As we all know, Chelsea have some of the best personnel in the league. Many of our players are the best in the league. But exactly how many? In this article, I will be comparing Chelsea’s players to the crème de la crème of the Barclays Premier League to decide how the Blues players rank among the league’s finest.
One of the best keepers in the world, let alone the league, the Czech No. 1 is arguably at the top of the rankings. His brilliant reflexes, shot-stopping and aerial ability are rivalled by only one keeper in England. Manchester City No.1 Joe Hart. Through my strongly blue-tinted glasses however, Petr Cech comes out on top.
This, I think, is the section in which there can be absolutely no argument whatsoever. The England left back has attracted plaudits far and wide, with most hailing him as the best left back in the world. I certainly think this is so. Maybe there is a little competition from Philip Lahm, but as this article only concerns the league, once can say without a doubt that Ashley Cole is the best left back in the league.
Maybe once, the England man was the best in the league, perhaps even the world, but his abilities have faded with the passing of time. That said, I can think of only two or three players with his ability, even though he is not getting any younger at thirty one years of age. Maybe Kompany, Vidic and a few others can surpass him, but the Blues erstwhile captain, leader and legend remains firmly near the top of the list.
The same, sadly, cannot be said for Terry’s Brazilian counterpart. As you may have guessed from some of my writings, I am not Luiz’s most loyal supporter, and would rather see Cahill in the side. However, Luiz’s on the ball skills, energy, and aerial prowess mark him as one of the best, and of the roughly forty first choice centre backs, I would place Luiz at around nine or ten.
With the imperious form of the Serb taken into account, one would have to place Ivanovic at least at number two or three. Bacary Sagna of Arsenal would have to top the list, but Ivanovic’s killer combination of pace, power and skill catapult him way up the rankings. One facet of his game though, that is undoubtedly the best in the league is his defensive solidity. His uncompromising nature allows him to snuff out anything and everything that comes his way.
John Obi Mikel
Far from the bumbling performances of recent seasons, the Nigerian has seriously raised his game this year. He has quickly turned into one of the best holding midfielders around, and has been almost ever present in the starting XI while Ramires, Lampard and Romeu were rotated next to him. Except for Yaya Toure of Manchester City, I cannot think of a better holding midfielder.
The wiry Brazilian is a difficult player to classify, being not quite a holding midielder, and not quite an attacking midfielder. Instead, one might call him a box-to-box man, a title only a few players in the league share. I put him at three, behind Steven Gerrard, and Anderson. However, the attribute that Ramires possesses in greater quantities that any other player in the league, perhaps in the world, is stamina. Ramires seems to never get tired, and his runner’s frame lets him cover the grass with ease for the whole ninety minutes at full pelt.
As an attacking midfielder, somebody to get at defenders, play a tricky pass, or use their electric pace, I believe the Belgian is the equal of, if not better than, Antonio Valencia, one of the men behind United’s sterling attacking force. Tied with his teammate Juan Mata for the most assists in the league, Hazard has shown that he can not only leave his marker in the dust, but can also play his fellow through the defence with one stroke of his boot. His pace and excellent movement have been a key part of the Chelsea attack this season, and for this reason I place him at the top of the list.
Without a doubt the Blues’ best player this season so far, and equally so in the league, with the most assists in the league, and with seven goals, the most at Chelsea. His influence is remarkable on the pitch, and it is a testament to the depth of quality that his home country possesses that they can afford to leave a star like Mata out of their squad, much to our consternation here at the Bridge. With the previous star of the season David Silva injured, it is possibly the easiest decision I have had to make so far, in that Juan Mata is the best influential midfielder in England.
Like his Brazilian colleague in midfield, Oscar tough to categorise, so I shall coin a new term for his breed of player. His sparkling feet allow him to find his way out of tackles with ease, and his wonderful vision for one so young enable him to pick the perfect pass. I christen him, the roving passer. His skill set is a blend of the two trequartistas either side of him, in that while he does have Hazard’s dribbling skill, he also has Mata’s passing expertise. In any case, since he is one of a kind, he automatically takes the number one spot.
Ah Torres. Torres Torres Torres. At times we love him, and at times we hate him. However, we can conclude that his play has been not only inconsistent, but unduly motivated by his worryingly fragile ego. Take United striker, Javier Hernandez. He does not play nearly as much as Torres does, and is regularly shunted down the order. However, he never complains, only goes on the pitch, and scores on command. In view of the marked contrast between the two, I am going to have to rate Torres at number eight.
Being a bit of a nerd myself, here is where we crunch the numbers. If we take the average of all the scores from the starting XI, we see that the team average is 2.9, meaning that Chelsea’s personnel are overall the third best in the league in each of their position. Pretty good going, I think. These are my personal opinions, but if you disagree, feel free to comment below. KTBFFH!