Chelsea’s players deserve every bit of credit they get for Saturday’s heroic victory in Munich.
History was made in the Allianz Arena as Roberto Di Matteo’s heroes finally ended years of hurt for the club in the Champions League and in doing so became the first London club to lift the most prized trophy in club football.
The painful memories of Moscow, Luis Garcia’s dubious goal and Barcelona’s victory at Stamford Bridge were all banished in one single moment of elation as Didier Drogba coolly slotted home the winning penalty.
Of course Chelsea didn’t outplay Bayern – 20 corners to one proves that – but to go to one of the giants of European football and prevail in their stadium to land the Champions League, as Roberto Di Matteo put it, is an achievement up there with the very best a team from this country has ever produced.
From back to front every player played their part, from young Ryan Bertrand keeping Arjen Robben in check, to David Luiz and Gary Cahill playing through the pain barrier to prove their doubters wrong and prove their class.
Ashley Cole was immense – and showed once again why he swapped Arsenal for Chelsea – Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel were disciplined and controlled in the way they played and stuck to the game plan while Juan Mata sacrificed his attacking mind-set and covered over 16,000 metres for the club.
Then of course there Drogba – stay or go he will never be forgotten.
There is still work to be done at Stamford Bridge – and hopefully that starts with ensuring Di Matteo is in charge next season.
Unbelievably, Kieron Dyer has been handed a new one-year deal at Queens Park Rangers.
The injury-prone 33-year-old played just once for the Hoops last season, and he was injured in that game ruling him out of the whole campaign as they just staved off relegation.
His signing itself last summer, by then-boss Neil Warnock, was something of a mystery to me having made just 17 appearances the season before, 11 in the 2009-10 season, eight in 2008-09 and a paltry four in 2007-08.
That is 41 appearances in five seasons – a figure most players get through that many games in a single campaign.
Of course he has had plenty of bad luck. Since his Newcastle United days he has suffered several injuries.
But surely the time comes when, as a club, you have to realise he will not benefit you. He will never be the player he was when he starred on his England debut in a 6-0 win against Luxembourg, playing at right-back.
The stage was set for him to go on and establish himself at international level, but injuries curtailed that.
QPR boss Mark Hughes insists the club will be nowhere near the Premier League relegation zone for the rest of his tenure, but this piece of news won’t give fans confidence.
Dyer is a waste of a wage, he will be 34 by the time his new deal is over, and his best days are long gone.
He won’t score goals, will create very little and isn’t exactly a workhorse. A squad player he may well be, but why waste one of 25 places when you expect to have a much-stronger season?
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