Another big day out

We’re off to Chelsea on Sunday.

One of the unexpected advantages of European competition is that it gives teams in the bottom half of the table the chance to do better than expected in the following weekend’s league games. They’re properly rested while their more notable opponents are recovering from a match three days earlier, followed by an arduous return from some eastern European backwater. You know what this is leading up to, don’t you?

Chelsea’s tribulations and misfortunes have been the subject of ridicule and hilarity for some time. Granted, it’s not as good as Manchester United’s recent attempts to emulate the glory days of Tommy Docherty, but still enjoyable all the same. With the money they’ve spent you could buy a small town somewhere northern, or a two-bed house in the shadow of Stamford Bridge, and to be fair when the new signings finally get sorted they’re still in with a hope of catching their west London rivals Brentford and Fulham. Well done plucky little Chelsea.

Chelsea’s struggles, much as we might enjoy them, are all a long way from their glory days. Back then they could regularly attract crowds of approaching seven thousand to watch such world-famous talents as John Bumstead, Gary Chivers and Mike Fillery. Any team would struggle in the shadows of such history. They’ve got Carney Chukwuemeka out injured and a manager whose most notable achievements were winning the French league and getting Spurs to avoid winning a trophy, although the number who’ve done that is almost as many as the players he bought in the summer. .

We’re just back from Warsaw with no injuries, surprisingly, and a couple of the long-termers looking ready to be pitched into the fray again. Looking at what happened over there we need them. What we also need is a decent win and this is where it happens.