It’s safe to say that our club is blessed with a lot of fast players, and it could even be very difficult to ascertain who the fastest is. Cesar Azpilicueta, Victor Moses, Eden Hazard, Pedro Rodriguez, Willian and even Diego Costa all have alarming pace, but who do you think edges them all?
Chelsea legend Pat Nevin in his column for the official Chelsea website tries to compare the pace of the Chelsea players. He wrote: “Enough has been said about Diego and Eden but that will not stop me saying there were moments of world-class play from both. Their pace plus that of course of Pedro and Willian was bordering on unstoppable.
“In actual fact you don’t always realise the speed those guys move at, even in comparison with other Premier League players. Pedro looks fast anyway – those legs move like the roadrunner from the old cartoons. Willian speeding away to score his goal maybe raised an eyebrow or two but we know he is quick also and he looks it.
“Eden Hazard at the moment when he turns on the afterburners crushes defenders’ spirits, and that’s before his skills are utilised. To be honest, with his physique it is slightly surprising he is quite so fast but Chelsea fans are aware of it now, especially over those first 10 to 20 yards. The surprise of course to some degree is Diego. Once again we know he is quick but with his physique, power, size and walking style come on be honest, you’re amazed he is that quick. I know I am.
“In that one specific area he does remind me of a youthful Kerry Dixon. In training with Kerry on the sprints, I used to think I would be sharper off the mark than him, or I could zip over 20 or 30 yards faster than him now and again. Well I might have done him in the very occasional 10 yarder, but anything longer and no chance, nobody got near him. Even if he didn’t at first look that fast, you got to learn he was deceptive, he was lightning. Diego Costa may not be quite as quick as Kerry was, but I suspect he is right up there in the sprints when he needs to be.”
Pat Nevin believes Chelsea’s pacey players caused Manchester City’s defence a lot of troubles.
He wrote: “At the weekend that pace was to the fore, showing how devastating Chelsea can be as a breaking team. In the build up to the game on Chelsea TV, my final words were, ‘the way we defend, not having as much possession as the opposition is not necessarily a big problem and Manchester City are quite susceptible to quick breaks, so bring it on.'”