The 2014/15 season was a truly remarkable one for Chelsea and their fans. Jose Mourinho’s Blues stormed to their fourth Premier League crown, winning the League by a whopping eight points from nearest rivals Manchester City, whilst clinching the League Cup along the way.
The Stamford Bridge outfit’s success was built on a consistent and reliable back five led by captain John Terry, a midfield containing arguably the best holding midfielder in the league in Nemanja Matic and creative maestro Cesc Fabregas, who supplied the ammunition for wing wizard Eden Hazard, and their no nonsense striker Diego Costa.
Chelsea have started this season in disastrous fashion and currently sit just two places above the relegation zone after their first eight games. So far they have managed just two victories, two draws and have four defeats, which is one more than their entire campaign last season. The blues are currently ten points adrift of top of the table Manchester City and eight points behind second place Arsenal.
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If their form wasn’t worrying enough, then the manner of their defeats should certainly hit home, as they have lost 3-0 away at last season’s closest rivals Manchester City and been comfortably beaten by Everton and Southampton 3-1. Not to mention a home defeat to an emerging Crystal Palace.
So where has it gone wrong for last season’s Champions?
Chelsea have yet to look like the side that so impressively won the title last season and it’s no wonder when their influential players have looked a shadow of their former brilliant selves. John Terry, who played in every minute of last year’s title winning campaign, has only made two league starts, during one of which he was subbed at half time by Mourinho and the other he was sent off.
Another player who was also part of their solid rear guard last season was Branislav Ivanovic, who has also started the season poorly and had been seen as a weakness by opposing teams after being ran ragged by Swansea’s Jefferson Montero in the first game of the season.
Eden Hazard lit up the Premier League last season with his goals, mazy runs and flair and became the PFA and Writers’ Player of the Year, but he has failed to score a single goal this term and his performances have been substandard, along with those of his midfield counterpart Cesc Fabregas.
Mourinho, himself, appears to be cracking and his usual swagger and charisma has disappeared, to be replaced by a more straight talking, sharp tone. He has already lost his cool with his female physio, Eva Carneiro, who has now been dismissed, in preseason he publicly made classless comments regarding Rafa Benitez’s wife and her husband’s diet and he was also involved in a spat with the well-respected Everton coach Roberto Martinez about who should be interviewed first after their clash.
There are many who think Jose is having a meltdown and is losing control of his emotions and, whilst I’m not convinced that is completely true, I do believe there is more to this season’s Chelsea story than meets the eye and that it cannot be put down simply to poor form. There is a real unease at Stamford Bridge and one that will have to be stamped out quickly to avoid any further pressure being added.
It was Jose himself who said if the club want to sack him, they will be sacking the best manager Chelsea have ever had and he will certainly have to live up to that tag if he wants to save his, and Chelsea’s, season.