Passes misplaced, tackles missed and fouls committed in dangerous areas. These are just some of the metrics that our eclectic bunch of midfield misfits specialise in. In this edition of The Chelsea Chronicle Worst XI, we take a look at the coughing, spluttering engine room of our peerless starting eleven.
So, sit back and grab a cup of tea as we refresh your memory of some of the most iconic flops who donned the Chelsea blue. Here are your midfielder nominees for the Chelsea Worst XI.
Steve Sidwell (15 Appearances)
When you get a player on a free, once in a while you might get yourself a Ballack. But most of the time, you will end up with a Sidwell. The former Arsenal trainee was yet another occupant of the infamous Chelsea number 9 shirt, which was, rather fittingly, handed down to him by another Worst XI nominee. Sidwell was a trier, but just didn’t have the skill or technique to become a regular in a star-studded midfield.
Mineiro (1 Appearance)
The secret footballer, who was reluctantly unveiled in front of the media having already spent half a season on the books at Chelsea. His only league appearance was in the final minutes of a dead rubber, which hardly gave us enough time to properly evaluate him. He left with as little fanfare as he’d arrived, leaving us perplexed and wondering what the point of all that was.
Juan Sebastian Veron (7 Appearances)
‘Step aside, old man. I’ll show you how it’s done’. Those were, presumably, the words uttered by Claudio Ranieri as he sought to relieve Manchester United of their most expensive dud. A cut-price deal was quickly agreed as Veron switched allegiances to the blue of Chelsea. Alas, the switch couldn’t reignite his career. His injury troubles meant he spent the rest of his Chelsea contract on loan in Italy and his native Argentina. What a waste.
Yossi Benayoun (15 Appearances)
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s exactly what Yossi did. Rather than plot his revenge for the unceremonious kick up his backside, Benayoun chose to join hands with his aggressor as he moved to Chelsea for a modest fee. His stay didn’t last very long and after being deemed not good enough, he embarked on a whistle-stop tour of London-based football clubs, dropping down a level with every move.
Alexei Smertin (16 Appearances)
Roman Abramovich is many things, but an impartial judge of footballing talent he is not. The Blues owner supposedly pulled a few strings and got his compatriot a nice contract at his newly bought club. But the Chelsea manager, Claudio Ranieri (yep, him again), was having none of it and Smertin was shipped out on loan barely a few months after arriving in London.
Jiri Jarosik (14 Appearances)
One of the most unexceptional players to ever receive a Premier League winners medal, the Czech international was apparently brought in to provide competition and act as a capable backup option. After a handful of forgettable appearances, Chelsea decided to brush another one of their mistakes under the carpet by loaning him out.
As usual, we have a very strong lineup and the competition for places is intense. Choose wisely.