The anti-climax that is the final two matches of the season begins with a visit from our friends up north.
Who: Newcastle United
What: Barclays Premier League, Round 37
When: 14 May 1:30 pm local time (8:30am EST)
Where: Stamford Bridge (42,050)
How: Fox Soccer Channel (DirecTV 619, Dish 149)
Why: Is it over yet? That's what many supporters have been saying in the week following our painful demise at Old Trafford. The season, they say, is done. Write it off. The roller-coaster has come to a stop. Move the hell on.
Not so fast, people.
There is much left to play for. In fact, there is always - always - something to play for when you represent Chelsea Football Club. For one, I want to see a proper response to the shit we were forced to endure at Manchester United. That, my friends, was probably the worst display of the season - in a season featuring a handful of them. Egregious. We as supporters deserve better.
Second, this is our home finale. There is no way this team should close out in front of the home support with a whimper. The season ticket holders? They deserve a proper send-off. Another thing: For how many players will this represent their final game at Stamford Bridge? If you believe the rags, a fucking lot. One would think they'd like nothing more than to leave on a high. And, you know, they deserve a proper send-off from us, regardless of how you feel about them personally. Nicolas Anelka, for one, probably is nearing the exit. The man has been equal parts exhilarating and infuriating during his nearly three seasons at the club. Whatever your thoughts on the Frenchman, though, he deserves our respect. That is if he gets a game (unlikely).
What about second place? A win would secure the position for us, a major accomplishment considering the two-decade lull we endured in mid-season. Finishing ahead of the Arsenal? Always a lovely moment. So, yeah, there is a fucking lot left to play for.
And there's the curious case of Carlo Ancelotti. I reckon he's a dead man walking. Nevertheless, knowing the man, he knows a superb close to the season would at least give Roman some food for thought. Not really, but no manager - certainly not a class one such as Carlo - would be interested in ending the term with a pair of atrocities. He'll field strong sides and expect thoroughly dominant performances.
Sidenote: For those thinking we may see some young faces on Sunday, you may want to think again. The reserve team final is on Monday, and will feature Blackburn travelling to face our boys at Stamford Bridge. Josh and company will likely be rested with that match in mind.
When's the last time we gave someone a proper battering? No better time to do so, then, especially with Newcastle in town. Them boys always make it right difficult on us. KTBFFH