London: Roman Abramovich might be the happiest person at Chelsea at the moment. Ever since he bought the club in June 2003, the Russian billionaire had only one dream, to win Europe’s premier competition. In his quest to conquer Europe, he has dismissed 6 managers, invested a huge sum, brought in world class players and tried everything any owner would do for his team but every time the opportunity to win “slipped” from their hands. Now the Blues have a realistic chance of winning the Champions League and allowing their owner to “rest in peace.”
Chelsea have defied all expectations this season. They have the chance to become more successful than newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City. The Laws of Physics weren’t in Chelsea’s favour when Papiss Cisse scored a marvelous goal and “relegated” them out of Europe`s elite club competition but they do have a chance to make up for it which is by beating Bayern Munich on Saturday at the Allianz Arena.
For the Pensioners, this maybe the best opportunity to win the competition given that their golden generation of players may not have another go at it. A few ageing players and some with their future being up in the air, the scenario isn`t the rosiest at Stamford Bridge. Top pundits have predicted a lot of summer activity at the London club which will see them get into a transitional phase. We know what happens to a club’s form when in flux.
Look at Liverpool, they have been missing out on Europe since 3 years now and they are set to stretch it to next season as well. By the time Chelsea get their new acquisitions, find their right combination before their gel together, it would take considerable time which does not bode well for their European ambitions.
Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, John Terry, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech remain from the 2008 squad that featured in Moscow. Why does everyone remember the Treble winning team of United, the Galacticos of Real Madrid and the technically gifted players of Barcelona? It is because these players are a part of the Golden generation of these clubs. They earned the “World Class” tag because they won the Europe elite tournament.
If the Golden generation of Chelsea players want to be seen at par with the Greats, they need to win the final and eliminate criticism. These players have a final chance at redemption because it took Chelsea four years just to reach their second final. The probability remaining same, most of the current squad would be nearing retirement by the next time they make it to a final. Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard will have only this final as the only chance to win it. They need to send off some other their top players on a high note. Even if Chelsea manage to win this year and return to the final next year, the “Winner’s Curse” would strike.
Chelsea have to pounce on this opportunity to jump over the threshold and become one of the few clubs which have managed to win Europe’s ultimate prize. It is a big chance for them to re-write their club history and possibly change the course of it. It is time for the Blues to realise their potential and ensure that they do not fail at Europe’s highest level of competition again.
On a lighter note, if the match goes onto penalties, things are in Chelsea’s favour as John Terry isn’t playing this time around. The forecast says that there’s going to be no rain either so the Blues will have ideal conditions to play. The final chance to win the final, will Chelsea’s ageing stars make it count before they fade away?