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2010-2019: Chelsea's Team of the Decade

Three Premier League titles, 2 Europa Leagues, 3 FA Cups, 1 League Cup and...Oh! The Small matter of a Champions League triumph have come in this decade.

A glittering, trophy-laden ten years have solidified the Kings of the Fulham Road at the top of the English game as Roman Abramovich's empire has only grown in strength and added further silverware to a bulging trophy cabinet. 

Over 300 wins, 10 head coaches, tons of goals and a never ending stream of Carefree's mean there is a smorgasbord of moments to choose from. 

It seems appropriate throughout all of those moments to decipher who have been the best 11 players in Royal Blue and select the Best XI of the Decade. 


Formation: 4-4-2 


Goalkeeper: Petr Cech 

In truth – there was only ever going to be one choice in this position. Despite Thibaut Courtois filling the role from 2014-18, the Belgian's efforts pail in comparison to the legendary status of the Czech, earning his label as the club's greatest ever shot-stopper in May of 2012 – when he saved not one..not two..but THREE penalties to capture the Holy Grail in Munich. 

That night's efforts in isolation puts Cech on this list. Then add that he started the decade lifting a third Premier League trophy under Carlo Ancelotti's free-scoring Blues. Then making an outstanding stop in the FA Cup final of 2012 to deny Andy Carroll and Liverpool weeks before Chelsea would lift Europe's most coveted prize. 

He would stay as first choice between the sticks for two more seasons – continuing to lead his side to big wins, reassuring his defence and making key stops that would usually result in more winners medals. 

Courtois bitter exit mostly tarnished a lot of good-will built up over a number of strong seasons and Kepa Arrizabalaga is only into the second season of his Chelsea career and will be hoping he will be a guaranteed name in this list come the end of the next decade. 


Right-Back: Branislav Ivanovic 

The Serbian might have faded in his final years and had elements of his game that were frustrating, but the defender's ability to pop up with major goals in key moments for the Blues means he cannot be overlooked in this decade. 

Scoring the winner against Napoli to overhaul a first-leg deficit in March of 2012 and most notably his towering header in Amsterdam to win Chelsea the Europa League Final against Benfica a year later put him closer to fans hearts. His strength and mentality were major components of his game that made him a perfect lieutenant for Jose Mourinho's ruthless title winners in 2015. 

Despite a sudden drop in form the following season, his cult-like status meant he left with a lot of fond memories.


Centre Back: Gary Cahill 

At the start of this decade, Gary Cahill was a regular in a lowly Bolton Wanderers side drifting closer to a drop out of the top flight. 

In January 2012, the defender swapped battling relegation for a chaotic Chelsea side still under the leadership of Andre Villas-Boas – who would be shown the door a month later. By the end of that season, Cahill would have played in and won an FA Cup Final and battled for injury to put in an heroic display in Munich to claim a European Cup. 

Cahill, for all of his critics remained a mainstay in Chelsea's backline all the way up to 2018 when Maurizio Sarri arrived and froze him out. 

He was aided by partnering one of England's greatest central defenders that would remarkably lift his performances – but likely would've felt more personal vindication when he captained Chelsea to a Premier League title under Antonio Conte without John Terry holding his hand. 

There aren't many players who have been as individually successful as Cahill during this decade, truly transforming his career and fortunes within a couple of months. Simply winning everything the game has had to offer in the space of seven years is a remarkable feat – there is only one Gary Cahill. 


Centre Back: John Terry (C) 

Chelsea's greatest ever Captain might have been shunned in a majority of Premier League teams of the decade – but he'll get his due credit here. 

In many ways you could argue Terry's best seasons came within this decade when he played every minute of Chelsea's title winning season in 2014/15 – at the age of 35 was head and shoulders the league's best centre back. Both Andre Villas-Boas and Rafael Benitez shunned his usefulness with injuries pilling up, but it was the return of Jose Mourinho – the same man who helped transform his career in 2004 – to revitalize Terry and help get him back to his imperious best.  

Their couldn't of been a more fitting and emotional farewell to Terry's glittering career than lifting another league title in front of his beloved crowd for one last celebration. 


Left Back: Cesar Azplicueta 

What is likely the hardest position to select in this eleven due to the two outstanding candidates in contention for it. 

Ashley Cole, despite leaving in 2014 - played a major role in Chelsea's run to Champions League glory in 2012. That clearance against Napoli in the first leg still sticks out as a sliding doors moment within that season. Cole, to many, is the best English left back there has ever been, so leaving him out feels an impossible choice. 

However, for longevity and solely based on the effect within this decade – the nod goes to the man Chelsea fans call Dave. 

Acquired from Marseille in 2012 for a now ludicrously low-fee of £7m, the fullback quickly asserted himself as a stalwart within Chelsea's defence under Jose Mourinho by displacing Cole at Left back where he has spent a large portion of his Chelsea career. 

He outshone Flipe Luis, brought in from Atletico Madrid in 14/15 - then arguably had his best season in Conte's back-three. Truly a versatile player that is one of two who are currently in the squad that feature in this eleven. 

It's hard to look past Mourinho's quote that would love to have eleven Azplicueta's on a pitch – which is emblematic of how vital the Spaniard has been to Chelsea's success. A player who has consistently put in exemplary defensive displays on the biggest of occasions, shutting down the deadliest of attackers - he truly is a coaches dream. 


Central Midfielder - N'Golo Kante  

The second member of the current squad to feature didn't arrive in English football till the decade was half complete when he joined Leicester City in 2015. 

A revelation within their stunning title triumph stunned the world of his hidden talents which had been uncovered by Craig Shakespeare from Ligue 1 side Caen. It would soon propel the Frenchman to the top of World football. Joining Chelsea a year later - Gary Linekar tweeted in dismay of Kante's departure that his signing would aid the west London club in retaining their Premier League crown – he was right. 

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Kante excelled under Antonio Conte alongside Nemanja Matic in a formidable engine room which starred in Chelsea's memorable 13-game winning streak. 

He was voted the PFA Player of the Year, ahead of a certain imperious Belgian. 

Despite all the furore under Maurizio Sarri, Kante was able to add goals to his game and prove why he's so much more than just a defensive midfielder. A ball winner, tackling of perfection, can drive, can sprint, can score goals and – at his most rampant – appear to cover every length of grass on a football pitch. 

Is there anything N'Golo can't do? 


Central Midfielder - Cesc Fabregas 

If you would've told Chelsea fans back in 2010 that come the end of 2019, the name of Arsenal's then-captain would be in this team, many would've laughed out loud. 

It shows how much can happen in 10 years. Fabregas has played for three clubs within that time span – Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea.

Arriving in the Summer of 2014, it was a shock move when Arsene Wenger turned down the opportunity to resign his former Captain in favour of Mezut Ozil, a move he would come to regret as Fabregas was a treasured final piece in Mourinho's title winning jigsaw. 

On his debut at Burnley he produced one of the passes of the Premier League era and Chelsea fans fell in love. By the end of the season they had a song for him and his magic hat. 

There won't be many who have glided with as much ease across the Stamford Bridge turf like Fabregas. The playmaker caught the imagination of fans with his passing ability, ungodly eye to find the right pass and a connection with a talismanic striker who would storm Chelsea to several titles. 

It speaks volumes that Fabregas would depart the club in January of 2019 with tears in his eyes being serenaded with adoration from a fanbase that was hostile to him only a couple of years previous. 


Central Midfielder - Frank Lampard

Another statement that would've seemed far fetched even as recently as last season was the idea Frank Lampard would end the decade as Chelsea's Head Coach. 

Chelsea's greatest ever player cemented himself with that tag by becoming the highest goalscorer in the club's history, overtaking Bobby Tambling with 203 when he netted two at Villa Park in 2013. 

He captained Chelsea in to two European triumphs against Bayern Munich and Benfica. Who can forget the 27-goal season in 2009/10? All of this adds a conclusion to a remarkable career which has now come full circle with his return into the dugout. 

An irreplaceable talent. 


Attacking Midfielder/Left Wing - Eden Hazard

The player that defined Chelsea in this decade. The then young starlet joining a week after the club's greatest ever night seemed like the start of a new era. Whilst the spine of the team began to fade with the likes of Cole, Lampard, Cech, and John Terry departing – Hazard was the man tasked to take up the mantle.

After brief glimpses of his talent in his maiden campaign, it would be under the guidance of Jose Mourinho when Hazard would start to showcase his breathtaking talent. 

His instrumental goal contributions helped the Blues win their first league crown in five years in 2015 when he was voted the PFA Player of The Year. In 2017 he would have a similarly major impact in another title triumph under Antonio Conte. 

The Belgian provided the club with a litany of memorable solo-goals. West Ham, Liverpool, Tottenham and many more have been subject to the wizardry of the winger – his best goal surely coming against Arsenal in 2017, where he spun Francis Coquelin to the floor on his marauding charge towards goal. 

The Gunners would be victims to another outstanding display in Baku for Hazard's farewell as he captured the dreams once more of an adoring fanbase. 


Forward - Diego Costa

A nuisance, a disruptor and eventually too much of a headache for Antonio Conte to handle – but that's what made the troublesome goal-getter an instant cult hero around SW6.  

Costa took little time to make his mark within English football when he tore up and shellshocked Premier League defences in the early weeks of the 2014/15 campaign. Arguably putting in his most memorable performance at Goodison Park where he netted two, got into spats and celebrated in Seamus Coleman's face. 

Even if his time in Blue was short, he put himself amongst the greatest strikers to ever play for Chelsea. His physicality might have been his most obvious trait but his technical ability was a sight to behold at his best.

With a bundle a goals, lots of boos from opposition fans and heroic qualities that made him one of the most cherished players within the decade by supporters, Diego truly was one of a kind. 


Forward - Didier Drogba

It feels fitting Drogba is the final name on this list as his right foot provided Chelsea fans with not only the greatest moment for the club within this decade, but also the now most iconic memory since Chelsea's inception in 1905. 

His performances and important goals in run to European Glory immortalised him forever within Chelsea's history. He started the decade winning the Golden Boot in Chelsea's enthralling title triumph under Carlo Ancelotti, netting another final winning goal against Portsmouth from a free-kick to secure the double. 

Drogba would score his fourth FA Cup final goal against Liverpool in 2012 before departing at the end of the season. 

The Ivorian would make a swift return under Jose Mourinho for one final season where he would mostly play backup to Diego Costa, and in the later months – Loic Remy. However, the Chelsea Legend would be able to have an apt farewell at Stamford Bridge on the final day of the 2014/15 season, lifting the Premier League trophy one last time. 


That's our Chelsea Team of the Decade - who is in yours?


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