1. CHRISTIAN PULISIC (7.8)
Having spent much of the past eight years being overly dependent on Eden Hazard, we’re now developing a dangerous habit of becoming overly dependent on Christian Pulisic. While that will get us plenty of wins just as before, to achieve true consistent excellence (and titles), we need better balance. There’s a good reason why Chelsea won the league in 2014-15 and 2016-17: we had Hazard but we also had balance and support. We worry about the Arsenalification of Chelsea, but what we should be worried about is the US Soccerization of Chelsea instead (as in, the US Men’s National Team are entirely dependent on Pulisic).
Even Steve Rogers (i.e. Captain America) needed help!
Fortunately, it looks like we have plenty of help coming in next season in attack, so hopefully Pulisic’s hamstring isn’t completely torn to smithereens and he can hit the ground running again in a few weeks.
2. MASON MOUNT (5.9)
Unfortunately, the minutes and miles caught up with Mount here in the last few weeks, which isn’t his own fault — we need to improve markedly in load-management, regardless of what sort of improvements we make to the squad.
Still, it’s been a tremendous first season for Mount at Chelsea, and we should not lose sight of that (see also: Reece James, Tammy Abraham, and probably even Fikayo Tomori as well). That’s a core we can build around, with both outside additions and further promotions from the Academy in the next few years.
3. MATEO KOVAČIĆ (5.9)
Chelsea didn’t play particularly well in this final, but we were still in it until Kovačić’s ridiculous dismissal for a non-foul. All that aside, Kovačić is probably our player of the season — looking at the season as a whole, rather than just bits and pieces — and is case in point for the type of squad-building we need to keep adhering to: sign the best, fill the rest (from the Academy).
Incidentally, this top three features the the three players most often voted to their specific podium places: Pulisic leads the team with 12 Man of the Match awards, while Mount and Kovačić have 9 second and third place finishes, respectively, the most by far on the team.
vs. ARSENAL (FAC, N, L 1-2)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): Pulisic (7.8)
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): —
POOR (5.0-5.9): Mount (5.9), Kovačić (5.9), Caballero (5.8), Giroud (5.8), Pedro (5.8, sub), Christensen (5.4, sub), James (5.3), Zouma (5.3), Jorginho (5.1), Alonso (5.0)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Abraham (4.7, sub), Barkley (4.7, sub), Azpilicueta (4.5), Hudson-Odoi (4.5, sub), Rüdiger (4.2)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): —