Wayne Bridge believes Chelsea’s terrible 2015-16 season so far is down to a lack of leaders on the pitch.
The former left-back joined the London club in 2003 and was part of Jose Mourinho’s Premier League winning side of 2004-05.
Bridge considers the absence of influential figures of the type involved in Chelsea’s first title win in 50 years in the current crop to be a contributing factor to their ongoing malaise.
“When I was there we had quite a few leaders in the changing room,” he told The Independent.
“We had John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, but I don’t really see as many leaders in this side compared to when I was there.
“I don’t believe these rumours [of discontent] but if the media keep talking about it, people might start to believe it.”
With Chelsea 14th in the Premier League after 15 games – of which they have won just four – Bridge thinks Champions League qualification is out of their reach.
However, the 35-year-old backed Jose Mourinho to turn things around and believes a place in the top six is still a possibility.
“I keep wondering every week, is this the week they start winning? But it just doesn’t happen,” he added.
“With the players they have, [Mourinho] should definitely be able to turn it around.
“I can’t see [Chelsea finishing in the top four], but it is still possible for them to reach the top six.
“Both are massive asks but if any team can go on an unbelievable run, it’s Chelsea.”