I was then off on one. I was seething with indignation, moral outrage and just could not grasp the ignorance involved in such a statement. How dare Mourinho come up with such tripe?! Who the hell does he think he is? Does he not know our history? That we have 9 titles to his nouveaux riche club’s 5?!
The internal guy running my blood pressure must have been woken from his slumber by the heart attack siren and wondering "What the fuck! He was only reading a newspaper article"The wife thought the credit card bill had been delivered early.
I remember feeling the same when the Spanish Waiter had used it. I was probably even worse that time.
When I had calmed down (a sedative injection and restraints did their job) I decided to look at this recurring jibe as dispassionately and unbiasedly as I could muster. And when I did ... I now, very sadly, actually believe it isn’t a million miles from being the truth.
Okay, not ‘small’ club... just, in Sky parlance, a ‘smaller’ club... than Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and you know who. A leading member of the second tier clubs, but nevertheless, smaller than the leading pack. (Trophies, revenue streams, fan base, etc, etc).
But weren’t we once the Merseyside Millionaire’s? Poaching other people’s home grown talent with our big chequebook funded by Mr Moores. Setting transfer records. We were the Man City and Chelsea of another era. We lived by the sword – now we’re dying by it. Except it’s death by a thousand slow cuts – and it’s bloody painful.
What goes around comes around. (Perhaps it might come around again...) I used to think of us in terms of a sleeping giant. Comatose is now probably more accurate. Perhaps the footballing gods have written ‘Do not Resuscitate’ on the wall chart and we just can’t see it.
I grew up with us being a big hitter. I enjoyed the 1980s thoroughly. But am I still living off this inflated ego almost 30 years on? What do kids think that never knew that period? Probably – ‘smaller club’.
So, could I blame Stones if he did want to go? Joining the Champions; a team who could challenge for the Champions League crown and every other trophy in between; with a successful manager who wants him at his club; a higher profile for him and his England chances; the draw of London; etc.
No. In reality, I couldn’t blame him. The only reason Barkley is still probably with us is that his form has never matched his promise (so far). Do you think Rooney regrets his decision?
Size certainly does matter. In the annals of history we are bigger than Chelsea. 100%. Try telling that to a kid about to choose their team nowadays.
Regretfully the only way we can reverse the trend is by getting our own Sugar Daddy. A sad reflection on the modern game and a route I hoped we’d never go down.
I love our club – our history, integrity, pride, tradition, emotion and honour. To sell out all that to a sheikh or oligarch? I used to say ‘No way Jose’. But now I’m so, so tired of being an also-ran. Of only hoping rather than believing we can win things.
It’s time to do one, Blue Bill. Mr Billionaire – come on down. Show me the money. It’s time we were a genuinely Big Club again. It’s time for me to look down on the Chelsea fans of this world. It is time to restore the natural order.