Holding the trophy aloft couldn't happen to a nicer, ah screw it, I can't finish that sentence. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
Since we generally tend to cover the fantasy aspect of the beautiful game, it isn't too often we delve into the world of live reports. How exactly do you even report live on fantasy events? Be that as it may, it turns out that (at least) one of our faithful readers and chatters, Josh Holman, was in Bavaria for the Champions League Final between his beloved Chelsea and Bayern Munich. In an effort to provide a sense of the experience to those amongst us (myself included) who have never been to a Champions League Final, I asked Josh if he would be so good as to write up some observations on his experience.
I also asked him to go light on the grief aimed at Nik, I'm sure he's miserable enough at both Spurs' fate and the way Bayern conspired to throw away a match they had the better of to leave Spurs in that place.
With that, you can click below the jump for Josh's much-appreciated observations on the match broken down bullet point style:1) Bayern fans were amazing. The city itself put on an incredible spectacle and the Bayern fans were everywhere, and very respectful of the Chelsea fans (maybe this was their cockiness). I found myself on the tube after the match with a train full of Bayern fans and not a single one was insulting or rude - much respect.
2) Chelsea fans were ... Chelsea fans. I must admit I started liking Chelsea due to a friend about 10 years ago without having ever lived in London. I do wonder if I witnessed their behaviour earlier if I would have picked someone else. With that said, they showed their passion - even with the massive Chelsea shields tattoo'd to the back of their heads. [Editor's Note: I wish there were a photo of that to share]
3) Referee. How nice is it that nobody at all in the media is talking about the referee after the match? This of course also comes down to both teams playing a fair game, but after Ovebro, Webb (WC Final), etc, I was pleased there were no controversies.
4) Fate. I hate cliche sayings/beliefs, but it just felt like it was Chelsea's year. After Napoli comeback, Barca hitting the post and missing penalties, and Bayern missing endless chances/another penalty ... it just felt like it was finally Chelsea's year.
5) Neuer. What a cocky SOB. Much respect that he stepped and clinically took a penalty, but his antics before each Chelsea stop (throwing the ball out, refusing to go to his line, hanging from the bar) were too much, and a bit of justice was done in the end for all that.
6) RDM. It's ironic that Mourinho left the club due to not playing attractive enough football for Abramovich and then RDM wins the CL Final after parking the bus against Benfica, Barca, and then Bayern. Regardless of the outcome, he has won himself Champions League and FA Cup trophies and will certainly land an attractive post whether it is at Chelsea or elsewhere.
7) Chelsea 2012/13. This win sets the stage for a transformation at the club. It would have been devastating for Chelsea's chances to rebuild if they missed the Champions League for next season. Now, with their place next season secure, they will be able to attract players like Eden Hazard and/or Luka Modric [Editor's Note: I can feel Nik screaming to the heavens as he reads this]. The veteran players can begin to step back having accomplished their goal, and some new impactful signings coupled with the youthful Ramires, Mata, Marin, Sturridge, Torres, etc will create an exciting year for Chelsea. Expectations should be realistic, but I'm confident in getting back into the top 4.