Alternate Universe…. Ponder this, if you will……
May 19th 2012
Allianz Arena, Munich
Chelsea win a corner in the dying moments of the 2012 Champions League Final. Juan Mata steps up and curls an inswinger. Drogba is pulled to the ground and Neuer claims the ball comfortably, the ref waves play on. The players look defeated, the fans have given up. In his frustration Didier Drogba 2 foot tackles Lahm in a desperate attempt to win the ball back. He’s red carded.
Bayern go on to keep the ball and win the trophy in their own stadium. The Chelsea players and fans, leave the stadium totally dejected. Twice in 4 years, Chelsea have been beaten in the final with Didier Drogba losing his cool in the process.
May 20th 2012
Leaked pictures of Chelsea’s Champions of Europe bus circulate the internet making a mockery of Chelsea.
Roberto Di Matteo is told that he will not be receiving a full time contract. Dider Drogba also announces that he will be leaving for China on a free in the summer. His departure is met with mixed reactions.
Roman Abramovich takes his first ever press conference in the 9 years he has been owner. He admits that without qualifying for the Champions League, his money is powerless as the attraction of playing for Chelsea has gone. FFP regulations also mean that Chelsea have to off load some of their star players to reduce the wage bill with the transfer fee’s covering the shortfall for failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Summer Transfer Window 2012
Frank Lampard to LA Galaxy – Free
John Terry to Manchester City – £5m
Juan Mata to Tottenham Hotspur – £15m
Ashley Cole to Real Madrid – £5m
Petr Cech to Manchester United – £10m
Didier Drogba to Shanghai Shenhua – Free
Fernando Torres to Athletico Madrid – £25m
Raul Meireles to Fenerbahce – £5m
David Luiz to Barcelona – £20m
Ramires to Arsenal – £12m
Eden Hazard joins Manchester City, Oscar moves to Tottenham.
1st June 2012
Gianfranco Zola is appointed manager of Chelsea to try and get some of the fans back on side. Season ticket sales are down and Abramovich panics. Chelsea fans, as much as they love Zola, are not convinced he is the man for the job. Funds are tight and transfers are few and far between, with Zola having to scour the market for Free transfers and cut price bargains.
Chelsea are grouped with Pyunik of Armenia, PAOK of Greece and Anzhi Mackachkala of Russia in the group stages of the Europa League. To ensure sell out crowds, the club announce group stage games will cut price.
A new look Chelsea side take the field at Villa Park for the annual curtain raiser in the Community Shield. City have further strengthened their Championship winning side, capturing Eden Hazard and stealing John Terry for a bargain £5m.
Chelsea XI v Manchester City
GK – Jaaskaleinen
RB – Ivanovic
CB – Cahill
CB – Chalobah
LB – Bertrand
DM – Mikel
DM – Diame
RM – Lucas Piazon
CAM – Marin
LM – Moses
ST – Sturridge
The bench includes new signings Louis Saha, Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Nelsen.
As the minutes tick by, it is clear to see that Chelsea are no match for Manchester City. Tevez opens the scoring on 8 minutes after a long, mazy run from Hazard ends in a low cross/shot across the face of the goal with Tevez waiting at the far post to tap it in. H/T comes and Manchester City are leading 3-0. Zola brings on Saha and Kuyt to try and push for a goal but it doesn’t work. The referee blows for full time and City have cruised to a 4-0 victory, barely even having to get out of 2nd gear. The Chelsea defence could not handle the pace, power and quick feet of Hazard, who grabbed 2 goals in the process.
The league campaign, however, gets off to a flyer. Wins against Wigan, Reading and Newcastle leave Chelsea on a maximum 9 points from the opening 3 games and some of the chanting that had been directed at the board has died down. 2nd in the table, behind Manchester City, on goal difference.
The month starts with the news that Chelsea will be closing down Chelsea TV due financial restrictions. Gigi Salmon decides that her next step will be to move to MUTV. She has to close down her Twitter account due to the heartache of leaving Chelsea and the fans asking her to stay on any other capacity, preferably taking over pitch side from Neil Barnet.
On the pitch, Chelsea continue their good form with a win away at QPR. 2 goals from Louis Saha ensure that West London is, in fact, not yours.
A 1-0 win at home to Stoke kept the perfect record going but a 5-0 drubbing away to Arsenal bought everyone crashing back down to earth. Still, 15 points from a possible 18 could not be sniffed at and Chelsea were currently 2 points clear at the top of the table.
The League Cup campaign begins with a home tie to Wolverhampton. Zola rests all the first team players, giving the youth some much needed game time. However, it doesn’t go to plan and Chelsea crash out on penalties in front of a measly 22,000 at Stamford Bridge.
In the Europa League a 0-0 bore draw is played out against Anzhi Makachakala. Boo’s ring round the stadium at the final whistle. Meanwhile, out in Ireland, AVB’s T*ttenham lose 2-1 to Shamrock Rovers.
October brings 2 more Europa League games. Away to PAOK Salonika, but first a trip to Armenia to face the might of the Armenian Champions. Chelsea sell out their 900 allocation in minutes but it is reported more than 3,500 make the journey. 2 away games and 2 away wins leave Chelsea in a very strong position to qualify for the knockout phase of the tournament. Pyunik are thrashed 5-1 and PAOK 2-0 (in which another 4,000 made the trip to Greece).
A big month lay ahead in the league. Manchester United and T*ttenham are 2 of the opponents with a home tie against Norwich thrown in.
3 defeats put the pressure on Zola and a league position of 5th now looks a more realistic take on the season than after the first 5 games. The biggest disappointment was the performance against Norwich. 1-0 up at half time, through a Mohamed Diame thunderbolt, turned into a 3-1 defeat. The players completely switched off and Grant Holt took advantage, grabbing a hat trick. Zola is widely criticised and the media are already speculating a change. The story goes, that Zola doesn’t want to ruin his reputation with the Chelsea fans. Reports of meetings with the owner are confirmed and Zola departs. The Chelsea fans are in uproar and few managers are on the shortlist to take over.
A busy Novemeber for a managerless Chelsea. Rafa Bentiez rejects the role of ‘Interim 1st Team Coach’ stating, “I would never join a cloob as small as Chelsea. They are not on the same level as Liverpool. Liverpool fans do not need free plastic flags, they need scarves purchased from the cloob shop. This way they are showing more passion and spending money as well.” Rafa’s house is put on 24/7 security after receiving a visit from the KGB and various death threats are sent.
Steve Holland is given the reins until a successor to Zola is found. He guides them through to the next phase of the Europa League with wins over Anzhi and PAOK. In Group F, T*ttenham will finish bottom of their group after picking up 1 point from their 5 games. These games included a home draw to Shamrock Rovers and an away drubbing by Debrecen.
10 points in 15 are picked up including a 1-0 home win against Manchester City courtesy of a very suspicious own goal by former Chelsea captain, John Terry. Chelsea sit in 4th with 27 points from 14 games.
The papers start circulating stories of the return of a certain ‘Special One’. Reports are that the deal is ‘done’ and Mourinho will take over at Chelsea on January 1st. Excitement among the Chelsea fans grows and grows until it is announced on the 29th of November that Sir Alex Ferguson will be retiring at the end of the season, due to ill health, and Mourinho will be taking over at Manchester United for the 2013/14 season. A massive blow for Chelsea who’s search for a manager continues.
In other news, former Chelsea and current Manchester City defender, John Terry, is embroiled in another sex scandal. After a special appearance on Jeremy Kyle, the DNA results show that Terry is the father of Wayne Bridge’s girlfriends child. A fight breaks out on stage and Wayne Bridge is arrested for ABH.
The final group game results in the biggest win of the season. Holland starts a weakened side, as top spot is secured, but Chelsea still manage to put 9 past Pyunik. Malouda scores a hat trick in his first start of the season and Holland reveals that his performance put’s him back in the 1st team frame.
6 points from West Ham and Sunderland put Chelsea in a solid position prior to the dreaded Christmas period. Chelsea’s fears are founded as Villa, Norwich and Everton take maximum points with Chelsea unable to find the net.
The top of the table at Christmas looks as follows:
1. Manchester City 19 48
2. Manchester United 19 46
3. Arsenal 19 40
4. Everton. 19 36
5. Swansea City 19 34
6. Chelsea 19 33
7. Newcastle United. 19 32
West Ham & QPR sit rooted to the bottom of the table without a win between them.
The transfer window opens and Chelsea fans are promised that some cash will be spent. Books have been balanced and funds from the Summer Window are available. After the fiasco of the own goal at Stamford Bridge, John Terry has his contract cancelled by Manchester City. Chelsea swoop in and re-sign him. John Terry agrees to a massive pay cut, stating that leaving Chelsea was ‘the worst decision of my life.’
Seydou Doumbia is brought in from CSKA Moscow and Thibaut Courtois is recalled from his loan spell. Chelsea strike a deal which sees Piazon on his way to Malaga and Isco heading to Chelsea on loan until the end of the season. Luke Shaw is purchased from Southampton, who are struggling in the Premier League. Yossi Benayoun is sacked after tweeting racial abuse to fans.
Chelsea’s XI for the first game of 2013 looks vastly different to that of the Community Shield.
GK – Courtois
RB – Ivanovic
CB – Cahill
CB – Terry
LB – Shaw
DM – Diame
DM – Mikel
LM – Moses
CAM – Isco
RM – Marin
ST – Doumbia
Opponents, QPR, are swept aside in a 4-1 hammering. Doumbia and Isco both grab debut goals and Chelsea manage to pick up 10 more points from Stoke, Southampton, Arsenal and Reading.
With the team back in the top 4, the board give up their search for a new manager and appoint Steve Holland manager until the end of the season. In a statement from the club, they say “A man of Steve Holland’s stature is far too big to be known as an Interim manager.”
Progress is also made in the FA Cup. A tense 1-0 win, away to Southampton is marred by Chelsea fans who throw flares, smoke bombs and fireworks at the home fans. Chelsea are ordered to play their next home FA Cup game behind closed doors.
Chelsea draw Brentford away in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. Tickets are like gold dust and Chelsea sell out their 1,900 allocation within the hour. The game will have to be settled in a replay though as Chelsea can only scrape a 0-0 draw. In the replay, the FA bans everyone from the ground, even the cameramen. No one but the players know what happened that day but both sets say they won. When it came to the draw for the 5th round, Brentford’s name was in the hat.
Chelsea file a report to the police after a journalist reveals secret footage showing Chelsea winning the game, 5-0. Chelsea are reinstated into the 5th round and David Bernstein is told he will spend the rest of his life in prison. John Terry tweets a picture of himself smiling.
Attention turns back to the league and Chelsea pick up 4 points from Wigan and Newcastle.
In the 3rd league game of the month, Chelsea face Manchester City at the Etihad. With City in a terrible run of form (0 wins in 5) the gap has closed to 7 points. A win for Chelsea see’s them back within touching distance of top spot.
Hazard wins a penalty in the dying moments. He steps up and hits the bar, the ball falls to Doumbia’s feet, who races up the pitch to score and snatch a 1-0 victory.
Mancini is sacked, Rafa Benitez is his replacement.
Sparta Prague are dispatched in the last 32 of the Europa League and Chelsea also knock Middlesbrough out of the FA Cup.
Defeat at West Brom heaps pressure onto the Chelsea team. After starting the season with no expectations, the fans now want a push for the title.
The players duly respond. A 6-1 drubbing of West Ham and a 2-1 win away to Southampton keep Chelsea in the race.
As the games pile up, Holland decides to play some of the summer signings in the FA Cup ¼ Final with Manchester United. Saha, Nelsen and Kuyt all start.
It’s the RVP show as he terrorises Chelsea for 90 mins, scoring both in a 2-0 win. A disappointing end to an exciting FA Cup run, but there would be no trip to Wembley this season.
The Europa League run falters as Chelsea are beaten 2-0 in Bucharest. The first choice players are recalled for the 2nd leg and Chelsea hammer Bucharest 4-0 after Extra Time.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Manchester City are yet to pick up a point under Benitez. Fans are already calling for his head and the Spanish Waiters Association have released a statement saying that Benitez is ruining their reputation.
QPR and West Ham are relegated after playing out a 0-0 draw. Neither side has won a game and sit on 6 and 8 points respectively.
April proves to be a busy month. 4 league games and possibly 3 European games are coming up. Holland throw’s his rotation policy out of the window and players are ordered to step up their fitness regime.
The league games go to plan and 10 points are won from 12. Chelsea now sit 2 points off top on 66 points, trailing Manchester United. On the other side of Manchester, Benitez is attacked by a fan during the 2-0 home defeat to Wigan. They now sit in 4th spot with Everton only a point behind.
Benitez vows to carry on “I will not be forced out of Manchester. I am manaher of this cloob and people will have to get used to this.”
The following morning, in his hospital bed, Benitez learns he has been sacked.
Chelsea’s momentum continues into Europe. Kazan are outplayed and Chelsea win the ¼ 1st leg, 4-0.
800 Chelsea make the trip out to Moscow for the 2nd leg to witness a nail biting game that ends 3-0 to Kazan. Malouda is at fault for all 3 goals and Holland vows that he will never put on a blue shirt again. Malouda turns to Twitter to protest but is ignored by the vast majority of fans.
The other headline from April is that Wayne Bridge is back inside, this time for harassment. Reports that he sits outside the Terry household sticking pins into a doll are confirmed to be true and he is sentenced to 6 months. John Terry posts a picture of himself and Bridge’s 2 ex’s. Smiling.
The Semi Final of the Europa League pits Chelsea against the team that put a total of 7 past T*ttenham in the group stages, Basel.
During the game, the referee has to stop play after Luke Shaw is hit on the head with a Toblerone. In the 10 minutes injury time added, due to the injury, Chelsea score and win the 1st leg 1-0.
Going into the final month of the season, the table looks like this:
1. Manchester United. 34 68
2. Chelsea. 34 66
3. Arsenal 34 61
4. Everton 34 61
5. Manchester City. 34 60
A possible title decider opens May with a bang. United v Chelsea at Old Trafford. Chelsea’s notoriously good record at Old Trafford seem to be continuing. Leading 1-0 through Seydou Doumbia, Chelsea concede a free kick with around 10 minutes to go. Up steps RVP. 1-1. Nothing decided.
Chelsea lose the 2nd leg against Basel 2-0 A.E.T. No trip to Amsterdam. The league was now a must.
T*ttenham and Aston Villa are brushed aside as Chelsea’s march for the title continues. Manchester United draw away at Newcastle and both Chelsea and United head into the last game level on points. United lead the way with a +1 goal difference.
Chelsea face Everton at home whilst United are away at T*ttenham. At 90 minutes, both games are finely poised at 2-0. Terry converts a header from a corner to make it 3-0. News filters through to White Hart Lane and United push for a goal. To the disgust of the home crowd, T*ttenham break and Bale slots the ball past De Gea to hand the title to Chelsea.
Jubilant scenes at the Bridge as the trophy is driven across London and handed to John Terry.
1. Chelsea. 38 76
2. Manchester United 38 76
3. Arsenal. 38 70
4. Everton 38 68
T*ttenham end the season 7th place, Liverpool 11th. Southampton join QPR and West Ham in the Championship. QPR going the whole season without a victory.
In a dramatic turn of events, Mourinho makes a U-Turn on his decision to join Manchester United and opts to take over from Holland at Chelsea. Holland stays on as Assistant to Jose.
Abramovich announces that finances are now back to normal, with the Champions League and title winning money and Chelsea TV is back on the air. Gigi makes a grovelling apology and she is accepted back by the Chelsea fans with open arms.
Chelsea sign Falcao, Schurrle, Hazard, Fellaini, Isco and Hummels for the forthcoming season.