While Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may not be best mates with Andriy Shevchenko and Khalid Boulahrouz, he certainly has a soft spot for one Michael Ballack.
Mourinho was responsible for convincing Ballack to sign for Chelsea ahead of several other clubs (including Manchester United), and overall has gladly played him at the cost of unbalancing the Chelsea midfield.
Ballack’s season for Chelsea has been average – intense scrutiny, the pressures of playing in a new league plus an unfamiliar position (and status) on the pitch means that Michael Ballack of Chelsea has not been the Michael Ballack of his reputation. And as the season draws to a close, Chelsea’s summer transfers will come under scrutiny again, fairly or not.
Ballack may still help Chelsea win the Premiership (1% shot at that) or the FA Cup (better odds there) – but when his season is reviewed, they’ll all ask the same question:
With his 100k+ / week wages, what has Michael Ballack done for Chelsea?