That Mad Hope

Didier Drogba

Many claim that they dreamt of being in his place at that very moment, but most don’t mean it or don’t understand how difficult it would have been to even stand on that spot. The weight of the world on his exhausted shoulders. To come so close and miss out on it again was certainly not an option. It would break him. Not just him, but every fan around the globe that believed and put their faith in him and the men in blue to do the impossible. It was a massive moment for him, for his team, for all the fans. It could be the last kick of his career in blue, one moment that would determine how his name would go down in the history of the club. It was that simple. He could not miss, would not miss. Time and again, when most mocked Chelsea’s chances, he was there to prove them wrong. He had to do it one last time. A small run-up for the spot kick made many hearts beat faster. Had he lost it under pressure? Or is he that confident? Nothing mattered when the sound of the ball hitting the net was drowned by the cheers of the crowd. Even the most bitter football fan couldn’t help a wry smile. It was a mad hope that had come true. Against one of the best in the world, in their own stadium, in front of their own crowd, against all odds. Truly, it was written in the stars.

If games were won on paper, we wouldn’t have made it that far. Roberto Di Matteo couldn’t have imagined winning it. But he was the man behind our achievement. The one who instilled faith and reminded the players of their duty to give the fans what they deserved. To fight till the last minute, put everything on the field, irrespective of the result. Most would say we were lucky, and to a large extent we were, but this same belief was the main reason behind our achievement (one the reasons why a fine player like Hazard is with us right now). Most who saw this, appreciated and respected it.

Why do I mention this now? It is because for the first time in over a year, all the fans are together. The Di Matteo sacking, Rafa Benitez’s appointment as interim manager, the resultant hate and the Europa League victory. Thank You Benitez, (Credit given where it’s due) made our season nothing less than a roller-coaster ride. The return of the Special One, though, has united us. Players have been playing well. There have been some shrewd buys, and our squad depth has improved exponentially. Mind you, we aren’t the best team on paper. But like I said, games are not won on paper. We should know this better than anybody. The feeling of going into a season united in all aspects is invaluable.

I expect us to give it a real go in every competition. I’ll be bold enough to say that we can win every competition. You might be chuckling right now thinking “This guy has lost it if he thinks we can win everything”. It’s not far from possible, to be honest. The transfers we’ve made this window have all been shrewd. The signings of Andre Schurrle and Marco Van Ginkel and the return of Kevin De Bruyne after his successful loan spell at Werder Bremen have definitely strengthened our squad. This has provided Mourinho with much-needed options for the long and tiring season up ahead. While Schurrle is still adjusting in our squad improving his fitness and tuning his game to adjust with the Premier League standards, Marco Van Ginkel and Kevin De Bruyne have been nothing short of fantastic in pre-season. The influx of young blood will not only provide competition to our existing trio behind the striker but also provide us with cover in case injuries play their part during the course of the season. Last but not the least, the signing of Mark Schwarzer has given us a fantastic cover (about time, right?) for the big man Petr Cech.

We have the squad depth, unity and a brilliant manager who knows all about victory. All we need is that mad hope which saw us achieve the seemingly impossible. The mad hope which proves that no team in the world can write us off. No team in the world can say that “Chelsea don’t stand a chance”. No one can say “They can’t win this.” This is our strongest weapon. That mad hope, and the will to see it become reality. Feel it rising in your heart, remember our great victories and remember what we did that night in Munich. You’ll realize why I boldly say that we can win anything and everything.

We are ready. Let the season begin.

Udit is a part of the @Football_P family. You can follow him at @OnlyWayIsJose 

Udit Momaya

Bcom., MBA Aspirant, Chelsea fan - Blue to the core. Supports the Three lions. Has worked as a community manager in the social media frenzy for various IPL teams.