With club captain César Azpilicueta getting a rare breather, it was vice-captain Jorginho who wore the armband on a most dramatic night at Stamford Bridge, though not exactly for the (non-)events that happened on the pitch.
A protest by thousands outside the stadium prior to the match (which delayed kick-off by 15 minutes as well) was the culmination of an intense and emotional 48 hours, from the birth to the death (for now anyway) of The Super League. Rarely have we seen the football world so united in one voice, from fans to media to pundits to those actually involved in the suddenly mundane task of actually playing the games.
As Jorginho reflected after the dour and listless 0-0 draw against Brighton, it’s been a 48 hours like no other.
“We tried hard to not let the last few days affect us but it has been two crazy days. We tried to do our best performance but Brighton did very well and we didn’t create many chance, like we usually do, and we suffered.
“Tell me who likes football in the world and who isn’t talking about it right now? It is a big situation so everyone is talking about it and that is normal. We tried hard and we tried to push but unfortunately we couldn’t win.”
In an ideal world, we would’ve been able to concentrate and focus and push through for a scrappy win. But as much as we think the events affected our enjoyment of the sport, for those actually involved in playing it, some of discussion was directly affecting their livelihood, ambitions, aspirations for their careers.
And that’s not something that’s easily ignored, even among professionals who have plenty of practice in ignoring outside distractions and noise.
“It was different on the bus tonight. It was a different situation where the fans had the right to do what they think is best. It is all new and it is all different and see what happens.
“The club see what the fans think. It is something about us, that is fact and we’re sure that the club will make the right decision. Unfortunately it is something that we can’t do much about, we just need to support and hope the club will do the right thing.”
-Jorginho; source: Sky via BBC
Chelsea are reportedly in the process of officially withdrawing from The Super League. Hopefully we can all move past this silliness then and get back to focusing on the football itself. We have another massive game with tremendous top-four implications coming up on West Ham on Saturday...