Good morning Chidge, JK, and most distinguished guests. Greetings from across the pond! I am just writing to say how much I enjoy the Chelsea Fancast. It is truly something to look forward to in these strange times. Thank you all for bringing some levity, hilarity, AND of course real fan analysis and commentary.
I am a relatively new CFC fan. In fact, I’ve only been watching football for a few years, so I thought I’d share a few things from my perspective. I grew up in a small town in the American south, and I am rapidly approaching the half-century mark (I’m an old fart). When I was younger, in my rural school, there was no football except of the American type. I grew up with basketball, baseball, wrestling, and American football, but soccer didn’t make its way to my school until I was much older, so with me, it didn’t take.
A few years ago, a mate from work had a LFC cap on, and I had to ask him what it was (turns out it was a dunce cap!) This led to conversations about the Premier League and I began to watch a few matches. I was thrilled with the speed, physicality, and tactical nature of the game, and I found it a joy to watch. So how does a mid-forties bloke choose a club to support when he doesn’t live in England?
I certainly wasn’t going to support the same team as my coworker, we needed a rivalry! My only connection to England was really through film and music, and I had seen a few actors and musicians that I like sporting a Chelsea shirt over the years.
I began watching a few matches, under newly appointed manager, Maurizio Sarri. And then I discovered…Eden Hazard. He was magic. It took me all of that season to be able to really start to understand some of the nuance the game. I was getting hooked. I was learning all of the players and their positions, I was really starting to enjoy the club.
Pretty good finish for the season, too. Then, the manager was sacked and Hazard left? Probably just a bump in the road, right? My mate from work and I got to see an International Cup Match between Arsenal and AC Fiorentina at Carolina Panthers Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The matchday experience was incredible. I was amazed to see how much support these clubs had here in the states!
I was now able to start really following the club with a fresh start under the direction of club legend Frank Lampard. This club was mine now. I was here from before Frank took over. It was a difficult season during the transfer ban, but I was so happy with what Frank was doing, especially with the academy players. And then the wheels started to come off earlier this season, and the pressure on Lampard began to increase.
The day I knew that I was truly a fan was when Frank was sacked. I was physically sick over it. And the Chelsea Fancast truly helped fans to process everything that was happening. You guys put into words what many of us were feeling. Thank you all for that!
I was reluctant to give Tuchel a chance, but he’s doing a pretty good job (top four and still unbeaten as of 16 March). I’ll probably keep up with Frank wherever he lands in the hopes that he develops and eventually ends up back at Chelsea. I really like Frank. Anyway, forgive my rambling.
Just want to say that you guys are the best, and you have truly helped to share the soul of the club to fans like me all over the world. When all of this is over, I’d love to share a pint near the Bridge. KTBFFH! Up the Chels!
Pawleys Island, South Carolina