Chelsea FC were faced with two contrasting paths at the start of last week and they went down the wrong one. Fortunately, there will be an opportunity to rectify it.
Anxiousness settled uncomfortably in my stomach as I told my coworker about the important job interview I had scheduled for the following day. My coworker is a decade younger than me. I find it alarming people born ten years after me are now old enough to join the professional workforce.
Because my interview was not until 10 A.M. the next morning, my youthful colleague did not think that I should have any problem if I decided to go out drinking that evening. He is obviously unaware of the effects a night of drinking can have on an individual nearing 30. I informed him the effects are not good, and a panel job interview with a stoned-faced group of people, eagerly awaiting my opinions on customer service, would not be the ideal place to suffer those effects.
When I was my coworker’s age, I thought there would be a million job interviews and a million opportunities awaiting me as I made my way through life. Mess up one, and no worries, here’s another one coming up right around the corner. This has turned out to be less than accurate.
Forks that planted themselves between two potential paths – one good, one bad – are scattered throughout my memory. They are scattered, but they are scattered sparingly.
More from The Pride of London
- Chelsea is emerging and there’s much more on the way from the Blues
- Chelsea: Sheffield match gave us the best version of Mateo Kovacic
- Chelsea: The criticism of Kai Havertz is premature and unwarranted
- Chelsea rebounded from a rough start, but winter is the true test
- Chelsea: Three lessons from the Sheffield United rout
Not being a lazy oaf can increase the number of chances a person gets in life to saunter down the righteous path, but the fact remains, despite my efforts,that great potential employers aren’t exactly beating at my door for the opportunity to be graced with my presence. I had an interview with one scheduled. It may be several months or even several years before an opportunity this good presents itself again.
Two paths – one good, one bad – were going to be right in front of me. I did not go out drinking the night before my interview.
There were also two distinct paths in front Chelsea entering this past week. The club faced a mid-week, second-leg clash with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League Round of 16, and a FA Cup quarterfinal matchup with Everton at the weekend.
One path lead to the always-beautiful sight of a blue-drenched Wembley Stadium on a spring afternoon, and possible glamour meetings with Barcelona and Real Madrid in the latter stages of the Champions League. The other meant a couple of months of football where the most compelling storyline is whether or not the club can scrap their way into Europa League qualification. Yay?
I don’t need to reiterate to anyone reading this how difficult watching Chelsea has been this season, but wins in these two matches would have gone a long way toward there being something positive to put in the season review DVD.
We now know, if one is even made, that the 2015/16 Chelsea season review DVD will be the saddest DVD ever manufactured. Titanic will have nothing on it.
In the PSG match, Chelsea played decent enough, and if PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had failed to produce a great double save shortly before the French side’s second goal, the outcome of the match may have been different. As it stands, though, it could be some time before Champions League football is played again at Stamford Bridge.
The less said about the Everton game the better. Unfortunately, Diego Costa’s perceived dietary choices may mean there will be quite a bit more to say about the events at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon. With Gareth Barry dispelling the accusation however, there is some hope that the fallout (and possible ban) will not be too difficult to endure.
So that’s that. Two paths for Chelsea’s season to go down and it went down the bad one. No Wembley, no Camp Nou, just nine next-to-meaningless matches to distract us from the endless parade of transfer rumors and think-pieces attempting to explain just what the hell went wrong in this campaign.
In life, if opportunity is missed you can never be exactly sure when your chance for redemption is coming. If you have a poor job interview, you may be fortunate enough to have a different company call you a week later to see you about an even better position than the one you just screwed up. You may not be that fortunate, though. It may take weeks, months and possibly years for another opportunity to arrive.
The great thing about football is we know exactly when Chelsea will have a chance to make things right and put an end to tired ‘fall of Roman’s Empire’ puns. In August, there will presumably be a new manager and new players (please?), and hope for a better campaign will reside in even the most pessimistic of Chelsea hearts. The bad path Chelsea are on now isn’t permanent. Another fork will appear in the road soon.