Chelsea Christmas Vacation

It’s Christmas week around the world, but here in the USA I find sometimes the celebrations are overshadowed by Thanksgiving. Around half of Americans live in a different State from where they were born, so many travel back ‘home’ as most get a four-day weekend for the November holiday. They don’t have Boxing Day and December 26 is usually a ‘return to work’ date.

I have never gone back to the UK during the Yuletide season. If I did, I could take in a Chelsea game and have a traditional conversation with my friends and family down the pub about the importance of the packed festive schedule. But if the Blues squad had a break, and each received a ticket across the Atlantic as a present, where should they go? I’ve been to all 50 States, so here are my ideas…

Keeper Thibaut Courtois is suited to basketball. Maybe Chicago and a court-side seat in the United Center at a Chicago Bulls game, the team who won six titles in the 90s and have never lost an NBA Finals series in their history.

Let’s send rugged Scandinavian defender Andreas Christensen to Alaska, the wild frontier, to spend New Year’s Eve wrestling polar bears or riding an Orca. For his English defensive partner, Gary Cahill, it’s a trip to Plymouth in Massachusetts. Learn about the pilgrims who sailed from Blighty in the 17th century, visit historic sites and truly become immersed in history.

Our Spanish contingent of Cesc Fabregas, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and Alvaro Morata can sashay down to Miami Beach where their native tongue is ubiquitous and they can enjoy Cuban food and learn to salsa dance. David Luiz might want to change his hairstyle, so a flight to San Francisco with its fashion designers and stylists. Tiemoue Bakayoko could go with him if his barnet needs a touch up.

Danny Drinkwater seems like a down-to-earth guy so for him it’s the Midwest. He can take his pick from Missouri, Kansas or Nebraska, the region where shops stock farm boots and tractor parts rather than expensive dresses for your poodle. Midfield dynamo, N'Golo Kanté, probably never misses a day’s exercise so let’s whisk him off to big-sky Colorado with a pass to the national parks. He can run and run to his heart’s content.

Finally, Eden Hazard. A first-class ticket to Hawaii to take it easy and potter around the shops in Honolulu or snorkel on Waikiki Beach. He’s earned a break, and we need him rested for the second half of the season.