On a day when Manchester City had lost there second in a row Chelsea were unable to make it count and cut the gap to a manageable 5 points. If this was to be an appreciable defence of the title, Chelsea should have done better than the draw they got at St. James’ Park, instead they managed to go back to where they were 3 weeks ago.
José Mourinho is a manager who has never had it so bad, not even in 2007. Whatever might have transpired in the summer transfer window, it was up to him to take this team on a run of form. Instead, the players have tumbled and wobbled. John Terry is out of the team for the first time since Mourinho came back and the gains from that seem not so sound.
Mourinho himself grilled the players, one is inclined to think that one of them was Cesc Fabregas:
“When so many individuals are playing so badly it is impossible for a team to be a team.”
Sure, some of the stalwarts of last season look like midgets today. Besides, Newcastle chose Chelsea to show all the spirit and hunger that has been missing for some time now. This was a fixture that Mourinho has never won, but given the opportunity it presented to press City’s lead the result was a far cry from the expectations. It’s like Chelsea are the lively manifestation of Murphy’s Law this season: Whatever can go wrong will go wrong!
Some part of Mourinho’s mind must be optimistic of bridging the gap still. There’s still 93 points to be fought for and put on the table. Far too many to win the league. But then you can’t help but see that this team has won just 2 games. Two of this season’s promoted teams sit above Chelsea in the league table. Isn’t that proof enough that individuals in the team have declined enough or are not giving enough that this team has become a very brittle one. Is title defence even a remote possibility?
Well, in the optimists’ minds it is. Only if the form, temperament and desire of the team suddenly comes back from last season. Is that possible starting with the game against Southampton? Not so sure. Hence the balance is still very precarious. First up are Porto in the Champions League, away. That is by no means an easy fixture. Then Southampton, followed by Aston Villa.
It’s like the footballing stars have aligned to spell doom on Chelsea this season. Mourinho may be assured of patience from Abramovich this season but for how long? Besides, is it really so hard to salvage this season for a manager who has proven himself to be ‘The Special One’ time and again.
Three wins in a row followed by a draw at the jinxed St. James’ Park is in no way a terrible result but is by no means what Chelsea needed at the moment: a good run of wins.
Diego Costa is loved by the fans, but he must pay back in form of goals as well because we know he’s not changing his ways despite the suspensions. Eden Hazard, doesn’t look like a candidate for this season’s awards: a player who performed a clean sweep last season. Fabregas seems to have lost his desire and hunger after winning the only trophy he craved. Terry is just slow and doesn’t allow the high line to be played well enough. His ouster however, isn’t justified by the way the team is defending especially with Ivanovic in it.
Football runs in cycles, teams and countries dominate for a while and then recede. Spain for example. It is also part of the same rule that they re-emerge from the ashes. The Chelsea players seem to have hit a very deep low, but they make it look like a bottomless pit. How soon will they come out of it is anybody’s guess at the moment, because it is all kinds of uncertainty at the moment. The ability is there for sure, beyond any doubt.
At the moment, for the first time since 2013, Manchester United are top of the league. Manchester City proved that they are no runaway winners. Arsenal will always be Arsenal as long as Arsene Wenger is there. So, it is not like the title defence is a foregone thing. The team and Mourinho just need to pick their shit together and haul ass from the bottoms of the table like their lives depend on it. Otherwise, it’s all doom and gloom.
A different formation, a different set of player? A magic potion? There is bound to be something, ANYTHING that changes the way these guys are playing? Please find it Mourinho, and find it before you go to Portugal.
And let’s be clear, it’s not pretty this way; but how would it be Chelsea/Mourinho if it was pretty.
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