When the manager puts himself before the team and the fans.
Rafa, Rafa, Rafa.
It’s 4 O clock in the morning and I can’t sleep; I’m in agony and the pain isn’t physical it’s because I’m gutted, truly gutted. It’s bad enough knowing that you’ve just blown your last small chance of winning the title but when your manager has just sold you out to your most hated local rivals then the additional feeling of betrayal gnaws at you.
They say that Chelsea versus QPR isn’t a big derby, but to do so totally misses the point. Derbies are all about bragging rights if you live locally, I watched the game in the pub with six QPR fans who all admitted they would have been happy to keep the score down to six before the kick off. Do Mancs, Scousers or Glaswegians think I am feeling any less embarrassed, hurt or humiliated than when they lose the big one? If anything it’s worse because the gap in class is so big and Rangers have been so terrible this year, particularly against Liverpool on Sunday. I never thought I’d say this but for once in my life I am going to bottle it today, I live in a QPR hotbed and I’m too embarrassed to show my face in public today.
Talking of Sunday, the Everton game would have been a local Derby for Rafa, he still has his house there and his family can hold their head up high, he fielded a full strength team on Sunday against an Everton team ravaged by injury and suspensions. No doubt Rafa and his family had a great time lording it over the Everton fans on Monday.
The smile was wiped off my face when I saw the team sheet last night; we were missing arguably our five best players so far this season. Okay Cech was injured, but Mata the orchestrator was missing, Hazard the artist was on the bench, Ramires, the midfield dynamo, who was magnificent against Everton was missing along with “Old Man” Cole, who is still playing as well as ever.
I voice my concerns at the line-up to the QPR fans in the pub and I am met with hoots of derision. They remind me that we are the Champions of Europe and they are officially the worst team ever in the Premiership and we beat them 6-0 at the Bridge last year. QPR haven’t won an away win in 23 league games over 13 months, with just three points taken from a possible 51 on their travels. They have not kept an away league clean sheet since 27 November 2012 and they have not won a league match at the Bridge since 1983. Oh, and new manager Harry Redknapp has just two victories in his last 22 meetings with the Blues.
I still have nightmares twenty years later about the 6-0 thrashing at Loftus Road. It’s not the same as being beaten by United, City or even Arsenal or Spurs, who the law of averages say are going to beat us sometimes, but tonight we are playing statistically the worst Premier team ever.
This defeat hurts just as much, as the final whistle blows the QPR fans turn on me like the local villagers deriding the village idiot in the stocks. They are delirious and quite rightly so, God knows it’s been hard work being a Rangers fan this year and for once in my life I’m speechless. I feel totally deflated and empty.
I never thought I‘d say this but for a couple of days only I’d rather be a QPR fan than a Chelsea fan. I can still remember the almost Euphoric feelings of nearly 30 years ago when we were struggling, yet turned over Liverpool and United on a regular basis, although those wonderful feelings were short lived because invariably we’d go to Rotherham a few days later and get stuffed.
Think of us poor locals today Rafa whilst you and your family are enjoying your bragging rights over the local Toffees and your team’s supporter’s are too embarrassed to show their faces in public today . Ask us whether we would rather have had a full strength team against a weak Everton or against QPR? Since you have taken over as manager we have taken one point against Fulham, West Ham and QPR and that’s the reason we will not challenge for the title this year.
Outsiders wonder why we still chant Robbie’s name; maybe it has something to do with the fact that under Robbie we beat Arsenal and Spurs, our biggest rivals for that precious 4th spot. We won the trophies that mattered rather than just being flat track bullies, we are not Liverpool; only two trophies matter to us and we would rather see weak teams fielded in the League cup or the World championship games and no doubt you’ll put out strong teams in the Europa, because it will look good on your CV.
The League cup and the Europa mean little to us, you continually getting it wrong in local Derbies does matter; two defensive midfielders against Fulham; tactical inactivity against West ham and poor team selection against QPR. These are the things that matter to us as Chelsea fans who live in London, for once it would be nice to be able to hold our heads up following a local derby. Think of us today Rafa whilst you are enjoying your bragging rights over the Toffees.
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