Fabregas, Costa, Mourinho? Who is to blame for Chelsea’s horror start?
The reigning champions have endured a horror start to their title defence and fingers are beginning to be pointed. After a mere eight points from eight games including five defeats so far in the league Chelsea are enduring their worst start to a season in 37 years. So who is to blame for this rut?
The manager always receives the first impact of the blame and Jose Mourinho was quick to defend his players after defeats against Crystal Palace and Everton. This was followed a month later by a massive outburst live on Sky Sports after a 3-1 home defeat to Southampton.
Mourinho refused to put any blame on his team and continues to think that everyone is against them. “When everything goes against you, you need these decisions” told Jose to Sky Sports. He went on to say “It is a big confidence they feel because they are not afraid to be aggressive in the box. I tell my players to be careful in the box. These opponents know that they don’t have to feel that pressure.”
These comments resulted in action being taken by the FA and a mist of doubt surrounding the Portuguese man’s future at Chelsea. Team selection has been a major talking point surrounding the performances on the pitch. The spine of the team that was so dominant last season has fallen apart under Jose Mourinho’s eyes. The John Terry who started every game last year has been dropped from the team twice as well as receiving a suspension.
Fans have been crying out for their manager to drop the rock that was Ivanovic last year who has put in some awful showings so far these season. The most notable in a 2-1 defeat away in the Champions League against Porto. But is poor performances on the pitch really down to the ‘special one’?
A notable absentee from Chelsea’s scoring and assists table is Cesc Fabregas. The Spanish star who joined the London club from Barcelona back in 2014 was irresistible when he first joined but this season has only one assist in 8 premier league games. He has gone missing in several games this season and looks a ghost of the player that tore teams apart with his passing last season.
The goal against Burnley in their opening game last season assisted by Fabregas epitomised Chelsea’s performances but goals like that or goals of any kind have been hard to come by this season. And another under performer who led the line last season is Diego Costa.
The now Spanish striker has struggled to find the back of the net this year despite scoring 20 goals in 26 games the previous season. With only one goal so far speculation against the striker’s fitness has been called into question. The striker himself admitted he came back from the summer break overweight and images seem to suggest this with an obvious body difference.
Whether there is a change in fitness is up for debate but what is not is his change in form and without a free scoring Costa leading the line Chelsea will struggle to fight their way back to the top. The drop in form has also resulted in Costa being dropped by the Spanish squad.
A major missing piece of the jigsaw has been Eden Hazard, football fans are reluctant to remove him from their fantasy teams in anticipation of him hitting a rich vein of form. However the Belgian star who won last year’s player of the season award is yet to kick into action with zero goals and two assists in the league. Jose Mourinho’s comments about Hazard, saying he performed better than Cristiano Ronaldo last season have now been met with laughter because of his poor performances.
So where do the solutions lie for Jose Mourinho’s men? A dip into the transfer market is always an obvious choice for teams struggling in the first half of the season however with still two long months until the transfer window Chelsea need a quick turnaround. Sacking of the manager is normally the first port of call for an owner when the team is at the wrong end of the table however sacking Jose Mourinho is not a simple action. Is it the right action to take?
After an international break that has taken many players to injury, Chelsea will be looking to reignite their season as they face Aston Villa at Stanford Bridge. And surely anything but a win will see an end to Mourinho’s second spell as Chelsea Manager even if he insists he will not quit.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by dan.westwell.