2021 has been a rollercoaster year as expected if you support Chelsea. There have been some pretty memorable moments throughout the calendar year. So sit back, turn on the kettle and enjoy our 2021 awards!
2022 is just around the corner, and Chelsea fans will be hoping the new year brings new memories, more wins and most importantly one or two more trophies!
The Blues have played 65 games this calendar year and won 42 of their draws, three of which were won on penalties. Mostly under Tuchels’ reign following the sacking of club legend Frank Lampard, the squad got 36 clean sheets and scored 108 goals for the year.
This is Chelsea. It’s never boring or predictable.
We have been treated to some fantastic goals in the past year. From Mounts spin and shoot against Atletico Madrid to the sublime Ben Chilwell rocket against Brentford.
It is with a heavy heart not to award this award to Kai Havertz and his goal against Man City in the final, but there could be no more deserved winner than Olivier Giroud’s bicycle kick against Atletico Madrid.
Unfortunately Giroud’s spectacular bicycle kick was not appreciated as much as we would have liked at the moment, as the match was played behind closed doors and the goal went to VAR to stop the celebrations in their tracks.
The ball bounced off Mason Mount, while the restrained chess match between Tuchel and Diego Simeone was played equally brilliantly when he jumped into the air to kick him in the corner.
There have been incredible moments for Chelsea this year. Tottenham’s annual win in the Premier League was a joy. Reece James’ celebration after Chelsea won 2-0 against Arsenal, but there’s one moment that’s been etched into Chelsea folklore forever.
Yes, you guessed it – that night in Porto a certain German ran over the goalkeeper to get us out of control. After nine long years of not winning the Champions League, Kai Havertz became an instant hero. At 21, he will find it difficult to recreate that feeling and that moment in his career. A limb moment that we will not soon forget.
Mason Mount slid Havertz through the goal with a nice weighted pass that the keeper felt he needed to get out and challenge, but Havertz found that he had plenty of room to control and turn around him before firing into the empty net.
Yes, I’ve made myself take another look at that goal, and when I’m done writing this sentence, that’s exactly what I’ll do.
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Most Improved Player…
Okay, we know this is the prize no one wants to win. While it’s meant to celebrate a player who comes by leaps and bounds, everyone sees it as an award for someone who used to be pretty crappy. But we insist that this is a celebration of the player who we believe has conquered critics and showed massive improvements.
Since coming to Chelsea, Antonio Rudiger had many fans concerned about his consistency and mistakes in his game. But then Thomas Tuchel came through the door and since then he has gone from being a worrying person to one of the best defenders in the world.
The no-nonsense defending is something Chelsea fans love, with him constantly being front and center in a confrontation with an opponent as he gains that mental edge to take them out of their game.
We are all now used to chanting his name when he dives into a tackle or drops out with a player and then walks away with a smile on his face, knowing he had won that battle. Chelsea fans have no doubt that Rudiger’s performance warrants a new deal this year.
The only question is whether the club will have to bow to its contract demands after just a year of fantastic form before turning 29 in March.
A special mention goes to Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, who have received criticism from me and other fans in the past. Both have shown great form in 2021, getting more involved in contributing to goals.
This category is simple because of what happened in May.
We have a few to choose from in this category, with Tuchel being the mastermind of victories against Atletico Madrid (twice), Liverpool, Real Madrid and Tottenham.
The three consecutive wins for the blues against Man City and Pep Guardiola, with the obvious choice being the 1-0 win in May that landed us the Champions League with Chelsea again blue ribbons. To do it with the academy boys involved in the win added an icing on the cake.
After a disappointing end to the 2020/21 season with losses to Leicester in the FA Cup final and making it to the top four as the Foxes also slipped on the final day, confidence in the game against Man City was completely out of time high, to say the least.
It felt like the side had burned out and tripped over the line.
Having suffered a few losses in the FA Cup final and the side that lost many players with that DNA of winning trophy after trophy, the most challenging piece of silverware always seems to be the first with so many unaccustomed to the big moments.
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Fortunately, Tuchel got his side place in the biggest game of the season with his two wins against Pep, changing his system and giving Chelsea a lead.
A brief mention of Chelsea winning the Super Cup this calendar year. Hopefully we can maintain this form in terms of trophies and complete the set with the Club World Cup in February.
That concludes today’s ceremony. Let’s hope next year’s trophies are dominated by a late title charge, a Club World Cup, FA Cup and keeping our Champions League crown.
Thank you for your support in 2021 and on behalf of everyone at the CareFreeChelsea team and football.london, Happy New Year!
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