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Chelsea need Champions League return

Chelsea's FanZone blogger Dylan Clive shares Jon Obi Mikel's view that the club simply has to get back into the Champions League next season.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 17:34 Post Comment

Chelsea: Bidding to get back into Champions League

Chelsea: Bidding to get back into Champions League

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It's not quite care free but the events of the past week have certainly made it easier to see the bright side of life at Stamford Bridge.

Following Spurs' draw against Everton it was absolutely crucial for all three points to be secured against Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland, and, albeit in less than convincing fashion, we did just that.

It may not have been pretty to watch but the 2-1 victory has acted as a triple shot of footballing absinthe to turn the previously less than picturesque league table into a much more attractive apparition for the Chelsea faithful.

A word of warning however: save for cocktails of three points and good performances, this gorgeous vision could soon unravel into nothing more than an ugly mirage. It goes without saying therefore that there is still plenty to play for.

As I mentioned last week, a top-four finish and Champions League football is essential for Chelsea Football Club, and after the weekend's results we now sit level on points with Tottenham but significantly with a game in hand.

Gooners fans have become slightly more audible in recent weeks and have done admirably to stay in the hunt for Champions League football. Nevertheless it should be noted that the Blues are looking to cement third position and are more than happy to allow the other teams in London to scrap it out for the final space.

Here's hoping that the battle for fourth will be nothing more than a fascinating spectacle for Chelsea to passively supervise from above; however we must remind ourselves that we are fans of a club who opt to do things the hard way so expect the re-arranged visit of Spurs to be the decisive moment of our league campaign.

As well as Premier League fixtures, attention also turns to an FA Cup semi-final against a newly invigorated Manchester City side, fresh from their derby triumph at Old Trafford.

The Wembley showdown on Sunday could soon be followed by another semi-final, this time in the Europa League, but only if we can do the business against Rubin Kazan at the Luzhniki Stadium where we take a 3-1 first leg lead.

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at Stamford Bridge last week to witness the masked man's brace and an accomplished home performance but I echo the recent views of Jon Obi Mikel, in that there is something not quite right about playing football on a Thursday.

No disrespect to the Europa League and the teams in it, of which Chelsea are of course one, but the difference between a Champions League fixture and a Europa League game is incomparable.

Ruben Kazan and their 27 travelling fans are by no means a bad team but the event will obviously never compare to playing host to a side such as Barcelona, which we were doing to such good effect about this time last year.

There is also the issue of the music. I agree with Mr Mikel that the Champions League theme tune stands apart from all others. It is the iconic sound of the beautiful game and gets crowds and players as motivated for a match as any team talk or chant could.

The anthem has become synonymous with the greatest moments in European football, and warrants the same praise as an iconic movie soundtrack.

You know the ones; 'Lust for Life' in Trainspotting, 'Eye of the Tiger' in Rocky and some would argue 'I Believe I Can Fly' taken from Space Jam.

The easily forgettable Europa League equivalent was composed by Yohann Zveig but no offence Yohann, it's not going on my iPod anytime soon.

It is the sort of issue that UEFA should look into. If they want the Europa League to be held in higher regard and for the atmosphere inside grounds to be raised a notch or two then let's get some crazy power ballad to bellow out before matches.

Of course this is trivial and I;m not asking for signatures on a petition (yet) but a belter of an anthem could be a quick fix to more intense football and passionate Thursday night support. #EuropaLeagueSounds

Suggestions welcome to @DylClive.

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