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The Urban Myth of Luck: Chelsea and your team should be so lucky!

In order for this article to work, a few things need to be said first. As a 24 year old Chelsea fan, I have witnessed the birth of a new club – in  2003 certain Russian came in and transformed the landscape at Stamford Bridge. Before the Roman Empire started it was all about the odd semi final in some odd competition that no one cares about and drawing 1-1 away to Liverpool. Since then we have seen  the club win both European competitions, win more FA cups than is possible and win the Title three times. In short we have been overly spoilt. However to get to the nub of this article, if we are not Champions in May  – then all sensible supporters of the club should not blame it on a lack of luck.

Luck in sport is often sensationalised and there have been theories that dismiss the term outright. That is possibly too far to take this particular argument. Fans of the world’s most beautiful game say ridiculous things such as “If that penalty hadn’t be given against us at Anfield we would have won the Title”… “The referee’s made so many poor decisions and the Title is gone”.  The reason this is silly is because it defies all possible logic. For a start – the fact the world even exists is because of a sequent of Scientific Events not because everyone is lucky to live on Planet that shouldn’t function. Do you then say that you are lucky to have such a great son or daughter or are you so lucky that it is hot in Australia?

Managers, players and fans spend their life’s moaning about decisions that have gone against them. Let’s turn that fall circle- any season consists of injuries, sending’s off , poor subs –luck itself has nothing to do with any of those. Human impact and choices do but not luck.  Are you really trying to say that a star player breaking a leg is bad luck? Football is a team game and that is why managers have to blame either themselves or their boards when they don’t have a squad to compete for honours. It is a game where very few people admit their own mistakes. It is a mistake not admit your mistakes in football- true in any other arena. It is also a mistake not too move on as soon as the final whistle has gone.  The point of blaming someone else is to avoid the real truth.

Sergio Aguero did not win City the league in 2012 in the dying moments of that  season- Manchester City simply had the best campaign over the season. Liverpool did not lose the Title in May because Steven Gerrard slipped on his ‘Bum and Gave It To Demba Ba’- they lost the Championship after they buckled under immense pressure. How many goals did Gerrard score that season? How many assists did he have throughout? How much of a driving force was he? Incidentally we cannot blame him for losing us the World Cup place, it was just because there were very few winners on the pitch. Liverpool also showed themselves to be tactically naive at times as well.

When Iniesta scored in the Champions League Semi  Final 2009, the crowd blamed the ref (to be honest he was dire and did turn down 4 penalty appeals that were  beyond valid), it was Barcelona tailor made resistance that saw them through.  Not some ‘luck’ conspiracy. In football as in life you have to enjoy victory and endure defeat. The referee did not wake up that morning in April and make it his duty to get Chelsea knocked out of the competition. Emotions get in the way during any match and that is why we watch it. But if you are going to enjoy those moments like witnessing your team winning the Champions League in Munich in  2012- then you have to suffer the hangover you feel the next day after a competition elimination.  Without the clock going back in November there would be no Spring evenings to look forward to.

In the second to last paragraph – the phenomenon of luck evening itself out shall be dissected.  This is problem wish this theory is it is a random but that does not mean the theory is completely fraudulent. The premise  that it all comes back to be fair could well be true. Football is the same as the rest of life – it is just one thing after the other.  Luck is more something that is there but it’s impact is greatly exaggerated. Sports fan and football fans should try and look beyond the whole phenomena. That is always easier said than done but it is important to remember. Luck for luck sake is not true though- winning does not make you lucky and losing does not make you unlucky. What breeds winning is the belief that you are good enough in the first place. A striker who has hit the post eight times in three games is not unlucky they have just hit the post eight  times. Strikers like Henry, Shearer , Drogba and Rooney- do not mind not scoring because they all know that when they look at their statistics they will show they scored when it really matter. That is what being a footballer is really all about and that is why trying pays off. Take 10 Ivanovic over ten Glen Johnson’s any day of the week.

For now Chelsea are on the top of their game and as always luck has had nothing to do with it. What will us Chelsea fans think in May?

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