Replacing Frank Lampard as Chelsea FC‘s second in command has been a daunting task for the Blues. The appointment of Ivanovic, now one of the squad’s senior most members, is an astute one given the number of youth players Mourinho wants to incorporate into his side this year.
The Serbian right back has been a mainstay in the Chelsea FC line-up for the past six seasons, since joining from Lokomotiv Moscow in the summer of 2008. Since then, he has been plied at both Centre and Right-Back positions, making the latter position his stronger one through the years.
Astute in his defensive sensibility, Ivanovic has also been productive up front, netting in 31 goals in his eight seasons at Stamford Bridge.
It’s hardly surprising then, that the Serbian Captain has been given a leadership role at the club, as after John Terry, he now serves as the club’s senior most player.
“I am really so happy”
Ivanovic’s reverence for club captain Terry has enabled him to form a bond that has served Chelsea in very good stead. With the return of Jose Mourinho, that relationship has strengthened, as both Ivanovic and Terry form the beating heart of the Premier League’s best defence over the last two seasons.
Ivanovic was quoted saying by Chelsea FC.com:
“I am very proud of that, to be the vice-captain of this team. This is something extra for me, more responsibility, and I will try to do it well for the team.
“I am doing what I was doing before, trying to do my best. I will try to do that in the future as well but basically not a lot of things change. John Terry is the real captain and leader.”
What’s next for Branislav Ivanovic?
Whilst he doggedly denied his intention to step on John Terry’s authority, Ivanovic’s appointment as second in command show that Mourinho, and the club, are planning for a future beyond John Terry.
Whilst some might have pipped Gary Cahill to take up the Vice-Captain’s spot, Ivanovic is a tried and tested leader as proven by his appointment as Serbian National Team captain in the summer of 2013.
Ivanovic was voted into the PFA team of the Season, showing that increasing age hasn’t come at the cost of quality.
At 31, Ivanovic might still have a good two seasons at his preferred right back slot, yet, when Terry does eventually retire, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the Serbian take more of a central role in the Chelsea FC defence.