With the new Premier League season just a day away we’ve spoken to another famous football fan about the club that is dearest to them, and today it’s a supporter of none other than the trophy holders. Dance music legend Paul Oakenfold has seen the good and bad times at current champions Chelsea, and we had a quick chat with the DJ & producer about their forthcoming campaign…
How long you’ve been supporting Chelsea?
I’ve been a life long Chelsea fan, since I was a kid. Through the good and bad.
Do the days of Ken Bates and electric fences seem a lifetime away now?
Yeah it seems like an eternity. The club has moved on so much since that era. It’s incredible to see the overall change in football today, for better or for worse, the sport has become such a huge attraction on a global scale and I’m proud that Chelsea FC are one of the top clubs in the world within that international attraction.
Are you able to see many games in the flesh, or is it difficult with your schedule?
I don’t see as many as I’d like to see because I live in Los Angeles but the coverage of the premiership in LA is really good. I rarely miss a game on TV. Wherever I am in the world I try to make time to catch the match.
Did you manage to make the 2012 Champions League Final?
I didn’t make the final in Munich due to work obligations but did make the one in Moscow!
Your favourite Chelsea player, current and all-time?
That’s too difficult. I’m a big fan of Zola and Drogba, both are Chelsea legends and were incredible footballers for us. Currently I’m a big supporter of Eden Hazard. He is a great talent and somebody who has the potential to become the best footballer in the world.
What is your general assessment of last season?
We obviously won the league and got unlucky in the Champions League. We did well and I love what Mourinho brings to Chelsea. The future for the club is looking very bright for the club and I’m really excited about what lies ahead and the new players we have coming through.
Where do you think the team needs to improve, be it in personnel or more generally?
That is a very difficult question. We have a very strong squad. It’s going to be difficult to improve on what is already a well balanced team.
Will Radamel Falcao recapture his form at Chelsea, or is he another FernandoTorres?
I think Falcao will do very well at Chelsea. He has had one season to adapt to the league and now will hopefully have something to prove to everyone. I think he’s a really positive signing for the club and Mourinho will get the best out of him I’m sure.
Do you share the feeling of betrayal that some Blues have expressed with the departure of Petr Cech?
I think sending him to Arsenal improves their chances of winning the league. They are a real threat to us now. I do understand the reason though. He has been a loyal supporter and I don’t think anyone can stand in his way taking into account how much he has given back to the club. Does he remain a Chelsea legend for you? Yes.
Is the title race going to be closer this year?
It’s going to be very close this season, yes. Manchester United will be stronger this season, so too will Man City and Arsenal have a really good squad, plus clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham etc can’t be ignored.
What constitutes a successful 2015-16 season for Chelsea?
Winning trophies. The league is important but the Champions League is also a trophy that Mourinho and the fans too will want to see back at the club.
Paul Oakenfold will be at SW4 in London on Saturday 29 August, and will perform a ’25 years of Perfecto’ set at Mint Fest, Leeds on 19 September. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulOakenfold