Branislav Ivanovic was named vice-captain during the summer, and the accolade apparently was enough to send his form plummeting off a cliff. The most visible aspect of the club's early-season woes, the Ivanovic endured a torrid few months -- for which many fans still haven't forgiven him -- followed by injury. If someone had suggested a contract extension at that point there would have been laughter all around.
There's still some chortling going on now that The Horrid Times are past and the Era of Mediocrity is upon us, but the news that Chelsea have signed Ivanovic to a one-year extension is no longer completely ludicrous. We've tried life without Ivanovic, and life without Ivanovic is somehow even sillier than playing with the big man. He's still one of the designated scapegoats for the season, and therefore will be picking up abuse, but with the club in a dubious position for next summer's transfer dealings, it makes more sense to keep him on a short-term contract than letting him go and being faced with the prospect of the Rahmanning for the upcoming season.