Being humbled

The feeling of being humbled is something that Chelsea supporters have experienced quite a lot in the last 12 months.

The fall from grace of our men’s side has left me realising just how lucky I have been - the first year I had a season ticket, aged four years old, we won our first Premier League title. The years that followed were full of success, and I became accustomed to the glory.

Of course, I want Chelsea to win every game of football that they play - men, women, youth, league, cup, friendlies - I want us to win.

But, sometimes, being humbled is exactly what you need.

On Saturday, Chelsea Ladies faced the London Bees - a team who didn’t exist before 2014, and we had beaten 13-0 and 8-0 in the last two seasons respectively. While never wanting to underestimate your opponent, I don’t think there was a person on this earth who would genuinely have tipped the Bees to win.

We were superior in every way - we are English champions, they are a mid-table team in the second division; we are a full-time team littered with internationals, while they are part-timers. The history of the teams indicated that there could, and would, only be one winner.

It is easy to forget that football is none of the things listed above; it is just the 22 players, the ball, and 90 minutes (or 120 minutes in this case). The Bees played us at our own game, and they won.

It was a result that shook the world of women’s football. It went against the status quo. Surely, this was not supposed to happen?

Normally, I am a nervous wreck before games, but on Saturday, I was confident. I knew we would win. How couldn’t we?

But as I watched the game unfold in front of me, I felt humbled. The Bees had well and truly beaten us.

As I said, whilst never wanting us to lose, perhaps this humbling is a blessing in disguise. Years ago, results like Saturday’s simply weren’t possible. It was a great indicator of the development of the game. We are all striving for excellence, and parity across the leagues is only a good thing.

Results like these highlight the need to be excellent, always.

Sometimes you have to fall down to be able to climb back up. And I’m sure we will.

By Hannah Roberts from Chelsea Ladies Fans