Chelsea have the chance to snatch silverware at the first attempt under Maurizio Sarri, as they showdown with Manchester City in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
Sarri must be sick of the sight of Pep Guardiola and his relentless methods, that 6-0 drubbing inflicted earlier this month in the Premier League still fresh in his mind.
Chelsea’s Italian manager has yet to win a major trophy in his career, with his opposite number settling for a mere 24 whilst at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and with his current crop of stars.
The odds are firmly against the Blues, yet the cup is made for upsets and Chelsea strangely feel at home at Wembley.
Before the final, we have taken a look at three former players to have featured for both Chelsea and City.
Terry Phelan (Manchester City 1992-1995, Chelsea 1995-1997)
Just as the powerhouse that was the Premier League was born, Terry Phelan turned a Manchester City player in 1992 from Wimbledon where he was a member of their infamous 1988 FA Cup win.
Transferred for £2.5 million, at the time Phelan had equalled the British record transfer fee for a defender as well as equalling the club’s record fee.
Ironically, Phelan roomed with Manchester United icon Roy Keane whilst on international duty. After making 122 appearances over three years for City, clearly, Keane couldn’t influence him to switch allegiance. Of his five career club goals, two were scored for The Sky Blues.
Upon joining Chelsea as an established left-back, his spell was spent mainly on the peripheries after only featuring in 24 matches.
Alongside Keane, Phelan ventured across to the United States of America with the Republic of Ireland’s national team for the 1994 World Cup. They didn’t find their pot of gold, however, they silenced an Italy side containing Paolo Maldini and Robert Baggio on route to the knockout rounds.
David Rocastle (Manchester City 1993-1994, Chelsea 1994-1998)
A cult hero whilst at Arsenal, David Rocastle won the hearts of fans along with every domestic trophy available for the Gunners during his decade.
From lifting the First Division, FA and League Cups, to a 16th place finish in the Premier League, Rocastle’s career took a swift jerk in the road whilst at Manchester City. The midfielder scored twice in 21 league appearances before departing for more familiar settings in London.
Glenn Hoddle took Rocastle to Stamford Bridge, where he settled onto the right flank and made 36 starts in his maiden campaign.
Injury struck a season later, Rocastle playing just once in the 1995/1996 campaign. Loans to Norwich City and Hull City followed with little prevail.
A Londoner from birth, he appeared eight times for the England senior squad without ever being on the losing side. It was at under-21s level where he thrived, earning a runners-up medal in the 1988 Toulon Tournament and reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championships for the Young Lions in the same year.
George Weah (Chelsea 2000, Manchester City 2000)
A household name in the world of football, at one stage George Weah was the man in the spotlight. Individual awards came in abundance, collecting the coveted Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year accolade in 1995, along with three African Football of the Year honours.
This unlimited success was owed to his scoring exploits at Monaco, Paris Saint-German and AC Milan. Many glossed over his two years in England, as they were fledging in comparison.
Certainly, scoring on your debut for Chelsea against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur grabs the attention, Weah hit the ground running.
Perhaps past his prime, the Liberian striker hadn’t lost his taste for goals and netted twice in the Blues’ run to FA Cup glory in 2000.
This wasn’t enough to secure a permanent move to the capital, instead, fleeing on a free transfer to newly-promoted Premier League outfit Manchester City. His ratio, as small as it seemed, still reflected the former world beater, scoring four goals in 11 appearances.
Rightly regarded as Africa’s most treasured footballing gem, Weah failed to triumph on the international stage as he had across his club career. Liberia let down their talisman by failing to qualify for a World Cup, adding only two Africa Cup of Nations for Weah to foray into.
From terrifying defenders to leading his country, Weah took charge of Liberia as their President in one of the more peculiar occupational changes in the world of football.
By Nathaniel Kay