Chelsea FanCast


Chelsea FanCast Special #901: 'Out of the Blue'

Stamford Chidge interviews Gary Thacker, author of a new book focusing on Chelsea's extraordinary Champions' League campaign of 2012, culminating in the club's first European Cup trophy.By the early months of 2012, it was clear that the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas as head coach at Chelsea wasn't delivering the required success. Instead, the club was spiralling towards its worst season of the Roman Abramovich era. On 4 March, Villas-Boas was dismissed, with his former assistant Roberto Di Matteo made interim head coach until the end of the season. Struggling in the league and with their place in the Champions League in peril, it was an appointment designed to make the best of things until a permanent replacement could be sought in the summer. Instead, under Di Matteo's guidance, Chelsea embarked on a run of performances that not only led to an FA Cup triumph, but resurrected their European hopes with improbable victories over Napoli, Benfica and Guardiola's all-conquering Barcelona before, against all odds, winning the Champions League by defeating Bayern Munich in their own stadium. This is the story of a triumph that came out of the blue.Out of the Blue is the extraordinary story of Chelsea’s recovery from a season seemingly in terminal decline and describes the story of how the club's worst season in more than a decade ended with ‘The greatest night in the history of Chelsea Football Club’ (Martin Tyler - Sky). It relates how Roberto Di Matteo took over a club in turmoil and delivered FA Cup and Champions League triumphs against all oddsThe book picks up the story from Terry's tears in Moscow and takes it on, through various managers, to the triumph in Munich and tells the story of a team that was on the brink of elimination so many times, but survived to triumph. It gives the details, plus many of the surrounding stories, of all Chelsea's Champions League games together with exclusive insight from interviews with celebrated journalists and authors in Portugal, Spain and Germany as Chelsea toured the continent in search of glory.Out of the Blue relives the rollercoaster and emotionally draining events in Barcelona and Munich that almost defy belief and contains interviews with a collection of Chelsea fans, including Chelsea FanCast's Mark Worrall, as they followed the club's progress: their hopes, fears and, ultimately, celebrations.Gary Thacker is an established author and journalist who writes for numerous magazines and websites, including The Guardian Sports Network and newspapers in Spain. He was shortlisted for Blogger of the Year by the FSF in 2017, and has guested on BBC and talkSPORT radio. A member of These Football Times' Senior Leadership Team, he also appears on podcasts and hosts the popular 'Political Football' series. This is his sixth bookOut of the Blue can be purchased from Amazon, around the world, for £16.99 or cheaper using this link

Chelsea FanCast Preview Show #899

Stamford Chidge & Jonathan Kydd are joined by Martin Wickham to look back at the victory away to Leeds, catch up on the Chelsea news and look ahead to the FA Cup final against Liverpool.In part one, Liam Twomey from the Athletic to catch up with this week's Chelsea news, today's press conference and look back at 3-0 defeat of Leeds United. A superb result, superb performance with Pulisic impressive, Mount & James at their best and Chalobah finally getting a recall. All this plus Lukaku scoring 3 goals in 2 games. On the downside, Leeds proved that they are still very much Dirty Leeds with Daniel James putting Kovacic out of the game with a horrible tackle. But, more important Chelsea now only need one more win to finish third in the league.We also discuss today's press conference - will Kovacic & Kante be fit and Lukaku’s agent causing trouble & will Lukaku start up front?In part two we welcome back football writer, Tony Evans, for the Opposition View. We ask Tony what he thinks about the Chelsea take over? Liverpool’s FA Cup history; Liverpool’s FA Cup history v Chelsea. How important is the FA Cup to Liverpool fans? Has the FA Cup been devalued? Are Liverpool focussing on the FA Cup, Premier League or Champions League? Will Fabinho be a big miss? What are the key match ups? And how does Tony see it going? And in part three we preview the 150th FA Cup final and Chelsea's 16th final. Chidge presents his Team selection; should Lukaku start up front? Who starts in midfield if Kovacic is not fit? We discuss why we love the Cup and Chelsea’s Cup history. The importance of not losing three in a row? How do we beat Liverpool? Cup Final Match Day rituals and how do we see it going.