A – Ashley: 2014 finally saw farewell to a couple of legends, and Ashley Cole’s convergence from Arsenal hero to Chelsea legend over the years has been delightful to watch. The best left-back in the world in his prime, but after slowly petering out in the last few, he eventually lost out to another A – Azpilicueta – and left for Roma after not receiving a new deal. Whilst he may be finding himself on the fringes of things in Italy – in terms of team pictures and starting XIs – everyone at Chelsea wishes him well.
B – Ba: The provider of two great moments in Chelsea’s 2014, and now a member in the unanimously sung “Steve Gerrard Gerrard” song. Brought in from the cold, he popped up when we needed him most, providing a vital goal right at the death against PSG, and also latching onto Gerrard’s misfortune at Anfield. He left in the summer, and you can’t help but wish the lovely syrup addict well in Turkey.
C – Cesc: The most popular man in North London was brought in the summer from Barcelona after saying in the past that he was a two-club man. Whatever story you believe about the Arsenal buy-back clause, the fact of the matter is he’s now a blue, and racking up some serious stats. Assists, goals, wind-up value, he brings it all. I never imagined that I’d ever like Fabregas, but I guess I was wrong.
D – Diego: Our very own pin-up superstar. The gaping hole in our jigsaw was right at the top of the pitch, and boy has this man filled it. A deceptively high level of technique, merged with a fantastic engine, phenominal striker instinct and that famed aggression, Costa has added so much to the team. He may only know about 10 words of English (I fully expect all 10 to be swear words), but he sure knows how to put the ball in the net. If he stays fit (or has a sustained hamstring injury that he plays with) and keeps firing, our title bid looks very strong indeed.
E – Empty Stadium: “Mourinho’s right, your fans are s****” is what many away fans have come to Stamford Bridge this season so that they have something to pipe up with 27 minutes into the game after sitting there in silence as their team gets picked apart. The atmosphere jibe stung a lot of game going fans, and opened the can of worms on safe standing, singing sections and expensive tickets yet again. Since the dig from Mourinho, the atmosphere has notably improved, and although it might not be the 10p Dortmund season tickets Yellow Wall kind of scene as yet, a lot more fans seem to be piping up and singing along.
F – Fifty Million: A tale of two players signed on the very same day. One, a graceful, blonde striker who’d spent the years before him scoring goal after goal. The other, a loveable, frizzy-haired geezer from Benfica. Torres didn’t work out, and Luiz worked out in moments, and both left the club in 2014. Luiz to PSG – where he’ll meet us again soon – for that famous big fee, and Torres to Atletico, via Milan, after losing all the money from that famous big fee.
G – Gerrard: Well, we couldn’t possibly take a look at Chelsea’s 2014 without looking at one of the Premier League’s most defining and funny moments. Sakho rolled the ball to Gerrard whose foot goes over the ball. As he turns, he slips, and Demba Ba is through on goal. The rest, they say, is history. Memed to infinity and beyond, this could perhaps overshadow a Steven Gerrard’s career, the moment he let the title slip though his fingers. Lol.
H – Hazard: The new hero at Stamford Bridge, and he’s really starting to show why he is tipped to win a Ballon D’Or in the future. He offers excitement, insane dribbling and is now starting to add goals into his all round game. The lad is something special, and it really is a true pleasure to watch him play at times. Hopefully he won’t do a Robben and instead stick around for a few more years yet.
I – It was Oxlade-Chamberlain!: Remember that time Andre Marriner sent off the wrong Arsenal player? What a day.
J – January Transfer Window: At started with Nemanja and De Bruyne, it was heartbreak with Mata, and it was depriving Liverpool with Salah. After the very talented but not-an-attitude-Jose-liked De Bruyne left for Wolfsburg, few at Chelsea thought that he’d be joined leaving the club by fans favourite, and blog writing supremo Juan Mata. Unfortunately it was the case, and as our darling little Juan left to join Manchester United, we were forced to (at least pretend to) dislike the Spaniard. With him gone, two new fellas arrived. Whilst Salah has achieved very little since his move, the Nemanja Matic transfer was very shrewd, and very important.
K – Keepers: 2014 seems to have been the year of the goalkeeper, with Manuel Neuer finding himself in Ballon d’Or territory, Tim Howard becoming the American Secretary of Defence, and David De Gea finding his mere mortal status questioned by the Mancs. 2014 saw 3 different goalkeepers play competitive games for Chelsea: Cech, Schwarzer and Courtois. All 3 are currently at the club, but the first 2 might not be for that much longer. Cech’s service to the club has been nothing short of exceptional, and in his final season at the club, his form certainly didn’t warrant being replaced. The fact he was though reflects the true ability of our new number 1(3), Thibaut Courtois. Honorable mention to our big Aussie Mark as well, who stepped up and gave his all when offered the chance, and kept out the steam roller Liverpool team at Anfield with the help of Kalas and Ivanovic.
L – Lampard: Chelsea’s greatest ever player left in 2014, and celebrated by nicking two points off of us over in Manchester. No doubt he’ll inevitably stay at City until at least the end of the AFCON this year, it’d be nice if he stopped scoring goals and maybe started derailing them though. He’ll hopefully be back one day, only that time in the proper shade of blue.
M – Madrid: Atletico this is. After dumping us out of the Champions League (following some fairly negative play from us), and nearly winning the competition, it was time for Chelsea to poach some highly-regarded talent from the Spanish capital. Courtois (who was ours anyway) came back in, Costa was drafted in, along with the marauding hairband Filipe Luis.
N – Nemanja: The one that got away, sort of. After leaving the club as a makeweight in the David Luiz deal, few who’d ever seen him play at Chelsea, or indeed at Vitesse where he was on loan, would have ever expected Chelsea to regret it. After struggling in his first year at Benfica, he broke through after Javi Garcia was sold, and as Jorge Jesus converted him into a defensive midfielder, the Serb hasn’t looked back and is now considered one of the elite in his position. His arrival transformed the team, and his importance can’t be overstated.
O – Oscar: The man who ousted Juan Mata and got to get the legendary shirt numbers of 11 and 8 following the departures of Didier and Frank. After a fairly disappointing start to 2014 with form tailing away as he was believed to be preserving himself for the World Cup, he came back in the 2014/15 season with a bang and has been largely impressive. More reliable in his goal output than assists, he has tended to be a starter unless we play one of the top teams. 2015 could be a big year for the wee man.
P – Parking the bus: The famous reputation following our heroics in Barcelona and then later on in Munich. Not pretty but effective, particularly when Chelsea play it (see April 2014, Anfield), or indeed against Chelsea (see any small team who went to Stamford Bridge this year and got a point or more). The single greatest tactic in world football, no question about that.
Q – Qcouldn’t think of one (the Q is silent): Soz lads.
R – Running away with the title in October: Not sure how we managed it, but it seemed everyone had decided that we’d won the 2014/15 Premier League title in October. It was a miraculous achievement from the boys, that even with 30 or so games left, we’d won it. The open top bus parade was all planned and primed as we were busy raking in those juicy plaudits. Somehow though, our October Premier League title is now invalid as come December, it appears to be advantage Manchester City in the media. Oh well. The alternative R option is covered, rather handily by this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wnMpnNTmyM&feature=youtu.be.
S – Sunderland: Poyet’s men have found themselves to be Chelsea’s bogey team, with Chelsea failing to beat them in the last 3 attempts. They ended Jose’s famous home record, and they were the first team which we didn’t score against this season. Poyet seems to have found a way to stop Chelsea, irrespective of their form going into the game. Hats off to him.
T – Terry: From being left out in the cold under the regime of The Interim One, to returning to be one of the Premier League’s best defenders under Mourinho, it’s been a revitalising 18 months for John Terry. He may have lost friends in the dressing room with Lampard and Cole gone but his centre back partnership with Gary Cahill is one of the league’s best, and should really be England’s best as well. He celebrated me selecting Azpilicueta over him in Fantasy Football the other week by grabbing two goals in two games. He looks certain to get a new contract, and it’s hard imagining him ever playing for another club.
U – Underachieving: The only silverware in 2014 took the form of youth trophies, which isn’t great, particularly as we were in a good position to win the league last year. We look more clinical and efficient this year, and I’m sure Mourinho will fancy us to win at least the League Cup this season. Another trophyless season, be sure to whisper it quietly, could, *COULD* see him gone. Tim Sherwood’s Premier League win percentage lingers in the darkness, growing stronger.
V – Vine: Chelsea FC discovered Vine this year, and the results have been, quite frankly, awful. Although, that being said, at least we haven’t sunk to this level yet https://vine.co/v/OwDIapFpjMM.
W – Wenger: The Specialist in Failure jibe has become famous, but while he was off celebrating his one trophy in nine years, along with his tin shield from winning that high-profile friendly, where were Chelsea and Mourinho?! Beating them twice at Stamford Bridge, with the highlight being the 6-0 on Wenger’s big day. Still not beaten Mourinho, and if he continues his tactical naivety when he plays us in future, it’s hard to see how he will. (Sorry if this jinxes it guys).
X – (E)x-players: Can I have that one? Surely I can? 2014 saw a whole host of former Chelsea players being involved all over the shop. Whilst some scored against us (Borini, Eto’o), another chose to return, the great Didier Drogba. Now I’ll admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of him returning (thought he was long past it to be honest) but he’s proved himself to be useful, and besides, when Drogba scores, it is better than when anyone else does (Mikel aside).
Y – Youth: 2 prestigous trophies for the youth teams this year, and with a host of players making their debuts in 2014, the future looks brighter for our extremely talented young stars. Solanke, Baker, Loftus-Cheek, Swift and Christensen all made competitive debuts this year, and with stars such as Jeremie Boga and Izzy Brown all looking impressive in pre-season, they might be some of the next ones to make the step up.
Z – Zouma: Kurt Happy Zouma. What a fantastic name. He slotted in seamlessly when Gary Cahill was killed during the Tottenham game (RIP) and has looked assured whenever he’s played. A bright future is in the pipeline, provided he can get the minutes. Did I mention his good name?
Honorable A to Z mentions to loaning everyone out, that time our players became Simpsons characters and our third kit which we’ll probably never wear this season. Roll on 2015.
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