Monday, April 23, 2018

Time for Chelsea to pull together

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Nov 2015

Jose Mourinho's side have struggled so far this season

Jose Mourinho’s side have struggled so far this season

Few people have not been shocked by the start that Chelsea have made to the 2015/16 Premier League season, but who or what exactly is to blame?

The reigning champions have lost seven of their opening twelve league games, winning just three leaving them just three points above the relegation zone.

Cesc Fabregas – one of their stand out performers from last season has recently said that he cannot put his finger on what the problem is, saying that his side are performing well but not having any luck.

Meanwhile his manager Jose Mourinho has singled out a number of this players who he believes are not reaching their potential and Fabregas is one of those who has been singled out.

The Spain international has also denied allegations that he had organised a dressing room revolt against their boss, going on to say that the pair still trusted each other.

So what of the players? Defensively, Mourinho’s teams are usually notorious for being resolute at the back though only eighteenth placed Bournemouth and nineteenth placed Sunderland have conceded more than the Blues so far.

There is no secret that the club tried their upmost to bring in John Stones from Everton in the summer, though without his addition, the partnership of captain John Terry and Gary Cahill would have been expected to hit the levels they reached last year.

Defensive frailties

Perhaps their noses were put out of joint by the pursuit of Stones? Perhaps it is just that they are a year older? Or perhaps, as is often mooted, it is just too hard to repeat success immediately after it has just been achieved.

Branislav Ivanovic, who like Terry and Cahill has won medals in multiple competitions, has been singled out by Blues’ fans while new arrival Baba Rahman has barely featured and fellow summer signing Papiss Dijilobodji has not even been named in a Premier League match-day squad.

First choice goalkeeper has not featured at club level since August and replacement Asmir Begovic, whilst well respected has struggled in his opening few months of his time at Stamford Bridge.

Should they have kept Cech?

It doesn’t help the Bosnia and Herzegovina shot-stoppers cause that Petr Cech, the man who he replaced, has conceded a joint second lowest nine goals so far this season at Arsenal.

In the middle of the park there has also been inconsistency. Aside from Willian, who has impressed for both club and country in recent weeks, big names have failed to deliver.

As well as Fabregas, Mourinho has criticised reigning PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard while marquee summer signing Pedro has failed to hit the ground running since arriving from Barcelona.

Last, and by all means not least there are real worries upfront. Diego Costa scored twenty Premier League goals last season – his first in English football but so far this year he has managed just three strikes, with just two of those coming in the league.

Misfiring strikers

Radamel Falcao has picked up from where he left off at Manchester United last season by flattering to deceive while somewhat bafflingly Loic Remy has only been handed on league start so far.

They resume league action with a home match against a Norwich City who sit one place and one point above them at this moment – a must win game as in truth they all are now if the club to hope to salvage anything from their league campaign and Bet 365 offer 2/5 for the hosts to take all three points.

Surely Mourinho can’t afford to many more defeats, though it usually is the man at the top who topples, even if the blame can be spread to all corners.

Can Chelsea salvage anything from their league campaign?


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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