And so it ends. After weeks of deliberations, arguments over the inclusion of players and some pretty solid voting numbers, we have finally reached the end of the Chelsea Chronicle Worst XI polls. This week, we are looking to complete our starting eleven and we need you to decide who should lead the line for our gang of misfits. To select our candidates, we did not need to dive too deep into the past; Chelsea have an embarrassing list of failed forwards in recent times, as you’ll soon see.
So, let’s not waste any more valuable time and get right to it. Here are your striker nominees for the Chelsea Worst XI.
Fernando Torres (110 Appearances)
Where to start with this one? A World Cup winner. A club record purchase. A British record transfer. Bought from fierce rivals. You could use any of these statements to describe Fernando Torres, but that would be ignoring altogether the pain and anguish felt by fans of his new club who expected a Ferrari but instead got a Fiat with flat tyres. Some would say he repaid his transfer fee by scoring that goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals and by winning that corner against Bayern in the final. No, he didn’t. Not even close. The only silver lining with this one was that Liverpool spent 70% of the Torres money on Andy Carroll.
Adrian Mutu (27 Appearances)
From a striker who fluffed his lines to another that had a fondness for a different set of lines, Adrian Mutu started his Chelsea career like a train, scoring four times in three games. What transpired thereafter can only be termed a train-wreck. Mutu and Mourinho rarely saw eye to eye, with the manager convinced, as he always is, that Mutu had a habit of faking injuries. This love-hate relationship ended when the Romanian tested positive for cocaine and was consequently sacked by Chelsea. The matter ended up in court when Mutu joined Juventus on a free after serving his ban, leading Chelsea to sue him for breach of contract.
Andriy Shevchenko (48 Appearances)
The Ukraine and Milan legend was already past his prime when Chelsea bought him for a club-record sum. As with several other transfers during that time, Shevchenko was supposedly an Abramovich purchase thrust upon the manager. Shevchenko rarely lived up to his billing as a premier European forward, despite his best efforts. Injuries, poor form and an obvious unsuitability to the English game meant he was unable to cement his place in the starting lineup. Still, he did score a beauty against Spurs. He’ll always have that story to tell the grandkids.
Chris Sutton (28 Appearances)
What is it with Chelsea and club record transfers? Chris Sutton arrived in London as an established Premier League striker but never looked the part. He was a square peg in a round hole, with the team never really on the same wavelength as him. Sutton averaged a goal every three games at Blackburn but had to make-do with just one league goal during his entire Chelsea spell. I’m willing to chalk it down as a miscommunication which resulted in Chelsea buying the wrong English striker from the relegated Rovers.
Claudio Pizarro (21 Appearances)
Pizarro’s brief stay at Chelsea started with a missed penalty in the Community Shield shootout. Bad omen? Perhaps. But then, he scored against Birmingham City on his debut, which was nice. After that, there was nothing. Pizarro, presumably, lost his shooting boots in the Thames and only when a kindly fisherman returned them to him, did he manage to score again – against Birmingham City in the new year. But he didn’t cost a penny in transfer fees, so there’s something to hold on to.
Mateja Kezman (25 Appearances)
The Eredivisie is a fascinating league. Players who do well in this league usually catch the eye of bigger fish and move on to the next step in their careers. And most of them are pretty successful, too. But for every van Nistelrooy, there’s an Afonso Alves. Chelsea found this out the hard way when they bought the free-scoring Serbian, Mateja Kezman, from PSV. Kezman never got close to replicating his scintillating form at Chelsea and barely lasted a season before being offloaded to a willing buyer in Spain. The Kezman transfer made other clubs look at Eredivisie stars with suspicion, a trend that still continues. Talk about spoiling it for everyone.
And breathe. This is it, then. Your final call to elect your chosen ones, who would be leading the line for the Chelsea Worst XI. Vote now!