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08 March 2010


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"And as for John Terry: well, he of course remains very difficult to like – or respect – as a person."

Well said, and to be honest as a Stoke fan that was the crux of the abuse that was being directed at Terry yesterday. I've been supporting Stoke for 40 years and standing in the Shed yesterday was a new experience for me - I've never heard such sustained attack on a single player ever - well perhaps John Fashanu and that ended tragically.

To be fair he handled it well, but his reaction mearly inflamed our lot. However you evaluate the situation, he remains a gifted player. Nonethless, his personal actions have led to another England player at a time of real need, making the decision that he can't stomach being in the same side as him. Right or wrong I get the feeling that Wayne Bridge's decision will be final. If that happens then the person that's caused it is JT.

So should that level of abuse be thrown at him? Undoubted it will be where ever he goes now until the World Cup - its going to be his penance for what happened. (Football fans tend to act like tribal packhounds when they scent the blood of a wounded animal.) Let's hope for the sake of the national team it ends then.

Of course if England blow it big style in South Africa then the inevitable questions will be asked as to whether all this has affected the side. There will be no conclusive answers of course, but all this could have been avoided if JT was gifted with half a brain, or, one assumes had been able to recognise, that with great skill comes fame and also great responsibility both personally and in public.


Steve - thanks very much for your reasoned and measured comments. You talk a lot of sense.

I normally sit in the Matthew Harding Lower, but for Sunday's game I was in the Shed upper (on the other side to the Stoke fans). I couldn't make out the vast majority of the Stoke fans' chants. Having done a bit of digging online, I reckon most were fair game. Banter from the terraces is designed to be funny/intimidating, it's part of the fun of being a supporter and footballers should learn to deal (which, I believe, Terry did).

Not knwowing all the chants your boys came up with, I'm maybe not the best informed to comment on whether they were 'too far' or not. But was thinking about some of them that made not only John Terry, but other innocent parties (eg. Malouda), part of the abuse. Seems a bit less fair to me...I dunno.

Then again, we've ripped people to shreds before - eg. Peter Crouch just for being tall. Hardly righteous behaviour...

Oh, one point. I don't think he 'inflamed' your lot too much. It wasn't an Adebayor. And I also believe that, if fans want to give it, they should probably not be too surprised when players give it back. There are limits though, of course, and players need to be responsible...

It's funny, but I thought the Chelsea fans were actually more noisy than normal yesterday (Stoke fans were pretty good throughout). But the same Stoke fan I mentioned above said Chelsea fans were quiet throughout. Goes to show fans can't always hear the other side of the ground. What did you think of the atmosphere, Steve?


Although the rationale side of me can reflect on the whole Terry thing with something resembling objectivity, the emotional part of my brain felt reaaallly good when Ballack kicked that little ugly tw*t up the arse. The sanctimonious cr*p we've had to listen to over the last few weeks has been laughable, and is really just dressed-up Chels bashing. JT is probably not the nicest of guy - we all know the type - but Bellamy...for crying out loud....how many times must he have been called a little tw*t in his life - bet he holds the record.


On the atmosphere ... not as quiet as Craven Cottage which is positively eerie! but still on the quiet side ... doesn't help to hear the other side when you have 3,000 Stokies in full voice though.

One long standing Chelsea fan I know described it as the effect of success breeding complacency - certainly true at the Emirates. There is no way that will happen to us in the near future - 23 years in the wilderness has taught us to appreciate the value of what we are seeing!

Malouda, well I suppose it depends how you see it. One of the reasons the Brit is so intimidating is that ALL visiting players who choose to take corners come under the cosh. What happened to Malouda yesterday was that he was the one delegated to take them. Nothing personal - just an opposition player.

We aren't blessed with superstars, the team know it, the fans know it, so it's a matter of trying to level the playing field in other ways.

At the Brit, it's a smaller pitch, quite legal and strategically placed towels for our Rory, and having 7/8th of the ground filled with home fans. Away, it's making as much noise as physically possible to create an intimidating atmosphere. Old fashioned, but it does seem to work.

Your comment about JT not having an Adebayor moment is right, there isn't the sheer hate towards him that I would imagine Arsenal fans feel towards their erstwhile striker - especially given 'that' celebration at Eastlands. Nonetheless, I do think JT will have to do something special to cool down the hostility towards him, and speaking to Villa supporting friends of mine, they are looking to crank it up at Wembley.

Looking at the message boards today I think this has a long way to go yet.


I think its a joke the amount of time Delap takes to take a throw in and all Stoke wanted to do was get the ball and win a throw in in Chelsea's half.....football my arse!!!!!

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