This week’s Best XI has been compiled by Callum Maclean:
GK – Carlo Cudicini. Favourite ‘keeper for two reasons. The first reason, was that he was a good, cheap ‘keeper at value for money, being ever-present when injury wasn’t holding him back. And then even when he lost his place to Petr Čech, he remained, according to Jose Mourinho, ‘on top’ even though he lost his first team place and was adequate cover to come into FA Cup and League Cup games.
LB – Ashley Cole. Best left back in the world, and all whilst at Chelsea. Improved his game whilst being here too. No need to say more on the matter.
CB – Marcel Desailly. Top defender, World Cup winner, and a rock at the back as he saw off his career with Chelsea. Getting stuck in, with a six years that unfortunately only led to one FA Cup, though he had two successful partnerships at the back with Frank Lebeouf and John Terry.
CB – John Terry. Captain. Leader. Legend. Had to be picked. Top defender, and gives his all in every single game. Easy choice.
RB – Dan Petrescu. Don’t remember him being fantastic, though he was a half decent impression on me and made more of an impression than Albert Ferrer, Mario Melchiot, Glen Johnson, José Bosingwa or Paulo Ferreria.
LM – Damien Duff. At one point was my favourite Chelsea player, and fully justified his £17m price tag when he came from Blackburn Rovers. Bombing down the wing, crossing, assisting and getting the odd goal too. Will never forget that goal against Barcelona too. Top player.
CM – Frank Lampard. Super Frank is a Chelsea legend, and one of the best players of the past decade. With a goal rate of one nearly every other League game, Lampard is probably the most complete midfielder that Chelsea have ever had, distributing passes, getting back to make tackles, and then steaming into the box in order to score a trademark goal, something that has been seen by many a defender, goalkeeper and fan across Europe. If he can find his form after an injury-troubled season last season, we’ll see the best of Super Frank again.
CM – Dennis Wise. Making 445 appearances for the club, Wise may not have been as technically gifted as today’s midfielders, but he was a leader above anything else. He led by example, and by using his vocal chords, and although he had his moments of anger, he was committed to the club until he was sold by Claudio Ranieri. Another legend.
RM – Decided to stick a striker in this position – Gianfranco Zola. The man was a wizard, and probably still is, a player that, on his day, could be unstoppable. The reason I stuck him in midfield was so he could be like Messi, as Zola had the ability to do such things, and then set up and score goals – Watch his goal against Norwich City or him running rings around Liverpool defenders, turning Jamie Carragher inside out. Awesome player.
ST – Gianluca Vialli. Maybe not so good as a manager, but I loved his trademark wristbands when he playing, remember having the all-white Autoglass away kit dressed as him and watching us win the FA Cup in 2000. Top player, scoring 21 goals in 42 league games.
ST – Didier Drogba. The Drog is an absolute beast, and unplayable when on form, which now happens more often than not, being top scorer for four seasons at the club in all competitions. A player who one day will be looked at as a Chelsea legend also.