No, I am not going to drone on about Downton Abbey again. The best soap opera in the world is football. I am utterly addicted to the progress (or lack of it) of Chelsea Football Club. And not just the performances on the field. If David Luiz gets a haircut, it is big news in our household. Luiz you have to understand, does have the MOST amazing hair and also looks like a character from a Mantegna painting, but I digress.
In the Chelsea soap opera so far this year we have had: The great white hope manager, AVB, in some ways (nationality) reminiscent of the best manager the club ever had (Jose) and who even worked with Jose, a fact that elevated him to practically God-like status without doing anything else at all. Of course said manager turns out to be utterly useless, dragging the club through one of its worst periods ever. Then we have had the gorgeous striker who can’t score. Fernando Torres, bought for £50 milllion, making him the most expensive striker in the world, and unable to hit the back of the net. Another sub-plot has been the battle of the old guard; the backbone of the team, Lampard, Terry and Drogba, and their future. Are they too old? Too powerful? Clearly AVB thought so. But in the end, they see him off much to the delight of fans all over the world.
On the field we have three major plots; the premier league, the Champions League and the FA Cup. For the Premier League, the question now is whether or not (because we cannot win it) we will even finish in the top four, meaning we can play in the Champions League next season. If we don’t “make it to Europe” as they call it, we lose clout when it comes to keeping and attracting top players, not to mention a lot of money. One option is to win the Champions League this year, which automatically qualifies us. But we have not even got to the semi-final yet (key game tomorrow) and if we do, we may face Barcelona. The FA Cup is the third plot-line. We face Tottenham (London arch rivals) in the semi-final. We have already booked our tickets to London in case we get to the final. That is one episode we need to see live.
The last episode was a joy to watch. We beat Aston Villa 4-2 and Torres ended a 24-hour Premier League goal drought by scoring. It was poetry. And incredibly dramatic. We were leading 2-0 before they equalised, then we scored twice in the last 15 minutes of the game. Tomorrow night we face Benfica in the quarter finals of the Champions League. We beat them 1-0 in the first leg so expectations are high.Then it’s the FA Cup semi-final.
There is no soap opera in the world that gives you the same levels of misery, joy, elation and frustration as following a football team does. The cast is a little bereft of female characters and there is little or no love interest (unless Ashley Cole gets back together with Cheryl), but you can’t have it all.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2012