The only team in London with TWO European Cups.
Chelsea have been singing about being the biggest club in the English capital ever since John Terry and Frank Lampard lifted the famous Champions League trophy up high nine years ago, and those voices will only be amplified after the Blues added a second one to the cabinet on Saturday.
Thomas Tuchel’s side sit atop the European throne after coming out on top against Manchester City, claiming the questionable title of being the best team in the continent.
That honour might be up for debate, but one thing that has to be certain now is that Chelsea are the biggest team in London…and it’s barely even close.
Since Roman Abramovich’s arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2003, Chelsea have won no fewer than 19 trophies. That’s a tally no other side in England can match, let alone in London.
Arsenal have 11, including one Premier League title and a grand total of zero Champions Leagues, while Tottenham are sat on a big fat one – the mighty League Cup triumph of 2008. There’s probably a DVD of it if you need to refresh your memory.
Even the most impartial fan will tell you that Spurs aren’t in this conversation, so it’s a straight shoot-out between the past glories of Arsenal and the current success of Chelsea.
Nobody associated with Chelsea will pretend that the club could hold a candle to the Gunners before Abramovich’s reign. However, the narrative has been flipped firmly on its head in the years since the Russian’s arrival.
The Blues have been flying high, and while Champions League glory hasn’t been a regular thing, there has constantly been a steady stream of trophies coming through the door at Stamford Bridge. In just four seasons since the 2004/05 Premier League triumph have Chelsea failed to lift any silverware – 2007/08, 2010/11, 2015/16 and 2019/20 – whereas Arsenal have only won trophies in four seasons since then.
Sure, we can’t ignore the 13 league titles, the 16 Community Shields and the record 14 FA Cups on show in Arsenal’s trophy room. They prove that the Gunners are a big team, but if he get out of the past and look to the present, you’ll see which team stands tall.
Sure, we can’t ignore the 13 league titles, 16 Community Shields and record 14 FA Cups that are on show in Arsenal’s trophy room. They’re a successful club who deserve respect for their achievements in football, but if we get out of the past and look to the present, we’ll see there’s a new sheriff in town.
You can say Chelsea bought their success instead of earning it, and sure, their rise to prominence was obviously bankrolled by Abramovich, but the Blues remain at the top of the London pyramid on merit, and it’s not as if other teams haven’t tried the same.
Arsenal spent £72m on Nicolas Pepe and then handed Willian a contract worth a bazillion pounds. Chelsea spent £72m on Kai Havertz, the man who scored the winner in the Champions League final, and used the money saved by losing Willian to lure Thiago Silva to the Bridge.
It’s all the same, and yet so, so different.
While Chelsea are dreaming of winning even more silverware next year and across the next decade, both Arsenal and Tottenham are plotting rebuilds to save themselves from the undeniable rots which have finally become too toxic to survive.
Chelsea might hit bumps in the road but they always bounce back in emphatic fashion. No other team does it better.