Away Games and Real Ale by Walter Otton @WalterOtton

Gooooooood day to you all, fellow TRUE BLUE supporters, as Peter Kenyon once coined it. He was a smug so-and-so, eh? Got his advertising slogans bang on the money, though, knowing that me and you would keep coming back for more by reminding us that: IT'S IN THE BLOOD - it sure is. Although Kenyon's employment at Chelsea is far behind us, another season dawns so it is time to preview the 2015/16 season, taking into account those important league away games as Chelsea Football Club seek to retain the title. I will be making a few suggestions for places to sample some lovely ales. Other pubs and other drinks are also available.

I will also be chucking in a few betting tips along the way. If truth be told, my gambling predictions last summer we're absolutely atrocious - for example, I suggested you laid wedge out on Koeman being sacked first and the Saints going down. They finished seventh and qualified for Europe - their highest finish since 1983/84! However, over the course of the season I did finish a few quid up, helped mainly by JT and Cahill goals, and gambling that there would be an OG in the League Cup Final, which there was. BOOOOM! (As the yoof say.)


In the wonderful month of August, up comes our first away match versus Manchester City at the new Maine Road. Make no mistake, Jose has Pellegrini right where he wants him. In interviews, Jose has purposefully pronounced his surname wrong by referring to him as Pellegrino - of course, one argument is that Jose should respect his elders and exercise sportsmanship - however, the child in me thinks Jose calling him Pellegrino is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. Plus, in my opinion, City are up there as our biggest rivals for the title, so any advantage over them is a good - and this includes our manager getting right under the skin of Man City's manager. This game has got a 1-1 draw written all over it. In terms of getting a drink up in Manchester, TIME OUT magazine has done a feature on the best craft beers in Manchester. Oh yeah!!!

Our next away game is at the Hawthorns. If you want ale and curry then head no further for The Vine public house. Last year, Chelsea lost 3-0 to WBA. However, the supporters didn't care - "We won the League, We won the League, We won the league!" was belted out continuously for 33 minutes. Having a sing-song up at West Brom is always a bonus as their team also jog out to The Liquidator and both sets of supporters are in love with One Di Matteo.


Up next is an early kick-off up at Everton. I won't be suggesting to you any good places to eat or drink because you are Chelsea and you're in Merseyside. Get in and out as fast as you can. However, have I got a betting tip for you. Oh yes - forget all the punters piling on Claudio Ranieri to be the first PL manager sacked (he is currently 10/1) - my money is on Roberto Martinez at 20/1, Brendan Rodgers (who allegedly left his wife to go and shag a tranny) at 6/1 and Sp*rs boss Pochettino at 20/1 because Sp*rs are crap. However, those who have bet on Ranieri have noted that when he managed Greece (before he took the Leicester job) he oversaw them losing to the Faroe Islands TWICE - once in November 214 and then in June 2015. MASSIVE LOLZ.

Our next away game is up at Newcastle where we always lose. So bet that way. Put Kevin Hitchcock in goal and Ruud Gullit up front, that's what I say. The more savvy amongst you will know that Newcastle is a shed load of miles away from London - but you can fly the 275 miles from Gatwick for about an £80 return. That's what I did last season, anyway. And I hate flying. Oh, and don't drink Newcastle Brown Ale. It is disgusting. A disgrace of a drink. Dishwater. It should be called Bottle of River Tyne. I do love the Geordie accent, though - but only when a pretty lady serving in the burger vans ask me: "Do you want fried onions on that, pet?" I get lost in her eyes and mumble a reply. Anyway, I'm struggling to type now. I can smell onions and burgers and Geordie lasses’ cheap perfume. Here's The Guardian's guide to boozing up there. Byker Grove, man.


We only have one away league game in October, against West Ham United. This season will be the last time the Irons play at Upton Park before moving to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. In my opinion, it's a massive shame. Last season West Ham vs. Chelsea was played on a cold Wednesday night in early March. I looked up at the floodlights, then to the left at the Chicken Run. As I exited the ground coming out of that small space with the low roof I got rather reflective. Another ground bites the dust. The clocks change in October, always a shame. By the time it is Guy Fawkes night I'm pining for the summer, it's always the way. It is worth noting that West Ham's new manager is a nutter. We'll need a strong referee. Based on 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red card, I'll be betting on there being over 90 points on this match. Hashtag Bookie Bashing.


Ah, Stoke City. Good old Stoke. Naughty. With their raucous supporters wearing Tony Pulis tracksuits cheering their team on, along with that old brute Mark Hughes in charge - they'll be upsetting plenty of teams with no backbone this season - such as Arsenal. And Man City. But not Chelsea. With Matic in the middle of our pitch, JT, Zouma and Costa - we'll mix it with the best of them. I go into battle and you come with me. Or something daft like that. I predict a straight red card for Costa for clothes lining that horrible little prick Phil Bardsley who in turn falls awkwardly into Ryan Shawcross's groin who, as a result, requires painful surgery on his damaged testicles. Justice is served to that repugnant snide Charlie Adam for breaking Our Fab's nose last season when he trips over the advertising board, lands on his head and knocks himself out. For a proper drink in Stoke, look no further than the range of Titanic ales on offer. The Titanic brewery was founded in 1985 and takes its name from the ill-fated steam liner that crashed into a massive ice cube in April 1912, drowning Leonardo DiCaprio. The reason behind the brewery's title is that the Titanic's Captain Edward Smith was born in Stoke-on-Trent. Bit bloody strange if you ask me. But then most people from Stoke are.

Our next away game is a trip to our hated rivals T*ttenham Hotsp*r. Within five seconds of losing 5-3 on New Years Day, my pal Big Chris text me "we'll win the league now" and how right he was. Young H*rry K*ne - who scored a couple of million goals last season and is tipped to fire England to World Cup glory for three consecutive tournaments - including 83 goals in Qatar 2022 - will no doubt actually be the next Michael Ricketts. Remember him? Exactly. Or Clive Mendonca. Or David Hirst. Or Michael Bridges. You get the picture. Come on, Chelsea. Let's smash this lot 6-1 again and put them back in their place. Champions.


Many of you would've caved in your computer screens by now after constantly seeing pictures on social media of Will Ferrell dressed as an elf with the caption "Only 30 sleeps (or whatever) til Christmas!" and they drove you so mad that you put your fist through your laptop. Much of Christmas is in fact a load of old flannel. My advice would be to go and volunteer your time at a Food Bank or a Soup Kitchen or, alternatively, rack up a load of debt by buying material possessions for people that they probably don't really need. It's up to you. Anyway, enough of that, we've got two brilliant away games this festive month. First up, And Leicester at the new Filbert Street. What a day out that was late last season. It will be difficult to top a night like that! Going 1-0 down then winning 3-1 meant we were one win away from being Champions. We'd basically done it. The best part of that wild Wednesday night in the Walkers Crisp Packet Stadium was the whole Chelsea end singing Boring Boring Chelsea over and over again and then Ramires stuck one in the top corner for 3-1 and the place exploded into pandemonium. For your drinking plans please note there are twenty-seven boozers in the City that serve real ale; here's a guide.

Next up is Man United. Once again, in my opinion, a strong ref is required for this game. We'll probably end up with Uriah Rennie. These games always have some controversy in them. When I look at this fixture I am always filled with pessimism and I always have this one down as a loss, even though (including when we were shit) we have always had quite a decent record up there. So I predict a score draw. Chelsea will equalise in the fifth minute of injury time when Oscar beats five players, plays a one-two with Fabregas, nutmegs Phil Jones then chips De Gea with a rabona. Scenes. Sadly, only half the away end of Proper Chels will go mental, because the 1500 Japanese tourists (sponsored by Yokohoma Tyres) left in the 89th minute to get the Thomas Cook helicopter home.


Ah, splendid January. A month of grey, gloomy weather. Not getting paid for weeks. Proper skint after Christmas. Our first game in 2016 is Palace away. There's something about Alan Pardew that really grates me. I've never quite been able to put my finger on it. Selhurst Park is one of the old school grounds - a great atmosphere is always in prospect - however, for this match I guess it just depends how many hangovers have lifted from New Years celebrations. Chelsea then have two home games (WBA and Everton) before travelling to the Emirates. 'The' Arsenal are a strange bunch, aren't they? Most peculiar. This is a nailed on Chelsea win, and I'll tell you why. Because they will need to beat us. But we'll take a draw. This is the difference. Jose has Wenger right where he wants him. The occasion will go to their heads and we'll punish them. I can see it already. A 2-0 win. Last season, Arsenal fans sung Boring, Boring Chelsea. It obviously slipped their mind that not only was a draw a great result for us, but we had two nailed on pens waved away (no surprise there) and their keeper should've been sent off for knocking Oscar unconscious. See what I mean? They are an odd lot.


On the second of the month we travel to Watford. You just cannot beat a last-minute winner. The last time I went to Vicarage Road, Kalou buried a header from a Shevchenko cross. It was 31st March 2007. At that time, Chelsea Football Club and the Metropolitan Police had come down heavy (again) on supporters taking celery to matches. (In our previous game we'd beaten Sp*rs in an FA Cup replay after drawing 3-3 at the Bridge.) So, in light of the comments from the Met and the Club, Chelsea fans responded by taking more celery to a game then I have ever seen before. We were boozing in a Wetherspoons and the green vegetable was everywhere. After the match we returned to the same boozer. There were so many Chelsea in high spirits, the Old Bill trotted all their horses outside and then came in and shut the boozer. They kicked us all out and we had to tread in horse shit to get up the road. We just all moved on to another pub. What a night. The grooves at the bottom of my trainers were full of manure for weeks.

On the 27th February we play the Saints. However, I am sad to say that it is my Doris's birthday. Don't get me wrong, it is a marvellous occasion - but I will be missing the football. This must be prioritised. That is non-negotiable. My only hope is that either Chelsea or Southampton get to the League Cup Final, so the fixture is rearranged. The thought of missing Saints away has put me in a bad mood, so I'm not writing any more about it. Bet on a massive Chelsea win by three or more goals or something, because I won't be there to see it. Sods law.


Just looking at the word Norwich fills me with dread. M11. A11. Might pop a bet on 11 goals. Chelsea win 8-3. It will make the journey home so much more bearable as you crawl by coach or car down the long old road with one lane, a tractor at the front holding up hundreds of vehicles behind it. When it comes to boozing, the City of Norwich are proper organised. There are seven ale trails encompassing forty-five pubs. Which is probably more points than their football club will accumulate over the season. The Fat Cat Pub is apparently one of the best boozers in the entire country, let alone Norfolk, and it has thirty plus real ales on the go. Don't say I never told you.

Oooo, look who's up next. Chelsea travel up to Anfield on 12th March. As I've already mentioned, the best thing about Liverpool is leaving the place. If Brendan Rodgers is still their manager by March then I will change my name by deed poll to Jurgen Norbert Klopp. I predict that in this match, the final goal in a Diego Costa hat-trick will lead to media uproar after Willian rounds the keeper and squares it to him. Costa controls the ball then goes down on all fours to head it over the line. In the confrontations that follow this apparent act of un-sportmanship, Diego stamps on Skrtel for good measure. Twice.


As the season goes into its final weeks we have three massive away games lined up. The first one is Villa away. Either this is a cracking trip, or a crap one when matters on the pitch ruin a good day out. When are this lot gonna get relegated? Lord knows. Early in 2015, some Brummie rag printed the Top Five ale boozers in the area. These are: The Old Moseley Arms in Balsall Heath, city centre pub The Craven Arms, Acocks Green's The Inn On The Green, The Spotted Dog in Digbeth and The Wellington on Bennetts Hill. Lucky you got me here to suggest where to drink, innit?

Next comes a trip to Swansea where we won 5-0 last season with some incredible football. (I predicted Chelsea would lose.) The famous Mumbles Brewery come into play here. I would suggest that you have a sup of Oystermouth Stout that is brewed using real oysters supplied by Mumbles Oyster Company. To see which pubs in Swansea serve Mumbles, here's a helpful guide. (Personally I will avoid visiting The Black Cock Inn.)

400 yards from Bournemouth town centre is The Goat and Tricycle, often referred to as Bournemouth's best kept secret. Not really a well kept secret is it though, if you've got a bloody website advertising it. Anyway, we've had a right touch with our trip to Bournemouth currently scheduled for Saturday 23rd April. I feel a beer on the beach coming on. Unless SKY move it to a sodding Monday night. Which they undoubtedly will, the berks.


Our last away game of the season is up at Sunderland on Saturday 7th May. It would be rude not to go. Even if we're out of the title race and out of Europe, there won't be another Chelsea away game for over two months. And that is two months too long. Sunderland doesn't have any award wining ales and no award winning pubs. This is worse than Stoke. At least Stoke have a brewery named after the bloke who sank the Titanic.

Domestic Cup Runs

In the League Cup and FA Cup draws I want to play Arsenal away, Sp*rs away, Palace away, Portsmouth away (proper ground), West Ham away and most importantly Fulham away. Craven Cottage is my favourite away ground - boozing in Putney, the River Thames, the Eight Bells and the stroll through Bishops Park.


Real Madrid please. Please! PLEASE!!! Can you imagine us lot in the Bernabeu with a GIANT banner mocking Benitez's HUGE waistline singing WE DON'T CARE ABOUT RAFA, before John Terry scores the winner in injury time with an overhead kick, breaking the net with the ferocity of his strike, then he sprints towards the bench and Jose is running towards him and they both knee slide towards each other down the touchline before settling into a euphoric embrace and Ramos and Pepe cry on each other and Bale signs for Chelsea in January.

Walts sent his first article to a Chelsea fanzine in 1990. In July 2015, his book Stuck on You (one year in the life of a Chelsea supporter) was published by GATE17. Buy his stuff via Amazon UK, and check out further GATE17 titles at their website.


We Ain't Got No History's 2015/16 season preview was edited by Joe Tweeds and designed by Graham MacAree. If you've enjoyed the work of the authors who generously donated their time to this project, please share with your friends and consider supporting The Chelsea Foundation as a way of saying thank you.