Bridging the gap

Destination Chelsea, which isn’t the highlight of the season.

Saturday afternoon and it’s off to the delights of West London for a trip to Stamford Bridge, that home of the perennial underdog and favourite of the neutral supporter, Chelsea. You have to admire a club that can still pull in decent crowds when they’re in competition with better, higher-placed sides in the area such as Fulham and Brentford.

There was a time when going to Chelsea meant an open sewer for an away end, giving money to Ken Bates to buy electric wires for the fence and dicing with death on the way back to Euston. Now you’ve got a roof, you can sit down if you really want, your money is going to some multi-national company which is definitely not linked to Roman Abramovich in any way and the only danger you’re likely to encounter is open-wallet surgery if you so much as think about eating, drinking or breathing anywhere near Kings Road.

They brought approximately 150 players during the transfer window and loaned out 148 of them. This has nothing whatsoever to do with any potential transfer ban and it would be a cynic who said it was. Their manager is from Solihull, started off at Small Heath and there’s only one direction your career can go from there, although he did his best to alter that theory with a couple of years working in Smethwick. He’s allegedly one of us and we can do him a favour by handing out the sort of hammering that means he’ll be getting a fair wedge of compo on Monday morning. They’ve also got the eminently forgettable Carney Chukwuemeka, who plays for their League Cup squad.

We’ve got Boubacar Kamara back, which is good, and our two Argentinians returning from their travels, which isn’t. Chelsea have been tenth in the league since the dawn of time and we’ve been eleventh for even longer. Win this one and we’ll swap places with them, which is enough of an incentive. Three points and let the watching TV millions know how good we are