Date:Wednesday September 13 2006
Upon William Gallas' arrival at Ashburton Grove, the French defender said he was looking forward to being cheered on by 'the best set of fans in the country.
Ok, so maybe he was just trying to win over the ever present Gooners by saying all the right things, but the blue bunch over there at 'Vital Chelsea Towers' (honestly how annoying is that?) dared to question the standard of our support by suggesting, and I quote 'he`s seriously having a giraffe!'
Now last night I sat bored with nothing much better to do, so I decided to watch the Chelsea game. So imagine my surprise when I switched on the ol' goggle box at ten past eight to find plenty of empty seats in the ground. 'Surely the kick off hasn't been delayed' I thought to myself, and imagine how I laughed when I realised it hadn't.
This team are the, and I use the term loosely, the top team in England and they can't even sell out the first Champions League game of the season.
The lack of attendee's wasn't the only thing that caught my eye last night either. The thought crossed my mind that even though the crowd was a small one, the Chelsea faithful still seemed to be in good voice, I couldn't quite understand what they were singing, but loud nonetheless, that was until I realised all the noise was coming from the Bremen fans when Ballack was felled and up went the jeers. Only when Essien scored the opener did I hear anything more than a small round of applause. They were embarrassingly out sung.
Indeed the Chelsea fans were so quiet, when Ballack took the penalty (I didn't have full view of the TV at the time) I honest to god, swear on my mothers life, thought he had missed.
Ok, so Highbury was not the loudest stadium in the world, but since the move to AG, the noise level has improved ten fold, and Carling Cup aside, we have ALWAYS sold out our matches.
Indeed the Chelsea members of the vital network have hinted that should our 'poor run' continue, we too will have a few empty seats in the ground. To me however this seems unlikely seen as we have recently 'sold out' a CL qualifier in which we were already 3-0 up, and league games against Watford and Sheffield United without it even going on general sale.
In the extremely unlikely event that for some reason or other we had 7000 empty seats at our new home because of a poor run of form, that would still be a whopping 23,000 more than the Champions of England managed to muster up when they are in the best form of their life.
Hypocritical is putting it politely, I believe the word embarrassment is a more apt description.
Date:Wednesday September 13 2006
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