Chelsea’s Best Partnerships Of All Time

Chelsea Fc in history has have some many partnership in both defense, midfield and attack.

Talented players and tactics are the essentials of building successful teams, but the team can go nowhere without chemistry.

Today we will be taking a look at the list of Chelsea’s Best Partnerships Of All Time.

#1: John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho
Chelsea’s Best Partnerships Of All Time

Carvalho moved to Chelsea along with Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2004 after winning the Champions League with the manager at Porto in the previous season. Along with Terry and Cech, Carvalho formed a solid base for Chelsea to build their success upon.

Popularly known as “The Steel Triangle”, the trio conceded just 15 goals in their first season together (a record that still stands, and looks highly unlikely to be broken any time soon). Chelsea won back to back Premier League titles, a lot of which can be credited to the impenetrable defence.

Terry and Carvalho were together for 6 seasons at the club, where they won several trophies together. The Portuguese was the perfect partner to Terry as their qualities dovetailed together.

Terry was a typically no-nonsense defender, was brave as a lion and was hated by opposing fans, as much as he was liked by the Chelsea faithful. Carvalho however, was slighter and wasn’t as tall as his English counterpart, but he boasted the pace of a striker and was willing to engage in the darker arts of defending when the need arose. Carvalho also regularly contributed in counter-attacks, as he often ran forward adding more threat during Chelsea’s swift counter-attacks.

Carvalho had initially struggled to adapt to the English game because of the more physical part of it, but once he was successful in applying his ability to read the game, there was no stopping him from becoming a success in the Premier League. Carvalho and Terry played 8771 minutes of Premier League minutes together and conceded a mere 66 goals in that time.

#2: John Terry and Gary Cahill

Gary Cahill moved to Chelsea in the winter of 2011 from Bolton for a fee of 8 million pounds. Cahill had already made a name for himself, as the top 6 clubs were already circling him. However, his choice couldn’t have been more right, as he won the Champions League and the FA Cup in his very first 6 months itself.

Cahill went on to lift every single trophy in the English game, along with multiple European honours being an important part of all the sides. Cahill started the 2011-12 Champions League at the back and did an immense job alongside David Luiz, as Terry had been suspended after a straight red against Barcelona in the second leg of the semi-final. His last-ditch tackle to block Robben from scoring was one of his many important contributions in that match.

After David Luiz left in 2014, Cahill and Terry were the regular partners in defence, and Chelsea won the Premier League after 5 years, conceding just 32 goals in total, the best in the division. Cahill and Terry were a towering presence in both the boxes, and their attacking instincts also saw them pounce on any loose balls in the opposition box. Both Terry and Cahill were brave defenders who were not afraid to put their body on the line. Despite their lack of pace, they were both successful in reading the game very well, which allowed them to intercept before the ball was even played behind them.

The communication was also not an issue, as both were English and both went on to lead their nations at the grandest stages.

#1: Frank Lampard and Michael Essien

Michael Essien moved to Chelsea in 2005 from Lyon for a then club-record fee of 24.4 million pounds. He spent the next 7 full seasons beside Lampard in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield. Essien was the perfect utility man which allowed the more creative and technical players to do their bit, without worrying about their defensive shifts a lot. Essien was a strong box-to-box midfielder who was never afraid to get into a tackle. His presence in the midfield, meant Lampard had the license to get forward and link up with Didier Drogba and the wingers.

Essien was capable of putting in a shift anywhere on the pitch, but was more comfortable being 25-30 metres from the goal during Chelsea’s attacking phase and just in front of the defence when Chelsea were on the back foot. Essien had a special ability to score wonderous strikes, most memorably against Arsenal and Barcelona.

Lampard would often lay the ball for Essien whenever he was unable to find a good pass. Essien had the choice to either recycle the ball to the fullbacks or have a try on goal, much to the liking of the Chelsea fans.

In their 7 seasons together, they won the Premier League twice, multiple FA Cups and the Champions League.

#2: Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack

Ballack moved to Chelsea in 2006 after the West London club won back to back Premier League titles. Shortly after moving, Ballack said that he wished to end his career at Chelsea.

He spent the next 4 years at the club, making 166 appearances and scoring 25 goals. Ballack played behind Lampard in the Chelsea set-up from where he was tasked with pinging quality balls towards Drogba. Ballack was a strong midfielder and his physical presence was very helpful to screen the defence.

Ballack was a very intelligent player too. His ability to intercept passes and launch quick counter-attacks was a thing that Lampard benefited from. With Ballack behind him, Lampard regularly joined the attack and scored at least 20 goals every season. Ballack’s final season in the Prem, saw him finally lift the League title after winning two FA Cups and the League Cup already.

Lampard scored 22 league goals that season, signalling the midfield duo’s importance in the club’s success.

#1: Bobby Tambling and Jimmy Greaves

Football historians would find it difficult to find a strike duo consisting of two players who are absolute legends in their rights. Jimmy Greaves spent 4 years at the club from 1957-1961 after which he moved on to AC Milan. He scored a spectacular 132 goals in his 169 appearances which itself speaks of his ability. In his final season, he scored 43 goals in 43 appearances across all competitions attracting interest from all over Europe.

He was partnered in attack by an equally young, Bobby Tambling, who went on to score 202 goals for the club becoming the club’s highest goalscorer, a record which stood for 43 years before Lampard broke it.

Both Tambling and Greaves laid the foundation for the club’s more recent successes and were an influential part of the “glamour” image of Chelsea in the 60s and 70s, which was continued by figures like Peter Osgood and Ian Hutchinson.

#2: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen

Dutchman Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Iceland international Eidur Gudjohnsen were sensational throughout their four years together. Both strikers moved to West London in the summer of 2000.

Nicknamed “Fire and Ice”, the duo combined to find the net 52 times, 25 of which came in the 02-03 season. When Abramovich was in talks over taking over the club, his major demand was that the club should be competing in Europe. Chelsea pulled off a final day victory over Liverpool to make it into the Champions League. The strike partnership was on full-form that season, hence Chelsea fans have a lot to thank the duo for.

The Dutchman left the club following Jose Mourinho’s arrival in 2004 but Gudjohnsen stayed a further two years, winning back to back league titles under the Portuguese. Gudjohnsen taught a young Didier Drogba the skills to be successful in England in his two additional years in West London.
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