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About WashingtonBlue

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  1. Salomon Kalou

    I knew it wouldn't take you long to respond, Droy...and to me in particular. You never dissapoint. As predictable as rain in Northumberland. You've had an irrational need to denigrate Kalou and lock horns with me about everything for years. Move on! He's gone and I can barely tolerate this forum because of self-important, pseudo-intellectual Jeremy Clarkson/Simon Cowell-esque morons like you. Try a new idiom. Say something positive about a Chelsea player. Enjoy our club's success with actual...dare I use the word...joy. Get out of the house. Pick up a hobby. Smile at a passing child. Kiss a girl (or a guy, nothing wrong with that). Enjoy a sunset. But stop being Droy.
  2. Salomon Kalou

    Farewell and thanks for being a great servant to the club. 26th leading scorer in our 107-year history. Not too shabby. And many of those goals were absolutely vital. So many "fans" didn't rate him, but every Chelsea manager called on him time and time again.
  3. Didier Drogba

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/may/21/didier-Drogba-quit-chelsea-shanghai If true, very sad, but also very classy. A fairy tale ending to a legendary Chelsea career. He finishes at the absolute pinacle of club football and Chelsea history to depart for a new adventure. Fair play to him that he does not want to sit the bench and he apparently realizes its in the best interest of the club to move on to younger players and for him not to get in the way of that. In the end, he did what was best for him and what was best for the club. And as I said in the post-match thread, let's not forget that this is a man with a lot of important interests and pursuits outside of football. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1169762/index.htm Could honestly see him being President of the Ivory Coast someday and/or a special UN ambassador for a host of African causes. I suspect we will be hearing a lot about Didier Drogba long after his playing days are over. Frank Sinatra singing "My Way" comes to mind. Gone but never forgotten. Let's see that statue.
  4. Non Chelsea: International Football

    As a "neutral" observer who follows England closely because his favorite (and least favorite) club players are often in the mix, isn't ANY manager doomed to "failure" -- meaning out in the quarterfinals in any major competition -- with the current crop of "senior" Premiership players still (apparently)) dominating things? The "golden generation" has been a total disaster on and off the pitch and I don't think they are "coachable" by any part-time manager regardless of pedigree. Rooney is little more than a petulant thug at this point, much more talented but only slightly more in control of his emotions than Joey Barton and Stephen Cnut. Gerrard, JT, Rio, Ash, Lamps are all multi-millionaires who have been told for nearly a decade now that they are best the players in the world. They will no doubt think -- as Liverpool fans thought and I'm sure many England fans will think -- that Hodgson is a nice old man but never managed successfully at the clubs and level at which they played successfully. They will probably not listen to anything that doesn't sound right to them. Surely England must do some version of what Germany did. Scratch the elders almost completely and try to build anew from youth. The goldens have had their chance and no gold resulted. The next generation can't do much worse. And whats the difference really between exiting in the group stage and exiting in the quarters? Anything short of a final is -- and rightfully so -- underperformance for England.
  5. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    Although I only became a fan by chance while working in London during that period in the mid-90s, am not English and do feel there is more paranoia from the "NO" crowd than I am comfortable with, I can't believe how poorly this situation was handled by Chelsea managment. Even if you come from a different country and a different sports culture, if you are a thoughtful individual who has truly listened to English/British fans and had any clue about the history behind the CPO, you would have to know that this was going to be the biggest most contentious issue since Roman's arrival (if not beyond). You would know -- even if there was absolutely no truth to them -- that there would be rampant conspiracy theories, rumors and allegations of bad faith among your core fan base that would have to be dealt with delicately. You would know that there would be an even bigger group that would be sensible about the Club needing to consider moving on, but would nontheless be concerned about the process, the lack of transparency, the fear of losing a way to exert influence over the club and preserve it, etc. and that they would have to be dealt with thoughtfully and professionally. I "trust" the Board and Roman to do what is in the best interests of the Club, but the Board's approach up to now has been an own goal.
  6. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    I think it is fair comment that most American Chelsea fans -- certainly the ones I know -- understand the importance of Stamford Bridge on an intellectual level only. You can get them closer to understanding with an analogy to an American team that has a relationship with a stadium of similar age -- like the Boston Red Sox with Fenway Park -- but even then, most American fans will not understand the notion of being so tied to the stadium that the team sacrifices its competitiveness and/or financial growth prospects to stay. Indeed, the whole model of the Premiership -- where you basically have to be Manchester United or a team blessed with a billionaire owner to seriously challenge for the title -- is foreign to American sports fans, who are used to "fair play" models (for want of a better term) that have been in place in American sports for decades: a "draft" system that gives the worst finishing teams first selection of the best young talent each year, revenue sharing (TV and merchandising) so the small market clubs have more of a fighting chance, salary caps to prevent big market teams from spending the others into oblivion in the free agent market, etc. One US Blue I know asked me "why does a Bolton fan get up in the morning when he knows with absolute certainty his team is going to play ugly and has no hope of being champion -- ever?" The answer is obvious to anyone who has followed the sport deeply: because it is not about winning titles for a great many English "soccer" fans, particularly those over a certain age -- its about community, geography, cheering on your club in individual matches with your mates, being in the pubs near the ground, etc. I get it even if I can't completely share it because of where I live. . But here is the rub: our owner is more like the legions of younger and "foreign" Chelsea fans -- he can respect Stamford Bridge and acknowledge how big a deal it is to move, but being the Bolton of West London holds no appeal and we seem to be heading inexorably in that direction with FFP rules unless we significantly raise revenue. I believe the club has horribly mismanaged this situation, btw, and grossly underestimated the reaction of the fans. I'm American and have "only" been supporting the club for 17 years, but if they had asked me I would have told them this is a hugely emotional issue, that there has to be a lot more transparency, Bruce Buck buying shares has an appearance of impropriety that would drive fans nuts, etc. These guys seem smart in a lot of ways but PR is not one of them.
  7. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    Thoughtful approach. Use an initial "NO" vote to extract more transparency and assurances about a potential move if you can, but the issues posed to the club from FFP simply can't be ignored or kicked down the road forever.
  8. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    QueSera, believe me, I know from long experience what such fans think about a fan like me. Problem is, CFC cannot be the club Its owner wants it to be with a fan base limited to a few neighborhoods in West London. That ship sailed long ago, even before Roman arrived. Why not just find a way to be a "hard core" that has such connections to "the Club" (its really not a "Club" anymore, but I digress) and enjoy the silverware and success generated by billionaire owners, plastics, prawn-eaters, JCLs, tourists and Johnny Foreingers, all the while looking down on all of us from the "remember when" terrace heights? Viewed from that perspective, you are the ones using Roman and all of us, not the other way around. Genius.
  9. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    MHL G13 "If that means a drop in standard on the pitch then so be it. Personally I couldn't care less if we are not competing with the "cream of Europe" anymore. If we move then I won't be renewing my season ticket. Loyalty works both ways!" The passion of English football fans is something I greatly admire. It is what caused me to become a fan in the early 90s when an English client took me to the Bridge for the first time; the team totally sucked and lost 3-1 but the fans were amazing. But with respect, I find this point of view a bit perplexing. It is interesthing, though, because It puts in sharp relief the questions "what is your purpose in supporting a professional sports club" and "what should the club's primary objective be to make you happy." I would have thought the answer to the later question would be "win consistently at the highest level in the sport." But that does not seem to be the case for a significant portion of the fans in this thread who make comments like -- "don't move...I don't care if it means we go mid-table" --- which makes me wonder what the answer to the first question is for some fans. Honestly, serious doctoral thesis material. Back to top
  10. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    I think this is actually a pretty good thread. I've learned a lot about different fans' viewpoints from the more thoughtful posts, even the more emotional ones. It's a good antidote to the match day forum. Re: whether we would fill a proposed 60,000 seat stadium, it seems to me -- purely from how difficult it has been for me to get SB tickets while visiting London -- that we would certainly sell out most EPL games, most CL games against other big clubs and later cup matches. Also, as someone else pointed out, the naming rights -- and yes, they are inevitable -- woud be a huge additional revenue source (our players and fans already wear advertisements on their chests; naming a stadium seems like a minor nod to capitalism by comparison). And if we were at 60,000 I imagine we could bid to host neutral events our size prohibits us from getting, generating more revenue for the club. Also, I would imagine any new stadium would have various levels of premium seating -- do they do luxury skyboxes in England? -- that generate revenue all out of proportion to the space they actually take up in the design. New NFL stadiums actually tend to have the same or even slightly fewer seats but more than make up the revenue through premium seating and boxes. Another thing that has not been mentioned concerning attendance is the "novelty effect" of a new stadium. Given how hostile some people are to the move, I question whether it would boost us significantly, but economic studies in the US show a persistent, fairly strong novelty effect of simply having a new, state of the art stadium with a better "game day experience." Yes, I know, all this means more "corporate," wealthy family and "tourist" fans -- but it all seems inevitable and necessary if we are to have success in the future.
  11. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    No offense taken. When I wrote of "trust" I didn't mean the trust you have for a family member or a close friend -- that you trust them not to screw you over while acting in their own self interest. I certainly don't trust Roman, Buck or any stranger that way, let alone a wealthy businessman. My comment was far more narrow: what reason do we have to believe that the statements of our management are not true statements of their intentions. I absolutely expect Roman to act in his own self interest. The evidence to date -- and he has owned the club for a while now -- is that how he defines that self interest with respect to the club is inarguably beneficial to the club. Literally 100s of millions on new players, first class training facilities, more silverware than we have ever had, etc., etc. Why does anyone believe that with respect to the stadium issue he will suddenly become a Dickensian figure and do something that profits him personally (somehow -- the conspiracy theories are even more vague than the statements from the club) and leaves Chelsea worse off? As for why they are not even more transparent than they are being -- reading some of the comments on this board and others, I don't blame them to a degree. Some peoples thoughts on these issues are not altogether rational. Like people who say "It's my club, Stamford Bridge is its home and if it means struggling to be midtable or face relegation, so be it. We were happier in the old second division, and I was there when Clive Walker hit that goal against Bolton in '83 and never had a prouder moment as a fan." Just can't fathom that point of view. Nothing personal, Jez or anyone else. :)
  12. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    With respect, what reason does anyone have to distrust it? It makes perfect sense that no developer would go beyond first base with the club on what would certainly end up being a $1 billion+ deal with the CPO impediment in place. Honestly, how many billions does Roman have to sink into our beloved but -- let's face it -- previously underachieving club for some fans to trust him that he has the best interest of the club at heart? Have you seen Cobham? Do you remember what a hole in the ground Harlington was? I say Cobham is the best evidence of Roman's intentions for the club and what he will do in the next big building project. On that basis, why would we not have every reason to believe that (a) Roman does intend to build and move to a new stadium with the CPO impediment removed and (b) the new stadium will be a brilliant monument to football, the club and Roman the man (if you want to be cynical). Also -- and I'm honestly trying to understand, not take a p*ss and this isn't directed at you in particular -- why architecturally is a "bowl" designed stadium considered "soulless" and inferior to a collection of straight stands loosely connected by right angles? The later configuration was probably only popular because its cheaper (new stands could be built serially instead of all at once) and early 20th century technology made it louder acoustically and easier to enclose. Most of the big club stadiums in Europe -- not just the Emirates -- are "bowls" if you mean generally round instead of generally square like Stamford Bridge (round is probably more efficient for more seats with good sight lines on the same footprint). The Nou Camp, the Bernebeau, Wembley, the Emirates and Liverpool's proposed stadium at Stanley Park are all beautiful IMHO. The Emirates problem isn't the architecture, its Arsenal's plastic fans who were never loud at the tiny Library. The Bridge's square architecture, not to denigrate the old girl, is not its strongest feature.
  13. CFC Offer To Buy Back CPO Shares. Stadium Move On The Cards?

    Well said. I can't imagine what more Roman could do to convince Chelsea fans of his commitment and interest. Again, I am a (longtime) overseas fan who doesn't live in the community, so I don't have the local perspective, but I simply cannot understand the fans who say they would rather stay at the Bridge and if that means being unable to afford quality players and becoming mid-table again or worse "so be it." I know the word "club" in CFC means "club" to a lot of fans --- an almost tribal place to which you belong and in which you have an ownership interest -- but it is just not reality and has not been for some time. CFC is a professional sports team. No success in its sport is possible without absurd amounts of money. With the new fair play rules we MUST increase revenue if we are to stay competitive and our owner is, in any event, perfectly within his rights -- both legally and I would say ethically -- to insist on the business being breakeven or better. It is also ironic to me that whenever there is a perception that the board has not spent enough in a particular transfer window to bring in the latest overpriced transfer target they are accused of "lacking ambition" and yet a plan to expand our ground capacity to fund such transfers and player salaries is derided. Stamford Bridge, much as we all love it -- and yes, I've been there many times -- is inconsistent with the club's "ambitions."
  14. Rip Amy Winehouse

    Interesting mention of Winehouse in this Guardian interview with the legendary Tony Bennett, someone who has literally seen it all, including his own drug addiction in the 60s and 70s. Its poignant reading that he respected her talent -- for Bennett to say that someone so young is a natural jazz singer is an amazing compliment -- but saw enough of her demons in a brief time working together that he was concerned for her welfare. Wonder if the conversation he mentions wanting to have with her before her death could have made any difference. http://www.guardian....w-amy-winehouse
  15. Official: Torres Makes Milan Move Permanent

    Meaning no disrespect to the country of my ancestors as a whole (it produced Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer and Dickens for starters) -- but the British sports press is just not worth reading 90% of the time. It generally is tabloid journalism designed solely to create fodder for arguments between knuckledragging blokes at the club, wind people up or report wholly unsupported rumors based on fact. You would find as much truth and cogent analysis reading about Paris Hilton's latest "relationship" or whether Justin Timberlake is as cool as he seems or the likely cut of Kate Middleton's dress. Pay it no mind.