I haven't written one of these in a while, but I have a few days yet before I disappear off the face of the earth, so I figured I'd do one more.*
*feel free to skip the rest of the article
Setting the scene.
Uxbridge, West London. I wake up at 8:30am to my 18 year old sister's incessant yelling. Puzzled and annoyed, I ask what the hell her problem is, not in those polite terms, of course but you get the point.
"Get up, nan's starting to get worked up", she said.
We were all spending the weekend at Grandmum's and if there is one thing she didn't like, it was being late for breakfast, lunch or dinner. When we were younger, she'd let us get away with almost anything, but if you were late to the table, you were in trouble.
I'm 26, my sister is 18 and my oldest brother is 34 with a family of his own. No exceptions. Be on time, or else!
Anyway, I got up and shuffled along.
Breakfast was heavenly. Freshly made waffles and jam. Hmm
Approx 10am, my mate calls me. I was relying on him for a pair of tickets.
Long story short, he had let me down, and honestly, I can't say I was too disappointed. Watching Chelsea at the Bridge has become tragically dull. No buzz whatsoever.
For me, going to the Bridge has become more of a habit than genuine excitement. Nice day, but ultimately, it's about catching up with people I only ever meet at Chelsea games.
And anyway, Spurs away* was on the horizon and I was definitely not going to miss that.
*insert Willian joke here, you know, just for fun.
I usually go to my fair share of home and away games. Mix it up nicely, but since about this time last season, I've been to every single away game, domestically, while probably just a handful of home games. There has always been a completely different feel to away games. Far more enjoyable.
I called my other mate, who was relying on me for the Fulham tickets and told him it wasn't happening. He then suggested we should watch it at his apartment instead.
My old mate from Dublin was in town, and I had been purposely blanking him so I could go to the game in peace. I texted him the address and told him to meet us there.
I turn up at the apartment at 5pm. Typically the last one to arrive.
To say I was surprised is a massive understatement, but more importantly, I was hugely disappointed.
I had had a mini rant on Twitter earlier in the afternoon defending Mourinho, telling anyone who'd listen that Mourinho isn't an idiot, we all consider him the best manager on the planet and that he knows what he's doing re; Juan Mata, citing a few examples along the way.
Speaking of which, this was probably a good time to avoid Twitter. The complete and utter meltdown was hilarious. You know, in an embarrassing kind of way.
Anyway, what's done is done. Mourinho had picked his team. In Jose we trust and all that, and besides, we weren't going to find Fulham as difficult as we found Everton and Basel, right?
Wrong. What followed next was one of the most boring, timid, inept, sleep-inducing 45 minutes of football I'd ever seen.
I struggled to find a single bright spark anywhere on the pitch.. Oscar was unusually quiet, Eto'o was busy but unsuccessful in just about anything he tried, Schurrle was meh, and what the hell is up with Eden Hazard lately? He's been completely out of sorts since he scored that brilliant goal vs Bayern Munich.
Yeah ok, he was half-decent for a little period in the Everton game, but seriously, he needs to snap out of it, and soon. We need him.
Second half kicked off with renewed hope, and we didn't have to wait long before we finally broke down this annoyingly stubborn Fulham defence.
Hazard picked the ball up just inside Fulham's half and ran with it. He pushed the ball wide to Schurrle who carried the ball into the box with delightful purpose.
His cross-come-shot was parried into Eto'o's path, who couldn't adjust his quick enough to have a proper shot, but found enough to stab it back towards goal, which was paried away again, this time into Oscar's path.
We were off our seats, jumping, fist pumping. Funny what a goal does to one's mood.
1-0 may be a dangerous score-line, I mean, we should know right? We managed to turn a 1-0 lead into a depressing 2-1 defeat at home just 3 days earlier. And last season we ... Nah, I better not go there. Point is, Fulham looked completely dead and buried at this point. Sure, one surprise Fulham attack could change everything, but it just didn't look very likely.
Our tails were up. Mata was clapping. Hazard looked alive again. Oscar was popping up everywhere.
That said, we still weren't creating a whole lot. Ramires had a penalty turned down, which I guess should have been given. I mean, it's not like he had his feet completely taken away from underneath him or anything.
Torres met one of our 13 corners on the day with a brilliant, powerful header, which Stockdale did well to claw away.
Then the moment. You know, THE moment.
John Obi Mikel scored a goal. No, I mean an actual goal. Mikel scored a goal. He scored a goal. Aargh.
It took him 185 league games, 258 games in all competitions, 7 long years to get to this point.
He had arrived from Norway in 2006 as a skinny little 18 year old. He is now 26 years old, a fully grown adult and one of the longest serving members in the current squad.
My mate was in a state of shock. No exaggeration. He was speechless. I was laughing uncontrollably.
I mean, this was unprecedented. How were we supposed to react? I was a scrawny little 18 year old when I last celebrated a Mikel goal for Chelsea.
It was a lovely goal too. Corner was swung in. Terry headed it back across goal and there was Chelsea's number 12, calm as you like, hooked his beautiful lanky right leg up in the air and stabbed it home.
And there we were. Stood in the middle of the apartment, the three of us, singing "he scores when he wants, he scores when he waaaants, John Obi Mikel, he scores when he wants".
2-0 Chels. Game over.
The rest of the game was honestly a blur. We may have had another corner or three. Not sure, but it didn't matter.
We were back to winning ways, and boy it felt good.
I mean, we hadn't played particularly well. We'd been pretty awful actually. Super slow build up. Sloppy, wayward passes, and it seemed as though they all collectively suffered a nose bleed every time we got anywhere near Fulham's box, and we'd end up resorting to hopeful crosses from deep, which for the most part Fulham dealt with comfortably.
Thankfully though, at this point, winning is all that mattered, and that we did thanks to our player of the season so far and John Obi Mikel.
Terrible when you're in a massive crisis at the top of the league, right? Right?
So much rubbish written this week.
Anyway, I could have been at the Bridge yesterday. I could have, but I wasn't.
Where were you? Where were you the day Chelsea's beautiful number 12 scored his first ever Premiership goal?