Under firstly Roberto Di Matteo and latterly the unpopular Rafa Benitez, Chelsea have had a disappointing season. They do have a chance to rescue it, via finishing 3rd and winning the FA Cup; but even that won’t pacify the Stamford Bridge crowd, angry that ‘Fat Spanish Waiter’ was handed the reins in the first place. But Chelsea wouldn’t even be where they are now without the contributions of 3 major players, who are contenders for their player of the season: Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.
The strong Englishman Cahill has been a rock in the heart of the Chelsea defence and deserves recognition for holding an inconsistent defence together. Mr Consistent, he has broken up attacks and thwarted attackers up and down the league all season. He has also weighed in with goals, notably a stunning volley from the edge of the area against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. There is no doubt that this man is one of the finest defenders in the land and would be worthy of Chelsea’s player of the season award.
Eden Hazard is one of the latest superstars in the line of Belgians to grace the Premier League. Tricky and creative, he has scored 8 league goals and created 13 more in what has been a great debut season for the 22 year old. He lit up the Premier League instantly on arrival, with his first few performances leading to pundits and players alike glorifying him, and, although he went off the boil slightly mid-season, he has still been excellent. He is a terrifying sight for any defender when he is running with the ball at his feet.
But I don’t think there will be many arguments when I say that my tip for Chelsea’s player of the season would be Juan Mata. The media love him because of the pronunciation-proximity of ‘Juan’ and ‘one’, and he has indeed been writing the headlines for the whole season. A sublime pass against the Red Devils in the FA Cup and a sublime finish at home to Arsenal in the league have been particular highlights for the Spaniard. With 10 goals and 13 assists in the league, this has been a phenomenal season for Chelsea’s number 10.
So, whilst Chelsea might have endured quite a disappointing season by their high standards, they have had superb individual performances, namely Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, and particularly Juan Mata.