Photo Source: Sky News
This is not the first article I’ve ever written defending Chelsea’s attacking midfielder Willian. Clearly in these troubled times, when the clubs fan base has never been so divided or divisive, not everyone will agree. With Willian being on the cusp of signing a new deal, the vitriolic abuse he gets from a section of Chelsea’s support is nothing short of scandalous in my view.
The manner in which Willan arrived in SW6, via a rebuttal of Spurs, “‘cos he hates Tot’nam and he hates Tot’nam” made him a cult figure from the start. He joined in 2013 from Anzhi Makhachkala for £30million, and along the way has picked up two Premier League titles and both domestic cups once.
In fact, that FA Cup winners medal and his one-minute cameo in the final left a bitter taste in Willian’s mouth though and resulted in him venting on Instagram. Antonio Conte was plastered out of the cup final winning photo by a stack of trophies.
It was disrespectful to Conte, the club and fans but in the grand scheme of things a minor blot on his copybook borne out of frustration. Possibly worse was the fact that he blamed it all on his daughter for messing with his phone.
I could reel off a whole host of stats that prove the Brazilian’s worth to the club, as no doubt his detractors could do in reverse to me. However, being an important member of a football squad is about more than stats. They can be manipulated to suit any argument. It’s a simple fact that Willian’s default position with those ‘hater’s’ is rubbish. He can still do good things, score the odd spectacular free-kick – ‘thanks Willian’ – then revert back to the default.
I don’t get fans who disrespect our own players. Of course, everyone’s entitled to an opinion, but anyone prepared to pull on the royal blue jersey gets my support. This article could just as easily be about David Luiz, Marcos Alonso or Gary Cahill. At various times in the past, all have been the fall-guy.
Willian is believed to be keen on extending his stay in London. However, it’s questionable whether he’ll get the contract he wants given Chelsea’s policy of only awarding one-year contracts to players over 30, but with a transfer ban almost certain that may change. Willian has been speaking about his future,
“I have one year left, but of course I want to play for this club. “I don’t know if they want me, but of course I want to continue here.”
“This club is very special to me. I won titles here, I have the affection from the fans and from the people that work in the club. I feel comfortable to stay. I am happy when I play well and score goals. I can give a different light.”
In this modern age where everyone has an opinion and can easily express it for the whole world to see footballers are an easy target for the masses. Every club has their own fall-guy(s), Willian, Luiz and Alonso are currently Chelsea’s. It’s my simplistic pre-social-media belief that however we feel about them as players, they deserve our support and respect despite their perceived short-comings.
Of course, this is not Utopia and haters gonna hate, but if Willian stays with Chelsea for one-two or even three years, as long as he respects the club, he’ll get my backing.
Let me know how much you disagree.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @techlec2000