11 September 2008

History of Chelsea FC

Chelsea were formed and entered the league in 1905. Their early years were uneventful and it wasn't until 1955 when they won their first honour, the league title. However, the late sixties and early seventies were Chelsea's heyday as the popularity of the Kings Road grew and the club became the most stylish team in England.
In 1970, Chelsea met their northern antithesis, Leeds Utd in the FA Cup final and after a 2-2 draw at Wembley, the replay became known as the dirtiest post war cup final. Chelsea went on to win 2-1 and the following season, they added the European Cup Winners Cup.
However, as the area became less trendy, the team suffered decline and spent a few seasons in the second division, finally regaining their division 1 place in 1989. Chelsea added to their haul of silverware in 97/98 season, by winning the League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup. The club had shocked the football world by the sacking of Ruud Gullit in February 1998, however that was soon forgotten as Gianluca Vialli was appointed the new coach and soon proved his capabillity in this role.
When Vialli was replaced by fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri, Chelsea began to try and move away from their tag as constant under-achievers, and got a huge boost in that respect in the summer of 2003. Few had heard of Russian billionnaire Roman Abramovich before he bought Chelsea, but his name was on everyone's lips soon afterwards as he financed a huge spending spree - the like of which the game has never seen - and put Chelsea well and truly up with the big boys.
When Jose Mourinho arrived in 2004, his self-confidence quickly spread through the club and they soon started to really live up to expectations, first winning the Carling Cup and then the Barclays Premiership at a canter. They didn't have to wait too long for another title either, reclaiming the trophy a year later, though had to make do with the FA Cup and Carling Cup in 2006/07.
In September 2007, Mourinho left the club in shock circumstances, to be replaced by Avram Grant, who led Chelsea to their first ever Champions League Final, but was sacked after they lost on penalties to Manchester United. His replacement was announced as World Cup winning Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
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