The 2020/21 Premier League. Something myself, and a lot of fellow Chelsea fans thought we’d be very close to winning. Multiple signings added to the side that finished 4th last season. A manager full of potential, and an owner who backed him to the hilt. We were meant to win the league this year, or go very very close.
As 2020 taught us, life doesn’t always go as we plan it to. Any lifelong Chelsea fan would’ve told you that for the past 116 years.
So. As I write this, Chelsea are currently 19 games, halfway, through the Premier League season. Sat 8th, The Blues are 11 points off leaders Manchester United, who themselves haven’t had a brilliant season, showing how poor this league has been so far. Champions Liverpool are struggling to score goals, which has rarely been an issue for them during Klopp’s tenure. Manchester City are coming into their own now, and look the likelier title winners currently. A huge shoutout to Everton, West Ham, Aston Villa and Leicester who are flying high near the top of the Prem.
Now back to the struggling Chelsea.
19 Games Played
Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. However there have been some players who have performed better than others. Below I am going to assess every player’s performances halfway through the season.
Edouard Mendy – When Mendy first joined Chelsea he was excellent. A real breath of fresh air that we needed at the back. However the past few games he’s looked a bit shaky, and it seems as if he’s been having lessons from Kepa on ball distribution. 7/10.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – Started the season as he ended last, poor. After his horror show against Liverpool, we signed Mendy and he’s barely had a chance to play since. 4/10
Willy Caballero – Personally I think Caballero is our 2nd best goalkeeper. Solid, and a great backup goalkeeper to play in cup games. Barely puts a foot wrong. Model professional. 8/10
Reece James – Probably one of our better options going forward, however slightly ropey in defence. Would be an excellent right wing back with 3 central defenders behind him, however not the most reliable right back. Still has bags of potential and his crosses are a dream. 7/10
Emerson – Fairly average at left back. Rarely gets a chance but is decent enough when he does. Not good enough to trouble Chilwell however. 6/10
Ben Chilwell – A strong addition to the side at left back. A great defender and smart at attacking down the left side. Probably our best defender and signing of 2020. 9/10
Thiago Silva – In his prime a top top defender, however lacks a bit of pace and struggles against nippy strikers. A great leader nonetheless and fantastic to have him at the club, especially on a free. Fairly solid still and does a job against lower opposition. 7/10
Kurt Zouma – For me our best centre half. Much improved, Zouma has come on leaps and bounds after his loan spell at Everton. Strong in the air, scoring 4 goals this season, he’s a massive threat from corners. 8/10
Cesar Azpilicueta – Another who in his prime was world class. However age isn’t on ‘Dave’s’ side, and often gets caught out on that right side against a player with any sort of pace. Second choice to Reece James now, but an excellent servant to the club having played over 400 games now. 5/10
Antonio Rudiger – Left out at the start of the season, Rudiger is another that isn’t bad, but isn’t a top defender. A good squad player but shouldn’t be starting in my opinion. 3rd best centre back. 6/10
Andreas Christensen – Plagued with injuries, Christensen barely manages to play a game. Had a real poor game against Liverpool and hasn’t been seen much since. Probably our weakest centre back. 5/10
Fikayo Tomori – Solid last season, but hasn’t been given a chance at all this year. Still fairly young and has strong potential, I think Tomori is on his way out of the club, you can’t really blame him. He’s young and desperate for first team football. Hopefully he moves to a good side and gets a starting spot. 7/10
Marcos Alonso – Not too sure where Marcos is. Hasn’t done anything this season, barely even see him on the bench. Nowhere near good enough to start over Chilwell, however a player I’ll always love for his 2 goals against Spurs at Wembley. 10/10 for that alone.
N’golo Kante – Solid as ever, does exactly what you want him to do. Another model professional and lovely bloke. Will run for the whole 90 minutes hunting the ball down. 8/10
Mason Mount – Anyone who knows me, knows I love Mason Mount. Criminally underrated, he’s easily been our best player this season. Can play anywhere in midfield, loves a tackle, shot, pass and goal. Gives his all just like Kante, and is the first name on the team sheet currently. 10/10
Jorginho – Well. I don’t really get what Jorginho does. He’s a luxury player who is top class sitting back pinging balls against poor lower league sides, however once he’s against strong opposition the game seems to happen all around him and he becomes a passenger. Think a slower paced league will suit him a lot more, but his fellow professionals love him around the club so has a strong presence. 6/10
Mateo Kovacic – Full of energy but lacks real class. Quite good playing in front of the back 4, but doesn’t really have a creative spark. Rarely provides a goal or an assist, pretty much a basic midfield player. 6/10
Billy Gilmour – A bad injury has seen Billy miss all of the season so far. Undoubtably very talented and hopefully back to full fitness very soon. Has made a couple of substitute appearances lately so a full return to the first XI must be on the cards in the coming weeks. 7/10
Hakim Ziyech – Since joining from Ajax, Ziyech has had a few niggling injuries forcing him in and out the side. Clearly has a lot of skill and has shown it in numerous games. One of many creative players in this team who are still adapting to the Premier League. 7/10
Christian Pulisic – Captain America is yet another who has suffered from a lot of injuries in the past year or so. In the form of his life until being forced off in the FA Cup Final last season. Since his comeback, he’s been bright and gives us that extra spark. Always reminds me of Eden Hazard, albeit slightly less gifted. Hopefully he can kick on throughout the second half of this season. 7/10
Kai Havertz – For me, the most disappointing signing of the season. Was expecting the German wonderkid to take the league by storm, however Havertz is struggling to adapt to the English game so far. Still however extremely early days and hopefully he can show us the £75m playmaker we splashed out on. 5/10
Timo Werner – ‘Turbo Timo’ started the season with his foot firmly on the pedal, however since Chelsea’s form as dropped, Werner’s has also. Going 10 games without a goal until the recent FA Cup tie with Morecambe. He is however, being played out of position on the right wing. I think once we play him through the middle we will see him flourish in the Premier League. 7/10
Tammy Abraham – A player I struggle to believe in. He just seems to lack real class. Scores the occasional goal but doesn’t do enough for me. Giroud and Werner both a good way clear of Abraham in my opinion, however a good option off the bench. 6/10
Olivier Giroud – Really underrated. Giroud is a World Cup winning forward with an eye for goal. Scoring 4 vs Sevilla, Giroud proved he still deserves to start for a top side, and deserves his run in the team. Great striker and exceptional in the air. 8/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi – A strange one. Off the bench he makes an instant impact and has the potential to go right to the top. However when he gets the opportunity to start games, he seems to fade away and rarely leaves his mark on the match. Hopefully he can push on and keep improving. 6/10
Chelsea have a top team. Excellent players, young and talented. However they just aren’t stepping up to the mark currently, and I worry that Frank Lampard’s days are numbered with results not going the way the board were expecting.