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WAGNH Chelsea Player of the Year 2014-15

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It's been a good season, a successful season, full of good performances and trophies and awards. One man stood well above the rest.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

All y'all have been diligently rating the Chelsea players all season, casting thousands of votes in 52 post-match initial reactions.  Two cup games were not rated as they were not broadcast live (3-0 v. Watford, 2-4 loss v. Bradford City).  That's probably a good thing for that Bradford City loss.

If you've been following the post-match updates throughout the season, the chart below will look familiar. Feel free to click, peruse, and marvel at it. That's nine months of emotion - hopes, disappointment, anger, and joy - distilled into numbers dripping with oodles of subjectivity.

2014/15 Player Ratings - Sunderland H

This is now the third full year for our community player ratings, but the obvious disclaimer to not take these numbers as gospel still applies.  They're sentimental.  They're subjective.  They're just opinions.  It's all just a bit of fun.

TOP 20

Twenty players garnered at least ten ratings, down one from last season, but matching the number from two seasons ago.  Mourinho continues to not rotate just for the sake of rotation, preferring to stick with winning lineups and combinations, but he's still managing to use the squad, more or less, well enough, and most importantly, to a double-winning effect.

Here are the top 20, ranked in descending order by their overall season averages:

1. EDEN HAZARD - AM 7.9
Highest9.3
Lowest5.4
8.0 or higher27
7.0 or higher45
5.0 or lower0

Man of the Match13
51 rated appearances.  2nd last year (7.1), 1st the year before (7.1).

What else is there left to say about Hazard, the Magic Eddie.  Certainly his best season in a Chelsea shirt, probably exceeding his final season at Lille that made him the most coveted transfer target in Europe in 2012.  His fateful decision to sign for a most unlikely Champions League-winner shall resonate for many more years to come.

Hazard blew the rest of the Chelsea regulars out of the player ratings water with over half of his ratings on the season coming it at 8.0 or higher.  His season high was 9.3, achieved three times towards the end of the season when Hazard was mostly unplayable — Stoke City, Manchester United, Sunderland.  His season low was 5.4 in the 0-0 against Sunderland, away.

2. PETR ČECH - GK 7.7
Highest9.4
Lowest6.6
8.0 or higher4
7.0 or higher12
5.0 or lower0

Man of the Match1
14 rated appearances.  6th last year (6.9), 3rd the year before (7.0).

A nice farewell season for the Chelsea veteran, legend, hero, drummer, professional, wonderful person.

His highest rated game was the clean sheet against Everton at the Bridge (featuring that save from Romelu Lukaku), his lowest the 1-1 draw against NK Maribor in Slovenia.  We should note that Cech was in goal for the 4-2 loss against Bradford City, which was not rated (and that's just fine by me).

3. THIBAUT COURTOIS - GK 7.5
Highest9.2
Lowest4.9
8.0 or higher11
7.0 or higher27
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match10
39 rated appearances.

The usurper to Petr Cech's throne, young Thibaut Courtois had a largely excellent season, punctuated by several world class saves and a couple world class [fun]-ups.  But as the man with the second most Man of the Match awards and double digit 8.0+ ratings, I do believe our goalkeeping future is in safe hands with him.

Courtois's highest rated game was his second game ever in a Chelsea shirt (vs. Leicester City).  His lowest was that ridiculous loss to Spurs on New Year's Day.

4. NEMANJA MATIĆ - MC 7.3
Highest9.0
Lowest4.7
8.0 or higher13
7.0 or higher35
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match2
49 rated appearances.  1st last year (7.3).

Last season's Player of the Year matched his average rating, but that was only good enough for fourth this time around.  Still, Matic, in the middle of the pitch, remains perhaps our most irreplaceable player.  (At least based on the rest of the current squad.)

Matic's highest rated game was the 2-0 against Stoke City in December.  How lowest was also the 5-3 Spurs loss.

5. DIEGO COSTA - FC 7.3
Highest9.8
Lowest4.9
8.0 or higher14
7.0 or higher21
5.0 or lower2

Man of the Match5
36 rated appearances.

The brand new Chelsea cult hero took to the Premier League like fish to water and in just his fourth game for the Blues, set a new record for player ratings with 9.8.  Hardly a dull moment followed from the striker, regardless of whether he was getting on the scoresheet or not, and for that, we just love him more and more.

Costa's lowest rated game was the 2-2 draw against 10-men Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

6. CESC FÀBREGAS - MC, AM 7.3
Highest10
Lowest4.9
8.0 or higher12
7.0 or higher28
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match3
46 rated appearances.

Just like Costa, Fàbregas wasted no time in getting settled and getting down to business.  Of course, he had Premier League experience, but we've managed to mostly not hold that against him.

Cesc's highest rated appearance was the short-lived start against West Bromwich Albion, wherein a bit of the old, petulant, feisty Fàbregas made an appearance.  It's one of the most hilarious red cards you'll ever see, especially since it came for a harmless action in a meaningless match.  Objectively, nothing about that day should be worth a 10.0 rating, but we never claimed player ratings were objective.  Cesc's lowest rated appearance was also the second leg home draw against PSG.

7. KURT ZOUMA - DC, DM 7.3
Highest8.8
Lowest5.6
8.0 or higher4
7.0 or higher14
5.0 or lower0

Man of the Match1
24 rated appearances.

If you would've told me before the season started that Zouma would end up making 24+ appearances, I would've called you a bit crazy and a bit naive.  Yet, here we are, wit Zouma having done just that.  Massive improvement from 12 months ago, and a tremendously bright future for the big man boy.

Zouma's highest rated game was his start against Spurs in the League Cup final (you can come out now, Christian Eriksen), his lowest, the substitute appearance against Manchester United where we gave up two points thanks to a late Robin van Persie winner (who was supposed to be marked by Zouma, as I recall).

8. JOHN TERRY - DC 7.3
Highest9.4
Lowest4.7
8.0 or higher11
7.0 or higher33
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match3
49 rated appearances.  5th last year (6.9); 13th the year before (6.3).

A remarkable renaissance season from the Captain, often drawing comparisons to his play from a decade ago.  While his legs have gotten slower, he remains invaluable.

JT's highest rating was also the League Cup final win — he did score our opening goal that proved to be the winning goal, and helped keep a clean sheet.  His lowest was also against Spurs, but about a month earlier and at White Hart Lane.

9. CESAR AZPILICUETA - DL 7.2
Highest9.0
Lowest5.0
8.0 or higher6
7.0 or higher25
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match2
38 rated appearances.  3rd last year (7.1), 7th the year before (6.5).

DAVE!  Dave is love, Dave is life.  I daresay, Dave is more used to playing left back after the last two years than right back.  He's also pretty darn good at it, even if he did get ignored for the PFA Team of the Year thing.

Azpilicueta is another defender who got his highest rating in the League Cup final.  His lowest actually came in a win, 2-1 against Palace back in the first half of the season.  That may have been his only truly subpar match.

10. WILLIAN - AMR, AMC 7.1
Highest9.3
Lowest4.4
8.0 or higher10
7.0 or higher26
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match2
47 rated appearances.  8th last year (6.8).

Even with all the wins this season, I didn't think we'd ever get to a 7.0+ season average rating for the big money, big haired man who frequently came under criticism from fans.  Yet it was he who emerged victorious in our battle for the right wing (bye Schurrle, bye Salah, bye Cuadrado, too?).  And then it turned out he's possibly even better as a no.10!  Which bodes well for next season's depth.

Willian's highest rating came in the final match of the season, his lowest in the 5-3 against Spurs.

11. OSCAR - AMC 7.1
Highest9.1
Lowest4.4
8.0 or higher9
7.0 or higher24
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match4
39 rated appearances.  9th last year (6.7), 5th the year before (6.6).

Oscar's season is the inverse of Willian's.  Excellent in the first half, fading in the second half.  Again.  By their powers combined, they're Captain Modern Number Ten!

Oscar's highest rating was in the 5-0 demotion of Swansea City.  His lowest, as for many others, was in the 5-3 loss.

12. FILIPE LUÍS - DL 7.0
Highest8.4
Lowest5.6
8.0 or higher2
7.0 or higher13
5.0 or lower0

Man of the Match1
25 rated appearances.

We didn't see too much of Filipe, and when we did, he was largely underwhelming when compared to his reputation at Atlético and his subsequent transfer fee.  That's not to say he was bad, but he wasn't quite good enough to displace either Azpilicueta or Ivanovic.

Filipe Luis scored a fantastic free kick goal against Derby — that's his highest rated game of the season, and his only Man of the Match.  His lowest was the 1-1 draw against Southampton in the final match of calendar year 2014.

13. BRANISLAV IVANOVIĆ - DR 7.0
Highest8.8
Lowes3.9
8.0 or higher10
7.0 or higher27
5.0 or lower2

Man of the Match1
49 rated appearances.  13th last year (6.6), 15th the year before (6.3).

Ivanovic may be the third full back in these ratings, but he was most likely on the first names of the team sheet each week and each game.  Alongside John Terry, Bane started every Premier League match, for example.

His highest rated game came early in the season, the 2-0 win against Leicester City.  His lowest — and he's the first on this list to have a game rated below 4 — was of course the New Year's Day loss to Spurs.  That was a fairly tragic day.

14. LOÏC RÉMY - FC, AMR 6.8
Highest9.2
Lowest5.4
8.0 or higher2
7.0 or higher8
5.0 or lower0

Man of the Match1
25 rated appearances..

Whenever not injured, Rémy was a very good backup for Diego Costa, with a strike rate to easily exceed our modest expectations for Chelsea strikers.  After all these years of subpar strike forces, maybe we need to adjust those expectations.

Rémy's 9.2 came as a substitute, notching a brace against Sunderland in the final match of the season.  The 5.4 also came as a substitute and also against Sunderland.  He did not score, and neither did Chelsea.

15. GARY CAHILL - DC 6.7
Highest8.7
Lowest2.1
8.0 or higher4
7.0 or higher19
5.0 or lower2

Man of the Match0
46 rated appearances.  7th last year (6.9), 9th the year before (6.4).

One of the few players who amassed a lower season average than the year before, Cahill nonetheless started the vast majority of our games.  He did seem to lose his place to Zouma around the turn of the year, but he redoubled his efforts and those seemed to bare fruit towards the end of the season.

Cahill easily has the most rated appearances without a single Man of the Match this season.  His highest rated game was the 1-0 title-clinching win against Crystal Palace.  His (highly hilarious, in hindsight) low point came against Harry Kane and Spurs.

16. DIDIER DROGBA - FC 6.6
Highest8.7
Lowest4.5
8.0 or higher4
7.0 or higher12
5.0 or lower4

Man of the Match3
38 rated appearances.

I'm sure this wasn't the plan, but Drogba ended up playing quite a bit.  And his fitness and legs reflected just that as we neared the end of the season.  But we should not forget that he did turn back the clock earlier in the season and put together several very good outings.

Drogba's highest rating came against Spurs, in the 3-0 win at the Bridge.  His lowest rated start came against Schalke 04 way back in mid-September.  He matched that as a sub against PSG in the 2-2 draw.  Apparently that European experience is not enough to triumph over a world-weary body.

17. RAMIRES - MC, AMR 6.6
Highest8.1
Lowest3.9
8.0 or higher2
7.0 or higher10
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match0
32 rated appearances.  16th last year (6.3), 12th the year before (6.4).

A campaign to mostly forget for Ramires, who spent much of the first half of the season injured or recovering from injury, and the second of the season playing not too well.

Ramires's goal-scoring cameo against Schalke in the 5-0 away win (and against Roberto Di Matteo, who was the last Chelsea coach to truly get something spectacular out of Ramires) was his highest rated game of the season.  The 3.9 was for the start against PSG at home.

18. JOHN OBI MIKEL - MC 6.6
Highest8.2
Lowest5.0
8.0 or higher3
7.0 or higher7
5.0 or lower1

Man of the Match1
24 rated appearances.  15th last year (6.4), 14th the year before (6.3).

Mikel's season was similarly punctured by a couple injuries, but when he was healthy, he was our equivalent of baseball's closer.  When we go big in midfield, Mikel's an essential part of the team.

It won't be  a surprise when Mikel's highest rated game turns out to be one in which he scored a rare goal (Sporting Lisbon at the Bridge in this case).  His lowest rating was in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

19. ANDRE SCHURRLE - AMR, AML 6.4
Highest8.3
Lowest4.5
8.0 or higher2
7.0 or higher3
5.0 or lower2

Man of the Match0
21 rated appearances.  12th last year (6.6).

Schürrle may no longer be with the team, but he's still here on these Internet pages as he easily met the minimum number of required games played to be included.  Expected big things for young André after last season's crucial goals and his showings for the World Champion German national team.  Alas.

Schürrle's high point was the opening game of the season (Burnley away).  His lowest, the 1-1 draw against Maribor in Slovenia.

20. JUAN CUADRADO - AMR 6.2
Highest8.3
Lowest4.6
8.0 or higher1
7.0 or higher4
5.0 or lower2

Man of the Match0
14 rated appearances.

The replacement for Schürrle (and Salah) managed to perform worse than those two combined.  Which is a bit shocking, but was made less shocking by winning the league.  Needless to say, should Cuadrado stay, he's going to have to improve tremendously.

Johnny Squares' highest rated match was the last one, against Sunderland, where his day ended early after injury (and, prior to that, winning a penalty kick).  His lowest ... well, that a pick.  The numbers say it was the substitute appearance against Southampton at home.

And that's the end of your Top 20 of 2014/15. Players without double-digit rated appearances - and thus ineligible for the countdown - included:  Mohamed Salah (7), Nathan Aké (4), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (4), Andreas Christensen (2), Dominic Solanke (1), Izzy Brown (1).

TOP 5(+1) INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

  1. CESC FÀBREGAS, WBA (A), Premier League - 10.0
  2. DIEGO COSTA, Swansea City (H), Premier League - 9.8
  3. DIEGO COSTA, Swansea City (A), Premier League - 9.5
  4. DIEGO COSTA, Everton (A), Premier League - 9.4
  5. PETR ČECH, Everton (H), Premier League - 9.4
  6. JOHN TERRY, Tottenham Hotspur (N), League Cup - 9.4

BOTTOM 5 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

  1. GARY CAHILL, Tottenham Hotspur (A), Premier League - 2.1
  2. GARY CAHILL, Newcastle United (A), Premier League - 3.5
  3. BRANISLAV IVANOVIĆ, Tottenham Hotspur (A), Premier League - 3.9
  4. RAMIRES, Paris Saint-Germain (H), Champions League - 3.9
  5. OSCAR, WILLIAN, Tottenham Hotspur (A), Premier League - 4.4

TOP 5 CHELSEA PERFORMANCES

  1. Chelsea 3-1 Sunderland, Premier League - 8.5
  2. Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace, Premier League - 8.4
  3. Schalke 04 0-5 Chelsea, Champions League - 8.2
  4. Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur, League Cup - 8.1
  5. Swansea City 0-5 Chelsea, Premier League - 8.0

BOTTOM 5 CHELSEA PERFORMANCES

  1. Tottenham Hotspur 5-3 Chelsea, Premier League - 5.0
  2. Chelsea 2-2 Paris Saint-Germain, Champions League - 5.6
  3. Newcastle United 2-1 Chelsea, Premier Leauge - 5.8
  4. Sunderland 0-0 Chelsea, Premier League - 6.1
  5. NK Maribor 1-1 Chelsea, Champions League - 6.2