My top 10 standout Chelsea players

My top 10 standout Chelsea players
Well tuned into twitter today to see that Chelsea are celebrating 100 issues of Chelsea magazine. Well we just need a reason to celebrate and this is just another milestone. So here is my list of Chelsea’s top 10 players. Avoiding 100 as it might get boring.

Note: Picking my top 10 from the time I started supporting the club (2002-03) season, so forgive me for not involving the likes of Peter Osgood, Ron Harris, Bobby Tambling to name a few legends.
1. John Terry (552 apps)- The 1st one is always the toughest one but John Terry for some reason stands above all. Captain-Leader-Legend as he is called is not just a great footballer but an inspirational figure among the team mates as well. For all the pre match talks the dressing room speech and those lovely headers from the corners John has been a fan favorite ever since he stepped foot in the first team. A one club man, John has been at the club since the age of 14. Terry has been Chelsea’s most successful captain having led them to 1 UEFA Champions League, 4 FA Cup, 3 PL Titles. 
2. Frank Lampard (565 apps)– The captain of our Champions League winning side, Lampard has re-defined the meaning of a midfielder. Arguably one of the greatest midfielder’s in the Premier League era, Frank holds the record of scoring the most goals by a midfielder. Signed from West Ham in 2001 Frank has gone onto score 188 goals for the club and ranks 3rd in the club’s all time scoring list 14 behind Bobby Tambling’s record of 202. Arguably the most prolific goal scorer this club will ever see.
3. Didier Drogba (341 apps)– Signed for £24M from Marseille, Didier Drogba if not the best surely ranks among the top 3 in the  club’s all time transfers. From scoring the FA Cup winning goal in all of the FA Cup finals to guiding us to the Champions League in his last kick of the ball, Drogba defines the term Legend. Ranked 4th in Chelsea’s all time scoring list, Didier holds this unique record of scoring in the Wembley every time he has stepped foot on the Wembley turf. From getting sent off in the Moscow final to scoring an 88th minute equalizer in Munich Drogba has always been there when the club needed him. From scoring scorchers against Everton to absolutely mauling Arsenal every time we played them Dider will live long in the memories of the Chelsea faithful.
4. Gianfranco Zola (312 apps)– Arguably the club’s biggest ever player in terms of pure skill. Wizard as he was called Zola could do things with the ball what many could only dream of. None made a more quicker impact in the club’s history compared to the Italian. Signed from Parma by then manager Rudd Gullit in 1996, Zola managed to score 80 goals for the club in his 7yr stint. None can forget the backheel goal Zola scored against Norwich in 2002 to which Claudio Ranieri said – “Gianfranco tries everything because he is a wizard and the wizard must try.” He led the team to six trophies, including two FA Cups and even a UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup and Super Cup in the same year.
5. Petr Cech (376 apps)– Without doubt Chelsea’s greatest ever GK. Few can come back from what this man has gone through and give their 100% in every single game. From that horrific injury against Reading that led to damage in his skull to the penalty shootout hero in Munich, Cech deserves to be in this list. Holder of the most clean sheets in a premier league season, Cech has been a part of the club’s most successful era leading from the front (or the back as in his case).
6. Ashley Cole (182 apps)– Signed in 2006 in a exchange deal for William Gallas from Arsenal, Ashley soon became a fan favorite. Arguably the greatest LB in the premier league era and also England’s, Cole’s consistency has been the key to his major success. The most decorated player ever in the FA Cup history, Cole has won 15 major tournaments in England’s top flight football. Loathed by Arsenal fans loved by Chelsea fans, Cole was instrumental in Chelsea’s success in the Champions League. Closing in on 100 caps for England as well, Cole without a shadow of a doubt remains one of the club’s greatest ever full backs.
7. Claude Makelele (144 apps)– If there is one man Chelsea have not replaced since his departure it is this man. This was Florentino Perez, the chairman of Real Madrid, when Makelele left for Chelsea in 2003: ‘We will not miss Makelele. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety per cent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways. He wasn’t a header of the ball and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres. Younger players will arrive who will cause Makelele to be forgotten.’  Makelele’s arrival at Chelsea gave birth to a new dawn for the south London club as for Perez and his Madrid they then went 3yrs trophyless. The role of a defensive MF has hardly been appreciated and has to be one of the most underrated roles in football. Makelele not only had great positional sense and tackling sense but he played as the anchorman in the Chelsea’s MF. Chris Coleman once said after his Fulham side beat Chelsea that “Makélelé is more than a mere defensive midfielder, but is actually Chelsea’s deep-lying playmaker, and Chelsea’s attacks are all channelled through him. Thus, denying him possession was instrumental in unravelling Chelsea today.’ 

8. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (136 apps)- Although he managed just 4 years at the club, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink still remains one of the club’s all time greatest strikers. His 87 goals for the club ranks him in 12th in the club’s all time goal scoring list. Hasselbaink joined Chelsea on a then record transfer fee of  £15 million from Atletico Madrid and soon build a partnership with Eidur Gudjohensen as one of the most lethal strike forces in the PL. During his 4yr spell Hasselbaink was club’s top scorer 3 times.
9. Marcel Desailly (158 apps)– Before Terry, Desailly captained Chelsea. Like Terry, Desailly was blessed with great leadership skills however unlike Terry, Desailly was not an academy product rather an already established player when he joined Chelsea. Desailly helped the club win a UEFA Super Cup, and an FA Cup during his time at the club and was nicknamed the Rock for his outstanding defending. His 6yr tenure at the club saw him make 158 apps for the club and helped him a place in the PL’s team of the decade.
10. Arjen Robben (67 apps)– Without doubt one of Chelsea’s most talented players on the pitch. His pace and trickery was a headache for defenders. His 3 yr tenure was overshadowed due to his injuries but his on field presence was something many still remember. His ability to dribble past defenders made him a top quality winger. Robben till date remains the club’s record sale for 24M.

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