A Season of Thank You's
As sports fans, we are a different breed of people. For us, life often revolves around one thing, and that is our club. We dedicate ourselves to the club, supporting them, cheering them, occasionally criticizing them, and so on. But most of all, we feel like a part of them. The success of the club is our success, the failure of the club is our failure. Although many of us will never have the opportunity to meet the individual members of the club, their happiness is our happiness, and their sadness is our sadness. At times, that can be a curse to bear. For us Chelsea fans, that occassion was last season, the disaster that was the 2015-16 Chelsea side. We were angry, dissapointed, but mostly depressed. Depressed that our team had sunk to such low depths, where even Arsenal fans had a right to have a laugh at our expense.
That horrible time is now a distant memory, and us Chelsea fans can now enjoy the other end of the emotional spectrum: joy. Pure joy. Chelsea are once again Champions of England, and as fans we once again feel the happiness of the players and staff. The season is now over, and I thought it appropriate to give thanks to those who were integral in making this incredible season possible. Although Arsenal did best us in the FA Cup Final, this season was still a resounding success for Chelsea Football Club, and much of that is owed to the following individuals.
Thank you, N'Golo Kante
There simply aren't enough superlatives to describe my admiration for the diminutive Frenchman. From leading Leicester's fairy tale story to the top of the league, to leading Chelsea's resurrection to the top of the league as PFA player of the year, N'golo Kante is a champion in every sense of the word. Thank you for your tireless work ethic. Thank you for your affectionate disposition, and thank you for showing Manchester United that you don't need to break the bank for a world class midfielder. May you continue to be a force in our midfield for years to come.
Thank you, Eden Hazard
Mirroring the performance of his team, Eden was rejuvenated after a terrible season. The Belgian star was back to his tricky self, making himself a headache for opposing backlines on a consistent basis. Thank you Eden, for finding yourself on the football pitch again. The fans have voted you as the Chelsea Player of the Year, and you completely deserve it. May Real Madrid keep their grubby hands off you.
Thank you, Diego Costa
Chelsea fans, including myself, may get frustrated at times with the Spaniard, but there is no denying the world class talent that this man possesses. An early candidate for the golden boot, Costa finished the campaign with 20 goals but his contributions exceed just his goal tally. He was a nightmare for opposing center backs, who didn't just have to deal with his talent but also his temperment. This title could not have been won without his contributions. Thank you for putting the ball into the net as often as you did. Thank you for wearing Chelsea on your sleeve. Thank you for your humour and your lovable celebrations once we won the title (I'm sure JT's nuts will never forget).
Thank you, Thibaut Courtois
As a former goalkeeper myself, I know how hard it is to do nothing for the vast majority of the game, and then get called into question for a game saving stop. Thanks to the defenders in front of him Thibaut may have had an easy ride for him, but was clutch when it mattered. If it weren't for him. wins could have been draws and draw could have been losses. Hopefully, Thibaut has found a home in London and no longer desires to head back to Spain. Thank you for being a freak of nature with regards to your reactions. Thank you for your outstanding service this season. And of course, thank you for staying in London. May you grow into the kind of keeper that deserves to fill the boots of Petr Cech.
Thank you, Antonio Conte
Just like with Kante, there aren't enough superlatives to describe what Conte has been able to do to this Chelsea team. To take a club from 10th to 1st is an extraordinary achievement, and Conte has done it while once again instilling principles of hard work, determination, and pride into a Chelsea team that had lost all of that. Conte was named Premier League Manager of the Year, and there simply wasn't any doubt about whether he would win it. Thank you for treating our fans with respect and admiration. Thank you for not getting into unnecessary feuds with other managers (*cough Jose cough*). Thank you for bringing joy and success back to Stamford Bridge. Thank you for staying in London and not being tempted by Inter Milan. And most of all, thank you for being the man Chelsea needed to lift them out of last season's slump. We love you Antonio.
It goes without saying that there are many more that can be on this list. From Luiz, Pedro, Alonso, Fabregas, Matic, etc. Massive thank you's goes out to them as well. A Championship team isn't created just with it's players, there are many other factors invovled as well. The Chelsea medical team ensured that Chelsea were the healthiest team in the Premier League. The coaching staff provided Conte with the help he needed to transition to the English game (we will miss you Steve Holland). And of course, creating a team like this requires resources, one that our Russian Billionaire owner is happy to provide. It's been a fantastic season Chelsea fans, and with Europe on the horizon the good times will be upon us once more before too long.