Team of the Decade: Chelsea

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Since the start of the decade, Chelsea have won every domestic and front line European trophy there is to win. They have also undoubtedly possessed some of the world’s best players. However, for a team like Chelsea, who like to mix and match and seek immediate success as they have in the past ten years, it is natural that players come and go, therefore leaving it hard to decide upon the team that would fit into a team of the decade for Chelsea.

Firstly, to decide who will go into the best Chelsea 11 of the decade and into the team, it will be stated that the criteria for players selected are: success during time at the club, performances for the club, memorable moments at the club and success of Chelsea teams played in.

Chelsea Team of the Decade

Manager – Jose Mourinho

Despite ‘The Special One’ now being the manager of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, it is hard to forget the incredible football played under him during the 2014/15 season.

His Chelsea side won the Premier League comfortably. Despite throwing away a 12-point lead before New Year, his side still managed to rebuild the gap to the rest of the pack and lift the trophy by the end of April.

Mourinho not only won the league, but he also provided scintillating football from the Blues, which had previously not been seen. His charismatic approach saw him create memories of fondness with humorous press conferences, interviews and not so sly digs at the opposition.

Despite the horror season that followed, Mourinho managed to rebuild Chelsea from a side that was uncertain in mid-table in 2013 and transform them into a title-winning side and also saw the brilliance of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa unleashed.

Goalkeeper – Petr Cech

The number one shirt in the Chelsea team of the decade belongs to their Czech stopper. Cech’s superb performances through his entire Chelsea career spanning ten years was world-class and he arguably hit his peak in the early 2010s.

It was Cech’s penalty saves in the Champions League final of 2012 that saw the Blues remain in the game and also win the trophy. He also won the Premier League twice, along with two more FA Cups, the League Cup and the Europa League.

His best moment came in Munich in the Champions League final, however, he also made a stunning save in the 2014 FA Cup replay against Manchester United to deny Javier Hernandez which will live long in the memory.

Right-Back – Cesar Azpilicueta

The Blues’ current Captain has been Mr Reliable since he joined in 2013. Signed as a back-up right-back, Cesar Azpilicueta quickly became undroppable as he cemented his place in Jose Mourinho’s side. 

However, possibly the most remarkable achievement is that he was often deployed as a left-back. His determination, hard work and graft made him one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league. Along with this, he was integral in the Chelsea sides that won two Premier League titles and two Europa League titles among his greatest achievements with the club.

Centre-Back – John Terry

Chelsea’s greatest ever captain, the captain of this side and one of the best defenders in world football. John Terry is a Chelsea legend and his longevity and service to the club are a credit to the man he is.

During this decade alone for Chelsea, Terry won three Premier Leagues and the holy grail of the Champions League with his team, along with numerous other accolades for him personally which saw him named in the UEFA Team of the Year.

Terry is the most successful captain in Premier League history and will remain a legend at the club forever. His inclusion in this team is unquestionable.

Centre-Back Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill joins Terry in a partnership that was the heart of a Chelsea team more often than not during this decade.

The pair were named as the duo in defence in the 2014/15 Premier League Team of the Year.

Cahill also holds the record for the fastest player to win all possible domestic competitions as he helped the Blues during a dominant four-year spell at centre-back.

The biggest compliment that can be paid to Cahill is that he has been compared to John Terry as a mini version of the Englishmen. Although he won’t go down in history as Terry will, Cahill was as solid as they come in his prime.

Left-Back – Ashley Cole

Despite not having the best off the pitch reputation, Ashley Cole will go down as one one of the Premier League’s and England’s best left-backs.

He may only have won one league title but, once again, it is the miracle of Munich that means so much for Cole’s reputation. As the starting left-back in the final and a heroic performance in the semi-final second leg, Ashley Cole is a Chelsea great.

His pace, athleticism and forward going ability cement him into the Chelsea team of the decade.

Centre Midfield – Frank Lampard

The current Blues boss and all-time top scorer was the first name on most managers’ team sheet when he was playing. He was the first name on this one too.

Lampard is largely regarded as Chelsea’s greatest ever player and for good reason too.

He was a huge part of the ‘old guard’ in 2012, captained the side in the final and, most historically, he became Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer.

Lampard was the best role model that any aspiring footballer could pick to learn from and his attitude was matched only by his ability.

He had a remarkable start to the decade in a very successful Chelsea team under Carlo Ancellotti where he scored 22 Premier League goals and also registered 16 assists. This was the peak of his powers but Lampard’s influence on Chelsea Football Club never died down.

Centre Midfield – N’Golo Kante

The current midfield general is in this side for not only his exceptional performances for the Blues but also his regard worldwide.

Since joining in 2016, he has continued his development under three managers who have each helped further his all-round game and help him cement himself as one of the world’s best midfielders.

Kante has seen himself get into the Premier League and World Team of the Year during his time in London and has also won the World Cup with France in 2018.

Centre Midifled – Cesc Fabregas

There is a myth that Cesc Fabregas didn’t have a good time while playing for Barcelona. There is no such myth for his time at Chelsea. Despite his previous ties to London rivals Arsenal, Fabregas thrived under Mourinho in his second spell in the Premier League.

He is yet another player that won the league twice in three years with Antonio Conte two years after Mourinho.

Fabregas brought a control, elegance and creative mind into a side that needed one. He showed composure and beautiful touch with a finesse that saw the world turn at the speed he wanted.

He was a magician in two teams as well that played extremely different styles of football. A testament to the wonderful player he was.

Attacking Midfielder – Eden Hazard

To fit the best players into formation, Chelsea’s best player has been given a free role. Although this doesn’t match how he was managed throughout the decade, it does imagine the role he was given when he performed his best.

Eden Hazard was at Chelsea for six years and won two Premier League titles, along with a PFA Player of the Year award.

Although Hazard’s role switched from being an out and out winger to being a free-roaming attacking player that did what he wanted, his performances rarely dropped, even given the poor 2015/16 season.

Hazard was a joy to watch. He always playing with a smile on his face, usually giving those who watched him a smile on theirs as well.

His mazy dribbles, exquisite control and effortless gliding across the pitch lit up any stage he played on. He was the best the league and Chelsea had to offer this decade, this is his team.

Striker – Diego Costa

Diego Costa was never out of the headlines in his three years at Stamford Bridge. He scored a lot of goals (58 in all competitions) and didn’t make many friends.

He was lethal in two senses of the word. A clinical striker, but he might endanger the opponent as well.

People loved to hate him but would have loved to have had him.

Yet another member of the crazy three-season squad that won two league titles and a League Cup.

Chelsea have never replaced Costa’s goal scoring power until this season. They will never replace his attitude and play style. There aren’t many strikers out there like Costa.

Didier Drogba

May 5th 2012. Didier Drogba Day.

The day he took his side to Champions League victory. It was written in the stars for the Ivorian.

Not only did he score the winning goal in the semi-final first leg, but his goals against Valencia and the equaliser in the final also had him in all the history books. His penalty sealed it.

Drogba was a battler, he wore the badge on his sleeve.

But Drogba also scored 29 league goals in the 2009/10 season alone and then returned to lift the trophy again in 2015, scoring important goals along the way.

 

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