As the Blues close in on the Premiership title, an interesting discussion has been taking place in various circles centred around this topic. It’s relevant because it’s hard to remember a time when we’ve possessed two quality players for every position.
We’re scoring on average 2.00 goals per game, and conceding 0.79 a game. Boring? Don’t let the stats get in the way of a good story seems to be the message in the media at the moment.
And then an interesting article popped up that offered a dream team made up of Liverpool and Arsenal players. If you look at the side they came up with – and it’s a good eleven, make no mistake – you wonder how many of those players would get in the Chelsea XI?
That Liverpool Arsenal combined 11 is:
Mignolet; Chambers, Can, Koscielny, Monreal; Henderson, Cazorla; Sterling, Coutinho, Sanchez; Giroud.
So let’s take a look at a revised starting eleven that includes Chelsea players too.
The Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool Starting XI
Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut is just a monster between the sticks….and the best bit is that he’s only likely to get better too, as 22 is pretty young for a first-class keeper.
Simon Mignolet has had a mixed campaign up at Anfield, and the jury is very much still out on the £9 million man. Over at Arsenal, David Ospina has proven himself to be dependable, but he isn’t the kind of keeper that can win points through his shot-stopping abilities like Courtois can and has.
To be honest, you’d probably take Cech over either of those two as well.
Back Four: Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta
Defensive solidity is still the cornerstone of the Chelsea game, and these four continue to prove why they are in the best in the business. Take away that 3-5 anomaly at White Hart Lane in January, and our defensive record is one of the best in Europe.
The back four of the Arsenal and Liverpool eleven – whilst undoubtedly made up of improving young talents – doesn’t have the same pedigree as the famous Mourinho quartet.
Deep-Lying Midfielders: Fabregas and Matic
The return of Cesc to English football has been nothing short of a revelation: he’s played a part in 20 of our Premier League goals, and by the end of the campaign will hold the record for most assists in one season. His influence on the side cannot be overlooked.
And Nemanja fully justifies his inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year. He is the oil that greases the Chelsea wheels; the best defensive midfielder in the league.
A hat tip to the fantastic Santi Cazorla, though.
Attacking Midfielders: Willian, Sanchez, Hazard
Willian is starting to repay Mourinho’s faith in him with some top performances down that right flank. He could ideally do with adding a few more goals to his game, but he has cemented his place in the side.
Eden Hazard – are there any superlatives left to throw at him?
And in Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal have unearthed an absolute diamond.
Striker: Diego Costa
A goal ratio of 0.8 in your first season in the hardest league in the world speaks volumes. If he can shake off his injuries, Costa could break the 30-goal barrier next year.