Where are they now? Chelsea's historic 2004-05 team
Chelsea was a side undergoing a complete transformation in the lead-up to the 2004-05 EPL campaign. Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had brought in a brash young manager from Portugal named Jose Mourinho to guide his blue revolution.
Mourinho had virtually a blank cheque and could sign whoever he wanted as the ambitious Russian owner targeted domestic and continental success for the London outfit.
Despite the millions spent, it still wouldn't be an easy task to secure just the second league title in the club's history and first in exactly 50 years. Or would it?
Actually, it would. The Blues would smash that drought in spectacular fashion, recording the highest points total in league history. So, where are the record-breakers now?
Our team is based on the 11 players and four substitutes that made the most appearances over that 38-game EPL campaign. Their number of league starts that season are alongside their name, with any substitute appearances in brackets.
Words by James Dampney, Kenneth Ho and Vijhay Vick
1. Petr Cech – 2004-05 EPL Appearances: 35
In his short time as a Gunner, the elite shotstopper has solidified a once-shaky side at the back. Yet as much as his signing has aided the cause, the calf injury he picked up against Swansea last week could be a final nail in the club’s EPL challenge this year.
Cech’s arrival at Chelsea in 2004 personified the spending the club was making under new owner Roman Abramovich.
They already had a top-class incumbent in Carlo Cudicini, a former Chelsea player of the year, yet he was usurped by Cech’s £7 million (S$13.7 million) arrival from French outfit Rennes.
The new keeper would win the Golden Glove in his first season and end his decade at Chelsea with a swag of honours, including four EPL titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League crown.
Overtaken by Thibaut Courtois, he left for Arsenal and actually made his debut in Arsenal colours in Singapore in last year’s Barclays Asia Trophy. – JD