After an escape against the Villa on Wednesday night, it is clear to see that our defence is not perfect – yet.
Here we go through the remainder of our defence, and find out if we have enough to see ourselves crowned Champions in May 2014.
Cahill joined Chelsea from Bolton on January 2012 for £7 million and at that time, a lot of Chelsea fans felt it was a bargain – so it’s proved.
Cahill made his debut for the Blues in a 3-3 against Man Utd at the Bridge, and for the rest of that season, he rose to become an integral part of Roberto Di Matteo’s triumphant side. Whatever fortune brought Cahill from an about-to-be-relegated Bolton to a blessed-with-good luck Blues, has some mystery ring to it – but Cahill also deserves a pat on the back for the tenacity he put up for the side. He was instrumental in the team’s win against Barcelona, over both legs. Though he picked up a hamstring injury in the second leg of the game, but with Terry and Ivanovic suspended, Cahill managed to put his injury aside and partnered Luiz, leading Chelsea to our first Champions League trophy. He was also part of the team that lifted the Europa League Trophy, making a last-ditch tackle and clearance in the final moments to ensure that Chelsea won the game.
Already, he’s being considered an heir apparent to Terry. Apart from playing for the same national side, Cahill could be easily mistaken as Terry’s football dopplegänger(not in looks anyway). The zealous style of play of Terry at his prime is nearly almost what you see in Cahill’s dedicated display. Mourinho would have a whole lot of use for him in the squad and he would just be as crucial as the aforementioned.
Having released Bosingwa in the summer, the need for a right back became more urgent nothwitstanding Ivanovic’s foray at the right back. First-hand information as to the kind of player Azpilicueta was, was shared by fellow Spaniard, Mata. “He is a strong running right-back who has pace as well, so I think he is already a complete player.”
Thus far, Azpi has proven to be everything Mata said, and much more. We’ve all known the Epl to be a tough adaptable championship and we’ve witnessed the likes of Schevchenko, Robinho struggle, adjusting to the pace and fierceness of the league but the case has not been the same for the young Spaniard.
Last season, Azpi was impressive at the fullback; he was resourceful in supporting attack and was also decent at the back. Yes, maybe he hasn’t quite reached his full potentials but again, Mourinho could just be the man to push him to reach top gear.
Finally on the list of defenders is the 24-year-old left back, Ryan Bertrand. Bertrand was signed by Chelsea in July 2005 from Gillingham. He spent his early years at the club garnerinh experience from lower league clubs. After a spate of 4 years spent on loan at different mid-table clubs, Bertrand finally returned to the club in the 2010/2011 season making his debut when he came on as substitute to replace Cole in a 3-1 win against Birmingham City.
Bertrand has followed those up to make 50 appearances for Chelsea in a 2-1 win against Sunderland. Even more astounding fact is that Bertrand has the honour of being the first player in the Champions League to make his debut in the final.
For a young lad who had to endure spells of loan at various clubs for four years, this record is indeed a rewarding one. The trust placed on him to play a wing role ahead of a much experienced Malouda is a testament to his never say die attitude. Some fans still have their reservations about his readiness to step into Cole’s boots. Indeed, there are rough edges to his game however, I expect a marked and matured display in the coming season compared to his previous.
By Salako Aramide