Leave Chelsea Alone! The British Media's Crusade Against The Blues

John Terry Chelsea 2009/10

I hate to be “that guy.” I really do but the British media’s constant efforts to chalk Chelsea’s EPL campaign as the result of favor from match officials is bordering on insulting. Chelsea’s last three victories came against Manchester United, Bolton and Stoke City and in all three the Blues have come under critcism for calls that went in their favor. Pundits pointed out Drogba’s offside’s match-winner against Manchester United as referees giving the game to Chelsea but these same critics stayed silent on the possible handball of Federico Macheda or the obvious penalty on Gary Neville.

Sir Alex Ferguson, always quick to blame defeats on everything but his players, said “What I can’t understand is the linesman’s directly in front of it. He has no-one near him and he gets it wrong. A game of that magnitude, you really need quality officials and we didn’t get them today. It was a poor, poor performance.” On his last point Ferguson was correct, the officals were poor on that Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford but they were bad for both sides. The outcome was not determined by the men with the whistles and to imply otherwise is ludicrous. Who knows if Macheda would have even gotten that goal if it were not for the reckless pressure United was forced to apply with a two-goal defecit. It is overly simplistic to think that the outcome of the match would have been identical minus one goal. That’s not how the game works.

The following week Chelsea put in an admittedly flat-footed display against Bolton. Bolton had two handball appeals waved off, one against John Terry and the other against Didier Drogba. Drogba’s offense was obviously a penalty but the alleged offense against Terry seemed to come off the shoulder and not the arm. Columnists were infuriated with the apparant blue bias of the referees. “At the top, Manchester United and Arsenal can forget about the championship if Chelsea are going to survive such clear-cut handballs,” said ESPN columnist Harry Harris. Did Chelsea escape this game with a few generous calls? Probably. But what some people do not seem to understand is that handballs inside the box are missed more often than they are seen. Chelsea had a few claims to handballs themselves but were turned away because the offense is so difficult to see.

But the most egregious offense came during Sky Sports halftime analysis of Chelsea’s thrashing against Stoke City. Both analyists claimed that Soloman Kalou’s sliding rebound to put Chelsea up 2-0 was “a dangerous play that deserved a red-card.” Upon viewing the replay it’s obvious that Kalou got to the ball first and and it was the goalkeeper who lunged to make contact with the Chelsea player. The play resulted in Thomas Sorenson getting injured and that’s regrettable but in no way a sending off or grounds to wave off a clear goal. The commentators again cited big-club bias against the referees but made no mention of the obvious handball by Stoke in the first half.

If Chelsea manage to hang onto their slim lead atop the EPL and hoist the trophy on May 9 it will not be because of favorable treatment by officials. It will be because they played the best football over the course of the season. Clubs get victories they don’t deserve because of blown calls all the time. That will always be the case and incompetence by officials knows no biases.

34 thoughts on “Leave Chelsea Alone! The British Media's Crusade Against The Blues”

  1. The half time commentaters (both ex liverpool) also made much of the fact that the penalty given was generous – not mentioning as Andy Gray had that Stoke had handballed it earlier and then blatantly tripped Anelka

    If that had been liverpool they would have been in raptures but they need to try and take the gloss off – fortunately the commentaters were better than the pundits

  2. “It is overly simplistic to think that the outcome of the match would have been identical minus one goal. That’s not how the game works.”
    Your article was worth it just for that sentiment. I thought the same thing as I heard complaints about the officials costing ManU the game.

  3. Great piece — you said what I was thinking, exactly. Actually, Chelsea should have had 11 goals today, if you count the two obvious penalties they didn’t get and Malouda missing twice from inside about eight feet.

    This whining about Chelsea reminds me of the way Sir Alex bitched about the officiating in the first game at Stamford Bridge — but neglected to mention the Jonny Evans foul on Drogba that should have gotten a red card, but instead resulted in Drogba getting a yellow!!!

    Chelsea gets no more and no fewer good, bad or missed calls than any other of the big four — although I will say that the refs seem to have a bias toward the big four when they’re playing against any of the other teams.

  4. Just because its a clear goal, by which I think you mean the ball crossed the line between the posts, doesn’t excuse the manner in which it was scored. Malouda slid two footed, studs exposed. This is either serious foul play or violent conduct and he should be sent off.

    1. Malouda…Kalou…whats the difference eh?
      It sorta take the steam out of your comment when you can’t even get the players names right.

  5. I was so angry at 1/2 time when the focussed on 2 decisions that went our way rather than our dominating peformance. We deserved to win all 3 games yet people cant be happy and have to put Chelsea down, id like to think im just paranoid so im glad someone is agreeing with me although we are both chelsea fans.

  6. You must have either watched the streaming feed from the UK or live there because the feed on FSC the announcers actually seemed to side with Chelsea when Kalou got his second goal and they called out the ref for not calling the handball and were surprised that Chelsea players didn’t appeal more for it. Probably the main reason the media doesn’t like Chelsea because they were never as big as ManU or Liverpool and became big with money and we all know how those Brits don’t like the rabble rising up from the ranks to the upper class.

  7. great article couldnt have said better myself. Whinny Ferguson starts crying everytime things dont go there way. Their goal was clear handball and Neville penalty couldnt had been more clear yet all he saw was the offside. How about when they won at Manchester City after eternity of extra time, that finished exactly after owen’s goal. Hope that Chelsea wins and Fergurson can go cry all summer long!

  8. I hate Chelsea. HATE. But you do make some fair points… But perhaps the reason this happens is the tone of the club. Am I wrong in that CFC have become known for crowding refs? And Look I’m not in anyway objective on this, but when you have the off field situations that have gone on this past year… then maybe just maybe there is a certain Chelsea fatigue among those that follow the game.

    What big player will be brought in, not fit in then ship out. What manager will be fired, who will they hire next, how will they crash out of CL next, what will Roman say, who is going to get caught next with his pants down etc…

    You’ll always have ESPN USA, they LURVE CFC, that Lamas fella in particular.

    1. Patrick,

      CFC might crowd refs but I think that’s become pretty commonplace in the EPL nowadays. It’s one of the things I really dislike about the game and a few more bookings for abusive dissenters might help alleviate the problem.

      You make some good points, and thanks for making them articulately and in a civil manner. I agree with your assessment on Chelsea’s personnel carousel…and the off-field matters.

      1. Lampard, who at least in the eyes of a West Ham supporter defined all that was wrong with CFC, is now the poster boy for the club. That wrong footed volley goal today was amazing. and so effortless.

    2. Patrick,
      I’m a Chelsea season ticket holder and go to all home games an a lot of away games.
      Believe me, Manure invented crowding the ref and still do it as much as The Blues do, if not more. They were buying Rio for £29m and Veron for £28m about three years before we even had any money. The whole ‘hate Chelsea’ situation is controlled by the media, it’s got nothing to do with truth or fairness.
      I was at the home game when Johnny Evans jumped with Drogba and quite deliberately studded him in the chest but he didn’t even get a yellow, Drogba got booked instead.
      It is a fact that most games and trophies we win, we win them in spite of the officials not because of them.

    3. patrick, did Chelsea crowd the refs more often than MU? Chelsea has stopped crowding the refs since Capello reprimanded Terry over a year ago and threatened to take away his England captaincy. And so you’re one of those described in this article launching a crusade against CFC?

  9. Brady S,

    The two-footed, open studs challenge WAS ON A BALL in open play and NOT ON ANOTHER PLAYER, you complete and utter mug! Desperate talk from an obvious Manure fan!

  10. Many of the sportswriters are either Liverpool or Manchester United supporters, so it’s to be expected. Forgot the link, but there’s a list out there somewhere with who they all support.

  11. Whether or not Kalou’s challenge was on the ball or not a two footed studs up lunge is dangerous play. Kalou should never have made a lunge like that and he should have been sent off. If Rooney, Lampard, Terry or Gerrard had been taken out of the WC by a similar lunge there would be bloody murder accross the front pages.

  12. Ryan,

    You need to lay off whatever you’ve been smoking?! Once again…

    Kalou’s CHALLENGE WAS NOT ON ANOTHER PLAYER!!! It was on a loose ball in open field. The fact that the keeper came across to try and make a save and didn’t make it has NO BEARING ON THE MATTER!!!

    Another truly pathetic post if ever I’ve seen one! Are you mates with Brady S?! Muppet!!!

  13. I actually agree with you. I am not even a Chelsea fan but I find it rather odd at how much I get the feeling that the media WANTS Chelsea to lose so United can win it.

    If United was leading and just barely, it would be article after article of how CLOSE United is to winning it….but instead they are constantly discussing how Chelsea is close to losing.

    Chelsea is leading for a reason….they have been the best team this season so far

  14. Sorensen spilled the ball and kalou made the play on the ball and ddn’t go through Sorensen to make the play so no foul much less a red card perhaps if some of the bloggers had ever played the sport they would understand why it wasn’t a foul.

  15. Gious, if the goal was open then fine, but the fact is Sorenson was there and attempting to make a save. It doesn’t matter whether he went for the ball or not, players are carded all the time for lunges when they get the ball first, Paul Scholes was carded for a two footed lunge a couple of weeks ago that didn’t make contact with either ball or player (and deservedly so). And if it had been Petr Cech who was now out for the season, you would not be saying the same thing.

  16. I don’t think the law is clear enough about two footed challenges, butt then again most of the laws aren’t clear, in truth outside the box these days any challenge that involves both feet, even if they get the ball is usually considered a free kick

    I’m in favour of having more challenges and more physicallity, but if you’re gonna preach that two footed challenges are wrong – then yeah Kalou’s goal shouldn’t of stood, he injured Sorensen after all.

    It is largely irrelevant though when Chelsea win 7-0 ha ha

  17. So the campaign by the evil media is bordering on insulting, is it? Well, two more wins and Chelsea and their supporters can console themselves with the EPL trophy. Dry your eyes…

  18. We get a hard time from the media, we should be used to it, I am, it will take a generation to get a fair shout from the British media, but you know what? Fxxk em
    Carefree, top of the league.

  19. Clubs get victories they don’t deserve because of blown calls all the time. That will always be the case and incompetence by officials knows no biases.

    Well said.

    Does that mean you’ll be shutting up about Platini and the Champions League refs…?

  20. I am a Liverpool fan and I dont think that the media likes us that much – otherwise 20 years without a league title – it should have “touched” their hearts by now! Check somewhere else for favoritism by the media, refs, etc. and I dont mean Chelsea – it’s easy actually, neither Chelsea or L’pool have a Sir for a coach! Remember: Man U – Tottenham fantasy penalty last year I think Rooney dived, Man U – Arsenal another fantasy penalty this year I think Rooney dived again! The unforgettable yellow card to Torres and sending-off of Mascherano because they dared to protest to the ref as Ferdinand was “butchering” Torres! The list is long my friends! So please Man-Uevres, s**t up at last!!!! I wish good luck to Chelsea even though opponents on Sunday but they are descent when they loose i.e. against Tottenham they didnt try to brain-wash us like Fergie & Co. do!

  21. I forgot the ridiculous claim of Fergie in the sending-off of Rafael against Bayern that the Bayern players “pushed” the ref to show 2nd yellow! Jesus Christ, get a life man! The man doesnt know how to loose! They might as well create a league only for them so they can always be champions! Seriously I think some people try to play with our intelligency. If there is one team that receives favoritism my dictionary translates: Man Utd. Once again, ManUevres s**t up please!!!!!!!!

  22. Yes, the media obviously sit in a room and all conspire against Chelsea before each and every match.

    All the people who comment here must all be like 12 years old(probably about 1 in brain age). Look hard enough in every Arsenal, Liverpool, United forum and I’m sure you will find a similar article.

    So yep, the media hate every club, wonder why they comment on football then? Grow up. Shows there’s something seriously wrong when paranoia and “they’re all after me” is what you’ve descended into.

  23. Chelsea fans have known for a long time that most officials do not play fair when it comes to Chelsea. Thankfully the two worse culprits of the last decade have since retired, Elleray and Poll, but others are ready and willing to step in and take their place, step forward Mr Dean. Sure officials get things wrong and they get things wrong for all sides at times but some managers use that ineptitude to play mind games in the press to put pressure on before games, you know who you are Fergie.

    We used to have one of those and I loved having him take on the Fergies and the Whingers, sorry Wenger’s, but he, sadly, is no longer with us and it is so hypocritical of the press and media to have a love in with Jose now when they continually pilloried him while he was taking on the red shirts.

    The media/press is full of Man U, Scouse lovers, Gooners and, surprisingly, West Ham supporters so it is no wonder we get a bad press because they would not kow what independent reporting is all about and don’t get me started on that Talks**te radio station in the UK.

  24. From all your comments and claims ,I come to a conclusion that you are Chelsea fans. You people always have the mentality that the press , FA, Referees are all against Chelsea which isn’t true.Most of the English media is based in London and they always lend their support to you.

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