Welcome to another edition of Worst XIs and this time we are turning our attention to Chelsea. They’ve always made big splashes in the transfer market but not all of them have been very good…
Dave Beasant – 133 appearances
Wimbledon’s FA Cup hero in 1988, Beasant joined the Blues in 1989 after a short and disappointing spell at Newcastle. Despite being the undisputed number one for three or four years, Beasant never really reached the sort of levels that had prompted Chelsea to splash a lot of cash on him. His entire Chelsea career can be summed up by a game against Norwich where he went and single handedly cost Chelsea the game when they were two up with two horrible errors. He never played for Chelsea while then-manager Ian Porterfield was there and the following season he was injured after dropping salad cream on his foot. He was gone not too long after that with no Chelsea fan disappointed by that at all.
Graham Wilkins – 137 appearances, 1 goal
While little brother Ray went on to play for England and is regarded as a Chelsea legend, Graham Wilkins is anything but a Chelsea legend. Ray was a smooth and lovely midfielder who could pass the ball as well as anyone while Graham was not smooth at right back instead looking cumbersome and with little technical ability. Sadly for Graham, comparisons with Ray ruined his reputation amongst Chelsea fans but he was not a high level footballer and it showed when he did play for Chelsea.
Winston Bogarde – 11 appearances
A Champions League winner with Ajax and ex-Milan and Barcelona player, Bogarde is by far and away the most honest player on this list. Not honest as in hard working but lacking ability footballer but as in candid honest. Bogarde was brought to the club in 2000 when Gianluca Vialli was in charge but he was only in London for a few weeks before Claudio Ranieri replaced Vialli. Ranieri didn’t want Bogarde and tried to get him to leave but Bogarde refused, simply stating that he was guaranteed £40,000 a week from the club until 2004 and wanted the money. And he did get all of his money despite only playing 11 times for the club with 10 of those being by Boxing Day in 2000 with his last one being as a sub against Gillingham in 2002. His dedication to the cause made him the obvious choice to lead this side out.
Jes Hogh – 17 appearances
A regular in the Denmark side, Hogh was signed as a back-up to Marcel Desailly and Franck Leboeuf in 1999. The problem was though that he was not a very good one. He struggled in the Premier League and looked like someone who could not defend at all. His only contribution was that he allowed overzealous fans to shout his surname in the same way in which Hacksaw Jim Duggan does. Probably not the best way to be remembered.
Tal Ben Haim – 20 appearances
A good defender for Bolton, Ben Haim looked incredibly out of place at Chelsea. In just his second game for the club he was torn apart by Fernando Torres and that really set the tone for the rest of his Chelsea career. He never really contributed much to the cause and when Jose Mourinho was replaced by Avram Grant, Ben Haim made some comments about how he was promised first team football and how Grant was the worst. He was obviously fined and probably told that he was an idiot for thinking he would start ahead of Terry, Carvalho and Alex.
Gabriele Ambrosetti – 23 appearances, 1 goal
Signed by Gianluca Vialli in 1999, he was immediately doomed after being called “the Italian Ryan Giggs” by Vialli. Obviously Chelsea fans expected a lot then and what they got in return was nothing. Ambrosetti was an average winger that had stood out in decent teams that played to his strengths. He was just simply not good enough for Chelsea or the Premier League and after one disappointing season he returned to Italy on loan. He was gone permanently in 2003 with Chelsea fans still wondering why they paid £3.5 million for him.
Enrique de Lucas – 33 appearances, 1 goal
A highly rated player by Ranieri, de Lucas was Chelsea’s only signing in the summer of 2002 as finances started to become a big concern for the Blues. He featured regularly in his only season at the club but never really set the world alight with his only notable contribution being a goal against Viking in the UEFA Cup. Apart from that, he showed nothing more than being an average player that was signed on the cheap as Chelsea were strapped for cash. He was leaving just as Roman Abramovich was taking over in 2003 with Chelsea fans not even noticing or caring.
Slavisa Jokanovic – 39 appearances
Costing Chelsea £1.7 million at 32, Jokanovic is definitely not highly regarded by any Chelsea fan. Nicknamed “Joke-anovic”, the Yugoslavian international was slow, cumbersome and incapable of playing passes in the centre of the park. His “physical presence” was non-existent as well as he was bullied more often than not by the tough Premier League midfielders of the time. He was released in 2002 when he was almost 34 with every Chelsea fan delighted at that news.
Peter Rhoades-Brown – 96 appearances, 4 goals
A speedy left winger, Rhoades-Brown summed up the general malaise around Stamford Bridge in the early 80s. A quick left winger, Rhoades-Brown never really produced for Chelsea and was nothing more than a speedy player they had on the wing. He contributed just four goals in nearly 100 games and is put into conversation regularly for Chelsea’s worst players for his lack of production or performance.
Chris Sutton – 39 appearances, 3 goals
One half of the original “SAS” with Alan Shearer and a proven goalscorer in the Premier League, Sutton joined Chelsea for a cool £10 million in 1999. He struggled at Stamford Bridge though with only one goal in the league as he struggled to adapt to Chelsea’s style of play. His form was so poor that he didn’t make the bench for the 2000 FA Cup final and that summer he was sold on to Celtic at a £4 million loss.
Mateja Kezman – 41 appearances, 7 goals
One of Europe’s hottest strikers in 2004 when he arrive at Stamford Bridge, Kezman proved to be a masive failure. He had scored tons of goals in the Eredivisie but found it tough going against the vastly better defences of the Premier League. He did score in the League Cup final while at Chelsea but his time there was nowhere close to being a success as he was shipped out after just one poor season.
A Spurs legend, Blanchflower’s time at Chelsea could look like a plant by Spurs to scupper their London rivals. Blanchflower won just 5 of his 32 games in charge while losing 19 of them in his 9 months in charge of the club. In fairness to Blanchflower, Chelsea were in decline in the late 1970s but even still his record is appalling and the worst in Chelsea history (Bobby Gould’s 2 defeats in 2 games as caretaker don’t count).
That is Chelsea’s Worst XI. Thanks to @Jobbergirl1985 for suggestions. Do you agree with this selection? Who would be in your Worst XI? Let us know here or on social media (links on the left) and leave suggestions for what teams you want to see next. Stay tuned for more content coming soon on The Long Ball.