History

Where Are They Now: Chelsea’s last team to play at Brentford

Almost nine years have passed since our last trip to Brentford, which was an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Griffin Park in January 2013. We look back at the Blues line-up that day and bring you up to speed with what they’re doing now.

It seems Chelsea making the short trip across west London to face the Bees is something that is reserved for the season after we’ve been crowned European champions.

Back in the 2012/13 campaign, when we made our seventh and final visit to Griffin Park for a competitive fixture, we were still less than a year removed from our maiden Champions League triumph, although our grip on the trophy had been relinquished early on.

Rafa Benitez was the man in the hotseat, having taken over from Roberto Di Matteo earlier in the season, and his past role with Liverpool made for a bumpy ride during his short spell at the Bridge. So, to continue the symmetry, how apt that his current role should see him at Everton, where his past role with Liverpool… you get the idea.

Enough about Rafa, though. Let’s look back at the 11 players who started for Chelsea in a 2-2 draw, as we twice had to come from behind through Oscar and Fernando Torres to get the Bees back to Stamford Bridge, where we emerged with a 4-0 victory.
 

Ross Turnbull

Although he only made 16 starts as a Blue – and most of them in cup games such as this – Turnbull enjoyed a trophy-laden stay at Chelsea, including the Champions League, when he was on the bench for the final. 

Since hanging up his gloves in 2017, Turnbull spent a few years as first-team goalkeeper coach at Hartlepool United, but earlier this year he returned to Chelsea as an Academy goalkeeper scout.

Branislav Ivanovic

Those of you who tuned in for the Champions League group-stage draw will have seen a shaven-headed Branner pulling his old club out in Group H. 

The Serbian defender, who became a Blues legend during his nine years in west London, was last seen on a football pitch at Stamford Bridge; he was playing for West Brom, back in April, when he came off injured in what turned out to be his final game for the Baggies.

Gary Cahill

While his long-time Chelsea team-mate Ivanovic might be without a club, Cahill had no such trouble finding new employment when his Crystal Palace contract expired in the summer, albeit he has had to drop down into the Championship. 

The centre-back, who appeared 290 times for the Blues, is currently yet to taste defeat in the league for top-of-the-table Bournemouth.

John Terry

It’s fair to say JT didn’t enjoy the 2012/13 campaign, as he started only 11 Premier League games, but the most successful Blues skipper of all time was a regular in the cup competitions. 

For the first time in his long football career, Terry is currently unemployed, although it is by choice, as he left his role as Aston Villa’s assistant coach in order to focus on taking his first managerial position.

Ashley Cole

England’s most-capped full-back is a Chelsea legend, despite his long ties with Arsenal, as he enjoyed the best years of his career at the Bridge. 

After spells with Roma, LA Galaxy and Derby County, he hung up his boots and came back to Cobham to coach some of the younger age groups in our Academy. He now combines the role with that of England Under-21 assistant coach.

Marko Marin

Our transfer business in 2012 saw us sign several playmakers, including Marin – but it’s fair to say things never really worked out for the German international. 

In four years at Chelsea he was largely away from the Bridge on loan, and he is now playing in Hungary for Ferencvaros, following spells in Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Greece.

Ramires

The Brazilian midfielder became a cult hero at Chelsea, as much for his energetic performances in the middle of the park as for two Goal of the Season awards, netting 34 times in all for the Blues. 

Almost six years have passed since his last appearance for the club, and he has been on the lookout for a new team since last November, having terminated his contract with Palmeiras.

Frank Lampard

Super Frank has recently been linked with a number of coaching roles, after his 18-month stint as Blues head coach came to an end in January. 

Back in 2013, he was approaching the end of his time with the club on the pitch, during which he had established himself as perhaps our greatest-ever player, as he scored a club record 211 goals.

Ryan Bertrand

This was Bertrand’s best season as a Blue, following on from making his Champions League debut in the previous campaign’s final, as he established himself as a reliable option at left-back or left midfield. 

After leaving Chelsea in 2014 he has played for Southampton, where he made close to 250 appearances, and Leicester City, whom he joined in the summer.

Oscar

Like Ramires, Oscar had a penchant for a world-class strike – two Goal of the Season awards are testament to that – and he scored one of his 38 Blues goals in this trip to Griffin Park. 

Since leaving Chelsea in 2017, he has become one of the few long-term overseas success stories in the Chinese league, as he has become a huge favourite at Shanghai Port.

Fernando Torres

Torres was our club-record signing at the time, and his equaliser against Brentford – while far from his most memorable strike for the Blues – was one of 45 he scored for the club. 

He retired from playing in 2019 but teased a return earlier this year, before taking up a role in Atletico Madrid’s academy as a coach.


Let’s not forget the three substitutes called upon in this game, either. Cesar Azpilicueta was one of them – we wonder what he’s up to these days! – and Juan Mata also made an appearance. 

Seven years after leaving Chelsea, the two-time Blues Player of the Year remains at Manchester United. Then there’s Demba Ba, who recently announced his retirement following a short spell with Lugano in Switzerland.

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