By 90Min
October 31, 2019

In the 16 years since Roman Abramovich threw his billions behind Chelsea Football Club, the Blues have been fortunate to have numerous world-class players through their doors.

However, while the squad has generally had a core of quality, there has still been a smattering of names who will haunt the dreams of supporters, stinking up their sleep with misplaced passes, glaring misses, unfulfilled potential, eye-watering wages and inflated price tags.

Granted, things probably haven't been as thoroughly turgid as they have at Liverpool over the past decade or so as the titles continued to roll in despite the likes of John Obi Mikel and José Bosingwa.

But with Halloween upon us, the time is nigh to look back upon what lies in the shadows of the club's past, what skeletons they have in the closet: the grimmest, most terrifying lineups of Chelsea's recent history.


vs Newcastle (September 2010)

Ian Walton/GettyImages

Chelsea: Ross Turnbull; Paulo Ferreira, John Terry, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt; Ramires, Yossi Benayoun, Yuri Zhirkov; Gael Kakuta, Nicolas Anelka, Daniel Sturridge.

Subs: Alex, Josh McEachran, Salomon Kalou

This bleak history begins in 2010 with a truly horrifying League Cup ghost from Chelsea's past, served up by then boss Carlo Ancelotti.

This may shock you, but a defence featuring Paulo Ferreira, Patrick van Aanholt and club legend Jeffrey Bruma shipped four goals as the Blues exited the cup at the first time of asking.

As is typical of the man, left-back Van Aanholt did manage to get on the scoresheet as Chelsea went down 4-3 at Stamford Bridge.

A last-minute Shola Ameobi header won it for the Toon. Stuff of nightmares.


vs MSK Zilina (November 2010)

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Chelsea: Ross Turnbull; Paulo Ferreira, Branislav Ivanovic, Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt; Ramires, Josh McEachran, Florent Malouda; Daniel Sturridge, Didier Drogba, Gael Kakuta. 

Subs: Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka, Jacob Mellis.

Another Ancelotti special from 2010, as the phlegmatic Italian showed MSK Zelina all of zero respect in the Champions League group stage by fielding Turnbull, Bruma, Van Aanholt, McEachran and Gael Kakuta AT THE SAME TIME.

Somehow this Chelsea side (pictured at the top of this article) ran out 2-1 winners as King Carlo gave youth a chance against the Slovakian titans, and those names proved they were worthy of their current places at [retired], Wolfsburg, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Amiens respectively.

It was ultimately an ill-fated European campaign for the Blues, who were eventually dumped out of the competition by Manchester United in the quarter-finals. Little surprise considering state of the wider squad at the time.


vs Bayern Munich (May 2012)

CHRISTOF STACHE/GettyImages

Chelsea: Petr Cech; Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, José Bosingwa; Frank Lampard, John Obi Mikel; Ryan Bertrand, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou; Didier Drogba.

Subs: Florent Malouda, Fernando Torres

Probably the scariest starting lineup of all for Chelsea fans in recent times. Why, you ask? Because this was Chelsea's long-awaited Champions League final against an ostensibly unbeatable Bayern side.

For all the millions and millions of pounds spent in the Abramovich era in the pursuit of European glory, it was José Bosingwa, Ryan Bertrand, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou who were all handed starting berths by injuries and suspensions.

The rest is history, as what could have been a nightmare somehow became a dream.


vs Wolves (September 2012)

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Chelsea: Ross Turnbull; Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Ryan Bertrand; Victor Moses, Ramires, Oriol Romeu, Juan Mata, Lucas Piazon; Fernando Torres.

Subs: Oscar, Marko Marin, Eden Hazard

Considering the riches at their disposal now, it is hard to remember a time when Chelsea's youngsters just weren't very good.

Well, if you look back to 2012 they had a host of youngster's whose ceiling was a tad lower than that of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount.

While this lineup will have struck fear in the Stamford Bridge faithful with the likes of Oriol Romeooooh, Lucas Piaarghhhhzon and Ryan... Bertrand playing, they actually put it a damn good showing and thumped then Championship side (were)Wolves 6-0.


vs Walsall (September 2015)

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

Chelsea: Asmir Begovic; Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Gary Cahill, Baba Rahman; John Obi Mikel, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ramires; Kenedy, Loic Remy, Falcao

Subs: Nemanja Matic, Pedro, Papy Djilobodji

Arguably the most terrifying of the lot is the eleven José Mourinho picked to take on Walsall in the League Cup in 2015. 

It's rare when a front line is more likely to strike fear in your own fans than the opposition's, but that is a feat Chelsea managed with aplomb as trio of flops Kenedy, Loic Rémy and Falcao started up top.

Injury-plagued left-back Baba Rahman also got a start at left-back. He's now plying his trade in with Mallorca in La Liga.


For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter!

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