two exciting matches with end to end action and fun football. I don’t hate Leicester.
My problem with Chelsea is that Arsenal have won just five times since 2004/05, and that is five only if I count the win in the Community Shield last summer. Meanwhile, Chelsea have won 18 times. And I guess I have 8 draws to cling to. Arsenal have won just five out of 31 matches. So, yeah, everything they do makes me hate them more.
But all of that anger and hatred is washed away when Arsenal get a win. When Arsenal beat them 5-3 in 2011 it was like a dream come true. There was Theo Walcott, sleepwalking through their back line and scoring the Arsenal third. That was followed by John Terry falling over as Robin van Persie rounded him and scored the fourth before adding a fifth a few minutes later.
We all hoped that was the turning point, that that win was the moment our nightmare ended, but it wasn’t. Arsenal haven’t won any League games since then, losing six of the last nine. And so from elation and hope, I’m back here to hate.
One of these days I’d like to hate Chelsea less.
*Don’t worry, when Arsenal face Jose Mourinho later in the year this post will be reworked and titled “why I hate Jose Mourinho”.