MID-WAY through the second-half of yesterday’s game, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti waved to fans on all four sides of Stamford Bridge in acknowledgement of their chants. It was a poignant moment.
Many Chelsea fans are still in awe of Jose Mourinho, who produced two league titles in successive seasons after a gap of 50 years before falling out with owner Roman Abramovich. He has been much missed.
Mourinho made it doubly difficult for Ancelotti to endear himself to Chelsea’s following by dumping his former club out of the Champions League with Inter Milan in March.
Chelsea morale was low and many fans, myself included, yearned for Mourinho, no matter how dour – “we play with blood, not skill,” was how he described beating Barcelona recently – some of the football was.
Yesterday made me think, that maybe, just maybe, we are close to exorcising Mourinho’s colossal presence in favour of a more phlegmatic coach, but one more than capable of bringing golden years of his own.
Ancelotti has managed to pick the team off the floor after the Milan disappointment and coped with the damaging fallout from the personal crises of John Terry and Ashley Cole.
Abramovich wanted a more expansive style of football so it must be particularly satisfying to the owner that Ancelotti has not only won domestic football’s most important prize but has done so with a team that has scored a record-breaking 103 goals.
“Boring, boring Chelsea,” the home fans sang ironically yesterday.
On to Wembley for the Double!
Title success ends three years of hurt, admits proud captain Terry
CAPTAIN John Terry says Chelsea’s title success ends three years of hurt.
Terry has led the Blues to three Premier League successes – but lifts the trophy for the first time since 2006-07 after three years of dominance from Manchester United.
“This is what it’s all about, this is what I've worked so hard for,” the skipper said. “It’s about Chelsea Football Club and our day today.
“It’s been a hard three years, not winning the Premier League, but we’ve done it today and we deserved it.
“It’s been a hurt inside of me for three years, seeing Man Utd lift it season after season and every single one of us has sat there and watched it.
“And now it’s their turn to sit there and watch us today.”
HOW THE TITLE HAS SWAYED
2006/2007 Manchester United
2007/2008 Manchester United
2008/2009 Manchester United