This took a lot longer than I imagined it would, but we have finally dipped below the 4.0 mark for the team’s average rating — for only the eighth time* in the over 10-year history of these player ratings.
Incidentally, the last time we were scraping these lows, the 0-3 reverse against Sheffield United during Project Restart, the man in the dugout was also Frank Lampard. That one was more of a one-off. This one’s a culmination of many months of ... work?
Six games to go before the curtain finally and mercifully falls on this season.
*(this does not include the rare few games that were not televised during that time, such as the 4-2 loss to third division Bradford City)
3.02 — Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea (2019.II.10.)
It’s tough to see (a modern era) Chelsea ever “topping” this performance and result — though a bit less tough these days — which remains the team’s worst loss in nearly three decades. The Blues were down three inside of 20 minutes, down four by half, and gave up two more in the second half for good measure. The nadir of Sarri-ball, or any ball.
3.62 — AFC Bournemouth 4-0 Chelsea (2019.I.30.)
This was the away game before the (aforementioned) City away game, and with Chelsea giving up four goals in the second half of this one and four goals in the first half of that one, we managed to lose 90 minutes of (away) football by a combined 8-0 scoreline. Impressive!
3.69 — Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea (2018.V.13.)
Antonio Conte’s last Premier League game in charge, which began with Chelsea holding a tiny chance of still qualifying for the Champions League (Liverpool won so it didn’t matter in the end), but ended up with yet another hilarious collapse. A week later, Chelsea then beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final so yeah, good luck figuring out football.
3.83 — Steaua Bucharest 1-0 Chelsea (2013.III.13.)
There were many lows of the (We’re-Just-Not-That-)Interim Blues, and this was certainly one of them. Chelsea came back to smash Steaua 3-1 in the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16 and would eventually go on to win the competition. In retrospect, viewed through the lens of our current plight, it must be acknowledged that this interim era looks pretty okay.
3.95 — Sheffield United 3-0 Chelsea (2020.VII.11.)
Outside of the first few minutes, Chelsea were never in this game, so this was ranked “above” the Watford loss due to the simple fact that we not only played that game a man down for most of its duration, we actually had brought it back to 1-1 in the final ten minutes before losing it. No such luck or positives to clutch at from this one.
3.95 — Watford 4-1 Chelsea (2018.II.5.)
Conte may have lost 3-0 to Bournemouth (and asked the club for an official vote of confidence), but it actually got worse from there as 10-man Chelsea were destroyed at Vicarage Road in the next game. In fairness, Chelsea actually equalized in the final ten minutes, despite playing a man down since the 30th minute (Tiémoué Bakayoko taking the ultimate prize with a 1.4 individual rating), but Watford took the lead again immediately after Hazard’s equalizer and the Blues folded from there.
3.96 — Chelsea 1-3 Southampton (2015.X.3.)
The Mourinho Season was already in full swing by the time Sadio Mané inspired Saints to their first win at the Bridge in 13 years. Fun fact: this was Falcao’s one and only start in the Premier League (he would play just three more times for us that season for a grand total of 35 minutes, and we would lose all three games).
3.99 — Chelsea 0-2 Brentford (2023.IV.26.)
Chelsea’s worst season in a generation or two has finally earned itself a spot on this list. And I suppose it might not be the last time. Still six games left! We might all be surprised if we win even one of them.
vs. BRENTFORD (PL, H, L 0-2)
EXCEPTIONAL (9.0+): —
EXCELLENT (8.0-8.9): —
GOOD (7.0-7.9): —
AVERAGE (6.0-6.9): —
POOR (5.0-5.9): Kanté (5.3), Silva (5.1)
BAD (4.0-4.9): Mudryk (4.7, sub), Chilwell (4.6), W.Fofana (4.6), Enzo (4.2) Chalobah (4.1), Arrizabalaga (4.1), Madueke (4.1, sub)
TERRIBLE (3.0-3.9): Aubameyang (3.7, sub), Gallagher (3.4), Kovačić (3.2), Azpilicueta (3.1)
FRANKIEBALLS (1.0-2.9): Sterling (2.8), Félix (2.8, sub)