Chelsea lost on Tuesday.
This is certainly not a good thing. It's never good to lose out on a cup or a trophy, regardless of how high it may be on the priority list. And while the harsh reality is - hope you're sitting down for this one! - that we won't win every match 5-0 nor will we triumph in every competition that we enter, losing to bottom-of-table Sunderland is certainly not anywhere near the preferable method of exiting the League Cup.
One could argue that this is a bad thing. At the end of tomorrow, Chelsea stand a decent chance of being the only favorites who managed to fluff their lines in the quarterfinals. I certainly don't expect Manchester United or Tottenham Hotspur to lose and I doubt I'm alone in that. All in all, this doesn't reflect too well on us.
What I think reflects even worse are the mass overreactions. And not just in the comment sections here, but on Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet. It's as if football has become a binary system, where things are either on or off, amazing or terrible, world class or Bogarde, Torres or Torres. And while that kind of system works in the devices that empower us to shout and argue at each other across the distances, it doesn't help in having actual, useful (and occasionally snarky) discourse.
"We want this team to play the way we are playing."
"We want this team to have evolution but based on the way we are playing at the moment we have to finish opponents and we need goals to do that."
For a good 80 minutes (and at least another 15 in extra time), there looked to be only one winner on Tuesday. Chelsea failed to turn their dominance into goals (once again), but the result was hardly in danger. Alas, at 1-0, things can always fall apart in one second and unfortunately that's exactly what happened. There may be systemic things on the defensive end that let that happen and perhaps if we look closer, we can find something. Then again, had we put away more than just one of our 22 shots (or created better shots from our countless attacks), we wouldn't have to worry about which player to sell as punishment or whether we should fire Mourinho today or tomorrow or perhaps withdraw from all other competitions since obviously we're not winning anything this year.
"We are going in one direction which is the right direction in terms of the quality of football we want to play, so it would be quite frustrating to change that, take a step back and go in another direction just because we want better results"
-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea
Which brings me to you people. What do I mean 'you people?'
"People talk about how we were abject and horrible, but that's only true for a minority of the game time. We were in the ascendancy for a great amount of it."
"Essentially, saying we were awful and abject is colored by the result; if we'd won (as we probably should have), we could bemoan finishing, but the reaction wouldn't have been this negative."
"I think that the analysis should be process-oriented, and it seems extremely results-oriented."
I mean all you who - unlike the example above - make our comments look like the tire fires over at Cartilage Free following 5-0 or 6-0 defeats. All you who've caused us to step up moderation, rewrite and expand community guidelines, and, for quite a few valuable contributors, to retreat completely from the comment sections. You who come here exclusively to bitch, moan, whine, and complain and make it unbearable for the rest of us. Fortunately for you, the Internet is a vast, wonderful cesspool, and I'm sure you can find a place that will cherish you and love you as a son.
I had to watch the game away from WAGNH today. I read the comments afterwards and banned 15 of 'you people'. Several warnings were handed out as well - reduced sentences due to your previous record of contributions. May this serve as a reminder that if you have nothing to add but constant criticism and negativity, if you have no desire to become a worthwhile member of this community, please, kindly, save us the trouble of having to ban you. Thank you.
Now, on to the next one: a fight for the top spot in the Premier League.