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Midseason player reviews (you do the ratings)

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We’re at the halfway point in the season so I thought I’d so the player reviews. Every year I find it hard to rate players out of 10 (at least when it comes to halfway, rather than individual matches). So I thought I’d leave the marks out of 10 to you guys. I’ll also add in how many man of the match awards I’ve given each player. Wishing everybody a Happy New Year from Australia!


Kepa Arrizabalaga: Maybe wanting a bit more out of him, although I think he’s made a decent start to life at the Bridge. It is worth noting we have the best defence in the league after Liverpool (goals against-wise), which, I think, says something about Kepa. Despite the fact he may make an error or concede a goal we think he should have saved, he does make his fair share of stops, some of which have been really impressive. MOTM: 1 (Vidi)


Antonio Rüdiger: I truly believe this guy is one of the best and certainly most underrated centre backs in the world at the moment. Big call, I know, but he’s just a solid, no nonsense defender. He’s been at this level since we signed him too. I think he and Luiz make a good centre half partnership. Always looks composed when on the ball and never shy to throw his body in the way of a shot. MOTM: 2 (Newcastle United, Manchester United)


Marcos Alonso: Up and down a bit this season but I don’t think he’s a defensive liability. In my opinion, very few opposition goals or attacks come from his side of the pitch...but that’s just from memory. He’s always an attacking threat and very good on the ball too. Maybe want a bit more out of him defensively. MOTM: 1 (Tottenham Hotspur)


Cesc Fàbregas: Too good to be on the bench or not involved every game and he’s shown that with some good performances in the cup games. Still can be at his frighteningly accurate self in terms of passing ability. Would be a bit harsh to judge him out of 10 anyway, I reckon. MOTM: 1 (PAOK)


Jorginho: At his best, he is an absolute genius with the ball. Does have his shaky moments but that’s no different to the other three starting central midfielders (bar probably RLC). Think he’s going to be a huge part of our future and I’m sure he’ll have a successful second half of the season. Very good start to his Chelsea career. MOTM: 3 (Arsenal, West Ham United, Crystal Palace)


Danny Drinkwater: Too difficult to judge, having only played one game this season. For his sake, if he isn’t going to be used, I hope he gets a move soon as he shouldn’t be not playing every week. MOTM: 0


N’Golo Kanté: It’s very rare that you will see a player of his ability be told to change his game style, so, taking that into account, I think Kanté’s done a damn, fine job this season. There were some teething problems at the start but it didn’t cost us a goal or anything. A goal return of three in half a season is very good for someone like Kanté and I’m sure it won’t be long before he makes this position seem like his natural one. As is the case with him in most seasons, he has been an honourable mention many times, rather than the actual man of the match. MOTM: 1 (Fulham)


Ross Barkley: I don’t quite know how he has yet to get a man of the match from me, although I do know he has been very, very unlucky. He’s also been unlucky not to start more. There’s an element of Lampard about this guy too. He’s definitely played his part in settling some big games so far. MOTM: 0


Eden Hazard: There was something about his form at the start of the season that made me think straight out this could be his finest season ever. Looking back after half a year, I’d say it’s hard to argue. Statistics-wise, he is in the form of his life. He racks up the stats without being a selfish playe either. In my opinion, he’s the most exciting player I’ve ever seen at the Bridge. Just special. MOTM: 6 (Cardiff City, Southampton, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford)


Pedro: Not saying I wanted him gone but at the start of the year, he was one of the players I wouldn’t have minded seeing leave...even though I knew he could still do a job. How glad I am that he’s stayed now. Like Hazard, I think he’s in career-best form (at least at Chelsea). Can find the goals and has an impact in most games. Never stops trying either. MOTM: 3 (Huddersfield Town, PAOK, Crystal Palace)


Ruben Loftus-Cheek: There is really no logical reason why he shouldn’t be starting games, other than the fact we have so much quality in midfield. However, I think it’s time for him to consistently start in the new year. I think his form has been ahead of the others, bar probably Jorginho, and, he’s arguably made the most impact as a substitute too. It may be a bit premature but it looks like he’s made it. MOTM: 2 (BATE Borisov, Bournemouth)


Willy Caballero: You might think I’m crazy but I’ve been pleased with Caballero this season. So much so that I think he may even deserve the odd Premier League game. He makes his fair share of saves in cup matches. Couldn’t think of a better backup goalkeeper. MOTM: 2 (Manchester City, Liverpool)


Victor Moses: Too difficult to rate him. Another who should be playing more and, like Drinkwater, if he isn’t going to play here, I hope he moves somewhere where he will. MOTM: 0


Mateo Kova?i?: I think he’s done enough to earn a permanent move next season, providing it works for both club and player. Very good on the ball, has a bit of Hazard in him (trickery-wise) and has been involved in some big goals. Solid start to life at the Bridge. MOTM: 1 (Bournemouth)


Olivier Giroud: Has been unlucky not to get a man of the match award. Wasn’t unimpressed by his performances at the start of the year at all. He was good at holding up the ball, flicking it on to the likes of Hazard, and he racked up some assists. I think the goal droughts may have affected him a bit, although he has found the net with some beauties at times. He’s still got it. MOTM: 0


Callum Hudson-Odoi: May be unfair to judge too much but he’s done just about enough for me. He’s shown so much promise and deserves a few more minutes too. The rest of the season could be crucial for him in his Chelsea future. MOTM: 1 (Vidi)


Davide Zappacosta: I’m actually a big fan of this guy. Like the rest of our second-string team, I’ve been impressed with Zappacosta in the cup games. While he appears shaky at times, he’s good defensively and getting forward for me, and can put a good cross in. MOTM: 1 (Derby County)


Willian: Recent form may suggest he could be on the way down but he’s still had a solid half-season for me. His form could be down to tiredness during a busy period, although some feel it’s gone on longer. In my opinion, he’s still a contributor and I’m sure he’ll have a good second half. MOTM: 1 (Burnley)


Gary Cahill: Has been okay in cup games, like the rest of the second team, and doesn’t have the worst defensive partnership with Christensen. I hope he does stay until at least the end of the season as I feel he can still do a job. MOTM: 0


Andreas Christensen: Only one appearance in the league (10 overall). Like Cahill, he’s done alright in the cup games. Want to keep him for the rest of the season at least. MOTM: 0


César Azpilicueta: Began the season a bit shaky but, in typical ‘Dave’ fashion, he’s worked his way back with some solid performances. Always a hard worker, Dave has been good attack-wise, while still gets rarely beaten in one-on-one situations. Can still whip in some good crosses too. MOTM: 1 (Manchester City)


Álvaro Morata: A similar case with Giroud, I think the goal drought has affected him more than it needed to. At the start of the season, I thought he actually played a good team game and the lack of goals didn’t bother me while we were undefeated for so long. Has shown glimpses of his talent and I’m hopeful he can get back into the starting 11. MOTM: 0


David Luiz: Can be outrageously good on the ball, especially picking out attackers with his long passes. Throws his body in the way and wins his fair share of defensive headers too. Has been unlucky not to get a couple more man of the match awards. Will always get his critics and, yes, sometimes, it is justified...but, for me, he’s had a good half-season. MOTM: 2 (Liverpool, Leicester City)


Emerson: I think this guy has got a bright future at Chelsea. I just hope he doesn’t go out on loan because he reminds me of Kenedy (who I also rate highly). There have been calls for him to replace Alonso and, while I think more games are probably deserved, I’m not sure he’s ‘better’ yet. Is very good going forward and doesn’t seem to get exposed in defence, although he’s featured in mostly cup games...playing in the league week in, week out is a different level. Still, he’s a talent. MOTM: 1 (BATE Borisov)


Ethan Ampadu: Two cup appearances mean that a rating would be unfair. He doesn’t seem out of his element when playing for the first team though. One for the future. MOTM: 0


Maurizio Sarri: If you’d have told me we would be undefeated until the start of December, I would have been delighted. A couple of dropped games that we should have won (Leicester and Wolves) but we’ve also beaten both Man City and Liverpool, the only team to have done so. I have full faith in Sarri. I can’t begin to describe how exciting it can be watching Sarri-ball. Every attack seems like an opportunity to score. He’s also shown, against Man City particularly, that he can pull off counterattack too. I can count on one hand the amount of games we have not dominated possession-wise. Considering the amount of time he had in between getting the job and the Community Shield, not to mention he had a few missing at the start of the season, due to the World Cup, I think he’s done just fine. I’m a firm believer that a higher finish than the previous year, or any season where we win a trophy, is a success. At the halfway point, I have confidence in Sarri to do one, if not both.

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