LOOKING BACK: NO 22 AND 23

Posted on: Tue 03 Jul 2012

ROSS TURNBULL
The bulk of appearances throughout the 2011/12 season for Ross Turnbull came in the Carling Cup, although he did also play the full 90 minutes in the league game away at Liverpool towards the end of the campaign.

Turnbull was the hero in our opening Carling Cup game against Fulham at Stamford Bridge, saving a Moussa Dembele penalty in the shoot-out, before the decisive kick from Bryan Ruiz crashed back off the bar to send us through.

In the following round, away at Everton, he was in the thick of the action once more when he was dismissed for conceding a spot-kick, a penalty which his replacement Cech saved immediately after coming on.

After being given the nod to start the quarter-final against Liverpool, Turnbull did his reputation no harm whatsoever with a first-half penalty save from Andy Carroll, but he was unable to prevent us from losing the game 2-0.

His first league start of the campaign came in our final away game of the season at Anfield, a night which, in truth, was one to forget for everybody involved.

With Liverpool racing into a 3-0 lead before the break, the game was all but over, and while Ramires did pull one back for the Blues in the second half, a poor clearance by Turnbull allowed Jonjo Shelvey to score the home side's fourth on the night.

Appearances: 4+1
Minutes on pitch: 428

RossTurnbull in action against Liverpool

DANIEL STURRIDGE
A season which, at one point, promised so much for Daniel Sturridge, ended with the youngster struggling to force his way back into the side, but he certainly did enough in the first few months of the campaign to suggest that he can become an influential player at Stamford Bridge in the long-term.

A suspension stretching back to the end of the previous season curtailed his involvement in the opening few games, but when he did enter the fray, away at Sunderland, he scored the decisive goal with a sublime back-heel.

Playing out of position, on the right of a front-three, Sturridge grew in stature with every performance. A brace in the 5-1 win away at Bolton was quickly followed up by important strikes against Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

An impressive December, both on a collective and individual level, saw Sturridge net the third in our 3-0 win at Newcastle, before scoring our goals in successive 1-1 draws away at Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur.

He kept our FA Cup campaign on course by scoring a crucial equaliser in the 1-1 home draw against Birmingham City in the fifth round, but when Roberto Di Matteo took over from Andre Villas-Boas in March and changed the formation, Sturridge suffered.

With the more defensive-minded Ramires being preferred wide on the right, and both Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres vying for the central striking role, opportunities were proving hard to come by for Sturridge.

He started the away games at both Arsenal and Liverpool in the closing few weeks of the campaign but failed to get off the substitutes bench in either the FA Cup or Champions League Finals.

Appearances: 37+6
Goals: 13
Assists: 10
Minutes on pitch: 3217