Chelsea FC: If You Want Entertainment, Watch the Circus
Roman, do me a favor—wake up and smell the coffee.
The only true entertainment that comes from watching football is when your team wins.
Don't get me wrong—I'm not saying teams shouldn't play football with precision passing, seal dribbling, nutmegs, etc.
I mean, hey, it's fun to watch.
But are you telling me that if your team won with a scrappy goal, poor passing, or ten men behind the ball, you wouldn't take it?
If you say you wouldn't, you're lying.
Arsenal provides a perfect example. When George Graham came to Arsenal in 1986, he found an underachieving club that was going nowhere fast.
The first thing he did was improve the defense. He never worried about whether his style of football was attractive or not. All he knew was Arsenal had to win, as they had not won the league in 15 years.
The Gunners won the league three years later in 1989 (defeating a daring Liverpool side at Anfield) and repeated the feat in 1991.
Along came the chants from opposing fans: "Boring, Boring Arsenal!"
Now, if your team hadn't won the league in 18 years, and then became champions through this style of football, would you care?
Can you imagine how Chelsea supporters felt when their team won the league after 50 years of futility?
Again, people criticized their style of football, but the fact is that entertainment comes from winning matches.
Fans go home the happiest when their team wins, no matter how they do it. This is the case for all professional sports.
Under Arsene Wenger, Arsenal plays the most attractive football in the league. Yes, they're on top of the standings—but they almost threw away a win against Sunderland yesterday because they're too offensively minded, and not focused on simply winning matches.
Avram Grant promised that Chelsea would be more daring with their style of football, but I doubt he was unhappy about the two ugly wins this week against Valencia and Bolton—especially when people are doubting his skills as a manager.
Before yesterday, Chelsea hadn't won a league match in four tries, so any win would have been welcome as a confidence-booster.
Believe me, it wasn't pretty yesterday, but I was happy.
Before the 2007 FA Cup Final (which I attended and have to say was a terrible game), Jose Mourinho asked his players if they wanted to enjoy the game, or the party after the game.
The players said the party afterwards.
They enjoyed the party afterwards. And even though it was a terrible game, the Chelsea fans didn't care when they left Wembley...because they had seen their team win.
All I'm saying is that Roman shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that entertaining football is the be-all and end-all—because the only be-all and end-all is winning.
If you can't grasp that, Roman, go watch a circus and be entertained all day.
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