The Class of 2009-10, Where are they now?
The 2009-10 season will always be remembered as a vital achievement in the history of Chelsea FC. We did the domestic double by winning the Premier League and the FA cup. This was majorly owing to the sheer willpower of the players, their quality as well as the brilliance of the then-manager Carlo Ancelotti. So, after three years where do the ones who left stand? Are they still showing the same quality and where are they? Let’s have a look.
- Ricardo Carvalho (Real Madrid)
- Joe Cole (West Ham)
- Dider Drogba (Galatasaray)
- Michael Ballack (Retired)
- Florent Malouda (Chelsea)
- Jose Bosingwa (Queens Park Rangers)
- Yuri Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala)
- Deco (Fluminese)
- Solomon Kalou (Lille)
- Alex (PSG)
- Juliano Belletti (retired)
- Nicolas Anelka (on loan at Juventus)
Ricardo Carvalho will well be remembered as the ‘ideal’ partner for John Terry. Both players complemented each other’s skills. Thus forging a partnership that saw Chelsea concede only 15 goals in the year Chelsea won their 2nd Premier League title. He stayed with Chelsea for 6 seasons and thus was inducted as a Chelsea legend in the January of 2013.
Ricardo transferred to Real Madrid after the season when the Spanish giants came calling, and made an impressive spell, but only for a year or so. Then he was struck by injuries and was out of the game for a long long time. Even when he became fit, Jose Mourinho trusted the solidity in the partnership of Pepe and Sergio Ramos rather than putting Ricardo among them. This saw Ricardo make only 70 appearances in 3 seasons. A real downfall of an impressive footballer.
Joe Cole must be one of those players, fans felt who might end his career with Chelsea FC itself. That was the love that Joe received. Everyone knew what he was capable of and on his best day, defenders were going to be sleepless at night. Steven Gerrard even compared him to Argentine wizard ‘Leo Messi’.
Joe Cole spent 7 long seasons with Chelsea, then moving to Liverpool in 2010-11 for professional reasons. Nevertheless, even after moving to rivals, Chelsea fans still held him with high regard. However, his career totally collapsed with the Reds. He had a terrible first season, after which he was sent on loan to Lille, where he formed a really impressive partnership with the now-Chesea player Eden hazard. The next season Liverpool brought him back to Anfield, but the problem re-emerged, finally resulting in Joe Cole being sold to his first club, West Ham in the same year. Never re-emerged from the shadows though.
This is a man whom I need not introduce much to you all. Didier Drogba left Chelsea after 8 long seasons after practically driving the club to European glory in 2012. In the summer of 2012, Didier announced that this would be the end of his Chelsea career, as it was in the best interest of both, the player as well as the club, and went on to join Chinese side, Shanghai Shenhua. He scored 8 goals and set up 2 in 11 appearances for the Chinese side.
However, his ambition was a little too much for the Chinese League to hold on to, this resulting in the big Ivorian ending up joining Galatasaray in the January of 2013, with a view of playing the Champions League again. He scored a goal and assisted one on his debut.
Chelsea FC has also inducted him as a Chelsea legend officially recently.
Michael Ballack is a retired German footballer who made 167 appearances for Chelsea. He, along with Drogba and others formed the spine of the team. A leader on the pitch, he never needed the arm band to command to his team mates, and his team mates respected him for this.
After the 2009-10 season, Chelsea released Ballack, who ended up joining German side Bayer Leverkuson. He never regained his older self, and made 45 appearances in two seasons for the German side, before retiring. It is a sad tale of the German Midfielder who once was the best midfielder around to then becoming the one that was forgotten by many. He retired from International football after feud with Phillip Lahm for not returning his captains arm band, which was handed to the Bayern Munich captain when Ballack was injured.
Another player with Legendary status at Chelsea.
If you thought Ballack’s story was painful, hear this one out.
Malouda came to Chelsea after impressing at Lyon, in the summer of 2007. He never could impose himself as a figure to be reckoned with, until the 2009-10 season. This was the season when Florent Malouda became practically impossible to deal with for opponents. He had an impressive vision, a determination to take on players, and also a knack to get important goals whenever the team needed it. He was one of the key men, without whom the 2009-10 success would had just been a myth.
However, that changed soon. Even after being a fan favorite, he was banished from the first team after not agreeing to find a club for himself. He hoped and hoped that atleast one the men in the coaching staff would let him have a chance in the first team, however everyone ignored his pleas. He has blasted Chelsea Fc already innumerable times in the media for their behavior, and I wouldn’t blame him. It is a shame that a player who could had been a veteran for the club has been disrespected to this extent.
Jose Bosingwa, Yuri Zhirkov and Deco
Jose Bosingwa was brought in by Scolari, along with Deco. Both were hits and misses throughout for the club, but were handy at many times. Deco showed glimpses of his brilliance now and then and Jose Bosingwa was an important figure that helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2012. Deco left Chelsea by mutual consent and joined Fluminese, while Jose Bosingwa was released in 2012 by Chelsea, with him joining QPR.
Yuri Zhirkov was brought in by Carlo Ancelotti as a cover for both Ashley Cole as well as Florent Malouda, but he couldn’t live up to his billing. He had promised much too much to the fans before joining that he accounted as a flop after his performances many times. Personally I felt he was an above average player for us. Then he left Chelsea in 2011 to join mega rich Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala where he is a player used sparingly here and there making only 28 appearances till date, scoring one goal.
A player I liked somewhat, even when people kept criticizing him. However, his potential was always limited. As a super sub, Kalou has saved our blushes many times, but he never imposed himself as a starting XI quality player. He had claimed that he desires that starting position many a times and finally decided to leave London in his quest to prove himself. Lille wanted to replace Hazard, who went the other way, to Chelsea. And Kalou seemed to be a player who could fill that role. Till date, Kalou has made 21 appearances for the French side, scoring 3 and assisting 2. Haven’t yet hit his own expectations yet. Anyways he had always been a positive lad and after making 251 appearances and scoring 60 goals, setting up 40 we can only wish him well.
Perhaps one from the 12 mentioned to be still playing at an inspiring level. At PSG, he is a part of a team that is aspiring to take on the world by force sooner or later. And Alex is at the heart of defense doing what he did best at Chelsea.
Even after staying at Chelsea for 5 long seasons, he had to stay put with John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho starting almost every game. And he got his Chelsea break when Ricardo left for Madrid, and he did not disappoint. Nicknamed ‘THE WALL’, Alex was also known for his stunning free kicks, particularly the one against Liverpool in Champions League. However, Andre Villas Boas wasn’t impressed when the defender asked him to be put in the transfer list, and was immediately expelled out of the first team.
In the two seasons at PSG, Alex has made 42 appearances and scored 4 goals.
Perhaps one of the best utility players Chelsea had in the double winning season. He could play in the midfield or at Right back, giving not so attractive, yet solid displays. He is also another player known for his screamers, and though he will be forgotten by many fans he did have his moments here and there for Chelsea and Barcelona.
In 2010, he was released by Chelsea, and he joined up with Brazilian side Fluminese, where injuries ruined his span at the club. He managed only 9 appearances, of which 6 were from the bench.
Later he joined Ceara on a one year deal, which he couldn’t honor because of his serious Achilles injury and finally decided to retire on 27th June 2011.
Nicknamed ‘Le Sulk’, Anelka had brought in a reputation of being a ‘roamer’, a player who would put his service where the money is. However, he admitted once that Chelsea was the only club that he felt like ‘Home’ among the long list of clubs he had been with.
Anelka was subjected to a similar Malouda like treatment by Andre Villas Boas after he was banished from the first team. He left Chelsea to join up Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, where he even was appointed as the player-manager on one point of time. However, like Drogba, his ambition was too big for the Chinese League to withhold and so in the January of 2013, Anelka joined Italian side Juventus on a 5-month loan spell.
Whether he can be considered as a future legend of the club is a matter of debate among Chelsea fans.
This is a list of our very important players, who in some way or the other were vital in our historic double in 2010. And, we as Chelsea fans, should rightfully Salute these heroes and wish them all the best for their future.
Leave below your comments and views, and also the players among these 11 men (leave out Drogba, everyone misses him 😛 ) who you miss alot.