Chelsea’s narrow win against Norwich City on Tuesday not only kept Frank Lampard’s hopes of guiding his side into the Champions League next season alive, but also proved what a fantastic bargain Olivier Giroud has proven to be.
It was his goal, the only one of the game, that gave Chelsea three crucial points in their quest for top flight European football.
A purchase from London rivals Arsenal during the 2018 January transfer window, the French World Cup winner has scored some crucial goals for the Stamford Bridge side since his arrival.
These include the first in Chelsea’s 2-0 FA Cup Semi-Final win against Southampton and also the first in the Europa League Cup Final in Baku last season against his former club, a goal that inspired an eventual 4-1 victory for The Blues.
Although Champions League qualification will be deemed the ‘priority’ by many, there are countless Chelsea supporters who’d be more than satisfied if a place in the European Cup was sacrificed in order that Chelsea again have their name again inscribed upon the FA Cup.
Sunday’s FA Cup Semi Final meeting against Manchester United will see Chelsea pit their wits against a rival team also vying for entry to the Champions League.
However, all thoughts of league positions will be forgotten at 6pm on Sunday evening when Chelsea kick-off against the Old Trafford side for the seventh time this century and for the fourth consecutive season.
Chelsea have confronted Manchester United three times in the final, losing 4-0 in 1994 but winning in both times in 2007 and 2018 by 1-0. There has only been one previous last four meeting, a game Chelsea lost 2-1 in 1996.
With the Chelsea manager seemingly unsure of his best line-up – especially those in the back four – I hope that it is Willy Caballero that is chosen to keep goal.
The Argentinian is the latest of a long line of second choice but top class Chelsea goalkeepers whose loyalty to the club is beyond question including the likes of Kevin Hitchcock and Carlo Cudicini.
A confident and level headed player, Caballero seems to retain the trust of those who play in front of him as well as much of the Chelsea support.
Mind you, what I’ve stated above is just my opinion. Unlike the countless social media ‘experts’ who ‘think’ they know what they are talking about and are simply worried about their own self aggrandisement, I will be happy with the choice of players that Frank Lampard selects.
Win or lose, Up Frank Lampard’s Blues!
About the Author
Londoner David Johnstone is a home, away and European away Chelsea supporter and has missed just six matches since 2001 (although he’s quick to state there are plenty of other supporters with better attendance records than him).
He has been involved with the fanzine scene at Chelsea since around 1991 and started the ‘cfcuk’ fanzine in 1999 which was, until Mr Abramovich bought the club in 2003, named ‘Matthew Harding’s Blue And White Army’.
David was also responsible for forming both the Chelsea Supporters’ Group and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust which are the main two bodies that represent the followers of Chelsea FC and take their concerns to those running the club.
A founder of the highly regarded Chelsea FanCast weekly podcast (but is no longer involved) and responsible for the crowd surfing banners and supporter displays that are seen in the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge on matchdays.
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