So, it has been a while since I updated…it’s been quite hectic in life the past few weeks. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been keeping up with the beautiful game, especially the EPL. First off, congrats to Manchester United on winning the title. They played well this year and it is truly deserved. Since the season is over, it is time for me to make a decision on the EPL team that I will be supporting next season. It was definitely a close call between a couple of teams, but in the end, I let my heart and my gut do the choosing. I think it’s a good one. First, a recap of the teams in the mix:
After looking at the team’s histories again and comparing the success of the clubs and what I liked and disliked about each, I crossed off Everton, Arsenal and Man U from my list. That left Newcastle, Fulham, Chelsea and Man City. Then, I looked at play. Newcastle being relegated did not cross them off my list, as I had eliminated them from consideration before the final weekend. Their fans are very passionate and they have a rich history in the top flight of English football. Yet, their players played as if they were resigned to making the drop. With about 6 weeks left in the season, when they desperately needed to step up and make some plays to keep their position in the Premiership, they phoned it in. Even on the last day, with Hull’s loss they needed just 1 goal to stay up and send Hull City back to the Championship. They scored…into their own net. That own goal by Duff sent Newcastle packing for life in the 2nd tier next season. It was the players that eliminated Newcastle…lack of heart when they needed it the most.
So now I had 3 teams on my list: Fulham, Chelsea and Man City. I liked everything about these teams, liked their rich past, their wonderful future…but like I said, in the end it came down to my gut and my heart. I like a ton of players on each team, and with Man City’s owners deciding to spend whatever it takes to make them a top-4 squad next year, their future is very bright. However, I have made my decision and I am quite at peace with it. My EPL team is:
In the end, my great friend, a lifelong Chelsea fan, put me on to the team that I liked the most. Following the Blues is something that I feel at home with, and the games I saw with Chelsea were very exciting, win or lose. I found myself, in a similar way that I do with my all-time favorite Real Madrid, riding the wave of excitement and heartbreak with every game. But, come next season, I will be fully following Chelsea Football Club as they try to reclaim the Barclay’s Premiership title.
In the next few weeks, I hope to buy a Chelsea jersey with one of my favorite players in all of English football, Frank Lampard. If I buy a second one ( c’mon you know me), skipper John Terry will get the nod. And I look forward to seeing Chelsea for the first time in person July 24th at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as they play a preseason tournament game against AC Milan. Come on you Blues!