Land of Hope… and Expectation.

So we’ve had a few weeks to find our feet, get used to Antonio Conte’s passion and now it looks like the squad has settled into his approach to the game and at least one formation, something we haven’t really seen in Blue at the Bridge since the days of Glenn Hoddle and Ruud Gullit. That’s right, the 3-5-2 is back at Chelsea. Let’s see how Conte’s 3-5-2 compares to Chelsea of the Hoddle era in the wake of our demolition of Jose Mourinho’s  Manchester United.

Days of hope
Days of hope

Defence:

Dimitri Kharine

Courtois seems to have come out of a bit of a slump with a commanding display, showing the promise of his previously shown ability.

Dimitri Kharine is a good comparison, even though Kevin Hitchcock is my favourite Chelsea goal keeper. Kharine was one of the first continental goalies in the Premiership. He was tall, lean and brought a new style of goal keeping that we commonly see in the Premiership today. Continue reading “Land of Hope… and Expectation.”

Local Media, Americans and the World Cup

As this World Cup comes to a close, I have been watching a lot more than just the glorious display of the Beautiful Game on display here in Denver. Here are a few things to note about my perception of Americans (or people who live in America) and the media in Denver during this World Cup:

1. In the main, supporting the country of one’s ancestors seems to be more important than the country one is born in. This could be a fallacy, but I have seen more Americans in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, France and the other South American country’s shirts than I have the US one. I will say that in a few, rare cases some of this is because of a true love of football as a whole (I myself had a Pele shirt in the 90’s). My prime example is RMB’s own Greg Lepetsos as he shows us all his pain while wearing his Brazil tee during that 7-1 capitulation to Germany!

2. When the US lost to Belgium, the World Cup finished for those who were only supporting the American side because ‘Murica. It’s like they believed the World Cup existed up until they lost, which is a shame, considering the amount of passion we saw from a lot of US fans. Those who have invested time in following a league team, however, have been following the whole tournament and have been treated to an event far better than South Africa, four years ago. This is just an observation of the casual fan who only shows up when there isn’t any American Football or Hockey on. They will disappear as soon as social media dies down and their twitter page isn’t inundated with facts they can repeat as necessary. This is the kind of fan we need to educate more and get on board full time. They know the score, but don’t have the base to stick with it.

3. The 9News Sports department is decades behind the rest of the world and a good section of Denver, too. By only focusing on the World Cup until the US went out they missed a huge opportunity to connect with an already large and continually growing part of Denver’s community. I don’t even think someone of them know that US had to go through a quite arduous qualification process to make it to Brazil, you certainly can’t have a decent conversation with a few in there without getting the usual misinformed rubbishing you get from those who don’t know the game. More importantly, they are missing out on the chance to forge a link with the community, especially seeing as we have live Premiership football broadcast on our station. @nil_nil00 was contrived, cheesy to those already in the Denver football community, but he was a step in the right direction and I hope he returns soon, so get your #savenilnil hash tags ready, my friends. Here I get ribbed by the unidentified reporter for predicting a Brazil win over Germany:

4. Telemundo Denver’s approach to the World Cup has been perfect. They have done everything that 9News should have and I think their general viewer base will grow because of that.

5. I was given the chance to work on air with Susie Wargin on her show with Dave Logan at KOA radio. I enjoyed myself immensely and got to advertise my abilities, but more importantly I thought it was a good step for them to take as it engaged with the community. As football continues to grow, I think it would be a great foot in the door to build and have someone (not necessarily me) on a regular basis to cover the Premiership, La Liga and other leagues and cater more to Denver’s already passionate football community.

And here we are now at half time in the World Cup Final with everything to play for. Just 45 or 75 minutes away from being able to take a deep breath and focus on what’s really important – Chelsea’s pre-season training and our impending campaign to bring the Premiership, FA Cup, Mickey Mouse Cup and Champions League where they belong – the trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge.

The Match That Changed Football: The Aftereffects of Heysel

the 1985 European Cup final witnessed one of the great tragedies in sports history, but modern football is a brighter, safer and more entertaining spectacle as a result.

39 Juve fans died at the European Cup Final in Belgium because of football on this day in 1985. 39. Take a moment and let that sink in a little. Regular guys like you and me were killed at a football game. On top of that over 600 fans were injured. At a football game. I’m not going to blame Liverpool fans and jump on the “Always the victims” moniker that has sometimes rightly been thrown around. Instead I will squarely blame everyone: Continue reading “The Match That Changed Football: The Aftereffects of Heysel”

RMB Select Predictions!

So I got with a few of our lads and we decided to make our predictions for the season! I have to apologise to everyone for not getting these up sooner, but they are here at last!

Please join in with us and post your predictions for the season – I’ll give you guys a week or so to get them in but you’ll have an advantage over us as we did these before the season started and the transfer window closed. Continue reading “RMB Select Predictions!”

RMB Tour: Indianapolis – Pre-game meet ups.

So it has taken me a couple of days to recover from an exciting, entertaining and thoroughly exhausting rollercoaster trip to Indianapolis. Michael and I got checked into the Canterbury just after finding out its bar was rated as one of the top five sexist bars in Indianapolis. Naturally we were mildly fearful of being objectified, but we knew we could take it in the name of Chelsea.

Continue reading “RMB Tour: Indianapolis – Pre-game meet ups.”

RMB On Tour: Indianapolis – The Flight

Michael Leaves and I are embarking on a pseudo pilgrimage to see our beloved Blues. Unfortunately we’re not headed to Stamford Bridge, but we will see them play Inter Milan at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of The NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

We have plenty in common with our Chelsea history up until the mid ’90s when Michael moved over the Colorado and I joined the British Army. Lots of games down the Bridge either in the Shed or on the benches from a young age in the sun and rain. So let’s compare some of our firsts, favorites and most memorables… Continue reading “RMB On Tour: Indianapolis – The Flight”

Out with New, in with the Old (season review part 2)

So, let’s pick up where we left off in part 1.

We’ll start with taking a look at my…

Predictions:

Said we’d beat Spurs 2-1 and that was the score at half time, but we couldn’t hang on to it and drew 2-2. You idiot, Higgins, but we did score from a corner and it was an assist from Cahill, so I was almost right in a tenuous manner. Continue reading “Out with New, in with the Old (season review part 2)”