This has undeniably been the most successful period in Chelsea’s history, and I’m here to look 10 of the greatest players in the Roman era. Let’s get it clear, best and great are different in my eyes. Greatness is contribution to success over time. Example Dimitri Payet or Tevez are the best player I’ve seen play for west ham in the premier league era. I would argue Mark Noble is the greatest hammer in the premier league era. Yaya Toure at his peak I think is the best version of any midfielder in the PL era, but I’d say in terms of greatness he’s still behind Lampard, Scholes, Vieira and Keane. I hope you get the point I’m trying to make.
10. Branna Ivanovic
Branna is for me the best right back we’ve had in the Roman era, people can argue Azpi but when we won titles Azpi was at left back or in a 3 man defence. Ivanovic played 377 games for the club over 9 years and was often reliable and dependable in defence. Branna was also clutch. Who can ever forget his brace at Anfield on a champions league night, the winner vs Napoli to take us to the quarter finals in 2012, or the winner in Amsterdam in the Europa league final. Both ends of the pitch Branna was very good when at his best. He ended his Chelsea career with 3 League titles, 4 domestics cups and 2 European trophies. He was a major part of these trophy winning sides. The guy was so heart broken when Geoff told him he’s out the CL final game.
9. Ricardo Carvalho
The more I think about it the more I realise in the last 15 years we’ve had two genuine world class centre backs. Riccy Carvalho was 1 half of a partnership that conceded 15 goals in 38 league games. In the season Chelsea went to Champions league final for first time he was the players’ player of the year. While at Chelsea we made the FIFPro XI 3 times. Ricardo Carvalho was at Chelsea for six seasons winning 3 titles, 3 domestic cups and went to the CL final. You could argue we’ve only had 1 other CB better than Riccy in the roman era. Oohh and who could forget that goal vs united to seal the title.
8. John Obi Mikel
If you roll your eyes or kiss your teeth at this, you’re anti-black and my friend that’s on you bro. John obi mikel was at Chelsea 10 seasons playing 372 games, only a handful of international players have played more games for the club. In those 10 years Mikel won 2 Premier Leagues, 4 domestic cups, and 2 European trophies. Every manager that came to the club had Mikel in their plans. Mikel only ever made less than 30 apps in a season once at his time here, because he was so often reliable and dependable, that’s why he got the nickname “The human final whistle”.
In the clubs biggest ever game Mikel in the 120mins was Chelsea best player covering two CBs coming back from injuries. Big game player, in the RDM run in 2012 he looked as good as anyone that year, starting all the big games in a run-in which Chelsea won the CL and FA Cup double. Chelsea’s YPOTY in 2007 and 2008, while at Chelsea he was also runner up for the African POTY. Mikel was often criticised because he wasn’t flashy or didn’t score but he did his job at the highest level for a decade. Real ones appreciate.
7. Juan Mata
Jose Mourinho will answer for his sins in hell I’m sure of it. In his two full seasons there Juan Mata was the clubs POTY, also making the PFA TOTY in 12/13. Deep in the season Chelsea won the CL and FA cup double Juan Mata was the best player at club. The attack ran through him, he dictated everything in the final 3rd. In the 12/13 season he registered 20 goals and 30 assists in all competitions carrying that bum Torres. 12/13 you can argue is the best individual season by a player given who he was playing with and the output he had. Peak Juan Mata was something else.
6. Ashley Cole
A model of consistency, I can’t think of many bad Ashley Cole games. 338 apps at the club over 7 years, he got 4 FA cups making him the most successful player in competitions history. Without a doubt Ashley is the best left back not only in Chelsea’s history but in PL history. Is he the only player to be the greatest player in his position at two different clubs? A 4-time PFA TOTY nominee, twice at Chelsea, he was Chelsea Players’ player of the season on two occasions 2009 & 2011. He won all trophies available while at Chelsea, England’s player of the year in 2010 and he was in the UEFA TOTY in 2010. For me Ashley Cole’s reputation in his personal life is the reason he doesn’t get his flowers. The Greatest fullback in Premier League history.
Before getting into the top 5, make sure to to keep note of some of our other Chelsea related articles for after you're done reading this one!
5. Petr Cech
The guy saved 3 penalties in a champions league final, I should be done here and move on. 10 years and nearly 500 games for the club, big Pete is the greatest keeper in the clubs history. 4 golden gloves, 2 PFA TOTY apps , UEFA club award best goalkeeper 3 times, just that to go with 4 League titles, 7 domestic cups and 2 European trophies. Petr Cech conceded 13 goals in 35 games in 2004/05.
Barcelona away 2012 he did an awesome job organising the defence. Big Pete did not only have ability but he was a leader. He was vocal and had a presence. Now look below at this save at 2-1 in the FA cup final to save the game. This was the norm and standard for big Pete. Greatest goalkeeper in the PL era.
4. Didier Drogba
Personally, Didier Drogba is my favourite player of all time. Being a kid from Africa who played as a striker and supporting Chelsea you can see why I resonated with Drogba. Revisionism twitter pretends that he wasn’t that good, but I know what I watched. Complete number 9 who could occupy two centre backs with ease. Pace, power, leadership, ability to score with his left, right and head. Graeme souness referred to him as “Chelsea’s get out jail card” no matter how we played, one long ball to isolate him with a centre back and its cash money.
He has 100 goals in 226 league games, that’s a goal every other game on average you know. At Chelsea he has the most goals by a foreign player at 164, holds the record for most goals in a PL season by a Chelsea player, most PL hattricks at Chelsea, most goals scored in European competitions, Chelsea’s first Champions League hattrick. Drogba has two golden boots, most goals in the PL by an African player, get this he has more goals in European competitions than Samuel Eto’o.
When it comes to accolades with Didier Drogba there’s no denying his talent, but what made him great is that in club defining games, semi-finals and finals, Drogba pulled up. 9 cup final goals in 10 finals and 4 in 4 different FA cup final games. The big man for the big occasion, he left Chelsea with 4 titles, 4 Fa cups, 3 league cups and Champions League. Wish he didn’t slap Vidic in 2008.
3. John Terry
Captain. Leader. Legend. Too bad he had to call Anton a black c*nt, he’s been a part of all of Chelsea’s PL title winning teams (5) as much as any other captain, 5 FA cups, 3 League Cups, a Europa league and a Champions League. The first CB since Paul McGrath to win the PFA POTY award, this has only been repeated by VVD since. Apart from Carvalho, John Terry is the only other world class centre back we’ve had in the PL era.
He has 4 PFA TOTY appearances ,5 appearances in the FIFA FIFPro World XI, was UEFA defender of the year 3 times and appeared in the UEFA team of the year 4 times. Simply put John terry is the greatest centre back in the history of the League. 15 goals conceded in 38 games in 2004/05 and the best scoring CB in the league history. VVD fans tried to say he’s surpassed terry tho lol. In terms of greatness by my definition Terry is clear. Could argue VVD is better football wise. To have prime john terry today would sort out half the issues in my life. Y’all really got mad at the full kit.
2. Frank Lampard
211 Goals from midfield is bloody outrageous. Frank Lampard was runner up to Ronaldinho in 2005 for the Ballon D’or, same year he was FWA footballer of the year and FIFA player of the year. Simply put this is the best midfielder England has ever produced. He had a run of 5 straight seasons where we got 20+ goals from midfield. Had 9/10 seasons with 15+ goals, the one season he failed to get 15, the boy got 13. Statistically, no other midfielder in football history comes close.
Its not just about the goals with frank, he was also the assist leader 3 times showcasing his creativity from that position.Lampard was the UEFA midfielder of the year in 2008, England’s player of the year twice and had 3 PFA POTY appearances. Lampard was consistent and clutch. He has scored for Chelsea in every stage of the CL competition. Its often forgotten about who got us the equaliser in the 2008 Champions league final.
His mum passed away, he still pulled up and tucked a penalty away in the semi f*cking final of the champions league. In the 2007 FA cup final who got the assist for the winner? Lampard, in 2009 who got the FA cup final winner vs Everton? Lampard. In 2012 who won the ball off Messi, to set Ramires off which lead to Drogba’s goal? Lampard. In the Nou Camp down to 10 men in 2012 who gave Ramires that assist? Lampard!!!! Let’s go back to 04/05, who’s brace at Bolton sealed the title?? LAMPPARRDDD. Lampard was the captain the day of the biggest win in the club’s history. He ran straight to the fans immediately. The greatest midfielders in English football history, performances, stats, clutchness he’s got it all.
1. Eden Hazard
Hear me out, I’m not moving mad. If you look at this list, all the players above got to play with each other in their primes for 5+ years. They all had each other and that really helps in how successful you are. Eden Hazard was a solo act for 7 years, the club put maybe 4 world class players around him in 7 years, in which he only had those players for 2-3 years at their best. Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Kante are the only outfield players I can say were either world class or close to world class players that hazard played with in 7 years. He’s the only Roman all-time great that didn’t have many other all-time greats around him year after year, in their primes.
Hazard is the only player that had me thinking “we go as far as hazard goes”. I never felt that was the case with anyone else. Nobody had this burden or the responsibilities on them to carry the club at the highest level of football. He was still able to win 2 PL titles, 2 domestic cups and went to two more finals, 2 European trophies and reached 110 goals at the club. In the 13-14, 14-15 and 16-17 seasons he was either 1st or 2nd in the PFA players’ POTY award. In seven seasons he made 4 PFA TOTY appearances, he is also Chelsea’s player of the year 4 times. He’s also won a YPOTY award and a PL Player of the Season award.
Under Sarri he got 15 goals and 15 assists in the league, this accounted for 49% of all Chelsea’s league goals, I don’t think any player has had this much to do for the club, to just have a chance of winning. In hindsight we demanded too much of hazard. We failed to consistently to put top level players around him because we believed his talent was enough, and a lot of times it proved to be. We gave our best ever player Drinkwater, Higuain and Morata to work with in his prime years lol. Imagine Hazard in the 04-12 teams. Hazard is our greatest ever player cause he had to do more with less compared to anymore else in this list during the roman era and I don’t think the others could’ve elevated the club to the heights Hazard often had to.
Thanks for reading!
Let us know what you I think of the top 10 on twitter or Instagram, also check out some of our other posts below, articles on Bakayo Saka, a brand new edition of Streets wont forget and #22 in our Prem GOAT countdown still to come this week!