The Chelsea FanCast looks back, season by season, to 50 Years of Chelsea history from 1970 to the present day.
Stamford Chidge is joined by Jonathan Kydd and Mark Meehan to look back at the 1995-96 season.
Glen Hoddle embarks on his third season in charge at Chelsea having packed his boots away at the end of the previous season. Before a ball is kicked, one of the most astonishing signings in the history of the club is announced. Former Ballon d’Or winner and Dutch master, Ruud Gullit signs on a free from Sampdoria.
Gullit will become one of the most lauded players in Chelsea’s history and was the spark that truly ignited the Blue Revolution, not to mention thousands of dreadlock wigs on a match day. But Hoddle wasn’t finished. Mark Hughes, Man Utd’s war horse of a striker arrives at the club and is later joined by Dan Petrescu and Terry Phelan, the later finally making Hoddle’s 3:5:2 wing back system tick.
Expectations for sexy football and trophies with Chelsea having reached an FA Cup final and a European final in the last two seasons, were understandably high. As ever, Chelsea was in for a rollercoaster ride.
Gullit and Hughes were imperious and Super Dan was a revelation but the League form remained inconsistent; beating the best but losing to the worst teams. Again, it was the FA Cup where Chelsea shone, but as with 1994, they were to lose out to Man Utd, somewhat cruelly, in the semi-final.
But the season saw great free flowing passing football and the team really beginning to gel. A trophy appeared to be not far off and we wouldn’t have to wait too long…
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