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Bridge, Wayne (2003-2009)


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Wayne Bridge

Written by Alan and last updated January 2009

[[fimg]=left]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Wayne_Bridge/bridge%20and%20crespo%20arsenal%20cl.jpg[/[fimg]] Mention the name Wayne Bridge to any Chelsea fan and their mind will travel back to April 6th 2004 at Highbury when Bridge scored the goal that sent Chelsea through to the Semi-Finals and Arsenal crashing out. That goal has been the highlight of Bridge's rather stop start Chelsea career so far.

[[fimg]=right]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Wayne_Bridge/bridge%20southampton.gif[/[fimg]] Bridge came through the ranks at Southampton and broke into the team in the 98/99 season. He was voted the clubs player of the season in 2001 and made his last appearance for the club in the 2003 FA Cup Final defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

Whilst at Southampton Bridge set a Premiership record for the amount of consecutive appearances made by an outfield player (113). This has since been passed by our very own Frank Lampard. Bridge made a total of 173 appearances for Southampton, scoring two goals.

In the summer of 2003 he moved to Chelsea for a fee of �7m, with Graeme Le Saux going the other way. Bridge became a regular in the team and scored three goals in his debut season, one of course being that legendary goal at Highbury. Bridge played a one two with Gudjohnsen who sent the ball through the defender's legs and Bridge rifled the ball past Lehmann.

[[fimg]=left]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Wayne_Bridge/bridge%20prior%20to%20newcastle%20injury2.jpg[/[fimg]] Bridge spent most of the 04/05 season on the sidelines after breaking his ankle in a tackle with Alan Shearer in an FA Cup match against Newcastle in February. He didn't play again that season, and had made 25 appearances that season before the injury. Bridge's place in the side came under threat from Asier Del Horno after the Spanish left-back was signed in the summer of 2005. Wayne's first team opportunities were extremely limited and he only made two appearances before going on loan to Fulham in January 2006 for the rest of the season.

During his short spell at our neighbours he made 12 appearances and secured his place in England's squad for the 2006 World Cup. At international level Bridge has been capped 25 times by England and has scored one goal.

[[fimg]=right]http://www.theshedend.com/fansite/images/Current_Squad/Wayne_Bridge/bridge_wayne_cfc_profile_2006.jpg[/[fimg]] Bridge returned to Chelsea for the 2006/2007 season and faced competition from the new signed Ashley Cole for a place in the team. He benefited from Cole's injury later on in the season and would start both the FA and League Cup Finals, making 33 appearances in all that season, scoring 1 goal, against Wycombe in the League Cup Semi Final First Leg.

Bridge missed a chunk of the start of the 07/08 season with a hip injury picked up on our US tour. He made his comeback in our 4-0 win over Hull City in the Carling Cup. Since then he has appeared in both the league and Champions League. He played in England's 3-2 defeat to Croatia in November and was frankly shocking (but then again not many players emerged from that game with any credit).

Bridge's only really significant contribution during the 07/08 season was to sadly give away a penalty against Spurs in the Carling Cup Final which allowed Berbatov to equalise. Towards the end of the season Bridge appeared against Wigan and Newcastle, with Ashley Cole being preferred in the bigger games. Bridge ended the 07/08 season by playing for England against the USA at Wembley.

Updated by Loz in January 2009

The 2008/09 season started very much as the 2007/08 season ended and, in January 2009, Chelsea agreed an undisclosed fee (rumoured to be in the region of �14m) which saw Wayne Bridge transfer to Manchester City. It did leave us somewhat lacking cover on the left hand side but �14m was an excellent deal for a player who was now as far from a first team place as I am from having my genitals honoured on a British stamp.

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