Chelsea ban players from 'banter' after Jose Mourinho's side's dismal start to the season

The Blues have endured their worst start in 29 years

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho has banned his Chelsea players from engaging in 'banter' following a dismal start to the season that has left his side languishing at the foot of the table.

The 3-1 defeat to Everton on Saturday was Chelsea's third in five Premier League games this season and, according to a report in the Telegraph, light-heartedness has been prohibited in a bid to arrest the club's worst start to a top-flight campaign in 29 years.

However, senior sources at the club insist there have been no crisis meetings dismissed claims of a bust-up between captain John Terry and striker Diego Costa, made by Talksport commentator Stan Collymore, as 'utter nonsense'.

 

Chelsea are set to face Maccabi Tel Aviv at Stamford Bridge in their opening Champions League fixture on Wednesday, followed by another home fixture against Arsenal in the Premier League at the weekend.

Mourinho is considering ringing in changes for the Tel Aviv game, having been let down by a number of last season's key performers.

Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas are just some of the names to have disappointed this term, and the Portuguese coach is ready to hand opportunities to the squad's fringe players.

Oscar, Willian, Radamel Falcao and Loïc Rémy could all be set to return, each incentivised by knowing that a stand-out performance could mean taking the regular first-team place of one of the club's several under-performers.

Mourinho himself has come in for criticism after the defeat on Merseyside, particularly for swearing in the vicinity of Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

The Chelsea manager was frustrated at being made to wait before doing a post-match press conference.

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