It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Chelsea fans in recent weeks, and their team’s poor start to the season has seen their odds of defending their English Premier League title slump from 3.50 to 7.00.
So what is going wrong for Jose Mourinho’s men?
It is almost unheard of for a Chelsea team to concede nine goals in four matches. But that’s exactly what they’ve done against Swansea, Manchester City, West Brom and Crystal Palace so far – their worst defensive record at this stage of a season since 1971-72.
What is perhaps more alarming is that, arguably, the Blues should be beating three of those teams with ease: and keeping a clean sheet to boot.
And so Mourinho has plenty to work on during training, as his side’s fantastic defensive record is what propelled them to their title win last season.
Red cards are never welcome at any point during a season, but to suffer suspensions to crucial players at the start of a campaign is certainly a no-no.
Thibaut Courtois, their first choice goalkeeper, saw red on the opening day against Swansea, and then had to sit out the crucial clash with Manchester City. John Terry, for so long the mainstay of this Chelsea backline, also received his marching orders against West Brom the following week.
When two of your defensive lynchpins are forced to miss games through suspension, it can have a disastrous impact on the pitch. Mourinho will need to stamp out such ill discipline if his team are to prosper.
Lack of Form
It’s clear for all to see that Chelsea’s main players are all struggling for early season form, and when the core of the team is out of touch it is disastrous.
Eden Hazard, the creative outlet of the side, has yet to create anything or score himself, Diego Costa – who started last season on fire – has scored just once in four games. Cesc Fabregas, who recorded more assists than anybody else in 2014/15, has yet to sparkle. And with John Terry showing signs of age at centre half, things aren’t looking good for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Luckily for Jose Mourinho, the international break has come at just the right time. His player will get a rest from Premier League action, and this will give them a chance to regroup before their next fixture against Everton on September 12.
by Craig Simpkin