Tag Archives: Chelsea

Derby at White Hart Lane

Tottenham fans, White Hart Lane

Going to a football match in Britain is something else. It is not just a football match – it is a unique experience.

I have been at White Hart Lane, the home of Tottenham Hotspur, in North East London a few times now and every time I go there I get blown away by the atmosphere. The cheers from the crowd roaring inside the stadium can be almost deafening and people are singing during the entire match. What is different with Barclays Premier League from many other football leagues is that it is not only the biggest matches between the biggest teams that attract big audiences. Almost every match is packed with people and the atmosphere can be just as intense – if not more intense – in a smaller stadium than in the major ones.

Chelsea - Cole & Drogba

Chelsea stars Drogba and Cole

I recently visited a friend in London and went to the derby match between Tottenham and Chelsea. We started off by having lunch (classic football food: burgers and chips) close to the stadium with some other fans, discussing possible starting lineups, goal scorers and final score. The match ended 1-1 with Chelsea missing a penalty late in the game – to my great relief.

After the match we walked with the rest of the crowd (most of them still singing) to the bus stop and took a bus to Angel where my friend lives. We ended the day with a really nice dinner at a the local gastropub around the corner, called The Alma. London really is packed with great pubs!

The Alma

The Alma, a great gastropub in Islington

So, even if you are not that much into football, I can definitely recommend you to go to a football match in Britain. Tickets vary in price but doesn’t necessarily have to cost more than they do in the Nordics – but the entertainment is so much better!

Read more about the league and how to see a match at our football website.
See where White Hart Lane is located on our Britain Map.
Find The Alma on our Britain Map.

Come on you Spurs!
/Carl

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Premier League predictions, part 2

Is this where the trophy will end up, again?

Is this where the trophy will end up, again?

On Saturday it begins, the 2010/11 Premier League season. Day before yesterday, I wrote my predictions for the 8:th to 5:th spot finishes, here are my predictions for the top four spots:

4. Arsenal
I think Gunners supporters all over the world are still holding their breaths that Cesc Fabregas won’t make that seemingly inevitable switch to Barcelona just yet. He must be the single most important player to a team in the Premier League. With him they are always title contenders. Without him… I can’t even imagine where they would finish.  But I suppose Wenger would as always have a trick up his sleeve and buy a young French or Dutch guy that noone has even heard of and turn him into one of the best in the league in no-time. Still, with or without Fabregas, they will be surpassed by three teams this season.

3. Manchester City
With City’s mad spending they have to be considered title contenders but I don’t think they will win the league just yet, Buying top players is easy if you got the money, but to make those players into a team is harder and takes a bit of time. However, they already have a team that can beat any side in the world now and new boys David Silva and Yaya Toure are quality signings in my opinion.

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

Wayne Rooney, Man Utd

2. Manchester United
Last season’s predictions focused on how United would cope without Ronaldo. Rather well it turned out with old boys Giggs and Scholes still playing important roles and Rooney having his best season so far. But at the end of the day, they did not manage to go all the way. I can’t see Giggs and Scholes performing to their highest levels any longer and as promising and talented as players like Hernandez, Obertan and Macheda are,  I dont’ think it is enough to bring the trophy to Old Trafford this season either.

1. Chelsea
Last season, the title race was wide open until the last day when Chelsea managed to win by one single point. This year, I can see the Blues clinch the title earlier than that. Finally there is some consistency at Stamford Bridge without players coming and going all the time. I think this plays to their advantage and if players like Essien, Drogba and Cech can stay injury free then Ancellotti certainly has a team strong, technical and organised enough to not just win the Premier League but also finally conquer Europe in the Champions League.

What do you think? Do you think Chelsea will win once again? Or will City or United bring the title to Manchester? Feel free to comment and discuss below!

/Carl

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Congratulations to Chelsea… and Tottenham!

Drogba and Cole celebrating

Drogba and Cole celebrating

So it is all over and the three month Summer boredom starts. Yesterday was the last match day of Premier League 09/10 and Chelsea came out winners after thrashing Wigan 8-0. That stunning display also ended Manchester United’s hope of a fourth consecutive league win. Far from a Chelsea fan myself I am not too excited about it, but to is hard to argue that they weren’t worthy winners. So, from all my heart (well, at least a corner of it), congratulations to Chelsea FC, their fans and all of South West London!

Frank Lampard, player of the season in my opinion

Frank Lampard, player of the season in my opinion

Irony aside, Chelsea truly did have an amazing season. They won all six games against their three top rivals (Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool). They scored 103 coals, the first team to acieve the century since my beloved Tottenham in 1963. They won 17 of their 19 home games. They also scored seven goals or more in four games this season, which is also a record. Didier Drogba scored three goals on the last day to become the top scorer in the Premier League 09/10.

These facts also signal that Chelsea are not just the defensively strong machine they have had a reputation for being for years. With the new manager Carlo Ancelotti the club has also proven to be an attacking force and, even though it hurts me to write,  a somewhat attractive side to watch.

Little and large, the Tottenham striker partners Crouch and Defoe

Little and large, the Tottenham striker partners Crouch and Defoe

OK, I think that is as much positive I could ever write about Tottenham’s London rivals so I will end the post on a personal high note: Tottenham Hotspurs finished fourth! For long it looked like they were going to take advantage of Liverpool’s disastrous season of slip ups. But as it lies in the nature of being a Tottenham supporter to end up very disappointed and severely confused, I was sure Manchester City would nick that last attractive Champions League qualifying place in the end. But after beating City away last Wednesday, history proved to have no guide and Tottenham could celebrate as if they had won more than just a shot at getting beaten in the qualifying rounds by the likes of Ajax, Porto and Lyon.

But still, I for one can’t wait until the new season starts in August. We just have to survive until then. Oh, is there a World Cup this Summer?

/Carl

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From football players to couch potatoes

Liverpool - Gerrard & KuytFootball season is almost over for the Nordic football teams and so is our this months poll and even though Premier League is still going for quite a while the results are already in. The people have voted and according to you readers, Liverpool wins Premier League this year! But it was a close call. With 21% Manchester United came in second after Liverpools 25%. Third was Chelsea with 20%. And I am sorry to tell you Gary, but only two people believed Sunderland would win this year. Let’s see if our readers are right.

This months poll will be dedicated to the British culture scene. We’ve got a few competitions going on like winning a year pass to the Stockholm Film Festival or movie tickets to In the Loop and for those who’d rather just go to Britain the blog is now loaded with tips like a tour round Harry Potters world or best places to go to in Sherlock Holmes Cornwall.

So I thought – Why not have a poll about culture on TV? And there’s your reason why I this month decided that you get to vote on your favourite political satire. Isn’t that fun?

To vote, click on your preferred choice in the right-hand menu and then press [vote].

And don’t hesitate to comment on either the last poll or the new one below. What did you vote for and why? Would you have liked to see other options? Do you think Liverpool really will win in the end? Will Gary ever get over his loss? The debate is on…

– Towe –

Films

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Team of the week: Chelsea

Chelsea

Can the West-Londoners shake off their surprising loss against Wigan last weekend and put some balls behind Reina & co?

Chelsea - LampardThis Sunday the blues are playing the mighty reds at «the Bridge», it´s Torres against Drogba, Gerrard against Lampard and Terry versus Carragher. The rivalry between the clubs has grown since Luis Garcias famous «Phantom goal» in 2005 and these games are never boring! Last year Liverpool won both league games, but Chelsea won in the Champions League, after a spectacular 4-4 game at home.

Chelsea got some injuries to worry about in front of the game, Cole, Alex, Mikel and Deco are injured, but rumours say Deco and England international Ashley Cole will be back in business. Cech is suspended after he was sent off last round.

Chelsea - Cole & DrogbaChelsea is a team full of internationals and superstars. In front of this season the big question was how can the new Coach Italian Carlo Ancelotti use both attacking superstars Nicola Anelka and Didier Drogba? He went from 4-3-3 to a 4-3-1-2 formation to make room for arguably the best partnership in the premiership.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has bought some fantastic talent since he bought share majority in 2003. Now Chelsea is threatened with a transfer ban and is not allowed to buy any new players until July 2011 after signing French youngster Gael Kakuta without going through the proper authorities. Still the club has world class talent in every position and strong back up from their substitutes. With young talents like Daniel Sturridge and Nemanja Matic, the ban on buying is not necessarily preventing Chelsea’s hunt for trophies. Other new players this season are Yuri Zhirkov, Turnbull, Sturridge and Andriy Sjevtjenko.

Oh, and did you know that Damon Albarn is a Chelsea supporter?

While there, check out the London Restaurant Festival this week!
Book tickets to Premier League matches here
Read more about our previous ‘Team of the week’ here at Mind the Gap: Wigan, Blackburn, Manchester City, Everton, Wolverhampton, Aston Villa and Liverpool.

– Hanne-

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