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Chelsea
Posted by Phil Lythell on 06/12/2012

After watching the first matches of the 2012 European Championships, one sentiment has echoed around press conferences and television studios with regard to the approach demanded from the underdogs in the tournament . It’s called ‘doing a Chelsea’.

The European Champions have seemingly become synonymous with the heroic backs-to-the-wall display that is supposedly the only way outsiders such as Denmark, Ireland and even (deep breath) England can hope to prosper in Poland and Ukraine this summer. While Chelsea have gone down in folklore as the epitome of a team emerging victorious despite every rational thought screaming otherwise, I don’t think that was the kind of reputation that Roman Abramovich had in mind for his club when he swept into Stamford Bridge along with his billions in 2003. It feels that, despite the remarkable attempts of Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole and the rest, the victors in Munich are being damned with faint praise.

Not that I care one jot. At the risk of banging the same old drum, for me, all that matters is winning. Style, subtlety and sophistication are wonderful aspirations on the football field and should be applauded but ultimately it is about getting your hands on silverware whatever Arsene Wenger says.

And that is the key to what ‘doing a Chelsea’ is all about. There’s no point digging out a goalless draw in one match only to capitulate in the next. Remember the Blues did not lose one of their last six matches in their victorious Champions League run with the 3-1 defeat at Napoli in the last 16 followed by four wins and two draws (including one penalty shootout win). ‘Doing a Chelsea’ requires dedication, organisation, luck and ruthless, clinical finishing. Just sitting deep is not enough. Everyone must be on the same page and whoever leads the line must be able to both hold the ball up and find the back of the net on the rare occasions that the goal appears in range.

Thus far, Denmark have produced the most passable impression of Roberto Di Matteo’s men with their 1-0 victory over Holland providing the first bona fide shock of Euro 2012. The Dutch had a whopping 28 attempts on goal in Kharkiv yet tested goalkeeper Stephan Andersen on just eight occasions. Robin van Persie reprised fantastically Cesc Fabregas’ performance for Barcelona at Stamford Bridge by missing a hatful of gilt-edged chances that in normal circumstances would have put the result beyond doubt. By contrast, the Danes had just eight shots but every single one was on target including, or course, Michael Krohn-Dehli’s superbly taken winner.

But as I said earlier, it will count for nothing if they get turned over by Germany and Portugal and are subsequently sent packing before the knockout rounds get underway. To properly succeed they will need an unsung midfielder to emulate the energy and precise finish executed by Ramires in Camp Nou, perhaps Dennis Rommedahl. Daniel Agger and Simon Kjaer followed in the footsteps of Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill by repelling all before them against Holland but they will have to redouble their efforts to truly pay tribute to their English counterparts.

And it goes without saying that an under pressure and much-maligned striker should ultimately find redemption with a significant and symbolic strike. For Fernando Torres, step forward the hapless Nicklas Bendtner. If Providence should smile on Roy Hodgson, maybe Andy Carroll could play the same role for England though maybe that is stretching the analogy just a little too far.

However the final acts play out over the next 19 days, ‘Doing a Chelsea’ appears to be as fashionable at the moment as the people who live there despite the usual cabal of French, Dutch and Spanish players and pundits whining about the so-called ‘death of football’. Now that Chelsea Football Club is on everyone’s lips around the world, it actually feels like the sport has only just been born.


You can read more of Phil's opinions at ShoutyAndSpitty.com or on Twitter @PhilLythell

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Comments

Posted by Makelo on 06/12/2012

Chelsea Haters can die slowly in anguish..Who cares,let d media say al thy want,.D botom line is,we ar european champs,hw eva we gt it is no anybdys biz,..Weda it ws givn to us freely,or we stole it..We ar champs of europe.....Thy ar jst being jealous,cos thy ar aware dat man u playd ofensiv against barcelona nd lost 3 1,madrid playd ofensiv nd lost 5 0 last seasn,A.C milan playd ofensiv nd wer snt packin ,must we play ofensiv?Ws futbal meant only 4 barca partern?.....Now d usles media can equaly help us and analysis hw d so cald beautiful futbal favourd spain day b4 yestdy..Thy almst lost.....So guys,leav haters wit their crap..Thers only 1 tin dat matas in futbal,nd daz d trophy,nd equaly theres only 1 road dat leads to hell...Al haters shuld tak it.

Posted by Osas Eguasa on 06/13/2012

Goliath is a professional in wars, but amatuer David used sling & a stone to gain victory over him. Use what you have to gain your victory!

Posted by Vineeth on 06/13/2012

Actually Chelsea never played the sort of defensive footbal they played vs Barcelna and Bayrn before. Manchester United went to Etihad stadium with defensive tactics what was the result? Requirement was jus a draw, but lost pathetically without even making a single shot on target!!

Posted by Karanja on 06/13/2012

Write anything you like but we are the europeans champions.next year we are heading to club world cup

Posted by Simon on 06/13/2012

Even in our first year under TSO we were criticized for being boring, but still scored over 100 goals that season. 72 of which were in the PL. Its only because we only conceded 15 in the PL that people thought we were boring. Just seems like a bloody good back four if you ask me. At the end of the day its winning that counts. Not % of possession,passes, dribbles, how many times you hit the woodwork. If we score one more than them and that one is the only one then so be it.

Posted by heywai on 06/13/2012

i severally ask friends when they discuss the defensive pattern that Chelsea played against FCB, how do u play the most compact and spectacular team in d world, the team that has always dominated possesion whether win or lose, a team that has a key in lionel messi that can open any defense (except Chelsea's defense), a team that outshine Man U in Webley, outplayed Real Madrid in el-classico, the only answer is 'DO THE CHELSEA'.

Posted by Sam on 06/14/2012

Rather than calling it "the Chelsea way", I've heard people call it "the di Matteo"

Posted by Zion ndak on 06/15/2012

Up blue! I want chelsea to sign hulk.

Posted by Eric on 06/16/2012

Hazard, Hulk, Mata and Torres with Ramirez as a power substitute, bring on the best in the world, we will take them on. As for style? What was the last piece of silverware that Wenger's "Beautiful Football" won? You play to your opponents weaknesses not their strengths and with most top tier teams focusing more on offense, it will be the underdogs with a strong defense that will most likely shine.

Posted by Victor b.o on 06/17/2012

It is a clear sign dat God's decisions r always higher above human analysis n opinions. besides, football was nt meant 2 b played a particular way, instead u use any style dat can give u d main objective which is d trophy or winning matches witout commitin fouls.

Posted by cruise boy on 06/21/2012

english and world press una papa finish..how many of u pundits who r criticizin cfc nw eva won a carling cup ? Use wat u have to get wat u want...if barca decides to load d car with players we jux have to park d bus and make a barricade out of it...last time i checked it was a strikers mainduty to score a goal...why d hell was dani alves playin left back and puyol attacking midfield for ehn ? If barca keeps all their players in their main position instead of overloading d box den teams lyk cfc wont have to resort to parking d plane,doing a chelsea or a d.matteo or wat evar it is called..if barca doesnt want teams to defend against them then they should defend so we can actually c how they cope with immense presrure...

Posted by chimusstalis on 06/25/2012

dis is wht i call sentimental expressions.upon al d patience,persistence and endurance d embarass,confused and disgraced analysist don't wnt it to come across.chelsea is one of d ever champions in d world of football,just take it or live it.

Posted by Toba peters on 06/30/2012

It doesn't matter what they anallized or said the important thing is we rule the world of football. We are the CHAMPION. Up BLUE

Posted by bluein&out on 07/03/2012

only chelsea can do the so called (the chelsea way) because takes champions to do what we do to win games so if you not a champions stick to your own way and let chelsea do it they way

Posted by edu AWKUZU on 07/06/2012

mourinho is one of the must respected manager in the game ,can you please tell me the system he used in the semifinal second leg against barcelona?i never see a diffencive game like that b4 but still he lost to pique`s goal

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Defensive yes, but Inter were down to 10 men and they still made the final

Posted by hemedi on 07/08/2012

hi guys,theres one thing we chelsea funs should get used to.and that is at the moment WE R THE CHAMPS,the funny thing is we played almost all teams with 11players on field what was so hard for them to use their brains to crack the mighty chelsea wall..up bllluueeessssssssss...

Posted by rich on 07/10/2012

let de loose talkers say whatever they want, we are champions and will remain. my thanks to roman, dimateo and all guys

Posted by Andy, GH-Tadi on 07/15/2012

just cant undastand why so many chelsea haters. B4 2004, they say no league trophy in 50yrs. Within 5yrs we had 3 league crowns n so many other cups. Then the haters luagh at us for not havin champs league trophy. Now we have ECL crown n they mock our style of play?? All Chelsea fans dont mind the haters cos very soon they mock us for our jersey colors. We are the Champs that's what the world knows.

Posted by Deedee on 07/20/2012

Wat a lot of guys out there dnt undastand is dat, Roman bought cfc 2 win trophies nd nt 2 play entatainmnt futbal. Pple shd stop been jealous of our achievemnt.BlUES 4 LIVE!

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About
Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog ShoutyandSpitty.com, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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