As a Chelsea fan, you have to admit, you’re always suspicious of any new fellow-supporter you meet. Chelsea’s dominance in England has come as a result of lavish spending and ruthless business and, therefore, attracted many followers who didn’t give two hoots before the money rolled in on the oil tanker.
If it’s ‘plastic’ fans you’re wary of, here are 11 ways to tell a true Chelsea fan from a pretender:
#1 You still have to defend your pedigree
Accusations of ‘you bought your success’ and ‘you have no history’ make you laugh because ‘haters gonna hate’. Firstly, Chelsea have been around since 1905. Also, all the others wish they had a Russian money daddy like we do.
In the process, you can’t help but feel a wee bit sorry for the sides with ‘tradition’ because that’s all they have to cling to nowadays.
Chelsea have won 15 trophies since Roman Abramovich took over. That’s more than enough compensation for all the hate that comes your way.
#2 Your heart bled for Carlo Cudicini
You will always nurture hate for Gianluigi Buffon in your heart. Thanks to him, Carlo Cudicini could never break into the Italian starting XI and receive the plaudits he deserved from his national side. The Italian was a stellar performer for the Blues, winning a Chelsea Player of the Year award and a Goalkeeper of the Year prize in the Premier League.
You also rue the day he picked up a knee injury that hindered him from performing at his best for the remainder of his career.
#3 Mourinho will always be the Special One
Granted the last season under Mourinho was a disaster and you heaved a sigh of relief when the Portuguese departed but, who are we kidding, you can never really hate the man. Mourinho led the club to their first Premier League title in 50 years and then did it again the following season. He won everything he possibly could with the Blues barring the Champions League and that always makes him your Special One.
You may be the subject of his snide jabs now but you don’t care. Mourinho’s lost his spark a little (could be temporary) and it’s going to be really hard for him to replicate what he did with the Blues at Manchester United.
#4 Frank Lampard is the best
Paul Scholes who? If you’re a Chelsa fan, you know for a fact Frank Lampard was the best English midfielder of his generation. Move over Gerrard and the other nobodies trying to usurp Lamps. Super Frank was the quintessential professional with the talent and ability to prove it.
Moreover, you didn’t know whether to cry or smile when he scored against Chelsea for Manchester City and then proceeded to apologise to the fans for it.
#5 There is only one England captain
In your view, John Terry is the only true England captain. Players have gotten away with a lot worse than what John Terry did to Wayne Bridge and he should not have lost his captaincy over it. England were poorer for his absence and you will never forgive the FA for mistreating him.
Also, you love that he has put the club before himself this season as he bravely supports his team from the bench. You’re also mortified that you might see him in some other club shirt in the next.
#6 You’re excited about Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte gives you hope. And it’s not about the trophies he could potentially win. After a long time, a manager is making the effort to include academy players in the squad and you can’t wait to see who else he promotes.
Your dreams involve him transforming Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathan Ake into stars of the future. And you can’t wait to see if Tammy Abraham gets a call-up.
#7 You were a Leicester supporter for a day
Chelsea had Spurs at their mercy last season when the Blues were presented with the opportunity of making or breaking their title hopes. Anything less than a victory for the north Londoners would see Leicester crowned champions and that’s when you became a supporter of the Foxes.
You wanted to win (it was ultimately a draw) just so that Leicester... and Claudio Ranieri could win the title.
#8 You relish in the misery of your London rivals
Nothing makes you happier than seeing your capital rivals struggle to keep pace with you. Arsenal is the butt of every joke (Liverpool if you’re talking about England) and you think Tottenham’s failed attempts at a title run are just too darn cute.
You will always be the first London club to win a European Cup (bragging rights for infinity). ‘Champions of Europe’ said no other London club ever!
#9 You will never forget 19 May 2012
It was just a matter of time before the Champions League trophy came to Stamford Bridge. Sure, your heart was in your mouth when Arjen Robben stepped up to take that extra time penalty but Petr Cech stepped up and gave us fresh hope. Chelsea beat Bayern in their own backyard and victory never tasted sweeter.
It also helped that the Blues qualified for the Champions League next season at the expense of Tottenham.
#10 You’re used to men flitting in and out of your life
You have become used to managers parading through the club doors. While some treat you well and win your love and respect (Carlo Ancelotti, Roberto de Matteo), others are gone in a mere wink because they aren’t the right fit (AVB and Felipe Scolari).
There’s one man who will always hold a special place in your heart (Jose Mourinho). And that one person who comes to clean up the mess every time someone leaves you down in the dumps (Guus Hiddink).
#11 You will always hate Tom Henning Ovrebo
After a valiant performance at Camp Nou, Chelsea should have been heading to the Champions League final in 2009. But the Norwegian referee waved away four penalty appeals from the Blues and Barcelona went through courtesy an Andres Iniesta away goal.
You have cursed Tom Henning Ovrebo every day since then.