So who were the five best performing Chelsea players this season? After having seen just about every game this season, these are my top five:
#1 Eden Hazard
Not too many who would argue with this choice, I suspect. The Belgian has been excellent this season, although I would argue he has not been as influential as Chelsea’s best player of the previous two seasons, one Juan Mata. I think most would agree that Hazard has the ability to become one of the world’s top players. Whether he has the commitment and application to consistently dominate games in the way that (say) Messi and Ronaldo have done over the past few years, remains to be seen. Sure hope so!
#2 Cesar Azpilicueta
Voted the players’ player of the year with good reason. Consistently excellent, even though playing on the left hand side of defence. He rarely got beaten defensively and his positional play and stamina were highlights. Could he do more going forward? I believe his potential in this regard has been demonstrated in a few games, but Jose would have to change the style of play for us to really judge "Dave" going forward,
#3 Gary Cahill
Consistently excellent this season, his partnership with John Terry became the Premier League’s most parsimonious, by some measure. I think Cahill might have the claim to the title of Chelsea’s "most improved player". His positional play has been excellent and he rarely makes a mistake. One reason he rarely makes a mistake is because he doesn’t take chances (he is sort of an anti-Luiz). If he is to improve on his distribution, which is his major weakness IMO, he is going to have to take more chances. I suspect that isn’t going to happen under Jose.
#4 John Terry
Leader, legend. It has all been said. No more needed from me.
#5 Petr Cech
I feel confident with my first four choices, but not too sure about #5. In the end I gave the nod to the world’s best?/second best?/third best?/fourth best?/whatever best keeper. It is true that he might not even be Chelsea’s best keeper at this point, however, I feel he had an excellent season – albeit with some costly mistakes in key games. But no one is perfect. Cech is still an amazing keeper and had a great year.
If you had asked me at Christmas, Oscar would have been a serious candidate. But his fall off in the past few months took him out of the running from my perspective. Willian? I hope he will be in this category next year, but I think he needs to score more goals and create more assists to get into the top five. Ivanovich? Maybe he should be in there along with the rest of the defence. If he works on his crossing in the summer, then I might not put my head in my hands every time he shapes up to put the ball into the box!.