Chelsea FC 2009 vs Chelsea FC 2013


So now that the transfer window is closed I can very well make this comparison as to how our current squad matches upto a Chelsea squad of the past that was considered to be a ‘complete’ squad. I wouldn’t want to run far into history as then the constraints change. I don’t want to include complicate bringing in the time variable by comparing it to the more ‘complete’ one from the first era under Jose Mourinho. The squad of 2009-10, coached by former AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti did the domestic double that season. And even if I would say that the Champions League triumph is much important than the domestic double, I wouldn’t rate the team that won the CL better than the 2009-10 one. I will cut short some fringe players so as to keep it short and precise.  And for the purpose of ease, I will modify Carlo’s 4-3-3 squad to our current 4-5-1 squad. So does our current squad match up to all the hype surrounding it? Here we go!



2009 : Petr Cech, Henrique Hilario, Ross Turnbull

2013: Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Henrique Hilario

When the goal keeping section is compared, our second choice keeper now is an experienced Aussie, who unlike the our second choice back then was continually exposed to good game time in the past. Hilario or Turnbull weren’t even considered good enough to challenge Petr Cech for the top spot, and while Hilario is still there in the 2013 squad, he has been relegated to being the third choice to Petr Cech and Mark Schwarzer. And to the contrary of what people might say seeing the 6-0 thrashing of Australia by Brazil, Mark is still one of the top keeper’s in the league. With Fulham he was one of the most important characters on the pitch. And although he might not really be on par with Petr Cech, he could expect game time now and then. Jan Sebek and Jamal Blackman are the fringe one’s I didn’t bother comparing, and I sure think it doesn’t need any explanation.

Verdict: 2013 is stronger

Right Back


2009: Branislav Ivanovic, Jose Bosingwa, Paulo Ferierra, Juliano Belletti

2013: Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Tomas Kalas

It is more of a quantity vs quality over here. We had a number of options back in the 2009 season, but could Bosingwa, Ferierra or Belletti match up to Cesar Azpilicueta? Not even a close call. Bosingwa was injured half of the time, Ferierra, even though our beloved player, wasn’t really the most interesting choice to have. Belletti was hardly used, and mainly acted as a backup in case of dire needs. Now we have a young Tomas Kalas, who we can expect to see in the smaller FA and Capital One cup ties.

Verdict: 2013 is stronger

Centre Back


2009: John Terry, Carvalho, Alex, Ivanovic, Bruma

2010: John Terry, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Ivanovic, Kalas

This is one of the closest ones to compare. The replacement we saw are to Carvalho and Alex, by Cahill and David Luiz. Bruma and Kalas were the fringe players I said I might skip talking about. Defensively are Luiz and Cahill as good as Carvalho and Alex of that time? My judgment says no. I love both Cahill and Luiz, we have spectacular players who could be vital in the long run of the season, but defensively, Carvalho was spectacular, and Alex was more than a capable backup. Talks go on even today on how Riccy made John Terry look so good with his superb ability to support his defensive partner, do Cahill and Luiz have that? Nope! Alex often put his body on the line to stop shots and played with absolute passion that can be matched with either Cahill or Luiz. But the major defensive errors by David Luiz now and then, and the minor one’s by Gary Cahill still calls for massive improvement.

Verdict: 2009 was stronger

Left Back


2009: Ashley Cole, Yuri Zhirkov

2013: Ashley Cole, Ryan Bertrand

Same player, different quality, that’s for Ashely Cole, and comparing Ryan to Yuri is somewhat an insult. Ashley Cole, till last season was certainly one of the best, if not the best, in the business of left backs, but somehow this season there is a terrible drop of form by the England left back. He isn’t as stable defensively as he was, and the attacking prowess has also been seen to be dying off. Hopefully he will recover soon. Ryan Bertrand is a young man, featured in the CL finale, helped us win our Holy Grail, and has been ever improvising himself. But Yuri beats him hands down because of the experience factor. Zhirkov might had been looked down that season due to the presence of Ashley Cole, but whenever he was fielded on the pitch, he was more than solid. Any of you would take the chance to have that Yuri Zhirkov in our current squad rather than Bertrand right?

Verdict: 2009 was stronger

Central Midfield


2009: Lampard, Essien, Ballack, Deco, Mikel

2013: Lampard, Ramires, Mikel, Essien, Marko Van Ginkel

5 vs 5 here. Same player, different quality applies here too. Though we still have Lampard, Essien and Mikel, the quality is cruelly varying. Lampard and Essien are not the players they used to be, while Mikel is certainly 3 times the player he used to be. Where Frank and Michael degraded to some extent, Mikel got upgraded. But here comes the twist, do Ramires and MvG match up to having Ballack and Deco in our squad? Umm…how about no? Deco, even if he wasn’t at his best for us, was always a quality player. He had a terrific start to his Chelsea career, but then injuries cost him. While Ballack is Ballack. His mere presence on the pitch used to be a promise that we are in more than capable hands. Ramires is a work horse, but his passing isn’t really the best. And under pressure he often goes into too much attacking mode, far more than our current strikers do to be frank. MvG, he has promise. But right now, he is nowhere close to what Deco or Ballack was. He could improvise with games, provided Jose keeps his promise to give him the game time he deserves. The poor lad is putting his Dutch career on the line trusting Jose’s promise.

Verdict: 2009 was stronger

Attacking Midfield/Winger


2009: Florent Malouda, Joe Cole, Yuri Zhirkov

2013: Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Schurrle, De Bruyne

Do we really need to talk about this section? Quantity and quality, 2009 squad will be beaten, wait, thrashed by our current squad players. Florent Malouda was one of our best player in the squad that season, which can be easily matched by atleast 3 of our 6 attacking midfielders. Joey had an up and down season, while Zhirkov was the backup plan. But right now, we have absolutely no back up plan here. All are pure first team quality stars, all six of them. And on their days, they can terrorize any team, but the real problem now is to keep each of them satisfied. Already we can notice that Juan Mata isn’t really treated well. Jose can say it all he wants that Mata is important to him, but we can see an unhappy player when we see it. Mata started in the Everton game, but was the first person to be substituted when Jose thought a change was needed. Surely Juan will not be happy with that, after all that he has given for the club the last two seasons. Its just a matter of time before De Bruyne speaks out his frustration. If Jose indeed manages to satisfy each of them, well we have a hell of an attacking force. Hopefully, Jose has a plan.

Verdict: 2013 is stronger



2009: Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka, Salomon Kalou

2013: Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o, Demba Ba

Where the 2013 team beat the 2009 squad in attacking midfield department, 2009 does that in the strikers department. In 2009, we had a formidable partnership between Drogba and Anelka, stories of which are still spoken of. While we have a misfiring Torres with us now. Don’t get me wrong. I like our current strikers too. Torres might not score as much, but is one of our most important players when it comes to mixing up with our midfielders. He makes the passes and decent runs these days. Samuel Eto’o might not have gotten the best debut against Everton, but yes, only one game yet, he could still prove to be a beast in the future. Kalou is not the best vs Demba Ba in the backup position in terms of quality. But Demba Ba just haven’t lived up to his quality at Chelsea. Kalou might had been a 6/10 for Chelsea compared to a 7.5/10 by Demba Ba on papers, but while on the pitch, Kalou was still a 6/10, while Demba Ba went down to a 5/10 on the pitch.

Verdict: 2009 was stronger

So what we saw is that it was a close battle, the 2009 squad won at the CB’s, LB’s, CM’s and FW’s, while 2013 squad won at RB’s and AM/Winger’s. But then, was it actually close?

The best combination from the 2009 and 2013 squads:






Hope that Jose actually manages to get the best out f our current squad, and performs proper squad rotation to keep everyone happy. Fingers crossed for an interesting season, may it be filled with silverwares for our beloved Chelsea FC.

Do leave your thoughts and views in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you. This is all my own point of you, you are entitled to one of your own. So kindly avoid using slangs!


Interact the writer: @T_L_Kuzhi



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