clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chelsea Midseason Report Card: Defenders

New, comments
Getty Images

Alex: Scorer of one of the most spectacular Chelsea goals you'll ever see, Alex has been solid enough when not injured/playing half fit. He's strong in the air, has enough speed to cover for Terry, and has the sort of right boot that they'll deep-freeze and store for future generations to marvel at when he finally hangs them up. His only really poor game came when he postponed knee surgery to try to help the team out during their defensive crisis. Note to other players: Don't do this. Rock solid in every aspect but health. B

Jose Bosingwa: Bosingwa's finally back in the first team after a year long absence due to injury. The Portuguese right-back's had a hard time holding down a place in the squad, though, as shaky fitness has combined with Chelsea becoming immensely leaky at the back has led Carlo Ancelotti to opt for a more defensive option there. Still, he's been fairly impressive going forward, and the team's shape is far less unbalanced when he's in the squad. Reasonably productive in limited time. C+

Jeffrey Bruma: Hasn't had much of a chance to play despite Chelsea's issues at centreback. At one point looked a lock for a Premier League start before Ferreira took his thunder in the 3-0 home defeat to Sunderland. Shaky when he's been on. Overall less than impressive, but already has a full call-up to the Dutch national team. Is a loan to a decent European side on the cards? Not what we'd hoped from the young centreback but there's plenty of time to improve. D+

Ashley Cole: One of Chelsea's more potent attacking threats but also an underrated defender, Cole has been one of the only players who hasn't suffered any sort of dip in form this season. Quite simply the best active left back in the world - Chelsea are fortunate that Ancelotti persuaded him to stay with the team rather than bolting for Real Madrid in the summer. But with young talent on the way and Cole entering the twilight of his career, is it time to turn the page on him? Excellent in all facets of the game, but that's hardly a surprise. A

Paulo Ferreira: New fans are going to remember Ferreira as a mediocre reserve player who wears the captain's armband when none of Terry, Lampard, or Drogba can play rather than a key member of the 2004/05 side that won Chelsea's first league title in half a century. I'll always have a soft spot for Ferreira, despite his recent lack of performance, but I suppose I should talk about that recent performance... er... yeah, he's not really a centreback, is he? Does his best, poor man. D+

Branislav Ivanovic: Cast as a right back last year, Ivanovic prefers to play in the centre, where he can maul attacking players and use his aerial prowess to better effect. Strong positioning, good tackling - nothing wrong here. Prone to the occasional mental lapse, which has proven costly, but generally able to shut opponents down. With two goals ont he year he's already matched his quota for the next four seasons. Versatile and talented and mostly healthy, so we'll take it. B

John Terry: The captain's had some sort of nerve problem in his back for a while, but when he has played he's been fabulous. The pace issues are still there, but not as apparent, and Terry's been phenomenal in intercepting passes, making key tackles and starting attacks, the latter a particular skill of his that's rather underrated. As he goes so too does the club, so let's hope it's less 'treatment table' and more 'ferocious defending' for the captain. An extremely competent centreback in a bounceback season. B+

Patrick van Aanholt: There have been ups and downs for van Aanholt. He's a terror going forward, rivaling even Ashley Cole as an attacking left back. Speed, clever dribbling, and a ferocious shot make him a handful for the opposition. The 20 year-old's been less impressive in defence though, as he seems to shy away from tackling, which has been allowing wingers to drift past him as though he wasn't there. He may go on loan for the remainder of the season to polish his game a little. The talent's definitely there, it's just a matter of harnessing it. B-