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Summer Break – Chelsea

It has become something of a received wisdom within the present day that the mainstream media exist as the pinnacle of what is possible in sports journalism. Whilst it is not in our interest to reject this assumption, here at A Team of John O’Sheas we believe that some of the most perceptive insight regarding the top teams in the country comes from the fans themselves.

In the course of this podcast series, we will be bringing together some of the most influential fans from across the Premier League to give you the low-down on the teams that they watch week in, week out. We’ll look back over the season just gone, try to get a handle on the transfer activity that rumbles on through the summer months, and look forwards to the next season which, as always, seems to creep up on us with ever increasing speed.

In this episode, we’re back in London Town as we visit the club who most recently won the Premier League. You might be forgiven for thinking Chelsea Football Club were founded in 2003. That was the year that Roman Abramovich bought out the washed up London club. However, fans of the club will no doubt swiftly remind you that, before their Russian sugar daddy turned up on the scene, they had a rich pedigree and history that included a league win in 1955 and a few domestic trophies dotted around through the years… Still, you can hardly be morally scrupulous in football anymore so it’s hardly worth singling out Chelsea for mockery. What makes last season’s Premier League triumph all the more impressive is that Antonio Conte took a squad that has been emotionally ruined by Jose Mourinho and made it into a title winning side. Now cobbling together a team of players like N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa might not seem to be the most difficult task facing a Premier League manager. So the question is: will Conte be able to repeat the feat next season? Or will the meglomillions being spent by Premier League clubs be too much for him to think his way around?

Joining us on the show today are two individuals whose names will be well-known amongst Chelsea fans: David Chidgey and Benjamin Wills. David, aka ‘Stamford Chidge’ presents and produces the Chelsea FanCast podcast, voted Football Blogging Awards Best Podcast in 2012 and 2015. He runs chelseafancast.com; writes for the most popular Chelsea fanzine cfcuk, is a weekly columnist for football.london and contributes regularly to TalkSport; BBC and ITV. He is currently the Chairman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust. Ben, although currently doing freelance work covering Swindon Town, tries to watch as much Chelsea as possible, which Sky Sports’ top team favourability helps with immeasurably. He fell in love with the Blues, specifically Gianfranco Zola, in 2000 at the age of five which he thinks should save him from jibes of being a plastic, but that is not working out so far.

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