It is just four months since Jose Mourinho was lifting the Premier League trophy for the third time. It seems unbelievable to utter it, with the new campaign only five games old, but the Portuguese is now under extreme pressure after Chelsea’s worst start to a top-flight season since 1986-87.
They already trail Manchester City by 11 points after Saturday’s 3-1 loss against Everton. Mourinho’s side looked unfit, uninspired and stagnant, while Mourinho was restless and riled, something which is fast becoming a familiar sight. These are the three main problems the manager needs to urgently address:
Key players out of form
Eden Hazard propelled Chelsea to the title last season and won three separate player of the year awards. But the Belgium midfielder has been underwhelming and off the pace this season. He is yet to score and appears devoid of last season’s creativity.
It is something that has swept through Chelsea’s team: Diego Costa has scored only once so far, Cesc Fabregas is yet to replicate any of the invention which helped him lay on 18 assists last season and captain John Terry has been so inconsistent, Mourinho took him off at half-time in the 3-0 defeat to City in the second game of the season.
Eva Carneiro furore
Mourinho needlessly embroiled himself in a row with his medical staff on the first day of the season, after Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearns treated Hazard for a knock on the pitch during the 2-2 draw against Swansea.
Carneiro and Fearns have not been seen in the Chelsea dugout since as Mourinho revised the duo’s match-day duties. Despite Carneiro’s actions being supported by the Football Medical Association, Mourinho has refused to change his stance that she was wrong to enter the pitch.
The Portuguese might look at his own mentality, as something to change. He stormed off during a live TV interview before the start of the game at Everton, saying it was “too long”, before being recorded by the BBC swearing at the Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, after the match.
Chelsea faces Maccabi Tel Aviv tomorrow, and Arsenal on Saturday. Nothing other than two wins will be acceptable.
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