Selecting the Best Chelsea FC XI for the season 2012-13


While against the match against Man City, I wondered whether either of our managers this season ever realized what our Chelsea FC Best XI was.

Selecting the best XI for any team is based on a number of parameters. And it may depend on manager to manager, as to what is the perfect and strongest team to be fielded out onto the pitch for the biggest matches. It also depends on the opponent we are facing. Selecting the best XI is a somewhat complicated job, because it also asks for the need to understand how the particular player will fit in with the other players. The best player in one team might not be the best for some other team. This is the second most complicated aspect in selecting the best squad. You’ll ask what the most complicated aspect is, the form and morale of the player. It cannot be predicted or assumed. This is the reason that the best XI of one manager might not seem the right choice by the spectators. The manager knows or atleast are the ones closest to knowing what the morale of a particular player is. Fielding an uninspired player can prove fatal. So now that we have gone through these aspects, I’ll try to pick out my strongest Chelsea FC XI for the season 2012-13 as for the month of February-March. I’ll try and explain, so maybe you’ll understand my views.

First we will go with the team sheet, the current set of players that we have, divided by operational areas.


  • Petr Cech
  • Ross Turnbull
  • Henrique Hilario
  • Jamal Blackman


  • Branislav Ivanovic
  • Ashley Cole
  • David Luiz
  • Paulo Ferreira
  • Gary Cahill
  • John Terry
  • Cesar Azpilicueta
  • Ryan Bertrand
  • Nathan Ake


  • Oriol Romeu
  • Ramires
  • Frank Lampard
  • Juan Mata
  • Oscar Dos Santos
  • John Obi Mikel
  • Florent Malouda
  • Eden Hazard
  • Marko Marin
  • Yossi Benayoun
  • Victor Moses


  • Fernando Torres
  • Demba Ba

This is the current ammunition the manager has, and likewise, I’ll try choosing my best XI and the best possible alternative, all according to my perspective. Ofcourse I do not know what the morale of a player is, cos all I can see is how well he does on the pitch.

I’ll stick with the current formation, mostly because of the heavy number of players we have in the midfield sector.

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Let’s go position by position.


The one position that no one has any doubts over. Ofcourse, Petr Cech wins this section without any contest. The tall Czech has dominated this position in the team for years and years, displacing the like of Chelsea legend Carlo Cudicini. And it isn’t an over exaggeration if I say that Cech will easily be the number one goalkeeper in any team all around the footballing world, maybe leaving out Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Despite having a few error prone outings, Petr Cech is one of the best in the business, not just for his shot stopping ability, but his leadership and commanding skills as well as his distribution from the back to the team.

The alternative player to Cech should be Ross Turnbull for the season. He is younger than Hilario and Jamal Blackman needs serious trials in the higher level before getting into consideration to be an understudy.

Right back:

This is contested between Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta, and despite Ivanovic being one of the best in the business, I’d go for Cesar Azpilicueta, mainly because he is more and more eager to develop himself. He gives his all whenever he is selected, and has given Man of the Match displays on more than one occasions, something he achieved without scoring a goal. Impressive eh?

The alternative player will be Branislav Ivanovic, simply because he is what he is! A senior, a leader, and a vital player to our team, and a consistent player. Paulo Ferreira deserves a mention, but he is nowhere as good as either Cesar or Brana.


Okay, you might think it is stupid of me to put up right and left centre backs, but it is an important aspect. Some players work better as a Right-Centre back than a Left-Centre Back. I’ll go for Gary Cahill among a choice of David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic. David is just too erratic and error prone, while Gary is a better player than Branislav. Gary Cahill has made a number of simple mistakes, but he is solid otherwise. A quicker form of John Terry he is called as, doesn’t that speak for itself?

The alternative is again Branislav Ivanovic. David Luiz doesn’t deserve this spot because he isn’t a better defender than Ivanovic on a given day. He is a better footballer, but not a better defender. Nathan Ake is too young to compete yet.


No disputes, it is as expected, John Terry. It is not just his ability to be one of the best centre-backs, but owing to the fact that the defensive line is not as good as it should be unless it is manipulated and controlled by the Former English International. A lion in the back, John Terry strongly commands and controls our defensive line against the best of oppositions.

The alternative, wait, Ivanovic again. David and Ake misses out.


Again no disputes over this, Ashely Cole. One of the most consistent players in our team. Rarely has a bad game. Even on a bad day, he is as solid as you need him at defense. And on his best day, he not only troubles the opponent wingers, but also opponent Right backs, as they find it hard to keep tabs on him. He has negated the impact of great players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Arjen Robben when they came up against him.

Ryan Bertrand is the only option with us at the moment to cover up Ashley, but he is more than capable to deputize on occasions.

Central Midfield, Left and Right:

I’ll like to take up both Left and Right Central Midfielders together. This is mainly because, my Chelsea FC team would have a certain characteristic. The Right Midfielder will be the play-breaker and the Left Midfielder will be our play-maker, our creative outlet.

When we look at play-breakers, or ideally speaking, Holding Midfielders, John Obi Mikel is the obvious choice. Why? Because he is least interested in going forward to score goals. He is content staying back and controlling the passing and momentum from the shadows. It makes him the ideal choice. The other options are Romeu Oriol and Ramires. However, Romeu is currently injured and Ramires is used to having a lot of hunger to score goals, leaving the midfield exposed. But he has an impressive work rate, running all over the pitch, meaning that, against weaker teams he is more than capable for this role, or maybe in case of an emergency all-attack situation.

Come to the play-makers, the deep-lying ones. The options are Frank Lampard, Oscar Dos Santos, Ramires and, wait, David Luiz. Here Frank Lampard must be most people’s obvious choice. But not mine. I agree that Frank is one of the best at what he does, but this is my team, and somehow, Frank doesn’t fit in without a fight. This is mainly because he loves to get in the opposition box more often, and we need a player who will not go onto attack so often how Frank does. Oscar Dos Santos has too much of creativity for him to stay back in the central midfield role. He will often wander forward as an attacking midfielder, leaving the central midfield under-manned. Ramires has a clumsy passing range, so won’t suit the creative role. So that leaves us with the one and the only David Luiz. I had this planed out for him, so he didn’t fit in as an alternative to John Terry’s position. David has been more solid in the Left-Centre-Back compared to him in the Right_Centre-Back, but I’d want him in the midfield.

David Luiz has displayed that he is the perfect person for the central midfield recently. And his wide passing range, precision in them and also a vision to reach players far and wide, means he is a guy who can very well stay near the halfway line, yet control the team’s movements with his passing. He doesn’t attack as much as we expected him to. The furthest he gets is a yard or two away from the opponent’s penalty box, hardly inside it. Moreover, he has the personality adding up the leadership skills of Lampard, which means he will never shy off from ordering his midfield comrades to move according to his will. A Real Marshal in the pack!

The alternative has to be Frank Lampard, I’ve more than explained why he is more than capable of owning this role. Over the years, this legend has adapted himself to the different styles of playing, and now, from a typical attacking midfielder, now he has made himself a central midfielder, for the team’s sake.

The Attacking Midfield Trio (Left attacking Midfielder, Central Attacking midfielder and Right attacking midfielder):

The trio for me has to be Eden Hazard on the left, Juan Mata in the middle, and Victor Moses on the right. Most people will argue with me that Oscar deserves the spot over Moses, however, I beg to differ. Oscar is more skillful, but he is not a winger. And moreover, Moses has dominated in recent times on whichever flank he has been deployed in. Eden Hazard is on his way to becoming the ‘Next Big Thing’ and has already shown us his class with his superb dribbling, and has often dominated on either wings. If the Chelsea FC team was a body, Juan Mata has to be the brain. He is the man who steps up and makes the Chelsea team tick well. Moreover, I’d give them the freedom that Di Matteo had given to the Mazacar. Moses will have the freedom to work on either flanks during the game, while Hazard and Juan Mata may rotate among any of the three roles, as they are impressive all over.

The alternative for Attacking midfield will be Oscar, and obviously our first substitution in the game too. The left and right spots will be challenged by Marko Marin and Benayoun respectively. Marin is seen to be more active when he is on the left of the pitch, while Benayoun is just a utility player and might even be replaced by Ramires.

I don’t need to discuss why Malouda isn’t being considered anywhere, which is a real sad story to tell.


We have Demba Ba and Fernando Torres competing for this spot. While most people will claim Ba is the rightful winner for the spot, I’l say they are under-estimating the hardship of the role and the contribution of El Nino to the team. Anyways, Demba Ba will be my choice. Solely because he looks likely to score more goals than Nando does. However, there are also matches like the one against Man City, where even Ba was invisible for most period of the game, so it not an out-right victory for Ba over Torres. Torres, works on the fluidity of the team. He offers very less outlet as a striker, however, he enters the middle of the pitch and gets involved in the game too.

Quite obviously, Fernando Torres will be the alternative option.

So that’s that folks, my final Best Chelsea FC XI for the current part of the season 2012-13:

Petr Cech


Gary Cahill

John Terry (C)

Ashley Cole

John Obi Mikel

David Luiz

Victor Moses

Juan Mata

Eden Hazard

Demba Ba

Agree or not, do leave your thoughts, and your own Best XI in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you. Cheers!

  1. james says

    I agree with you..sometimes dis managers can listen to what people like you suggest. Great work

    1. tushar07 says


  2. Bitto raphael says

    I agree, then why didnt u do it since or against city

  3. king elijah says

    I think ur right on the defensive line formation, but on the midfielders’ position, i think a change will be needed there. Luiz seating in that position is zero as far as m concern. I will prefer the likes of ramires or frank in the place of Luiz. Cos rami/frank partnering with mikel seems to be a strong bond in the midfield role. Playing mikel and ramires in that role will make the midfield more stronger than duo of Mikel and David.

  4. Green Rose says

    it would be nice if Rafa could see your suggestion here. keep a great work there.

    1. Tushar L.Kuzhi (@T_L_Kuzhi) says


  5. Melford Egba says

    Oscar in the place of David Luiz. That will be my first XI.

  6. Joseph says

    That is the team ive been calling for all season
    The thing is i might have luiz and oscar in midfield Luiz if you tell him too can be like mikel just with more creative foward passing
    Oscar is really underrated when in terms of Defending he is a really good defender and a way better tackler than Lampard and ramires
    Lamps i love but he cant really defend whereas oscar is better nad he works harder defensively and Ramires is the most un-brasilian brazillian ive seen he first touch is always awful his passing is really sloppy and his tackling is god awful he just likes to stick his leg out really late on opsition players

    1. Tushar L.Kuzhi (@T_L_Kuzhi) says

      on point!

  7. Tete says

    dave cahill terry cole
    ramires oscar
    moses mata hazard

    1. brynknight says

      Lol…that is 12 players…I wish we could play a 4-1-2-3-1 but I think someone might notice 🙁

      1. Zane says


  8. @suman_cfc says

    Cech Azpi Cahill Terry Cole Mikel Luiz Mata Oscar Hazard Ba .

  9. freaky.timo says

    I totally do agree wth most part bt in my team wld hav had luiz in obi’s position and oscar in play maker coz as someone mentioned he is good at tracking back and make quick runs and evn the precision in long balls in da box as wth playin Ba we hav dat option toput in balls fr Ba and oscar cn link up well wth mata

  10. Akhil Khurana says

    lampard shuld star in place of luiz and oscar in place of moses

  11. An EnglishFan in New York. says

    nice piece. but think there must be 2 best teams. Defensive and Attacking. Rafa’s mistakes come from not being able to fine tune this properly. Also until we get a Captain to replace JT or Frank when there are not in the team, one of those 2 must play in every game. Ideally if they are both fit JT in the “defensive XI and Super Frank in the “Attacking XI”. This slightly limits our selection process.MC

    1. Loren says

      That’s more than seslbine! That’s a great post!

  12. Renish says

    Obi out Frank In

  13. Renish says

    Oscar in Moses out

  14. The team is good but I would change Mikel for Ramires because he is play maker as well as play breaker. He has the ability to create as well as defend rather than mikel who only defends and that too with errors that have cost the match many times. I think in the case of defending ramires and mikel are the same, and in attack ramires provides so much option. Others are ok and also I make the bench here..


    Anyway it was a good read…..

  15. Adediran rasheed ademola says

    Yes correct

  16. indo blues says

    mikel is useless!!!

  17. ShawnS'tha says

    4-2-3-1 formtion doesnt seem to be working with chelsea at the moment… we are struggling to score goals.eveyone is busy blaming torres but if we see even ba is struggling as there are not enough through passes for the forward to run into. we have three creative midfield up top who likes to come and play through the centre making the area too congested for forward. if u see the best teams being successful with 4-2-3-1 formation are real madrid and bayern.the
    reason they are so successful are because of the powerf.wingers they have on either flank like CR7, di maria, robben and ribbery. they play counter attacking game wigh lots of pace which we clearly lack. it time to change the system for once and play ba and torres up top and a diamond midfield we used to play before.

    1. ShawnS'tha says

      iva ryan
      ramires mata
      i.dont see.any harm tryong this formation. we will have width as well as more option with this formation however the wing players will have added defensive duties since we will have only one defensive midfielder and as we know torres can drift to the wings that will give hazard an oppurtunity to come towards centre confusing for the defenders ro mark certain players.


  18. Vaibhav Kumble says

    If we want to get the best out of lamps, we have to play him in d CAM position.. so if have to strat lamps then my team would be
    Azpi Cahill Terry Cole
    Mikel Oscar
    Mata Lampard Hazard.

    If lamps is to be kept on bench then I would give Mata the no.10 and put Moses on right..
    I genuinely think this team has the perfect balance of def and attack. Lamps can act as a second striker when needed (due to his runs) and can move into midfield to create attacks.. Lamps can move back when Oscar goes on the attack.. Torres is mychoice of striker as he has more assists and helps build up attacks..
    However this team of mine is only for a 4-2-3-1 formation.. Othwrwise I would change the formation as I truly think that is the reason for our failure this season..

  19. makinwa says

    lampard should neva start any game he should read the game from the bench and come in second halve to give experience in that way our team would be balance without the overiding influence of lamps in subduing the influence of our young and enterprising players

  20. makinwa says

    mikel ramires or mikel luiz or mikel oscar …… lampard no way ….. enough of the legend whatever… lampard leaves the midfield and stay in the opposition box to compete with torres and ba overcongesting the strikers space to operate and leaves ramires or mikel to suffer in the midfield

    1. alexcfc8 says

      Are you sure your a Chelsea fan? Watch a few games and see what Lampard does. Considering he is playing in an unfamiliar position makes it harder. He is adapting his play style for the team. We didn’t notice it last season as the team played very defensive football and played on the counter but as we are playing more expansive, fluid football it makes these flaws come up and shown. He is playing in the wrong position!

  21. makinwa says

    eto , ronaldinho , deco, ibrahimovic all was sold from barca to other top teams in the world … why ? to give room for younger and enterprising players like messi iniesta pedro cesc fab..etc lampard shld go to give Oscar josh mchechran romeou chances to operate …..

    1. alexcfc8 says

      Ronaldinho wanted to leave same as Deco, E’to wanted a change and Ibra was sold as he never got on with the team and never enjoyed his time there

    2. alexcfc8 says

      Anyway McEachren is on loan, Oscar is an attacking midfielder but could be converted into a deep-lying playmaker but that will take time and training and Romeu is injured and out for the season(He made 24 apps for us 20 of them starting the game last season and before getting injured anoth 14 starts this season)

  22. Ross says

    Thats da best squad in dat formation but Benitez’s madness cnt pick dem lyk dat.

  23. sanjay says

    lampard instead of david luiz

  24. maphy zimungwe says

    your selection s quiet gd bt i thnk on rb Ivanovic s beta dan Azplicuata becz at tyms Azpl may panic n inconsistance whl Iva wl form a solid defence. Also on D Luis i prefer Ramires instead becz Luis at tyms wl nt seen n de pitch Ramires s a hard maker thank you

  25. Echo ubah Michael says

    Its true ur starting first eleven, but our poor so far is due to poor team spirit which has brought form dat has caused low self confedence in d players. We need fresh air all over in d team. From fans, to players, to board members, to manager. The fact is we jst need a charismatic coach agen, who’ll be accepted by d fans and players. The mechanical relationship btw Benitez and d club is our major setbak of d season.

  26. Anonymous says


  27. Dejen Agaziu says


    Azpilicueta Cahill David Cole

    Ramirez Lampard

    Mosses Mata Hazard


  28. vaakmeisster says

    I agree with your team selection except in one position: david luiz. Luiz may like to play long passes, but his pass accuracy isn’t good enough. He also lacks shot accuracy from open play is also poor, for one who likes to shoot a lot. Oscar is the man for this position. He is defensive enough, can mark and tackle. Also has great play making abilities. All he needs to become our xavi is to learn to time his runs into the box and improve his creativity. Our problem this season is lack of creativity in deep midfield. We cant keep possesion in midfield long enough to give our attackers time to run into dangerous positions. Oscar here will help us and also take some weight off mata

  29. Justice onukwuru says

    This is the best formation we need but i’ll go for ramires to partner mikel than david. Keep the good job up i believe the manager and those incharge will hear us

  30. YinXun Tan says

    What do you think about 4-3-3? If Mourinho returns, he’ll most probably play this formation. The midfielders are balanced too.

    Azpi – Cahill – Terry – Cole
    Ramires – Mikel – Mata
    Moses – Ba – Hazard

    1. YinXun Tan says

      Apart from that, the midfield has creativity (Mata), speed (Ramires) and solidity (Mikel).

  31. hakinola says

    i think this is a solid formation but i will choose ramires to luiz.

  32. Edy says

    I agree wid u, but to me i prefer tores to demba

  33. xela says

    Best cfc 11
    Formation: 3-5-2

    RB: Ivanovic
    CB: Terry
    LB: Ashley

    RDM:Obi Mikel


    LS:Etoo/ Demba Ba

  34. Anonymous says

    thus is simlply crap.Utter rubbish.Mikel is simlply useleless and Lampard is much better.How can you not include Oscar and keep Victor Moses?to crown it all theres no Torres!!!What had Ba done that Torres hadn’t? In fact Torres was a world better than Ba.
    GK : Petr Cech
    DEF: Ivanovic , Terry , Cahill , Cole
    Def Mid : Lampard , Ramires
    MID: Oscar, Mata , Hazard
    FWD : Torres

  35. Torres the best says

    thus is simlply crap.Utter rubbish.Mikel is simlply useleless and Lampard is much better.How can you not include Oscar and keep Victor Moses?to crown it all theres no Torres!!!What had Ba done that Torres hadn’t? In fact Torres was a world better than Ba.
    GK : Petr Cech
    DEF: Ivanovic , Terry , Cahill , Cole
    Def Mid : Lampard , Ramires
    MID: Oscar, Mata , Hazard
    FWD : Torres

  36. Donna says

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