Over the last ten matches, the blip at Southampton aside, Chelsea seems to have settled into some approximation of consistency. Consistency of course doesn't necessarily equal wins, as the back-to-back losses to Rubin (meaningless) and Manchester City (expected) will attest, but it sure beats the off-the-wall and senseless sequences of results that we've seen for the vast majority of the season.
Anchored by the 6th highest rated match of the Interim Era, here's how your player ratings are shaping up as we approach the end of the season that will not be a great seller on DVD.
(The numbers are getting much harder to see in this thing, but you can check out the full resolution version here.)
So one month and eight matches left to see if any of our old heroes or perhaps some of the new ones will step up and ensure that this season ends with some meaning, rather than just constant disappointment and abject failure at the final step. Eight matches to see if Juan Mata can rediscover his scintillating form of the first half. Eight matches to see if Eden Hazard can frolic around some more with us in his Garden. Eight matches to see if the Legend of Zorres results in a sequel.
Wait, what was that last one? That's right, boys and girls, the Masked Man is here to save us all. He has been ... unmasking ... the community's love of superheroes and has received a 7+ rating in each of his five matches, despite starting two of them on the bench. Here's a list of other Chelsea players who have garnered five straight 7+ ratings from all y'all this season: Ashley Cole, Eden Hazard, David Luiz (
six seven straight), Juan Mata (twice).
Can you feel the love, Fernando?
Torres now has four man of match awards as well, one more than Sideshow World Peace. It would've been two more, had David Luiz not called down the thunder, in the process becoming just the third player with a 9.0 or higher rating in a single match. His howitzer at Craven Cottage propelled him to your fourth highest rated performance of the season (so far): Eden Hazard (9.6, West Ham); Juan Mata (9.5, Spurs); Juan Mata (9.1, Norwich). Fully deserved, if more so for his whole body of work and not just that sensational effort.
The next update will be at the end of the season. Until then, keep on voting.