Jump to content
Join Talk Chelsea and join in with the discussions! Click Here

BL's Season Review - the Players


Recommended Posts

Chelsea Football Club

Goalkeepers

#1 - Petr Cech - in spite of much criticism towards the end of the season, Cech has been exceptionally consistent for Chelsea once again this season. Although clearly lacking confidence at certain points during the season, he has put in some truly epic performances this season; most prominently perhaps away at Blackburn in November. At a stage where Chelsea had just taken the lead through Nicolas Anelka, Blackburn responded with a rasping Morten Gamst Pedersen volley, but the Chelsea keeper palmed the ball away for a corner as we won the game 2-0 eventually. He's put in countless faultless performances yet again, and although he's had the odd bad game; don't we all?

#23 - Carlo Cudicini - it was sad to see Cudicini leave Chelsea in January after ten years with the club. Arguably the greatest goalkeeper in our history, and possibly the best back-up shot-stopper in the Premier League. He kept his 100th clean sheet for the club in a 5-0 win against Middlesbrough and leaves the club a legend.

#40 - Henrique Hilario - the much-maligned Chelsea third-choice goalkeeper only made one performance for the club this season - and kept a clean sheet against Hull City. Of course, he made the odd flap at a cross during that game, but us Chelsea fans do expect nothing more than madness from our goalkeepers.

Defenders

#2 - Branislav Ivanovic
- prior to that evening at Anfield, Branislav Ivanovic was relatively unheard of amongst Chelsea fans. Though he had a reputation of being a highly-rated young defender, the Blues had only seen glimpses of the Serbian under Luiz Felipe Scolari, but under the guidance of Guus Hiddink, Ivanovic emerged as a star performer towards the end of the season. Of course he enters Chelsea folklore based on that dominating performance at Anfield, but he has been absolutely solid whenever he has been called up by Chelsea. Strong, athletic and imperious, he has proven his worth at both right-back and centre-back.

PLAYER FOCUS

ashley_cole.jpg

#3 - Ashley Cole - Chelsea's most consistent player of the season without consideration. Though Cole has yet to get his name on the scoresheet as many times as he should have done, the Chelsea fullback has been faultless all season. At the beginning of the season, we saw an Ashley Cole who had been let off the leash by Scolari. Rampaging down the left flank and supplying endless crosses for the likes of Anelka and Lampard to feed off, Chelsea fans began to see Cole's worth in an attacking sense. Yet he had somehow managed to maintain his defensive discipline and has been the major factor in Chelsea's defence being so watertight this season. Under Guus Hiddink, Cole's season became the reverse of how it had started - he was encouraged to sit and defend and play a more conservative role, yet know when to support his midfielders and when to maintain his position. Both sides to Cole's game - the defensive and offensive aspect - have been shown to be massive weapons in the Chelsea arsenal, hence Cole being named Chelsea's Player's Player of the Year by his peers.


KEY PERFORMANCES

Hull City 0-3 Chelsea - Cole was excellent in defence, keeping the inform Geovanni quiet throughout the match. The England full-back was also outrageously effective in attack; roaming forward and starting the move that led to Nicolas Anelka's goal after the interval.

Southend 1-4 Chelsea - though not on the scoresheet, Cole was in inspired form as Chelsea bounced back from a crushing defeat at Old Trafford. Involved in Chelsea's final two goals of the evening, he was full of energy and put in another faultless performance.

Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea - if you're going to have an inspired performance, where better than to play out of your skin at a stadium where the mere mention of your name makes the home fans swell with anger. Cole was, quite simply, magnificent, and to rub salt into Arsenal wounds, supplied the cross that Kolo Toure bundled into his own net.

#6 - Ricardo Carvalho - a frustrating season for someone who is evidently amongst Europe's best centre-backs. Although Ricardo is on the wrong side of 30, he did nothing wrong in the few performances he made for the club. Injured-stricken for much of the campaign and then benched by the imperious form of Alex, Carvalho did however manage to score an important goal in an away win at Manchester City and supplied a killer cross to Florent Malouda which was duly dispatched away to Hull City.

#17 - Jose Bosingwa - Bosingwa's season was ultimately a successful one, although his attacking prowess is clear for all to see. Opening the scoring away to both Stoke and West Brom, Bosingwa's rampaging runs led to goals against the likes of Arsenal, Bolton and Blackburn in the early part of the season. Under Guus Hiddink, however, his role was far more subdued, and although he was encouraged by the Dutchman to roam forward, he showed strong commitment to his defensive duties. Part of a watertight defence, Bosingwa has had a strong debut season at Stamford Bridge, and his consistency is appreciated by all at SW6.

#18 - Wayne Bridge - now a Manchester City player, Bridge's faultless attitude saw him wear the armband against Burnley as he was instated as one of the senior Chelsea squad members. 5 and a half year's contribution to Chelsea Football Club came to an end in January, but Bridge enjoyed a safe campaign for the Blues.

#19 - Paulo Ferreira - indifferent would be the best word to describe Ferreira - although a solid defender, the Portuguese is prone to the odd lapse in concentration and his lack of attacking desire often saw the right flank devoid of attacking influence. Nevertheless, Paulo was solid when called upon during his 12 appearances last term.

#26 - John Terry - a man who wears his heart on his sleeve certainly has enjoyed another prolific campaign with the club. Chelsea through and through, the Blues skipper returned to goalscoring form with two goals against Roma in the Champions League and a wonder volley against Wigan, and countless imperious defensive performances have rightly earned him acclaim this season. Although he is far from his dominating best of 2006, Terry is still arguably the Premier League's best defender, and Captain Fantastic is quite possibly the most reliable performer in the division.

#33 - Alex da Costa - that freekick against Liverpool will go down in the memory as being one of the finest goals Stamford Bridge has ever seen. Alex has really raised his game this season; filling the void left by Ricardo Carvalho's injuries. Scoring four goals this term - including a brilliant finish against Coventry in a 2-0 win - Alex has been imperious for Chelsea this season. A threat to opposition strikers and defenders alike, his brute strength makes him a dominating opponent, although his lack of pace does make him vulnerable against the Premier League's faster players. Nevertheless, under Guus Hiddink, Alex emerged as Chelsea's defensive rock and formed a watertight partnership with captain John Terry. A brilliant season for the Brazilian.

#42 - Michael Mancienne - a promising talent, Mancienne's loan spell at Wolves earned him rave reviews and several performances for the Blues this season has seen him emerge as a massive prospect. A Chelsea academy project, Mancienne made him debut against Watford in the FA Cup and subsequently played against the likes of Juventus in the Champions League, albeit in midfield.

Midfielders

#5 - Michael Essien - after six months out with injury, the Ghanaian midfielder responded with an equaliser away to Juventus and a winner against Manchester City in his first two full games back. Essien has been superb for Chelsea despite making only a dozen appearances for Chelsea this season - including a solid shift against Wigan earlier in the season. A superb volley against Barcelona deserved to be celebrated more with progress to the Champions League final, but Essien's endeavours since returning from injury has been exceptional. And at only 26, the best of this man is yet to come.

#8 - Frank Lampard - what can be said about Frank Lampard? Magnificent? Incredible? Faultless? Those words are not used lightly, and rightly so. This has been Frank Lampard's best season for Chelsea. Why? Because there has been no Claude Makelele. In the previous five seasons, Makelele's presence at the heart of the Chelsea side gave Lampard license to roam forward and play behind the strikers as an attacking midfielder, yet without the Frenchman's discipline, Lampard has still scored 20 goals this season, including breathtaking strikes against Stoke, Liverpool and Hull, as well as the winner in the FA Cup Final. A mature season from the England international has seen him also contribute 16 assists in all competitions to Chelsea, including 11 in the Premier League, and his contribution to Chelsea is clear for all to see. Player of the Season without doubt.

#10 - Joe Cole - again, another player affected by injury. One of the star performers under Luiz Felipe Scolari, Cole went as far as scoring a header (yes, you read correctly) against Bordeaux in the Champions League, and finished off beautiful team goals against the likes of Aston Villa and Portsmouth. However, a terrible tackle in Chelsea's replay against Southend has seen him miss out on FA Cup glory with his peers - a disappointment for Cole after a solid start.

#12 - John Mikel Obi - a player who began and ended the season looking like a player more and more likely to be Makelele's long-term replacement. There were doubts over Mikel's performances towards the start of the season. but consistent displays under both Scolari and Hiddink have seen the Nigerian become a regular at Stamford Bridge. He possesses the natural ability to break up opposition attacks and his long range of passing is part of the reason by Chelsea's ability to score goals at will. His partnership with Frank Lampard may be the start of something special at the centre of the pitch.

#13 - Michael Ballack - maligned throughout the season, Ballack has actually been very consistent for Chelsea this season. Scoring four goals, the German made a telling contribution to Chelsea's FA Cup run with three goals in the earlier round, and his disciplined performances as a defensive midfielder have made Michael Essien's injury less devastating than it could it been.

#15 - Florent Malouda - the Frenchman has enjoyed a brilliant season at Chelsea; even under Scolari. Though his form was spasmodic under the Brazilian coach, Malouda still offered a handful of goals and assists to the Chelsea cause in the early part of the season. However, under Guus Hiddink the player was revitalised, and put in absolutely sensational performances away to Arsenal and Liverpool, and capped off his wonderful end to the season with a stunning performance in the FA Cup final, in which he set up Didier Drogba and then scored a wonderful 30 yard strike that was ridiculously deemed not to have crossed the line. Maybe its the hair that has transformed the player, but now Chelsea fans can see why Mourinho spent £13.5 million on the winger.

#16 - Scott Sinclair - not really given a chance by either Scolari or Hiddink, Sinclair spent the final weeks of the season at Birmingham where he helped them to a second-placed finish. More is needed from the youngster if he is to break into the Chelsea first-team, but one could argue his work rate deserves a greater chance to succeed.

#20 - Anderson Deco - Deco scored three sensational goals - a stunner against Portsmouth, a freekick against Wigan and then an overhead kick against Bolton. He didn't do much else. Frustrated by injury, he frustrated the Chelsea fans just as much with many unconvincing displays despite having a wonderful start to his Chelsea career.

#24 - Shaun Wright-Phillips
- although he only made a cameo appearance for Chelsea this season - a 12 minute showing against Portsmouth - SWP still set up Deco to unleash a screamer beyond David James and enjoyed a very productive pre-season. It was a season during which Wright-Phillips' energy and desire was something Chelsea desperately needed, especially with Kalou out of form and Joe Cole injured - it was a mistake to sell him.

#27 - Mineiro - has done relatively little during his 7-month spell with the Blues, but did make a cameo appearance against Sunderland and started against Burnley in the Carling Cup, where he enjoyed a solid performance. Not given the chances he perhaps deserved to show his quality, the Brazilian was nevertheless efficient whenever he was played.

PLAYER FOCUS

juliano_belletti.jpg

#35 - Juliano Belletti - the Brazilian midfielder is perhaps the most reliable back-up player in the Premier League. Right-back, centre-back, right-midfield, centre-midfield; the Brazilian has featured for Chelsea many times out of position and yet showed immense quality there. The kind of utility player all managers desire, Belletti is a cult favourite amongst Chelsea fans - after all, he has scored twice against Tottenham! Efficient wherever he was asked to play by both Scolari and Hiddink, Belletti found himself rejuvenated as a central midfielder by the Brazilian coach who had managed Belletti with the Brazil national team, before playing basically everywhere under Hiddink as the manager's number one substitute. Reliable and effective, Belletti has been a massive factor in Chelsea's success this season. Under-appreciating his value to the club is an easy mistake to make, however, as he goes about his job with minimum fuss, but the Brazilian's work ethic is amongst the best in the Premier League.


KEY PERFORMANCES


Middlesbrough 0-5 Chelsea - Belletti sealed Chelsea's win in empathic style by scoring a killer second goal after the interval from 36 yards. Picking up the ball from Florent Malouda, the Brazilian shifted the ball onto his right foot and blasted the ball beyond Ross Turnbull. Belletti also set up Kalou for the first goal and kept Stuart Downing - 'Boro's only attacking threat that afternoon - relatively quiet.

Chelsea 2-1 Stoke City - 1-0 down at home to Stoke with three minutes to go, who would turn up but Mister Reliable to head home an equaliser? Franco di Santo powered a header across the six yard box where Belletti headed beyond Sorenson to set up a grandstand finale.

Juventus 2-2 Chelsea - after conceding a penalty after handling the ball - which was duly converted by Alex del Piero - Belletti rampaged forward in search of making amends, and did that when he supplied Didier Drogba with a killer ball to equalise and send Chelsea through to the Champions League quarter-finals.


#43 - Miroslav Stoch - favoured by Luiz Felipe Scolari, Stoch's crossing was a massive factor in Chelsea coming from behind to beat Stoke at Stamford Bridge; as he supplied Frank Lampard with the ball for the winner. A common player to come off the bench under the Brazilian, Stoch excited many inside Stamford Bridge with his pace and ball control, and is a huge prospect for next season.

Forwards


#9 - Franco di Santo - a young Argentine who scored 9 goals in 11 reserve games for Chelsea's b-team, the young striker has been restricted to only 16 appearances - all as substitute - this season. Despite contributing in Chelsea's epic last-minute win over Stoke with an assist for Juliano Belletti, di Santo's chances have been incredibly limited under both Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink. A Premier League loan deal to Blackburn looks on the cards, and would be the best option for the Chelsea number nine, who could be a massive star for both club and country in the future. Franco certainly has the potential to be as good as the likes of Crespo and Tevez.

PLAYER FOCUS

didier_drogba.jpg


#11 - Didier Drogba - Chelsea's talismanic frontman has had a wonderful second half the season - an incredible contrast to a miserable beginning. Injured and out of favour at the beginning of Scolari's reign, the Brazilian saw fit to relegate the Ivorian to the bench with Nicolas Anelka in awesome form in front of goal. However, Drogba still managed to score against both Burnley and CFR Cluj in the Champions League, and a Premier League return saw him provide a goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. However, Drogba's season was marred by a coin-throwing incident in the game against Burnley, and saw the Ivorian banned for three games by the FA. Disgraced, Drogba was on the sidelines until the appointment of Guus Hiddink.
And then, all of a sudden, Chelsea had the best striker in the world back. Gone were the sulking and the moody attitude; replaced with desire and the sheer immensity of the Ivorian striker. Drogba was excellent against Aston Villa in Hiddink's first game, and then scored the winner against Juventus. Goals in either leg of Chelsea's Champions League tie with Liverpool saw the Blues progress to the semi finals, and even a controversial attack on referee Tom Hemming Ovrebo could not deny the striker, who led Chelsea to more cup final glory with a brilliant equaliser against Everton. The celebrations and the aftermath of that famous victory - along with a run off 11 goals and 6 assists in 20 appearances under Guus Hiddink - underlined one thing; one his day, Drogba is unplayable. He is still Chelsea's main man. Forget Lampard, forget Terry and forget Petr Cech. There is not one player at Chelsea who wants to win more than Didier Drogba.


KEY PERFORMANCES


Chelsea 2-1 Cluj - with the Blues in desperate need of a winning goal to ensure Champions League knockout football, Scolari brought on Drogba and instantly the Ivorian netted the winner at the Matthew Harding End. If there was ever a test of his character, he had answered.

Chelsea 4-4 Liverpool - 2-0 down at half-time, Drogba inspired Chelsea to level the game at 4-4 by netting a crucial opener for Chelsea and then setting up Frank Lampard to put Chelsea 3-2 ahead on the night. He was full of running and that night was perhaps the most passionate performance Drogba has ever given in a Blue jersey.

Chelsea 3-1 Fulham - derby games are great occasions, especially when you win. So when Drogba set up Anelka to score after just 51 seconds, things looked great - and even rosier when he sealed a superb performance with a fine strike to seal a 3-1 victory.


#21 - Salomon Kalou - Kalou's season has been indifferent; starting well and ending well, but with a void in between. Scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Manchester United, Kalou then went about scoring four goals in two games against Middlesbrough and a brace over the two FA Cup ties with Southend, but soon after suffered a drop in form. Nevertheless, Kalou scored a winner away to West Ham and also scored a fine volley against Sunderland to ensure victory on the final day of the season.

#18 - Ricardo Quaresma - simply put, he wasn't given the chances he deserved. Whenever he came on he looked dangerous and whilst his only contribution was an assist for Alex away at Coventry, Quaresma deserved a chance to prove himself under Hiddink. In his first game, a 0-0 with Hull, Duke brilliantly saved his curling effort; if that had have gone in, we might have seen a different, more confident Quaresma. It just never happened for him.

#39 - Nicolas Anelka - Anelka's season has been simply brilliant. 25 goals in all competitions for Chelsea striker underlines his massive importance to the side; despite playing as a winger for much of the season. Netting hat-tricks at home to Sunderland and away to Watford in the FA Cup, Anelka scored winners against Blackburn and Stoke City amongst others, and finished as the Premier League's top scorer with 19 strikes in 34 appearances. Anelka also scored against Arsenal and Sunderland as the season reached its climax to ensure he finished the season as top scorer, and his importance to Chelsea is now obvious to all.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forwards

#9 - Franco di Santo - a young Argentine who scored 9 goals in 11 reserve games for Chelsea's b-team, the young striker has been restricted to only 16 appearances - all as substitute - this season. Despite contributing in Chelsea's epic last-minute win over Stoke with an assist for Juliano Belletti, di Santo's chances have been incredibly limited under both Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink. A Premier League loan deal to Blackburn looks on the cards, and would be the best option for the Chelsea number nine, who could be a massive star for both club and country in the future. Franco certainly has the potential to be as good as the likes of Crespo and Tevez.

no doubt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

#9 - Franco di Santo- Franco certainly has the potential to be as good as the likes of Crespo and Tevez.

You do talk some rubbish BL. He's shown NOTHING to be even mentioned in the same breathe as these two. What makes you think he'll be as good as two of the leading strikers in world football over the last 10 years? 'Cos he's tall and can run fast? :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do talk some rubbish BL. He's shown NOTHING to be even mentioned in the same breathe as these two. What makes you think he'll be as good as two of the leading strikers in world football over the last 10 years? 'Cos he's tall and can run fast? :huh:

I disagree, when he has come on he has shown quality in holding the ball up in a way very similar to Hernan Crespo. Of course, its very little to go by, but let's consider the facts - if the academy and the manager didn't think Franco had the potential to be a world star, he wouldn't have been promoted to the first team squad. Of course he has the potential to be as good as those two strikers; he's learning every day from two of the best strikers in the trade from Anelka and Drogba and is surrounded by stars - he's bound to improve over time. From what I saw of him in his stint with the reserves last season, he also shows the same work ethic of a player such as Ivica Olic or Carlos Tevez, hence the comparison with the latter.

Thanks to everyone for reading though, its appreciated :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree, when he has come on he has shown quality in holding the ball up in a way very similar to Hernan Crespo. Of course, its very little to go by, but let's consider the facts - if the academy and the manager didn't think Franco had the potential to be a world star, he wouldn't have been promoted to the first team squad. Of course he has the potential to be as good as those two strikers; he's learning every day from two of the best strikers in the trade from Anelka and Drogba and is surrounded by stars - he's bound to improve over time. From what I saw of him in his stint with the reserves last season, he also shows the same work ethic of a player such as Ivica Olic or Carlos Tevez, hence the comparison with the latter.

Thanks to everyone for reading though, its appreciated :)

In the very little time he has got on, he's hardly got a kick, let alone a chance. If your considering 'facts', lets also remember that he wasn't selected for the Under 19 World Cup a couple of years ago. If he had the potential to be the 'next Crespo', I'm pretty sure he would have been.

I'm not saying he's going to be a flop, I just think your comment is way OTT, as you have a tendency to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Players develop at different rates, hence the reason he didn't go to the U-19 World Cup. If he didn't have a lot of potential, I doubt Chelsea would have spent so much money on a relatively unheard-of player. Obviously I'm basing this particular argument on assumptions, but I don't see how the club would try and nurture a young player by bringing him up to the first team if he didn't have the potential to go on and be a star for them. I think if he does go on loan we can actually assess how good Franco is, providing he actually gets some gametime. I'm quite optimistic that di Santo can become a massive player for Chelsea, but with Chelsea being a club that demands instant success from managers and instant returns from players, it could be very difficult for him to become a regular in the side, and I therefore have my own reservations about his development. However, learning from Drogba and Anelka will certainly help him progress as a player. Ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice review, I agree with the point of selling SWP, we should have kept him.

Also, I think Drogba's key performances were in the CL this year vs Juve (1-0 at home) and Liverpool (3-1 at anfield).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...