Chelsea: The 20 Best Reasons to Support the Blues

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2013

Chelsea: The 20 Best Reasons to Support the Blues

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    Every set of football supporters has the ultimate faith that their club is indeed the best team to follow.

    Whether it be for reasons of geography, heritage or even glory, football fans can throw at you an endless list of reasons as to why they support the team they do.

    Chelsea is no different, but of all the reasons Blues fans can think of, what reasons rank among the best?

    We've said it before, and we'll say it again—at Bleacher Report, we love a challenge, so ahead of the Premier League's big kickoff this weekend, we sat down to think of the 20 best reasons as to why you should be a Chelsea fan.

    Our very own Dan Levy attempted to help football fans without a club select a suitable team this week with his video report on the "Five Big Teams a First-Time Fan Should Root for in the Premier League."

    Maybe this report on Chelsea will help some of you, who remain undecided, choose the Blues.

     

1. Peter Osgood

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    Let's get started with some history.

    Peter Osgood isn't just one of Chelsea's finest players, he was one of the finest players of his generation.

    The man they call the "King of Stamford Bridge" came through the ranks at Chelsea, with manager Tommy Docherty giving the youngster his chance to shine in the first-team in the 1960s.

    Replacing England international Barry Bridges at the time, it was a massive leap of faith from Docherty, but Osgood never let his manager down.

    In fact, he rarely let Chelsea down.

    He scored 150 goals for the Blues, with his most important coming in the 1970 FA Cup final replay as he clawed Chelsea back into the game against Leeds United, while he also netted against Real Madrid in the 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup Final.

    Chelsea won both trophies, with Osgood playing a vital part.

    They don't come much bigger or better than Osgood at Chelsea, and such is his stature even now in West London—over 30 years since he retired—his name still rings out across the Stamford Bridge terraces.

    He died in 2006, and while his ashes are buried beneath the penalty spot in front of the Shed End, there is also a statue of Osgood that proudly stands outside the West Stand.

    You can view his headed equalizer against Leeds in the 1970 FA Cup final on YouTube.

2. Chelsea Have Played Every Competitive Home Game at Stamford Bridge

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    There's no place like home, or so the saying goes.

    Where Chelsea are concerned, that couldn't be any more true.

    The Blues have called Stamford Bridge home since their formation in 1905, and since then, they have played every competitive home game there—league and cups.

    Not only that, but through the organization Chelsea Pitch Owners, the fans even own the playing surface graced every week by their heroes.

3. The First and Only London Club to Win the Champions League

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    Arsenal fans, Spurs, West Ham, Fulham and the rest best look away now.

    For all the success clubs in London have enjoyed throughout the 150-year history of football in England, none can match Chelsea's achievement in lifting the Champions League trophy in 2012.

    They were the first London club to do it, and with the way things are shaping up across the continent right now, it could be a long time before any of their rivals can get a realistic shot to emulate their success.

4. Roman Abramovich Has Changed Modern Football

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    Not many clubs can claim to have played the role Chelsea have in shaping the modern game, not only in England but across Europe.

    Since Roman Abramovich took control of Chelsea in 2003, the Russian's presence has seen football's profile and appeal sore to new heights.

    Sure, there are some aspects of that change which could be looked upon with a negative eye, but there's no doubting the positives that have followed Abramovich.

    The Russian has pumped millions into the game, and that has filtered down through the varying levels of football. In 2003, the signing of Joe Cole and Glenn Johnson from West Ham United all but kept the club afloat following relegation, for instance.

    Not only that, but from a nationalistic perspective, the interest in Premier League football has also grown significantly in the past decade, and with it has the appeal to the point it's seen as the No. 1 league in the world.

    It's not solely down to Abramovich of course, but he has played an integral part.

5. The Three Amigos

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    With Chelsea strengthening over the summer, it may not be every week that we see "The Three Amigos" in action at the same time this year. But we can be sure whether it's individually or as a collective, Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard will keep Blues fans on the edge of their seats.

    Football is about excitement, moments that leave you gasping for breath. The Three Amigos bring Chelsea that and more.

    English football—and Chelsea supporters—should be grateful for the fact talented stars, such as them, call the Premier League home.

6. The King's Road

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    It's seen some wild parties in the past and present as Chelsea have celebrated success, but the King's Road is famous for a whole lot more.

    Just a stone's throw from Stamford Bridge, it has a long glamorous history that has seen film stars and musicians frequent its restaurants, bars and boutiques.

    It brings an element of glamor to Chelsea that is not necessarily seen at other clubs, and with that comes mystique and an air of envy from their rivals.

    The King's Road has been part of the Chelsea fabric since the club's early days, and it remains a key part of the Chelsea iconography to this day.

7. Youth Policy Paying off

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    From the so-called "Dad's Army" to a team packed to the rafters with young talent, it's taken Chelsea a while but their youth policy is finally paying dividends.

    Look around the Stamford Bridge dressing room and most of Chelsea's current crop of stars have their best years ahead of them.

    Ryan Bertrand and John Terry may be the only current regulars to have been promoted from the Academy, yet the Blues must still be applauded for their approach.

    Whether it was with financial fair play or another policy in mind, the club has rebuilt with a core of youthful talent, and they look ready to play a major role in Europe in the coming seasons.

8. Chelsea Have Never Been Lower Than the Championship

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    There have been some dark days at Stamford Bridge.

    In the 1970s, building the East Stand crippled the club to the point they were forced to sell many of the best players just to pay the bills, and even then, they came close to oblivion.

    The 1980s weren't much better, as troubles on and off the pitch—notably hooliganism—threatened the future of the club.

    No matter how bad things got, however, Chelsea have always maintained their position as never competing lower than the Championship, formerly the Second Division.

    It's a proud statistic, and one that reflects the profile of Chelsea in their 108-year history.

9. The Never-Say-Die Attitude

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    It takes spirit and guts to not only make it to the top, but stay there.

    Throughout the club's history, Chelsea have faced their fair share of challenges, and while faces have changed, and generations have separated each test put before them, one thing has remained true—Chelsea's character.

    In more recent times, that has been personified by Jose Mourinho and the never-say-die attitude he has instilled in his players.

    Under the Portuguese, during his first spell in charge, Chelsea were never beaten, regardless of the predicament they found themselves in. Sure, they may not have got themselves out of trouble every time, but they always battled for one another.

    That characteristic survived long after he left in 2007 and was, perhaps, best demonstrated when the Blues lifted the Champions League trophy in 2012. They came from behind in matches, stared defeat in the face more times than they would have cared to mention, yet still battled through to lift the trophy.

    Sticking together, battling for every inch—it's been a staple of Chelsea for 108 years, and it remains true to this day.

10. Trophies—and a Whole Load of Them

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    Forget words, we'll let Chelsea's record—since the turn of the century—do the talking here:

     

    Premier Leagues: three

    FA Cups: five

    Champions Leagues: one

    League Cups: two

    Europa Leagues: one

    Total: 12

     

    In 13 years, that's an incredible record, and the club has achieved more in the 20th century.

    The point is, Chelsea win things, and that's the perfect reason to follow any club.

     

11. Chelsea Are Making History

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    Refer to Slides three and 10, and it's clear that, yes, they're winning trophies right now, but the Blues are doing something a whole lot more important—they're making history.

    It's a criticism of the club—and a cheap one at that—in suggesting Chelsea do not have any historical significance with which to refer. They do, but they're busy adding to it, while many of their rivals are busy living off theirs.

    Sure, it may not be as vast as some clubs, but if the Blues carry on as they have been doing, it will be, and this golden era will long be remembered as one of the best for any club in England.

12. Jose Mourinho

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    What are we calling him this season—the "Happy One"? "The Special One"? Or simply Jose?

    For Chelsea fans, the important thing is, they're calling Jose Mourinho their manager.

    In his own words, the Portuguese isn't "one of the bottle," and he brings so much to any club where he is in charge.

    He reinstates the values and gets to the very core of what a football club was, is and should be. Mourinho did that in his first spell at Chelsea, and he will be doing it again this time around.

    The media adore him as he is pure box office—"Mr. Rent A Quote," at some times. He is charming, affable and adds an extra dimension to the Premier League.

    Above all else, he is successful, and Chelsea know they're fortunate to have him back for a second crack at the whip.

13. Frank Lampard

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    What an ambassador to the English game Frank Lampard has been. At 35 years old, he continues to shine and brings so much to Chelsea on and off the pitch.

    With 203 goals, he is the club's all-time goalscorer—a living legend.

    It's players such as the man they call "Super Frank" who add gravitas to a football club. They bring an air of class, creating an aura to be admired.

    The England international forms part of the Chelsea backbone, and with a one-year contract extension for 2013-14, he is only going to make the club stronger.

14. The Chelsea Legends and Their Treatment by the Club

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    There was a time when heroes from Chelsea's past were not overly welcome at Stamford Bridge.

    Under Roman Abramovich, that has all changed, and now a matchday doesn't feel the same without a former player being escorted around the pitch at half-time to cheers from the crowd.

    Bobby Tambling (above) was treated to a heroes' ovation last season, and such was the response from the Stamford Bridge crowd, the former all-time goalscorer was moved to tears.

    Chelsea celebrate their past and the players who helped them achieve getting the club to where it is today, and, for that, they should be applauded.

    Not only that, but in the Past Players' Trust, the club also has an organization that is integral in helping those who have fallen on hard times or need assistance with medical bills.

15. Chelsea Are the Only Club Elected Straight into the Football League

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    In its 125-year history of competition, Chelsea remain the only club to be directly elected in The Football League, having not played competitively prior to the club's inclusion.

    Chelsea entered what is now The Football League Championship in the 1905-06 season, having not once competed in a competitive fixture.

    And for the record, their first-ever match was against Stockport County on Sept. 2, 1905. It wasn't the best of starts, though, with the Blues losing the match, 1-0. After that loss, they did remain unbeaten for six games, winning five.

16. Ruud Gullit and Sexy Football

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    Prior to the appointment of Glenn Hoddle as Chelsea manager in 1993, the Blues were in the doldrums.

    They were often battling relegation, or at least had it hanging over them until the latter stages of the campaign.

    A major trophy hadn't been forthcoming since 1971 either, and things needed to change.

    They did, too, with Hoddle signing Dutch legend Ruud Gullit from AC Milan in 1995. It was a major coup for the club, with Gullit replacing England-bound Hoddle as manager the following season.

    From that moment,  the team scaled heights it hadn't seen for over two decades, winning the FA Cup in 1997, followed by the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup in 1998.

    The glory days were back, and Chelsea were winning things, playing Gullit's very own "sexy football."

17. Wembley's First and Last

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    In 2000, Chelsea beat Aston Villa, 1-0, to win their third FA Cup.

    The game wasn't exactly one to remember for footballing reasons, but it held historical significance as being the last FA Cup final at the old Wembley Stadium.

    The first had been staged in 1923, and after 77 years of history, the stadium was being torn down and redeveloped.

    Fast forward to 2007 and Chelsea were back at Wembley once more—this time visiting the brand new venue in all its glory for another FA Cup final.

    Not content to be in the record books as the last team to lift the FA Cup at the old stadium, Didier Drogba's extra-time winner ensured Chelsea became the first club to lift the famous trophy at the new venue also, beating Manchester United, 1-0.

18. Chelsea's Cosmopolitan Flavor

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    The modern era in sport and society is one defined by a world that has become more cosmopolitan in nature.

    The Premier League is awash with international talent that has helped raise the standard and bring the game in England into the 21st century.

    Whether that's impacted the English national team or not is a debate for another time, but Chelsea have certainly played their part in forming the Premier League as we know it.

    The club has a blend of talents from England to the Czech Republic, Belgium to Brazil and Ghana to Nigeria.

    Without a nationalistic cap on, it's a wonderful spectacle and shows what is so great about the game in the modern age.

19. John Terry

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    It's disappointing that John Terry's reputation has been largely shaped by reports on his life away from the pitch, as the Chelsea captain has been nothing short of sensational throughout his career at the club.

    A one-club man, something we rarely see in the 21st century, he is the club's most successful skipper in its history, and he continues to lead by example.

    His reputation may be tarnished, but rising through the ranks at Stamford Bridge, Blues fans see him very much as one of their own and someone who will continue to serve the club with incredible passion and desire.

    "JT" also gives other youngsters coming through hope that they, too, can make the grade at Stamford Bridge and become a regular.

    In that regard, he is the perfect example of what Chelsea are trying to achieve.

20. Lord Attenborough

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    Honorary Life President at Chelsea, Lord Attenborough is famous the world over for his career in the movies.

    Not only was he a successful actor, starring in films such as Brighton Rock and Jurassic Park, he also won an Oscar for directing the critically acclaimed Gandhi.

    Lord Attenborough has been a passionate Blues supporter since his time spent at the famous RADA acting school in the 1930s. And with his showbiz connections, he was often known to bring the likes of Steve McQueen and Raquel Welch to matches at Stamford Bridge.

    Many clubs have honorary positions for famous faces and dignitaries, but how many of them can match Lord Attenborough?

     

    Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's Lead Chelsea Correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes.