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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Official Chelsea FC News - John Terry Letter To Chelsea Fans And Others

Sun, 25th May 2008

John Terry has written an open letter to Chelsea fans following the Champions League Final.
The Chelsea captain wrote:
'To all the Chelsea fans, all my team-mates, the manager and staff at the club.
I am so sorry for missing the penalty and denying you the fans, my team-mates, family and friends the chance to become European champions.
Many people have told me I don't need to say that but I feel I need to, that's just me. I have relived that moment every minute since it happened. I have only slept a few hours and wake up every time hoping it's all been a bad dream.

Many people have told me I don't need to say that but I feel I need to, that's just me. I have relived that moment every minute since it happened. I have only slept a few hours and wake up every time hoping it's all been a bad dream.
I have had some amazing support from fans, current and ex-players, family and friends and I need to thank everyone for that. But I am a big man and I take responsibility for us not winning.
I am and ALWAYS will be Chelsea through and through. I will give my all on and off the pitch to win this trophy as a player and one day as a manager. And I am sure we will win it.

That night in Moscow will haunt me forever and I feel I have let everybody down and this hurts me more than anything. I am not ashamed about crying. This is a trophy I have tried so hard year after year to win and it was just an uncontrollable reaction, I wear my heart on my sleeve, everybody knows that.
The road to Rome starts here, we have to try and turn this experience to our advantage. I am very proud of how far we have come this season with everything that has gone on.
Thank you for all your support for the team this season.'

24th May 2008

In a summary of the second Champions League Final since he took charge of the European governing body, Uefa President Michel Platini (pictured left) has spoken highly of the fans who attended the game and of John Terry.
In his thoughts, published on, the former France international legend proclaimed the Moscow match a triumph, adding:
'My thanks to all those who contributed to this success, be they from the sporting authorities, the political authorities or at any other level, however modest.
'Thank you to the supporters, whose conduct was exemplary. And congratulations to the winners. At the same time, I would wish for their disappointed opponents to one day know the indescribable pleasure of brandishing the trophy.

'Now our focus turns to Euro 2008,' Platini continued, 'in the hope that the tournament will also be a great football festival, with winners as delighted as the forever-young Ryan Giggs, and losers who behave with the dignity of Chelsea's captain John Terry.'

Sat, 24th May 2008
Everybody at Chelsea Football Club wants to thanks our supporters for their incredible support in Moscow. We know the sacrifices many people made to be there and we all truly appreciate that. The behaviour of Chelsea FC fans in almost every case was exemplary and you were a credit to the club.
We also know that some of you endured a difficult journey either to Moscow or returning. In some cases there were some significant delays especially coming home. Firstly we would like to apologise for those. In nearly all cases these were outside of the control of the club or our official travel partner Thomas Cook. Nevertheless we will be looking into those issues that caused the delays and any lessons that can be learned for future trips.

Fri, 23rd May 2008
Frank Lampard, the first Chelsea player to score in a Champions League Final, believes that the better side lost out in Moscow on Wednesday evening, but is adamant that the Blues will return stronger for the experience.
The midfielder calmly slotted home our equaliser on the stroke of half-time in the Luzhniki Stadium after Cristiano Ronaldo had given Manchester United the lead, and then converted his penalty in the shootout, only to see team-mates John Terry and Nicolas Anelka miss.
Lampard freely admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow, but backed his team-mates to recover from the disappointment.
'It's a small, small detail that loses you the game. No one can deny that after 30 minutes of the game we completely dominated,' he began.

'The best team didn't win, but let's take nothing away from Man United, they are a fantastic team and they've gone and won the Champions League, but it's very hard to take when it happens like that.'
Playing just weeks after the death of his mother Pat, Lampard was able to put the defeat into context, but was full of sympathy for his team-mates.
'I feel very emotionally drained, it's been very tough in the last couple of weeks trying to prepare for the biggest game in my life, but it's almost become not that important with things personally, I'm just disappointed for my team-mates,' he said.
'They have been fantastic to me. Everyone saw what they did for me in the Manchester United league game and I'm very fortunate to have them and I wanted to be part of a winning Champions League team but it's not to be.

'I think we dominated the game, credit to Man United, they took control of the first half an hour of the game and could have gone more than 1-0 up, but once we woke up and got playing, I don't know how many shots we had, hit the bar, hit the post, and were in the driving seat for penalties.'
Terry had the chance to seal victory for the Blues, but at the crucial moment lost his footing, and saw his spot kick clip the outside of the post and bounce clear. Having missed in a shootout while playing for England in the World Cup two years ago, Lampard could empathise with how his captain and close friend was feeling.
'John is Mr Chelsea, he is Chelsea through and through and wants this more than anyone. I just want to say that not many centre-halves will stand up and take penalties, and that's testament to his character as a man.
'At the end of the day it's a game of football - we'll be back.'

Fri, 23rd May 2008

Chelsea duty for Frank Lampard may be over for another season but the vice-captain has explained international action must end before he can turn his attention to contract negotiations.
Both Chelsea Football Club and Lampard (whose Champions League Final strike took him past the 20-goal mark for the third season running) have long made it clear talks would take place only after the football was over - and that includes England's friendlies against the United States on 28 May and Trinidad and Tobago on 1 June.
'My contract has obviously been the last thing on my mind in the last six weeks,' Lampard said after Wednesday night's Final, 'but I'll sit down and talk after the England games

'I hope we can come to a conclusion. I'm pretty confident we can. I've said that many times before.'

Mon, 26th May 2008

The Champions League Final between Chelsea and Manchester United was watched in the United Kingdom by over half of all TV viewers tuned in at the time.
According to figures supplied by Uefa, ITV1's coverage of the all-English encounter from first whistle to the conclusion of the penalty shoot-out attracted an audience of 11.1 million viewers, a market share of 46 per cent.
The coverage on Sky Sports 1 generated an audience of 1.8 million viewers, a further 7.4 per cent share of TV viewers across the UK at the time, giving a 53.7 per cent total.
Across Europe there were other impressive figures with over 7 million viewers in each of France, Germany and Italy; 6 million in Spain and 2.2 million in the Netherlands - giving market shares ranging between 28 and 39 per cent.

Worldwide viewing figures are yet to be calculated but it is thought they may top last year's approximation of 300 million.

Tue, 27th May 2008
Pat Nevin : IF Anyone Can Cope It Is Terry

With another season behind us, and one that almost brought the biggest trophy in the club's history, Pat Nevin takes a professional look at Moscow's outcome and what a certain kick will mean to our captain.
So another quiet season for Chelsea Football Club slips almost unnoticed into the annals of history…or maybe not.
You can paint this one any way you like, two cup finals and just missing out on the league championship on the last day or a trophy count at precisely zero.
Of course we were just one penalty kick away from the best season in the club's history, the width of a post from glory or a small slip from sensation.

The disappointment was huge at that moment but there is little to be gained from dwelling on it, though JT may find that difficult during the close season.
In a perverse way it is maybe best that it was the skipper who missed that chance as opposed to anyone else. That sort of thing can destroy a lesser mortal, it can certainly taint an entire career, but if anyone can cope with the devastation it is Terry.
In Britain certain players are remembered for penalty misses even if they had fantastic careers.
I watched Chris Waddle having many fantastic games and what a skilful player, but ask most of his countrymen to sum up his career in a sentence and it will revolve around a missed penalty in a World Cup semi final for England.

Scotland fans still hark back to a Gary McAllister penalty in 1996 against the 'auld enemy' and he was adored beforehand.
Certainly Stuart Pearce showed that you can get over it, but he had redemption from scoring in another penalty shoot out a while after he had missed a vital one for England.
I hope John gets the chance to have another go and one thing I am pretty certain of is that he will be brave enough to step up again to take the responsibility. He is a leader, he is brave and he would be first to take the hit for a team mate less capable of stepping forward.
In the end it was an incredible night in Moscow and it was great to see so many true Chelsea fans present considering how hard it was to get there for most.

The reaction at the end was impressive too. I sensed general disappointment of course, the word 'gutted' just didn't cover it, but there was also pride. Pride in how far the team had come and in particular how well they had played on the night after surviving the first half onslaught from United.
Nothing is ever simple in football however and what would normally be seen as the start of something special having been a hairs breadth from the top trophy, looks to be the end of another phase, with a new manager arriving over the summer.
I know who I would like to see next in the hot seat but the decision will be made soon enough by the board and speculation is pretty pointless here from me.

What I will say is that Avram Grant certainly rose in the estimations of many of the fans during his eight-month tenure, maybe not difficult because he was a long way from the preferred option when José left.
In my opinion the Israeli can hold his head high after remaining dignified throughout what was a very testing period and let's be honest he had a fairly tough act to follow.
There aren't many more as pressured jobs in the world's game and, as was mentioned above, he came extraordinarily close to winning us the one we all wanted.
As it is the club are on the lookout for a truly world-class coach and maybe even one or two players to bolster the squad. I just hope that this season, which was still amazing relative to the club's history, isn't looked upon for years as the best chance we had.

I want another league title, I want to go to another Chelsea Champions League Final and more than anything else I want John Terry to score the winner before going up to collect the silverware.
And by the way John, the letter on the club website was great, but you didn't need to apologise to a single Chelsea fan, we know what the fans and the club owe you for your efforts over the years.
Last weeks competition asked which current Chelsea player once played for FC Chemnitz. It was of course Michael Ballack in his younger days and the winner picked at random by a little girl who bravely choked back the tears after the final whistle in Moscow was Buz Hannon from Tulsa USA

I am off for a break now but hope to talk to you again next season. Thank you all for reading my inane nonsense, joining in the silly quizzes and most importantly for following the best team there is.