Welcome back to another XI for the 25th day in a row! Today we are looking at another specific club, and this time it is Chelsea.
This is not just an all time Chelsea XI, instead I have only picked from players to have won a league title with them. They have only won six top division titles in their history (five Premier League titles and one First Division title).
As usual, to keep variety I have picked a maximum of two players from each title win, but of course some players have won more than one, but I will outline which title they make it in for.
Let’s get into it!
GOALKEEPER- Petr Cech- 2004-05
Petr Čech is Chelsea’s greatest goalkeeper in the Premier League era and he won four titles whilst at Stamford Bridge. He makes it into this XI for his performances in the 2004-05 season, his first in English football.
Čech kept an astonishing 25 clean sheets this season which obviously secured him the Golden Glove award, and this obviously saw him named as the goalkeeper in the PFA Team of the season. I wanted to pick a season of Čech’s that was early on in his career because this is when I think he was the undisputed best goalkeeper in the world.
During the 2004-05 campaign he went a league record of 1025 minutes without conceding a goal, and this form helped Chelsea to their second league title, and their first of the Premier League era. He was an extremely good goalkeeper and arguably the best of his generation.
LEFT BACK- Ashley Cole- 2009-10
Believe it or not, Ashley Cole only ever won one Premier League medal at Chelsea despite the fact that Stamford Bridge was probably where he was at his best. Chelsea won the 2009-10 by just one point ahead of Man United, and this was their third Premier League title.
Cole didn’t have a particularly fantastic season, but it was around this time that he was clearly one of the best full backs in World football. The Blues scored over 100 goals in 2009-10, and Cole was a major part of their attacking plan down the left hand side. The Blues won the league and cup double in this season, so it is arguably their best ever…
He did win four FA Cups and a Champions League with Chelsea and that is why I had to include him in this XI, he is possibly the best left back in Premier League history.
RIGHT BACK- Branislav Ivanović- 2014-15
Branislav Ivanović joined Chelsea in 2008 from Serbian football, and of course this meant that no one really knew how good he was, but he had soon left his impact on the Premier League.
Ivanović won three Premier League titles with Chelsea, and he played every single game in their 2014-15 triumph. The Serbian made the team of the season this year with his performances at right back earning his lots of recognition.
He played 254 Premier League games for Chelsea and he was an integral part of every title winning side he was involved in.
CENTRE BACK- César Azpilicueta- 2016-17
César Azpilicueta is the first entry from Chelsea’s most recent title winning side in 2016-17. Azpilicueta played every single Premier League game under Antonio Conte during that season as he thrived in his three man backline.
The Spaniard has played at right back, left back and centre back during his spell at Stamford Bridge and this has meant he has missed just four Premier League games since 2015-16.
Azpilicueta’s consistency has made him a modern day Chelsea legend, and to be honest he probably hasn’t got the recognition he has deserved for years of consistently good performances.
CENTRE BACK- John Terry- 2014-15
John Terry was obviously going to be in this XI as he has been part of every single one of Chelsea’s Premier League title wins, and he was at the forefront of all but the final one in 2016-17.
The season I have gone with for Terry is the only time he has played every single Premier League game in a season, this was 2014-15 under Jose Mourinho, of course…
Terry scored five goals during this season and made the Premier League team of the season for the fourth and final time. This season was his final year as a top tier defender, even though his pace may have diminished, he could still rely on his wonderful reading of the game, and he formed an amazing partnership with Gary Cahill.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Claude Makélélé- 2004-05
We take our second trip back to when Chelsea won their first Premier League title, and we go with Claude Makélélé, who was the perfect defensive presence for José Mourinho’s pragmatic Chelsea side.
Makélélé played 36 times during 2004-05 and he was arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world this season, this was reflected when he was named in the FIFPro World XI for 2005.
He redefined what it meant to play as a defensive midfielder and he was a massive part of Chelsea securing their first league title for fifty years, so he had to be here!
CENTRAL MIDFIELD- Frank Lampard- 2005-06
Frank Lampard won three Premier League titles with Chelsea, and he could have made it into this XI for any of those seasons alone, 2005-06 statistically may not have been his best, but it was still outstanding!
Lampard scored 16 goals in his 35 Premier League appearances, and played 50 times across all competitions, so he was more or less and ever present for the Blues. He was Chelsea’s top scorer this season, which is incredibly impressive considering he played in midfield, but his goal scoring ability is well documented…
This was his second highest Premier League goal tally, behind only 2009-10 where he scored 22, but due to other players in this XI, I couldn’t include Lampard for 09-10. Lampard is Chelsea’s best player of the 21st century (in my opinion).
LEFT MIDFIELD- Eden Hazard- 2016-17
From Chelsea’s best player of the 21st century, to their most talented, Eden Hazard drove Chelsea to two Premier League titles and he was integral in both of those sides.
Choosing which of Hazard’s seasons to include in this XI was quite hard, but due to other players, it had to be 2016-17. While the Belgian did win the FWA footballer of the year in 2014-15, he scored more goals in less games under Antonio Conte, and Chelsea were arguably better in the 2016-17 season.
Hazard was one of the Premier League’s best players while he was at Chelsea, and when he had a good season Chelsea invariably either won the league or challenged for the title.
RIGHT MIDFIELD- Ken Armstrong- 1954-55
I bet none of you were expecting me to include someone from Chelsea’s first and only First Division title in 1954-55, but Ken Armstrong is the first of two from this side.
Armstrong was very important for the Chelsea side managed by Ted Drake, and he played 39 times during their first title winning campaign, scoring just once but this was an era of football where goal scoring wingers weren’t really around.
He played in 362 league games for Chelsea which was the record for the club at that time, so he goes down as Chelsea legend, and brings a bit of variety to this XI.
STRIKER- Roy Bentley- 1954-55
Roy Bentley scored 21 goals during Chelsea’s triumphant 1954-55 campaign, and he captained the side to their first league title.
The Englishman played 41 times in the league that season, and he played 324 league games for the club by the time he left in 1956, so he was another Chelsea stalwart. He ended up with 130 goals for the club, which is an excellent record for their first title winning captain.
Bentley spent eight years at Chelsea before moving across West London to Fulham where he played another 142 games in four years.
STRIKER- Didier Drogba- 2009-10
Didier Drogba won four Premier League titles with Chelsea, but there was only one season that he was going to be included in this XI for….2009-10.
Drogba was the fulcrum of an attack that scored 103 goals in the league, and he scored 29 himself in that campaign (37 in all competitions!). Drogba was awarded the Premier League Golden Boot, the Chelsea Player of the Year, the 2009 African Footballer of the Year and a place in the 2009-10 PFA Team of the Year.
Drogba was a dominating physical presence upfront that did so much for his side, but in 2009-10 he was World Class and no defence in the Premier League could stop him.
That’s all for today’s XI! Who would you have included?
See you tomorrow!