Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chelsea had begun the season

Chelsea had begun the season much as they had finished the last, with four consecutive defeats, including a thrilling 5–6 loss to Manchester United, which left them 12th in November. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

From there the team went on a remarkable run, losing just 3 of the next 25 games and secured the title with a game to spare after a 3–0 win against Sheffield Wednesday on St George's Day. Key to the success were two league wins against principal rivals and eventual runners-up Wolverhampton Wanderers. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

The first was a dramatic 4–3 win atMolineux – a game in which Chelsea were trailing 2–3 going into stoppage time – and a 1–0 win at Stamford Bridge in April, secured with a Sillett penalty awarded after Wolves captain Billy Wright had punched a goal-bound shot over the bar.[20] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

Chelsea's points total of 52 for that season remains one of the lowest to have secured the English League title since the First World War. In the final game of the season, Chelsea, now champions, were given a guard of honour by Matt Busby's Manchester United Busby Babes. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

That same season saw the club complete a unique quadruple, with the reserve, 'A' and junior sides also winning their respective leagues.

Winning the Championship should have ensured that Chelsea became the first English participants in the inaugural European Champions' Cup competition to be staged the following season. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

Indeed, they were drawn to face Swedish champions Djurgårdens in the first round. However, Chelsea were denied by the intervention of the Football League and the F.A., many of whose leading members were opposed to the idea and felt that primacy should be given to domestic competitions, so the club were persuaded to withdraw.[21] Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

Chelsea did play an unofficial UK championship friendly against Scottish champions Aberdeen, which Aberdeen won. Chelsea presented a plate with the club crest to Aberdeen as a reward.

Chelsea were unable to build on their title success, and finished a disappointing 16th the following season. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

The team was aging and there followed a succession of uninspiring mid-table finishes; one bright spot in this period was the emergence of the prolific goalscorer Jimmy Greaves, who scored 122 league goals in four seasons. Along with Greaves, a series of other promising youngsters, informally known as Drake's Ducklings, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

emerged in the first team, though their inexperience ensured that performances remained erratic. One of the lowest points for the club in this period was being knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd round by Fourth Division side, Crewe Alexandra, in January 1961. When Greaves was sold to AC Milan in June 1961 the writing was on the wall and, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

without his goals, results slumped. Drake was sacked in September after a 4–0 loss to Blackpool with Chelsea bottom of the league table. He was replaced by 33-year-old player-coach Tommy Docherty.

The swinging sixties ushered in an era that saw football and inimitable style merge in the heart of London; Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

with the fashionableKing's Road at the heart of the swagger. Superstars of the time, including Michael Caine, Steve McQueen, Raquel Welch, Terence Stamp and Richard Attenborough (now Life Vice President of the club) were regularly seen at Stamford Bridge as the team became one of the most glamorous and fashionable in the country. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

A 60s Chelsea side that oozed charisma and class established the club as a big name for the first time, but ultimately failed to match its swagger with on-field triumphs, and endured several near-misses.

Docherty imposed a regime of strict discipline, sold off many of the club's older players, Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

and replaced them with the new generation of talented youngsters emerging from the youth system, supplemented by some shrewd transfers. By the time he took over in January 1962, the team were already all but doomed to relegation and he used the time to experiment and plan for the future. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

Chelsea were duly relegated and in Docherty's first full season as manager he led them back to promotion as Second Division runners-up, secured with a crucial and hard-fought 1–0 win at rivals Sunderland (and a goal scored via Tommy Harmer's groin) and a 7–0 final day win over Portsmouth. Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

Chelsea thus returned to the First Division with a new, youthful team which included the uncompromising Ron "Chopper" Harris,goalkeeper Peter Bonetti, prolific goalscoring winger Bobby Tambling (whose 202 goals remain a club record), midfielder John Hollins, full-back Ken Shellito, striker Barry Bridges, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

winger Bert Murray and captain and playmaker Terry Venables, all products of the youth system. To these, Docherty added striker George Graham, left-back Eddie McCreadie and elegant defenderMarvin Hinton for minimal fees to complete the Diamonds line-up – Docherty had referred to the team as his "little diamonds" during a TV documentary and the name stuck.[22] Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

Chelsea finished a credible 5th in their first season back in the top-flight, and in the next were on course for a domestic "treble" of league, FA Cup andLeague Cup, playing a brand of football based on high energy and quick passing and utilising innovative tactics – they were one of the first English teams to use overlapping full-backs.[23] Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

Chelsea set the early pace and emerged in a three-way tussle for the league title with Manchester United and Leeds United. TheLeague Cup was secured thanks to a 3–2 first leg win against Leicester City, with a memorable solo effort from McCreadie proving to be the difference between the sides, and then a hard-fought 0–0 draw in the second leg at Filbert Street. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

However, cracks were also beginning to appear, as the temperamental Docherty increasingly clashed with some of the strong personalities within the dressing room, particularly Venables. The team were beaten by title rivals Manchester United in March and lost 2–0 in their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool, despite going into the latter match as favourites. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

They were nonetheless top with four games remaining. Docherty then sent home eight key players (Venables, Graham, Bridges, Hollins, McCreadie, Hinton, Murray and Joe Fascione) for breaking a curfew before a crucial match against Burnley.[24] The bare bones of the team that remained, a collection of reserves and youngsters, were beaten 6–2 as the title challenge collapsed; Chelsea eventually finished 3rd. Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

The following season proved equally eventful, if ultimately unsuccessful, with Chelsea challenging in the League, the FA Cup and the Fairs Cup. Playing a then-club record total of 60 games in the three competitions in the days before substitutes, the team were hit hard by the fixture pile-up. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

They finished 5th in the League, while in the FA Cup, Chelsea gained revenge for their semi-final defeat by knocking-out holders Liverpool at Anfield en route to another semi-final, where they were drawn to face Sheffield Wednesday, again at Villa Park. Favourites to reach the final, the side froze on the day and were beaten 2–0 by theYorkshire club. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

Their Fairs Cup run, taking in wins over AS Roma (a violent encounter, during which the Chelsea team coach was ambushed by Roma fans), TSV 1860 München and AC Milan (the last on the toss of a coin after the teams had finished level), ended in a semi-final loss to FC Barcelona. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

Both home sides won 2–0 and on anothercoin toss, the replay was staged at the Nou Camp, with Barca winning 5–0. Docherty, his relationship with several players having reached breaking point, then made the decision to break up a team with an average age of 21. Venables, Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

Graham, Bridges and Murray were all sold during the close-season. Scottish wingerCharlie Cooke joined for £72,000, as did striker Tommy Baldwin, who arrived in part-exchange for Graham. Also emerging from the youth set-up was a highly-rated teenage striker named Peter Osgood. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

Docherty's transfer manoeuvrings initially paid off. Chelsea, with Osgood at the heart of the team, topped the league table in October 1966, the only unbeaten side after ten league games. But Osgood broke his leg in a League Cup tie and the side's momentum was disrupted. To replace Osgood, Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

Docherty immediately signed striker Tony Hateley for a club record £100,000, but Hateley's aerial game did not suit Chelsea's style and he struggled to fit in.[25] They drifted down the league and finished 9th. The highlight of that season was reaching the FA Cup final. En route to that final was a win over Leeds United in the semis, Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

the game widely seen[26] as the one which kicked off the fierce rivalry between the two clubs. In his finest moment for Chelsea, Hateley headed in what proved to be the winner, but in a hotly-contested match, Leeds had two goals disallowed, one for offside and one for a Peter Lorimer free-kick taken too quickly. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

Chelsea competed with Tottenham Hotspur in the first all-London FA Cup final, known as the Cockney Cup Final. It was Chelsea's first appearance in the final since 1915 and their first ever appearance in the final at Wembley. In leading out the side, Ron Harris, at 22, was the youngest ever captain to take to the field in the competition's finale. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

In a game which failed to match the anticipation, Chelsea underperformed and a late Tambling header was not enough to prevent a 2–1 loss to a Spurs side containing both Venables and Jimmy Greaves. Docherty was sacked shortly into the next season with the team having won only two of their opening ten games, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

which included a 6–2 home loss to Southampton, amidst rumours of dressing room unrest over bonus payments and whilst serving a 28-day ban from football management handed out by the FA.[27]

After Docherty's departure, his assistant Ron Suart was placed in temporary charge of the first team. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

Chelsea lost their next game 7–0 against Leeds United, equalling the club's highest-ever margin of defeat (in 1953–54, they had lost 8–1 to Wolves). Dave Sexton, ex-Chelsea coach and Leyton Orient manager, and a character far more calm and reserved than Docherty, was appointed manager. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

The core of the side inherited from Docherty remained largely unchanged, although he added more steel to the defence with the signings of John Dempsey and David Webb, as well as signing striker Ian Hutchinson, giving mercurial midfielder Alan Hudson his debut and recalling winger Peter Houseman. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

Sexton proved a stabilising influence and led Chelsea to two more top six finishes, as well as a brief foray into the Fairs Cup in 1968–69, where they were knocked out by DWS Amsterdam on a coin toss.

In the 1969–70 season Osgood and Hutchinson scored 53 goals between them, helping the club finish 3rd in the league and reach another FA Cup final. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

This time the opponents were Leeds United, reigning league champions and one of the dominant sides of the era. Chelsea were generally second best in the first match at Wembley played on a boggy pitch, but twice came from behind to gain a 2–2 draw, first through Houseman and then a late headed equaliser (four minutes from full time) from Hutchinson. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

The replay was staged at Old Trafford a fortnight later and is as well known for the uncompromising tactics employed by both sides as the skill and talent on display.[28] Chelsea again went behind but equalised for the third time in the match with a diving header from Osgood from a Cooke cross. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

As the game went into extra time, Chelsea took the lead for the first time when Webb headed in a Hutchinsonthrow-in to seal a 2–1 win.

Winning the Cup qualified Chelsea to play in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup for the first time. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

Straightforward wins over Aris Thessaloniki and CSKA Sofia took them to the quarter-finals, where they knocked out Club Brugge thanks to a dramatic comeback. Trailing 2–0 after the first leg, it took an Osgood goal nine minutes from the end of normal time in a tense match to put Chelsea level on aggregate. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

They went on to win the game 4–0 after extra time. Fellow English side (and holders) Manchester City were dispatched in the semi-final. The first final match against Real Madrid finished 1–1 but a rare goal from Dempsey and another strike from Osgood in the replay – played just two days later – were enough to secure a 2–1 win and Chelsea's first European honour. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

The song Blue is the Colour was released in 1972 with members of the squad singing, and it reached number five in the UK Singles Chart.[29] The song was to become one of the most famous English football songs, and forever associated with the Chelsea team of that era.Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

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