It’s out with the old and in with the new as we say goodbye to 2019 and welcome in a new decade. Take a look back at the first Blues line-up from 2010 and find out what that group of players are up to now.
The first six months of this decade were quite spectacular, as we won our first-ever Double – and the signs of the goal-laden period to come were there as early as our first fixture of the year, as we smashed five past Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday 3 January 2010.
The Hornets have since become a regular fixture in the Premier League after a long spell in the Championship, while one of their subs that day, Jon Harley, is now assistant coach to our development squad.
The Blues, meanwhile, were managed by Carlo Ancelotti back then, just a few years after he had won his second Champions League trophy as AC Milan boss. If you’d predicted he would start the next decade in charge at Everton, make sure you buy a lottery ticket this week!
Here are the 11 players who took to the field against Watford 10 years ago and what they are up to now.
The Portuguese goalkeeper became a cult figure at the Bridge with a clean sheet on debut against Barcelona in 2006. Clearly he enjoyed his eight years as a Blue as he is still here today; after working his way up through the coaching ranks, he now works with the men's first-team goalkeepers.
‘Two goal’, as he was announced ahead of every home game following his famous brace against Liverpool, won trophies galore with the Blues during the first seven years of the decade before heading for Zenit St Petersburg. He currently captains the Russian club.
Rarely has the old commentator’s cliché ‘That one stayed hit’ been more suited to a player than Alex, who was never afraid to put his foot through the ball anywhere within 35 yards of goal. After leaving Chelsea in 2012 he played for PSG and AC Milan, before hanging up his boots in 2016 due to injury.
We were reunited with our Captain, Leader, Legend at the beginning of December when he returned to the Bridge as assistant head coach of Aston Villa. He helped the club to promotion last year in his first year in the dugout, having previously ended his playing career with the Villans.
One of the greatest left-backs of all time, Cole spent the first four years of the decade with the Blues and he only called an end to his playing career last May following a spell with Derby County. He’s now back at the club working in our Academy.
The first sentence of Alex’s entry could easily be applied to his fellow Brazilian, who endeared himself to Chelsea fans with a Goal of the Season winner against Tottenham. He’s currently fulfilling an ambassadorial role at Barcelona, although he turned out for Chelsea Legends in the summer.
After helping us to Champions League glory, the Frenchman embarked on a nomadic post-Chelsea career as he played in Turkey, his homeland, India, Egypt and Luxembourg. A short coaching spell with Zurich ended acrimoniously back in April but he can now focus on his son, Aaron, who will soon link up with Rennes’ Academy.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past six months, there’s very little to say here… From all-time leading scorer to Chelsea head coach, all by the age of 41. We’ll forgive him a short stay with Man City, among others, in between.
During his two years with the Blues between 2009 and 2011, the Russian wideman was best mates with Ivanovic, so it filled us with glee to learn the two have been reunited at Zenit in recent times! Zhirkov also played alongside Willian during a spell with Anzhi.
The popular No.10 would end his seven-year stay at Chelsea just a few months after this game and spells with Liverpool, Lille, West Ham, Aston Villa, Coventry City and Tampa Bay Rowdies followed. He’s now back at Cobham in a coaching capacity in the Academy and also does punditry for BT Sport.
It was during our FA Cup run of 2010 that Sturridge served notice of his potential, but it was only once he joined Liverpool that he truly lived up to this. His star shone brightly but briefly there, and he is now playing in Turkey with Trabzonspor.
There is action from this era available in the box set series of videos out now on The 5th Stand
The three substitutes who came on against the Hornets were Gael Kakuta, Fabio Borini and Nemanja Matic. The latter, as you’ll no doubt already know, is playing in midfield for Man United after winning the Premier League with Chelsea. Kakuta is looking to establish himself with Amiens in France, while Borini plays for Serie A giants AC Milan.