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Complaining About Chelsea Is Sour Grapes From the Nu-Football Fraternity

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Rorke's Drift, for those of you who haven't seen Zulu, saw just over 150 British and colonial troops successfully defend their garrison against an intense assault of up to 4,000 warriors in the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879.

On Saturday night, there was a touch of the Rorke's Drift about Chelsea in Bavaria. Reluctance - verging on borderline refusal - to attack Bayern Munich is a tactic Roberto di Matteo has adopted since he was promoted to interim boss on 4 March.

Against Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Barcelona (twice) his side resembled the Italian's catenaccio-esque mindset. The results were varied - they didn't win many the games - but lost just once and the Camp Nou draw was effectively a victory.

Chelsea's triumph in winning their first ever European Cup has dismayed many. "Anti-football" they call it. Because Di Matteo's Blues are reticent and negative, and appeared determined to resemble Steaua Bucharest versus Barcelona in 1986 or Red Star Belgrade against Marseille in 1991, they were not ostensibly worthy winners.

But this is a ridiculous school of thought which has stemmed from modern football's Spanish obsession. Spain and Barcelona exhibit "tiki-taka" football, characterised by short passing and movement whilst retaining possession. Sir Alex Ferguson, whose Manchester United have been ignominious victims of the function twice, called it "the passing carousel".

Apparently it is beautiful. But actually, it is tedious.

Spain, at the 2010 World Cup, were barely a level above England in terms of excitement. In just two games they scored more than one goal (both in the group stages) and their knockout displays consisted of hitting late goals before protecting that lead.

That infamous Johannesburg final was just so because of the quality of football as much as the violence. The sporadic thuggery the Dutch exhibited livened up proceedings since no one wearing roja appeared willing to.

Had Chelsea tried to outplay Barcelona or Bayern Munich, the likely result would have been that of defeat. The most telling contribution Di Matteo has made is giving a pep talk, via tactics, that this Chelsea side is an inferior one to many on the continent.

All of those egos which fester in the Blues' dressing room have belatedly and willingly taken a battering. Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, for example, are both well into their 30s and time was running out on their chances of yielding the one medal which had eluded them throughout their Stamford Bridge careers.

So they had to accept the inferiority complex. Lampard hasn't the legs to roam from box-to-box anymore and even Drogba, awesome though he still can be, is not as mobile as he once was leading the line.

Exceptions lie in the form of Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge and Ramires, as Andre Villas-Boas attempted to instil new blood by dropping the old guard completely. It was understandable thinking, but results did not vindicate his decisions.

His sacking was ridiculous, but considering Di Matteo has won the club its first Champions League title with all of the old guard but their risible captain in the final, the decision is paradoxically vindicated.

With their last chance, it was brawn, not brain, which enabled these players to clasp their hands on the Holy Grail. Through resilience, determination, hunger and power, they succeeded over the fleet-footed Catalans and the giants of Germany.

And as a spectacle, watching Chelsea cling on within a Bavarian cauldron and display desire to hit back was riveting. Drogba's "acting" is deplorable, but he performed, as he has done in the Champions League, like the boxer James "Cinderella Man" Braddock: there is no one better than him in knockout competitions.

Lampard, exposed as a rotten apple for his whinging under Villas-Boas, held the midfield line with gutsy discipline and Ashley Cole, save for his lapse that allowed Thomas Muller to score the opener, was again outstanding.

Chelsea may be the worst side to win the European Cup since Liverpool in 2005, but like Rafael Benitez's Istanbul heroes, they generated a belief which made their triumph fated. And via a legal style of play, so the moaners' gripes - and grapes - are sour.

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