Ballack at Chelsea

Hellboy

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How good was he ?

I remember Fergie tried to get him on a free circa 2006, but he went to Chelsea instead. From my blurry memories, he was decent to quite good but never hit his Bayern heights. Speaking to a Chelsea fan last weekend I was told he's a club legend.

Surely he was not that good for them.
 

TheThingThatShouldNotBe

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He was decent, although outshone by Lampard and Essien.

Opinions on him seem to have softened over the years, I remember being slightly disappointed by his overall contribution due to his reputation at the time. Still, he was a very classy player, enjoyable to watch.

He’d walk into any team in the league currently though!
 
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2 man midfield

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At the time he moved I thought he was well past it tbh, the equivalent of us signing Schweinsteiger or something. Ok, he wasn’t that old but I thought his best years were behind him. Yet he became a key player for them, and a constant thorn in our side for a few years.
 

Dancfc

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Apart from the last few months of 07/08 and the end of 09/10 (where he filled in excellently as a DM) he wasn't particularly great.

His status is more down to how he has integrated with the club and fans both during and since, you can see from his Twitter alone he's a fan like the rest of us now.
 

Renegade

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No where near his best, just like Deco.was always going to be difficult for him to establish himself with Lampard in the 8 role.
 

B20

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Underrated imo. Not as much of a standout as at leverkusen, but he did all the nuts and bolts stuff you want from midfield to a high level.
 

Classical Mechanic

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Thought he was a flop all told. I thought from his reputation that he'd take Chelsea to a new level and was gutted that United missed out on him. He was mediocre at best and a big disappointment considering how coveted he was before he went there.
 

Bocca9978

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Always though he was really important to Chelsea.
I liked him, wrong time for him to be at United then, but would love a player like that now.
 

André Dominguez

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Ballack off-ball movement disappointed me a bit, also because Bundesliga was totally off radar on portuguese TV's (yes, not even highlights) and I only saw him at Neverkusen in UCL matches.
When his team had the ball, he was a very valuable player.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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Ballack was great at Chelsea.

Folks expected him to roll in and play as he did at Leverkusen, Munich and the national side.

He arrived and changed into a different player. Lampard was already that player for Chelsea. He doesn’t really get enough credit for having that ability.
 

Gringo

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Wow a lot of misconceptions. Ballack was selfless enough to allow Lampard to play in his favoured position. He could have kicked up a fuss but didnt. And the few times Lampard was out, West Ham away one year springs to mind, he took the game by the scruff of the neck. It was an example on how you incorporate two attacking minded CMs into a 3, one has to sit and be unspectacular. A shame England never cottened on. Hes fondly remembered at the club.
 

Pow

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Great player. Really unselfish player who let frank do his box to box role and developed into a class sitting player.
 

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I always thought he was a very important player for Chelsea. Would love a player like him at United the now.
 

B20

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I remember finding him annoying at the time. I wanted to berate him as a flop due to his lack of headlines, but he kept playing his part in holding their midfield together to a very high level.
 

Gio

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He was no longer the box-to-box force of nature that dominated midfields so regularly for Leverkusen and Bayern. But he was still an important cog in Chelsea's team, offering quality on the ball, presence and positional discipline. He clearly sacrificed himself to some degree to enable and release Lampard of the majority of his behind-the-ball duties. As @Gringo says it was a rarity to see that collective and disciplined mindset in the English game when the 'Golden Generation' were in their prime.
 

svn

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I remember that summer where they signed Shevchenko and Ballack. I thought Chelsea would be utterly unstoppable - this was after they'd won the league with ease two seasons in a row. We ended up winning the league that year, and I still think it was one of Fergie's greatest achievements.
 
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Pagh Wraith

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Thought he was absolutely vital for Chelsea. Was a starter under all the different managers they had in that period which says a lot.
 

Andersonson

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Terrific player playing for a very good side with other great players.

He played very alot considering he had Lampard, Deco, Mikel, Essien and others to compete with. Lampard also scored over 20 goals in 2009. He is maybe a bit underrated?

I really liked watching him play, he was also a great leader.

Winning the league with Kaiserslautern was a big feat
 

Lay

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I remember that summer where they signed Shevchenko and Ballack. I thought Chelsea would be utterly unstoppable - this was after they'd won the league with ease two seasons in a row. We ended up winning the league that year, and I still think it was one of Fergie's greatest achievements.
Me too. I recall talking about it before a 5 a side game and everyone was either Liverpool or United fans and we were in agreement that Chelsea were going to dominate for the foreseeable future
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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Terrific player playing for a very good side with other great players.

He played very alot considering he had Lampard, Deco, Mikel, Essien and others to compete with. Lampard also scored over 20 goals in 2009. He is maybe a bit underrated?

I really liked watching him play, he was also a great leader.

Winning the league with Kaiserslautern was a big feat
He’s better than all of the players you listed, that’s why he played.
 

Dancfc

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Me too. I recall talking about it before a 5 a side game and everyone was either Liverpool or United fans and we were in agreement that Chelsea were going to dominate for the foreseeable future
I didn't expect to lose the league the following season but I said all summer it was going to be a proper three way race between Chelsea, Liverpool and United (actually predicted us to get in on the last day with one of you taking it off us in 2008).

We won it the previous season with our form before Christmas, for me the form of United and Liverpool in the second half of the campaign was enough to make me think you both were coming on strong next season, and i was half right.
 

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He wasn’t as good as we’d all feared he’d be

He was definitely alright, though..
 

Irwin99

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Thought he was good but not as dominant as i expected he would be. Always seemed to me a bit like the Gerrard Lampard problem for England with Gerrard/Ballack playing slightly deeper and not really fulfilling their potential. That's not an insult to Lampard by any means, most managers would probably make that sacrifice with Lampard being such a good goalscorer and creator but it seemed a bit of a waste too.

Essien was better for Chelsea.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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Best way to describe his stint at Chelsea IMO would be that it didn't do his reputation any harm whatsoever.

For a 30+ year old midfielder who had been an engine all his life, he did well in a demanding league and added to his trophy collection.

As a huge Ballack fan, I was expecting him to set the PL alight as well but that was always going to be unrealistic.

If there is one image that always comes to mind of Ballack at Chelsea, its this one of him running behind the referee like a Crazy man. Everyone remembers Drogba and his 'Its a disgrace' bit but this was equally funny

 

B20

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I remember that. Was hilarious. The gif:



Same thing happened to Joe Cole:

 
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Sandikan

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How good was he ?

I remember Fergie tried to get him on a free circa 2006, but he went to Chelsea instead. From my blurry memories, he was decent to quite good but never hit his Bayern heights. Speaking to a Chelsea fan last weekend I was told he's a club legend.

Surely he was not that good for them.
Club Legend!? :lol:
Even for a club like Chelsea that'd be a stretch!
 

VJ1762

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He must have had one of the largest collections of runner-up medals in football history.
 

Henrik Larsson

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There was this one time when Cesc Fabregas spat at him, I remember that about his years at Chelsea. I think it happened right under Mourinho's nose, and you can't help but think that Mourinho was secretly impressed with that move by young Cesc.
 

Kammy26

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I think the only thing I remember about his time with Chelsea was when he was arguing with Drogba about a free kick against us.

Defo not a Chelsea legend surely? When I think of Chelsea legend I think Terry, Lampard, Drogba.
 

schwalbe

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There was this one time when Cesc Fabregas spat at him, I remember that about his years at Chelsea. I think it happened right under Mourinho's nose, and you can't help but think that Mourinho was secretly impressed with that move by young Cesc.
I think that was in 2005 when Ballack was still playing for Bayern.
 

FrankDrebin

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Towards the later games of the 08 season he was starting to turn it on for Chelsea.

Had a complete stormer against us at the Bridge and he was one of the major reasons I was bricking it in the upcoming CL final in Russia.
 

SirReginald

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When he joined I think many people thought he would still be prime Ballack and got a bit frustrated. However he changed his style like Scholes and Giggs did at the back end of their careers and he became a very important player.

His new style brought much needed balance to the midfield. He was very intelligent and would disrupt the opposition but he wasnt a true defensive midfielder by any means.

His passing ability went a little under the radar, he knew when to go long or when to play it smart. His aerial ability was also a threat, teams had to mark Drogba Ballack, alex, Ivanovic and terry.. yeah who is priority there.

Once he left, he was missed and appreciated more than when he actually played in my opinion. Everyone would berate him for being too slow but everyone counter us much easy after he went.
 

Dancfc

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Once he left, he was missed and appreciated more than when he actually played in my opinion. Everyone would berate him for being too slow but everyone counter us much easy after he went.
I have to disagree, what happened in 10/11 went well well beyond Ballack leaving. Infact we got the occasional warnings of what was to come during the double season with Ballack still here (main case in point the chasing we got at WHL).

Most of the old guard turned into bang average players almost overnight due to hitting father time, our play going forward was so pedestrian beyond belief, it got so bad we saw David Luiz (a centre back) as a breath of fresh air towards our forward play.