Team XI of the Century: Poyet in for Chelsea, but no Zola

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This decade has certainly been the most successful in the history of Chelsea, with the heavy investment of Roman Abramovich helping to bring three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and the Champions League.

Things have not been so successful on the management front with Rafa Benitez currently the 12th person to take over the reins for at least a game, while some players have also flattered to justify their price tags.

Fernando Torres and Andrey Shevchenko lead this batch, while honourable mentions should also be given to Juan Sebastian Veron, Yuri Zhirkov and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

However, with the duds have also been some superstars and we believe that taking all of the Chelsea players of the current century into consideration, this is the best team that the club could have put out.

This means that some of the Chelsea old-school legends will have to settle for a place on the bench as we were unable to squeeze in the likes of Marcel Desailly, Gianfranco Zola or Winston Bogarde.

But there is room for Gus Poyet, who is perhaps our most debateable inclusion, taking one of the more advanced central midfield slots ahead of Michael Essien, Michael Ballack and Ramires.

Meanwhile, assembling this team has also shown the struggles Chelsea have had in finding a true world-class right-back.

Albert Ferrer was dependable, but potentially past his best at Chelsea, Glen Johnson was never given a proper chance to prove himself and Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira had defensive weaknesses.

Therefore, Chelsea have opted to play defenders more at home at centre half as a full-back to a large degree of success, with Mario Melchiot, William Gallas and Khalid Boulahrouz all filling in admirably.

Yet, it has been Branislav Ivanovic’s defensive ability and improved overlapping runs that have won him the edge.

If Chelsea had this team now, they would certainly not be 500/1 to win the title at this stage of the season and a much shorter price than 1/7 to finish in the top four.

If you disagree with any of our selections, let us know what you would change in the comments box below.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.