Here are the players and revelations of the 2014/2015 Chelsea title win
1) Kurt Zouma
The Zouma seen at the end of this season is nothing like the Zouma seen during pre-season. Pre-season Zouma was all raw potential – physical ability without polish. I am still amazed at how much he has developed in one single season. He went from raw to cool and composed, playing a massive role in Chelsea’s second game against Manchester City. Whenever he played in central defense he looked ruthless, engaging the ball, making crunching tackles, winning headers, making last-ditch interceptions, was one of the first to wade into fights between players, and just generally got “stuck in”, as coaches like to say. He rarely made serious mistakes, and had the pace to correct them.
I remember two instance, first in the City game, where Aguero slipped free and was about to score, only for Zouma to race back and put in the perfect slide tackle to block him. Then against Everton, Lukaku managed to escape him and would have been through on goal…except that Zouma used his freakish pace to make up the ground and put in a good tackle. The kid still has work to do to improve, but this season marked his progression from a boy into a man. Next up for him is to improve awareness and passing ability.
2) Cesc Fabregas
I hated Fabregas. I hated him at Arsenal, I hated him at Barcelona. But he was the man the squad needed. He pulled the strings in midfield, and used his exceptional passing ability to set the tempo and keep the team moving. I have since grown to respect him more, and I am glad he is in the squad. His ability to make goals and chances is second to none, and he has developed a fantastic attitude. Suck failure, Wenger.
3) Diego Costa
If you’re a Chelsea fan, you love Diego Costa. If you aren’t a Chelsea fan, you hate Diego Costa. There is no middle ground here. Costa epitomizes Chelsea teams – ruthless, aggressive, fierce, brave. He plays with a snarl on his face, he has this street-fighter attitude, he plays like he’s always the underdog, having something to prove. Basically, he’s a Mourinho player. I had some misgivings about him going into the season, but those are gone now.
He’s been brilliant, and he knows how to score goals, something Chelsea lacked in previous strikers. Now he can rest and get his hamstring problem sorted out, so that he is 100% ready for next season.
4) John Terry
The guy only seems to get better with age. A few seasons ago he looked spent, and finished. But last season and this season, he has been brilliant, nigh on perfect. This is a defender who has been refined and refined and is now a true master at the craft. He was never blessed with pace, but uses superior positioning and reading of the game to snuff out danger. He always wins aerial duels, and throws his body on the line time and again to make blocks and stop shots and crosses.
He has rarely been caught out of position, and more surprisingly, barely ever gets a card these days. I can’t even remember the last time Terry got a yellow card. More importantly, he has never picked up a serious injury this season or the last, which is a testament to the coaching staff that Mourinho has. Terry has played every minute of every league game this season, and the vast majority of every other game as well.
He has never looked tired, or off the pace. At his age to be able to continue playing at such a high level is brilliant, and I can’t wait to see him again next season.
5) Eden Hazard
It is so exciting watching a young player get progressively better and better as each season goes on. Under Mourinho he has transformed, stepping it up every season. This season, he was out of this world, truly phenomenal. The future looks bright with this fella, so keep an eye on him.