The English media’s ability to get upset about the tiniest of minutiae never ceases to amaze. Two of the biggest stories as Chelsea set a new Premier League record with 30 wins on the season while honoring one of the greatest ever players in club history and lifting the Premier League trophy for the second time in three seasons, was Nathaniel Chalobah’s use of a selfie stick in the post-match celebrations and John Terry’s pre-planned substitution making a “mockery” of the game or some other such hoity-toity nonsense.
@EastUpper3 @RobHarris Just be an utterly embarrassing thing to do. It's a Premier League game not a charity event.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) May 21, 2017
Accusations of spot fixing were the icing on this faux outrage-cake, with Alan Shearer blabbering something about “undermining the integrity of the game” on the BBC’s Match of the Day as if no one had ever done a pre-planned substitution (regardless of which actual minute it occurred) in the history of the game.
@sportingintel Tacky and narcissistic at best, raises integrity issues at worst. Everyone involved should be embarrassed.— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) May 21, 2017
Surprised Conte has indulged Terry with this oversentimental farce. First false step of the season.— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) May 21, 2017
Golly gee whiz I shan't believe Conte let JT indulge in such narcissism...
Stepping above all that nonsense, what we had was a wonderful gesture of appreciation for the Captain: one last start, one last standing ovation, one last moment of glory in the Stamford Bridge sunshine. (And that’s before we got to his speech, even.)
After the game, Antonio Conte reflected on the magnitude of the occasion.
“I told you that it was very important to find the right solution to celebrate a great champion and a legend of the club. He deserved to start the game and then to have the substitution in the 26th minute He deserved this celebration because he wrote his Chelsea history. I wish him and his family the best in the future. For me and the club it will be a great loss because he helped me a lot on and off the pitch this season. Now we must respect his decision.”
“I think this idea of my players (the guard of honour) was a great one, to recognise an important career and a legend of the club, one of the best defenders in the world. He deserved this.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Well said, Antonio, well said.