With football on hiatus and We Ain’t Got No History slowing approaching our tenth (10th!) birthday, it’s as good a time as any to start looking back on some of our recent Chelsea memories.
Here are a few that stood out from March 24 over the past 9-10 years (timezones may affect that a bit, but I’m trying to keep it within the European & North American frame; sorry, rest of the world)
Matches against Tottenham Hotspur tend to be fiery affairs. This one, from 2012, was decidedly the opposite, a most boring rivalry match with absolutely no lasting memories.
At the time, the result was most frustrating. Chelsea were on the outside of the top-four and very much looking in. Spurs were above us and already one foot in. The draw was all they needed in this one, and that’s precisely what they got, with Di Matteo’s Chelsea having little idea what to do against a packed, solid defense.
It would be deliciously ironic less than two months later, when Chelsea’s win in Munich would keep Spurs out of the Champions League despite finishing fourth! (UEFA would change that rule the following season, to make it extra amusing.)
Future Chelsea cult hero Diego Costa was a little over a month away from scoring a penalty at Stamford Bridge and booking Atlético Madrid’s place in the Champions League final. By then, his rumored transfer to the SW6 was practically an open secret.
But back in March, we were still just hot and heavy in the rumor cycle, which prompted our resident scout to take a look at “world class jerk” Diego Costa, and try to make some sense of the man’s rare combination of tactical nous, impeccable timing, precise finishing, relentless determination, humor of a ten-year-old, extreme moodiness, street smarts, and general sh*thousery.
As we’d learn in his all-too-brief three years at the bridge, they just don’t make them like Diego.
Just imagine if we had VAR back then!
Costa, now 31, was having a rotten season with Atlético, dealing with multiple injuries and a rather poor goal-record. He had a late start to his footballing career, and many expected him to be a late-bloomer like Drogba. Alas, it looks like Costa’s playing days are coming to a close. But no worry; that just leaves more room for jetskiing with his dog, going on madcap ATV rides, getting very angry over FIFA, or flinging fireworks at friends and family.
Unfortunately, it appears that Diego’s Instagram account has been deleted, so we’ll have to go with a few of his Chelsea TV shenanigans instead (or that time he threatened to end Conte’s title-winning press conference with a fire extinguisher before “kidnapping” the coach off the podium so they can go celebrate).
Legends come and legends go, but in 2015, one of the biggest club legends of all-time called it quits at the Bridge. Petr Čech was not yet ready to play backup, and after a season of being an utmost professional (as expected) and supporting young Thibaut Courtois, Petr was ready to leave Chelsea after eleven seasons and nearly 500 appearances.
“It looks like it works well with me and Thibaut as a duo, but that can work for one season only. I don’t want another one like this.”
-Petr Čech; March 2015
And of course now he’s back as Technical
Director Advisor so we can completely forget about the intervening Arsenal years.