Seb Coe Tue 6 Jun 2017
Welcome to my final blog of the season where I reflect on the last few weeks of the campaign, reclaiming our Premier League title and saying farewell to John Terry.
I was at West Brom when we sealed the title in May – it was one of the great nights in the 50 years I have been supporting the club. There is something special about winning the Premier League away from home, but you would have thought we were playing at home. It was noisy and good-humoured, and I am so pleased for the fans who went that we won there.
I celebrated by standing for an hour watching the players celebrate, and trying to pick out my sons somewhere in the away end.
When you see the players celebrating like that you realise how much it means to them, just like the supporters and the leadership team at the club. West Brom were excellent hosts and gave us a toast with a glass of champagne in the boardroom after the game. They’re a proper club.
Fast-forward a few weeks and unfortunately I didn’t see the Cup final due to family commitments. It sounds like we were not at our best, but sport is no exact science. You have to always take into account psychology. I know what it’s like in sport to have achieved something outstanding and then a week later to have to go and do it again. It isn’t easy to have achieved the target you have been chasing all year and then to have to go and grasp something else. It’s of course one of the reasons that not many sides have achieved the Double – it’s a pretty exclusive club – and we can be proud to be one of them.
The season ended with the awards evening last Sunday, which I was glad to attend and I thought was a classy night.
A couple of months ago I discussed Player of the Year and put Eden Hazard’s name forward. My views have not changed.
He is at that point in his career where teams are trying to figure out how to stop him, which is a challenge. Most players don’t go into a game where the opposition spend most of their planning and training time figuring out how to neutralise them.
Eden’s outstanding moments have been so outstanding that it would be impossible to achieve that all the time. Some days you have to grind the performance out, some days you have the platform to do something special. For Eden, there is an expectation he should be destroying defences in every match, riding five tackles and sliding the ball past the goalkeeper. It can’t happen that way. But he has had a phenomenal season and the goal against Arsenal was unquestionably Goal of the Season . Sport is always full of ups and downs. I wish him a speedy recovery following his injury on international duty – we all want to see him performing back at Stamford Bridge as soon as possible.
Someone else I’d like to see return quickly is John Terry. It must have been an emotional few weeks for him.
He has been with Chelsea man and boy, and when you’re coming towards the end of a sterling career and pondering life afterwards it can be daunting. I don’t know what he will do next but it will be a tough transition. He is right up there with the best all-time Chelsea players. He is by a distance our most successful captain and I don’t know anybody I have watched play for Chelsea that has instinctively read the game as well as John.
I sat with him at Leicester earlier in the season when we played them just after Christmas. It was tutorial listening to John talking about the game as it was being played. You realise punters like me are only really understanding a very small element of what the seasoned professionals see. He was reading the game as well from up there as he does on the pitch, noticing things that mortals like me wouldn’t. It was fascinating and was up there in my season’s memories.
Now as I look ahead to the summer I cannot wait for the athletics World Championships in London. We will have a great event and have 4,000 volunteers, many of whom cut their teeth on the Olympics five years ago.
It is the last chance to see two of the best athletes of all time in Usain Bolt and Mo Farah on the track. They are two Herculeans of the sport and this coming weekend I have the privilege of attending Usain Bolt’s last race in Jamaica. That really will be a party atmosphere.
I hope all you Chelsea supporters can have a good summer and for those in London I hope to see you on the east of the city, rather than our beloved west, in July.