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Second Annual Team Ratings for the Season


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using the following rating system:

10 ? Absolutely Flawless. A season for the ages.

9 ? All World. Could play for any club in the world.

8 ? Sublime. A true ?untouchable.?

7 ? Very Good Indeed. Deserves accolades.

6 ? Good. Some flaws, but mostly solid.

5 ? Average. Decidedly average.

4 ? Subpar. Below average work.

3 ? Poor. His presence actually hurt the club.

2 ? Awful. Really not very good at all.

1 ? Horrendous. Couldn?t have been worse at all.

Michael Essien ? 9 ? MAN OF THE SEASON. An absolute force in the midfield. A constant all season long. Successfully defended attackers 99% of the time; as someone once commented, it?s almost laughable watching someone trying to get past him one on one. A welcome relief from the whinging of Monsiuer Gallas, Essien played wherever needed and shined when he did.

Didier Drogba ? 8.5 ? A scoring season that hasn?t been seen in years. Developed into the most feared striker in the Premiership. Finally figured out how to use his brute strength to his advantage. Unselfish to a fault, laying off long balls whenever needed. Became a bit one dimensional and flagged a bit towards the end of the season, but still a massive season for a massive striker.

Petr Cech ? 8 ? The best goalkeeper in Europe, and perhaps the world. Fearlessly returned from a dreadful injury that would have made lesser men retire and promptly reestablished himself as the classiest keeper in the league. Controlled his area effectively. Slight downtick from last season?s incredible performance, but still head and shoulders above all others.

John Terry ? 8 ? The rock, the anchor, the talisman, the lion, the heart of our defense. Our captain and his country?s captain. Missed a spell of time with several injuries that probably cost our team the league championship, but made up for it by playing with controlled fury and tactical brilliance when he returned. Failed to capture any goal-scoring sense this season. Truly the heart and soul of the team.

Ricardo Carvalho ? 8 ? Established himself as our most consistent defender this season with Terry?s injuries. Held together our defense on nights when our defense was in shambles. Sparked numerous counterattacks with deft maneuverings and slick passing. Always in control. Scored a few helpful goals along the way. A fantastic season by all accounts.

Jon Obi Mikel ? 7 ? One of the revelations of the past season, finally justifying the great saga that led him to our doorsteps. Consistently brought our team to a higher level. Played a holding midfielder role with an urgency and a verve; didn?t settle for mere holding but also pushed the action towards the opposing team. His passing was sensational, perhaps the best on our team. On the verge of global stardom, which might come to fruition at the African Cup of Nations in 2008. You can say you ?remember him when??

Frank Lampard ? 7 ? Last year I said that Frank?s performance took a bit of a decline yet he still scored 20 goals. This year he again scored 20, including a key goal against Barca in the CL and two stunning goals against Spurs in the FA Cup. Yet his overall performance might have dipped slightly again. For the first time in years, Lamps seemed to occasionally disappear during matches. He is still a marvelous player who absorbs a tremendous amount of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of opponents and their supporters, and always proves to be a classy player. We can all be proud to have Frank on our team.

Claude Makalele ? 6 ? Maka has finally shown signs of aging on the pitch. While in years past he may have had to sit out a match or two to let his legs catch up with him, he always performed brilliantly while on the field. This year, however, he seemed to be ineffective on several occasions, even warranting a benching for poor performance in the middle of a critical match. On some nights, Claude reminded us of why Madrid have failed to win a major trophy since he departed. On others, he forced Chelsea supporters to wonder whether the end of the road is near. Would not be surprised if Makalele sees the writing on the wall and departs this off-season, especially with the emergence of Jon Obi Mikel and ?

Lassana Diarra ? 6 ? An inconsistent season from the youngster, but one that showed tremendous promise and potential. Went through a 5 or 6 game stretch where he shined as one of the best players on the pitch, whether it be defending an attacker near the goal or pushing the play in an attacking mode. Showed occasional lapses on defense, and may not be ready to assume full time defending duties. But shows immeasurably more potential on the offensive front than Mr. Makalele ever has or will.

Geremi ? 6 ? A solid jack-of-all-trades season from a solid utility player. Geremi is a delight to cheer for. Can play in the defense or the midfield; can sit for weeks and then play his heart out the next night. Maybe not the best crosser of balls, and maybe not the best penalty taker (ugh), but you never heard him complain and you always saw him give his best.

Wayne Bridge ? 6 ? Another player who always did his best, even if called upon far too infrequently for most Chelsea supporters? choosing. Shrugged off disappointment and second fiddle status with a never say die approach to the game. Often looked to be a dangerous option on the left flank, though Jose?s game plan did not seem suited to his strengths.

Ashley Cole ? 6 ? Speaking of left backs, the ?Best Left Back In The World? had an inauspicious first season wearing blue. He never made horrendous mistakes, and he always seemed like he knew what he was doing, but there weren?t many games where you looked at him as having been the difference maker. Also, he bears the burden of being the most booed player on the team, and seems to handle it rather well. Probably because he smiles on the inside with the thought of his WAG and his stockpile of cash while the boos rain down.

Carlo Cudicini ? 6 ? Perhaps the most popular player among supporters (and maybe the best looking, according to the team itself), Carlo had a fine year in his backup role. Played solidly while Cech was out of action, but not so well that anyone thought for a second that the team?s best option wasn?t a healthy Cech. We?ll miss him when he?s gone.

Salomon Kalou ? 5.5 ? He deserves to be considered a slight bit better than average, but not much. Scored a few goals, missed a few more. Attacked the defense and was not scared to take the ball at the defense, but lost the plot as often as he deftly escaped the defender. While always an attacking option, you never got the sense that an opposing team worried, ?Uh oh, Kalou?s got the ball?? In order to preserve a regular role on the team, will need to develop consistency and a sense of knowing when to pass and when to shoot.

Hilario ? 5 ? Yes, Hilario gets a nod. For one night, if only one night, he was an important part of our team. Maybe never played so well again for us, but for a brief period did an admirable job for our squad. An average backup keeper, but that?s better than a below average backup keeper, isn?t it?

Paulo Ferreira ? 5 ? A late season surge saw Paulo redeem himself and earn an ?average? rating rather than something below average. A loss of confidence by the manager cannot have helped his season, but he was in many ways the cause to blame for the loss of confidence. Sometimes trepidatious in the back, sometimes unsure of himself. Perhaps the game that demonstrated we were not the Chelsea of the previous two seasons was a November loss to Spurs (2-1), where Paolo?s play was so poor that he was substituted mid-match. After enduring a several month spell in Jose?s doghouse, Paolo returned to form and played well in April and May.

Shaun Wright Phillips ? 5 ? Forget what we paid for him. Forget how promising he looked for Man City. Instead, just look at him for what he is ? a substitute winger who can bring some energy to a game and fill in when the occasional offensive spark is needed. And in that role, SWP did his job this season. Regained a measure of confidence as the season wore on and even looked dangerous a game or two. Not nearly consistent enough to warrant a regular spot on the pitch, but at least there are glimpses now that prove he is not completely over his head.

Arjen Robben ? 4 - A disappointing season by any stretch. When not injured, he was somewhat complacent on the pitch. The player who may have been our greatest offensive threat three seasons ago has now diminished in stature by an immeasurable degree. Another season like this one and Robben will join his superhero counterpart, Mateja ?Batman? Kezman, in the ranks of the (not so dear) departed.

Michael Ballack ? 3 ? Disappointing season by any measure. Looked lost on the pitch frequently, when he didn?t look invisible. Didn?t seem to be trying his hardest, which certainly did not endear himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful. Scored a few goals, including a memorable CL goal against Porto, but he will not be remembered this season for his positive contributions. Will need to adapt to the English game quickly if he does not want to be labeled an absolute bust (that is, if he gets a chance to redeem himself).

Andriy Shevchenko ? 3 ? Carlos Bocanegra scored more Premiership goals this season than did Sheva. Brought in to steady an inconsistent strike force and looked as unsteady as possible. A few flashes of brilliance, but certainly nothing warranting his reputation, his price tag, and the cost of the potentially fractured clubhouse and boardroom left in his wake. The sight of him trying his damndest to score against Macclesfield in the FA Cup, and the sight of him celebrating his early goal against Nottingham several weeks later, tell you all you need to know about how desperate this season was for him.

Khalid Boulahrouz ? 2 ? On November 5, the Cannibal was cannibalized by Robbie Keane, who proceeded to make this Dutch international look like a Dutch schoolgirl on perhaps the most painful play of the season, where he produced the cross that led to the winning goal in one of the toughest losses of the year. The rest of the year got worse. Brought in to help out a depleted defensive corps, but was so bad, that the poor manager didn?t trust him and played our best midfielder in defense just to salvage something. Out of his class with the Blues. Made us miss the days of Maniche.

Joe Cole ? Incomplete ? Joey hurt his knee in the States in a meaningless game against the MLS All-Stars in the summer and never really got back into the swing of things until April. We?re all looking forward to his return next year.

Scott Sinclair ? Incomplete ? Wait ?till next year, mate!

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i think most of them are absolutely spot on. didnt think geremi did enough to warrant anything above ferreira. thought swp deserved maybe one more for the effort he put in and them goals.

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If I read those scores and didn't know better I would have thought we finished 6th or 7th this season. I think people's expectations are running away from reality now.

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Bridge deserves more than Cole. Ballack deserves more than 3 - but no more than 5. Carvalho's had a better season than JT.

Loz's point is a good one about unrealistic expectations, but I still agree with most of MJ's comments, even though I'd say Essien shone rather than shined (is that an Americanism like 'snuck' and 'dove'?)

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If I was going to rate the players individual performances, the best I could do would be to split them into three categories:

Players who exceeded expectations - Essien, Drogba, Carvalho, Mikel, Diarra, Hilario

Players who met expectations - Cech, Terry, Makalele, Geremi, Bridge, A Cole, Cudicini, Kalou, Wright Phillips, J Cole

Players who didn't meet expectations - Lampard, Ferreira, Robben, Ballack, Shevchenko, Boularouhz

Obviously, i'm not trying to say that Lampard had a worse season than Geremi - just that he didn't play as well as what he is capable of.

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Shouldn't this be on the players forum? Probably why it's not had that many responses and why I've only just noticed it.

Think you are pretty spot on with most of those marks MJ and some of those comments are very accurate. No real arguements from me.

Loz, I know what you are saying in people's expectations but once players like Lamps, Maka and Robben for example have set themselves certain standards, when they then don't reach those same levels you have to "mark them accordingly" in something like this.

I guess that we can take comfort in that we know a lot of our players can do a heck of a lot better individually than they have done this season.

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