A couple of points above the relegation zone, a manager who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing and a defence shipping goal after goal. Chelsea are like a sieve these days, they’re just leaking goals.
And it’s not like Chelsea at all. Remember this is the team with the best defensive record last season. Southampton ran them close, but in the end Chelsea’s defence was the least sieve-like last time around. This time it’s one of the most perforated.
So how do you turn your sieve back into a bowl? In order to do that you really have to understand why your bowl turned into a sieve in the first place!
Jose Mourinho had himself a very fine bowl last season. But it’s not like he bought new defenders, or started playing a different style of defensive formation, for example. He’s simply added a new defender or two as complete and utter back up to the defenders he had last season.
Papy Djilobodji is still waiting to see what all the fuss is about in the Premier League. A good player at Nantes, he’s like the kid who won a golden ticket in his Frosties, ‘Find the golden ticket and become a Premier League footballer’. Either that or the intern – no one’s taking him seriously and he’s got nothing to do. He spends his days making Jose Mourinho and Rui Faria tea. Jose’s is milk and no sugar, I reckon.
To be fair though, tea isn’t the only culture shock a francophone has when coming to the Premier League. Leaving Papy out of the Champions League squad and not playing him in the league was strange, but only strange given they signed him on deadline day.
Because would he really make this Chelsea defence any better? A new player who doesn’t really have the quality that the rest of the Chelsea defence does, thrown right into the deep end at team struggling badly? It sounds like a recipe for disaster.
So it can’t be that Chelsea have done anything new and interesting at the back that could explain their porousness. It’s just that the Chelsea of this season seem to be the anti-Chelsea. Not the real Chelsea.
By around this stage last season, Chelsea were top of the table and had conceded half the goals they’ve conceded this time around, scored twice as many and hadn’t yet lost. It was December before they finally succumbed to defeat, against Newcastle. They won ten of their first 12, drawing two.
And instead of being top of the table, they’re now being threatened with relegation. The last time they lost seven of their opening 12 games of the season, they were relegated in ’78/79.
Chelsea haven’t simply had a terrible start, they’ve completely capitulated, they’re in the middle of a run of relegation form.
If that wasn’t worrying enough, it seems day after day that Jose Mourinho has no idea how to fix it. He has no idea why his defence has turned from a bowl into a sieve, but he keeps using it anyway. Poor Papy Djilobodji, he keeps eating those Frosties – because clearly he has nothing better to do with his days – but the milk keeps coming out the bottom.
Chelsea’s bowl is falling apart and they’re about to lose their cups. This Chelsea is the anti-Chelsea, so instead of finishing top, will they actually finish bottom? Will Chelsea slide right out the bottom of the Premier League?