By Tim Harrison
Trophyless, listless, hopeless and graceless, Chelsea’s grim 2015-16 season appeared to end at Goodison Park as the Blues were knocked out of the FA Cup by two well-taken goals from former Blues striker Romelu Lukaku.
There will be no floodlit European football nights in SW6 next season. Lukaku, the 22-year-old striker deemed to have no future at Stamford Bridge, scored twice, while the forward who was preferred, Diego Costa, was booked twice.
Shouting abuse in referee Michael Oliver’s face as he departed underlined how low both he and Chelsea have sunk.
And yet this could turn into Blues fans’ greatest season of all time! Stick with me. Week after week, regardless of the opponent, the terrace mantra rings out: “We hate Tottenham, we hate Tottenham...”
Spurs are in a two-horse title race with Leicester City, and Chelsea are the kingmakers (or possibly King Powermakers).
On 2 May, Spurs visit the Bridge, and on 15 May, the last day of the season, Leicester visit. If Leicester need three points to lift the Premier League trophy ahead of the detested north London rivals... well, you don’t need to be Mystic Meg.
There'll be a newly minted terrace chant to celebrate the occasion!
But who will now play up front for the final two months of this forgettable season? Falcao? Pato? Loic Remy? Barnard Traore? Crocked, crocked, mocked, mocked. Even glimmers of brilliance from Traore can’t conceal the fact that he’s a lightweight. How the Blues wish they’d kept the Everton marksman after their cup exit.
Add to the mix the imminent dismemberment of last year’s title-winning team, with John Terry leaving, Eden Hazard being cashed in, Oscar packing his suitcase and Nemanja Matic looking for a new club, and Chelsea are back at square one.
Bryan Ferry lookalike Antonio Conte (frantically trying to learn English) starts work after the final whistle on 15 May.
Whether he’s right for the job remains to be seen. Meanwhile West Ham visit the Bridge this weekend. And that's always a bit of fun.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham